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Re: The Academic Corner of Sanguo

Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 5:30 pm
by waywardauthor
[The following is one of three excerpts from this article that will be posted here. The earlier section focused on the Han imperial library and many people who taught key figures of the Later Han period falls outside of our purview. As this was published in Asia Major in 2005, the whole article can be viewed for free there.]

Chinese Polymaths, 100—300 AD: The Tung-kuan, Taoist Dissent, and Technical Skills

Written by Howard L Goodman

150S-160S : "Repository of Mr. Lao " and symbol for beset During the Eastern Han emperor Huan's reign (146-168), Taoist-style rites were given a conspicuous position at court and in various locales throughout China, frequently fostered by imperial relatives as well as by the throne.

At the same time, continuing already two centuries of scholarly trends, certain well-known Taoist philosophical writings were taught privately, explained and praised in various genres of prose, and used as authorities in public (including court) statements. The Tung-kuan, as time went on, gained a reputation as a nexus for projects to edit less-known taoistic texts. I wish to make observations at this point, partly building off of Jack Dull's earlier research, about Laoist or Taoist, or Taoistic tendencies associated with the Tung-kuan and its inhabitants. It is important to clarify this troublesome category, and I do so here without the need to cite hundreds of important new researches of the past thirty or forty years. As a convenience in discussion, I offer a summary that is relevant to the period of the Han through Western Jin, roughly 150 BC up to 300, after which "Taoism" was much shaped by Buddhism and gained new avenues of expression through literarti arts (like pharmacopoeia, calligraphy, and alchemy) and new Taoist communities began to be important in local and metropolitan places. I see five aspects of pre-300 AD Taoism:

1. Lingering attitudes about the deepest meanings and functions of life and death, as reflected in pre-Han mortuary arts and religious practices (this essentially being China's indigenous, ancient religious complex involving ancestor-worship, spirits and demons, mortuary determinations and preparations, postmortem journeys, and devices to aid in the process);
2. Since about 150 BC, the studying, copying, and teaching of texts of Laozi and/or systemic and technical knowledge and foreknowledge and guides to self and state: eg, the Tao and Te classics, Chuang-Tzu (and roughly contemprorary figures like Lieh-tzu, Shen Tao, etc.), Lv Shih ch'un-ch'iu, divinatory and hemerological guides, and numerous cross-over writings like I Ching, Huai Nan tzu, and Hsi-tz'u chuan, and material related to spirits and apotheosized sages;
3. Tao- and/or Lao-worshipping communities, eg the somwhat isoalted Celestial Masters, but also less organized clusters of imperial representatives, urban literati and their circles, and/or their associates and families who observed rites at shrines dedicated to the lord Lao (or similar entities) or held readings or chantings to Lao or other spirits that were associated with categories 1 and 2 above. Texts and arts emerged from such communities and clusters.

Then we have two categories given problematically, the apellation "neo-Taoism"; their height was around 180-300 AD

4. Public anti-ritualistic behavior (often pointing to the model of Chuang-tzu), including noncompliant funerary, ethical, and official actions, withdrawals and solipsistic stances, and self-conscious uses of linguistic relativism and semantic double-entendre in philosophical and social/ad hominem criticism;
5. Expanded and evolved genres of commentary and essay concerning the written texts of category 2, also the use of linguistic relativism and semantic obscurantism as applied to clearly non-Tao scriptures like Lun-yv, in the process of establishing forms and methods of sagehood, and in developing what some have called a revolutionary epistemological turn of mind.

It is my opinion that numbers 4 and 5 hardly seem worthy of being called Taoist, although perhaps in some senses "taoistic." Also, number 1 to some might seem a protean precursor of practically anything. Numbers 4 and 5 also have been associated with the rubric "neo-Taoism" and writiers in that early milieu did produce commentaries on the Tao classics. Yet, can we call Wang Bi, He Yan, Xiang Xiu, and other Taoists (or half- or hidden-Taoists) because of their unique commentarial work or because in some contexts they were a new type of thinker? I do not think so. When I speak, in the following, about the Taoist aspects of Tung-kuan martyrdoms and withdrawals, I refer to stances taken by scholars that resonated with number 2, their category 1 type attitudes toward the primordial "dark/obscure" and the Tao and their experiments with category 3 partly as an attempt to idenitify themselves and their ilk as pure enough to be associated with "dark" or Tao writings and to take certain self-consciously moral political stances. It was not yet time for the new commentarial styles of category 5 writing. It is with these summaries and caveats that I use the word "Taoist."


I73~I92: Ts'ai Tung's strong rites polymathy and martyrdom

As Mark Asselin has demonstrated, Cai Yong was deeply influenced by Chu's life and and writings on moral questions. In 159, before the factional clashes had begun, Cao was summoned by a eunuch clique at court because of his zither playing; Cao traveled part way to court, but then had a change of heart and turned back. In 173, upon appointment as palace gentleman, he was ordered to collate books in the Tung-kuan and subsequently was given the supernumerary gentleman-consultant title. He began working on the Tung-kuan Han chi, the still-ongoing draft history of the Eastern Han.

In 175 he was primary calligrapher in the court's Stone Classics project, which inscribed the entire set of Confucian classics on stone for the purpose of fixing the texts for Academy students. Furthermore, based on circumstancial evidence, Cai was cognizant of artisan portraitists and their work, perhaps using his own skills in design and galligraphy to supervise them. The Tung-kuan even produced a portrait of one of its own scholars whom Cai had lauded and wanted to serve as inspiration to his students.

Another facet of his polymathy was I Ching divination (but without mention of sortilege). In 178, the emperor Ling became displeased about the high number of meteorological portents and ordered that scholars submit memorials. He consulted with Cai, who took the opportunity to denounce the eunuchs through a skillful use of omenological analyses, mostly based in I Ching-style trigram figurations. The eunuchs responded by having him sentenced to death, and after Caiw as reprieved, he was banished ot the North in 180, from where he pleaded by letter to be allowed to finish his work of treatise compilation for the hoped-for dynastic history. He was prevented for ten years by the eunuchs from returning to Luo Yang.

Cai Yong possessed solid credentials for gathering data for the dynasty's technical, ritual treatises. His Hou Han-Shu biography states that as a youth he "studied comprehensively," and was "inclined toward literary composition, computation, astrology, and had a mastery of music pitches (harmonics). His uncle, Cai Zhi, was a scholar known to have worked for some time on a compendium of court ceremonials and was closely involved with his nephew Yong's education; both studied with the renowned rites expert Hu Kuang, and all three - the two Cais and Hu - at various times collated compendia of ceremonials. Further, Cai Yong fostered a nexus of scholars at the Tung-kuan who specialized in mathematical astronomy and astrology: Liu Hong, who compiled a treatise on celestial and harmonic systematics along with Cai; and two other scholars, Ma Jung's former student Cheng Hsvan, who computed ephemerides, and Han Yue, a numerological astrologer and diviner.

Cao Yong was deeply concerned with physical cosmography and mathematical astronomy, as well as mathematical harmonics. He searched for texts in these areas, and once appeared commented inside a larger discussion of cosmography: "I have searched for old texts for years on end without finding any." This frustration may in fact reflect the destruction of Luo Yang and its archives that occurred in 190, about two years before Cai's death. Post-holocaust, Cai followed the military dictator Dong Zhuo westward to set up a court in Chang An, but his service under Dong became the focus of political hatreds; and after Dong's death he was imprisoned, numerous objections from scholars not withstanding, and died shortly thereafter. Although Cai had succeeded in making it back to Luo Yang in 190, it was only to experience the fall of the court's institutions, their destruction, and two to three years without vast personal textual resources as well as those formerly housed at the Tung-kuan. Ultimately the bleakness of Cai Yong's martyrdom came through in the retrospective judgment recorded by the compiler of his Hou Han Shu biography. There, Cai was grouped with Ma Jung, as examples of great minds who met the tragic results of unavoidable contact with tainted politics.


[This will be broken up into sections]

Re: The Academic Corner of Sanguo

Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2017 3:54 am
by waywardauthor
[The following is one of three excerpts from this article that will be posted here. This follows up on the Imperial Library and the Tungkuan into the Three Kingdoms period. As this was published in Asia Major in 2005, the whole article can be viewed for free there.]

Chinese Polymaths, 100—300 AD: The Tung-kuan, Taoist Dissent, and Technical Skills

Written by Howard L Goodman


The Imperial Library was created in 159 ad. Subsequently, and perhaps consequently, overviews of court institutions began to elide the Library with the Tung-kuan. The elision happened out of a need to describe continuity in offices over time, and because the Tung-kuan’s development had always been ad hoc — essentially a building under the control of inner-palace residents, not the state bureaucracy. In fact, the Treatise on Officialdom in Hou Han-shu does not even mention the “Tung-kuan.” If it was a strong polymathic site, it was nonetheless a bureaucratic nonentity. The Treatise on Officialdom in Sung-shu (written just before 500 ad), under the subsection “Imperial Library Inspector,” emphasizes the fact that during Eastern Han the Tung-kuan took in numerous documents, but that only in Western Jin, especially under Emperor Hui (r. 290–307), did the gentlemen-drafters become a regularized post devoted to compilation of the court histories under the aegis of the Library and located at the Tung-kuan. The functionally parallel treatise in Chin-shu (compiled in early Tang) concurs, making a special point to deny that in Eastern Han the Tungkuan was a site of regularized office-holding.

Was there an actual Tung-kuan building by the 200s? If not, how was any nominal or legendary Tung-kuan faring? Who were the polymathic intellects, and what were their manner and use of polymathy? Wang Su (195–256) was, to the best of my knowledge, the first to give the Tung-kuan a real historical characterization, however brief. He also tried to increase the status of its parallel entity the Library, with which he himself became associated. We should assume that the original Tung-kuan structure and its stores were eradicated in the Loyang holocaust (perhaps with some meager material remains). (These fires are discussed, below.) During Wei Ming-ti’s reign (227–239) the imperial city was undergoing a spate of rebuilding, and the court had to sort out the problems involved with labor, designs, and expenses. Wang Su was close to these problems, as evidenced by his memorials to the throne in the years between 230–240. Both Jack L. Dull and R. P. Kramers noticed two important fragments of Wang’s consultation about scholarly offices, but neither could clarify the issues. The texts are difficult, mostly for the reason that early writing frequently used nicknames, literary alternatives, and abbreviations for state offices.

The first opinion by Wang Su came in about 236, when Mingdi’s court debated whether to join the Library’s inspector and assistant with the post of erudite, cum gentleman-consultant. Wang held that the “Library offices were closely positioned vis-à-vis the San-t’ai.” He noted that the Library ought to have rewards and status directly in line with those of the San-t’ai, but that it was not so in his day. He explained that the Library staff had to use small carriages, were without proper costume, and received only lower-priority imperial directives in contrast to the Yü-shih-t’ai (perhaps here one of the San-t’ai), with its big carriages and high-priority directives. The push for Library parity is related to Wang’s having just been made head of the Ch’ungwen Academy. His career from this point on was centered almost exclusively around matters of education, pedagogy and testing of young scholars; and from this time forward, even while banished from Ts’ao Shuang’s court in the 240s, he committed his views on the classics and classicism to important private writings.

About two or three years later, Wei Mingdi was considering whom to appoint as inspector of the Imperial Library. He summoned over 300 officials to the Library, from the carriage attendants on up, instructing them that the right person should be a pursuer of logic and principles, but also able to keep lower-downs in line through discipline. Thereupon, Wang Su was given the post, but merely “through his post as regular attendant,” not as an outright transfer. This seems to have been the key to Wang Su’s complaint, as he reflected on his having been among carriage hands and doormen as he received the honor:

The Wei Library is [equivalent to] the Tung-kuan of Han times. Whatever [ideas] the officials of the commanderies and kingdoms [thought] should be sent forward, went to the Tung-kuan. Yet ever since the Wei (under Wen-ti) separated the Library and converted it into a Palace Writers post (thus, under the Privy Treasury), it has been handed down [like this] with continuation. In today’s three inspectorates, there has never been [a Library inspector] made nominally attached to the Privy Treasurer. Now you wish to have my name listed with the stable grooms and have me speak about affairs in the Outer Treasury. Does this not destroy the court institutes and degrade the state norms? In the middle of the T’aiho reign (thus, only several years previously, about 228–30), the Magnolia Pavilion and the Library would dispute opinions, and the Three Offices announce them. The Library oversaw the records of former rulers; it managed the instructions contained in imperial edicts. [Because] it was very close to the Palace Writers [in function], we ought [now] to make [them] into one office.

Despite the confusion among terms like Three T’ai, Three Offices, and Three Inspectorates, the gist is that earlier in Wei times the Library was refounded only after putting it in the purview of the Privy Treasury. Wang Su thought this was a mistake and explained with a direct analogy: the Library should be considered the same as the old Tung-kuan of Eastern Han, a place that received documents coming in from the localities. Wang does not claim to know exactly under what office the old Tung-kuan was pegged bureaucratically — and no one really did — but does insist that it was not under the Privy Treasury, with its many masters of writing and palace writers. Our own review here of the early Tung-kuan would agree with Wang. The Tung-kuan of the 90s to 170s was accessed mostly through the “gentlemen” posts that were under another ministry altogether, the Superintendent of the Imperial Household. Here, in about 238 or 239, Wang accepted oversight of the Imperial Library, but shamed the court into keeping the Library free from bad associations (not just the old eunuch taint, but also separate from such mundane Privy Treasury chores as food service, clothing, roads, parks, and carriages). The final phrase drives home the idea that the old Magnolia Pavilion/Tung-kuan nexus was for consulting about state policy, and such offices as Privy Treasurer just carried out the manual postings and oral announcements of edicts. I emphasize that Wang was not suggesting turning the Library into the office of palace writers. The latter was formerly a eunuch post inside the Privy Treasury — a thing to be avoided. He was suggesting, though, that because their functions had been so similar since about 160, after the Library’s creation, that they should be rolled into a newly empowered and appropriately honored Library. He seems to have been successful, since there is no further mention of the Library as functioning under the aegis of the Treasury.

As mentioned, the motive for such bureaucratic passion had to do with scholarship as a way of life. Wang Su is an example of a great polydidact. His father had had contacts with polymaths specializing in astrology and astronomy, and he participated in vetting for Cao Pi the numerologically powerful oracle-texts that helped create Cao legitimacy in 220, in preparation for founding the Wei. Wang Su himself produced several works in the area of Taoist “mysteries,” but there is no evidence of specialized arts that pointed, like those of Ban Gu, [Pan Chao], Zhang Heng, Ma Jung, and Cao Yong, to measure and computing. Wang Su merely desired respect for the office that seemed in his mind linked historically with national consultative duties carried out by the elite, an office to which he aspired.

From the end of Cai Yong’s Tung-kuan researches and writings to about the 250s we find no data about an actual Tung-kuan archive building in Loyang, or in Shu or Wu. In mentions of gentlemen-consultants and palace gentlemen there is no antiquarian context. A logical reason for the void is the utter fact of holocaust. Fires took out a major portion of Loyang’s Southern Palace in 185, with a burn of several weeks, and in 190 Dong Zhuo’s troops scourged the capital. Although Dong Zhuo’s officials loaded up at least seventy carts of court documents and items from the Tung-kuan, Magnolia Pavilion, and other repositories for the move west to Ch’ang-an, it would seem that very little of the mountains of materials that had occupied polymaths for over a century survived. This, combined with the loss of the Han dynasty itself, converted the Tung-kuan into an icon and a nominal entity. Substitutions were created. For example, in 254 a politically weak Wei ruler used a palace building named T’ai-chi Tung-t’ang in order to introduce himself into the court and have audience there with the empress-dowager; two years later at the same site he was holding banquets with respected scholars, with whom he discussed the rites and the actions of ancient emperors. It seems, then, that Tung-t’ang was a reconstituted Tung-kuan.

Other courts besides that in Loyang felt nostalgia about the archive. In 267, the Wu ruler Sun Hao, having endured the scholar Hua He’s criticism for wasteful spending and abuse of commoners, assigned Hua to the Wu state’s version of the Tung-kuan as prefect. Hua tried to decline, and Sun retorted:

Since the Tung-kuan is the office for [our] gathered experts,it is proper that they review and collate literary texts and arts, and that they settle unsure and disputed [matters]. In Han times only the most famous scholars and exceptional experts held this office. ... [You are widely read, and] we can call you someone who delights in the rites and music and who is devoted to the odes and documents. With your flying brush and free-roaming ideas, you ought to help in the matters of our time and thus go further than the likes of Yang [Hsiung], Pan [Ku], Chang [Heng], and Ts’ai [Yung].

