The Chronicle of the Three Kingdoms

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Unread postby Gabriel » Sat Jan 14, 2006 5:53 pm

Continued.....

32. Sun Sheng comments as follows:
"'The three years' mouring for parent is binding on all, from the Son of Heaven to the masses of the people. ...Therefore, even at the end of the Three Dynasties and during the decline of the Seven Hegemons there never was one who laid aside his unhemmed mouring clothes of sachloth for even ten days or a month, or who desisted from wearing hempen band on his head, or from carrying the bamboo mouring staff on the day when he returned from the grave to wail over his deceased parents. It was only under the reign of Han Wen Di that the ancient custom was altered, the norms of human conduct being dismissed once for all... This move was not only an act of irreverence in it's days but also set a bad example for a hundred generations to come... Adopting as he did all the practices and institutions of the Han court, the King of Wei brought about a change in one of it's principal ceremonials; confronted with the greatest of all sorrows, he gave a banquet. Being at first, and transmitting canons and rules to his posterity, he demolished the very foundation of kingly influence. When he eventually recieved the throne from the hand of the Han Emperor, he openly accepted the two daughters of the Han Emperor as his concubines.... From all these we can see why the King was not permitted to enjoy a long life and why the dynasty he founded could not continue more then a short span of time"

33. The King appointed Jia Kui, the Senior Recorder attached to the Han Premier, to be Provincial Governor of Yu-zhou. At this time the empire had been brought to order only recently, so that most of the provincial governors were not in a position to exercise their power over the prefectures under their jurisdiction. Jia Kui said: "In the beginning governors of provinces examined the conduct of prefects and officials of lower rank in accordance with the edict comprising Six Items. For this reason they were always described as majestic and servere, competent in supervision; they were never spoken of as mild and lenient, as possessing the virtue of affability. These days, senior officials pay no heed to the enforcement of laws and regulations, so that robbers are running amuck. If provincial governors, aquainted as they are with this evil situation, leave it uncorrected, how shall we ever hope to put the empire in order?"

The Provincial Secretary of Military Affairs, who had obtained a leave of absence from the former Provincial Governor, returned to his duty several months after Jia Kui had taken his post of governor. Jia Kui censured him. He impeached all the erh-ch'ien-shih and officials of lower ranks in his province who had been friendly and lax towards law-breakers, and had them dimissed. He attended to the defense of the province and saw to the well-being of the people; he reclaimed lands by building embankments, dredged canals to make them navigable. Both officials and people praised him. The King said, " Jia Kui is really a worthy provincial gorvernor. The whole empire shall be told to take as a model the provincial governor of Yu-Zhou." He conferred the titular rank of Kuan-nei Lord on Jia Kui.

34. The Commandant of the Left Guard Li Fu and the Assistant Court Astrologer Xu Zhi memorialized the King that they had discovered ample evidence in prognostic records in favor of the Wei's replacing the Han. Thereupon the officials sent up a memorial to him, advising the King to comply with the wishes of Heaven and men. But the King withheld the assent.

35. Winter, tenth month. On the day Nov. 25, the Han Emperor reported to the temple of his ancestors and had the Acting Supervisor of Works, Chang Yin, carrying the Ordinary Plenipotentiary Tally, bring to the King the imperial seal and a rescript announcing his voluntary abdication of the imperial throne in favor of the King of Wei. The King sent three letter to the Emperor, in which he declined the honor out of modesty. He had an alter for the abdication ceremony built at Fan-yang.

36. On the day Dec. 11 the King mounted the alter, recieved the imperial seal, and was proclaimed Emperor. He presented a burnt offering and sacrificed to Heaven, Earth, the fire mountains and the four rivers. He altered the reign-title from Yen K'ang to Huang-ch'u and issued general amnesty.

