torsdag 5. august 2021

Today’s Wikipedia: Cai Lun, Inventor of Paper

Cai Lun (Chinese: ; courtesy name: Jingzhong (Chinese: ); c. 50–62 – 121 CE), formerly romanized as Ts'ai Lun, was a Chinese eunuch court official of the Eastern Han dynasty. He is traditionally regarded as the inventor of paper and the modern papermakingprocess. Although early forms of paper had existed since the 3rd century BCE, he occupies a pivotal place in the history of paper due to his addition of tree bark and hempends, which resulted in the large-scale manufacture and rapid spread of paper.

Born in Guiyang Commandery [zh] (in what is now Leiyang), Cai arrived at the imperial court in Luoyang [zh] by 75 CE, where he served as a chamberlain for Emperor Ming, and then as Xiao Huangmen [zh], an imperial messenger for Emperor Zhang. To assist Lady Dou in securing her adopted son as designated heir, he interrogated Consort Song and her sister, who then killed themselves. When Emperor He ascended the throne in 88 CE, Dou awarded Cai with two positions: Zhongchang shi [zh], a political counselor to the emperor that was the highest position for eunuchs of the time, and also as Shangfang Ling, where Cai oversaw the production of instruments and weapons at the Palace Workshop.