The Yellow Turbans - by Paul Michaud

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The Yellow Turbans - by Paul Michaud

Unread postby waw » Sun Jun 22, 2014 3:52 am

Hey folks, as promised a month or two ago, I wanted to look historiographically at Paul Michaud's Yellow Turbans. It's the first academic/scholarly look at the Three Kingdoms era to be written in English. For that alone, it's unique. This is a rough draft of sorts, but rather than just write what I want to write, I figured I would share this here. Then you open it up for questions while I still have his thesis dissertation in my hand to find any nuggets of information or clarities the community here desires/needs.

Paul Michaud was a dude writing in 1958.
Sean O'Brien/WaW is this dude writing this in 2014.
This was the Three Kingdoms dude before de Crespigny!!! That intrigued me.

Please post any questions you have. Anything on the Yellow Turbans, or the Five Pects. If I cannot answer them, or share Paul Michaud's answer, it will get compiled in a need-to-research corner.

Lastly, this is a thesis dissertation. This is what got Michaud his doctorate (from what I can tell, possibly his master's as it is a little short). It's mired in American historical style of the time. It's very academic. You can get a copy. There's two ways. Go to Worldcat and look it up to see which universities have it in their libraries. Then contact them, you may be able to purchase a copy. Or, you can go to your local public library in the United States and inquire about Interlibrary Loan. You can get one shipped, but will likely have to pay a handling fee. Mine was $2.56. That's chump change for getting your hands on a such a kickbleep piece of history. Yes, the interlibrary loan thing will work for de Crespigny's work. If it's available. A lot of it isn't as it's sitting on my shelf at the moment. I would like to do this with more historical works, I can also look at taking requests to fill more needed gaps for the community.

I suppose I will let the rest speak for itself.
P.s. I will do bolds/italics, etc at a later date. My document has it but the buttons!!!
Mods, if there is any issues here, please do your thing. This is my first scholarly contribution here.

A Historiographical Examination of Paul Michaud's The Yellow Turbans, as well as a Historical Look at the Yellow Turbans
-Sean O'Brien

I. Historiographical Survey of Paul Michaud's The Yellow Turbans
Paul Michaud wrote what is perhaps the first focused study on the Three Kingdoms era and Fall of the Han periods of Chinese history. It was published in 1958, most likely written in the years leading up to publication. Michaud wrote during a post-WWII climate in which Communism and a focus on Asian History was beginning to boom in the United States. Therefore, the majority of academic studies on Asian History at this time were linking back to Communism. In this instance, Michaud studied the Yellow Turban movement to see parallels with the rise of Communism and the overthrow of the previous dynasty by Mao. However, while to gain traction in the day and age he wrote, Michaud only made one mention of Communism (albeit in his opening thesis) and grew from there in a far more interesting, timeless study of the Yellow Turbans. Perhaps the Communist mention was simply for recognition and publication.

Michaud utilized a number of languages in his study from Chinese (seemingly ancient and modern variations), German, French, English, and Japanese. His sources are many, though he focuses primarily on Fan Yeh's Hou Han Shu (translated as “History of the Latter Han Dynasty) for statistical evidence, and Henri Maspero's Melanges Posthumes(the source of most of our inaccurate Yellow Turban information). In addition, much is added from Paul Pelliot's study “Autour d'une traduction sanskrite du Tao To King.” Finally, Chen Shou's “San Guo Zhi” was used extensively. More materials were used but remain of little note.

Paul Michaud's work should be applauded for thorough scholarship, well cited work. While I do not agree with all of his conclusions, The Yellow Turbans needs to be included in the greater body of Three Kingdoms literature. Being over fifty years old, Michaud's thesis could be updated, as well, used as a basis to examine more aspects of the period.

II. Notations on Chapters:
Michaud presents his thesis in roughly fifty pages with fairly brief, but thoroughly cited chapters. In a somewhat archaic method, he lists questions at the beginning of each chapter and then systematically approaches each question to eliminate opposing data—thereby leaving only his conclusions as possible outcomes. While the method is effective, the style is dated. More importantly than style is the detailed analysis of many foreign language works that opened the study of the Three Kingdoms period. Often, as of the time of this writing, Robert Moss (literature) and Rafe de Crespigny (history) are the leading authorities of the subject. Paul Michaud illustrates a wider array of historians from which we can study as secondary sources in addition to Chen Shou and the primary works.