San-kuo chih contains nothing about the Tung-kuan from 190 until about the 240s or 250s, a time when several scholars in the western state of Shu had appointments to a Tung-kuan type of office. Among these was Chen Shou, San-kuo chih’s author, sometime before he went to Loyang in about 269–270. In the south, in the state of Wu, all we know of the Tung-kuan is that at least three scholars, including Hua He, had the title Tung-kuan prefect in the 270s. In both kingdom states the title represented an attempt to establish scholars in an office for the purpose of historiography, and also for antiquarian research,
especially concerning omens. The one clear example of the latter comes in a record for the year 279, when Wu’s fate hung in the balance (as the Jin court talked of invasion), and omens were debated. Politically ominous plants were noticed growing in two households, and the heads of those houses were given honorary offices (in fact, gentlemen) as curators of the omens. But before that could be done the Tung-kuan had to decide what the plants were and how to handle them.

As the Western Chin reestablished court scholarship in the late 260s and 270s, naturally the offices of historiography were prized. Important Chin scholars like Xu Xun (see below), Fu Xuan (217–278), Zhang Hua (232–300), and Shu Xi (ca. 260–300) received at various times the official title gentleman-drafter, which by the 270s and 280s had begun to resonate with the old Tung-kuan. According to Anthony Fairbank, the earliest court-commissioned Jin historiography in the 290s shows signs that men like Lu Ji (261–303) and Shu Xi (heads of the gentlemen-drafters under Huidi) were operating under the traditions of the Eastern Han Tung-kuan in terms of how work progressed and how the parts were produced that eventually made up a written history. This is borne out by other evidence. In the late-280s, Hua Jiao (b. ca. 235–40, d. 293), a historiographer noted for skill in astronomy and harmonics, remarked in a memorial declining appointment to the Library: “Of old, Liu Hsiang and son had the documents and materials of their entire generation; Ma Jung was so thoroughly comprehensive that he went into the Tung-kuan three times. It is not for someone with my piddling triviality to dare imitate.” In 292 ad the Western Jin throne placed the gentlemen-drafters under the direction of the Imperial Library: “Further, they established eight assistant chu-tso lang. When each chu-tso lang first came into the office, he had to compose a biography of a single great minister [as a test].” This official alignment firmed up the Library as the place that would continue Tung-kuan historiography. Also, Shu Xi’s post in the Imperial Library gave access to the Chi Tomb texts that had been discovered over ten years before. It did not matter that he was appointed in 296 only at the level of drafter, an appointment effected by his mentor Zhang Hua, at that time an inspector of the Palace Writers. This marked the beginning of Shu Xi’s production of historiographical works like annals and treatises, after which he was elevated to erudite.

[whole source can be viewed here]

Re: The Academic Corner of Sanguo

Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2017 3:16 pm
by waywardauthor
[The following is one of three excerpts from this article that will be posted here. This follows up on the Imperial Library and the Tungkuan into the Three Kingdoms period. As this was published in Asia Major in 2005, the whole article can be viewed for free there.]

Chinese Polymaths, 100—300 AD: The Tung-kuan, Taoist Dissent, and Technical Skills

Written by Howard L Goodman


Polymathy between the fall of the Han and the beginning of Western Chin produced synthesizers of different sorts. Two in particular were Guan Lu (210–256) and Xun Xu (b. ca. 224, d. 289). The time period was politically dangerous, as I have mentioned, but learning went on as a natural part of the cultural landscape. A cursory look at the chapter on “Schools” in San-kuo hui-yao shows that a number of local teaching centers and court revivals of the classics existed in the 190–280 time period, and the life of the northern scholar diviner Guan Lu provides evidence of this. He was a low- to mid-level official from an uninfluential family and moved around in order to gain patronage. When in the company of higher officials he instructed them rigorously about his views of human and natural processes, hoping he would gain high office, something that never occurred perhaps due to those instructions and his disturbing predictions.

As a boy, Guan studied I-ching under a certain Guo En, who lived in a locale where Guan’s father was in service. Guo apparently ran a small school. We know this because after less than a year’s study, Guan’s own style of I-ching techniques emerged, and he began making astonishing predictions of life situations for “all the students at the academy." To make those predictions he used kleromancy (random drawings, or mathematical sortings, of divining slips) to construct hexagrams. Kuan also studied astrology with Guo. From there, Guan developed a holistic and systematizing sort of polymathy.

Its epistemology was an attempt to determine all changing events by means of number, sign, and systematic correlations. For example, in attempting to teach a client-student orniphonic divination, he stressed the numerical systems involved. “[His student] was hampered by failure to understand the mathematical relationships of the pitches (lit.: “the [twelve or more] pitch-standards of the harmonic series”)... In order to explain the shifting of the eight wind directions and the numerical relations of the five tones, Lu used the twelve pitches to record analytically the calls of the various birds and the sexagenary cycle to note the time of day.”

The Stoic Guan Lu: A Blend of Arts to Instruct and Predict

Guan was not a scholar-official classicist, although he knew his traditional classics and often used the basic Confucian texts as rhetoric. Going beyond Confucian scriptures, his worldview employed the following arts:

1. revelation of things hidden, lost, or forgotten (usually termed she-fu);
2. meteorognomy;
3. wind angles (or, whirlwinds) (feng-chiao)
4. physiognomy (hsiang);
6. harmonics (chih-yin), including orniphonics (bird-music);
7. hemerology (arts such as liu-chia,tun-chia,kan-chih ե֭);
8. astrology (t’ien-wen ֚֮, chan-hsing);
9. I-ching divination; and
10. life- and career-date predictions (perhaps with a computing board,
but this is not clear).

Guan identified orniphonics with language per se, and discussed how the language of birds and the harmonic system of music performed similar functions. Someone debating Guan proposed that human speech and bird calls were qualitatively and epistemologically mutually exclusive: “We call the sounds of living people ‘speech’ whereas the noises of birds are ‘calls.’” The debater next pointed out that the former is a quality of sapience, the latter merely the “sounds of mindless beasts,” and that Confucius had averred to the relatively low status of beasts. Guan’s retort started with a natural history of epistemology: the stars contain messages, as do human ideas, but stars cannot speak. So heaven rotates the constellations, brings them into contact with the clouds, winds, and earth below, and uses birds and beasts as “agents” of those messages.

Much like a Roman Stoic, Guan plumbed the seen and unseen, delving into the past, present, and future, and using numerous tools to reveal nature’s encoding of changes in events. He once gave a divination upon seeing a whirlwind with a three-foot funnel, and predicted a personal tragedy. His technical explanation for it joined the arts of hemerology (the day was the fifty-second of the cycle, which indicates the symbol of an eldest son), astrology (the tail of the Dipper, as it entered the next sector), and I-ching systematics (computing a hexagram structure that implied the arrival of a certain type of visitor). This is only one of many examples of Guan Lu’s complex blending.

He was appointed as “scholar” in local academies; one such post was granted by Pei Hui ፶ᚧ (fl. 230–250), uncle of Pei Xiu (224–271) and great-uncle of Pei Wei (267–300), the latter two being outstanding polymaths of their day, skilled in such arts as music, cartography, and pharmacopoeia. Upon his death, many of Guan’s contemporaries assumed that he “possessed obscure writings (or, in another sense, manuals) as well as computations based on symbols and matrices (perhaps calendrical matrices).

His brother stated that he looked over Guan Lu’s textual materials and found them to be, however, only commonplace ones. Commonplace for such a technician meant such titles as “Forest of Changes”, "Wind Angles”, and “Manual of Bird Calls”. The implication here, despite all the brother’s rhetorical posturing about how and how much Guan knew, is that guide books circulated throughout early China. In fact, similar texts are among those comprising the earlier titles in the Taoist and Buddhist collections, and among late-Tang-era Tun-huang texts on a variety of arts, several of which are attributed to Guan Lu. In the third century, formal avenues and even markets, for polymathic knowledge were just emerging.

Cai Yong’s and Guan Lu’s polymathies partly converged — a shared set of divinatory arts and similar strivings for public status and security through technical work. Yet, the differences are key. Cai was committed to mathematical problems in harmonics and astronomy not to win adherents to a divinatory, cum epistemological, worldview, but to solve problems lurking historically both in the written and practical bases of rites techniques and to effect research in the company of other experts. Guan Lu was an outsider, both quasi-scholar and quasi-artisan, seeking benefits and clients through professional-seeming divinations. He was not one of Cai’s ilk — those Tung-kuan scholar-officials who pined for a lost holism and continued correcting rites for potential imperial courts.

As we have seen, the Imperial Library, just around the time of Guan Lu’s last years, began to assume the Tung-kuan role. Our final polymath, Xun Xu, who received subtle Tung-kuan influences, forged a career in the Imperial Library. Because we know far more about his family than almost all the other polymaths so far discussed, I want to continue the exploration of polymathy’s shape over time, by asking how arts developed in extended families, something that Chang K’oli has gone into in depth concerning the Eastern Jin calligrapher painters. The following shows that the old Tung-kuan concerns were carried along specific streams that began to coalesce especially among three families.

Hsün Hsü’s Strong Loyalist Polymathy

Xun Xu descended from an Eastern Han scholar-official family of means whose first strong figure was Xun Shu (83–149). By the 130s and 140s, through increasing stature, wealth, and cohesion with other families in the Ying-ch’uan home region, he was supplying opportunities for his sons’ classical educations, although none, as far as we know, ever entered the Tung-kuan. In the 180s and 190s, during the violent struggles in the Central Plain to consolidate power, certain Xuns supported Cao Cao. Yet by the 250s, Xun Xu (b. ca. 224) and his elder distant cousin Xun Yi (205–274), both having served the last strong Cao, the ill-fated regent Cao Shuang (d. 249), shifted over to Sima Zhao (211–265) and considered the incipient Sima imperial legitimacy as their scholarly mission. Xun Xu was still very young, but his kinsman was already noted as a scholar and historiographer.

One of Xun Shu’s sons was Xun Shuang (128–190), Xun Xu’s great-grandfather. He was a well-known scholar who suffered in the Factional Clashes of the 160s and 170s and consequently hid for over ten years in order to study the I-ching. He specialized in its implicit matrices of permutating line and trigram figurations, and produced analyses that were harshly critical of female and eunuch influences at court. Thus, Shuang, though never an actual Tung-kuan drafter, shows several cultural earmarks — anti-distaff and anti-eunuch sentiments, the use of I-ching techniques for political criticism, and banishment during the Clashes. Shuang was also famous for opinions on social relations and mourning rites, the sort of thing often touched on in Cai Yung’s and others’ prose pieces. Based on evidence of his written pieces and biographical facts, he seems not to have been drawn to taoistic themes or Taoist texts.

The disjunctions of the 180s and 190s prevented Xun Xu’s own father and grandfather from appearing in the historical record: they had lost Ying-ch’uan continuity (the region was ravaged in the 190s) and a chance for high state offices. Moreover, no one was advancing Shuang’s version of I-ching. Xun Xu was the first in his specific family line to rise in politics or scholarship since his great-grandfather. Other branches of the Xun family, though, had been making impacts. An example is Xun Yu (163–212) — one of Xun Shuang’s nephews (and Xun Xu’s great-uncle) and a critical leader in Cao Cao’s ad hoc courts, known for writing and scholarship. Xun Yu probably learned his classics either from a family member or a close outsider; we do know that he advised the court on learning and culture, and once acted in concert with his cousin, the well-known scholar and historiographer Yue (148–209), and the equally famous scholar Kong Rong (d. 208) to discuss the classics with Eastern Han emperor Ling (168–189). Yue seems not to have written commentaries on the classics, yet was somewhat knowledgable about his uncle Shuang’s Iching theories. He personally knew men whose ideas tended toward systematics, arts, and numeracy. Yu’s eldest son married a Cao princess and we know of no scholarly products from him.

Yu’s youngest son Xun Yi (205–274) figured importantly in the rise of the Jin court and in Xun Xu’s career as well, but had no sons of his own. He showed a flair for I-ching theory, but gained a reputation mostly for historiography, ritual code, and music. Under the Wei, in 256, he had attended a scholarly entity called the Tung-t’ang (see above) — a neo-Tung-kuan established to further court scholarship. On one occasion, he and other scholars were feted there by the emperor, who engaged them in questions about the merits of ancient as well as Han-era rulers, a type of historical criticism typical of the Tung-kuan. Thus one sees a certain Tung-kuan ethos in Xun Yi’s career.

As the Sima-led court assembled and grew strong after 265, the Xuns’ home area of Ying-ch’uan could not have figured directly in the lives of Xun Xu and his distant cousin, but it did continue to provide contacts. Of importance were the Ying-ch’uan Zhong and Chen ຫ families. The former, made famous by Zhong Yao (b. ca. 163, d. 230) and his son Zhong Hui (225–264), were experts in law, antiquarian objects, and calligraphy, and they became in-law relations of the Xuns. The Chens, also generalist scholars, produced men who professed systematic logistics for personnel recruitment as well as astronomy, facts touched on, below. They steadily interlaced with the Xuns and became in-law relations in Xun Yi’s branch, directly nurturing his career. When Xun Yi was about 30 or 35, records indicate that a scholarly debate occurred with Zhong Hui about the I-ching. (As grand-nephew of Shuang and thus knowledgable about I-ching systems of trigrams that changed by moving up and down, Xun I thought that theories about so-called interlaced trigrams [hu-ti] were just as valid in I-ching systematics as trigrams that simply sat on top of or below each other.) Slightly later, in the early 250s, he was made part of a group to draft a Wei history, 148 and in the early 260s was classics explicator for the last Cao ruler.

There is no convenient evidence to show precisely why, in 272 or 273, Xun Yi was chosen by the Chin court to “correct the music” for two ballets. He was by then a strong factional ally of Sima Yan, the new emperor, and no doubt could lobby for his own appointments. Yet the intellectual society at large, the whole Cheng-shih era (about 240–260 ad) of experiment and anti-establishment attitudes, was well stocked with music experts. Xun Yi was born ten or fifteen years before that Cheng-shih generation, which became known for “hsüan" or “mystery” (this being the so-called Neo-Taoism era). To understand the era, we need more studies like the insightful biography of Ruan Ji (210–263) written by Donald Holzman in the 1970s: it leaves no intellectual aspect of a unique polydidact unexplored. In an attempt merely to show avenues of thinking and debating at that time, I have blocked out a sampling of arts and skills, taking twenty-six experts who were born 215–33 (see the appended table). It should be a given that as China traversed a politically dangerous, and nationally weak, period from 180 to about 225, its rivulets of learning could not all have dried up. We should expect to find deep interest in court arts at any time in China: and court arts imply technical systems and politics — both bureaucratic and dynastic.

In fact, such interests show up strongly, even among the mysteriosophists. I do not deny that many were curious about obscurantist hermeneutics, logical puzzles, taoistic (and other) metaphysics, as well as entertainments and artful withdrawals from office. However, in that time we also have experimenters and thinkers who possessed arts that would have been useful to courts. Nearly half of the twenty-six were thinkers in musicology or music aesthetics, or were instrumentalists: quite a strong ratio. And there seems to have been a trend among Loyang-oriented scholars toward a particular polymathic combination — Music, Design/Numeracy, and Antiquities (see the discussion following the table). We can deduce, then, that because the competition was so great the court chose Xun Yi to correct the music because he was an outstanding expert. (As we see, below, in a review of Xun Xus career, open competition over musical arts occurred in the 270s and 280s.) Finally, it is worth noting that Xun Yi and Xun Xu, though easily characterized as conservative Chin-court factionalists and rites experts, had four things in common with the Cheng-shih world of Wang Pi and others, namely: hsüan texts (Xun Yi’s theory about I- ching); Music; Confucian learning; and Numeracy/Design. Not only that, several persons (see the table) constituted a hub that linked the Wang Bi ambit with that of the Xuns; and the two Xuns and Wang had all been members of Cao Shuang’s court as it struggled for power with the Simas and fell in the late-240s.

Teaching Mastery, Not Mystery: The Chens, Xuns, and Zhongs

Xun Xu was orphaned early, and he become involved with and somewhat dependent on the Ying-ch’uan Zhong family, with whom his Xun-branch was linked by marriage, much as Xun Yi was linked to the Chens. The famous anti-Sima rebel Zhong Hui, who would attempt to bring down the Cao-Wei house in 264, was close with Xun Xu. The Tang-era compiler of Xu’s biography quotes Zhong Hui’s father calling the boy Xun Xu a “future man of comprehensive learning.” But did that mean only the Chinese background polydidactics, that is, one who studied different schools of interpretation and competing text traditions? Clearly not, as seen by listing Xun Xu’s skills, all famously deployed in court tasks.

