Zhuge Liang deserves better treatment

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Unread postby Zhang Ren » Thu Sep 12, 2002 9:53 am

Iznoach, Legendary Dragon wrote:one very quick example:
In Zhuge's bio, it says that he was the one who got Sun Quan to decide to oppose Cao Mengde at Chibi; in Zhou Yu's bio, Chen Shou clearly contradicts himself by saying that Zhou Yu is the one who talks Sun Quan into warring with Cao and siding with Liu Bei. :wink: ...sorry back to topic...


That not the fault of Chen Shou and I believe that you do not know the full story about SGZ. SGZ was written by various historians from Wei, Wu and Shu. Chen Shou just compiled it. As all kingdoms tried to make their kingdom out to be the greatest, it is not uncommon that 2 or more kingdoms have different perspective of the same event. However, I believe it would be more bad IF Chen Shou tried to put his own view on these events and made a uniform version of it.
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Unread postby Iznoach, Legendary Dragon » Thu Sep 12, 2002 9:57 am

Zhang Ren wrote:
Iznoach, Legendary Dragon wrote:one very quick example:
In Zhuge's bio, it says that he was the one who got Sun Quan to decide to oppose Cao Mengde at Chibi; in Zhou Yu's bio, Chen Shou clearly contradicts himself by saying that Zhou Yu is the one who talks Sun Quan into warring with Cao and siding with Liu Bei. :wink: ...sorry back to topic...


That not the fault of Chen Shou and I believe that you do not know the full story about SGZ. SGZ was written by various historians from Wei, Wu and Shu. Chen Shou just compiled it. As all kingdoms tried to make their kingdom out to be the greatest, it is not uncommon that 2 or more kingdoms have different perspective of the same event. However, I believe it would be more bad IF Chen Shou tried to put his own view on these events and made a uniform version of it.


Well in that case, I stand corrected. I thought he was the one who wrote the bio's, rather than just compiled them. In that case, I suppose if SGYY is about 70% accurate, that would only put SGZ at about 85%...
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Unread postby Zhang Ren » Thu Sep 12, 2002 10:16 am

Iznoach, Legendary Dragon wrote:Well in that case, I stand corrected. I thought he was the one who wrote the bio's, rather than just compiled them. In that case, I suppose if SGYY is about 70% accurate, that would only put SGZ at about 85%...


I would not say that SGZ is 100% accurate, however it the best historical records we have. Look at it this way, would a Shu historian know that Zhou Yu already had a meeting with Sun Quan before Zhu Ge Liang arrived? Probably not, however we can't say that the Shu historian was been untruthful. Same with the other records. So when one read SGZ, keep it in mind that you are reading a point of view of one kingdom, not the whole chinese empire.
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Unread postby Mega Zarak » Thu Sep 12, 2002 2:20 pm

Zhuge Kongming wrote:It is a shame he didn’t have anybody like Fa Zheng around to help him realize the dreams he shared with Xuande.


IMO, Fa Zheng was more of his rival rather than partner. If Fa Zheng was around, Zhuge Liang might be working under him in terms of military affairs.

Zhuge Liang certainly deserved more credits by those anti-Shuists. At least, I think he should not be part of those awful conspiracy theories (e.g. jealous of other military commanders who shared different views, etc.). :lol:
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Unread postby Mega Zarak » Thu Sep 12, 2002 2:34 pm

Iznoach, Legendary Dragon wrote:one very quick example:
In Zhuge's bio, it says that he was the one who got Sun Quan to decide to oppose Cao Mengde at Chibi; in Zhou Yu's bio, Chen Shou clearly contradicts himself by saying that Zhou Yu is the one who talks Sun Quan into warring with Cao and siding with Liu Bei. :wink: ...sorry back to topic...


I don't think there's much contradiction for that episode as depicted by Chen Shou unless one chooses to interpret it in that manner.

In Zhou Yu's bio, Zhou Yu made his speech before Zhuge Liang was dispatched as the diplomat to Wu. After his speech, it was not mentioned that Sun Quan came to any decision. Following that, in the same bio, it was stated clearly that Lu Su met Liu Bei at Dan Yang and Zhuge Liang was tasked to meet Sun Quan. Subsequently, the next sentence translates to Sun Quan sending Cheng Pu, Zhou Yu and the rest to meet Liu Bei to resist Cao Cao.

When Cao Cao's letter of threat arrived, Zhou Yu was at Fan Yang. It was noted by Pei Song Zhi that Lu Su was the first person who persuaded Sun Quan to resist Cao Cao instead of surrendering. This was evident from the fact that it was Lu Su who suggested to Sun Quan to summon Zhou Yu back from Fan Yang.

