Zhuge Liang 諸葛亮

Zhuge Liang (181–234), courtesy name Kongming, was a Chinese politician, military strategist, writer, engineer and inventor. He served as the Imperial Chancellor (or Prime Minister) and regent of the state of Shu Han during the Three Kingdoms period.

He is recognised as the most accomplished strategist of his era, and has been compared to Sun Tzu, the author of The Art of War.

Often depicted wearing a Taoist robe and holding a hand fan made of crane feathers, Zhuge Liang was an important military strategist, statesman and accomplished scholar and inventor.

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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 loyalty, intelligence and strategy in Chinese culture.

Zhuge Liang was born in Yangdu County, Langya Commandery, which is in present-day Yishui, Shandong. Orphaned at a young age, he was raised by his father's cousin, Zhuge Xuan. Later, he followed Zhuge Xuan to live in Jing Province, which was governed by Liu Biao.

Zhuge Liang enjoyed reciting Liangfu Yin (梁父吟), a folk song popular in Shandong, his birthplace. 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.

Zhuge Liang presented the Longzhong Plan to Liu Bei and left his residence to follow Liu. Afterwards, Liu Bei became very close to Zhuge Liang and often had discussions with him.

With the existence of Zhuge Liang, Shu Kingdom became more prosperous and had a more powerful army.

In the spring of 231 ( When Shu Dynasty under Liu Shan Rule ) , Zhuge Liang finally met his nemesis, Sima Yi (the newly appointed Wei commander), at the Battle of Mount Qi, the deadliest campaign of the five expeditions ( northern expedition ) in terms of death toll. In late 234, Zhuge Liang and Sima Yi reached a stalemate at the Battle of Wuzhang Plains. Straining his energy on military matters big and small, Zhuge Liang fell seriously ill and eventually died in camp at the age of 53. Before his death, Zhuge Liang recommended Jiang Wan and Fei Yi to succeed him as regent of Shu. He was buried on Mount Dingjun according to his dying wish and posthumously granted the title "Marquis Zhongwu" (忠武侯; literally "loyal and martial marquis") by Liu Shan.


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