37. Eleventh month. On the day Dec. 13 the new Emperor conferred on the abdicated Han Emperor Duke of Shan-yang, with the privileges of keeping the Han calender and of using ceremonials and music due an Emperor. The Duke's four sons were eneoffed as feudal lords. The August King (i.e. Cao Song) was canonized as August Emepror; the Martial King (i.e. Cao Cao) was canonized as Martial Emperor with the temple designation of August Ancestor; and the Queen Dowager was canonized as Empress Dowager. The Emperor conferred the title Virtue-Revering Lords on the fuedal princes of the blood of Han, and the titular rank of Kung-chung Lords on the Han feudal lords. He also advanced the ranks and posts of his own officials. He had the official title "Premier" restyled "Inspector of Instruction" and that of "Supervisor of Works" renamed "Inspector of Works".

38. The Duke of Shan-yang offered his two daughters to be wives of the Wei Emperor.

39. The Emperor wished to alter the calender. The Grand Chamberlain Xin Pi said: "As heir to the line of Shun of Yu and Yu of Hsia, the Wei have obeyed the command of Heaven and complied with the wishes of the people. T'ang of Yin and King Wu of Chou conquered the empire by means of battles, hence they altered the calender. Confucius said, 'Follow the season of Hsia.' Why then must you make a point of acting contrarily?" The Emperor approved and accepted the advice.

40. At this time the court officials all lauded the virture of the Wei and many disparged the previous dynasty. The Chamberlain Wei Chen stood alone in that he, having a clear conception of what voluntary abdication of the imperial throne signified, praised the excellence of the Han. The Emperor often followed Wei Chen with a glance and said, "The rarities of the empire I will share with the Duke of Shan-yang."
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Re: The Chronicle of the Three Kingdoms

Unread postby Liu Yuante » Sat Jan 14, 2006 10:34 pm

Lexus Fiend wrote:
Perhaps I'm out of the loop, but I am not familiar with, and don't believe I have heard of these particular Chronicles before. Is there any background you (or anyone else for that matter) can give on it, such as any information about this Achilles Fang and it's historical accuracy? Is it just basically historical information put into this easy to read format for recordkeeping purposes, or is it more of a literary/non-fiction/entertainment type thing (for severe lack of a better term)?


Chronicle of the Three Kingdoms is Achiless Fang's translation of the portion of Sima Guang's Zizhi tongjian covering the years 220 A.D. to 265 A.D. The Zizhi Tongjian was a massive work of history composed during the Song Dynasty and covers the nearly the entire history of China up to that point. Guang used SGZ, Hou Han Shu and other historical texts (some of which no doubt are now lost to us) to compose the 3K section of his history. Fang's translation identifies where each item in the text is originally sourced from (when possible) and provides the original Chinese for the quoted passages as well. Between his work, and Rafe de Crespigny's translation of the Zizhi Tongjian section covering 189 A.D. to 220 A.D., titled To Establish Peace, they make a wonderful and very useful piece of scholarship in English.

As for Fang himself, I know that he was a professor at Harvard, but not much else.

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Unread postby Gabriel » Sun Jan 15, 2006 5:43 pm

End of AD 220, beginning of AD 221....

41. The Emperor wished to eneoff posthumously the parents of the Empress Dowager. The State Secretary Chen Qun memorialized: "With sagelike virtue, Your Majesty has responded to the time and received the mandate; in founding a dynasty and instituting regulations you must decree norms for ages to come. As far as I know from the ancient writings, there never was an instance of women's eneoffment. The Canon of Rites says that women follow the ranks of their husbands. The Qin acted contrary to the ancient usage, the Han following their example; but it is not in conformity with the excellent institutions of the early Kings."

The Emperor said, "This opinion is correct; the thing shall not be put into practice." Futhermore he had this recorded as an immutable decree, which he ordered to be preserved in the archives of the Department of State.

42. Twelfth month (Jan. 11 - Feb. 9, 221 A.D.). The imperial palace was being built in Luo Yang. On the day Jan. 27 the Emperor went to Luo Yang.

43. The Emperor said to the Grand Chamberlain Su Tse: "Some time ago, after Chiu-ch'uan and Chang Yeh were conquered, the Western Regions sent envoys to Tun-huang to offer me a large pearl, one inch in diameter. Do you think I can get some more of them through purchase?"

