Zhou Yu the greatest all round strategist?

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

Re: Zhou Yu the greatest all round strategist?

Unread postby cryptguardian » Tue Dec 04, 2012 3:51 am

TigerTally wrote:First line of the second paragraph at http://kongming.net/novel/sgz/pangtong.php,

In the same link you posted there is also a line (see quote below), which is suggestive of Pang Tong being with Zhou Yu fighting Cao Cao. Albeit somewhat unclear this also ? places Pang Tong in the vicinity of Chibi. More importantly if he was with Zhou Yu fighting Cao Cao than he coulnd've been "at Xiangyang before Zhou Yu's death" as you stated earlier.

"Liu Bei invited Pang Tong to dinner. He asked Pang Tong, “Sir, you were with Zhou Gongjin fighting Cao Cao. When I arrived in Wu, I heard that he secretly advised Sun Zhongmou to trap me there. Since you are working for me now, you need not have to conceal it anymore”...


TigerTally wrote:I suggest you read the book again if you think Zhou Yu in the novel "would not want to kill Zhuge Liang" ... and Zhuge Liang's dominance over Zhou Yu in the novel is nearly undeniable as he literally beat Zhou Yu to death (and even after his death).

You miss understood me. I did not claim the novel Zhou Yu did not wan't to kill Zhuge Liang. What I am saying is that this can easily be dismissed as novel propaganda as it is unlikely a prudent General such as Zhou Yu in a time of 'do or die' strife would waste his energy in schemes to assassinate his allies; such would be self inimical.

Sun Fin wrote:Hmmm. :P

The novel is a great way to get in to the history of the era but if you are gonna try and throw around what you have learnt from it in a history forum you are going to get hurt. Believe me I tried. I suggest you read some of 'Generals Of The South' then come back and continue this conversation (chapter 2-5 is where you'll find Zhou Yu).

https://digitalcollections.anu.edu.au/h ... index.html

More specifically Chapter 4 deals with Red Cliffs. It suggest Cao Cao was able to leave the region in "reasonable good order", and that the battle was not necessary a major tactical defeat for Cao Cao. The actual skirmishes/engagements at Red Cliffs however are not presented in any great detail, nor is there any great detail presented regarding the nature of the fighting. Albeit the author admits we know very little of the tactics employed, nor of the ships or weapons used. Huang Gai's successful fireship strike is mentioned, the article however admits there is confusion about the number and type of ships used. Lastly, I could find no mention as to who is to be credited with the conflagration ruse.
User avatar
cryptguardian
Student
 
Posts: 89
Joined: Sun Nov 01, 2009 12:55 am
Location: Lurking ლ(ಠ益ಠლ

Re: Zhou Yu the greatest all round strategist?

Unread postby TigerTally » Tue Dec 04, 2012 4:31 am

Ah,...

By pointing that out you actually strengthen the idea that Pang Tong had remained to be a lowly official for quite a long time ... :shock: First, the "fighting Cao Cao" thing is a mistranslation of the title gongcao 功曹 mentioned in my last post. Here is the original Chinese texts:

先主與統從容宴語,問曰:「卿為周公瑾功曹,孤到吳,聞此人密有白事,勸仲謀相留,有之乎?在君為君,卿其無隱。」

The translator must have misread the character gong 功 as another gong 攻 "attack" here. Due to his incorrect transliteration of the term's first occurrence, I think it is safe to say he might not understand its meaning.

Now, why would Pang Tong be recognized as Zhou Yu's subordinate? That was because Zhou Yu captured the Nanjun (Southern Commandery) AFTER the battle of Red Cliff, while the Xiangyang county/city belonged to Nanjun (Southern Commandery). That is also the reason why the author recorded the following event apparently irrelevant to Pang Tong in his biography: "The Wu general, Zhou Yu, assisted the First Sovereign (Liu Bei) in taking Jingzhou, hence the First Sovereign recommended Zhou Yu as Governor of Nanjun."

Therefore, Pang Zong had been at his post in the local Labor Section before the battle at Red Cliff, and he had remained as such after Zhou Yu captured Nanjun (Southern Commandery) next year, or maybe even till Zhou Yu's death since Liu Bei should have referred Pang Tong by his highest position achieved under Zhou Yu.



