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Zhuge Liang - Famous Inventor

: Zhuge Liang
: 0234-08-23
: China
: Self Educated
: Inventor

About Inventor

Zhuge Liang (181–234),courtesy name Kongming, was a chancellor of the state of Shu Han during the Three Kingdoms period. He is recognised as the greatest and most accomplished strategist of his era, and has been compared to another great ancient Chinese strategist, Sun Tzu.

Often depicted wearing a robe and holding a hand fan made of crane feathers,Zhuge Liang was not only an important military strategist and statesman; he was also an accomplished scholar and inventor. His reputation as an intelligent and learned scholar grew even while he was living in relative seclusion, earning him the nickname "Wolong" or "Fulong" (both literally mean "Crouching Dragon").

Zhuge is an uncommon two-character Chinese compound family name. His name – even his surname alone – has become synonymous with intelligence and strategy in Chinese culture.

Early life

Zhuge Liang was born in Yangdu, Langya Commandery (present-day Yinan County, Shandong). He was orphaned at a premature age, and was raised by his uncle, Zhuge Xuan.Later, he followed his uncle to live in Jing Province, which was governed by Liu Biao. After his uncle died, Zhuge Liang and his brothers settled in Wolonggang for the next ten years or so, leading simple lives – farming by day and studying at night. Zhuge Liang's two elder sisters married members of influential clans with strong connections in the region. According to historical texts, Zhuge Liang was eight chi tall, roughly between 1.85 metres (6 feet and 1 inch) and 1.95 metres (6 feet and 4.75 inches).

Zhuge Liang enjoyed reciting Liangfu Yin, a folk song popular in Shandong, his birthplace. He also liked to compare himself to Guan Zhong and Yue Yi, two famous historical figures. He developed close friendships with members of the local literati, such as Xu Shu, Cui Zhouping, Meng Jian and Shi Tao. Zhuge Liang also maintained close relations with other well-known intellectuals such as Sima Hui, Pang Degong and Huang Chengyan. Huang Chengyan once told Zhuge Liang, "I heard that you're seeking a spouse. I've an ugly daughter with a yellow face and dark complexion, but her talent matches yours."Zhuge Liang agreed and married Huang Chengyan's daughter.


Zhuge Liang was believed to be the inventor of mantou, the landmine and a mysterious but efficient automatic transportation device (initially used for grain) referred to as the "wooden ox and flowing horse" (????), which is sometimes identified with the wheelbarrow.

Although he is often credited with the invention of the repeating crossbow that is named after him and called "Zhuge Crossbow", this type of semi-automatic crossbow is an improved version of a model that first appeared during the Warring States period (though there is debate whether the original Warring States Period bow was semi-automatic, or rather shot multiple bolts at once). Nevertheless, Zhuge Liang's version could shoot farther and faster.

Zhuge Liang is also credited with constructing the Stone Sentinel Maze, an array of stone piles that is said to produce supernatural phenomenon, located near Baidicheng.

An early type of hot air balloon used for military signalling, known as the Kongming lantern, is also named after him.It was said to be invented by Zhuge Liang when he was trapped by Sima Yi in Pingyang. Friendly forces nearby saw the message on the lantern paper covering and came to Zhuge Liang's aid. Another belief is that the lantern resembled Zhuge Liang's headdress, so it was named after him.


Zhuge Liang's Other Images

Zhuge Liang-Zhuge Liang


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