Su Tse replied: "If Your Majesty's begnin influence prevades China and your virtue overflows to the desert, they will come to without without your seeking for them. There is no glory in obtaining them through seeking after them." The Emperor did not answer a word.

44. The Emperor summoned the Commandant of the Easten Guard Jiang Ji to the capital and appointed him Chamberlain. At that time he had addressed to the General of the Forces for Southern Expedition Xiahou Shang an edict which read: "Because you are my trusted and esteemed general, I empower you with special privileges. Your benevolent heart is ample for my service; your affection for me is worth my cherishing. You may display terrors or confer favors, you may kill or let live." Xiahou Shang showed the edict to Jiang Ji.

When Jiang Ji came, the Emperor asked what he had recently heard and seen. He replied: "Nothing good, certainly. On the contrary I have heard words that could bring doom to the dynasty."

The Emperor colored and grew angry, demanding an explanation. Jiang Ji told him the details and went on to expostulate: "The Shu expressly warns against displaying terrors and conferring favors. The ancients saw to it that 'a son of Heaven does not speak playfully.' I beg Your Majesty to reflect on this."

Thereupon the Emperor sent a messenger to retrieve the edict in question.

45. The Emperor wished to move a hundred thousand households of soldiers from the province of Ji-zhou to the prefecture of Ho-nan in the Metropolitan Province, Ssu-chou. At this time, due to drought and a plague of locusts, the people were suffering from famine. Various officials of the Court disapproved of this measure, but the Emperor's mind was set on it. The Grand Chamberlain Xin Pi, together with other court officials, requested audience with the Emperor. Knowing well that they intended to remonstrate with him on this score, the Emperor wore a vexed expression when he received them. No one else dared to speak; Xin Pi, however, said, "Your Majesty intends to move the households of the soldiers. What is your aim?"

The Emperor asked him, "Do you mean to say that you disapprove my moving them?" Xin Pi affirmed, "I definitely disapprove." The Emperor said, "I am not going to discuss the matter with you."

To this Xin Pi said, "Your Majesty, not considering me unworthy, has made me one of your attendants and appointed me one of your counsellors. How can you now be unwilling to discuss the matter with me? It is not of private nature, but concerns the dynasty itself. Why should you be vexed at me?"

Without answering, the Emperor rose from his seat and went inside. Xin Pi followed him, pulling him back by the lapel of his coat; the Emperor shook himself loose and would not return. After a long while he finally came out and said, "Xin Pi, how you did harass me!" Xin Pi said: "Should you move these households, you will lose their affection; and besides, you cannot feed them. That is why I could not help braving your vexation and contended as hard as I could."

In the end the Emperor moved half the original number.

On one occasion, when the Emperor went out of his palace to shoot pheasants, he turned to his attendants and exclaimed, "How delightful this pheasant shooting is!" Xin Pi replied, "Delightful indeed to Your Majesty, but very burdensome to all your subjects." The Emperor did not utter a word, but thereafter did not go out so frequently, because of him (i.e. Xin Pi).
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Unread postby Gabriel » Sun Jan 15, 2006 10:40 pm

Second Year of Huang Chu (221 AD)
Shu: First Year of Chang-wu

1. Sring, first month (Feb. 10 - Mar. 10). The i-lang K'ung Hsien was appointed Lord Worshipper of the Sage, in which capacity he was to offer sacrifices to his ancestor Confucius.

2. Third month (Apr. 10 - May 9.). The t'ai-shou of Liao-dong Gongsun Gong, was given the title of chu-chi chiang-chun.

3. The wu-shu coins were agian put into circulation.

4. In Shu, it was rumored that the Han Emperor had been murdered, so the King of Han-zhong declared mourning for him and prescribed the mourning clothes, canonizing him as Hsiao-Min Huang-Di.

