10 Favorite People of the Era

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Re: 10 Favorite People of the Era

Unread postby solemio » Fri Jul 14, 2017 5:48 pm

HaHaHa, Sun Quan is my second least favorite, only come before Liu Bei. I like Zhang Liao a lot for he had beaten up Sun Quan in such a way that I would applaud.
I like Lu Fan, too! He is good looking and loyal to Sun Ce, playing Go with him in leisure time too. I was so glad to see him audited and told off Sun Quan. And I am a CPA just like him!
But there are only 10 people, so I just put on more hot blooded ones such as Gao Shun and Taishi Ci.

Sun Fin wrote:I think you and I are going to get on very well. Sun Ce is my favourite person from the era whilst Sun Quan is close to being my least favourite!

I'm surprised to see no Lu Fan from such a staunch Sun Ce fan though?
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Re: 10 Favorite People of the Era

Unread postby mendedties » Sun Jul 16, 2017 7:52 pm

It's been a few years since I posted a list here. Although my favorites shift regularly, these are those I currently most enjoy reading about. No particular order, really.

1. Lu Kang - The cross-factional friendship between him and Yang Hu, and the stories of how their people treated each other are perhaps the most touching and heart-warming historical anecdotes I have ever read. And to persist under condemnation by his peers and even his emperor takes real strength of character. To boot, he wrote numerous letters to the emperor throughout his life, pleading with him to change his ways and rule with justice and righteousness and purge the corruption from the court. A true hero who can restore your faith in humanity in the midst of rapacious, brutal, remorseless, power-hungry tyrants.
2. Yang Hu - See above.
3. Xiahou Dun - By all appearances a mediocre military commander, but an endearing governor. He was generous and unconcerned with material wealth, happy to give away his excess (despite being perhaps the highest paid of all Cao Cao's generals), and seems to have had a genuine love for the people, with no problem personally partaking in the agricultural labor. This is the boss you dream of working for.
4. Lu Su - Another ridiculously charitable man. He spent quite a lot of time using his resources to help the poor in his earlier days. And then there was the whole "here Zhou Yu, have half my family's wealth for your army" thing. As a Wu official, he was constantly suing for peaceful resolutions with Shu, and was largely responsible for salvaging the alliance and likely ensuring the longevity of both kingdoms.
5. Zang Ba - I've only recently learned anything about this guy, and what a intriguing character he is! Taking in runaways from the chaos, and offering them protection and camaraderie within his band of benevolent bandits. He refused to turn them over to Cao Cao and somehow convinced the latter to let him maintain a fair amount of autonomy within his province, which he used quite responsibly to aid Wei to great effect. Is this an oversimplified and rose-tinted portrait of the guy? Probably, but he is certainly one of the era's most unique and memorable figures.
6. Xun Yu - A brilliant, idealistic, farsighted, unwavering Han loyalist. He knew the chaos was inevitable, and correctly predicted Cao Cao to be the most likely to come out on top. He did what he could to help Cao Cao bring an end to things as quickly as possible, all the while harboring the forlorn hope that when it came to it, he could somehow convince the 'villain' to cede his power back to the Han. I suspect he knew it was a lost cause, but what else could a man of virtue do?
7. Ling Tong - Humble, generous, affable, with a strong sense of righteousness. The selflessness he displayed at Xiaoyao Ford is, for me, one of the most impressive feats of the era. When it comes to sheer ferocity on the battlefield, I don't see anyone but Zhang Liao hoping to match him, and yet with his cunning he found a peaceful means of winning over the Shanyue. A tragedy to have died so young.
8. Huangfu Song - Han's last great hero. He was unflinchingly loyal to the empire, resolute in his moral code, and he doesn't seem to have had a vindictive bone in his body. The humility with which he treated his men (and pretty much everyone), who clearly had great admiration for him (as did just about everyone), is inspiring. Perhaps with more Huangfu's the Han might have been spared its fate.
9. Lu Zhi - Deserving of a spot right up there next to Huangfu Song as an almost impossibly upstanding and virtuous character. He had a larger than life personality, and was a proficient and prolific scholar. Also seems to have been a pretty okay teacher too, I guess. :wink: :wink:
10. Liao Hua - I will forever and always have a soft spot in my heart for Liao Hua. He was so dedicated, and had such a long career but without any real opportunity. I feel bad for the guy, especially with how he has become almost a historical punchline. He tried hard, okay? Sometimes I like to pretend he stayed with Wu, where he was suddenly discovered to be one of the great military prodigies of his time. (In less charitable moments I like to imagine a Pink Panther-esque scenario, in which he is executing his escape plan, faking his death and thinking he is being incredibly stealthy. In the meantime everyone in Wu knows exactly what's going on, but just roll their eyes and go about their business. A messenger comes in and informs the local commander about the escape, who nods and mumbles in monotone: "Oh no, not Liao Hua. Somebody stop him. Don't let him..." he trails off as he returns to his paperwork.)
But in all seriousness I doubt he would've been promoted to his position if he was truly incompetent. Bonus points for his criticism of Jiang Wei.
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Re: 10 Favorite People of the Era

