Jiang Wei, scared of death?

Join the Romance of the Three Kingdoms discussion with our resident Scholars. Topics relating to the novel and history are both welcome. Don't forget to check the Forum Rules before posting.
Kongming’s Archives: Romance of the Three Kingdoms
Three Kingdoms Officer Biographies
Three Kingdoms Officer Encyclopedia
Scholars of Shen Zhou Search Tool

Unread postby PrimeMinister Bu Zhi » Wed Aug 25, 2004 6:11 am

Well for Shu maybe, but in Wu and Wei there were still talents. In fact, there are good people in Shu in 263. Zhang Yi, Fu Qian, Lou Xian.
Lu Xun- "After much observation of how Liu Bei had been leading troops in his career, I see that he had more failures than success; hence, he is not much of a threat."
PrimeMinister Bu Zhi
Scholar of Shen Zhou
 
Posts: 996
Joined: Sat Jul 24, 2004 9:22 pm
Location: Jiao

Unread postby Kong Wen » Wed Aug 25, 2004 6:11 am

ZhangBaihu wrote:Don't forget that the SGZ was a pro-Wei/Jin propaganda document written by Chen Shou

That's a bit of an exaggeration.

ZhangBaihu wrote:Naturally Chen Shou would hold ill will towards the disciple of Zhuge Liang and inheritor of his tactics.

Actually, Chen Shou has never been proven to have held any lasting grudge against Zhuge Liang. It's the kind of thing that people like to deduce from the situation, but there is no real evidence of it.

Your own personal bias (Jiang Wei = greatest hero of 3K) could be colouring your view of Chen Shou and his writings.
"We spread the time as we can, but in the end the world takes it all back."
— Roland Deschain, Wolves of the Calla
User avatar
Kong Wen
The Bronze Age of SoSZ
The Bronze Age of SoSZ
 
Posts: 11905
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2003 7:38 pm
Location: Canada

Unread postby ZhangBaihu » Wed Aug 25, 2004 6:43 am

Kong Wen wrote:Actually, Chen Shou has never been proven to have held any lasting grudge against Zhuge Liang. It's the kind of thing that people like to deduce from the situation, but there is no real evidence of it.

Your own personal bias (Jiang Wei = greatest hero of 3K) could be colouring your view of Chen Shou and his writings.


True I do have a bit of my own personal bias, and may like to romanticize Jiang Wei unfairly. But everyone has a bias. Try to imagine Chen Shou's motives based on what we do know about him and I would argue that his bias must have been greater.

A - His father was executed by Zhuge Liang - I can't imagine how a human being, particularly one raised in Confucian ancient China, not holding a grudge for that. I mean this was a time where cutting your hair and chucking away discarded eyeballs was considered insulting the gift your parents gave you.

B - He was a writer in the Jin Dynasty. Much like most dynasties, they didn't respond well to criticism and did not really care about freedom of speech/press. Whether Chen Shou loved Shu and its heroes or not, he would not have been allowed to record them in too positive of a light for fear of death.

C - The Jin wanted to legitimize their authority, and thus of the three kingdoms they allowed Wei to be portrayed the most extensively and the most favorably since it was supposed to be the kingdom's forefather.

I believe Chen Shou's SGZ's value is immeasurable and am thankful it survived after all these centuries. I'm not saying he's wrong either. However, one must remember the particular lense in which the author saw the world through before we, the readers, wholeheartedly believe whatever he says.
ZhangBaihu
Initiate
 
Posts: 45
Joined: Thu Jul 01, 2004 8:00 am
Location: Southern California

Unread postby Lady Wu » Wed Aug 25, 2004 6:44 am

Liu Pi wrote:Jiang Wei drained Shu's resources in his attept to take the north but at least they went out fighting (unlike Wu). Sort of.

Sun Hao attacked Jin at least these couple of times:

9th month, AD 268: Hefei.

