Bao Zhao (Chinese: 鮑照; c. 414 – September 466) was an early medieval Chinese poet, writer, and official known for his shi poetry, fu rhapsodies, and parallel prose. Bao's best known surviving work is his Fu on the Ruined City (Wú chéng fù 蕪城賦), a long fu rhapsody on the ruined city of Guangling. Bao Zhao, courtesy name Mingyuan (明遠), was born around the year 414, though historical sources give contradictory information on his birthplace. He was probably born in the town of Jingkou (modern Zhenjiang, Jiangsu Province), though sources variously say he was born in Shangdang (modern Zhangzi County, Shanxi Province) or Xuzhou (modern Tancheng County, Shandong Province). Bao's younger sister Bao Linghui was also a poet, with seven poems still extant. Little is known of Bao's early life. He was probably a farmer as a young man before beginning his career as an official on the staffs of local princes of the Liu Song dynasty. From about 438, Bao served as an attendant gentleman (shìláng 侍郎) to Liu Yiqing (劉義慶), the prince of Linchuan. In the early 440s, Liu served as governor of Jiangzhou (roughly corresponding to modern Jiangxi and Fujian Provinces), and Bao writes that he traveled around the area of modern Jiujiang, writing poems on the mountain scenery around Mount Lu. After Liu Yiqing's death in 444, Bao briefly returned home to Jingkou, then in 445 joined the staff of Liu Jun (劉駿; 436–463), another Liu Song prince, who was servi...
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