Cao Zhi was the son of Cao Cao, the famous-sometimes thought infamous-adventurer, general and politician at the end of the Later Han Dynasty (25-220). Cao Zhi lived at a time of division, of change and of constant warfare and popular distress. Buddhism was spreading fast and new poetical forms were coming into use. Cao Zhi is one of the first fitures in Chinese history to be remembered as a poet alone, and not as an emperor, statemen or general who also wrote poetry. He also wrote essays which contained some of the earliest literary criticism of writers of his age. He was also renowned as a calligrapher.