1. composition of court lyrics for ritual ballets, and his ideas about music prosody;
2. creation of a project to find old music and metrical devices; this resulted in a reform of the rule-standard through textual research, comparisons and measure-taking of the found-objects, and finally fabricating a new rule-standard device;
3. use of the new metrics to determine that the tuning-pitch of the court orchestra was incorrect because it followed the pitch used by the former dynasts, the Caos, and their music master;
4. training the court orchestra and mounting revised pieces to show off the new system, for which he was critically attacked by the musicologist Ruan Xian (fl. 250–75);
5. creation of a set of ti-flute cast-metal pitch-regulators, helped by an aged, former Wei-court flute specialist; the result was intended to make flute ensembles better in tune as they shifted modes;
6. devising a system for archival organization (the “four-categories"), and a design template for his facsimile production team to use in transcribing newly discovered Chi Tomb bamboo texts;
7. a system of annotating, and, as Edward Shaughnessy has proposed, instituting the kan-chih counters in place of certain Chi Tomb texts’ old-fashion reign-name calendrics; also, he professed a theory of historiographical organization that impacted contemporary decisions about where actually to start the history of the Jin dynasty.

If my appended table shows us anything at all reliable, then Xun’s polymathy was typical of a certain polymathic set during the Wei-Jin era — Music, Numeracy/Design, and Antiquities. Further, not only is there no evidence of Xun’s writing anything on the Taoist or Confucian classics, also, his court lyrics tended not to invoke taoistic sentiments when other court-lyric writers did so in the same contexts. We have no firm evidence that Xun made computations in his metrological work, but conceivably he figured out ratios based on traditional numerical categories, or perhaps true computations were done by artisan-helpers. His non-Taoist bent demonstrates that he was not a particularly Ma Jung, Chu Mu, or Ts’ai Yung type of Tung-kuan polymath. Furthermore, Xun’s court career was entrenched in a pro-empress faction, something that would have been anathema in that earlier political world.

Yet, these aspects notwithstanding, I would argue that the Xuns’ polymathy grew out of the Eastern Han Tung-kuan. Xun Xu used groups and called on lowly court artisans (some named and quoted in the sources) in offices not controlled by his own Imperial Library, and he used found ancient devices as baselines for reforming court rites; he saw that his dicta and interactions with artisans were recorded. He was an impassioned and busy scholar, and crossed bureaucratic boundaries. He used antiquarian proofs to issue positivist judgments about the illegitimacy of the fallen Wei dynasty merely for its musicological mistakes. There was also a direct social route that specialized arts followed, finally arriving at the Xun family. We saw, in our study of the early Tung-kuan, that mathematics and physical modeling had begun to develop strongly in the first century, indirectly aided by the work of Ban Gu and his sister, but then more acutely inspired by Zhang Hong and Jia Kui.

158 Technical knowledge in computing, mathematics, astronomy, calligraphy, philology, and painting would become a polymathic style in the Tung-kuan. With the exception of Ma Jung and Cheng Hsüan, who taught hundreds privately, Tung-kuan scholars alive by about 190 had failed to train new polymaths, and, moreover, court missions were at a standstill. In my view, the rites continued to lose their hold on the Cheng-shih generation, even though the skills remained in the population. But this seemed to be changing again, especially with the tragic execution of Chi K’ang in 262. It signaled that the Simas were pushing for a break with the Cheng-shih culture of learning. Perhaps responding to this political reality, the Xuns revived certain technical arts within their family.

The Xun family, not known for mathematical computing or astronomy, but greatly interested nonetheless in music and I-ching, developed a metier in systematics and arts that we may call oracle-text numerology. Oracles and omens touched the interests of the early Tung-kuan scholars, including Cai Yong and his associate Han Yue. Also, sometime in the 180s or 190s, Zhang Hao, having been shown an ancient golden seal that had been magically disgorged from an omen-bird, stored the object in the archives, and later, when he was a collator in the Tung-kuan, he wrote about it. Cao Bao (see above) and his father were expert in the oracle-texts, and in the rites. In 87 ad, this Cao had been associated with Ban Gu in a rites compilation linked with the Tung-kuan. We learn that he specifically used oracle-texts as precedents and sources for the rites.

Another stream of oracle-text, cum antiquities, expertise came from Fan Ying (d. 130+), one of whose specialties was the I-ching systematics of the Han-era Ching Fang. Fan specialized in the oracle-texts, many of which carried numerological statements and pseudocomputations concerning historical and political cycles of cosmic and dynastic fates, often linked by computative arrays of numbers. He was particularly known for his mantic predictions. Fan’s student was Chen Shi (104–187), who maintained a close relationship with Xun Shu — forming that inter-family coterie already mentioned, and with Cai Yong. Xun and Chen both studied Fan Ying’s teachings, and Xun Shu’s son Xun Shuang wrote his own sort of treatise on oracle-texts the contents of which are, however, lost. During the 170–300 ad period, Xun and Chen descendants cropped up in these contexts: discussions on astronomical empiricism, methods of teaching, music performance and tonal systematics, and, as mentioned above, Xun Yu was a friend of several polymaths who propounded a variety of logistical systems, some numerate. Chen Shi was the father of Ch'en Chi, whose famous book “Ch’en-tzu” ranged into arts and techniques (possibly including astronomy) and was edited in turn by his son Qun, who raised points in the 230s concerning observational astronomy and analytic systems of personnel recruitment. In the case of the Xuns, I do not think that their skills developed randomly, but in fact were a conscious urge to effect leadership and gain offices. All three of these Ying-ch’uan families mastered, variously, Iching matrices of change, oracle-text numerology, the Tung-kuan polymathic set, and were linked to one teacher — Fan Ying.

Xun Xu’s career came to a bitter end: use of personnel outside his purview and forceful pronouncements about his corrected Jin musical rites drew ire. In 283, Zhi Yu (b. ca. 250, d. 311), a scholar interested in various aspects of natural philosophy, was given an ancient foot-rule device discovered during building and repair work after a flood in Loyang that year. Xun Xu had had a hand in directing and overseeing that recovery work, and Zhi now took this occasion to criticize Xun’s new metrological standards. In addition, some years before, Zhi had already made public his negative opinion on the rites compilation of Xun Yi. After Xun Xu’s death in 289, Zhi Yu would become head of the Imperial Library.

This was only part of a larger anti-Xun wave that emerged since about 282. He had touched a nerve concerning the systematizing and editing of the Chi Tomb texts; this was what inspired peers in central government to challenge him. Scholars like Du Yu (222–284), Zhang Hua, and Shu Xi, were part of the reaction. Tu came back rather late to Loyang after his successes in the field of battle against Wu, and turned all his attention to finishing an influential commentary on Ch’un chiu and Tso-chuan. In the process, he examined the Chi Tomb texts, remarking on how poorly the ancient books were being interpreted and transcribed, and even cared for. Du was pointing to Xun’s Imperial Library group. The anxiety was echoed later, when Shu Xi acquired responsibilities in the Imperial Library, as a drafter after 296. This was the very period of time during which he was given access to the Chi Tomb texts, probably as part of Chang’s attempt to revisit the problem of the editing process. Shu now would make his own negative remarks about the work of arranging and interpreting the found texts.

Distrust and censure, aimed, as well, at Xun Xu’s factional stance against the Wu war and his support of the empress Chia’s family, found their political target. In 287 the emperor kicked Xun Xu upstairs: Xun was removed from control of the Imperial Library. With that he became depressed. While in his sullen state, acquaintances came to congratulate him for the seeming promotion, but Xu said angrily, “They’ve stolen my Phoenix Pool!” If, just as with early-modern Europe, scholars, priests, or courtiers anywhere could exhibit tension over the formulating of history or the role of evidence in proving history, then in early China it was not that scholars rejected objects and antiquarian collecting (nor the close observations that one could perform), but that, like Heraclitus, they despised polymaths who seemed solipsistic or mechanized in their approach to knowledge. Xun, already overbearing and factionally incorrect, had intruded on formal, traditional ways of historiography that others were not so sure should be quickly changed.

[There's more here, but since there's no barrier to viewing this please visit the website and read it directly along with the other articles there.]

Re: The Academic Corner of Sanguo

Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 9:44 am
by waywardauthor
[The following is the entirety of an article published in the December, 1992 volume of the Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies]

Zhuge Liang in the Eyes of His Contemporaries

Written by Eric Henry of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

For most people conversant with Chinese culture, Zhuge Liang epitomizes every trait for which an ancient Chinese statesman could possibly be admired. He was prescient, loyal, impartial, eloquent, ingenious, and dedicated; as much as anyone in Chinese history, he is regarded as a sage minister and is instantly recognizable as such in the famous tale of the three visits paid by Liu Bei to his thatched hut. As recounted in Sanguo Yanyi (Romance of the Three Kingdoms) this is the most fully developed, fleshed out, and generically central of the various sage-seeking stories attributed to ancient and early imperial times.' But even more than this tale of Liang's recruitment, and more than all his other recorded exploits, what raises Zhuge Liang to perfection as an object of veneration and makes him ultimately irresistible is that his lifelong enterprise ended in failure. He held the forces of the north at bay for a time, but he never gained control of the central plain, and the Shu-Han house of Liu that he was sworn to serve went down in defeat within a few decades of his death. Nothing brings out a man's purity of purpose better or heightens our sympathy for his cause more effectively than the element of failure. It is this element that gives the legendary Zhuge Liang something of the mystique of the unappreciated Confucius, the banished Qu Yuan, the persecuted Sima Qian, and the betrayed Yue Fei. Success is prosaic; failure romantic. One might almost say that superior people fail; only petty people succeed.

It is clear that it took some time for Zhuge Liang to develop into the culture hero that he is today, for the original collection of his letters, memorials, memoranda, and treatises, compiled by Chen Shou in 274 A.D. and exceeding one hundred thousand characters, was allowed to pass into oblivion; by the Sung dynasty, it was no longer extant. Existing collections of Zhuge Liang's writings are makeshift reconstitutions consisting of passages drawn from Sanguozhi (Record of the Three Kingdoms), scattered quotations in encyclopedias, and excerpts from other less reliable sources.2 It is evident from the titles of the twenty-four chapters of the original collection that much of the material dealt with rather humdrum military and administrative matters. There were, for example, one chapter on training and drill, one chapter on transport and supply, two chapters of departmental orders, and three chapters of army orders.3 One can also tell from Chen Shou's editorial preface to the collection (actually a sort of editorial memorial to the Jin throne) that the contents were not generally thought to possess any unusual power of expression or depth of insight. "Some critics," notes Chen Shou, "blame Liang for lacking a sufficiently splendid literary style and for indulging too much in instructions dealing with all manner of minutia." Chen counters these criticisms by observing that the people Zhuge dealt with in his day-to-day affairs were all of the common herd; therefore, he could not speak of anything distant or exalted, but instead had to give precise instructions on "ordering affairs and arranging objects. " Still, says Chen, Zhuge 's sincere devotion to the public weal appears everywhere in these writings; they allow us to understand his aims and ideals, and, whatever their shortcomings, they were useful to the age in which he lived.4 Chen's defense is a virtual admission that Zhuge 's writings were for the most part remarkable neither from a literary nor from a substantive standpoint. What interest they possessed lay in an extrinsic factor: they were the productions of a famous public figure.

Thanks to the conscientiousness of Pei Songzhi, the fifth-century commentator of Chen Shou's Sanguozhi, a reasonably rich selection of Zhuge Liang material drawn from third-century histories and memoirs still survives. These materials, along with Chen Shou's basic account, show that the principal elements of the Zhuge Liang legend-the episodes in which he figures as a high-minded recluse, prescient statesman, deep strategist, just administrator, and devoted imperial servant-existed in their essentials right from the beginning; that is to say, from within a few decades of his death. The materials also show, however, that the process of selection through which the legend attained definitive form was not yet complete. They include stories that portray a Zhuge Liang acting in ways that to us seem variously out-of-character; they show, moreover, that he was no more immune from the rivalry, resentment, and ill opinion of his contemporaries than is any public figure.

Chen Shou himself was clearly an admirer of Zhuge Liang, anxious to uphold the worth of his character and significance of his accomplishments; yet Chen's admiration must seem curiously skewed to anyone familiar only with the fascinating genius of the battlefield portrayed in the Ming dynasty novel. Chen Shou's formal biographical summation concentrates on the correctness, wisdom, and impartiality of Zhuge Liang's behavior as an administrator, which, he said, was comparable to that of Guan Zhong of the Spring and Autumn era and Xiao He of the Han. Zhuge 's role as a military strategist was relegated by Chen to a couple of concluding phrases, the content of which can at best be characterized as unenthusiastic: "He mobilized troops year after year without success. It would seem that situational strategy was not his strong point."5 Those nineteen characters were to be omitted by Sima Guang when, in the Sung dynasty, he quoted Chen's assessment in Zizhi Tongjian.6
Chen Shou's remarks were not just the reflection of a passing mood; they were considered, deliberate, and sincere, as is shown in the following passage from his introduction to Zhuge Liang's collection, where he explained his views in more detail than in the biographical summation:

Liang's abilities were greatest in the area of army training and administration and were relatively slight in the area of inventive surprise tactics. His ability to govern people surpassed his ability to create battle plans. Moreover, some of his opponents were men of outstanding ability; added to this, his forces were fewer than those of the other side, and he suffered the disadvantage of being the attacker rather than the defender; so, even though he used troops for many years in succession, he was unable to overcome his opposition.

Chen then observes that, unlike the great administrators Xiao He and Guan Zhong, Zhuge Liang was unable to recruit great generals to serve under him and that this also impeded his cause. This view of the matter is somewhat at variance with the later legend, which tends to emphasize, not the scarcity, but the wealth and diversity, of leadership talent in the Shu army. Chen's next sentence, however, sounds a theme that was to become a fundamental part of the legend: Zhuge's setbacks, he says, were unavoidable, for "the mandate of Heaven already had an ordained recipient; it could not be striven for with intellect or strength. "7 This gives us the first foretaste of Zhuge Liang as a sort of Promethean figure who, though unable to change fate, can, through sheer intellect and determination, make Heaven falter in its preordained course.

Chen Shou's account of Liu Bei’s first meeting with Zhuge Liang is not only consistent with, but is the main early source for, the familiar tale of the three visits to the thatched hut.8 Pei Songzhi, however, quotes a long passage from an unofficial history, Weilue (A Summary Account of Wei), that gives an utterly different version of the first meeting. Just as folkloric in character as the tale of the three visits, this version casts Zhuge Liang in the role, not of the aloof sage, but of an enlightened and engaged man: he earnestly seeks a ruler capable of appreciating the merit of his arguments, is overlooked at first, but then recognized at his true worth.

According to the Weilue tale, in 207, when Cao Cao had newly pacified the area north of the Yellow River, Zhuge Liang foresaw that Ching-chou would come under Cao's attack next, but he knew that Liu Piao W1J, the governor of that region, was slow by nature and did not see this. He therefore journeyed northward in hopes of alerting Liu Piao's confederate Liu Bei to the danger. Zhuge Liang and Liu Bei had not previously met, and because Liang was quite youthful, Pei accorded him scant attention, receiving him in the company of the young squires in his entourage. When the other youths left, Liang stayed behind, but Liu Bei still ignored him. Liu Bei was in fact absorbed just then in braiding together some strands of mohair, a favorite diversion of his. The young Zhuge Liang then stepped boldly forward and rebuked Liu Bei for indulging in a frivolous pastime instead of devising schemes to fulfill his great aims. Asking a series of pointed questions, he forced Liu Bei to acknowledge that he and his partner Liu Piao were far inferior to Cao Cao, both in strategic genius and numbers of troops. Asked what should be done to meet the threat from the north, Zhuge Liang proposed that Liu Bei should strengthen his forces by offering handsome rewards to enlistees, especially those from Ching-chou's large population of roaming, unregistered families. Men from such families, Liang pointed out, were more amenable to recruitment than men from settled households. Liu Bei adopted this plan and his troops consequently grew stronger. From that time on, he knew that Liang had brilliant strategies and therefore treated him like an honored guest.9

Pei Songzhi mentions that the above story also appears in Chiu chou ch'un ch'iu AtiAJkk, another unofficial history; but he doubts its truth because it conflicts with the story of the three visits, the veracity of which is seemingly attested to by Zhuge Liang himself in his famous "Ch'ien ch'u shih piao" GWIWiIz (Former Campaign Memorial):

I, Songzhi, believe that Liang's memorial says, "The former emperor Liu Bei did not regard me as a base and rustic fellow, but, humbling himself, paid three visits to my thatched dwelling and sought my counsel concerning the affairs of our times." This clearly shows that it was not Liang who first went to Pei. Though reports of things seen and heard vary in wording so that different versions appear on all sides, it is strange indeed that a tale so distorted and contrary as this should exist. 1

Pei Songzhi, it should be emphasized, did not give easy credence to everything he read. His commentary often shows that he was an astute and discriminating judge of the inherent likelihood of the tales forming the histories with which he dealt. Nevertheless he expresses no doubts whatsoever about the truth of his own (and Chen Shou's) concept of Zhuge Liang's character as it affected his relationship with Liu Bei; and his faith in this concept certainly appears at times to influence his conclusions. In this passage, for example, he offers as a factually based objection what is really a conceptually based objection. Zhuge Liang's memorial says only that Liu Bei paid three visits to his thatched hut; it does not say that prior to those three visits they had never met. The thatched hut story is so deeply imbedded in our modern historical consciousness and forms such an integral, indispensable part of what might be called the civic religion of China, that nothing could be easier than to overlook the obvious: that Zhuge Liang's memorial does not testify to the truth of the most significant part of this story; i.e., it fails to indicate, even by implication, that it was Liu Bei who first sought out Zhuge Liang rather than the reverse. Therefore the mohair story and the memorial do not necessarily conflict.

