Biggest Traitor in the Three Kingdoms Era?

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Re: Biggest Traitor in the Three Kingdoms Era?

Unread postby Sun Fin » Thu Jan 05, 2017 1:52 pm

danuracula wrote:
Dong Zhou wrote:If it was, we wouldn't have a 52 page thread :wink:

I'm guessing betraying Wei is the reason but why does that make them the biggest traitors for you?

Because I think the Simas (starting from Sima Yi) are Wei supporters for a very long time. Their betrayal create a new dynasty that made, not just Wei, but the other kingdoms also perished.

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How about everyone who had served the Han for generations but then abandoned them to support Cao Pi? Personally I find the Jin coup poetic justice.
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Re: Biggest Traitor in the Three Kingdoms Era?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Fri Jan 06, 2017 1:57 pm

It is why things work. Weakness at top leads to decline, loss of support and eventually the guy at top goes. Han got awhile due to it's lustre and sense of permanence, Cao family never fully won over the gentry so first sign of trouble=support faded away which is a tad harsh but that is what happens.

As as Wei fan, I can't complain about Jin seizing control. I'll complain about the gentry though!
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Re: Biggest Traitor in the Three Kingdoms Era?

Unread postby jonathan_hili » Fri Jan 13, 2017 4:10 am

I'd say Dong Zhuo, Cao Pi and Sima Yan are the greatest traitors for they forced their legitimate ruler to abdicate in their favour or in favour of another (in the case of Dong Zhuo). I suppose you could add Yuan Shu to that list, who declared himself emperor while Han Xian Di was still alive.

I'm excusing Liu Bei and Sun Quan here. The former because there was a genuine belief (perhaps more pragmatically helpful than true) that Emperor Xian had been killed and so there was a vacuum in the Han line, and the latter (applies to Liu Bei too) because once a monarch abdicates, I would say the Mandate is up for grabs.
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Re: Biggest Traitor in the Three Kingdoms Era?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Fri Jan 13, 2017 10:27 am

Dong was following a Han gentry tradition of taking out Han rulers they don't like :wink:

Is it is so bad really? I can well believe Dong saw his move as a ruthless but necessary step to save a Han whose decline he had born witness to. Cao Pi and Sima Yan taking the thrones? Well why not? The old dynasties for a variety of reasons have lost the gentry support, the Cao and Sima family were ruling successfully in all but name. Why is it bad to make the change?

A genuine belief? Liu Bei did not react well to Han loyalists who objected to his seizing throne and it certainly seemed to suit his interests (nor did his envoy to Wei seem to check Xian's fate or Shu ever go "oops, we step down. Sorry Xian"). Liu Bei and Sun Quan took advantage of the change of Emperor to legitimize their kingdoms, they were right to do so.
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Re: Biggest Traitor in the Three Kingdoms Era?

Unread postby lorindir » Wed Jan 25, 2017 7:09 am

Dong Zhou wrote:Dong was following a Han gentry tradition of taking out Han rulers they don't like :wink:

Is it is so bad really? I can well believe Dong saw his move as a ruthless but necessary step to save a Han whose decline he had born witness to.


So he concluded that the Han wasn't falling fast enough :lol:
Once he take power, he just made every single live being wish to kill him, so he really didn't his homework about usurpation? :D

Dong Zhou wrote:
A genuine belief? Liu Bei did not react well to Han loyalists who objected to his seizing throne and it certainly seemed to suit his interests (nor did his envoy to Wei seem to check Xian's fate or Shu ever go "oops, we step down. Sorry Xian"). Liu Bei and Sun Quan took advantage of the change of Emperor to legitimize their kingdoms, they were right to do so.


If they didn't, their officers would have found someone who did!
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Re: Biggest Traitor in the Three Kingdoms Era?

Unread postby Sun Fin » Wed Jan 25, 2017 12:09 pm

lorindir wrote:
Dong Zhou wrote:Dong was following a Han gentry tradition of taking out Han rulers they don't like :wink:

Is it is so bad really? I can well believe Dong saw his move as a ruthless but necessary step to save a Han whose decline he had born witness to.


So he concluded that the Han wasn't falling fast enough :lol:
Once he take power, he just made every single live being wish to kill him, so he really didn't his homework about usurpation? :D


The Han Emperor's by this point were merely figureheads. They were there for 'religious'* reasons. It was important that the Liu line were Emperor's and could fulfill their ceremonial duties but as for actually ruling, well that could easily be done by someone else. Dong's treatment of the Emperor was bad in terms of degree rather than in method if that makes sense. It wasn't the fact he took power that people were offended by but with how little respect he showed the Emperor.

That said Yuan Shao and co probably rebelled because under He Jin they were influential advisers whereas Dong brought in his own people that he already trusted and so they lost their power. Don's treatment of the Emperor was merely an excuse I suspect for many of them!