Later in 268: Jiaozhi (Jin holding)

12th month, AD 269: Jiaozhi

9th month, AD 270: Xiakou

There may be more, but these are just from a glance at Sun Hao's SGZ bio. Wu did go out fighting (Lu Kang actually had to beg Sun Hao to stop attacking Jin).

ZhangBaihu wrote:Don't forget that the SGZ was a pro-Wei/Jin propaganda document written by Chen Shou - a man whose father was put to death by Zhuge Liang for incompetence. Naturally Chen Shou would hold ill will towards the disciple of Zhuge Liang and inheritor of his tactics. Even knowing this, the SGZ's bio of Jiang Wei was not as harsh as some of the criticisms he seems to get today.

If Chen Shou held a grudge against Zhuge Liang, why did he compile the "Complete Works of Zhuge Liang"? :wink:

If you look at Chen Shou's commentary on Zhuge Liang again, you'll see that he was full of praise for the great man. The only criticism he had was that Zhuge Liang was not the best military strategist, which was probably true if you try to count up Zhuge Liang's victories. It is a fair assessment.

No, it's not because of Zhuge Liang that Chen Shou criticized Jiang Wei. If Chen Shou was influenced in his thinking by anyone at all, it was by Qiao Zhou, his teacher. Qiao Zhou was one of the staunchest opposers to Jiang Wei's campaigns

Exar Kun wrote:It's really a "damned if you do,damned if you don't kind of situation".

I agree with this somewhat, but I will push the following point (again :P):

We don't have direct documentation from Shu indicating the effect Jiang Wei's campaigns had on Shu. However, as I have pointed out elsewhere, at the time of Shu's fall, every one out of ten people is in the military (this includes men and women, old and young). It only requires a slight bit of thinking to realize the burden this bloated military had on the state. Sure, Jiang Wei had some farm colonies going on to feed the military, but (a) I doubt they were completely self-sufficient in terms of food, and (b) the military also draws away resources to make equipment and gear. I can't bring myself to believing that Shu was a prospering state at that point, even if I ignore that Wu envoy's comment that "the peasants in Shu were all sallow-faced."

Jiang Wei was conducting the campaigns while he did not have the support of his staff (Liao Hua, Zhang Yi, etc.), of his colleagues (Ma Yao, who later surrendered Jiangyou), or of the court (Qiao Zhou, etc). It's hard to tell whether he had popular support, since most of the population who could voice their opinion (i.e., adult men) are in the army anyway. Whereas Zhuge Liang still had a chance earlier on, and the legacy of Liu Bei was still fresh in the minds of the Shu officers, by Jiang Wei's time success was so far. Yet he insisted on keeping up with the campaigns.

There is a fine line between bravery and hot-headed, stubborn folly. In my view, Jiang Wei crossed that line.

Furthermore, not all defenders are ridiculed in history. Lu Kang, for example, has quite a few fans.
"Whatever you do, don't fall off the bridge! It'll be a pain to try to get back up again." - Private, DW 8
User avatar
Lady Wu
There's no better state than Wu
There's no better state than Wu
 
Posts: 12840
Joined: Mon Aug 26, 2002 2:35 am
Location: Wu-ere else?

Unread postby Six_and_Up » Wed Aug 25, 2004 7:48 am

Jiang Wei wasn't wrong in campaigning and for most of the time he held his army intact, except during the clash with Deng Ai at Duan Valley (he was demoted for it). Jiang Wei's campaigning was tactically right, as this meant that Shu could dictate the terms of offense and defense against Wei. Theres little evidence to say that his campaign seriously hampered Shu.

