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Life Of Cai Lun

by Javed Pasha
Life Of Cai Lun

Life Of Cai Lun

Life of Cai Lun (Ts’ai Lun) is very interesting, He was born in 49 CE and is one of China’s greatest inventors. As Emperor He of Han’s chief pharmacologist and court physician, Cai created paper and improved the quality of Chinese silk.

His invention of paper is still so significant that he is known as the Father of Paper.

His contribution to Chinese culture makes him one of the greatest inventors and innovators of all time.


Childhood Life Of Cai Lun

Cai Lun’s grandfather was a well-known general in ancient times, but he eventually died in the war. His mother had to work hard for the family.

Cai Lun’s mother once heard her father say that the people who can change their fate can’t be separated from their good fortune.

Therefore, she hoped that her children could become officials and change their destiny. At that time, the most promising official road to becoming an official was to be a filial son and enter the Imperial College.

However, Cai Lun’s mother did not know how to read, so she had no idea how to teach her son.

In order to fulfill his mother’s wish, Cai Lun worked very hard with his two brothers and sisters when he was young and tried his best to learn to read.

But because his father is an official, his family life is unstable. Finally Cai Lun can only go out of Beijing and live with his uncle Zhang Chang in Luoyang City.

Life Of Cai Lun


Middle-age Life Of Cai Lun

According to historical records, Cai Lun’s hometown is in today’s Jiangling County, Hubei Province. He was good at reading and writing when he was a child, and he was very inquisitive. As a child, he asked about the nature of paper and the origin of silk.

When he was young, his family was poor, and his mother died early. Because of poverty, Cai Lun and his brother were sold as slaves into the family of a local official named Wang Mang.

Cai Lun grew up with a hard life in the Wang Mang family. He became an apprentice to make paper in his teens. After learning how to make paper, Cai Lun began to study its composition by himself.

He first made plain paper by tearing bark and leaves into small pieces and smashing them with a wooden hammer until they turned into pulp. The pulp was then stirred in water and spread on a flat stone surface by hand.

After repeated improvements by Cai Lun, plain paper gradually developed into woven paper with fine texture, which is similar to modern toilet tissue.

In 105 AD (Han Dynasty), Wang Mang usurped the throne and established Xin Dynasty. At that time, Cai Lun served as an official in the imperial court.


Educational Life Of Cai Lun

Little is known about Cai’s early life and education. An orphan by the age of seven or eight, he lived with his uncle and aunt in Chang’an and received a good education.

As a young man he was attracted to Buddhism and thus incurred the displeasure of the authorities.

After failing to pass the civil service examinations on many occasions, he finally became an official in the imperial secretariat in 81 ce; but he was dismissed from office after a mere three months and imprisoned for having criticized Emperor He (reigned 88–105/106).


Work Life Of Cai Lun

Cai Lun was a eunuch of the Eastern Han Dynasty. He is considered as the inventor of paper and a diplomat in ancient China.

He was born in Guiyang county, Guiyang prefecture (present-day Yudu district of Jinhua, Zhejiang province). Cai’s ancestral home was Nanyang in Henan province.

His grandfather and mother brought him up and hoped that he would be successful. Therefore, they sent him to school to learn literature. Cai Lun knew very well that only a person with high status could get what he wanted, so he went to the capital Luoyang to seek his fortune.

After arriving into capital, Cai Lun became a servant of a palace maid, who gained him access to the imperial inner palace, where he successfully became the personal attendant of Emperor Zhang.

He worked very diligently and made himself invaluable to his master. Eventually, he obtained his position as a eunuch by order of the emperor and started an official career in the court.

Having more influence in politics and society, Cai Lun began paying attention to society’s requirements for writing and bookkeeping materials at that time.


Cai Lun’s Achievements And Inventions

Cai Lun has been remembered in Chinese history for his many contributions and achievements, including the invention of paper. The Chinese word for paper is derived from his name. Cai Lun’s inventions are still widely used today, in the form of modern paper.

Cai Lun was a eunuch during the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220 AD) period. His contributions to the fields of science and technology were so great that he is regarded as one of the greatest inventors in China’s history.

The emperor who reigned during this time was He (89-105 C.E.). As a eunuch, Cai Lun had no hope of making the emperor’s children his heirs, which could have helped him achieve a higher position than his talents might have otherwise earned him.

Therefore, he focused on his work, devoted himself to technological development, and made great contributions to society through his inventions.


Interesting Facts About Cai Lun

Cai Lun was the eunuch inventor of paper. The invention and spread of paper was one of the most important events in human history. It helped bring literacy, education and culture to the masses.

The earliest surviving paper dates from 105 AD, but it is impossible to know if Cai Lun invented it or if he just improved an older technology that was already in use.

A eunuch was a castrated male who served as a court attendant for women or men. Eunuchs were often employed as guards for royal harems, but they were also used as officials in government and even as generals for armies.

Cai Lun’s real name was Cai Lou. He changed his name to Cai Lun two years before his death. In Chinese, “Lun” means “paper.”

It is not known when or where Cai Lun was born. The only record that mentions his early life says that he came from Langya Commandery (now known as Linyi City), in Shandong Province, which is located at the northern end of China’s eastern coast near Korea.


Death Of Cai Lun

Cai Lun is known to have died in 121 BC from natural causes. However, the Book of Han states that he was executed for crimes against the state.

Cai Lun was buried in the western suburbs of Chang’an (modern-day Xi’an). Three years later, his tomb was robbed; his remains were cremated, and the ashes placed in a new tomb. The previous tomb remained empty and abandoned.

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