Wu: Killed by disease.

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Unread postby PrimeMinister Bu Zhi » Tue Oct 05, 2004 9:31 pm

From Dr. Rafe's Three Kingdoms and Western Jin essay:

Imperial Chancellor since 208, in 214 he received the title Duke of Wei, and in 217 he became King of Wei and appointed his eldest son Cao Pi as Heir. Cao Cao's major military activity in this period was one more attack against Sun Quan's position on the lower Yangzi, but although he compelled Sun Quan to make formal surrender and acknowledge him as king, the diplomatic coup had no effect upon the military relationship of the two sides nor upon Sun Quan's freedom of action. In that year, moreover, a major outbreak of plague, which may have begun among the armies on the Yangzi, also attacked the court and took many of the leading scholars of the day.
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."
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Unread postby LING_TONG ^0^ » Wed Oct 06, 2004 7:39 pm

Lady Wu wrote:
My interpretation of that passage is this: Sun Quan boarded a boat. Ling Tong, having stayed behind to hold off the enemy, waded into the river in order to find Sun Quan. Sun Quan saw Ling Tong, was really happy, and got him on the boat and had his wet clothes changed. Ling was really wounded, but fortunately there was good medicine from the Zhuo family (i.e. a doctor called Zhuo something, or perhaps it's a family secret formula...), so Ling Tong survived

That's why I have a different interpretation. Back to that time, they couldn't treat wounds by only medicine without doctors. Instead of taking pills, they have to deal with the wounds directly. For this process, of course they needed to take away Ling's clothes. (it would be strange to state the removal of Ling's clothes if his clothes was just wet. They wouldn't even mention it.)

Next point:
Code: Select all
1.)權 既 御 船 , 見 之 驚 喜 。
2) 權 遂 留 統於 舟

The first quote: After Quan got on a ship, he was glad to see...
The second quote: Thus Quan left Tong on a boat.
Compare the two quotes. "" is a big ship while ""is a small boat. If we are careful enough, we would see the difference.
Lady Wu wrote:
My interpretation of that passage is this: Sun Quan boarded a boat. Ling Tong, having stayed behind to hold off the enemy, waded into the river in order to find Sun Quan. Sun Quan saw Ling Tong, was really happy, and got him on the boat and had his wet clothes changed.
That's also why I think my interpretation maybe more accurate, because Quan left Tong with the Zhuo Si on a single boat alone, and did the clothes change there! (why would Quan do that, and why need it be recorded? I think there is a good reason).

When you think about it, what on earth would a woman be doing in battle?

I don't know, but history tells me that happens a lot. Also, I would like to mention that Wu liked to bring talented doctors with them during battles.
1.)「 疾 來 邀 我 , 南 岳 相 求 」
2.) 呂 蒙 圖 取 關 羽 ,稱 疾 還 建 業 , 以 翻 兼 知 醫 術 , 請 以 自 隨 , 亦 欲 因 此 令 翻得 釋 也 。

Above are some quotes saying Wu brought doctors with them during battles. (if not necessary, I won't translate them at this point)

P.S: My assumption (which was stated on an earlier post) had pointed out that Zhuo Si may just be commanded to treat Tong. I remember when Zhou Yu was sick, Wu tried to find the best doctor for him; however they finally only found his student for Zhou. Perhaps Dr. Zhuo was unavaible, so Zhuo Si had to do her father's work.
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Unread postby Lady Wu » Thu Oct 07, 2004 1:05 am

LING_TONG ^0^ wrote:That's why I have a different interpretation. Back to that time, they couldn't treat wounds by only medicine without doctors.

Name me a single doctor who went on Zhuge Liang's southern expedition.

There were lots of "over-the-counter drugs" (成藥) back then--Yang Hu sent medicine to Lu Kang ("抗有疾,祜馈之药,抗亦推心服之。" sorry for the simplified characters--my electronic copy of SGZ is all in 简体字). Back in the Spring and Autumn times, Zhuangzi was telling stories about someone who invented a lotion for curing chapped hands.

Instead of taking pills, they have to deal with the wounds directly. For this process, of course they needed to take away Ling's clothes. (it would be strange to state the removal of Ling's clothes if his clothes was just wet. They wouldn't even mention it.)

