Wen Chou and Yan Liang , any extra info ?

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Re: Wen Chou and Yan Liang , any extra info ?

Unread postby plunged » Sun Oct 07, 2012 10:22 pm

DragonAtma wrote:Well, we both know that Yuan Shao BELIEVED them to be competent. Obviously, that wasn't the case. XD


Maybe Yuan Shao put too much faith in them, but official records say they were brave and famed.
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Re: Wen Chou and Yan Liang , any extra info ?

Unread postby TigerTally » Tue Oct 09, 2012 3:12 pm

Instead of the comments by Xun Yu 荀彧 , another set of historical materials about Yan Liang 顏良 would be the analogy with his death under Guan Yu 關羽 's hand by people during the subsequent Southern and Northern Dynasties period.

In 454, a Southern Song general Xue Andu 薛安都 (? - 469) killed a revolting prefect Lu Shuang 魯爽 in a fashion very simliar to how Guan Yu did to Yan Liang; Then in 573, Xiao Mohe 蕭摩訶 (532–604) of Chen Dynasty, under his commander's request, rushed into the enemy and killed a terrifying sharpshooter from the Western region with a dart. Both events were put into comparison with Guan Yu's victory over Yan Liang by contemporary people. While Lu Shuang was called as a valiant and fierce wanrendi 萬人敵 , "defeater of ten thousand men" (a title also addressed to Guan Yu and Zhang Fei 張飛 by Cheng Yu 程昱) , the unnamed sharpshooter was described as a man extremely good at archery, never missing any target (which could remind us of Huang Zhong 黃忠 ). Thus Yan Lian (along with Wen Chou 文醜 ) should have not performed worse than these two, or otherwise people would not draw a parallel between them.

An additional source would be from the Records of the States South of Mount Hua, where Yan Liang was described as xiaojiang 梟將 , "a valiant general". Now with all these evidences as well as Kong Rong 孔融 's and Xun Yu's evaluation ("martial champions", "simple men of prowess"), we can safely presume that both Yan Liang and Wen Chou were at least two fearsome warriors themselves, which is why their death "sent shockwaves through Yuan Shao 袁紹 's ranks" as said in Cao Cao 曹操 's biography.

Of course a warrior would not automatically make a general with good leadership, yet Yuan Shao had obviously entrusted Wen Chou and Yan Liang with the power to take control of most of his troops, as indicated again by Kong Rong 's speech ("to lead his forces") and the following accounts in Yuan Shao's biography:

眾數十萬,以審配、逢紀統軍事,田豐、荀諶、許攸為謀主,顏良、文醜為將率,簡精卒十萬,騎萬匹,將攻許。

Jack Yuan's translation: His forces numbered in the hundreds of thousands. Shen Pei and Feng Ji were given charge of military affairs. Tian Feng, Xun Chen and Xu You became leading advisors. Yan Liang and Wen Chou became the chief commanders. A hundred thousand elite troops were selected with ten thousand cavalry, as Yuan Shao planned to besiege Xu.

Battleroyale's translation: Shen Pei, Feng Ji were tasked to take charge of military affairs while Tian Feng, Xu You were tasked to take the role of advisors. With Yan Liang and Wen Chou as the vanguards of 100,000 infantries and 10,000 cavalries. Yuan Shao began his advance southward, in the direction of Xu Chang.


The noun jiangshuai 將率 here was written as jiangshuai 將帥 in the Book of Later Han, and this would be enough for us to tell Jack Yuan's translation is the correct one. Their capability of this task, however, might not seem very well from the information we have, or that could be because they had died before they could demonstrate it. Among the pair, Wen Chou was specifically known for his command of cavalry, since Xun You 荀攸 's biography had explicitly called him qijiang 騎將 , "a cavalry general". For testimony to Yan Liang as a general, it could be found in Yan Zhitui 顏之推 (531-591)'s Family Instructions for the Yen clan:

春秋世,顏高、顏鳴、顏息、顏羽之徒,皆一鬥夫耳。齊有顏涿聚,趙有顏最,漢末有顏良,宋有顏延之,並處將軍之任,竟以顛覆。

In the Chunqiu period, Yan Gao, Yan Ming, Yan Xi, Yan Yu and others were simply combantants. In the state of Qi there was Yan Zhuoju; in Zhao, Yan Zui; at the end of the Han there was Yan Liang; and in Song, Yan Yanzhi all of whom were generals and thus perished.


Basically he had given two lists of historical military figures with the surname Yan under two categories, with the former being simple combantants and the latter generals. In contrast to Xun Yu's comments, Yan Liang was put in the general group here.

