CHP-125-Zhuge Liang

In this episode we explore the life and times of Zhuge Liang (181-234 AD). He’s a very good example of a well-known name from Chinese history that many have heard of but aren’t quite sure why. He lived during the Eastern Han and Three Kingdoms periods. Zhuge Liang is mostly remembered for his cleverness and many consider him right up there with Sunzi (Sun Tzu) as far as the works of strategy and military science he left behind.


Luo Guanzhong 罗贯中 Author of the Romance of the Three Kingdoms

xifan  稀饭  thin rice gruel

ershisishi  二十四史  The Twenty-four Histories

Sanguo Zhi  三国志  The Record of the Three Kingdoms

Chen Shou  陈寿  Author of the Record of the Three Kingdoms

Shi Ji  史记  The Record of the Grand Historian (by Sima Qian)

Wei  魏国  The Kingdom of Wei in the north

Shu 蜀国  The Kingdom of Shu to the west

Wu  吴国  The Kingdom of Wu to the east

Sanguo Shidai 三国时代  The period of the Three Kingdoms

Zhang Jiao  张角  Rebel leader who led the Yellow Turbans

Shandong 山东  Shandong province

Yinan County  沂南县  County in southern Shandong

Linyi 临沂  County seas of Yinan

Jiangsu 江苏  Province in the east

Zhuge Xuan  诸葛玄 Uncle of Zhuge Liang

Emperor Ling  汉灵帝  Eastern Han Emperor 168-189

Dong Zhuo  董卓 warlord of Eastern Han, seized power, assasinated by Lü Bu

Lü Bu  吕布  Capricious general of the Eastern Han, murdered Dong Zhuo (and others)

Liu Biao  刘表 Jing Province governor, son of Han Jing Emperor, supported Liu Bei

Yuan Shao  袁绍  Warlord, Half brother to Yuan Shu, tried to overthrow Cao Cao

Yuan Shu 袁术 Tried to set himself up as emperor in 197, another general of the Eastern Han

Huang Zhu 黄柱 Shu Han politician

Sun Jian 孙坚  Eastern Wu warlord, father of Sun Quan and Sun Ce

Deng Ai 邓艾 One of Cao Cao’s generals

Sima Yi  司马懿 One of Cao Cao’s generals, remembered for stopping Zhuge Liang in the north and bring the grandfather of Sima Yan

Sun Ce  孙策 Warlord of Eastern Wu, brother of Sun Quan

Zhou Yu  周瑜 One of the heroes of the Battle of Red Cliffs, worked for Sun Quan

Guan Yu  关羽 See CHP episode no.81 for details, one of Liu Bei’s gang

Zhang Fei 张飞  One of Liu Bei’s gang

Cao Cao 曹操  The main guy up in the north who ran the Kingdom of Wei

Liu Bei  刘备 The main guy in the west who ran the Kingdom of Shu.  Zhuge Liang worked for him

Emperor Xian 汉献帝 Eastern Han Emperor, the last one, 189-220

Nanyang  南阳  Historic city in southern Henan

Wancheng 宛城 Ancient name for Nanyang

Henan 河南  Province in China where much of ancient Chinese history took place

Luoyang  洛阳  Capital of many dynasties, located in Henan

Bai River  白河  The river that runs through the center of Nanyang

Sima Hui  司马绘 Wise teacher in Nanyang, famous for being the one who helped arrange the intro of Liu Bei to Zhuge Liang

Shui Jing  水镜  Sima Hui’s pseudonym

chengyu  成语 slang

hao hao xiansheng  好好先生  someone who always sounds like he’s agreeing with you

Longzhong  隆中  Area of Nanyang where Zhuge Liang lived in seclusion

Wolong  卧龙  Crouching Dragon, Zhuge Liang’s other name

Huang Chengyan  黄承颜  Local scholar in Nanyang. Later became the father in law to Zhuge Liang

Huang Yueying  黄月英  Daughter of Huang Chengyan, wife of Zhuge Liang, famous for many things, being particularly unattractive was one of them

Kongming  孔明 Zhuge Liang’s “style” or “courtesy” name

Zi 字 Courtesy or style name

Liji  礼记 The Book of Rites from the Zhou Dynasty

Liu Bang  刘邦  Founder of the Han Dynasty, reigned as Han Gaozu

Longzhong Dui  隆中对  The Longzhong Plan (to create the Kingdom of Shu and to unify China under their banner)

Changban  长板之战 Site of a battle in 208 between Cao Cao and Liu Bei.  Liu Bei lost

Wuhan  武汉 Historic place in Hubei where the old Jing Province was

Jingzhou  荆州 Jing Province, one of the ancient provinces of China, where Hunan-Hubei are mostly.

Yi  益州  One of the ancient provinces of China, where Sichuan is mostly

Shu Han  蜀汉 The Kingdom of Shu, also called Shu Han

Jun 郡 A prefect. Also called a commandery. An ancient administrative level going back to the Zhou Dynasty

Cao Pi  曹丕  Son of Cao Cao, founder of Cao Wei and served as first emperor

Shu Han Zhaolie  蜀汉钊烈  Title of Liu Bei

Wu Xiang hou  武鄉侯  Marquis of Wu

Yunnan  云南 Province in the south

Cao Rui  曹叡 Successor to Cao Pi on throne in Cao Wei

Liu Shan 刘禅 Son of Liu Bei who succeeded his father as King of Shu Han

Wujing Zongyao  武警总要 Collection of the Most Important Military Techniques, written in 1044, first time gunpowder’s chemical makeup was revealed

Sima Yan 司马炎 Grandson of Sima Yi, founded the Jin dynasty

Du Fu 杜甫  Considered the greatest or one of the greatest poets in Chinese literature. Lived during the Tang

Zhongwu hou 忠武侯  Loyal & Warlike Marquis

Zhuge Jin  诸葛巾  The kind of head dress that Zhuge Liang wore

Sanshiliu Ji  三十六计  The Thirty-six Stratogems

muniu  木牛 The Wooden Ox (early transport vehicle, similar to a wheelbarrow it’s thought

Mantou  馒头 Steamed bun

Man 蠻  Barbarian

Man 馒 Steamed bun

Baozi 包子  Steamed bun with some sort of filling

Meng Huo  孟获  Breakaway leader down in Yunnan who Zhuge Liang went down to subdue


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *