An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

Gan Mao 甘茂

Dec 2, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald

Gan Mao 甘茂 was a high minister of the state of Qin 秦 during the Warring States period 戰國 (5th cent-221 BCE). He originated in the state of Cai 蔡 and was well-versed in the writings of the strategician masters.

Under King Wu 秦武王 (r. 310-307 BCE), he put down the rebellion of the Marquis of Shu 蜀侯 (modern Sichuan) and was promoted to the position of left Counsellor-in-chief. King Wu wanted to destroy the house of Zhou 周, but Gan Mao persuaded him to first engage the state of Han 韓 and to built up a direct border line between Qin and Han.

A few years later, when the armies of Chu 楚 attacked Han, the king of Han asked Qin for military assistance, which Gan Mao suggested providing. Together with the right counsellor, Chulizi 樗里子, he then suggested concentrating the military forces towards the state of Wei 魏. Gan Mao's positive attitude towards Han caused some enviers like Xiang Shou 向壽, to slender Gan Mao.

Accused of espionage, Gan Mao left Qin and departed for Qi 齊, where he was appointed senior minister (shangqing 上卿). He later dwelled in Chu and Wei, where he died. All attempts by the king of Qin to bring him back proved not successful.

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