1. Introduction, General Character of the Rebellion, Chronological Sequence of the Rebellion
Pages 48-52
Michaud points out that the Yellow Turbans were not just peasants, there is no evidence to state it was or was not a peasant revolt. He raises questions of the economic climate for the rebellion, and challenges the established belief that the Yellow Turbans brought down the Han. While he acknowledges that they played a roll, they were not responsible for the Han's collapse. Here, he introduces his belief that Chang Chueh (Zhang Jue/Jiao) was not only a Hsien Taoist, but also a Buddhist. (While the language is not present, he is establishing that the Way of Peace movement was a synchronous system).

(NOTE: Hsien Taoism/ Xian Daoism is a branch of Daoism focusing on achieving immortality).

From here, Michaud continues to expound upon the sequence of events for the rebellion. In short, sometime after 170 and before 184, Zhang Jue began a religious movement “Way of Peace” (T'ai p'ing Tao). In 184, the movement rose in rebellion and became known as the Yellow Turbans (Huang-chin). (Also known as Yellow Scarfs/Scarves, or the Yellow Caps). Huangfu Song, Lu Zhi, Zhu Jun, and Cao Cao put the rebellion down in a story we are much familiar with.

Also in 184 CE, the Five Bushels of Rice rose in revolt as well. This Daoist movement was led by “Chang Hsiu,” or Zhang Xiu. Zhang Xiu would later be defeated by Zhang Lu, not a relevative. Lu would then assume control of the Five Pects of Rice/Five Bushels of Rice, and continue the Daoist lineage. Zhang Lu claims ancestry of Zhang Daoling, the ancestral founder of the modern Daoist Church (control of that church passed down through that family to modern times, at least as of 1958, I have yet to check into this further).
(NOTE: There is a discrepancy about Zhang Jue, Bao, and Liang's lineage. They too are erroneously connected to Zhang Daoling by writers other than Paul Michaud. There is no historical information connecting Jue to Daoling. The connection between Yellow Turbans and Five Pects will be examined later.)

The section ends with Tong Cho/Dong Zhuo taking charge and dying, hailing the period of war that killed the Han Dynasty.

2. Background of the Rebellion, Decline of the House of Liu, Empire and the Barbarian Incursions, Disturbances of Nature, Population Problems, Lawlessness
pgs. 52-75
“Was the rebellion inherent in the religious character of Chang Chue's movement, or were the causes for the rebellion primarily in the economic or political conditions of the time?...Wast he rebellion of the Yellow Turbans a violent answer to intolerable economic conditions?” pg. 52 Paul Michaud opens the chapter questioning why the rebellion began, and why we think it began. Michaud notes that much of the Yellow Turban history was written by Buddhists.

(NOTE: For anyone who has studied European History will be familiar with the nature of Roman writings of the Celtic and Germanic tribes. Or with Catholic writings of Pagan beliefs. As Michaud points out with the Buddhist writings of the Daoism, these are often inaccurate, denigrating, and wholly uninterested in representing the true history of a particular piece of history. If history is written by the victors, they certainly don't want to preserve the beliefs of those they conquered.)

Typically, it seems, the Yellow Turbans reacted to a series of economic, political, cultural, and natural phenomenon that signaled a drastic decrease in stability. However, the author systematically studies these events over the period of the Latter Han's existence (and some of the Early Han's). In short, it becomes clear rather quickly that there was no greater degree of bandits, barbarians, plague, famine, or worse to urge the Yellow Turbans on. There was no religious persecution of the Way of Peace sect either.

The Latter Han was plagued with a unique inheritance of the throne. When an Emperor died, his widowed wife, the Empress Dowager, would get to select the Emperor. If underage, she could rule as Regent. This began in A.D. 89 with Prince Chao/Emperor Ho. (NOTE: We see this with Empresses He and Dong in the Romance of the Three Kingdoms). While this trend attributed to the downfall of Han, Michaud points out it did not leave a significant economic change for the Yellow Turbans. It, like many of the factors, are examples of continuity rather than a distinct change.

Additionally, barbarian wars were common throughout the Latter Han's existence. Michaud gives a detailed history of these raids and wars, and even argues that they declined during the years directly preceding the rebellion.