Chen Shou's version of the thatched hut story, it is true, does imply that Zhuge Liang and Liu Bei had never met prior to the third of the three visits; but the pedigree of the thatched hut story is not significantly clearer than that of the mohair story; and like the mohair story, it is a thoroughly stylized production, resonant with traditional mythic motifs, and propelled by storytelling conventions, the net effect of which is to arouse the reader's awe, wonder, excitement, and admiration. It is, in short, an example of what we would today call historical fiction. An obviously fictional feature of the account is the lengthy, verbatim conversational exchange between Liu Bei and Zhuge Liang. This allegedly took place in complete privacy: "He [Liu Bei] then had all others withdraw and said, . . ." How, then, can it be known what either man said when they exchanged views under these circumstances? It appears that the procedure of Chen Shou, or of the memoirist upon whom Chen based his account, was precisely that of Thucydides in composing the history of the Peloponesian war: he supplied Liu Bei and Zhuge Liang with speeches that they might reasonably be supposed to have made on that occasion. The mohair story, we may observe, uses roughly the same convention: Zhuge Liang's interchange with Liu Bei occurs only after the two are left in relative privacy.

How then did Zhuge Liang first come to enter Liu Bei's entourage? All we can now say with certainty is that we do not know. What we do know is that a couple of interesting and highly artistic tales concerning Zhuge Liang's recruitment were recorded at an early date and have been faithfully transmitted ever since. Such stories should be regarded as documentation, not of contemporary events, but of contemporary attitudes. The thatched hut story portrays Zhuge Liang as an aloof sage, while the mohair story portrays him as an enlightened and concerned position seeker-that is to say, a go-getter. Pei Songzhi, and presumably Chen Shou as well, rejected the mohair story because they felt that the thatched hut story more truly expressed the moral identity of Zhuge Liang.

This striking faith in Zhuge Liang's moral identity appears at several other points in Pei Songzhi's commentary. The clearest example involves a story Pei quotes from a text called "Yuan tzu," the memoirs of one Yuan Xiaoni, according to which Zhuge Liang once considered taking employment with the Wu ruler Sun Quan:

Zhang Zhao recommended Liang to Sun Quan, but Liang was unwilling to remain. When asked why, he said: "Commander Sun can be called a true leader of men, but his manner suggests that, while he would be able to treat me as a worthy officer, he would not accept my counsel in its entirety. That is why I did not remain.12

No circumstantial considerations whatsoever are to be found in Pei Songzhi's rejection of this story, only moral or normative ones:

Your servant Songzhi believes that, in all his writings, Yuan Hsiao-ni shows the utmost respect for Zhuge's character and actions; but when he wrote this, he strayed far from this attitude. Surely it can be said that the minister-ruler relationship between Liang and his lord was something rarely seen in any era. Who could have created the slightest rift in that indissoluble attachment? Liang would sooner have retired in mid-career, renouncing his stipends, than harbor any thought of choosing another ruler. Suppose that Quan had reposed full confidence in him; would Liang then have turned his back on the former chief and gone to Quan? Surely Master Zhuge's nature was not of that sort! When Guan Yu was captured by Lord Cao, Cao treated him generously and in fact can be said to have reposed full confidence in him, but Guan still refused to abandon his original allegiance. Can one say that Kongming (Zhuge Liang) would have shown himself inferior to Yunchang (Guan Yu)?"

These are the words of a man in the grip of a legend. But, the stories Pei Songzhi chooses to discredit show that some people in the third century were not yet accustomed to the assumption Zhuge Liang was a man of superhuman purity of purpose; they evidently felt instead that, like any ordinary mortal, he was interested in personal advancement.

Still, a good deal of adulation and legend-spinning centered upon other attributes of Zhuge Liang occurred in the decades following his death. Pei Songzhi reproduces an account from Shuchi (Records of Shu), according to which, in the early years of the Jin dynasty, a mixed group of high officials including the Prince of Fufeng, a son of Sima Yi, were discussing Zhuge Liang's career. The participants in this discussion were inclined to deride Liang for attaching himself to the wrong ruler, vainly tiring out the people of Shu, and entertaining schemes that were beyond his capacity. At this juncture, one Guo Chong of Jincheng (located near the southwestern border of Gansu province) objected that Zhuge Liang was a supremely skilled strategist and that the others were allowing his failures to distort their judgment of the man. He then related five little known stories concerning Liang, after which the others were no longer able to press their criticisms, and the Prince of Fufeng in particular seemed deeply impressed.14

Guo Chong's five anecdotes, which Pei Songzhi quotes in full, are all uncorroborated, folkloric, and improbable; associated with each are circumstantial difficulties that Pei adeptly points out. As laudatory anecdotes, they are also somewhat naive and vulgar; the protagonist's virtues seem only dubiously virtuous and his wisdom only dubiously wise. They in fact show that a man's reputation can be as much at the mercy of his admirers as at that of his detractors. The real significance of these tales is that they show how rapidly and enthusiastically anecdotes concerning Zhuge Liang were passed from mouth to mouth in northwestern China-the region where his culminating campaigns took place.

According to the first story, when administering the affairs of Shu, Zhuge Liang was so harsh and swift in his use of punishments that everyone from gentlemen to little people suffered grievously and harbored resentment. An officer named Fa Zheng admonished Zhuge Liang about this, reminding him of the illustrious example of Han Gaozi, who, when he first entered the Guancheng Mt region, abolished the cruel and complicated laws of Ch'in and established in their place his famous three-paragraph legal code. Zhuge Liang retorted that current conditions in Shu differed from those of Han Gaozi's era. The people of Ch'in had been ruled with unexampled severity; lenience was therefore an effective means of enlisting their support and loyalty. Shu, in contrast, had been governed laxly under Liu Chang and his predecessors, and the people were accustomed to acting without restraint. Under these conditions, lenience would simply encourage insolence and corruption."5

Commenting on this anecdote, Pei Songzhi points out that Fa Zheng died before Liu Bei, and that while Liu Bei was alive, Zhuge Liang was not responsible for the general administration of Shu. It is therefore not possible that Fa Zheng could have made the protest that he is here alleged to have made. A further problem is that the conception of effective government expressed in the anecdote is, even by ancient standards, rather crude. Certainly, severity was a quality often admired in an administrator, as long as it was combined with impartiality. As Chen Shou says of Zhuge Liang in his general assessment:

Those who loyally strove to benefit the state, he would infallibly reward even if they were his enemies; those who broke laws and were lax in their duties, he would infallibly punish even if they were close associates. Those who acknowledged their faults and showed sincerity, he would infallibly pardon even if their offenses were great; those who made fancy speeches to cover up their misdeeds, he would infallibly execute even if their offenses were slight.16

Guo Chong's story, however, celebrates severity alone and says nothing concerning justice. This does not escape the attention of Pei Songzhi, who drily observes: "Chong relates that Liang's punishments were harsh and swift and that he made people smart and suffer. I have never heard that making people smart and suffer was a salient trait of enlightened government." 17
The second of Guo Chong's stories is a trite adventure tale unfixed in time, uncorroborated elsewhere, and with an unidentified protagonist. Cao Cao sends an assassin to pose as a wandering persuader and have an audience with Liu Bei. Liu is so impressed by the man's arguments and strategies that he afterward says to Zhuge Liang, "I have obtained an extraordinary man, a man talented enough to assist you and fill in what you lack. " Zhuge Liang slowly sighs and says, "I observed that this stranger's expression was shifty and his spirit timorous, that his gaze was low, and that he made several awkward movements; these guilty signs show that he harbors some dishonest purpose-he must be an assassin sent by Lord Cao." A man is sent after the envoy, who by that time has fled. Pei Songzhi observes that great strategists and speech- makers seldom take assignments as assassins-no ruler would be foolish enough to send such a valuable man on a suicide mission. And if he was so extraordinarily gifted, he ought to have become illustrious in the service of Wei. Why then, asks Pei, is he completely unknown?18 This story is a perfect example of the sort of floating anecdote that could attach itself to anyone, and which Zhuge Liang, with his reputation for sagacity, was peculiarly liable to attract. Tales that celebrate the quasi-supernatural ability of a wise statesman to divine hidden states of mind by interpreting gestures and expressions constitute one of the most venerable genres of Chinese historical narrative. Zuo Zhuan and Guoyu offer dozens of examples, most of which are more interesting, more idiosyncratic, than this featureless tale of an assassin-cum-persuader. 9

The third of Guo Chong's stories concerns the first northern campaign (227 A.D.), in which Zhuge Liang, under threat of attack from a vastly superior force led by Sima Yi, uses a psychological ruse to induce his opponent to withdraw. According to this tale, Zhuge Liang encamped with only ten thousand men at a place called Yangping and had a subordinate commander, Wei Yan, form all the rest of his forces into one unit and head east with them. Sima Yi then led two hundred thousand troops out to oppose Zhuge Liang and went straight toward Yangping until he was only sixty 1i (twenty miles) away. Zhuge Liang had no time either to rejoin his main force in the east or to retreat to the Shu capital. His men and officers were alarmed, but Zhuge Liang calmly directed them to put away their banners and silence their drums, and he forbade them to go out casually from their huts and tents. He further ordered that the four city gates be opened wide and had men sweep and sprinkle the ground. This deliberate show of weakness convinced Sima Yi that Zhuge Liang in fact had strong forces lying in ambush. Sima Yi therefore had his forces withdraw rapidly northward into the mountains. Later, when he learned the truth of the matter, he keenly regretted his decision.20 This story is the basis of the famous episode in Sanguo Yanyi and Chinese drama in which Zhuge Liang, by sitting on the fortification wall of Xicheng and playing the zither, makes Sima Yi withdraw.

Pei Songzhi points out a number of grave circumstantial difficulties in this account. Sima Yi did not lead troops against Zhuge Liang's forces in the first northern campaign, but only in the later northern campaigns; even then, the fighting and skirmishing took place in the Guancheng Mt area, not in the Hanzhong area where Yangping was located. Nor is there any mention that Zhuge Liang ever employed the "empty city" strategem in these later encounters. It is also highly unlikely that Zhuge Liang ever entrusted his main force to Wei Yan while keeping only a small force himself. As Pei points out, the biography of Wei Yan in Sanguozhi says:

Whenever Yan went forth with Liang, he would always want ten thousand crack troops, so as to go by a separate route and rejoin Liang at Tongguan... Liang, however, cut him short and would not consent to it. Yan always was of the opinion that Liang was cowardly in this regard, and complained that Liang was not using his talents to the full.22

Pei Songzhi's culminating objection to the likelihood of the empty city story is that Guo Chong is alleged to have recounted it to the Prince of Fufeng, the son of Sima Yi. Is it likely, he asks, that Guo Chong would tell the prince a story in which the prince's father cuts a poor figure, or that the prince, after hearing such a story, would sigh in admiration of it? Pei Songzhi concludes that the whole account is pure fiction.23 We may note in passing that it is fiction of a very standard, folkloric type. Tales in which brilliant generals deceive the enemy through displays of nonchalance are part of the stock-in-trade of military legend. Sima Qian tells a similar tale about the Han general Li Guang in one of his campaigns against the Xiongnu.24 We may also note in passing that the tale, if taken as true, would actually reflect poorly on Zhuge Liang's military expertise, for only some serious shortsightedness or sloppiness could have placed him so dangerously at the mercy of a larger force. The admiration expressed by the tale is, in short, naive and unreflective.

Guo Chong's fourth tale concerns the aftermath of the ill-fated first northern campaign. The campaign began auspiciously: three commanderies in the Qishan area of (present-day) Gansu province rebelled against Wei and aided Zhuge Liang. Later, however, Liang's subordinate commander Ma Su was disastrously defeated at Jieting in Gansu- Chen Shou says it was because Ma Su failed to adhere to Zhuge Liang's instructions-and Zhuge Liang had to return with his forces to Shu. When he did so, he took with him more than a thousand families from the environs of Tianshui it, one of the commanderies that rallied to his side, and he had the commander Ma Su executed so as to appease the masses, who resented the defeat.25 Later he submitted a memorial to the throne proposing his own demotion, which was accepted.26

According to Guo Chong's story, everyone in Shu congratulated Zhuge Liang upon his return for causing several commanderies to side with him, making a man named Jiang Wei a prisoner, and transporting several thousand men and women of the Qishan region to Shu. Zhuge Liang, however, looked mournful and would not accept their praise, saying: "Everyone in the realm is a Han subject. Because the authority of the state has not yet been established, we have caused the people to suffer, as from the fangs of ravening wolves. When even one man dies, it is my responsibility. How can I not feel ashamed when I am congratulated for these things!" This speech, says Guo's story, made the people of Shu realize that Liang had the ambition of swallowing Wei and was not intent merely upon expanding the territory of Shu.27

Pei Songzhi objects to this story on two counts. First, he thinks it unlikely that people grew aware of Liang's ambitions only after his return from the first northern expedition; rather, he says, the ultimate aims of the Shu state had been generally understood for a long time. Second, he thinks it unlikely that everyone congratulated Liang upon his return. The expedition had achieved nothing, and many of those who returned were maimed and injured. Though three commanderies surrendered to him, he was unable to keep them. Jiang Wei was simply a man of Tianshui whose capture did no harm to Wei, and the transportation of a thousand families to the south was no compensation for the defeat at Jieting.28 In fact, as we will show later, Zhuge Liang's stature and influence at court were sharply reduced for a time after the campaign.

Guo Chong's fifth story is an inspirational tale about the magical efficacy of good faith (Xin). It concerns Zhuge Liang's third northern campaign in 231, when he used "wooden oxen" vehicles for transport and won a significant victory in a clash with the Wei general Zhang He. According to the story, Wei Mingdi (Cao Rui) came to Chang An to campaign against Shu. He had Sima Yi oversee the armies of Zhang He and others, which together had over 300,000 troops. These forces advanced by stealth toward Zhuge Liang, whose 80,000 troops were stationed in a craggy stronghold near Qishan. Many of Liang's troops were scheduled to begin the return journey to Shu within a few days. When the army appeared and began to have skirmishes with Liang's flank detachments, he discussed strategy with his staff. The other council members felt that the enemy troops were too strong and full of spirit to be dealt with from a position of numerical inferiority; they therefore thought it best to cease hostilities for a month, so that their own forces might be increased. Zhuge Liang said:

"My leadership of the army is based on good faith. Gaining Yuan while losing good faith was something the ancients deplored.29 Those who are scheduled to leave have packed their traveling gear and are waiting for the departure time. Their wives stand with outstretched necks like cranes, counting the days till their return. Though this campaign is difficult, duty requires me not to abandon it."

Zhuge Liang's staff accordingly issued traveling orders as scheduled, whereupon the troops who were to leave were so delighted and grateful that they voluntarily stayed for one last battle; the ones who were to remain were stirred to enthusiasm as well and "desired to sacrifice their lives." As a result, on the day of the battle, every man of Shu pressed forward; each man was worth ten, Zhang He was killed, Sima Yi withdrew, and a great victory was obtained. This, concludes the tale, was all due to the preservation of good faith.30

Pei Songzhi detects several circumstantial errors and improbabilities in the tale, the chief one being that Wei Mingdi did not come to Chang An in the year alleged; but even if the tale were not marred by these problems, it would be easy to see that its raison d'eitre is inspirational, not historical. It is a Confucian miracle tale demonstrating the triumph of spirit over matter; and it has a direct formal relationship to such extreme examples of the genre as the tale of Gugong Danfu -the pre-dynastic Zhou chieftain who magnified his authority and redoubled the number of his followers by yielding pacifically to the barbarians who came to claim his land, wealth, and people.31

The predominance of popular storytelling patterns and the crudity of the concepts of statesmanship and strategy expressed in these- five tales suggest that from early times Zhuge Liang was regarded as a hero by people of the lanes and villages and that it may have been among such people that many aspects of the Zhuge Liang legend emerged. Certainly there is much in Chen Shou's biography and in other contemporary memoirs to suggest that to people of the court and palace Zhuge Liang was simply a prominent figure toward whom one might feel varying proportions of admiration or disgust, sympathy or resentment, confidence or distrust, as toward any other influential person in public life. Zhuge Liang was not the only man at the Shu court deeply versed in history, statecraft, and military strategy. These others would have had to be more than human not to feel some stirrings of envious resentment when contemplating the great authority vested in Zhuge Liang during most phases of his career.