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:26 am

Enjoyed your Liao Hua part :D That is a well thought out list and unusual one which is all the better. I doubt the Han would have survived with more Huangfu's, problems far far deeper then that, but he was an incredible man.

You might want to consider looking up Liu Yu, think you might like him
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Re: 10 Favorite People of the Era

Unread postby mendedties » Mon Jul 17, 2017 3:00 pm

Wow, thank you for the recommendation! Liu Yu was a gem to read about, if tragic. But then, it's hard to imagine people like him having a happy ending given the times.

Tian Chou was a delight to stumble across as well. I'd read the exchange between him and Xiahou Dun many times before, but always wondered what it was all about.

EDIT: So whatever happened to Tian Chou's little pocket of sunshine? It doesn't sound like he returned after his spell with Cao Cao. Why not? And where was he staying, then, circa Xiahou Dun's visit?

I'd probably go ahead and knock Ling Tong and Liao Hua off my list in favor of these two, were I to start anew.

You know, it's interesting to compare the likes of Xun Yu and Liu Yu. Both men of admirable moral conviction, but whose shared virtues pulled in polar opposite directions. The one, it seems, joined the war to end the suffering as quickly as possible, while the other eschewed it almost entirely in favor of shielding people from it. It's difficult to say which is 'correct.' Maybe they both are, but which would I choose were it my choice to make? (Probably Liu Yu.)
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Re: 10 Favorite People of the Era

Unread postby waywardauthor » Tue Jul 18, 2017 5:21 pm

I think I've lost my top 10 mojo a while back, as ranking generals, politicians, and favorites seems to have drifted away from me as I became more of an academic. That being said, I'd like to give it a good ol' try.

1. Shi Xie
2. Xun Yu
3. Liu Yu
4. Zhuge Liang
5. Gongsun Du
6. Fa Zheng
7. Cao Mao
8. Zhuge Jin
9. Sima Yi
10. Yuan Shu

Looks like my list is a little on the... weird side. I suspect that the bottom half of the list can be exchanged for other people fairly easily, like Tian Kai, Zang Ba, Yang Hu, Lu Kang, Zhuge Ke, Sun Liang, and others.
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Re: 10 Favorite People of the Era

Unread postby Sun Fin » Tue Jul 18, 2017 5:27 pm

Interesting buddy - an unusual list indeed! I know Tian Kai wasn't in your top 10 but you mentioned him in the secondary list of names but his the one I'm gonna ask you about!, I really like him too, but I'm not sure I've got any sound reason too. I was just wondering what it is about him that you find endearing?
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Re: 10 Favorite People of the Era

Unread postby greencactaur » Tue Jul 18, 2017 6:29 pm

I don't know if I ever filled this out, but i'll list my favorite 10 anyways :P.

