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Bi Sheng is a Medieval Era Great Engineer in Civilization VI.

Unique ability[]

Lets this city build one more district than the population limit allows.

Triggers the Eureka Eureka for the Printing technology.

Strategy[]

If you have built the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus and use Bi Sheng twice in one city, the city will be able to build two more districts than the Citizen Population limit allows.

Civilopedia entry[]

Born a commoner (hence, nothing is known of his early life) during the Song dynasty around 990 AD, at some point between 1041 and 1048 Bi Sheng invented moveable type – long before that dilettante Gutenberg was printing short excerpts from the Bible. Bi Sheng is mentioned only by name in the writings of the polymath Shen Kuo, although technical details of his moveable type – made from porcelain – abound in the literature of China.

His method was elegantly simple: take clay and roll it thin as the edge of coin; cut characters into the surface (a tedious task, as Chinese script at the time had over 3000); fire the individual pieces of type; when ready to print, arrange the appropriate characters on an iron sheet; cover the type with a mix of ash, pine resin, and wax; use a close fitting frame to hold a piece of paper (another Chinese invention) against the type; then press down using a board for even pressure. Hence, printing…

There are only a few remaining fragments of Sheng’s printing extant, the best preserved being Zhou Bida’s Notes of the Jade Hall. After this, Bi Sheng disappeared into an obscurity as deep as that of his ancestry, the only note of his passing being Kuo’s comment, “When Bi Sheng died, his fount of type passed into the possession of my followers.”

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