He also examines in detail the population and economics of the era. He uses a steady increase of bandit uprisings as evidence of worsening economic times (i.e. crime increases during hard times, a trend true today). Here, Michaud's talent slips. He states that bandits are an indicator of worsening conditions, and they begin to peak near the Yellow Turban rebellion. Yet, writes these off as potential “greed of officials in particular localities.” This egregious ignorance of the data he put forht weakens his overall approach. He tops this off with “They may indicate deterioration in officialdom, but not necessarily imply that the overall economic picture of the empire was much worse.”

It should be noted that Michaud is correct. Interpreting the increase frequency of bandit reports is not an exact science. It proves little depending on how you interpret the information given. However, he does go on to give a very good reason as to why more than corrupt officials could lead to some unrest.

Paul Michaud takes a detailed study of the eunuchs-- so much so that he could have written a thesis on the eunuchs of the Han themselves. Interestingly, his data mining brings a few things to the fore wroth remarking upon: 1. there is no evidence of the eunuchs working as a cohesive political group before 168. 2. Emperor Ho (89-105) was the first to turn toward the eunuchs, 3. Prince Pao/Emperor Shun began a tradition of rich rewards to his supporting eunuchs (which led to them being able to adopt and pass on legacies to children). 4. During a bandit uprising in 153, a Han official killed the bandits and set about bettering the conditions of the populace. A eunuch went about an extravagant funeral for his father. This official, Chu Mu, tore open the mausoleum in disgust of the extravagance (while people were starving and out of home). This eunuch, Chao Chung, had Chu Mu taken before judges. Chu Mu was spared by Liu T'ao's interference.

(NOTE: As a historian, I would take this as an example of officials trying to support the populace while Eunuchs squandered fortune on themselves. Confucian officials worked for their family, to make their descendants richer and more powerful, and therefore, at times, a piece of the state richer and more powerful. The Eunuchs were typically more individual focused it seems, taking fortunes for themselves and choosing friends and family (i.e. adoption). It seems typically believed that few Eunuchs cared about the state. Indeed, Ministers would receive appointments despite Emperors changing. Eunuchs were often dismissed from their positions of temporary power. Therefore, they collected wealth when they could.)

Furthermore, the Eunuchs aided Emperor Huan in destroying the Liang family, an Empress Dowager clan. The Eunuchs received massive rewards, one being as much as an entire barbarian campaign! These vast rewards do not seem to be evenly distributed to ministers, either.

With the bloody affair of Tou Wu/Dou Wu and the eunuchs, the Confucians found themselves as a Proscribed Party that was hunted and cast out from favor. The very foundation of Han culture then fell under fire. No ministers were safe. Only the Confucians could stand against the blatant uneducated stupidity of a eunuch (that's my bias kicking in). Therefore, the Eunuchs opened a school to train and educate ministers that would support them.

(NOTE: Dong Zhuo was the one to RESTORE Confucians to power. He replaced Eunuchs with Ministers and gained favor for a time. This is, perhaps, one of the things that led to Cao Cao gaining such power. Ironically, it was the ministers that strove to oust Dong Zhuo!)

The eunuch was allowed inside the palace where no others could. They waited upon the harem, the family, and the Empeor. They were the people he saw the most and interacted with on a daily basis. They were also placed there because they had no families to swing into power. The check-and-balance system proved useless when the Eunuchs were able to adopt and expand families. To amass riches.

While Paul Michaud pushes this as a major reason for a breakdown in officialdom and bureaucracy, he does not attribute this alone to the Yellow Turban rebellion. Instead, he points out that there is not enough in terms of sources to prove the likely connection that the Eunuchs raped the empire for their wealth while other factors steadily dragged the dynasty down. Instead, they provided a fertile soil for corruption and rebellion. They prevented the problems from getting fixed.

An example Michaud provides of this is the remission of taxes in hard times. From 168-184, there was only one field tax remitted. There is no proof of more tax remissions during Emperor Ling's reign.

The primary question Michaud fields here, however, is how much the people knew. There was no CNN to show corruption in the White House. How widespread were stories of the eunuchs for the masses? When Dou Wu died, did peasants weep? Were they aware that the Eunuchs were given so much while they had so little? Could Zhang Jue have swept them up with a rhetoric reminiscent of the 99% protests? Unfortunately, the evidence is not there but this seems to be the general conclusion. Whether the Eunuchs or, more likely, the Emperor was to blame, generation after generation was growing in discontent and Zhang Jue's missionaries were enough to move them for something new.