PS: Ji Yun 紀昀 (1724 - 1805) quoted Zhao You 趙佑 (1727 - 1800) in his jottings on a record about a temple of Yan Liang at Lücheng 呂城, where his spirit was said to display supernatural ability similar to Guan Yu's, haunt nearby residents and prevent them from establishing a temple for Guan Yu or performing dramas about his defeat:

呂城……夾河兩岸有二士神祠:其一為唐汾陽王郭子儀,已不可解;其一為袁紹部將顏良,更不省其所自來。土人祈禱,頗有靈應,所屬境周十五里,不許置一關帝祠,置則為禍。有一縣令不信,值顏祠社會,親往觀之,故令伶人演三國雜劇。狂風忽起,捲蘆棚苫蓋至空中,斗擲而下,伶人有死者,所屬十五里內,瘟疫大作,人畜死亡,令亦大病,幾殆。

In Lücheng (Lü [Meng 呂蒙 's]Castle) ... at both shores of the river there were shrines of two local deities: one of them was the Tang King of Fenyang Guo Ziyi, [but its emergence] had no longer been understandable; one of them was Yuan Shao’s subordinate general Yan Liang, and its original provenance was even more indistinct. The local populace who prayed to them often got efficacious response. 15 li (~576m) around the region where it belonged to, not a single shrine for Emperor Guan (Guan Yu) was allowed to be established, for establishing one would cause misfortunes. An unbelieving county prefect, at a offering convention of the Yan shrine, personally came to watch it, then he asked the actors to perform miscellaneous dramas about the Three Kingdoms. Swiftly a violent gale began to blow, winding up reed awnings and straw canopy to the middle of the sky before throwing them back downwards in a sudden. A multitude of actors were dead, and the 15 li (~576m) area it belonged to suffered a serious plague, with men dead and cattle perished, while the prefect himself had also caught a severe disease, which nearly costed his life.


The original report by Zhao You, as a poem, could be found here (page 962):

呂城土穀神祠二,南岸汾陽北顏良,郭公明德祀宜廣,顏也何功食此方?土人相傳明代末,廟祝見夢帝命將,報賽至今有禁例,近祠各廟無關王。(云:雍正某年縣令某疑其說,使優人演單刀會事試之,神像遽隕化。是年大疫,令旋謫死,遂相戒,不復然也。)後世民神多糅雜,誰能一一窮渺茫?
Last edited by TigerTally on Wed Oct 10, 2012 12:05 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Wen Chou and Yan Liang , any extra info ?

Unread postby DragonAtma » Tue Oct 09, 2012 6:36 pm

[Sophistry] Sai Weng lost his horse, but it came back!

...seriously, though, I don't speak chinese, so you would have to translate any relevant chinese text for us.
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Re: Wen Chou and Yan Liang , any extra info ?

Unread postby TigerTally » Tue Oct 09, 2012 7:20 pm

I thought I had said I would go to the library tomorrow, to read the English translation of one of the books I quoted, and, well, maybe some dictionaries too.

EDIT: And I don't think you must read the Chinese texts because I had summarized the most relevant ones in English already, while the last few untranslated entries are not very important either. Basically I just put them there for my own reference, lol. :P
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Re: Wen Chou and Yan Liang , any extra info ?

Unread postby TigerTally » Tue Oct 09, 2012 8:18 pm

Okay, just translated one of it

呂城……夾河兩岸有二土神祠:其一為唐汾陽王郭子儀,已不可解;其一為袁紹部將顏良,更不省其所自來。土人祈禱,頗有靈應,所屬境周十五里,不許置一關帝祠,置則為禍。有一縣令不信,值顏祠社會,親往觀之,故令伶人演三國雜劇。狂風忽起,捲蘆棚苫蓋至空中,斗擲而下,伶人有死者,所屬十五里內,瘟疫大作,人畜死亡,令亦大病,幾殆。

In Lücheng (The Lü Castle. rumoured to be constructed by Lu Meng) ... at both shores of the river there were shrines of two local deities: one of them was the Tang King of Fenyang Guo Ziyi (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guo_Ziyi), [but its emergence] had no longer been understandable; one of them was Yuan Shao’s subordinate general Yan Liang, and its original provenance was even more indistinct. The local populace who prayed to them often got efficacious response. 15 li (~576m) around the region where it belonged to, shrine for Emperor Guan (Guan Yu) was not allowed to be established, for establishing one would cause misfortunes. An unbelieving county prefect, at a offering convention of the Yan shrine, personally came to watch it, then he asked the actors to perform miscellaneous dramas about the Three Kingdoms. Swiftly a violent gale began to blow, winding up reed awnings and straw canopy to the middle of the sky before throwing back downwards in a sudden. A multitude of actors were dead, and the 15 li (~576m) area it belonged to suffered a serious plague, with men dead and cattle perished, while the prefect himself had also caught a severe disease, which nearly costed his life.


