Chen Lin's writing on Cao Cao.

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Chen Lin's writing on Cao Cao.

Unread postby Shi Tong » Mon Feb 25, 2008 11:23 am

Hello!

I'm just reading though SGYY again (I'm sure you lot are tired of hearing this by now), but anyway...

I just got to the point where Yuan Shao is preparing to make battle against Cao Cao, and Chen Lin (a literary genius of sorts) is commissioned to write up and give speeches as to why Yuan Shao is going to rid the world of the tyrant Cao.

Now. I have several points and debates I wanted to make about this little speech by Chen Lin.

1) How accurate to history was Chen Lin's writing? Was it elaborated on in SGYY to make Cao Cao look more evil (as usual?) and was it historically accurate?

2) Cao Cao moved the capital to Xu Chang- this is similar to what Dong Zhuo did when Dongy moved the emperor to Chang An, and yet in SGYY there isn't much made of Cao Cao's moving of the emperor when it happens.. why is this, and was it just because it wasn't such an upheaval of the royal house? Why?

3) According to Chen Lin, Cao Cao had many tombs opened and releaved of their treasures. He even appointed a minister to uncover tombs and recovery of valuables from these tombs. Dong Zhuo was accused of the same, who had opened up all of the ancient tombs in Luo Yang and took all the goods to Chang An. Why is it that we dont hear of this until Chen Lin's speech, and if LGZ was so fierce in his opposition of Cao Cao, why didn't he make a bigger thing of it when Cao Cao was doing the same?

4) Chen Lin also sites a lot of points where Yuan Shao "saves" Cao Cao from his fate. I cant really recall any point in which Yuan Shao was truly Cao's saviour, but maybe I'm wrong. What of this? Did he save him at all, and why is that a valid reason to attack him? I dont think there's any good reason for Yuan Shao to war against Cao apart from on moral grounds.

5) If Cao Cao was truly guilty of the above (uncovering tombs, causing the people misery etc), why do we not see him as another Dong Zhuo?

Thanks!

-Tongy.
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Unread postby Dong Zhou » Mon Feb 25, 2008 2:34 pm

1) This is what the ZZTJ has to say about it
Then Yuan Shao sent summons for war to the provinces and commanderies, listing Cao Cao's crimes and wrong-doing
though one source does credit the writing to Chen Lin.

2) I think there is a few differences. When Dong did it, the capital was prosperous and the court itself was in little danger of being killed by the alliance or starving. Plus the way Dong did the removal and burnt the city

Cao Cao however had a point when asking for removing, Luo Yang was no fit state for an emperor, Xu Chang at would ensure Xian got fed.

3) Mao may have removed it? Or LGZ just wanted to add lies to Yuan Shao's proclamation to show he wasn't honest?

4) Just Yuan Shao bigging himself up.

5) Cao Cao lived long and was effective ruler, he comes across as an anti hero rather then an evil villain maybe?
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Unread postby LiuBeiwasGreat » Mon Feb 25, 2008 10:49 pm

Dong Zhou wrote:1) This is what the ZZTJ has to say about it
Then Yuan Shao sent summons for war to the provinces and commanderies, listing Cao Cao's crimes and wrong-doing
though one source does credit the writing to Chen Lin.

2) I think there is a few differences. When Dong did it, the capital was prosperous and the court itself was in little danger of being killed by the alliance or starving. Plus the way Dong did the removal and burnt the city

Cao Cao however had a point when asking for removing, Luo Yang was no fit state for an emperor, Xu Chang at would ensure Xian got fed.

3) Mao may have removed it? Or LGZ just wanted to add lies to Yuan Shao's proclamation to show he wasn't honest?

4) Just Yuan Shao bigging himself up.

5) Cao Cao lived long and was effective ruler, he comes across as an anti hero rather then an evil villain maybe?


One has to wonder though, if Cao Cao did all these things, why not another coalition? There were several lords capable of moving against Cao Cao. Maybe they didn't have any faith in Yuan Shao or hated him so much that they just refused to work with him.
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Unread postby Dong Zhou » Tue Feb 26, 2008 7:25 am

I think the warlords
1) didn't care for the Han much anymore unless it benefited them
2) they tended to have other problems
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Unread postby Shi Tong » Tue Feb 26, 2008 12:54 pm

Do you not think that Yuan Shao did have a lot of allies? He seemed to have Liu Bei, Liu Biao, Zhang Xiu and he did have his brother (until he was killed by Liu Bei), so..

When Dong did it, the capital was prosperous and the court itself was in little danger of being killed by the alliance or starving. Plus the way Dong did the removal and burnt the city


I thought Luo Yang was an ancient capital, so therefore surely it wasn't such a dump.. Why was Xu Chang so much "better" than Luo Yang?