A comparison of Zhuge Liang's "Hou Chu Shi Biao" (Latter Campaign Memorial) with his "Qian Chu Shi Biao" (Former Campaign Memorial) shows that his standing at court prior to the second northern campaign was far inferior to that which he had enjoyed prior to the first. The tone adopted throughout the "Former Campaign Memorial" is that of a wise and authoritative elder statesman patiently and firmly explaining to the young and inexperienced heir to the throne how he must conduct his affairs and to whom he must listen and defer in matters of policy. The tone is that of Yi Yin admonishing Tai Jia or The Duke of Zhou instructing King Cheng. Little space is devoted to the forthcoming campaign itself; that it will occur and is the correct course to take is simply assumed. Only near the end does Zhuge Liang describe in a few general phrases what he accomplished in the last campaign and what he plans for the next.32 The document gives no hint whatsoever of controversy or opposition to his plans. He is free, apparently, to use troops in whatever way he thinks will best advance Shu's cause.
None of this serene assurance is to be found in the "Latter Campaign Memorial," which was written in the winter following his self-imposed demotion after the defeat at Jieting. Nor can we find in it any element of moral exhortation or sage guidance concerning the management of court and palace affairs during the writer's absence. Rather, the entire document is an impassioned polemic against the viewpoints of those who would question the wisdom of a second northern campaign. He at one point even refers explicitly to the opposition: "Yet my critics say my schemes are ill-advised." In the course of the memorial he raises six points of contention. His procedure in each case is to use historical example to show how unreasonable and deluded the opposition is. Each paragraph of refutation concludes with the formula, "This is the first, (second, third, fourth, etc.) thing I do not understand," a turn of rhetoric typical of the most audaciously argumentative sort of memorial, the sort that has in many periods exposed their authors to banishment or other punishments. Here, in contrast to the calmly authoritative manner of the former memorial, the tone at times becomes self- pitying, petulant, or sarcastic. In the former memorial he mentioned that in prosecuting the southern campaign, he "went deep into the land where no crops grow." In the latter memorial he says this again and adds that when he did so he "ate only on alternate days." From the day he received the former emperor's commission, he says, "I did not rest peacefully on my mat at night and took no pleasure in the taste of food." His famous concluding statement that he intends to "bow in service to the throne, dedicating all my strength to it, stopping only with death" is in the same vein. How could anyone so patriotic-to-the-marrow-of-his-bones make policy mistakes?

It is evident from the arguments used in the "Latter Campaign Memorial" that Zhuge Liang's mishap at Jieting had become a major issue in court policy deliberations, for one of the points he seeks to establish is that even the finest strategists commit blunders:

Cao Cao attacked Chang-ba five times without breaking through and tried four times without success to get beyond Chaohu. He employed Li Fu and Li Fu plotted against him; he gave a command to Xiahou and Xiahou suffered defeat and perished. The former emperor always said that Cao was an able man, and yet Cao had all these mishaps; so how much more must this be the case with a hack like myself!

Zhuge Liang's overriding anxiety in his memorial is that if his court critics have their way so that no further northern campaigns are undertaken, Shu will weaken and perish-all because of their irresolution and timidity. Only by risking everything, he repeatedly insists, can a state hope to avoid destruction. His exasperation shows in his sarcastic depiction of two former policy makers who talked and talked, but could never act decisively:

Liu Yong, and Wang Lang - each held prefectures and commanderies. They discussed schemes to attain peace and brought wise men to their service; countless hesitations crowded their bellies and multitudes of difficulties stopped up their chests; one year they did not make war and the next year they did not campaign. But the moment Sun Ce came to the throne, he took all of Jiangdong SE. This is the second thing I do not understand.

Zhuge Liang also expresses concern in this memorial that the military resources of Shu are fast declining. He lists the names of eight experienced commanders who have died in the twelve odd years since the house of Liu was established in Shu, and he points out that various elite units, whose members were gathered from many different regions over a long period of time, will in a few years be reduced by two-thirds (whether this will occur through desertion, mortality, or expiration of terms of service he does not say). Thus, he argues, it is essential to attack Wei sooner rather than later.33

Unlike the "Former Campaign Memorial," the "Latter Campaign Memorial" was not included in Chen Shou's biography of Zhuge Liang; it appears instead in a long passage quoted from Hanjin Chunqiu by Pei Songzhi. Pei informs us that this memorial was also omitted from Zhuge 's collected works edited by Chen Shou, and that it ultimately came from a memoir, Moji, by Zhang Yan. It is evident both from Chen Shou's comments and from his selection and arrangement of other episodes that he greatly admired Zhuge Liang and desired to highlight his strengths and virtues. The omission of the "Latter Campaign Memorial" is consistent with this approach, for the document- which shows Zhuge Liang playing the role of an embattled court officer and stripped of his accustomed dignity-does not blend well with other parts of the portrait.

After the second northern campaign, which was more successful than the first, Zhuge Liang was restored by the emperor Liu Shan to his former rank and recovered much of his prestige. Another long passage recorded by Pei Songzhi from Hanjin Chunqiu describes a policy dispute that took place after the second northern campaign between Zhuge Liang and other officials: whether, given that the ruler of Wu had recently assumed the imperial title, Shu should continue to have relations with Wu. Most of Shu's court officers favored breaking off relations; they were outraged at an announcement just conveyed to them by a Wu emmisary that Wu's ruler would henceforth use imperial terms even when addressing rulers of Shu. At this juncture, Zhuge Liang made a long speech, fully represented in the account, urging patience and pragmatism. As he explained, "To struggle for mastery with Wu, while we sit here growing old would give the northern bandits the opportunity they seek-it would not be the best policy." Concluding that "it is not yet advisable to make a public issue of Sun Quan's criminal intentions, "he dispatched Chen Chan, a palace guard commander, to Wu to congratulate Sun Quan on his newly assumed title.35

How well this speech represents what Zhuge Liang actually said cannot be known. Unlike the texts of the former and latter campaign memorials, the speech is not a reproduction of any identifiable court document; it is merely prefixed by the words, "Liang said. " If, however, Zhuge Liang actually said something similar to what is quoted here, then by this time he must have regained the authority he had lost after the first northern campaign. Even though he expresses a minority view, it is clear that he expects his recommendation to be accepted as final, for he acts at once to put it into effect. If opposition to his policy still persisted-and how could it not have, given the strength of the Shu officers' indignation at Wu's arrogance-it appears not to have been expressed.

Above we have shown that many features of Zhuge Liang's career were natural targets of controversy, resentment, and jealousy; only occasionally, however, does the record provide us with direct glimpses of these negative reactions. Pei Songzhi quotes an account from Xiangyang Ji concerning the erection a temple to Zhuge Liang in Mianyang (present-day Mian district in Shanxi province), which, if its details are correct, shows how popular and court attitudes toward Zhuge Liang differed during the final decades of the Shu-Han state.

As Chen Shou notes, the temple in Mianyang was built in 263, twenty-nine years after Zhuge Liang's death in 234.36 The Xiangyang Ji account plainly shows that the real motive of the Shu ruler and his advisors in ordering the construction of this temple was not to celebrate Zhuge Liang's memory but rather to limit and control popular enthusiasm for performing sacrifices to the deceased prime minister-a type of adulation that was perceived as threatening, irregular, and perhaps subversive. Right after Zhuge Liang died, the account informs us, people in every region where he had been active began sending in requests for permission to erect temples in his honor. Court opinion was opposed, and the requests were denied on the ground that such temples would violate ritual principles. Balked in this regard, people began performing private, unauthorized sacrifices to Zhuge Liang on the public roads at regular seasonal intervals. This was much discussed at court: one person suggested that erecting a temple in Chengdu, the capital city, might be acceptable and expedient; the emperor Liu Shan disagreed. Finally, after many years, a group of civil and military officials proposed a compromise solution in a joint memorial. The authors conceded that total compliance with the popular will would sully the dignity of the throne and conflict with ancient prescriptions. Moreover, if placed in the capital, a temple to Zhuge Liang might overshadow the ancestral temple of the royal house. This, they observed, is why the emperor had long harbored doubts. They therefore suggested that the temple be erected at Mianyang, close to Zhuge Liang's burial place. Then his relations and their dependents could be made to sacrifice there at seasonal intervals, and any of his former officers and functionaries wishing to sacrifice to him could be required to do so only at that temple. In this way, they explained, the court could put an end to private sacrificing and promote the display of due reverence toward proper ritual procedures. Only after this memorial was submitted did the emperor agree to order the temple built.37

Anyone conversant with history, or merely with contemporary affairs, will notice that the process of conflict and accommodation summarized above is not at all unique to Shu in the third century. Popular cults generally have a stubborn life of their own. Chinese history in particular affords many examples of governments at all levels attempting rather futilely to stamp out local cultic practices that were deemed undesirable. Throughout the latter Han and Three Kingdoms periods, local magistrates and warlords in what is now Shansi province strove to put an end to a steadily spreading custom-according to which cooking fires were extinguished for a delimited period and cold food eaten in commemoration of the ancient Jin officer Jie Zitui. Among those who tried to stamp out the practice was Liu Bei's rival Cao Cao: in 206, while campaigning in Shansi, he issued an edict announcing the punishments that would henceforth be imposed on any family heads, civil servants, and magistrates who allowed people under their jurisdiction to observe the cold food custom.38 But, sooner or later, Chinese governments tended to coopt these traditions, treating them as if they had always been orthodox.

It was to co-opt and control popular veneration of Zhuge Liang that the Shu government ordered the building of the Mien-yang temple. Even so, the measure was a late and reluctant gesture of a moribund dynasty; in 264, less than a year after the temple's erection, Shu was swallowed up by Wei, whose imperial house was itself about to be replaced by that of Chin. When Chung Hui , Wei's western pacification general, invaded Shu in the autumn of 263, he performed a sacrifice at the newly built Mien-yang temple and prohibited his soldiers from grazing livestock or cutting firewood in the vicinity of Zhuge Liang's grave.39 Either this general, a man of Wei, himself stood in awe of the numinous power of Zhuge Liang's spirit, or he was cleverly attempting to win the hearts and minds of the people of Shu by showing respect to the memory of their national hero.' Either way, his actions testify to the strength of the legend and its accompanying cult in that time and region.

A minor but curious detail in the early lore concerning Zhuge Liang is that he intentionally chose as his wife a lady who was ugly but clever. The source quoted by Pei Songzhi for this story is the same "Record of Xiangyang" that tells the history of the temple movement. It says that there was a man of frank, free, and independent character named Huang Changyan, a well-known figure in Miannan, who one day said to Zhuge Liang: "I hear you are choosing a wife. I have an ugly daughter; she has yellow hair and a swarthy complexion, but her talents are a worthy match for yours. " Zhuge Liang agreed to the proposal and Huang Changyan had his daughter transported to Zhuge 's dwelling. The neighbors, highly diverted at this, composed a satirical rhyme that went: "Don't imitate Kongming (Zhuge Liang) in choosing a wife; / You'll wind up with old Chang's ugly daughter."'" Later narrative tradition added to this the detail that Zhuge Liang's wife made mechanical servants to accomplish in the domestic sphere what her husband's mechanical donkeys did in the realm of military logistics.42

The ugly wife story is an example of an ancient and traditional narrative motif, earlier instances of which are preserved in Lienu Zhuan and Hou Han shu.43 The idea behind these stories is that one manifestation of the extraordinary insight possessed by sages is their appreciation of ugly women. A sage will often marry such a woman and then profit from her advice, which, since she is ugly, is invariably honest, prescient, and discriminating. A sage is never dazzled or bewitched by false and alluring appearances; he cannot be seduced by luxury, flattery, or beauty; instead he goes straight for the substance hidden beneath. As Chen Shou says of Zhuge Liang in his summation, "He sought out that which was fundamental in every affair; he sought out the reality beneath each appearance and had nothing but contempt for empty show."44 Thus the ugly wife story, properly understood, is normative rather than biographical: it illustrates Zhuge Liang's imperviousness to delusion and rounds out his character as a sage. Whether the story had any basis in fact is actually irrelevant; far more germane to its purpose is its basis in legend, its basis in stories concerning earlier figures.

It is relationships such as these to earlier narrative that are primarily responsible for the commanding position occupied by Zhuge Liang in the pantheon of Chinese heroes. It is scarcely possible to find another Chinese historical figure who has accumulated such a broad array of strengths. His legend constitutes a major juncture, a switching station as it were, in the narrative stream-a place where all manner of heroic and ideal motifs are momentarily exhibited as facets of one transcendent personality, after which they again break apart and are scattered among other personages.

One would be hard put to name any early culture hero whose at-tributes are not somehow reflected in the Zhuge Liang portrait. Like Yi Yin or Duke of Zhou, he was an authoritative elder statesman who acted as guide and regent to a young ruler. Like Guan Zhong, he was an administrative genius with a legalist bent and an expert in diplomacy and interstate relations. Like Yue Yi, he was a throne renouncer, an uncrowned king, and knew how to gain military superiority through virtue rather than through force (as in the tale of "the seven capturings and the seven releasings"). Like Xu Yu or Zhan Huo, he was a hermit by nature, a man who preferred obscurity to notoriety. Like Jiang Ziya or Sun Tzu, he was a master of battlefield strategy. Like Pi Yuijang, he was a paragon of loyalty. Like Zuo Yan, he was a master of astrology and other proto-scientific arts. Like Lu Ban, he was inventive. Like innumerable figures of the past, he was a stout upholder of the concept of legitimacy and was not bad at persuasive rhetoric either, although he lacked the specious brilliance of Su Qin and Zhang Yi. Like many other culture heroes, he was a worthy man who in the end did not attain his aims. One could go on and on in this vein.

