Historically, how much did people fear Zhuge Liang?

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Historically, how much did people fear Zhuge Liang?

Unread postby Shu_Tian_Wei_Da_Jiang_Jun » Thu Dec 28, 2006 5:07 pm

We all know how in the novel, people crapped their robes when they heard Zhuge Liang's name. We all know how Zhuge Liang, simply by his reputation, defeated Wei twice...after he was dead.

But in reality, did Zhuge Liang inspire that kind of fear in his opponents? Or was he just another highly skilled commander, like Sima Yi, Zhou Yu, Lu Xun and so forth?
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Unread postby Dong Zhou » Thu Dec 28, 2006 9:19 pm

He never inspired panic in Wei, I'm sure he was respected but I think like Lu Xun but not enough for Wei to be overly concerned I think.
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Unread postby Xiahou Jia » Fri Dec 29, 2006 1:38 am

I don't think so. Moreover each of the three mentioned strategists accomplished more than Zhuge Liang. Zhou Yu won Chi Bi, Lu Xun won Yi Ling as well as some other battles, Sima Yi ruined everything for Zhuge Liang and also won sime minor battles. Zhuge Liang was only successfull against Nanman and Xiahou Dun at Bo Wang Po, imho. Why should he be feared more than Zhou Yu and Lu Xun if he didn't win any grand battle?
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Unread postby Dong Zhou » Fri Dec 29, 2006 8:59 am

Bo Wang Po was Liu Bei's victory/plan rather then Zhuge Liang's
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Unread postby Exar Kun » Fri Dec 29, 2006 6:01 pm

I don't think anyone really froze at the mention of a commander's name, no matter who it was.

Not Zhuge Liang, not Lu Xun. And definitely not Zhou Yu.
At least no one respectable would let their opponent faze them. Small timers might be frightened but generally the best fought the best of each kingdom.

Maybe the closest thing I can think of when it comes to this is Cao Cao's paranoia about Liu Bei.
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Unread postby James » Fri Dec 29, 2006 6:16 pm

I don’t know if people were terrified of the thought of facing Zhuge Liang on the battlefield. It was probably more along the lines of a cautious respect—the same likely afforded to other dangerous opponents.

If he was feared it was probably in a different regard—in viewing his ability to lead his government. I can picture Wei fearing the influence of Zhuge Liang on Shu as a country, being concerned over the potential he could deliver to the territory’s future. When he died, it was probably to their relief.

Exar Kun wrote:Maybe the closest thing I can think of when it comes to this is Cao Cao's paranoia about Liu Bei.

There are fun mentions about Guan Yu and Gan Ning. :)
Oh, and Zhang Liao being the stuff nightmares are made of.
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Unread postby ZhouyuOda » Sat Dec 30, 2006 4:23 am

What people usually forget when studying history is understand the difference the moderrn prespective on matters and ancient time's. Alot of times people commenting on historical events forget the importance of "prespective" and without knowing they make commentso n events based on a modern prespective that didn't apply in the said era they have been speaking about.

In this case speaking about if Zhuge Liang was feared or not historiclly, before being able to answer this question you have to look back on prespective on life, human character and world events of the three kingdoms era. Back in the ancient days people still somewhat believed in "magic" in "imortality", they believed in "spells of gods" and all that stuff. Reason behind it was due to the lack of realible news and information being passed down. There wasn't a news network back then, no televised events, no detailed pictures, only thing that people would know about someone else in a far off land was through word of mouth. Generally druing the era of three kingdoms men looked at each other from a different prespective then they do today. Men weren't "equal", example of that would be the emperor who was known to be "son of heaven" and people really did "fear" and "respect" the son of heaven's powers and wishes. People really believed that certain humans were above others, so being the prespective of people.

If someone takes into consideration the people's behaviour, belifs and prespective on human status and equality druing the era of three kingdoms, he would be able to better understand personality images of ancient characters.

So in my opinion, yes Zhuge Liang was feared by his enemies, some may have belived that he could really control powers of heaven and earth, his reputation were from word of mouth and over exagration of his acomplishments, and these over exagrations often let people to belive them as "superhuman powers" due to lack of science and general knowledge back then. It was very common for common men to view higher status humans as people with "super powers" and such prespective wasn't just in china, it has been all over the world in different nations and civilizaitons. such as the persian kings, the islamic leaders, japanese warlords.

In conclusion based on my humble opinion, yes Zhuge Liang was known as a man with super natural ability and generally feared through out china.
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Unread postby Exar Kun » Sat Dec 30, 2006 4:40 am

I see no basis from which such conclusions could be drawn.

SGZ has no record of 'magic' being performed by anyone so it's a fair bet people wouldn't be put off by someone pulling a rabbit out of a hat.
Your comments could well apply to the novel but historically it can't be backed up.
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Unread postby ZhouyuOda » Sat Dec 30, 2006 6:54 am

Exar Kun wrote:I see no basis from which such conclusions could be drawn.

SGZ has no record of 'magic' being performed by anyone so it's a fair bet people wouldn't be put off by someone pulling a rabbit out of a hat.
Your comments could well apply to the novel but historically it can't be backed up.


I don't think you understood my point, or it could be that I didn't come out presenting it very well. I used the whole "magic" and such as an example to how different people's prespectives were back then to us right now. So one man being feared to a large scale could very well be a fact. (which is what we are discussing in this thread)
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Unread postby azn099 » Sat Dec 30, 2006 7:51 pm

I doubt people would get all scared just because they heard Zhuge Liang's name... I am sure he was respected, but I doubt he was feared.
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