Opinions on Sun Quan?

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Opinions on Sun Quan?

Unread postby Uiler » Mon Sep 06, 2004 2:37 am

I don't really know too much about 3 Kingdoms history. I'm Chinese, but I only really know about the novel. Of the three rulers, Liu Bei, Cao Cao and Sun Quan, Sun Quan just didn't seem that "great". Cao Cao was a tyrant but he was a damn talented and a good ruler (in my opinion). Liu Bei had the whole "ideal ruler and legitimate heir to the throne" thing going on. Also he came from a lowly background as a basket-weaver to become the ruler of one of the Three Kingdoms so he had the talent to forge his own kingdom from the ground up (with lots of help from Zhuge Liang and co.). Sun Quan however is the only one of the three who inherited his kingdom from someone else, and I never got the idea of him as being as talented as Cao Cao or as noble as Liu Bei. In fact in the novel he just seems to be indecisive and petty. I never got any sense of greatness from him. So I was wondering what was the historical Sun Quan like? Would Sun Quan have been able to forge his own kingdom if he hadn't inherited it from his brother (who I do like very much. I wish he hadn't died so young) I would like to hear people's opinions on why Sun Quan was a "great man" (no I'm not trolling. I seriously do want to understand why people think he is great esp. since Wu seems to be pretty neglected in the novel as the third wheel in the major struggle which seems to be between Shu and Wei).
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Re: Opinions on Sun Quan?

Unread postby LiuBeiwasGreat » Mon Sep 06, 2004 2:55 am

Uiler wrote:I don't really know too much about 3 Kingdoms history. I'm Chinese, but I only really know about the novel. Of the three rulers, Liu Bei, Cao Cao and Sun Quan, Sun Quan just didn't seem that "great". Cao Cao was a tyrant but he was a damn talented and a good ruler (in my opinion). Liu Bei had the whole "ideal ruler and legitimate heir to the throne" thing going on. Also he came from a lowly background as a basket-weaver to become the ruler of one of the Three Kingdoms so he had the talent to forge his own kingdom from the ground up (with lots of help from Zhuge Liang and co.). Sun Quan however is the only one of the three who inherited his kingdom from someone else, and I never got the idea of him as being as talented as Cao Cao or as noble as Liu Bei. In fact in the novel he just seems to be indecisive and petty. I never got any sense of greatness from him. So I was wondering what was the historical Sun Quan like? Would Sun Quan have been able to forge his own kingdom if he hadn't inherited it from his brother (who I do like very much. I wish he hadn't died so young) I would like to hear people's opinions on why Sun Quan was a "great man" (no I'm not trolling. I seriously do want to understand why people think he is great esp. since Wu seems to be pretty neglected in the novel as the third wheel in the major struggle which seems to be between Shu and Wei).


Sun Quan was a brilliant adminstrator and was great at attracting talent. He wasn't a conquer and would not have been able to carve out his own kingdom but was very talented at building up Wu from what he got from Sun Ce. Sun Quan's only problem was that he was kinda petty which can be seen by his actions in Jing, you will see that it was only until he became the stronger member of the alliance (like he was in the begining) did he stop attacking Liu Bei.

Otherwise he was a great ruler an excellent judge of character and if he was ruler during peace time he would be an model administrator who would do great things for his country.

Of course this is only my opinion.
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Unread postby PrimeMinister Bu Zhi » Mon Sep 06, 2004 3:48 am

I agree on what the above poster said, except for the opinion on Jing. Liu Bei had to give it to Sun Quan sometime, he kept making excuses. Jing was basicly Quan's land and he needed it for activities above the river. Zhou Yu worked so hard to get Jiangling and for what. Liu Bei keeping it, excuse after excuse?
I think it's obvious that Liu Bei was not going to give Jing back. The only language he understood was an invasion. He should have learned his lesson after the 215 invasion. If Bei gave Jing to Sun Quan, it would be much better for him in a long run. Guan Yu would have served against Wei on the northern front and Sun Quan would have had Jing. If Sun Quan didn't invade it, his only option would be to support Shu and luaunch invasions at Shouchun, he was not going to get much from this.

