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Lord Mengchang

Lord Mengchang, personal name Tian Wen, Gui Wen, or Xue Wen, served as prime minister in the eastern state of Qi during the Warring States Period. He was born in a noble family of Counselor-in-chief, where had been forty sons already. His father Tian Ying, almost abandoned Tian Wen, however, his mother saved him. After father’s death, Tian Wen inherited his position (McKay). The Warring States Period (475 BC – 221 BC) was a time when smaller states were united by regional warlords. Seven major states had risen to prominence – the Qi, Chu, Yan, Han, Zhao, Wei and Qin. By 221 Qin conquered all the rest sates and completed the unification of China.

King Min of the Qi state made Lord Mengchang his prime minister in 300 BC. Mengchang persuaded the rulers of the Han, Wei, Zhao, and Chu states to unite in an alliance against a common enemy of the Qin. The Qin did not last long and had to join the coalition. By 295 BC, Mengchang was a dominant personality in China and the Qi major power. He defeated the Qin once more and then inflected defeats to other kingdoms. However, Mengchang fell into disgrace. Then he assumed command in the Wei state and formed a new alliance against the Qi. In 285 BC the joint armies of the Wei, Qin, Zhao, and Yan destroyed the Qi (Keko). Thus, he twice influenced the course of the war. Moreover, Lord Mengchand was famous for the great respect and generosity he treated his retainers. Thousand people found room and food in Mengchang’s mansion regardless of their background and skills. He died in the Wei, respected for his intelligence and kindness.

 

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