Consider this, as Lady Wu said Shu had about 100 000 troops when it fell. Even though it was 1/10 of the population, theres nothing to indictate that this ratio ever changed from the beginning of Shu to its end. If anything Zhuge Liang had more than 100 000 troops reserved (work this out logically his first and last campaign used about 100 000 troops each. You still have to some sort of an army at home, therefore Shu had to have about 150 000- 200 000 troops during Kongming's time). Now if anything it shows that the population to soldiers ratio had been dropped slightly. For 30 years Shu maintains the same troop to soldier ratio. If Jiang Wei is to blamed for maintaining an excessive military then so must Zhuge Liang Jiang Wan, Fei Yi, Wang Ping and whoever else had control of Shu's military. Yet we do not blame the others for maintaining an army of 100000 plus, so the blame is Jiang Wei is completely uncalled for.
Currently playing: Dragon Quest VIII
User avatar
Six_and_Up
Scholar of Shen Zhou
 
Posts: 900
Joined: Thu Oct 16, 2003 10:35 am
Location: Sydney Australia

Unread postby Lady Wu » Wed Aug 25, 2004 8:35 am

I do find fault with Zhuge Liang's excessive militarism.

The difference is that Zhuge Liang still had a chance. It was an unstable situation, but Zhuge was full of high hopes at the beginning that he'd hit Chang'an in one shot.

While the Riverland was better developed than the Southland to start off with, Shu had a small population and area to work with. It simply can't support incessant warfare on a constant basis--I mean, Zhuge and Jiang were at it for 40 years altogether. If they could get Wei fast, all is well. But playing attrition with Wei was just stupid.

Furthermore, as Fei Yi said, "If the Prime Minister could not succeed, how could the likes of us have a chance?"
"Whatever you do, don't fall off the bridge! It'll be a pain to try to get back up again." - Private, DW 8
User avatar
Lady Wu
There's no better state than Wu
There's no better state than Wu
 
Posts: 12840
Joined: Mon Aug 26, 2002 2:35 am
Location: Wu-ere else?

Unread postby Six_and_Up » Wed Aug 25, 2004 11:29 am

My apologies Lady Wu i did not know you thought such of kongming's militarism (you don't mention it much) :wink: .

Still the point i was making that Jiang Wei is criticised for excessive militarism of Shu when others had done the same. Therefore its wrong to blame the fall of Shu on excessive militarism since it was what probably kept Shu alive for forty years. Still can anyone find evidence that Shu could not sustain a protracted war any longer, that all Zhong Hui and Deng Ai had to do was walk into Shu and internal collapse would ensue.

If Jiang Wei did not campaign then it would give Wei the 'tempo' so to speak. Jiang Wei's campaigning would ensure that he could dictate the offense and defense of Shu, while sitting in Hanzhong would mean allowing Wei to dictate the terms of the war and control the front. This was something Shu could not afford as much Wei dictated the terms it would almost certainly walk over Shu.
Currently playing: Dragon Quest VIII
User avatar
Six_and_Up
Scholar of Shen Zhou
 
Posts: 900
Joined: Thu Oct 16, 2003 10:35 am
Location: Sydney Australia

Unread postby PrimeMinister Bu Zhi » Wed Aug 25, 2004 2:58 pm

A - His father was executed by Zhuge Liang - I can't imagine how a human being, particularly one raised in Confucian ancient China, not holding a grudge for that. I mean this was a time where cutting your hair and chucking away discarded eyeballs was considered insulting the gift your parents gave you.


Lu Kang was imprisoned by Sun Ce who was serving Yuan Shu, yet Lu Xun bared no grudge and still served Wu loyaly(Lu Kang is his grandfather, incase you didn't know).

And I agree perfectly with Lady Wu. Zhuge Liang's campiagns had a big chance and Liang had much better plans and strategems. Jiang Wei on the other hand was a failure in every campaign. No one liked him in Shu, and there's a good reason. You say he's a hero now. What if you were living in Shu, as anyone, peasent, general, court official. You would hate Jiang Wei. You know why? Because he would be destroying your econemy, weaking your country, and cause great troubles for you. So what if he takes Chang An. Then what? Expand to Wei while your country is in complete ruin. Liu Zhang knew how to manage better then that. Even if Jiang Wei took Chang An, it won't matter because of the state his country was in. He can even be veiwed as a tyrant. Everywere he went, the people were poor and starving, and all his battles just wasted lives meaninglessly. If you were in Shu and you got poorer and poorer by the day, you know who's fualt it is? Jiang Wei's fault. You would hate him. Sometimes there are more imprtant things then independence, and to sacrifice the common good for the independence of Shu is stupid. Shu might as well have surrendered. Liu Shan was smart to do so, because in the end, Jiang Wei would just waste more lives and kill more people if Wei failed to invade. Then some stupid rebellion would pop up and Jiang Wei would be dead and Shu would be unable to stop a bunch of peasent rebels.
Lu Xun- "After much observation of how Liu Bei had been leading troops in his career, I see that he had more failures than success; hence, he is not much of a threat."
PrimeMinister Bu Zhi
Scholar of Shen Zhou
 