I think the invasion of Jing was rather justified.
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Unread postby Marx!_II » Mon Sep 06, 2004 4:21 am

Justified and then some. If Sun Quan is petty what words can be used to describe Zhuge Liang? To snatch a valuable region from an ally, especially one that the ally had worked itself into the ground trying to obtain, is beyond petty. It's dishonest, rude, and arrogant in the extreme. Sun Quan had every right to retake Jing and take Shu down a notch. My opinion of them doesn't improve with Yi Ling either. But back to the topic on hand, I think a lot of the "bad ruler vibe" people get from Sun Quan comes from the fact that he never really built his kingdom. Where Liu Bei and Cao Cao built from the ground up, Sun Quan inherited and did fairly good job in my opinion. I'm not sure either of the brothers Sun would have done well at all in the others place, and if Jian and Ce had lived much longer, Wu might very well not have been a kingdom.
Last edited by Marx!_II on Mon Sep 06, 2004 6:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postby PrimeMinister Bu Zhi » Mon Sep 06, 2004 4:30 am

Really. Jian yes, but Ce, I don't think so.

Sun Ce was smart and strong and he was a great leader. No one in China at the time did what he did. He swept in and in ever battle won a clear and easy victory. He saw through every scheme played on him and listened to all his advisors(Lu Fan, Zhou Yu, Zhang Hong). With people in charge of domestic affairs and him in campiangs, he could very well have unified China.
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Unread postby Marx!_II » Mon Sep 06, 2004 6:37 am

Very true, but the fact remains that Sun Ce was an impatient fellow, headstrong and tenacious, but also given to irrationality at times. I won't say he wasn't a terrific leader, or that he wasn't exactly what Wu needed at the time, but my concern comes from how he would handle Chi Bi. Perhaps it is for another topic, but if he became so enraged at Yu Zhi after a few officers payed their respects, how much more when the his top advisers start singing the praises of Zhuge Liang?
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Unread postby LiuBeiwasGreat » Mon Sep 06, 2004 2:24 pm

PrimeMinister Bu Zhi wrote:I agree on what the above poster said, except for the opinion on Jing. Liu Bei had to give it to Sun Quan sometime, he kept making excuses. Jing was basicly Quan's land and he needed it for activities above the river. Zhou Yu worked so hard to get Jiangling and for what. Liu Bei keeping it, excuse after excuse?
I think it's obvious that Liu Bei was not going to give Jing back. The only language he understood was an invasion. He should have learned his lesson after the 215 invasion. If Bei gave Jing to Sun Quan, it would be much better for him in a long run. Guan Yu would have served against Wei on the northern front and Sun Quan would have had Jing. If Sun Quan didn't invade it, his only option would be to support Shu and luaunch invasions at Shouchun, he was not going to get much from this.

I think the invasion of Jing was rather justified.


The only thing you can even half justify is the first invasion and that is if there was ever a lending agreement to which historians aren't sure of and even Rafe says that there wasn't one.

Even if there was one the land issue was settled with the 215 invasion whatis the excuse for the second invasion? Sun Quan wasn't asking for Jing at that time. He invaded because he was terrified of Liu Bei becoming the stronger ally once again. Sun Quan had alot of gain from grabbing Shouchun there was very fertile land up north. He could grab Xu and then Qing and then move into Hei Bei. Also don't give that Xu would be hard to maintain crap because that was just an excuse to attack Liu Bei.

The 219 invasion was because Lu Meng convinced Sun Quan that he was going to invade Wu. That was a totally idiotic statement since Guan Yu never showed any interest in moving east and Liu Bei wouldn't order any invasion until Wei was destroyed and by that time Wu would control around have the country by that time and would be able to fight against Liu Bei.

All the 219 invasion did was to secure Wei in it's power and to end any chance that Wei would fall to anything except an internal struggle.

Now that this is done lets go back to talking about how Sun Quan was an excelant administrator who's only fault was that he couldn't see past protecting his own land. He would do anything lie to anyone and betray anyone to make sure that his land and his people were safe. In a way that makes his scum but in another way it makes him noble.
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Unread postby Shield of Rohan » Mon Sep 06, 2004 7:03 pm

Marx!_II wrote:Justified and then some. If Sun Quan is petty what words can be used to describe Zhuge Liang? To snatch a valuable region from an ally, especially one that the ally had worked itself into the ground trying to obtain, is beyond petty. It's dishonest, rude, and arrogant in the extreme. Sun Quan had every right to retake Jing and take Shu down a notch. My opinion of them doesn't improve with Yi Ling either. But back to the topic on hand, I think a lot of the "bad ruler vibe" people get from Sun Quan comes from the fact that he never really built his kingdom. Where Liu Bei and Cao Cao built from the ground up, Sun Quan inherited and did fairly good job in my opinion. I'm not sure either of the brothers Sun would have done well at all in the others place, and if Jian and Ce had lived much longer, Wu might very well not have been a kingdom.


