Taiyuan (Yuan dynasty)
|Also known as|
|Literal meaning||Leisure Man of Lakes and Seas|
Luo Ben (c. 1330–1400, or c.1280–1360), better known by his courtesy name Guanzhong (Mandarin pronunciation: [lwo kwanʈʂʊŋ]), was a Chinese writer who lived during the Ming Dynasty. He was also known by his pseudonym Huhai Sanren (Chinese: 湖海散人; pinyin: Húhǎi Sǎnrén; lit. 'Leisure Man of Lakes and Seas'). Luo was attributed with writing Romance of the Three Kingdoms, one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature.
The location and date of Luo's birth are controversial. One possibility was that he was from Taiyuan, and lived in the late Yuan Dynasty and early Ming Dynasty by the record of his contemporary, the playwright Jia Zhongming (賈仲明), who said that he had met him in 1364. Another possibility was that he was born in Dongyuan, the province of Shandong, in about 1280 – 1360. Literary historians suggest other possibilities for his home, also including Hangzhou and Jiangnan.
According to Meng Fanren (孟繁仁), Luo can be identified in the pedigree of the Luo family, and Taiyuan is most likely his hometown. But, his name is not in this pedigree, and some people believe that pedigree of the Luo Family can't prove that Luo is the author of Three Kingdoms. Some people doubt that If Luo came from Taiyuan, why he had intimate knowledge of people life in Shandong, and he had taken all his time and energy to write them not those people in Taiyuan, Shanxi. Some people believe that the source of Taiyuan statement, which was written by Jia Zhongming (賈仲明), is most likely wrong in handwritten copy. According to the recent research, there were two Luo Guanzhong (陈辽，Chen Liao), one is Drama artist who came from Taiyuan, another is author of Three Kingdoms who came from Dongping.
Recent research has suggested that his date of birth was between 1315–1318. But other sources state it was nearer to 1330.[which?]
The stories forming the bulk of Romance of the Three Kingdoms and Water Margin are thought to have been developed by many independent storytellers. Shi Nai'an is thought to be the first to assemble Water Margin into a unified work, and Luo subsequently brought it to the current form of 100 chapters. Luo is usually considered the author of Romance of the Three Kingdoms.
The Three Sui Quash the Demons' Revolt (平妖傳) is a shenmo fantasy story attributed to Luo with 20 chapters, developed from the original pieces of storytelling based on a rebellion at the end of the Northern Song Dynasty, and later expanded by Feng Menglong (馮夢龍) into 40 chapters. Can Tang Wudai Shi Yanzhuan (殘唐五代史演義傳) is a chronicle of the end of the Tang Dynasty and the following Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period, a compilation of storytelling pieces based on the rebellion of Zhu Wen.