BTW, Pang Tong answered Liu Bei's question with a "yes" ... so by quoting this piece of account you are somehow toppling your other argument, which is "it is unlikely a prudent General such as Zhou Yu in a time of 'do or die' strife would waste his energy in schemes to assassinate his allies"...
User avatar
TigerTally
Scholar of Shen Zhou
 
Posts: 694
Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2011 1:51 am

Re: Zhou Yu the greatest all round strategist?

Unread postby cryptguardian » Tue Dec 04, 2012 5:24 am

TigerTally wrote:BTW, Pang Tong answered Liu Bei's question with a "yes" ... so by quoting this piece of account you are somehow toppling your other argument, which is "it is unlikely a prudent General such as Zhou Yu in a time of 'do or die' strife would waste his energy in schemes to assassinate his allies"...

Not if you look at the context. While it is true that Zhou Yu wanted Liu Bei posted in Wu, it was not to assassinate him, to the contrary it was to give him a life of luxury. Zhou Yu felt that this would allow him to lead Zhang Fei and Guan Yu into battle in future campaigns- such would have hardly been inimical. Nevertheless, Sun Quan did not believe such to be auspicious, and Zhou Yu's advice was not heeded.


edit: As far as the other issue, if you say it is a mistranslation then I have to take your word for it as I don't understand/speak Chinese and thus rely on good translation.
User avatar
cryptguardian
Student
 
Posts: 89
Joined: Sun Nov 01, 2009 12:55 am
Location: Lurking ლ(ಠ益ಠლ

Re: Zhou Yu the greatest all round strategist?

Unread postby TigerTally » Tue Dec 04, 2012 6:14 am

Trapping Liu Bei of course is not the same as assassinating him, but how less damage the former would do to the two parties' relationship than the latter? Sun Quan rejected the suggestion because he saw the problem (or "self-inimical"-ness in you words) of this plan. It is also unlikely that Zhou Yu's attempt to control Zhang Fei and Guan Yu would work even if they proceeded with it.

And good to see you not quoting the novel anymore. Our standpoints are not really that different - we both think Zhou Yu as a brilliant all-round person, though I don't take him as perfect as you do. He was just a bit short-sighted in my understanding as I said in my previous post.

For the Chinese texts, just google "卿為周公瑾功曹" with the quotation marks and see the number of results. And here is a scan of the entry for gongcao 功曹 in Hucker's dictionary. You can also check p.296 of it at Google Books. Spelling is not the same because of different romanization system.

Image

Then this is what being said by Rafe de Crespigny in A Biographical Dictionary of Later Han to the Three Kingdoms:

Image

He was appointed "officer of merit", and Hucker's work had told us that the literal translation of gongcao is "meritorious-service section". (However, Rafe also said Pang Tong served Liu Bei since 208, dunno his proof. May have to wait for plunged to email him :mrgreen: )
User avatar
TigerTally
Scholar of Shen Zhou
 
Posts: 694
Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2011 1:51 am

Re: Zhou Yu the greatest all round strategist?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Tue Dec 04, 2012 1:17 pm

cryptguardian wrote:
edit: As far as the other issue, if you say it is a mistranslation then I have to take your word for it as I don't understand/speak Chinese and thus rely on good translation.


You have my sympathy. Like yourself, I rely on the translations so had a few factors/theories sunk when a better translation came and shot my idea's down.
User avatar
Dong Zhou
A-Dou
A-Dou
 
Posts: 16793
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2005 12:32 pm
Location: "Now we must die. May Your Majesty maintain yourself"

Re: Zhou Yu the greatest all round strategist?

Unread postby Zyzyfer » Tue Dec 04, 2012 4:58 pm

Dong Zhou wrote:
cryptguardian wrote:
edit: As far as the other issue, if you say it is a mistranslation then I have to take your word for it as I don't understand/speak Chinese and thus rely on good translation.


You have my sympathy. Like yourself, I rely on the translations so had a few factors/theories sunk when a better translation came and shot my idea's down.


