The Three Kingdoms

Romance & History


Romance of Three Kingdoms

Although not as important as other periods, the Three Kingdoms (220–280) is a often talked about period in the Chinese history.

This is largely due to the tremendously popular Chinese classic Romance of the Three Kingdoms (三国演义), written by Luo Guanzhong in the 14th century. 

Chinese like to talk about the historical novel, largely because of the sophisticated warfares it depicts. They involve stratagems of deceptions, ploys and gambit, when the three kingdoms tries to get the better of one other.

Great stories in romance of three kingdoms like the Battle of Red Cliff, as well as personalities like Zhu Geliang and Cao Cao, are often cited during discussions.  

If you have seen the movie by John Woo, Red Cliff, you may want to note that it is based on a story in this historical novel.

The novel is well-loved also for the moral excellence of the central characters, including loyalty and integrity.

Stories of the three sworn brothers in the novel– liubei, guanyu and zhangfei – are often being cited because they exemplify the virtue of loyalty – which is highly valued among Chinese.

Period of the Three Kingdoms


Red Cliff in China

The Three Kingdoms period refers to the time between the foundation of the Wei in 220 and the conquest of Wu by the Jin Dynasty in 280. Some nevertheless date it back to the uprising of the Yellow Turbans in 184.

The three kingdoms were Wei (魏), Shu (蜀) and Wu (吴).




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