*religious isn't necessarily the right word here but a debate on how to define religion is not for this thread
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Re: Biggest Traitor in the Three Kingdoms Era?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Wed Jan 25, 2017 1:42 pm

lorindir wrote:
So he concluded that the Han wasn't falling fast enough :lol:
Once he take power, he just made every single live being wish to kill him, so he really didn't his homework about usurpation? :D


History shows that dethroning the Han emperor is an issue the gentry won't complain about. Regicide even, completely fine with the gentry. Thus why Han emperors preferred the eunuchs, death of the murdery kind far less likely. For Dong, one of the imperial line was better then the other, this was a time of crises, best to get the best choice on the throne and been done before. Senior members of the coalition had actually changed Ling's heir from Xian to Bian and then tried to replace Xian with the saintly Liu Yu so they were hardly innocent themselves

The difference between the past is the way Dong took control of the court differed from other regiciders and that changed the rules of the game. Suddenly one could take power with an army and couldn't the gentry summon up armies?

If they didn't, their officers would have found someone who did!


The officers might not have been pleased but overthrowing their powerful leaders? Not so displeased they plunge their kingdoms into a massive civil war
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Re: Biggest Traitor in the Three Kingdoms Era?

Unread postby Sun Fin » Wed Jan 25, 2017 10:41 pm

Dong Zhou wrote:
The difference between the past is the way Dong took control of the court differed from other regiciders and that changed the rules of the game. Suddenly one could take power with an army and couldn't the gentry summon up armies?


And armies were suddenly available to the gentry after the Yellow Turban rebellion!
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Re: Biggest Traitor in the Three Kingdoms Era?

Unread postby Cai Mao » Sat Jan 20, 2018 1:24 am

Okay, I'm going to say it loud and clear.

Cao Cao was no traitor!

A quote he is famous for...
"If heaven bestows such a fate upon me, let me be King Wen of Zhou."
The King That Never Was
Famous for serving the last monarch of a dynasty, taking every measure to secure the land was safe and the people were happy while those around him treated him with nothing but scorn and suspicion.
Crowned posthumously by his son who overthrew the king after his father's death.
King Wen of Zhou was the one who truly earned the crown of King's.
I'm sorry but calling Cao Cao a traitor to the Han is like calling Gorbachev a traitor to Russia.
Yes, they went against the ideal but the nation they saved was made better for it.
Cao Cao showed the Empire nothing but absolute care and dedication.
And he was nearly killed for it on several occasions.
He never asked for the throne, nor did his son.
The fact that the Emperor was advised to abdicate so soon after Cao Cao's death tells us that, as far as the court were concerned, the death of Cao Cao was the death of the Han.
The whole capital saw him as the Emperor.
Indeed, he had many qualities that would have made him an able emperor.
Cao Cao was not without vices certainly and his reasons for his service were his own.
But what actions of his can truly be considered treacherous?
Ruthless, certainly. Self-Motivated, possibly.
But traitorous? Toward the Empire that had him to thank for its resurgence?
Given every opportunity to take it for himself yet, this man who others knew as the Hero of Chaos, chose instead to serve?
I say Cao Cao was no traitor.
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Re: Biggest Traitor in the Three Kingdoms Era?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Sat Jan 20, 2018 11:31 am

Welcome to the forum Cai Mao

Cao Cao showed the Empire nothing but absolute care and dedication.
And he was nearly killed for it on several occasions.


Cao Cao did great things for the land, not particularly for the Han (your kind of conflating the two), but don't forget Cao Cao also got great great reward.

Including by the Emperor. Plus his family. That is not usually a good sign about how the Son of Heaven feels about your loyalty

He never asked for the throne, nor did his son.


Cao Pi asking for the throne would have looked bad. Cao Pi nodding and winking to his advisers who then "persuaded" Xian to step down is more acceptable but Cao Pi wanted that throne and ensured he got it

Given every opportunity to take it for himself yet, this man who others knew as the Hero of Chaos, chose instead to serve?


Name an opportunity. Even becoming Duke led to problems

I don't think Cao Cao was a traitor to the Han (I don't think he was loyal to it either by the end but I don't believe any of his rivals were, Liu Yu was probably the last true Han loyalist among the warlords) but I can see why people think that. Including Xian, Xun Yu and others of his time. Cao Cao didn't treat Xian that well, at best it was a gilded cage but one where Cao Cao kept him isolated and very much powerless, Xian's supporters being killed off over time. He took the rank of Duke which would be like someone in UK taking the rank Lord Protector ie a really bad signal, there are a fair few reasons why Cao Cao wouldn't have taken throne without it being a sign of loyalty, the way Cao Cao left his family vs way he left Xian's position.

Given we can't mindread, I don't think we can ever say for sure where Cao Cao's final loyalty lay. My suspicion is when Cao Cao rescued Xian, it was with Han loyalty as well as strong political judgement, the gentry had a history of treating Emperor's badly (Cao Cao was arguably the best gentry controller of Emperor for decades). I suspect a lot of what Cao Cao took for himself he convinced himself was for Han but who knows by the end, how far he was willing to go and what he would have done if he had united the land.
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