Posts: 996
Joined: Sat Jul 24, 2004 9:22 pm
Location: Jiao

Unread postby Jiangji » Wed Aug 25, 2004 3:11 pm

Lady Wu wrote:I do find fault with Zhuge Liang's excessive militarism.

The difference is that Zhuge Liang still had a chance. It was an unstable situation, but Zhuge was full of high hopes at the beginning that he'd hit Chang'an in one shot.

While the Riverland was better developed than the Southland to start off with, Shu had a small population and area to work with. It simply can't support incessant warfare on a constant basis--I mean, Zhuge and Jiang were at it for 40 years altogether. If they could get Wei fast, all is well. But playing attrition with Wei was just stupid.

Furthermore, as Fei Yi said, "If the Prime Minister could not succeed, how could the likes of us have a chance?"


I would call Shu-Han as an military state with basic administration. It emphasis on recruitment and supply of troops. The Shu never emphasis much on internal development. I think this is the main reason why constant warfare is not possible for the Shu.
Detach from emotions and desires; get rid of any fixations.
User avatar
Jiangji
Master
 
Posts: 248
Joined: Sun Jul 04, 2004 12:15 am
Location: Canada

Unread postby Jiangji » Wed Aug 25, 2004 3:27 pm

PrimeMinister Bu Zhi wrote: And I agree perfectly with Lady Wu. Zhuge Liang's campiagns had a big chance and Liang had much better plans and strategems. Jiang Wei on the other hand was a failure in every campaign. No one liked him in Shu, and there's a good reason. You say he's a hero now. What if you were living in Shu, as anyone, peasent, general, court official. You would hate Jiang Wei. You know why? Because he would be destroying your econemy, weaking your country, and cause great troubles for you. So what if he takes Chang An. Then what? Expand to Wei while your country is in complete ruin. Liu Zhang knew how to manage better then that. Even if Jiang Wei took Chang An, it won't matter because of the state his country was in. He can even be veiwed as a tyrant. Everywere he went, the people were poor and starving, and all his battles just wasted lives meaninglessly. If you were in Shu and you got poorer and poorer by the day, you know who's fualt it is? Jiang Wei's fault. You would hate him. Sometimes there are more imprtant things then independence, and to sacrifice the common good for the independence of Shu is stupid. Shu might as well have surrendered. Liu Shan was smart to do so, because in the end, Jiang Wei would just waste more lives and kill more people if Wei failed to invade. Then some stupid rebellion would pop up and Jiang Wei would be dead and Shu would be unable to stop a bunch of peasent rebels.


The Shu never emphasis much on internal development. Also, they never efficiently use their resources. For example after Zhuge liang pacify the nanman, he countinue to give the control to the tribe leader. With no Central authority from the government, no resources was added. So, the failure of shu is that they never really efficiently develop their resources which can be used for northen campaign.

Jiang Wei a a military man and he never took in charge of the administration. I said a few times already, jiang wei unsucessful northen campaign mainly because lack of cooperation from the inside.
Shu is a military state and I think its function is to able to wage war with Wei. Constant war is not possible, so Liu Shan is to be blame for incapibility.
Detach from emotions and desires; get rid of any fixations.
User avatar
Jiangji
Master
 
Posts: 248
Joined: Sun Jul 04, 2004 12:15 am
Location: Canada

PreviousNext

Return to Sanguo Yanyi Symposium

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests

Copyright © 2002–2008 Kongming’s Archives. All Rights Reserved