Cao gets a makeover

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The legendary politician and general from the Three Kingdoms Period (AD 220-280), Cao Cao can rest in peace now that his descendants proudly acknowledge him.

For centuries, despite Cao's record as a fair ruler and military genius who treated his subordinates like family and was also skilled in poetry and martial arts, he suffered from a bad reputation.

Few people have openly acknowledged they were Cao's descendants over the past centuries, making Cao's family tree an untraceable one, an unusual phenomenon considering his historical importance.

However, after last month's release of the discovery of Cao's tomb in Anyang county, Henan province, Cao Jian'ou, from Jiangxi province, claimed he was one of Cao's 82nd generation descendants. In the next few days, a few dozen people said they too had descended from the former ruler.

Over the past decades, however, thanks to the development of Chinese archaeology and an increasing public interest in history, there have been attempts to revise this negative image, the most recent and successful one being CCTV's hit TV program Lecture Room, featuring Professor Yi Zhongtian lecturing on the Three Kingdoms.

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