And I must toss in, and this is most certainly no knock to the SGZ translators at all, but I am very impressed by TigerTally's ability to delve deep. For learners like myself, there are so, so many valuable tutors here. :oops:
Gamefaqs: KongZhou
Steam: heinous_won
User avatar
Zyzyfer
Scholar of Shen Zhou
 
Posts: 3429
Joined: Thu May 08, 2008 1:17 pm
Location: South Korea

Re: Zhou Yu the greatest all round strategist?

Unread postby plunged » Tue Dec 04, 2012 9:15 pm

Same here. Unfortunately I don't understand Mandarin (I'm learning, but its very difficult and most courses here are about simplified Chinese whereas I would prefer traditional...). So far it looks like a very difficult language... so many hanzi all with different ways of interpretations and various meanings. Sometimes I wonder if it's possible it all fits inside a brain, but the people here seem so fluid with the language. I find that impressive. TT seems to know a lot of extra's. Like the meaning behind something or the meaning behind the meaning behind something. Impressive and very interesting too. I also like the detailed posts with all the hanzi, pinyin, external links etc.
Please check out: Gongjin's Campaign Memorials: a Three Kingdoms Wiki.
Now with translations of: He Jin, Huangfu Song, Zhu Jun, Lu Zhi, Cheng Pu, Sima Shi, Lady Wang and many more.

Read Romance of the Three Kingdoms online (with corrected names)
User avatar
plunged
Scholar of Shen Zhou
 
Posts: 754
Joined: Sat May 17, 2008 8:39 pm
Location: Netherlands

Re: Zhou Yu the greatest all round strategist?

Unread postby TigerTally » Thu Dec 06, 2012 5:48 am

It is basically impossible for one to understand all individual Chinese characters and compound terms in the language, especially those from classical Chinese. My background of postgraduate education in Chinese studies, however, allows me to learn which dictionaries and reference books to look up, so what I said might often seem to be "extra's", though in fact they may just be some basic knowledge to professional scholars... :oops:
User avatar
TigerTally
Scholar of Shen Zhou
 
Posts: 694
Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2011 1:51 am

Re: Zhou Yu the greatest all round strategist?

Unread postby cryptguardian » Mon Dec 17, 2012 8:03 am

TigerTally wrote:All things you quoted are the imagination by a talented writer, but not history at all. We are discussing a historical figure, and when you are unable to find something in historical source, that's it - you can't simply jump over to a novel compiled more than 1 thuosand years later to find evidence for things that are "highly unlikely" or "highly likely".

What historical evidence is there on the real historical figure!?
Are there fossils that tell us of Zhou Yu's personality, ambitions, and of his true nature? etc.
Here too we are relying on ancient texts that also have talented writers, and are liable to the propaganda of the times in which they were written.


TigerTally wrote:Ah,...

By pointing that out you actually strengthen the idea that Pang Tong had remained to be a lowly official for quite a long time ... :shock: First, the "fighting Cao Cao" thing is a mistranslation of the title gongcao 功曹 mentioned in my last post. Here is the original Chinese texts:

先主與統從容宴語,問曰:「卿為周公瑾功曹,孤到吳,聞此人密有白事,勸仲謀相留,有之乎?在君為君,卿其無隱。」

The translator must have misread the character gong 功 as another gong 攻 "attack" here. Due to his incorrect transliteration of the term's first occurrence, I think it is safe to say he might not understand its meaning.


I am of dissenting opinion, such 功 would make the context of the English translation nonsensical. Could the original Chinese text be a misprint/error!? Have you got a reference for this 'so called' original text? and if so is it valid/reliable/authentic?

Furthermore, I am still struggling to get a translation of the above Chinese text that is not riddled with severe grammatical errors dooming analysis to an impossibility. Could yourself or anyone else offer a translation or point me to one?

Just to be clear I am referring to the text; in quotations below, found in Pang Tong's bio in reference to the conversation between Liu Bei and Pang Tong, which somewhat implies Pang Tong was at Chibi:
"Sir, you were with Zhou Gongjin fighting Cao Cao..."
User avatar
cryptguardian
Student
 
Posts: 89
Joined: Sun Nov 01, 2009 12:55 am
Location: Lurking ლ(ಠ益ಠლ

Previous

Return to Sanguo Yanyi Symposium

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests

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