The actual Zhuge Liang was no doubt a man of rare and diverse abilities. He is also a man who has been well and thoroughly swathed, buried, and concealed in legendary portrayal. That some elements of the portrayal are indisputably veracious merely completes the effectiveness of the disguise.

l Elements of the sage-seeking motif occur in Warring States traditions concerning such diverse figures as Ch'eng T'ang, Wu-ting, Chou Wen-wang, Ch'i Huan-kung, Ch'in Mu- kung, Meng-ch'ang Chun, and Ch'i Min-wang. See Eric Henry, "The Motif of Recognition in Ancient China, " HJAS 47.1 (1987): 5-30. In Romance of the Three Kingdoms, the tale of Chu- ko Liang's seeking occurs in Chapters 36-38; see Luo Kuan-chung xxr, San kuoyen-i Em Ni (Beijing: Jen-min wen-hsueh ch'u-pan she, 1972), pp. 290-305. The passage in Record of the Three Kingdoms upon which this narrative is based occurs near the beginning of the biography of Chu-ko Liang in the "Record of Shu, " in Ch'en Shou NR, San kuo chih _J n annotated, P'ei Sung-chih 9*it. (Beijing: Chung-hua shu-chui, 1959), 35.912-13.
2 Chu-ko Liang, Chu-ko Liang-chi MMEA, ed., Tuan Hsi-chung R1+ and Wen Hsu- ch'u M)tliR (Beijing: Chung-hua shu-chiu, 1960), editor's introduction, pp. 1-3.
3 San kuo chih, 35.929.
4Ibid., 35.931.
5 Ibid., 35.934. Two theories attempt to explain this negative assessment of Chu-ko Liang's prowess as a strategist. The first is that since Ch'en Shou wrote as a Chin subject and was under the direct literary patronage of the Ssu-ma family, he had to tailor his views to cor- respond with those of his imperial sponsors. Evidence for and against this proposition is con- sidered in Rafe De Crespigny, The Records of the Three Kingdoms, Centre of Oriental Studies, Occasional Paper, no. 9 (Canberra: Australian National University, 1970), pp. 7-14. Apart from Ch'en Shou's routine use of terms that implicitly affirm Chin legitimacy, De Crespigny finds no particular indication that Ch'en had to meet any doctrinal exigencies of Ssu-ma spon- sorship. The second theory, advanced in the Chin shu biography of Ch'en Shou, is that Ch'en Shou bore a grudge against Chu-ko Liang for dealing harshly with Ch'en's father after the lat- ter's superior, Ma Su, was executed for ignoring orders and losing a battle at Chieh-t'ing. See Fang Hsuan-ling F ; et al., comp., Chin shu '-I' (Beijing: Chung-hua shu-chii, 1974), 82.2137-38. If Ch'en Shou bore such a grudge, it is odd that 1) his account of the battle of Chieh-t'ing is sympathetic to Chu-ko Liang, not Ma Su, and 2) apart from the one stricture on his abilities as a strategist, the biography expresses an attitude of admiration toward Chu- ko Liang that verges upon worship. I am indebted to Professor Moss Roberts for bringing these and other matters to my attention.
6 Ssu-ma Kuang, Tzu-chih t'ung chien (SPPY editiorn), 72.24a-
7 San kuo chih, 35.930-31.
8 Ibid., 35.912-13.
9 Ibid., 35.913-14.
10 Ibid., 35.913-14. My discussion below of the relationship of Chu-ko Liang's memorial to the thatched hut story has benefited from an exchange of opinions with Professor Shan.
" Another notable instance in "Chu-ko Liang chuan" of a secret speech quoted as if it had been recorded by witnesses occurs in an episode that portrays Chu-ko Liang and Liu Ch'i WI * conversing alone in a high tower from which the ladder had been taken away. Citing the opposite destinies of Shen-sheng and Ch'ung-erh of Chin, Liang advises Ch'i to flee to another jurisdiction to escape his father Liu Piao's inimical intentions. See San kuo chih, 35.914. The episode is elaborated in San kuoyen-i, 39.312-13.
12 San kuo chih, 35.916.
13 Ibid., 35.916.
14 Ibid., 35.917.
15 Ibid., 35.917. The anecdote appears with minimal elaboration in San kuoyen-i, 65.526- 27.
16 San kuo chih, 35.934.
17 Ibid., 35.917.
18 Ibid., 35.917-18. The biography of Liu Pei in San kuo chih includes a tale of a man who, having been sent on a mission to assassinate Liu Pei, changes his mind after meeting his in- tended victim. The purpose of the anecdote is to illustrate the ease with which Liu Pei gained people's allegiance. It has no relation to the Kuo Ch'ung anecdote and ascribes the event to a period prior to the recruitment of Chu-ko Liang. See San kuo chih, 32.872-73.
19 See, for example, Kuoyii M (Shanghai: Ku-chi ch'u-pan she, 1978), 3.89-94 (item 1) and Ch 'un-ch 'iu Tso chuan chu 8t*fjAfWt (hereafter Tso chuan chu), ed. Yang Po-chun (Beijing: Chung-hua shu-chui, 1981), Ting-kung 15, pp. 1600-1 (items 1 and 3).
20 San kuo chih, 35.921.
21 The zither playing episode occurs in San kuoyen-i, 95.769-71. In Chinese drama, the episode is one of three extremely popular scenes that are often performed in sequence: 1) "Shih Chieh-t'ing" #- (the defeat at Chieh-t'ing), 2) "K'ung ch'eng chi" ttAN (the empty city strategem), and 3) "Chan Ma Su" TA (the beheading of Ma Su). These scenes are performed in both the Beijing opera style and most regional styles and are some- times referred to collectively as "Shih-k'ung-chan" VT, or "Defeat-Empty-Behead." See Ling Ying , San kuo yen-i tsung-heng t'an _=MMAWM;K (Hong Kong: Chung- hua shu-chui, 1976), pp. 50-51.
22 See San kuo chih, 35.922, where P'ei Sung-chih quotes from Ch'en Shou's biography Wei Yen, for which see ibid., 40.1002-4.
23 San kuo chih, 35.922.
24 Ssu-ma Ch'ien, Shih chi (Beijing: Chung-hua shu-chiu, 1959), 149.2868-69.
25 San kuo chih, 35.922.
26 Ibid., 35.922.
27 Ibid., 35.922.
28 Ibid., 35.922-23.
29 This is a reference to a story about Chin Wen-kung (Ch'ung-erh) that tells how, through a demonstration of good faith, he caused the town of Yuan to surrender. See Kuoyii, 10.376 (item 17).
30 San kuo chih, 35.926.
31 Ssu-ma Ch'ien, Shih chi, 4.113-14.
32 San kuo chih, 35.919-21.
33 Ibid., 35.923-24.
34 Ibid., 35-924.
35 Ibid., 35.924-25.
36 Ibid., 35-928.
37 Ibid., 35.928-29.
38 Donald Holzman, "The Cold Food Festival in Early Medieval China," HJAS 46.1 (1986): 51-79.
39 San kuo chih, 35.928.
40 It was not uncommon for ancient leaders to pay homage to local divinities and heroes when campaigning abroad. Sung Hsiang-kung tried to gain the allegiance of the eastern I in 641 B.C. by sacrificing a viscount of Tseng to one of their river gods. See Tso chuan chu, Hsi-kung 19, pp. 381-82. In one of the episodes of the Ming historical novel Tung Chou lieh kuo chih, Yueh I , invading Ch'i in circa 285 B.C., has temples erected to Ch'i Huan-kungand Kuan Chung. This is perhaps embroidery or conjecture, but it fits the period and per-sonalities well. See Feng Meng-lung Att et al., Tung Chou lieh kuo chih F (Taipei: Shih chieh shu-chiu, 1962), 95.906.
41 San kuo chih, 35.929.
42 Ts'ao Yii-chang f I tai ming hsiang Chu-ko Liang -fl,VtM43t (Shanghai: Jen-min ch'u-pan she, 1984), pp. 8-9. Ts'ao Yii-chang says the story is a Mien-yang legend recorded by a Sung scholar.
43 Lieh nii chuan lIJ** (SPPY edition), 6.8b-12a (items 10, 11, and 12) and the biography of Liang Hung , in Hou Han shu (Beijing: Chung-hua shu-chii, 1965), 83.2765-68. Liang Hung's wife Meng Kuang & is described as "fat, ugly, swarthy of complexion, and so strong that she could lift a heavy stone mortar." She was an ideal mate for Liang Hung because she understood perfectly his lofty, independent character. I am grateful to Professor Yu Ying-shih for pointing out to me that Meng Kuang belongs to the ancient ugly wife tradi-tion.
44 San kuo chih, 35.934.

Re: The Academic Corner of Sanguo

Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2017 6:24 am
by Xu Yuan
It's rather late but once I started reading some Actual scholarly articles on Zhuge Liang I couldn't help myself. Firstly, the adoption article was fascinating and that Cao Cao used the custom to reward fallen friends and allies speaks to his "family centered" approach which he has come to be known for in our modern days as an ideal family man in many respects.

The two Zhuge Liang articles by Hoyt Cleveland Tillman and Eric Henry were also great, though I think the first one was more well researched than the second. The first one could debate and refute what Henry had written since it was derived second. But the wealth of information in it was wonderful. He perfectly disputes the old tales of Chen Shou being bias for or against Zhuge Liang in peering through Chen Shou's eyes and seeing that Chen Shou saw Zhuge Liang as a tragic figure who could not prevail against Heaven's ordained choice. What I found most interesting from the first article was that the Jin Emperor in the early 300's quickly moved to build a memorial to Zhuge Liang in his own hometown, instead of having a former Wei officer write it, he chose a Shu descendant to handle it and thus it became an early hagiography. Though Liu Shan's eulogy had a lot to do with that as well, I'd say.

The second article (in ignoring the Latter Memorial as I think the first article does a fine enough job refuting it) delineates a cult-figure in Zhuge Liang shortly after his death. I had known he was well loved but I was unaware that he was so well loved that the Imperial Court was growing weary of the amount of exuberance people were showing in custom sacrifices for him. Honestly, these two articles make me appreciate the man all the more. He quickly left an impact in his own time and shortly thereafter where even the grandson of his nemesis was putting up memorials for him. I suppose people loved the ideal of which he represented.

Re: The Academic Corner of Sanguo

Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2017 2:40 am
by CaTigeReptile
Wow, this is an awesome treasure trove. Thank you for sharing!

Re: The Academic Corner of Sanguo

Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2017 6:36 am
by waywardauthor
[This article appeared in the Spring 2005 edition of the Journal of the American Oriental Society, the entirety of the content falls in our purview]

The Three Chaste Ones of Ba: Local Perspectives on the Yellow Turban Rebellion on the Chengdu Plain

Written by J. Michael Farmer Brigham Young University

It is something of a truism in discussions of early imperial Chinese history that the so called Yellow Turban rebellion of the late second century c.e. played an important role in the demise of the Han dynasty.l With the court weakened by factions of bureaucrat-officials, eunuchs, and in-laws fighting over control of a series of young and ineffective emperors, an uprising centered in eastern China and led by Zhang Jue and his brothers Bao and Liang in c.e. 184 served as not only a theologically based outlet for pent-up peasant outrage against the state, but also provided a window for another type of opportunist to take control of the dying state. The various military men who were ordered by the court to put down the Yellow Turban rebellion, after completing their assigned tasks in relatively short order,2 then established themselves as regional warlords, later seizing control of the Han emperor, and eventually establishing three independent states, thus ushering in a four hundred year period of political disunion in China. This much of the story is well known, though to much of the world it is recognizable primarily from the fictional account of these events in the fifteenth-century novel attributed to Luo Guanzhong the San guo yanyi [Extended Meanings of the Records of the Three States]. While the standard dynastic histories covering the period, Fan Ye's (398-445) Hou Han shu [Later Han History] and Chen Shou's (233-297) San guo zhi [Records of the Three States], mention the uprising,3 they tend to outline the rebellion and its impact mainly on the Han court and the lives of its major players, especially military officials. In both cases, the standard historical accounts focus on the rebellion at the imperial level and virtually ignore how the event played out in smaller locales across the "subcelestial realm." This focus is due largely to the particular set of concerns typically addressed by orthodox his toriography, and not because of the absence of local evidence. Similarly, the limited scholar ship on the uprising in Western languages appears focused on a few key issues, particularly the religious affiliation of the rebels and potential links between the Yellow Turbans in eastern China and the contemporaneous Way of the Celestial Masters (Tianshi dao) in south western China.4 Chinese scholarship, on the other hand, has long fixated on the rebellion as a manifestation of class-struggle in "feudal" China. Here I shall present the case of the Yellow Turban rebellion on the Chengdu Plain in southwest China as gleaned from the standard histories and local histories of the third and fourth centuries c.e., and attempt to tease out the impact of this event on the local population and on later historiography and popular memory.

Although the Hou Han shu and San guo zhi mention the Yellow Turban rebellion over one-hundred-fifty times,5 these standard histories rarely offer more than lists of names, places, and dates of civil unrest linked to the rebels. Fan Ye's Hou Han shu notes the Yellow Turbans twenty-one times in the annals of Emperors Ling (r. c.e. 168-89) and Xian (r. c.e. 189? 220), the Han rulers during whose reigns the uprising occurred. Yet, few details are offered. For example, a typical mention of the rebellion in the Hou Han shu reads something like, "In the third year of the Chuping era (192), the Yellow Turban-bandits of Qing province entered Yan province 35 and killed the acting city administrator Zheng Sui, then turned and entered Dongping [commandery]."6 The San guo zhi accounts are similar. For example, "[In] Ji'nan and Le'an, the Yellow Turbans Xu He, Sima Ju, and others attacked the city, killing the chief clerk. The troops of Taishan Hill and Pingyuan commanderies launched a major attack on them, killing [Xu] He and pacifying the districts. [The troops] collected [the Yellow Turbans'] grain and gave it to the soldiers."7 Though sparse, these entries provide the names of local rebels and the spheres of their activities, and while they are admittedly minor figures, we may also conclude that these local Yellow Turbans possessed some degree of power and influence, enough to attract the attention of later historians.

Significantly, neither history contains an independent biographical account of Zhang Jue or his brothers, the major figures in the Yellow Turban uprising; rather, these histories focus on the activities of the generals who engaged the Yellow Turbans.8 Fan Ye's Hou Han shu mentions the Yellow Turban ten times in the biographies of two Han generals charged with suppressing the rebellion: Huangfu Song and Yuan Shao.9 Similarly, the San guo zhi mentions the rebellion twelve times in the biographies of the general-officials Cao Cao, Tao Qian, and Liu Yan.10 Again, these references focus primarily on the military encounters between the Han officials and the rebels, and offer little in the way of specific details on the uprising and its impact on local scenes.

Among the one hundred sixty-three mentions of the Yellow Turban rebellion in the two standard histories, only two anecdotes touching on local impact of the rebellion can be found. Fan Ye notes Liu Chong's skill at archery, adding that defecting troops and local residents, all fearing Liu Chong's prowess with the bow, refrained from joining the Yellow Turbans.11 Fan Ye also relates that the noted classicist Kong Rong (153-208) established a school to teach the children of the area who had been "misguided" by the Yellow Turbans.12 This level of detail, sparse yet tantalizing, is anomalous in the Hou Han shu and San guo zhi accounts, however.

In the case of the Chengdu Plain, both the Hou Han shu and San guo zhi offer brief accounts of a local Yellow Turban leader and his uprising against the Han. Since Fan Ye's later account is a paraphrase of Chen Shou's earlier narrative, I will simply quote the San guo zhi at this point:

At that time the rebellious bandits of Yi province13 Ma Xiang, Zhao Zhi, and others proclaimed themselves 'Yellow Turbans" at Mianzhu,14 and gathered a band of peasants exhausted from their labors, in a day or two obtaining several thousand men. First, they killed the prefect of Mianzhu, Li Sheng Then they collected the clerks and com moners, numbering over ten thousand men and went forth, defeating Luo district, attacking Yi province, killing [Xi] Jian, finally reaching Shu and Qianwei commanderies.15 Within two weeks, they had defeated three commanderies [i.e., Guanghan, Shu and Qian wei], [Ma] Xiang proclaimed himself Son of Heaven, and his band numbered ten thousand.16

Fan Ye adds few significant details to Chen Shou's base account.17 Chang Qu's Huayang guo zhi claims that Ma Xiang was a native of Liang province, north and west of the center of his activities on the Chengdu Plain.18 Significantly, neither Yi nor Liang provinces were among the reported centers of Yellow Turban activity.19 As such, there is no evidence to link Ma Xiang in the west with the Zhangs in the east.

From these three historical narratives we can piece together a general overview of so called Yellow Turban activity on the Chengdu Plain. A band of "Yellow Turbans," under the leadership of an outsider, Ma Xiang, gathered supporters from among the local population and launched attacks against the Han officers in the region. The supporters of Ma Xiang and his Yellow Turbans are described as "peasants exhausted from their labors," and the objects of their attacks were largely the representatives of the imperial government, elsewhere described as "corrupt" and "greedy."20 In this light, we may view Ma Xiang's rebellion as a reaction against corrupt governmental officials, and not as driven by religious ideology as were his Yellow Turban counterparts in eastern China.21 More importantly, lacking any concrete ties to either the Yellow Turbans of Zhang Jue in the east or with the Celestial Masters movement of the southwest,22 Ma Xiang appears more like a local bandit who seized upon the Yellow Turban banner as an opportunity to rebel on his own.

Moreover, the various historical records' accounts of the suppression of Ma Xiang's uprising reveal considerable information about the political situation in the province conditions that may have prompted Ma Xiang's rebellion and certainly aided his recruitment efforts. At roughly the same time as Ma Xiang's uprising, the Han court had dispatched Liu Yan to serve as shepherd raw of Yi province with a specific charge to arrest corrupt local officials. Specifically, Liu was ordered to prosecute the former provincial inspector Xi Jian for his burdensome taxation of the local population.23 In this sense, both the Han officer Liu Yan and the Yellow Turban bandit leader Ma Xiang possessed, at least superficially, similar objectives. But even with his appointment as the highest-ranking Han officer in the region, Liu Yan found himself unable (or perhaps simply unwilling) to enter the Chengdu Plain because of the ongoing rebellion. Liu Yan was also too late to make good on his charge to arrest Xi Jian, as Xi is listed among the first victims of Ma Xiang's uprising. Liu Yan's in ability to step in and restore order speaks volumes about the lack of Han authority in the region. Thus, rather than relying upon governmental forces to quash Ma Xiang's rebellion, the provincial authorities turned to the local elites for manpower. The provincial attendant Jia Long was charged with leading a "family army" (jiabing) to attack Ma and his troops. As Jia Long marched his small band northward from Qianwei, he continued con scripting local men and low-level governmental officers and clerks to increase the size of his forces. Eventually he obtained over a thousand men and faced Ma Xiang's army of over ten thousand men. The historical sources do not reveal how Jia Long's significantly smaller army was able to defeat Ma Xiang; nevertheless, within a relatively short period, Jia Long defeated Ma and restored some degree of order to the region.24

Despite suppressing the Yellow Turban uprising, tensions between various powerful groups in the region continued. Following his victory, Jia Long sent an envoy to welcome Liu Yan to the region. Liu Yan, upon Jia Long's suggestion, relocated his headquarters to Mianzhu prefecture, away from the concentrated presence of Han officials in Chengdu city. From these accounts, it appears that Jia Long and other local elites may have hoped not only to ingratiate themselves with the representative from the Han court, but to control him to some degree. When Liu Yan proved to have ideas and ambitions of his own, including designs on the imperial throne,25 Jia Long and other local power brokers themselves rose up in rebellion against Liu.

