Guan Zhong - Wikipedia

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2023-05-22 03:00:03

Guan Zhong (Chinese: 管仲 ; Wade–Giles: Kuan Chung ; c. 720–645 BC) was a Chinese philosopher and politician. He served as chancellor and was a reformer of the State of Qi during the Spring and Autumn period of Chinese history.[1] His given name was Yiwu (Chinese: 夷吾 ; pinyin: Yíwú ). Zhong was his courtesy name. He is mainly remembered for his reforms as chancellor under Duke Huan of Qi, as well as his friendship with his colleague Bao Shuya, though his reputation remained controversial among the Confucians,[2] as detailed in the Philosophy and appraisal section.

Through Guan Zhong's reforms and skilful diplomacy Qi became the most powerful of the feudal states and Duke Huan became the first of the Five Hegemons. Though knowledge of his reforms is limited, in particular he instituted a famous fiscal policy known as "balancing the light and the heavy", associated with salt and iron monopolies.[3] Though otherwise a diverse work, the Guanzi compilation making use of his name makes similar such recommendations.[4]

Guan Zhong, a descendant of either Shu Xian of Guan[5] or King Mu of Zhou,[6] was born in Yingshang, and became acquainted with Bao Shuya at an early age, when they became business partners. The Shiji records that, as partner, Guan Zhong often took more than his share of the profits, in effect cheating Bao Shuya. Bao, however, recognised his impoverished background and was not offended.

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