I totally agree that they'd have to treat his wounds directly (as with all external wounds).

The first quote: After Quan got on a ship, he was glad to see...
The second quote: Thus Quan left Tong on a boat.
Compare the two quotes. "" is a big ship while ""is a small boat. If we are careful enough, we would see the difference.

I'm not sure the distinction is real. 舟 and 船 seem to be pretty interchangeable to me in Classical Chinese. Check out the following examples from Sun Quan's bio:
八年,权西伐黄祖,破其舟军

权遣吕范等督五军,以舟军拒休等

-- In the first one, Sun Quan defeated Huang Zu's 舟军, and the second one, he sent Lu Fan and 5 units to repel Cao Xiu with 舟军. The only plausible interpretation is that 舟军 refers to "navy"; I'd think Huang Zu and Sun Quan boasted more than just small boats.

Also from Sun Quan's bio, in a Pei note from the 吳錄. This is about Cao Pi's attacking Wu:

权严设固守。时大寒冰,不得入江。

It'd be really dumb for Cao Pi to just bring small boats to conquer Wu.

Finally, from Zhu Ran's memorial to Sun Quan:
臣今奉天威,事蒙克捷,欲令所获,震耀远近,方塞江,使足可观,以解上下之忿。

If Zhu Ran only had small boats to fill up the River, and not battleships, it's really nothing to boast about.

From that, I argue that 舟 can refer to a battleship just as 船 can. The use of 舟 in that second passage you quoted refers to the same object that the first 船 does. Actually, if Sun Quan put him on a different boat, Chen Shou should have written: 遂留统於舟.

That's also why I think my interpretation maybe more accurate, because Quan left Tong with the Zhuo Si on a single boat alone, and did the clothes change there! (why would Quan do that, and why need it be recorded? I think there is a good reason).

I don't see why that is an argument at all. You are assuming the existence of "Zhuo Shi", and I have yet to see prove for it. Even if he was on a different boat, someone else could have changed his clothes, and an ointment from Zhuo's Pharmacy be given to Ling Tong.

Furthermore, they definitely wouldn't have brought a woman with them to battle, whether she's a good doctor or not. Remember the whole 男女授受不親 stuff ("A man and a woman should not be close to each other in giving or receiving")? Your Lu Meng quote doesn't prove your point either, because Lu Meng was going back to Jianye, rather than going to battle.

Perhaps we should continue this via PM?

PMBZ: Do you know who are the "leading scholars" who were taken out by this outbreak of plague?
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Unread postby LING_TONG ^0^ » Thu Oct 07, 2004 6:14 am

Lady Wu wrote:
There were lots of "over-the-counter drugs" (成藥) back then--Yang Hu sent medicine to Lu Kang ("抗有疾,祜馈之药,抗亦推心服之。" sorry for the simplified characters--my electronic copy of SGZ is all in 简体字). Back in the Spring and Autumn times, Zhuangzi was telling stories about someone who invented a lotion for curing chapped hands
"成藥" could only treat illness that time but not wounds.

I don't see why that is an argument at all. You are assuming the existence of "Zhuo Shi", and I have yet to see prove for it. Even if he was on a different boat, someone else could have changed his clothes, and an ointment from Zhuo's Pharmacy be given to Ling Tong.

I quote from my post for the reason:
"Quan left Tong with the Zhuo Si on a single boat alone, and did the clothes change there! (why would Quan do that, and why need it be recorded? I think there is a good reason). "

Lady Wu wrote:

Furthermore, they definitely wouldn't have brought a woman with them to battle, whether she's a good doctor or not. Remember the whole 男女授受不親 stuff ("A man and a woman should not be close to each other in giving or receiving")? Your Lu Meng quote doesn't prove your point either, because Lu Meng was going back to Jianye, rather than going to battle.

That's why I think it was the reason why Chen Shou had to recorded the issue. And I stated in my earlier post that a woman was brought into battle is possible due to history records, for that you can check out 春秋戰國 era.
I'm not sure the distinction is real. 舟 and 船 seem to be pretty interchangeable to me in Classical Chinese.

I'm not sure neither.

