Biography of Zhuge Liang (181-234)

(China Daily)Updated: 2021-05-24


Whose courtesy name is Kong Ming and often referred to as "Wolong", meaning crouching dragon, Zhuge is one of the most famous master strategists, politicians and inventors in ancient China. He was born in Langyayangdu, an area of Shandong province. He served as prime minister of the Shu kingdom during the Three Kingdoms (220-280).

206-207: Liu Bei, whose ancestor was an emperor of the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 24), visited Zhuge Liang three times in a bid to recruit him as a strategist.

208: Zhuge Liang persuaded Sun Quan, king of the Wu kingdom, to ally against Cao Cao, king of the Wei kingdom, in the Battle of Red Cliff. The legendary and decisive battle stopped Cao from conquering China and set the foundation for establishing a state unifying the three kingdoms.


221: The Shu kingdom was established with Liu Bei as founding emperor. Zhuge Liang took the helm as prime minister.

228-234: Zhuge Liang launched five northern expeditions with the aim to unify China. However, none were successful.

234: During the last northern expedition battle with the general of the Wei kingdom, named Sima Yi, Zhuge Liang died of exhaustion in Wuzhangyuan, Shaanxi.