These local upper-class rebels were quickly defeated by Liu Yan, but their actions reveal much regarding the tensions between the local elites and the representatives of the Han court on the Chengdu Plain. First, the Han's inability to manage the political and economic affairs of the region led to tens of thousands of disaffected peasants who were quick to ally with the self-proclaimed Yellow Turban Ma Xiang. There are no records of drought, famine, epidemic, or other natural disasters in the region at this time. Rather, it seems more likely that the rebellion was a reaction against corruption in government (i.e., Xi Jian, and very likely others). Second, the government lacked sufficient military power to put down this uprising, and as a result was forced to turn to a local "official," Jia Long and a private army to restore order. The existence of such personal and local militia was widespread, and both the Hou Han shu and San guo zhi make the claim that all the powerful families of the period kept personal troops to protect their interests.26 Finally, the case of Jia Long's manipulation of Liu Yan, and Jia's ultimate rebellion indicates that the local gentry indeed were the real power holders on the Chengdu Plain, and were unwilling to share control of the region with an independent-minded Han officer like Liu Yan.

Although both the San guo zhi and Hou Han shu accounts describe the province as "tranquil" following Jia Long's suppression of Ma Xiang, alternate accounts by Chen Shou and Chang Qu reveal that the situation was anything but peaceful, and more significantly, offer a glimpse into the human impact of the uprising and its suppression on the local populace.

The earliest account of the rebellion on the Chengdu Plain originates in a fragment quoted in the Taiping yulan [Imperially Reviewed Encyclopedia of the Taiping Period], attributed to Chen Shou's Yibu qijiu zhuan [Biographies of the Elders of Yi Province].21 Chang Qu's later account in the Huayang guo zhi is largely based on Chen's earlier narrative, though it provides a few significant and unique details on the impact of the uprising. Both records focus on victims of the turmoil, in particular, three young widows. Given the interconnected nature of the two histories, let us begin with the later but better known and more accessible account in Chang Qu's Huayang guo zhi.

Chang Qu's account, situated in the middle of a narrative on local responses to good and ill circumstances in Ba E commandery,28 reads:

During the Yongchu period (107-14), the Qiang of Guanghan and Hanzhong commanderies re belled, their tyranny teaching Ba commandery. There was the wife of Ma Miaoqi, Yi, the wife of Wang Yuanfen, Ji, and the wife of Zhao Manjun, Hua.29 They had each mourned the early deaths of their husbands, carried out the chastity of Gong Jiang,30 and held to the propriety of a single marriage.31 They were called the Three Chaste Ones. When they encountered the disorder, troops forced them into hiding, afraid of being captured and disgraced. These three women together jumped in the Western Han River and drowned.32 A yellow bird cried out and flew back and forth where they drowned. A person of the state was grieved by this, and thus com posed a poem which said: Guan, guan! cry the yellow birds, Gathered in the trees. Coy and comely, the pure women, Beautiful and virtuous. I think of their beauty and virtue, Their hearts not stones.33 Alas! They approached the river, Far away, they cannot be had.34

Astute readers will immediately notice that Chang Qu sets the events surrounding the suicides of the three young widows in the Yongchu period, some seventy years before the Yellow Turban uprising! But, as I will discuss below, this dating is in error. Nevertheless, the anecdote illustrates quite graphically the impact of a rebellion on the local population, in this case, women and an anonymous poet moved by their deaths. Chen Shou's Yibu qijiu zhuan account of the so-called "Three Chaste Ones of Ba" reads:

As for the Three Chaste Ones of Ba, they were the wife of Ma Miaoxin35 of Langzhong, Yi; the wife of Wang Yuanfen of Xichongguo, Ji. Both [women] were natives of Langzhong. [There was also] the wife of Zhao Manjun of Langzhong, Hua, who was a native of Xichongguo. Lady Ji lost her husband at an early age and held to her chastity. In the fifth year of the Zhongping era (188), the Yellow Turbans and others of their type encroached on Yi province. The bandit-leader Zhao Fan approached the walled city of Langzhong and pressured the [local] officials, ordering them to [turn over] their wives and daughters. Ladies Yi, Ji, Hua and others immediately entered the walled city. Later, some bandit-types attacked and destroyed Langzhong. At that time, some people died, while others abandoned their families and homes, losing both. Ladies Yi, Ji, Hua, and others like them fled the walled city. It was reported that later, the bandits seized some women there. The three women were destitute and pressed, and feared that they could not avoid being captured and forcibly [raped]. So together they threw themselves into the river and died. When the locals heard of this, there were none who were not sorrowed. [The three women] were called the "Three Chaste Ones."36

This anecdote, while focusing on the same women, offers far more valuable details than its derivative account in the Huayang guo zhi, including a clearer identification of the temporal setting and the major players in the events.

The chronological and contextual disparities between Chen Shou's and Chang Qu's accounts of the Three Chaste Ones are of prime interest in this examination of the local impact of the Yellow Turban rebellion on the Chengdu Plain. In the Huayang quo zhi narrative, Chang Qu sets the events regarding the Three Chaste Ones in the years 107-14 during an uprising by the Qiang minority that began in Guanghan and Hanzhong commanderies, eventually spreading south and east reaching Ba.37 Military conflict between the Han and Qiang was common, especially in the early second century. The Hou Han shu reports a serious uprising during the years noted by Chang Qu; however, this rebellion (or perhaps more accurately, border conflict) was concentrated in Liang province, north and west of the Chengdu Plain. This particular outbreak lasted about a decade and was devastating to both Han and Qiang.38 Fan Ye's account does not provide any details about the events of the uprising that may have taken place on the Chengdu Plain. Within the context of this historical setting, Chang Qu simply notes that the three widows were forced into hiding because of disorder and unruly troops. Chen Shou, on the other hand, sets the events eighty years later in the midst of the Yellow Turban uprising, placing the widows' suicides in the year Zhongping (ce. 188).39

The question remains, why would Chang Qu set the matter of the Three Chaste Ones during an earlier Qiang uprising rather than the more likely scenario of Ma Xiang's Yellow Turban rebellion and its aftermath? Surely Chang Qu was aware of Chen Shou's earlier account, since he mentions the text by name and appears to paraphrase Chen's history liberally in his own writings. We must also discount the idea that a nominally Daoist-inspired uprising like the Yellow Turbans' would have been distasteful to Chang Qu's patrons, the Li $ clan, rulers of the state of Cheng $c, who were themselves followers of the Celestial Masters school of Daoism.40 That Chang Qu treats the matter of Ma Xiang's uprising in some detail elsewhere in his history would seem to disprove this notion.41

The attribution of the disorder that drove the widows to suicide to the Qiang may ultimately be tied to the use of Qiang mercenary forces by Liu Yan in his later struggle against Jia Long. The Yingxiong ji [Record of Heroes], cited in Pei Songzhi's (372 451) commentary to the San guo zhi attributes Liu Yan's victory over Jia Long to Liu's use of Black Qiang (qing Qiang) troops.42 While the attack on Ba commandery resulting in the widows' deaths occurred prior to the battle between Liu Yan and Jia Long, Liu's use of Qiang forces may have been the continuation of a trend in the region by local military leaders to enlist reinforcements from among the Qiang.43 Thus it seems possible that regional war lords like Ma Xiang, Zhao Fan, or Jia Long may have also strengthened their troops by use of Qiang soldiers. In such cases, the identification of combatants by local observers may have focused on the ethnically and fashionably distinct Qiang soldiers rather than their Chinese leaders employers. Chang Qu's identification of the historical setting of the Three Chaste Ones' suicides may reflect this confusion of participants in the turmoil of the age.

This confusion also spread to the identification of the targets of Ma Xiang's revolt. The Yibu qijiu zhuan account of the uprising also lists another specific target of Ma Xiang's attacks: the wives and daughters of the local officials. Upon hearing these demands, the widows Yi, Ji, and Hua and other women sought refuge in the walled city of Langzhong. Chen Shou's narrative does not specify the outcome of this conflict; rather, he makes a chronological leap with the use of the term "later." We may suppose that the young widows and other female refugees in Langzhong survived the demands of Ma Xiang, only to suffer even more at the hands of those charged with their protection.

Chen's Yibu qijiu zhuan notes that following Zhao Fan's attack on Langzhong, another group of "bandit-types" attacked and destroyed the city. While Chen Shou does not identify these "bandit-types" directly, Chang Qu's account of the Three Chaste Ones claims that the women were forced by "troops" into suicide. Ren Naiqiang argues that these "bandit-types" were the conscripted troops led by Jia Long and charged with suppressing Ma Xiang and his rebels.44 This identification makes sense and is in harmony with the various early historical accounts. It also illustrates the tenuous control that the local elites held over their so-called "troops." The end result of the disorder in the region, whether caused by the rebellion of the Yellow Turban Ma Xiang, the rampaging troops of Jia Long, or the power struggle between Jia Long and the Han shepherd Liu Yan, was hardship and death among the local population.

These general and widespread difficulties were personified in the three young widows of Ba commandery, the so-called Three Chaste Ones. Chen Shou's Yibu qijiu zhuan introduces the young wives of local residents who had each held to the ideals of chaste widowhood upon the early deaths of their husbands. While the women's late husbands are named and their native places noted, there remains no further information on the identity of these men. Chen does, however, provide the maiden names of the women. Presumably, both the natal and married families would have been among the local elites of the region. Following this brief introduction to the women, Chen Shou praises their chaste behavior, then recounts the events of c.e. 188 which forced the widows and other women into Langzhong for protection against the Yellow Turbans, and later, the tragic circumstances in which men fled their homes and families, and abandoned women were taken by marauding troops. Chen Shou describes the widows Yi, Ji, and Hua as "destitute and pressed," and "fearing that they could not avoid capture and rape," resorting to suicide as these chaotic conditions closed in on them. Their self-drownings in the Western Han river stand as the culmination of the tragedy. Chen Shou notes that "when the locals heard of this, there were none who were not sorrowed."45

While an examination of Ma Xiang's rebellion and its suppression by private militia reveals much about the political circumstances and power struggles between competing interests on the Late Han Chengdu Plain, similarly the case of the Three Chaste Ones of Ba speaks somewhat to the situation and status of women in this time and place. That women would be targets for sexual exploitation and abuse by rampaging men, whether they be bandits or soldiers, is unfortunately, natural. The women's reaction, however, is somewhat more surprising. For example, Liu Xiang's [p] (79-78 b.c.e.) Lienil zhuan [Biographies of Exemplary Women], compiled in the late Western Han, does not expressly address the issue of rape, though in it we find numerous tales of women sacrificing their lives to avoid impropriety or even the appearance thereof.46 With a set definition of "chastity" still under construction during the Han it would later be taken to mean virginity before marriage, fidelity during marriage, and celibacy after the death of a husband the decision of the three widows of Ba to commit suicide was not a given. But the pressure to choose suicide over rape appears to have been growing stronger in the late Han. In several biographical anecdotes in Chen Shou's Yibu qijiu zhuan and Chang Qu's Huayang guo zhi we find cases of widows mutilating their bodies (including the cutting off of hair, ears, and noses) or taking their own lives to avoid remarriage, often arranged by well-intentioned family members.47 These women were similarly deemed "chaste" for their actions.48

Although not explicitly equating remarriage and rape, clearly, Chen Shou and Chang Qu in their accounts of the Three Chaste Ones of Ba held that sexual assault was "unchaste," and honored the young widows for protecting their chastity through suicide, views apparent in the appellatives "Three Chaste Ones" and "chaste and exemplary" used by the two historians in reference to the women. By the time of Fan Ye's composition of the Hou Han shu in the middle of the fifth century, the issue of rape and chastity enters the picture again. In the Hou Han shu "Biographies of Exemplary Women" chapter we encounter two additional cases of women choosing suicide over rape,49 a phenomenon Sherry Mou describes as "writing chastity with their bodies."50 Thus, while we cannot know either the degree of desperation experienced by the widows of Ba or the specific ideological pressures that influenced their decision to take their own lives, their acts stand as a dramatic indicator that something was going on in Ba with regard to views on chastity; views that appear to have been considerably more conservative than the late Han norm. And that the young widows deaths were recorded stands as an additional testimony to the moral and intellectual climate of the time and place. The memory of the Three Chaste Ones of Ba would stand as both a tragic monument to the impact of the Yellow Turban uprising on the Chengdu Plain on the local populace, and, more importantly, as a didactic memorial as to what constituted "chastity" for women

Chang Qu's later account of the suicides adds a poignant postscript to the tragedy; one that illustrates the significance of the women's deaths in local popular memory. He notes, "A yellow bird flew back and forth where they drowned. A person of the state (guoren) was grieved by this [i.e., the suicides], and thus composed a poem which said, Guan, guan! cry the yellow birds, Gathered in the trees. Coy and comely, the pure women, Beautiful and virtuous, I think of their beauty and virtue, Their hearts not stones. Alas! They approached the river, Far away, they cannot be had.51’’

The anonymous "person of the state" / poet articulates both the chastity of the widows, and the tragedy of their demise. This "Elegy for the Three Chaste Ones"52 is also a prime example of the powerful use of allusions to enhance the impact of a popular ode. The first two couplets of the poem are rich in allusions to the Shijing: "Guan, guan! cry the yellow birds; / Gathered in the trees. / Coy and comely, the pure women; / Beautiful and virtuous."53 The poem begins with an obvious allusion to the opening poem of the Shi jing, "Guan ju" PI BE ["Guan! Cry the Ospreys"] (Mao 1). In the "Elegy for the Three Chaste Ones," however, the ospreys of Mao 1 have been replaced with "yellow birds" traditionally identified as orioles. The effect of the double allusion is powerful. The opening cries of the birds are both mournful and serve to direct the reader toward the Mao interpretation of the evocative (xing) element of the poem: the loyalty of the osprey to its mate. The shifting of the bird species from osprey to oriole also redirects the reader toward two other Shijing poems which feature oriole imagery: Mao 32 "Kaifeng" ["Joyous Wind"] and Mao 187 "Huang niao" If ["Yellow Birds"], and the interpretation of the oriole as a symbol provides additional clues in understanding the anonymous poem from Ba. In Mao 32, the oriole is associated with a young widow. This association fits perfectly with the context of the poem presented by Chang Qu. Mao 187 also presents a lament from a widows' perspective. In this ode, the widowed speaker declares, "The people of this state, they are not willing to treat me well. I turn my back, I go home. I return to my country and clan."54 The notion of leaving the current place and "returning home, to country and clan" obliquely foretells the suicides of the Three Chaste Ones in the Ba Poem.55 Line 2 continues the allusion to Mao 187 by inverting the Shijing poem's injunction to the yellow bird to "not settle on the Broussonetia/mulberry/ oak" trees (as the Shijing shifts roosting trees in each stanza) and placing these birds in the trees. This subtle shift creates an interesting tension in the mind of the reader familiar with the canonical ode. Line 3 again alludes to Mao 1 in its description of the chaste widows as "coy and comely, the pure women," characteristics which, according to the Shijing, make a woman "a good mate for the lord."56 These allusions serve to emphasize both the physical beauty and high moral character of the three widows, and clearly indicate the hand of a poet on intimate terms with the language and traditional interpretations of the canonical Shijing.

What does this historical anecdote and poem tell us about popular memory in early medieval Chengdu? In particular, why did the historians opt to focus their narratives on the widows' suicides? Why did the anonymous poet choose to eulogize the Three Chaste Ones? Certainly there were other victims of the turmoil, including local officials, gentrymen, and children. Why focus on the women?