Lady Wu wrote:

Your Lu Meng quote doesn't prove your point either, because Lu Meng was going back to Jianye, rather than going to battle.

No, you are wrong.
Lu Meng was on his way to take over Jiang Zhou.
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Unread postby Uiler » Thu Oct 07, 2004 10:04 am

LING_TONG ^0^ wrote:My assumption was supported by the chinese culture. The chinese are more conservative than American, so female shouldn't show their naked body to the male, the same principle applies vice versa. Note, Quan was on a big ship when he got Tong back, so why he needed to "遂 留 統於 舟..." (left Tong himself in a boat with Zhong Si) ? The answer is obvious, because that would be embarrassing if Quan stayed when Zhong treated Tong while Tong was being naked (you know how they treat wounds that time). That was really a "big deal" back to that time. Thus I think Quan might just arrange a marriage for Tong and Zhong after they got back to Wu. If so, Tong of course would live longer due to his wife's occupation.


I think you are making a lot of assumptions on very little evidence here. All you have is a *single* line which says such and such was healed by someone who *might* be a female (and other people have pointed out even the female part is dubious) and suddenly we have a courageous female doctor going out into the middle of battle, healing a famous warrior, them falling in love while he is healing and getting married to him and this is the reason why he managed to survive whilst his comrades perished in the flames of pestilence. It seems to me that you taking a single line which may/may not be true and making an entire narrative out of it with very little supporting evidence.
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Unread postby LING_TONG ^0^ » Thu Oct 07, 2004 6:07 pm

yea, in fact I just made an assumption (not a theory, I don't how why should I responsible to provide evidences; I can tell this topic is an assumption also.) I wonder if you read my first post on the issue, if you did, you should know I said it was an assumption indeed.
But somehow you guys were asking me why did I get that assumption (of course by imagination), so I had to tell my reason :lol: . And I don't think an assumption need to be 100% correct, but if you insist every assumption made here have to be that accurate, then I think I posted something on a wrong place. :?:
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Unread postby Lady Wu » Thu Oct 07, 2004 8:17 pm

Thanks for sharing the assumption. It really wasn't something that would cross my mind, and it's an interesting story despite that I think it's wrong.

I only question the usefulness of the story in this discussion. Let me try to explain more clearly: we have two interpretations of the passage, one is the "boring" one which I adopted in my translation (posted at KMA), where Sun Quan kept Ling Tong in his own boat and gave him drugs from Zhuo's Pharmaceuticals; the second is your story about Zhuo being a woman who was a doctor and Ling Tong's wife.

Interpretation #1 is consistent with the rest of the story/history. I showed that 舟 and 船 can refer to the same vessel, that over-the-counter drugs existed back then (and who says that 卓氏良藥 has to be for external use only?), that 卓氏 can easily refer to a man or a family (by the way, think 白蘭氏雞精--"Brand's Essence of Chicken"). The pestilence is not a problem to this hypothesis because (a) Ling Tong might not have caught it; (b) he could have been treated for it elsewhere; (c) there might not have been a plauge to start off with (I'm still skeptical). Whoever wrote that passage (it's not Chen Shou) perhaps put in 卓氏 in order to advertise for them, or to highlight the extent of Ling Tong's wounds? Nothing in addition needs to be assumed.

Interpretation #2, while also compatible with the rest of the story/history, requires a lot more assumptions. Uiler summarized them quite nicely. Some of those assumptions, such as the one that women were allowed to go along in battle, are quite shaky and not substantiated by historical information we have on that time period. You also need to assume that 卓氏良藥 implies that 卓氏 was there along with her 良藥--not a common grammatical construction, especially since it would be potentially ambiguous. It also has nothing to do with the plague, since we're talking about Ling Tong's battle wounds anyway, not his other pre-existing condition.

