(c. 1330?-1400?), born Luo Ben
(罗本), was a Chinese
author attributed with writing Romance of the Three Kingdoms
(三国演义), and editing Water Margin
(水浒传), two of the most revered adventure epics
in Chinese literature
Luo Guanzhong is confirmed to have lived in the end of Yuan Dynasty and early Ming Dynasty by the record of his contemporary, play writer Jia Zhongming (賈仲明), who met him in 1364. It tells that he was from Taiyuan
, while literary historians suggests other possibilities about his home, including Hangzhou
. According to Meng Fanren (孟繁仁), Luo Guanzhong can be identified in the pedigree of the Luo family, and Taiyuan is most likely his home town.
Recent research has narrowed his date of birth to 1315-1318.
Literary historians are not certain Shi Naian (see #Works) and Luo Guangzhong are the same person, or if the name was used as a pseudonym by the editor of Water Margin who did not want to be associated with any anti-government themes that might be found in this work.
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 Naian
is thought to be the first to assemble Water Margin
into a unified work, and Luo Guanzhong subsequently brought it to the current form of 100 chapters. Luo Guanzhong is usually considered the author of Romance of the Three Kingdoms
, although it is suggested that Shi Naian may also possibly be the editor.
Pingyao Zhuan (平妖傳) is a ghost story attributed to Luo Guanzhong with 20 chapters, developed from the original pieces of storytelling based on a rebellion at the end of Northern Song Dynasty, and later enlarged 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 period, a compilation of storytelling pieces based on the rebellion of Zhu Wen.
- Romance of the Three Kingdoms
- Water Margin
- Pingyao Zhuan (平妖傳)
- Sansui Pingyao Zhuan (三遂平妖传)
- Can Tang Wudai Shi Yanzhuan (残唐五代史演義, "The End of Tang Dynasty and the Period of the Five Dynasties")
- Fenzhuang Lou (粉妝樓, "Cosmetical Building")
- Sui Tang Zhizhuan (隋唐志傳)
- Sui Tang Liangchao Zhizhuan (隋唐兩朝志傳, "The Chronicle of the Sui and Tang Dynasties)