However, I would also not accredit the whole act of persuasion to Zhuge Liang too. IMO, Lu Su played a major role to start the ball rolling. Zhou Yu further it by presenting a concise analysis. Zhuge Liang concluded it by assuring Sun Quan the role that Liu Bei could play (ie. the forming of the alliance). Hence, Sun Quan, having heard all three parties, dispatched his generals to meet Liu Bei. :D
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Unread postby James » Thu Sep 12, 2002 10:36 pm

Zhang Ren wrote:I would not say that SGZ is 100% accurate, however it the best historical records we have. Look at it this way, would a Shu historian know that Zhou Yu already had a meeting with Sun Quan before Zhu Ge Liang arrived? Probably not, however we can't say that the Shu historian was been untruthful. Same with the other records. So when one read SGZ, keep it in mind that you are reading a point of view of one kingdom, not the whole chinese empire.

I too thought that Chen Shou wrote the biographies himself. This gives me a completely new perspective on the San Guo Zhi. Question for you, if you know; as a whole were most biographies for Shu written by Shu officers (and Wei by Wei along with Wu by Wu)? That would explain a great deal. Also, are there any exceptions to this?

Zhang Ren wrote:
Iznoach, Legendary Dragon wrote:<deleted by Zhuge Kongming>

Yeah, I see some of his post, whatever happen to him?

Everybody, please keep questions regarding members to private messages. Speculation does not help anything. Future posts of this sort will be deleted immediately.
Last edited by James on Thu Sep 12, 2002 10:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postby James » Thu Sep 12, 2002 10:45 pm

Great Deer wrote:IMO, Fa Zheng was more of his rival rather than partner. If Fa Zheng was around, Zhuge Liang might be working under him in terms of military affairs.

Ha! Very good point. It would have also probably placed Shu in a better position on the battlefield against Wei. For the sake of discussion, however, how do you think Zhuge Liang would have faired if he had an officer or two of Fa Zheng’s military competence to execute his plans?
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Unread postby Mega Zarak » Fri Sep 13, 2002 3:16 am

Zhuge Kongming wrote:For the sake of discussion, however, how do you think Zhuge Liang would have faired if he had an officer or two of Fa Zheng’s military competence to execute his plans?


That would depend on how much flexibility Zhuge Liang gave to his officers and how much trust he placed on them. If those officers had a good working relationship with Zhuge Liang (like Zhao Yun, Ma Su,etc.) while at the same time, they were as capable as Wei Yan and Fa Zheng, then the northern expeditions might have more gains than merely 2 prefectures. However, we must always bear in mind that Shu had always been weak in terms of resources and some of the best military men during that time were serving dutifully for Wei. :D
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Unread postby Lady Wu » Sat Sep 14, 2002 6:01 am

Zhuge Kongming wrote:I too thought that Chen Shou wrote the biographies himself. This gives me a completely new perspective on the San Guo Zhi. Question for you, if you know; as a whole were most biographies for Shu written by Shu officers (and Wei by Wei along with Wu by Wu)? That would explain a great deal. Also, are there any exceptions to this?

Well, to compile the history of all three kingdoms, Chen Shou had to depend a lot on the primary sources. I don't think he necessarily "copy-and-pasted" the primary materials into the book. However, why would anyone from Wei write a bio about, say, Jian Yong? Thus each person's biography is biased based on who first did his biography. Chen Shou did some editing and wrote some commentaries for the people, but for the primary facts, he wouldn't dare to deviate too far from what the kingdoms' officers wrote (as many of them were still alive!). But he did some of his own research and info on related people were consulted somtimes. Eg, in Sun Qian's bio, Chen Shou referred to a letter from Liu Biao to Yuan Shang, in which Sun Qian was mentioned.

The battle of Chibi is a prime example of this messed-up history. We don't even know for sure whether Zhou Yu burnt the boats.

But I'm probably wrong, and majorly getting off-track...
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Unread postby Lady Wu » Sat Sep 14, 2002 6:08 am

To make up for the gross off-trackness of my previous post:
I don't think ZGL would've done better if there were more Fa Zheng's around. ZGL doesn't like delegating major decision-making a lot, and I think he supported Fa Zheng just because they had the same plan for taking Yizhou. Since Fa Zheng was so powerful under Liu Bei, and so unashamedly so (killing ppl he didn't agree with etc), ZGL would've found an excuse to suppress him once Hanzhong was settled. Like Great Deer mentioned, ZGL might even end up working under Fa Zheng! Otherwise, ZGL would be confined to civil affairs.

However, I do think that Shu would've had a better chance if Fa Zheng were around....

(oh dear, this is off-track again, and mostly speculative too!)
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