Talk:Cai Lun

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Does anyone know when exactly this guy was castrated?

Does it matter? - User:DNewhall

I don't think it matters, but anyway some eunuchs were castrated at birth or in childhood by their parents, others were castrated when sold into slavery, and still others underwent castration in order to obtain positions in the Imperial bureaucracy that were only available to eunuchs. Perhaps that's why the other guy asked.

More importantly, we know that the Egyptians had paper in the deep BC (the word paper is in fact derived from the name of the Egyptian reed "papyrus"). I have made the minimum number of corrections to indicate this, but I have serious doubts about the claims to introduction of paper from China to Europe. Medieval Europeans attributed the invention of paper to egypt, and I believe archeology bears this out.

This whole article seems highly suspect to me, but I am not expert in Han history.

The word "paper" may be derived from "papyrus," but this doesn't mean the thing paper itself was derived from papyrus as well. As for whether the Chinese or the Egyptians can claim to have invented paper--that depends on your definition of paper. As I understand it, papyrus was not manufactured the same way as *modern* paper is, whereas Cai Lun's papermaking method is roughly the same as today's. See this —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 02:08, 5 December 2006 (UTC).

Papyrus is not paper - Papyrus is reeds cound together in a cross fashion. Actual paper, which is made from cellulose pulp, was invented in China. After the battle of Talas, technology spread to the Arabs, which was the main factors contributing to the rise of Islam. The Koran/Quran could be produced in mass with this new invention since paper was cheap. The Arabs thus spread paper making technology to Europe. The same goes for moveable type and gunpowder - Europeans intially thought they invented both, but they were actually both invented in China

  • I saw documentaries on the history channel regarding paper making and gunpowder invented in China - which confirms my point.


Cultural depictions of Cai Lun[edit]

I've started an approach that may apply to Wikipedia's Core Biography articles: creating a branching list page based on in popular culture information. I started that last year while I raised Joan of Arc to featured article when I created Cultural depictions of Joan of Arc, which has become a featured list. Recently I also created Cultural depictions of Alexander the Great out of material that had been deleted from the biography article. Since cultural references sometimes get deleted without discussion, I'd like to suggest this approach as a model for the editors here. Regards, Durova 19:03, 17 October 2006 (UTC)


I just added a reference, citations, and expanded the article.--PericlesofAthens 20:21, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

Cai's process lost to history?[edit]

It says in the article that the exact process was lost to history, but I'm not sure that's correct. See for example Ancient Chinese Inventions by Yinke Deng which describes Cai's process in detail. This book is not an academic source, so it could be completely wrong, but I just wanted to know if anyone knew otherwise. Kaldari (talk) 00:38, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

Citations needed[edit]

Biographical facts added in [1] and [2] need citation. --Doodee (talk) 14:15, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

New Sources[edit]

Here are some sources of information if people want to add this to the article Google Book link, Another link another link


I changed this back to the original consistent usage before an IP changed approximately half the AD's to CE's. I'm not trying to impose a POV here; I'm just going by what it says in the MoS. Kafka Liz (talk) 16:51, 8 May 2008 (UTC)


Paperwork secretary is 中常侍? Newone (talk) 07:28, 7 December 2008 (UTC)

It looks like "emperor's personal attendant" might be a better translation.[3] Kaldari (talk) 21:32, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
The Biographical Dictionary of the Later Han and Three Kingdoms translates it as "Regular Attendant" or "Regular Palace Attendant". I've updated the article to use the later. Kaldari (talk) 22:32, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

Palace Intrigue[edit]

The part about Cai Lun's involvement in Consort Song's death should be expanded significantly. The story is pretty complicated though, so it may take a bit of work to flesh out. Kaldari (talk) 18:32, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Cai Lun/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

Article needs major expansion. Kaldari 16:02, 20 October 2006 (UTC)

Last edited at 16:02, 20 October 2006 (UTC). Substituted at 10:41, 29 April 2016 (UTC)