3) Mao may have removed it? Or LGZ just wanted to add lies to Yuan Shao's proclamation to show he wasn't honest?


I would have thought LGZ would use all of Chen Lin's writings to make Cao Cao look even "worse" since that seemed to be his favorite past time. :wink:

4) Just Yuan Shao bigging himself up.


Big up da Yuan Shao! Understood (that makes sense!)

5) Cao Cao lived long and was effective ruler, he comes across as an anti hero rather then an evil villain maybe?


Well, LGZ really tries to make him look evil mostly- he shows him killing the emperor's wife etc and there is constant nagging about Cao Cao's repression of the emperor..

Maybe LGZ didn't really intend for us to hate Cao Cao that much.
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Unread postby Dong Zhou » Tue Feb 26, 2008 4:07 pm

The list of allies

1) Liu Bei was a nominal ally I suppose, he got permission from Yuan Shao take over Xu but what then? The province was wrecked by Cao Cao's earlier invasion and then had to deal with Yuan Shu

2) Liu Biao had his own problems. He also seemed reluctant to pick a side near the end, their early alliance probably fizzling out

3) Zhang Xiu was more Liu Biao's viceroy personally and the first time he had contact with Yuan Shao, he defected to Cao Cao promptly after.

4) The brothers hated each other. Family slave and all that

Now the likes of Zhang Xiu would have been a useful ally but remember Yuan Shao was also rather busy for a long while with Gongsun Zan

Onto the capital Luo Yang was an ancient capital, now it was burnt out ruins. Xu Chang meanwhile was still alive as it were
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Unread postby Shi Tong » Wed Feb 27, 2008 1:38 pm

Right, right, right, right, right.

OK, sounds pretty correct to me.

What other "allies" could he have called upon or counted on then? Sounds pretty much like every other small time lord has started to serve a faction and that there is no new fresh action on the new general/ kingdom front.

When the Yellow Turbans started up, it seemed like the call to arms found a lot of people, but when Yuan Shao calls to arms against Cao Cao, not a soul is interested.

I find it quite hilarious that all of his men just bicker all the time! :lol:
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Unread postby Dong Zhou » Wed Feb 27, 2008 3:44 pm

Ma Teng hated the Yuan's for some reason so they were out, Sun Ce was a possibility if an unlikely one but anybody else was probably relatively minor and wouldn't add to Yuan Shao's forces much.

The Turbans was a mass revolt, Yuan Shao and "allies" were self serving warlords, considerable difference :wink:
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Unread postby Shi Tong » Thu Feb 28, 2008 10:43 am

Just read the part where Zhang Xiu (and Jia Xu) decide to accept Cao Cao as an ally instead of Yuan Shao.

I guess the real reason as to why Yuan Shao cannot gather an army is that he's not actually legitimate himself.. trying to show his legitimacy is quite hilarious.

The reason that people come together against the Yellow Turbans is because the emperor is clearly in danger. The reason they wont side with Yuan Shao is that it's not the emperor that they would be doing this for- they'd be doing it for Yuan Shao, which isn't really filial in terms of the empire is it?

Ma Teng hated the Yuan's for some reason so they were out, Sun Ce was a possibility if an unlikely one but anybody else was probably relatively minor and wouldn't add to Yuan Shao's forces much.

The Turbans was a mass revolt, Yuan Shao and "allies" were self serving warlords, considerable difference Wink


Totally agree with you on this one.

Hey.. to get back to something else.. Why didn't LGZ make a big deal of Cao's wrong doings until he got to Chen Lin's speech? I mean.. I find that odd... do you think that LGZ didn't want to make Cao Cao look really evil from the word go? What reasons would he have not to make Cao look evil from the word go??! :wink:
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Unread postby Dong Zhou » Fri Feb 29, 2008 9:20 am

Legitimacy is in the eyes of the beholder and all that but at this point, I don't think Yuan was viewed any less legitimate then Cao Cao. Some of the Wei diplomats performed brilliantly to sway people over from the Yuan's. Take for example Zhang Xiu and Jia Xu, I don't either cared much about legitimacy but where they would best be served. Zhang Xiu was a skilled general and Jia Xu a skilled advisor, Cao Cao had need of any ally who would serve him now and more room for promotion whereas they might be minor in the Yuan camp

The reason people came against the Turbans I suspect is the Han was very much alive and they had jobs in the Han and it wasn't in the interests of the landed gentry for the Turbans to win. By Guan Du, most probably didn't care that much for the emperor. Yuan Shao could be seen as rescuing it from the grandson of a eunuch, Cao Cao could be seen as shielding the court from a rebelling minister.
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