1.Liu Bei
2.Cao Cao
3.Zhuge Liang
4.Cao Zhen
5.Gou Jia
6.Zhang He
7.Xun Yu
8.Jia Xu
9. Gao Shun
10. Jiang Wan

To be quite honest despite my love for Shu, both Cao Cao and Liu Bei take the #1 spot. It's very difficult for me to rank them. In fact it's hard for me to rank many people in the era. The list was simply off the top of my head, but there are many generals who I also debated putting on the list. Sun Qian/Mi Zhu/Huang Zhong from Shu. Xu Huang, Cao Ren, Deng Ai, Zhang Liao from Wei. Gan Ning, Xu Sheng, Lu xun from Wu. I could even argue with myself to rearrange the list if I had to, there are just so many great people during that era.
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Re: 10 Favorite People of the Era

Unread postby mendedties » Tue Jul 18, 2017 10:40 pm

waywardauthor wrote:1. Shi Xie
2. Xun Yu
3. Liu Yu
4. Zhuge Liang
5. Gongsun Du
6. Fa Zheng
7. Cao Mao
8. Zhuge Jin
9. Sima Yi
10. Yuan Shu

Looks like my list is a little on the... weird side. I suspect that the bottom half of the list can be exchanged for other people fairly easily, like Tian Kai, Zang Ba, Yang Hu, Lu Kang, Zhuge Ke, Sun Liang, and others.


Yuan Shu catches my eye there. What draws you to him? Gongsun Du is another I've been reading about lately. Nice addition.

greencactaur wrote:I don't know if I ever filled this out, but i'll list my favorite 10 anyways :P.

1.Liu Bei
2.Cao Cao
3.Zhuge Liang
4.Cao Zhen
5.Gou Jia
6.Zhang He
7.Xun Yu
8.Jia Xu
9. Gao Shun
10. Jiang Wan

To be quite honest despite my love for Shu, both Cao Cao and Liu Bei take the #1 spot. It's very difficult for me to rank them. In fact it's hard for me to rank many people in the era. The list was simply off the top of my head, but there are many generals who I also debated putting on the list. Sun Qian/Mi Zhu/Huang Zhong from Shu. Xu Huang, Cao Ren, Deng Ai, Zhang Liao from Wei. Gan Ning, Xu Sheng, Lu xun from Wu. I could even argue with myself to rearrange the list if I had to, there are just so many great people during that era.


You mention a love for Shu, but judging from your list I think you may have a latent Wei bias. :wink:

I like Gao Shun a lot too. Wish there was more written about him.
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Re: 10 Favorite People of the Era

Unread postby waywardauthor » Wed Jul 19, 2017 1:30 am

Sun Fin wrote:Interesting buddy - an unusual list indeed! I know Tian Kai wasn't in your top 10 but you mentioned him in the secondary list of names but his the one I'm gonna ask you about!, I really like him too, but I'm not sure I've got any sound reason too. I was just wondering what it is about him that you find endearing?

He was on my mind at the time. I originally thought about having him and Han Sui on the list, dropped them, and then brought back Tian Kai when I gave some concluding thoughts. Gongsun Zan is something of a wretched figure inside of this period. Yuan Shao is something of a cautionary tale, sympathetic while maintaining tragic character flaws that ultimately killed him. Gongsun Zan was a tyrant whose primary accomplishment was his violence, eventually being swept aside by that violence.

Tian Kai emerges as a figure that seemed to be rather capable. He contended with Yuan Shao's forces and made inroads in Qing province. Who he actually was is lost mostly because he was part of a camp that ruled as a warlord rather than emulating a state, as the compatriots of Yuan Shao were able to integrate into Wei and spread detailed stories about their own lost cause. It is possible that Tian Kai took part in the attack on Liu Yu, but given that his conflict with Yuan Shao predated this to an extent this may not have been the case. He was also the man who was Liu Bei's leader, through which Liu Bei met Zhao Yun and potentially his other earliest supporters, and took part in an initiative to support Tao Qian. He is one of those relatively minor characters in history that hint at a greater story underneath the surface. A look at Qingzhou's history in the later han shows this plainly - Yuan Shao through Yuan Tan, Gongsun Zan through Tian Kai, Kong Rong, Gongsun Du, Zang Ba, and even a barely remembered person named Sun Song were there, with the province becoming a microcosm of the larger contention for China itself.