In Chang Qu's narrative of events in Ba commandery, the story of the Three Chaste Ones appears in a series of populist reactions to events in the area, including praise and criticism for local worthies and officials offered in anonymous verse and song,57 In this specific historiographical context, the account of the Three Chaste Ones is similar to another anecdote in which a local worthy committed suicide to protest the usurpation of the throne by a local warlord.58 Thus, while on one level, the widows' suicides were acts of self-preservation (of chastity), they were also a form of protest.59

It is in this manner that the women came to personify the chaos of the uprising. That the government was unable to protect from the bandit-troops its weakest citizens, those most in need of succor and protection women became grounds for the harshest condemnation by the historians and poet. The tale of three chaste widows killing themselves over the government's inability to maintain order was both more dramatic and inflammatory than a similar account of a local official meeting his demise in the rebellion (i.e., Xi Jian, Li Sheng et al.) might have been. Furthermore, the deaths of the widows also provided an opportunity to extol the emerging views on remarriage and chastity (with rape being an extreme form of "re marriage" in that a wife's sexuality, which rightfully belonged to her husband, was appropriated by another man). In short, the case of the Three Chaste Ones placed more sympathetic faces on a criticism of governmental neglect, as well as providing a dramatic object lesson on proper feminine conduct.


This paper was originally presented at a symposium in honor of Professor Gary S. Williams of Brigham Young University on the occasion of his retirement; Provo, Utah, August 2004. I am grateful for the comments and sug gestions offered by participants at the symposium, and for Professor Williams' early support of my Sinological endeavors.
1. For example, C. P. Fitzgerald claims that the Yellow Turbans were the direct cause of the fall of the Han. See Fitzgerald, China: A Short Cultural History (London: Cresset Press, 1935), 250.
2. Although the main body of the Yellow Turbans was defeated in a matter of months, additional uprisings under the Yellow Turban banner sprang up throughout the empire over the next decade.
3. It must again be noted that while the period Chen Shou chronicles in his San guo zhi follows that covered in Fan Ye's Hou Han shu, Chen's text was compiled over a hundred years earlier, and Fan Ye appears to have regularly consulted the earlier work. Thus, many of the accounts in the two texts overlap, and priority must be given to the earlier account.
4. For a thorough overview of the movement, including insightful observations on these issues, see Paul Michaud, "The Yellow Turbans," in Monuments S?rica 17 (1958): 47-127. Also see Howard S. Levy, "Yellow Turban Religion and Rebellion at the End of the Han," JAOS 76 (1956): 214-27; Werner Eichhorn, "Description of the Rebellion of Sun En and Earlier Taoist rebellions," in Mitteilungen des instituts f?r Orientforschung 2 (1954): 325-52. For a critical summary of Chinese scholarship and a useful typology of rebellions in early medieval China, see William G. Crowell, "Social Unrest and Rebellion in Jiangnan During the Six Dynasties," in Modern China 9 (1983): 319-54.
5. A search of the Academia Sinica database for "huangjin" jf rf] ("Yellow Turban") reveals a total of one hundred sixty-three occurrences of the term in the Hou Han shu (100) and San guo zhi (63).
6. Hou Han shu (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1965), 76.2479. Hereafter cited as HHs.
7. San guo zhi (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1959), 9.270. Hereafter cited as Sgz.
8. The major biographical treatment of the Zhang brothers occurs in the biography of Huangfu Song M^f^l, the Han general who defeated the Zhangs. See HHs, 71.2299-2308.
9. For Yuan Shan, see HHs, 74A-B.2373-2419.
10. For Cao Cao, see Sgz, 1.1-55; for Tao Qian, see Sgz, 8.247-52; for Liu Yan, see Sgz, 31.865-68. The matter of Liu Yan will be discussed in more detail below.
11. Liu Chong was a descendant of Emperor Ming B?j (r. 58-76), and was enfeoffed at Runan f?tlf? (located in present-day Henan province, approximately 250 kilometers southeast of Luoyang). HHs 50.1669-70.
12. HHs, 70.2263.
13. Yi province occupied the general area of present-day Sichuan, the southern portion of Shaanxi, and the northern part of Yunan provinces.
14. Mianzhu was located approximately seventy kilometers north of present-day Chengdu, Sichuan.
15. Luo district was located in Guanghan commandery, approximately forty kilometers north of present-day Chengdu, while Qianwei commander was located approximately forty kilometers south of Chengdu, itself the seat of Shu commandery. In total, Ma Xiang's troops covered a distance of over a hundred kilometers in their march southward.
16. Sgz, 31.866-67. Fan Ye's Hou Han shu omits brief passages from Chen Shou's history. See HHs, 75.2432.
17. HHs, 75.2432. Fan Ye's supplemental information is likely drawn from the narrative in Chang Qu's Huayang guo zhi. See Chang Qu ^?M, Huayang guo zhi ^?ll/S [Records of the States South of Mount Hua] (Shanghai: Shanghai guji, 1985), 5.340. Hereafter cited as Hygz.
18. Hygz, 5.340. Liang province occupied roughly the same area as present-day Gansu and Ningxia provinces.
19. The Hou Han shu notes that the Zhangs sent envoys to the following provinces: Qing ff, Xu f?, You $k\, Ji ?, Jing ffl, Yang |?, Yan ^, and Yu M- See HHs, 71.2299.
20. See Sgz, 31.865.
21. As William G. Crowell argues, protests against government oppression, typically viewed as excessive taxation and conscription, led peasants either to disappear from the tax rolls and become bandits, or to allow them selves to be used as manpower for rebel leaders. The result of these rebellions, ironically, was the destruction of not only governmental offices, but of villages and peasants themselves as the combination of rebel attacks and govern mental suppression wreaked havoc on local communities. See Crowell, "Social Unrest and Rebellion," 342-46.
22. The relationship between the Yellow Turban movement and the Celestial Masters Daoist community is still highly debated. The Huayang guo zhi, Hou Han shu, and the later Zizhi tongjian ?ftnMIm narrative of Sima Guang ^?Mjy? (1019-86) frequently confuse and conflate the activities and key participants of both contemporary Daoist movements in their accounts of the Yellow Turbans and Celestial Masters, indicating that, at least in the minds of traditional historians, the two movements were connected in some fashion. For a concise overview of these two Daoist communal movements, see Barbara Hendrischke, "Early Daoist Movements," in Daoism Handbook, ed. Livia Kohn (Leiden: Brill, 2000), 138-41. For discussion of the possible relationship between the Yellow Turbans and Celestial Masters, see Rafe de Crespigny, General of the South (Can berra: Faculty of Asian Studies, Australian National Univ., 1990), 357-59, esp. notes 5-8.
23. Sgz, 31.865.
24. The accounts in San guo zhi, Hou Han shu, and Huayang guo zhi are similarly vague in their descriptions of Jia Long's victory over Ma Xiang. See Sgz, 31.866-67; HHs, 75.2342; and Hygz, 5.340.
25. According to the San guo zhi account, Liu Yan ordered the construction of a thousand imperial carriages and other imperial trappings. See Sgz, 31.867.
26. For example, see HHs, 31.1091; Sgz, 28.777. Ch'? Tung-tsu offers a brief discussion of this trend in his Han Social Structure (Seattle: Univ. of Washington Press, 1972), 132-33.
27. Chen's collection of local biographies was compiled in the mid-third century c.e., and is no longer intact. From the extant fragments we can see that the text contained biographical anecdotes on a range of mostly Han period figures from the Chengdu Plain. Although there is no indication of Chen Shou's own sources, we may speculate that as a native of the region and a student of the southwest's premier local historian Qiao Zhou fEJU (ca. 200-270), Chen would have collected these anecdotes from both written and oral sources in the region.
28. Ba commandery was located on the eastern half of the Chengdu Plain, with its administrative seat near present-day Chongqing.
29. Chang Qu also composed an encomium for these women: MF? ' mmmm ? Mf? ' m^rnmm ? Mm ' ?TtlIf ?E ? J^LbgH + A ? "Chaste and exemplary, the wife of Ma Miaoqi, n?e Yi. Chaste and exemplary, the wife of Zhao Manjun, n?e Hua. Chaste and exem plary, the wife of Wang Yuangui, n?e Ji. They were all natives of Langzhong." See Hygz, 12.681. Chen Shou identifies Ms. Hua as a native of Xichongguo M?llH prefecture (located near present-day Nanchong, Sichuan). Chen, Yibu qijiu zhuan, quoted in Taiping yulan, 441.6b.
30. The tale of Gong Jiang illustrates the refusal of the young widowed wife of the prince of Wei to follow her family's order to remarry. It is contained in the preface to the poem "The Cypress Boat" in the Odes (Mao 45).
31. Literally "a single libation" (yi jiao ?HO. The rite of libation (jiao ?) was a ceremonial act performed prior to the groom's arrival to take the woman from her natal family. See Liji zhengyi H?ClES (Shisanjing zhushu ed.), 61.452; translation in James Legge, Li Ki, 2 vols., in Max Muller, ed., The Sacred Books of China (London: Oxford Univ. Press, 1885), 2:429.
32. Known today as the Jialing HIH river.
33. This line refers to the women's determination to remain faithful to their husbands, and alludes to Mao 26, "The Cypress Boat": "My heart is not a stone, you cannot turn it. My heart is not a mat, you cannot roll it." Trans lation in Bernhard Karlgren, The Book of Odes (Stockholm: Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities, 1950), 15.
34. Hygz, 1.17.
35. The Huayang guo zhi account records Ma's given name as "Miaoqi" t^ffi. See Hygz, 1.17.
36. Chen Shou, Yibu qijiu zhuan, quoted in Taiping youlan, 441.6b.
37. Commenting on this passage in the Huayang guo zhi, Ren Naiqiang dates the Qiang uprising to 108. See Hygz, 1.18 n. 6.
38. For a concise English summary of these events, see Michaud, "The Yellow Turbans " 60-63. The principle historical accounts are located in HHs, 87.2869-2908.
39. Chen Shou, Yibu qijiu zhuan, quoted in Taiping yulan, 441.b.
40. The Huayang guo zhi contains a fascicle devoted to the history of the Lis and their state of Cheng. See Hygz, 9.483-520. Passages from the Huayang guo zhi and Jin shu ff ft relating to Cheng Han have been collated and translated by Terry Kleeman. See Kleeman, Great Perfection (Honolulu: Univ. of Hawai'i Press, 1998).
41. See Hygz, 5.340.
42. For more on the Qiang, see Sgz, 31.867 n. 2; Hygz, 5.340; HHs, 75.2432. The name "Black Qiang" was in reference to their black clothing. See Hygz, 5.358 n. 5.
43. The Hou Han shu notes that males from the indigenous minority group, the Banshun $?#, were frequently used to bolster Han troops in conflict against the Qiang. See HHs, 76.2843.
44. Hygz, 12.689 n. 74.
45. Chen Shou, Yibu qijiu zhuan, quoted in Taiping yulan, 441.6b.
46. A total of eleven successful suicides (plus two additional threats of suicide and one case of physical muti lation) are recorded in fascicles 4-5 of the Lienii zhuan. The actions of these women were all praised as "chaste."
47. As convincingly shown by Ch'u Tung-tsu and Jennifer Holmgren, the later negative views toward re marriage were not in effect during the Han, and in fact, the practice was both common and socially acceptable at all levels of Han society. See Ch'u, Han Social Structure, 42-44; Jennifer Holmgren, "The Economic Foundation of Virtue: Widow-Remarriage in Early and Modern China," Australian Journal of Chinese Affairs 13 (1985): 1-27.
48. These cases of suicide and mutilation among women of the Chengdu Plain will be discussed in a future study on regional variations of female virtues.
49. See HHs, 84.2792-93; 84.2795-96.
50. Mou also includes bodily mutilation in her discussion of efforts by women to avoid sexual defilement. See Sherry J. Mou, Gentlemen's Prescriptions for Women's Lives: A Thousand Years of Biographies of Chinese Women (Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe, 2004), 92; 160-62.
51. Hygz, 1.17.
52. The title "Shang Sanzhen" fSH ? is appended to this poem in Lu Qinli's J?IXaI (1911-73) anthology. Lu Qinli, ed., Xian Qin, Han, Wei, Jin Nanbeichao shi jfc^WkMli'f?ik'^IE (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1983),
53. Hygz, 1.17.
54. Mao 187. Translation in Karlgren, Book of Odes, 129.
55. In addition to the association with widows, the oriole image also conveys sexual connotations in the jing poems. For a discussion of this aspect of oriole imagery in the Shijing, see Paul R. Goldin, That Culture of in Ancient China (Honolulu: Univ. of Hawaii Press, 2002), 19-22.
56. Mao 1.
57. For a detailed study of this section of the Huayang guo zhi and its historiographical rhetoric, see my "A Person of the State Composed a Poem: Poems of Praise and Protest in the Huayang guo zhi'' unpublished manuscript. The original context for Chen Shou's Yibu qijiu zhuan anecdote is unknown. The Taiping yulan groups the passage among other fragments related to women's chastity, but we have no evidence to demonstrate that Chen's history was arranged in similar fashion.
58. In this case, when Wang Mang j?# (45 b.c.e.-c.e. 23) took the throne in c.e. 9, Qiao Xuan ?H^ resigned his post in the Han government and retired to his home in Ba. When approached by an envoy from the local warlord Gongsun Shu ^^Mt (d. ce. 37), Qiao Xuan drank poisoned liquor to avoid taking office under the usurper. Hygz, 1.17.
59. Elsewhere in his history of the region, Chang Qu relates two more accounts of the impact of the Yellow Turban uprising on local women: The prefectural officer Zhao Gui's wife was named Ji. One night the Yellow Turban bandits arrived. [Zhao] Gui entered a shrine and ordered his neighbor to warn Ji, who said [to her], "The bandits are here! Let's go!" Ji replied, "It is improper for a wife to leave the chamber at night. How can you not order men and women sepa rately?" Then she and her daughter Ying killed themselves in the chamber. At that time, Ying was thirteen sui. The commandery and village sighed over this. The wife of Zhao Wan was named E. She was a native of Dangqu. She followed her husband to the country side fleeing the Yellow Turbans. [Zhao] Wan wanted to return, but suffered from an infection on his foot and was unable to walk. E comforted him, but [Zhao] Wan was killed by the bandits. The bandits wanted to defile E but E did not consent. [The bandits] then used a spear to force and intimidate her, but E thrust herself into the blade, puncturing her heart and died. See Hygz, 10A.558-59.

Re: The Academic Corner of Sanguo

Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2017 10:13 am
by waywardauthor
CaTigeReptile wrote:Wow, this is an awesome treasure trove. Thank you for sharing!

I'm glad you like it, there will be more as time goes on.

Xu Yuan wrote:It's rather late but once I started reading some Actual scholarly articles on Zhuge Liang I couldn't help myself. Firstly, the adoption article was fascinating and that Cao Cao used the custom to reward fallen friends and allies speaks to his "family centered" approach which he has come to be known for in our modern days as an ideal family man in many respects.

The two Zhuge Liang articles by Hoyt Cleveland Tillman and Eric Henry were also great, though I think the first one was more well researched than the second. The first one could debate and refute what Henry had written since it was derived second. But the wealth of information in it was wonderful. He perfectly disputes the old tales of Chen Shou being bias for or against Zhuge Liang in peering through Chen Shou's eyes and seeing that Chen Shou saw Zhuge Liang as a tragic figure who could not prevail against Heaven's ordained choice. What I found most interesting from the first article was that the Jin Emperor in the early 300's quickly moved to build a memorial to Zhuge Liang in his own hometown, instead of having a former Wei officer write it, he chose a Shu descendant to handle it and thus it became an early hagiography. Though Liu Shan's eulogy had a lot to do with that as well, I'd say.

The second article (in ignoring the Latter Memorial as I think the first article does a fine enough job refuting it) delineates a cult-figure in Zhuge Liang shortly after his death. I had known he was well loved but I was unaware that he was so well loved that the Imperial Court was growing weary of the amount of exuberance people were showing in custom sacrifices for him. Honestly, these two articles make me appreciate the man all the more. He quickly left an impact in his own time and shortly thereafter where even the grandson of his nemesis was putting up memorials for him. I suppose people loved the ideal of which he represented.
I have to admit, I was surprised by the Zhuge Liang articles. I needed to transcribe one of them, and as I was doing it I felt like there's a whole new world that could open up if more people were interested in studying the period at a higher level. Something tells me if Rafe can write a tome on Cao Cao, a complete look through this era would fill up an entire library.

Re: The Academic Corner of Sanguo

Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2017 10:28 am
by Sun Fin
I'm working to build a 3K libraby from what has been already been published ans is affordable - I'd love to see the academic study of the 3K era in English to become wider spread!

Also thoroughly enjoyed the YT article!

Re: The Academic Corner of Sanguo

Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 6:36 am
by waywardauthor
Sun Fin wrote:I'm working to build a 3K libraby from what has been already been published ans is affordable - I'd love to see the academic study of the 3K era in English to become wider spread!

Also thoroughly enjoyed the YT article!

I'm working on one myself, but its only got a handful of volumes. Chen Shou, Cao Pi, Xun Yue, and Fire over Luoyang. It will grow, once I have enough money to by Imperial Warlord, but other than that time will tell until I come across another work, or if I decide to print all these articles out and put them in a binder.