Xun Yu’s Death: Suicide or Natural Causes?

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

Xun Yu’s Death: Suicide or Natural Causes?

Unread postby Xu Yuan » Sat Mar 13, 2010 5:36 pm

A topic reminded me, why is Xun Yu's death not more glorified in the SGYY. He is a true Han Loyalist who too late realizes his mistake. Though the SGYY is needlessly cruel to him, and his "eulogy" poem is far from favorable. In fact the whole of his death only lasts two paragraphs. To really show what kind of "man" Cao Cao was, why didn't Mao Zonggang use that especially crucial bit to prove Cao Cao as an "evil" man?

Mod Edit (James): Discussion split from Three Kingdoms Questions thread.
As you know security
is mortal's greatest enemy.

SimRTK is back up in a testing phase! Go ahead and give it a look over on the Simzhou forum branch.

http://simrtk.net/index.php
User avatar
Xu Yuan
Scholar of Shen Zhou
 
Posts: 900
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2005 7:13 pm

Re: Three kingdoms questions (you ask, we answer)

Unread postby Crazedmongoose » Sat Mar 13, 2010 11:52 pm

They already make up/exaggerate/delete heaps of crap arbitrarily to make Cao Cao seem evil. There's no real reason why they did something or didn't do something. Also amongst the characters Xun Yu wasn't popular or front and centre, since he was mostly equivalent to Cao Cao's chief of staff. Managerial and political rather than deciding the fates of entire battles with one clever ruse. The more popular one in China at least is Guo Jia.


edit: Also just so we're clear you don't actually think Cao Cao forced Xun Yu to commit suicide do you? SGZ has him dying by illness. He was 49 and by those days standards that was a reasonable age to die of illness (like 60 were those days' 80). Esp. when you combine that with some good old fashioned depression from having your hopes and dreams crushed.
User avatar
Crazedmongoose
Scholar of Shen Zhou
 
Posts: 1509
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 3:10 am
Location: Sydney, Aus

Re: Three kingdoms questions (you ask, we answer)

Unread postby Xu Yuan » Sun Mar 14, 2010 12:44 am

Crazedmongoose wrote:They already make up/exaggerate/delete heaps of crap arbitrarily to make Cao Cao seem evil. There's no real reason why they did something or didn't do something. Also amongst the characters Xun Yu wasn't popular or front and centre, since he was mostly equivalent to Cao Cao's chief of staff. Managerial and political rather than deciding the fates of entire battles with one clever ruse. The more popular one in China at least is Guo Jia.


edit: Also just so we're clear you don't actually think Cao Cao forced Xun Yu to commit suicide do you? SGZ has him dying by illness. He was 49 and by those days standards that was a reasonable age to die of illness (like 60 were those days' 80). Esp. when you combine that with some good old fashioned depression from having your hopes and dreams crushed.


The SGZ says that, yes. But did not a Wei officer that defected to Wu tell that story? History is written by the winners and marking out that little detail is not a difficult thing to do.
As you know security
is mortal's greatest enemy.

SimRTK is back up in a testing phase! Go ahead and give it a look over on the Simzhou forum branch.

http://simrtk.net/index.php
User avatar
Xu Yuan
Scholar of Shen Zhou
 
Posts: 900
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2005 7:13 pm

Re: Three kingdoms questions (you ask, we answer)

Unread postby Crazedmongoose » Sun Mar 14, 2010 3:07 am

The other story is like a conspiracy theory that's full of holes. You're talking about the entire fallout over Empress Fu's letter?


And also whilst Chen Shou may not be an unbiased source I'd still consider him a lot more trustworthy than a Wei defecting officer's story which was spread across Wu and Shu during a time of war for propaganda purposes. That's like believing in tale in the Horst Wessel (sp?) song.
User avatar
Crazedmongoose
Scholar of Shen Zhou
 
Posts: 1509
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 3:10 am
Location: Sydney, Aus

Re: Three kingdoms questions (you ask, we answer)

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:45 am

Most people believe the suicide theory. Not so much the Fu connection part but the guy objecting to certain rank fro Cao Cao, embarrassing the warlord and making clear is loyalty is ultimately to Han rather then Cao Cao's, switched out of the capital and lost favor. Cao Cao was ruthless in suppressing threats to his or his sons rule, Xun Yu as a Han loyalist could be a threat

SGZ "died of grief"... that's a euphemism when done with ladies so why not with men?
User avatar
Dong Zhou
A-Dou
A-Dou
 
Posts: 16978
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2005 12:32 pm
Location: "Now we must die. May Your Majesty maintain yourself"

Re: Three kingdoms questions (you ask, we answer)

Unread postby Crazedmongoose » Sun Mar 14, 2010 9:16 am

I know many people believe in the suicide theory, mainly because of the negative portrayal of Cao Cao through the centuries. But there's really no credible proof of it is there? (credible by history standards anyway)

So there's three different accounts of how Xun Yu died.

