Was the War between Cao Cao and Yuan Shao to the 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 Shi Tong » Mon Jul 09, 2007 8:55 am

I agree with Taro and Dong Zhou here- Cao Cao wasn't one to execute officers who surrendered (Lu Bu being an exception!), but if they had actually surrendered and given up arms to Cao Cao, then he would have moved Yuan Shao to some small position where he could watch him.

Maybe they'd do an "ambush" job on him like Lady Wu said though. :lol:

EDIT: As for Yuan Shao, I'm not sure what his track record was like when people surrendered to him, so I'm not sure.

Anyone know what Yuan Shao was like in these cases?
User avatar
Shi Tong
Stupid Egg of Shen Zhou
Posts: 4034
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2005 10:12 pm
Location: London, England

Unread postby Liu Yuante » Mon Jul 09, 2007 1:53 pm

Judging from Cao Cao's SGZ bio, although there was some bad blood between them - Cao Cao wrote to Emperor Xian that Shao was tampering with the appointments of Filial Piety and also with the manufacture of the currency, and also gave up his highest office so that Yuan Shao could have it, because Shao was throwing a temper tantrum over it - his attitude towards Shao, as presented in the bio is not one of ruthless extermination and hatred. And after Shao died, Cao Cao made lavish presents to Shao's widow and made offerings at Shao's tomb. These two men were, at one time early in their careers, quite close. I do not believe Cao Cao would have executed Shao unless Shao forced his hand.

On the other hand, once Shao was dead, Cao Cao's attitude towards Yuan Xi, Shang and Tan becomes much more vindictive and ruthless and he hunts them down like dogs, and definitely wishes for their demise. He engineers a wonderful sceme by which the brothers are dirven apart and agreed to a marriage alliance knowing full well the one had ulterior motives, and wished to use Cao Cao to exterminate his brother and then he could seize upon and attack a supposedly-weakened Cao Cao. Cao Cao saw through all of this and pursued the brothers witha vengeance, eventually allowing them to gover to the Gongsun, where he predicted (correctly) they would be executed.

So in summary, no, I do not believe the conflict between Cao and Shao was necessarily to the death, but the fight between Cao and Shao's children was most certainly to the death.

EDIT: there was, hoever, the question of Yuan Shao, in the early going, wishing to depose the Emperor and place another on the throne, and where he continually pressed Cao Cao for support on this matter, and his bio remarks that he grew hateful of Shao and would seek his extermination. Still, the attitude with which the actual fighting between the two took place suggests to me that Cao Cao would not have executed Yuan Shao unless Shao refused to submit.

User avatar
Liu Yuante
Posts: 2696
Joined: Mon Apr 12, 2004 12:20 am
Location: Central Pennsylvania

Unread postby Exar Kun » Mon Jul 09, 2007 4:40 pm

I'll go against the grain and say that he's a dead man. Yuan Shao poses a huge threat if left alive merely due to the fact that he used to control a massive territory and army. He's a very risky revolt prospect, especially given that the northern forces would have to be heading into the deep south for the next stage of their campaign.

When Cao Cao mixes it up with Liu Bei and Sun Quan, what happens if Yuan Shao stages a revolt, or more likely his former officers stage revolts using him as their rallying standard.
Unless Cao Cao already had the entire land under his domination or unless he absolutely annihilated Yuan Shao's powerbase to the point that there would be no one to rally around him even if he wanted them to (an unlikely prospect) then Shao was a dead man. Whether by an official execution, poisoning or Lady Wu's bandit scenario, his days were over.
"Two there should be; no more, no less.
One to embody the power, the other to crave it."
-Creed of the New Sith-
User avatar
Exar Kun
Dark Lord of the Sith
Posts: 3347
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2003 12:18 am
Location: Cruising the Nether

Unread postby the glorious sun jian » Mon Jul 09, 2007 7:03 pm

if yuan shao was captured by caocao humb let me gusse
cao cao :- i defeated you by my might and strategy although you are my enemy i,ll give a chance for the old days .

yuan shao :-kill me now

cao cao :- no ..

yuan shao then will kill himselfe

that what will happen, yuan shao after being the strongest and had the biggest land will not agree to be under anyone so he will die anyway

we talked about cao captured shao waht if shao captured cao ?
لا اله الا الله محمد عبده ورسوله
User avatar
the glorious sun jian
Scholar of Shen Zhou
Posts: 734
Joined: Wed Jun 07, 2006 7:12 am


Return to Sanguo Yanyi Symposium

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 15 guests

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