I'm a sucker for anything that makes the Later Han/Three Kingdoms era more than it appears.

mendedties wrote:Yuan Shu catches my eye there. What draws you to him? Gongsun Du is another I've been reading about lately. Nice addition.
Yuan Shu has always been an interest for me. I actually think that his assumption of the title of emperor gave every history that was written after him license to blacken his character. All of his good deeds were made black, with sinister desire boiling in his heart from the moment he was born. He comes across as a man of low cunning, but that does not feel right to me the more I look into him. He was a major contender for China, and perhaps rose the most quickly of all of the various warlords to achieve a position of real contention. That his greatest height followed his complete defeat and expulsion of his original base adds further interest. His true failure seems to be that he was not a talented general. A demonstrably good organizer, a capable administrator, and more than able to make a great court and attract influential and talented people to his side, his ambition to become emperor and his own lackluster command of men on the field of battle doomed him - which encouraged defections and mutiny among his generals. And as his fortunes faded, many of his followers went to the Sun family and would later create the foundations of Wu. Yuan Shu does not appear to have been considered a dark figure for them, as the records from Wu took great pain to emphasize the legitimacy of their break with him, while acknowledging that many of their founding members came from him - and what was left of his court was later welcomed into Wu, with Sun Quan even marrying a scion of Yuan Shu.
Alone I lean under the wispy shade of an aged tree,
Scornfully I raise to parted lips a cup of warm wine,
Longingly I cast an empty vessel aside those exposed roots,
And leave behind forgotten memories and forsaken dreams.
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Re: 10 Favorite People of the Era

Unread postby greencactaur » Thu Jul 20, 2017 7:23 am

mendedties wrote:
waywardauthor wrote:1. Shi Xie
2. Xun Yu
3. Liu Yu
4. Zhuge Liang
5. Gongsun Du
6. Fa Zheng
7. Cao Mao
8. Zhuge Jin
9. Sima Yi
10. Yuan Shu

Looks like my list is a little on the... weird side. I suspect that the bottom half of the list can be exchanged for other people fairly easily, like Tian Kai, Zang Ba, Yang Hu, Lu Kang, Zhuge Ke, Sun Liang, and others.


Yuan Shu catches my eye there. What draws you to him? Gongsun Du is another I've been reading about lately. Nice addition.

greencactaur wrote:I don't know if I ever filled this out, but i'll list my favorite 10 anyways :P.

1.Liu Bei
2.Cao Cao
3.Zhuge Liang
4.Cao Zhen
5.Gou Jia
6.Zhang He
7.Xun Yu
8.Jia Xu
9. Gao Shun
10. Jiang Wan

To be quite honest despite my love for Shu, both Cao Cao and Liu Bei take the #1 spot. It's very difficult for me to rank them. In fact it's hard for me to rank many people in the era. The list was simply off the top of my head, but there are many generals who I also debated putting on the list. Sun Qian/Mi Zhu/Huang Zhong from Shu. Xu Huang, Cao Ren, Deng Ai, Zhang Liao from Wei. Gan Ning, Xu Sheng, Lu xun from Wu. I could even argue with myself to rearrange the list if I had to, there are just so many great people during that era.


You mention a love for Shu, but judging from your list I think you may have a latent Wei bias. :wink:

I like Gao Shun a lot too. Wish there was more written about him.


Yeah it's funny, I love the Wei generals, but if I were to pick a side it'd be Shu.
Gao Shuns one of those people who I really think gets shafted. He was actually a great general , and super loyal.
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