I would give up for the poem though. That is just nearly impossible to keep up with the rhymes. For the lists by Yan Zhitui I will type in the translation tomorrow in the library.
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Re: Wen Chou and Yan Liang , any extra info ?

Unread postby DragonAtma » Wed Oct 10, 2012 4:44 am

Ah, I somehow missed your line that you'd consult a translation tommorrow -- sorry about that.

And thanks for translating it.
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Re: Wen Chou and Yan Liang , any extra info ?

Unread postby TigerTally » Wed Oct 10, 2012 10:06 am

Okay, here it is. It is not using pinyin though, will render it back later.

The ancestors of the Yen family originated in Tsou and Lu, though some branches removed to Ch'i. For generations they were elegant Confucian scholars and their names were mentioned in books and histories. Among the seventy-two direct disciples of Confucius, eight belonged to the Yen family. From the Ch'in, Han, Wei and Chin down to the Ch'i and Liang dynasties not a single man achieved success through a military career. In the Ch'un-ch'iu period, Yen Kao, Yen Ming, Yen Hsi, Yen Yü and others were simply combantants. In the state of Ch'i there was Yen Cho-chü; in Ch'ao, Yen Chü; at the end of the Han there was Yen Liang; and in Sung, Yen Yen-chih [Yen Yen] all of whom were generals and thus perished.
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Re: Wen Chou and Yan Liang , any extra info ?

Unread postby AxeLordGerardo » Tue Nov 13, 2012 5:49 pm

I don´t think that Yan Liang and Wen Chou were not worth of their encommended tasks. Historical or not, if not were by Guan Yu´s sneak attack, Yan Liang and his troops could have made waste of Cao Cao´s lines. Maybe are you saying that kill Song Xian & Wei Xu, and gravely injure the far overrated Xu Huang is not a nice accomplished task?

The same for Wen Chou injuring Zhang Liao, what would happened if he not were struck from behind, again by Guan Yu? Sorry but we are not seeing all the view points here.
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Re: Wen Chou and Yan Liang , any extra info ?

Unread postby DragonAtma » Tue Nov 13, 2012 6:05 pm

Yan Liang had about 10,000 troops; accoridng to wikipedia:

As Yuan Shao's forces at Liyang was numerically superior to Cao Cao's forces, Cao Cao's strategist Xun You suggested to split Yuan Shao's forces using a diversionary tactic and take out the weakly guarded Yan Liang. Cao Cao adhered to this plan and marched towards Yan Ford as if trying to cross the river to attack Yuan Shao's rear. Reacting to this apparent threat, Yuan Shao split off his men in Liyang and came west along the northern bank of the river, thus falling for the feint. Rapidly, Cao Cao led light troops east toward Boma, and engaged a startled Yan Liang some ten li west of the outpost. Cao Cao sent Zhang Liao and Guan Yu (newly surrendered to Cao Cao after Liu Bei was defeated in Xu Province) to lead the vanguard. Noticing Yan Liang's standard from afar, Guan Yu charged through thousands of enemy troops, virtually unopposed, toward Yan Liang, killed him with a stroke, decapitated him, and returned with Yan's head. Thus the siege of Boma was broken.[1]


If he's truly worthy of 90-95 leadership, then there's no way that Guan Yu would be able to charge through thousands of troops virtually unopposed. Even if Guan Yu is as good at combat as in the novel, there should still have been SOME guards protecting Yan Liang.

As for Wen Chou:
As Wen's troops arrived, many broke ranks to loot the horses and other supplies. Cao then gave order for a counterattack. The small but elite cavalry force scored a brilliant victory over the disorganized enemy and killed Wen in battle.


What kind of 90-95 leadership officer lets his troops get that disorganized just for loot!?
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Re: Wen Chou and Yan Liang , any extra info ?

Unread postby AxeLordGerardo » Tue Nov 13, 2012 6:47 pm

DragonAtma wrote:Well, we both know that Yuan Shao BELIEVED them to be competent. Obviously, that wasn't the case. XD

RoTK games generally put them at 90-95 war (and, when they include it, 75-80 leadership); I'd put them at 70-75 for both -- but them again, I'm one of those crazies who'd put Lu Bu the "invincible" at ~90 war and ~55 lead.


Let´s forget about the ROTK stats. The novel describes them as braves, historically they were brave, people generally appreciates their strenght and bravery, KOEI, therefore see them as braves... we only have to see how their ROTK portraits grow fiercer with each new title. So their high status is recognized.

Forget about Qu Yi. I dont know who said that he was the best Yuan Shao´s officer, but I don´t think that only because Gongsun Zan died at his hands, he must be the best.
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