In academic work, when there are two possible analyses for a given set of data, we take the one that is simpler and requires less stipulations--unless the other one has greater explanatory power. Here, the two interpretations have the same amount of explanatory power, but #2 is more complicated (you need to assume more people involved than what's necessary, to start off with) and comes with more stipulations (the existence of a woman called Zhuo married to Ling Tong, etc). Interpretation #1 is thus uncontestably the better analysis, and I think that it's not worth the time pursuing the second alternative unless you can find something that it can explain better than #1, or unless you're trying to write your own story. :wink:
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Unread postby Uiler » Fri Oct 08, 2004 2:30 am

LING_TONG ^0^ wrote:yea, in fact I just made an assumption (not a theory, I don't how why should I responsible to provide evidences; I can tell this topic is an assumption also.) I wonder if you read my first post on the issue, if you did, you should know I said it was an assumption indeed.
But somehow you guys were asking me why did I get that assumption (of course by imagination), so I had to tell my reason :lol: . And I don't think an assumption need to be 100% correct, but if you insist every assumption made here have to be that accurate, then I think I posted something on a wrong place. :?:


Ling Tong I am glad you realise that it is just wild speculation :) You were putting so much effort into defending it (even down to arguing over the exact definition of characters!) that I had assumed that you were considering it as a serious historical possiblity rather than going "Ho ho, wouldn't this be a laugh if this was true." The thing is while wild speculation is good and fine (esp. if you are writing fiction) assumptions if you are talking about serious history or serious historical possibilities need to be based on evidence. The origin of the statement by Cao Cao, "I would rather betray the world than have the world betray me" shows how a simple throwaway line or small event can suddenly blow up into an entire narrative in "story cycles", progressively getting wilder and wilder with time. For fiction it is fine, but for serious history you need to take care. You should make it clear what you are talking about.
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Unread postby LING_TONG ^0^ » Fri Oct 08, 2004 4:35 am

well... I always believe that nothing can bound imagination. (while you seemed not)
But I'm glad that you finally realize this point. In fact you are really funny to expect here as a place for professional historians to discuss with you. For what I provided you to fulfill your fantasy, I in fact did'nt put much effort on that (characters are not hard stuff to me.. I'm a chinese! BTW, I have discussed a lot with Lady Wu besides the story which joys me), I don't mean I'm not sincere and concentrated to reply you, but if you feel bad about that, I'm sorry.:cry:

Uiler wrote:
I had assumed that you were considering it as a serious historical possiblity

Lol! What can I say?
I really can only reply you with "Ho ho, wouldn't it be a laugh if you are really thinking it that way?" :lol: I'm NOT a history professor :!:


Uiler wrote:
For fiction it is fine, but for serious history you need to take care. You should make it clear what you are talking about.

I already stated I just made an assumption in the first post of the issue. It's your responsibility to "take care" and read the earlier post clear before you reply.

P.S: Uiler, you think too much, I was just bored when studying, that's why I came up with a real wild story! (dealing with history only wasn't able to get me out of boredom, I needed a funny story). I hope telling you the truth won't break your fantasy, and I'm not a historian (don't expect me be) :lol:
Last edited by LING_TONG ^0^ on Fri Oct 08, 2004 5:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postby Lady Wu » Fri Oct 08, 2004 5:12 am

Stating that it's an assumption is insufficient. This is not a professional forum, but we do expect a certain level of seriousness and academic responsibility in the Academic Garden forums. If you want to post fiction, there's the Arts forum. Or say in bold letters that what follows is fiction or wild speculation.

The only reason why I even bothered to debunk the Ms. Zhuo story is that the majority of the members here do not read Chinese, and would have to take the words of a Chinese-speaking/reading person on blind faith. If you tell them that 卓氏 has to refer to a woman, they'd believe you. When you quote something in Chinese on this forum, you should keep that in mind and remember that you do have responsibility in conveying correct information. It has been a big issue before when people take mistranslated stuff for truth, or spread baseless speculation.

Let me give you an example. Some time ago someone mentioned casually that Sun Quan's men perhaps all had dysentry on the way to Hefei (this is how I'm staying on topic, heh!), while there is no historical evidence saying so. Soon, hundreds of RTK enthusiasts (who can't research SGZ for themselves) took it as true that Sun Quan marched 100k men with dysentry to Hefei--total nonsense. I had to spend many an hour researching and posting in order to convince people that there was no historical basis for that claim.

You should also note that deliberately steering a conversation off-topic or posting irrelevant/unsubstantiated claims may be considered spam and can warrant a warning.
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