SGZ says he died of grief/probably sickness too.

Wei Shi Chun Qiu, which was PSZ's annotated source, says he was forced to commit suicide.

Xian Di Chun Qiu, which was also PSZ's annotated source, gives the detail of the defecting officer's statement.


I don't consider the words of one defecting officer during war time to be credible. Of course SGZ is not credible either, but I don't see how you can say, because one account isn't wholly credible, we must then fall back to the next account which has equal or less credibility. (Unless you believe intelligent design should be taught in classrooms, ZING!)
User avatar
Crazedmongoose
Scholar of Shen Zhou
 
Posts: 1509
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 3:10 am
Location: Sydney, Aus

Re: Three kingdoms questions (you ask, we answer)

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Sun Mar 14, 2010 1:24 pm

So your saying Cao Cao wasn't ruthless in securing his family's safety?

Every time a female dies of grief, it means suicide, why use that particular phrase again? Even the sgz admits Cao Cao had a grudge then uses the same word as it uses when Empresses suddenly die having fallen out of favor. Now all the ladies could have died naturally but I think suicide (probably forced suicide) was the order of the day. Same here, Xun Yu could not be allowed to live. The only bit that seems to be disputed is the part from the Spring and Autumn Annals of Emperor Xian which throws in the Fu Wan plot. I have seen nothing to suggest the Annals of Wei or the Alternate Biography of Xun Yu is to be discredited

Bad form with that Zing, really bad form
User avatar
Dong Zhou
A-Dou
A-Dou
 
Posts: 16978
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2005 12:32 pm
Location: "Now we must die. May Your Majesty maintain yourself"

Re: Three kingdoms questions (you ask, we answer)

Unread postby Crazedmongoose » Sun Mar 14, 2010 2:08 pm

Well the euphemism was used on the Empresses/Ladies of the court generally to preserve embarrassment for the patriarchs of the family I thought. Cao Cao seemed to have no qualms about letting the world know him kill other important and respected people of stature, from Bian Rang to Kong Rong, so why conceal it for Xun Yu?

Unless I guess if Cao Cao respected Xun Yu and didn't want the records to be shown that he was executed.

Also how did Xun Yu threaten the safety of Cao Cao's family?
User avatar
Crazedmongoose
Scholar of Shen Zhou
 
Posts: 1509
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 3:10 am
Location: Sydney, Aus

Re: Three kingdoms questions (you ask, we answer)

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Sun Mar 14, 2010 2:21 pm

Bian Rang and Kong Rong provided excuses to kill them, even then the deaths had a bad effect. Older, wiser, not wanting to alienate people and with Xun Yu not providing a ready made excuse, suicide was a safer option for Cao Cao then executing. May have also been an act of, for want of better word, kindness towards an old friend, if Xun Yu took his own life (in the same Zhang Xiu seems to have done), his reputation remains untarnished and the family spared

Cao Cao was getting old and slowing down, he would die and then there would be a vulnerable period. That is the time when the Cao's would need everyone to rally around Cao Pi, not lead armed invasions or begin a political coup. Xun Yu, an experienced, able and admired man had just shown his loyalty may not be with Cao Pi but with the Han, why should Cao Cao risk his son?
User avatar
Dong Zhou
A-Dou
A-Dou
 
Posts: 16978
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2005 12:32 pm
Location: "Now we must die. May Your Majesty maintain yourself"

Re: Three kingdoms questions (you ask, we answer)

Unread postby Crazedmongoose » Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:04 am

I agree as I said before, unnatural death is possible. But I don't see why Zhang Xiu and Xun Yu couldn't have just died genuinely of sickness. Just because there was an MO for unnatural death.

I mean as I said, this was 200AD. People in their 30's and 40's naturally dying of sickness was pretty common.
User avatar
Crazedmongoose
Scholar of Shen Zhou
 
Posts: 1509
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 3:10 am
Location: Sydney, Aus

Next

Return to Sanguo Yanyi Symposium

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests

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