Zhuge Liang didn't steal anything. Liu Bei had fought Cao for years on end, and deserved Jing just as much as Quan. Sun Quan just couldn't stand the thought of Liu Bei becoming more powerful and wanted it for himself. Sun Jian and Ce were both more worthy men IMO, Sun Ce in particular was basically Ma Chao complete with advisors, as such had a great chance for reunification, and wouldn't have been a bad choice IMO.

I never thought highly of Sun Quan for his treacherous Jing invasion, and now that we see evidence that there may have never been a lending agreement in the first place, he just looks like a greedy opportunist who was not interested in long-term goals like the demise of Wei, and also denied himself the chance to gain great fertile lands in the east. Xu would not be hard to maintain, as Cao Cao would be just as concerned with Shu armies on the move near Chang An, and Guan Yu's offensives at Fan. Cao can't focus his best soldiers at Fan to hold off Guan Yu and hope to stop a Sun-Liu invasion on the flanks.

He protected the lands of Wu well, but that was his fault, as he never aspired for something greater, and thought little of large scale invasions or even of the concept of reunification. In doing this he ended up destroying the future of China for decades to come.
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Unread postby Ma Zhi Xuan » Mon Sep 06, 2004 8:14 pm

Marx!_II wrote:Justified and then some. If Sun Quan is petty what words can be used to describe Zhuge Liang? To snatch a valuable region from an ally, especially one that the ally had worked itself into the ground trying to obtain, is beyond petty. It's dishonest, rude, and arrogant in the extreme. Sun Quan had every right to retake Jing and take Shu down a notch. My opinion of them doesn't improve with Yi Ling either. But back to the topic on hand, I think a lot of the "bad ruler vibe" people get from Sun Quan comes from the fact that he never really built his kingdom. Where Liu Bei and Cao Cao built from the ground up, Sun Quan inherited and did fairly good job in my opinion. I'm not sure either of the brothers Sun would have done well at all in the others place, and if Jian and Ce had lived much longer, Wu might very well not have been a kingdom.
Snatching Jingzhou? Zhuo Yu worked pretty hard and supposedly it took him some years to take Jiangling and the few surrouding Jing territories.Unfortunately when Cao Cao occupies Xiangyang after Liu Zong's surrender, it's Liu Bei's army who captures the districts of southern Jingzhou before Wu, so in fact Liu Bei deserved them, to be honest if Wu couldn't take them before Liu Bei, that's what I'd consider petty.

Sun Quan leading an invasion on Jingzhou was stupid, unresolved and comletely selfish IMO. I can understand that he wanted Jingzhou so he would be capable of leading 2 strongly enforced invasions, one from Wancheng and the other form Jian Ye, but was it really neccessary to end and alignment with someone who you swore to destroy Cao Cao together? No, I don't think so.

Sun Quan failed to see the consequences of his actions until late, quite narrow-minded you could say, which resulted in Liu Bei's invasion. This all ended up like fish on a platter for Cao Pi, with two bruised and battered Kingdoms to fight against, Sun Quan practically made both Shu and Wu easy targets for Wei, so much for unifaction! Lu Xun's quick tactics allowed Wu to repel Wei for the time being, I'm not sure about the figures but I think Cao Pi shouldn't have underestimated Wu and sent in a larger force. Even with great strategies, Wu were still a weakened kingdom from Yi Ling, and if Wei occupied Jiangling, Wu would have been mince meat.
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Unread postby Exar Kun » Tue Sep 07, 2004 2:50 am

Y'know the downright disgusting thing is that Sun Quan was glad to have Liu Bei in Jing since it defended his western flank and left him free to pursue his northern pursuits against Wei.

It wasn't until he got slapped around at He Fei and realized that Wei could pretty much kill his offense at will that he decided that Jingzhou was rightfully his all along.He never gave a damn about "regaining" Jing until he was proven to be a failure in the north.
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