5. The Shu courtiers were all busily talking of the prophesies and auspicious signs, and advised the King of Han-zhong to assume the title of Emperor. The ch'ien-fu ssu-ma Fei Shi memorialized: "It is because Cao Cao and his sons have coerced their sovereign and usurped his throne that Your Highness is wandering in this land ten thousand li distant from the capital, with soldiers around you, your intention being to punish the rebels. Now the arch-enemy is not yet put down, and you would first proclaim yourself Emperor. I am afraid that the people will become suspicious of you. Formerly, the Emperor Kao-Tsu made an agreement with Chu (i.e. with Xiang Yu) that he who should be the first to destroy the Qin would be crowned as King. When he butchered Hsien-yang and seized Tzu-Ying, he still thought of declining the throne out of modesty. Now, Your Highness has not issued out of the narrow limits of your domain; yet you would proclaim yourself Emperor! This is not what I, stupid though I am, should recommend you to do."

The King was displeased and demoted Fei Shi to be ts-ung-shih of Yung-ch'ang in his jurisdiction (i.e. Yi-zhou).

6. Summer, fourth month. On the day May 15, the King of Han-zhong assumed the imperial throne at the south of the mountain Wu-tan in Cheng Du. He gave general amnesty, altered the reign-title to Chang-wu, and appointed Zhuge Liang to be ch'eng-hsiang and Xu Jing to be ssu-t'u.

8. Sun Quan moved his capital from Gong-an to O. He renamed O, calling it Wu-chang.

9. Fifth month. On the day June 19, the Sovereign of the Han enthroned the fu-jen nee Wu as his Empress. The Empress was a younger sister of the Lieutenant General Wu Yi and wife of the late Liu Mao, elder brother of Liu Zhang. He appointed his son Liu Shan as Crown Prince, and married him to a daughter of the General of the War Chariots, Zhang Fei; she thus became the Crown Prince's consort.

10. When Cao Cao entered Ye in 204 AD, the Emperor, who then was wu-kuan chung-lang-chiang, saw Yuan Xi's Lady Zhen of Chung-shan and took delight in her beauty. Cao Cao married her to him, and she gave birth to Cao Rui. After Cao Pi ascended the throne, the kuei-pin Kuo of An-p'ing stood in his favor. Lady Zhen stayed at Ye and could not see the Emperor; she became despondent and murmured words of resentment. The kuei-pin Kuo slandered her to him. The Emperor was greatly angered and in the sixth month, on the day Aug. 4, sent a messenger to order her suicide.

11. The Ancestral Temple being in Ye, the Emperor offered sacrifices to Cao Cao in the hall of Chien-shih-tien in Luo Yang, using rituals proper to worshipping a member of a private family [not to an Emperor].

12. On the day Aug. 5, last day of the month, the sun was eclipsed. The officials in charge memorialized that the t'ai-yu be dismissed from office. The Emperor declared in a edict, "Calamities such as solar eclipses are meant to rebuke the sovereign of a state; to ascribe fault to his ministers, is this in the spirit of Yu and T'ang, who took themselves to task? May my officials reverently execute their duties. In future, the Three Ducal Ministers shall not be impeached for any celestial or terrestial calamities which may occur."

13. The Sovereign of Han eneoffed his sons: Liu Yong as Prince of Lu and Liu Li as Prince of Liang.
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Re: The Chronicle of the Three Kingdoms

Unread postby Wo Long » Mon Jan 16, 2006 12:04 am

Lexus Fiend wrote:
Liang Shuo wrote:Here for your viewing pleasure, I present The Chonicle of the Three Kingdoms by Achilles Fang. I heard was rare, so I decided to enlighten you all by writing it out for you. You all should be happy, and offer me many thanks :D. Unfortunetly though, the book is only from AD 220 - AD 245, but there's still alot of information there.


Perhaps I'm out of the loop, but I am not familiar with, and don't believe I have heard of these particular Chronicles before. Is there any background you (or anyone else for that matter) can give on it, such as any information about this Achilles Fang and it's historical accuracy? Is it just basically historical information put into this easy to read format for recordkeeping purposes, or is it more of a literary/non-fiction/entertainment type thing (for severe lack of a better term)?

Oh, and thanks and stuff :wink: Hopefully you will be able to post more without trouble because I'd like to continue on with it.


Maybe I'm wrong, but I thought the SGZ was the Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms(the translation of Sanguozhi). If so, then I would assume it's alot of bios and basically, just the SGZ translated by this Achilles Fang. But, it may also be something this guy wrote and just happened to name it the same.
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Unread postby Lady Wu » Mon Jan 16, 2006 1:25 am

"Chronicles" is a section of the Zi Zhi Tong Jian ("Comprehensive Mirror for the Aid of Government"), a historical text compiled by Sima Guang of the Song dynasty (?), based on the "official" historical records and his own research. The portion translated by Fang is basically based on the SGZ and events put into the right chronological order.
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Unread postby Jordan » Mon Jan 16, 2006 1:27 am

Maybe I'm wrong, but I thought the SGZ was the Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms(the translation of Sanguozhi). If so, then I would assume it's alot of bios and basically, just the SGZ translated by this Achilles Fang. But, it may also be something this guy wrote and just happened to name it the same.


No the Sanguozhi is accredited to Chen Shou, who lived during the time period. The Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms is a part of a much vaster source covering from before the Three Kingdoms to long after and describing the Jin dynasty as well and the chaos and civil wars that happened in it and possibly more stuff too. This source is called the ZZTJ (ZiZhi TongJian) and was compiled by Sima Guang much later.

Edit-Woah cool, answered at the same time. :D
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Unread postby Wo Long » Mon Jan 16, 2006 1:31 am

The Sānguó Zhì (Chinese 三国志, or 三國志), variously translated as Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Records of the Three States and Records of the Three Kingdoms,


From Wikipedia. So is Wiki wrong, or is it also known as the chronicles or what? Now I'm confused because I'm hearing two different answers from two very reliable sources(you and Wikipedia). If you want to see the page, just search for Sanguozhi on Wikipedia. That's the first sentence that I quoted.
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Unread postby Jordan » Mon Jan 16, 2006 1:35 am

Wo Long wrote:
The Sānguó Zhì (Chinese 三国志, or 三國志), variously translated as Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, Records of the Three States and Records of the Three Kingdoms,


From Wikipedia. So is Wiki wrong, or is it also known as the chronicles or what? Now I'm confused because I'm hearing two different answers from two very reliable sources(you and Wikipedia). If you want to see the page, just search for Sanguozhi on Wikipedia. That's the first sentence that I quoted.


1.) Wikipedia is not a reliable source. Remember that anybody can input anything into wikipedia so it's not considered an accurate site for information. This is not to say that everything on it is wrong but you have the right to be skeptical about what it says. I am not a reliable source either lol.

2.) It's possible that both could be known by the same name but I think Wiki is wrong. Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms could be a common name after all. Both that section of the Zizhi Tongjian and the Sanguozhi could be called Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms after all since they both DO chronicle the events of the Three Kingdoms. Sanguozhi is of course a primary source and Zizhi Tongjian a secondary. Each, and especially the latter, probably used sources as well that might not exist today or might not be as well known.
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Unread postby Lady Wu » Mon Jan 16, 2006 1:46 am

The ZZTJ is not Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms. The name ZZTJ literally means "Comprehensive Mirror to Aid in Government", and covers the entire Chinese history from the very beginning to Sima Guang's time. It is a really long chronological timeline history. Fang chose to translate the portion of it from 220 to the end of the 3K period. He then had to give his translation a name. ZZTJ doesn't have a convenient name for that chunk, so Fang decided to call his work "Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms."

SGZ, on the other hand, is just a record of the three kingdoms. The name 三國志 contains the words 三 "Three", 國 "Kingdom, State, Country", and 志 "Records, Chronicles, Annals". Thus SGZ can be translated as all three phrases in that Wiki.
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