3. The Religion and Organization of the Yellow Turbans
pgs 75-97
In the second month of 184, the Yellow Turbans rebelled. (They had planned for the fifth month).
In the seventh month of 184, the Five Bushels of Rice rebels revolted.

Maspero was a French historian who equated these events as one and Paul Michaud takes much of his text to express that these two are not connected, or rather, no evidence of their connection. The third chapter takes great care to ascertain the nature of both rebellions and their origins.

The Yellow Turbans, also known as the “[Numerous as] Ant Rebels” were led by the Lord of Heaven General, Zhang Jue. His brother, Pao was Lord of Earth General, and their brother Liang was Lord of Humanity General. They declared the Blue Heaven of Han was at an end, and time for the Yellow Heaven. The Way of Peace priests seemed to carry staffs with rope. The rope had nine knots. Zhang Jue performed miracles of sort. His parishioners would confess their sins.

(NOTE: the word used for Sin and Crime is often the same. One refers to spiritual crime the other, physical crime i.e. against the State/community. Here, I use the word sin to refer tot he spiritual trespass committed.)

Then, Zhang Jue would give them charmed water. If the sinner was healed, he was a believer, if not, he had work to do.

Paul Michaud uses this evidence to point to several unique conclusions. One is that the use of Faith Healing is a non-Daoist sacrament and concludes that Zhang Jue is not a Daoist. Two, is that using the fang system of division, Jue is providing a NEW way of life that opposes the then-current failing one. Additionally, Michaud fails to point out that the Blue->Yellow sky is a throwback to the Five Elements Theory.

(NOTE: Why is that significant? Well, there came a point in the Latter Han where the Five Elements was discarded as a state religion. Instead, the theory of Heaven/Mandate of Heaven shtick we are familiar replaced it. The Emperor then knew the way of Heaven and had to balance the Microcosm of society with the Macrocosm of the Cosmic Universe. Zhang Jue was bringing back an older tradition that had lost imperial favor. Could it be that the Five Elements Theory was popular amongst peasants still? Interestingly, Jue was not arguing the Emperor had lost the Mandate of Heaven, instead, he said the elements were changing. At least, we have no evidence to the contrary).

The Yellow Turbans had similar practices to the Five Bushels sect. (A line similar to this in the “San Kuo Chih/San Guo Zhi” was mistranslated by Maspero to mean identical.) The Five Bushels too used the confessional system. Except, rather than the confessing to Zhang Jue (or perhaps the “ch'u-shuai/great leaders” of the Way of Peace?), the confessions written declarations of faults. Three copies were made, one buried, one sent up a hill to Heaven, and one thrown into the water. (This was for the Three Rulers, Heaven, Earth, Sea). (NOTE: a different triune focus from the Heaven/Earth/Man-Humanity of the Yellow Turbans). In addition, the Five Bushels utilized different officers.

Rather than the (often presumed) military like “fang” of the Yellow Turbans, the Five Bushels had officers-against-evil, wine-sacrificers, and officers-against-specters. Some of these officers focused on spreading and preserving Lao Tzu. Additionally, “Chang Hsiu” built “peaceful” cells in which one could ponder their faults.

Finally, Paul Michaud focused on Yu Chi/Yu Ji. This character appears several times throughout history. Apparently, he began an eastern Taoist movement while Zhang Daoling began a western one. Yu Ji is the supposed author a the “T'ai P'ing Ch'i ng Ling Shu... the Correct Guide to Great Peace.” He wrote it and it was presented to the Emperor years before the Yellow Turbans and rejected. Then he had a following in the areas where Zhang Jue later rebelled. He then had a following in the later area of the Kingdom of Wu. Michuad equated him with Gan Ji, a Daoist priest executed by Sun Ce.

Yu Ji also practiced a form of confessional absolution using water. It is not clear if Yu Ji was a Yellow Turban, in fact, he was much older than Zhang Jue and likely did not take practices form Zhang Jue (feel free to speculate if he instructed Zhang Jue however). This is significant because Michaud argues that Zhang Jue's practice was much more like the early Buddhist confessional practice in which the “Patimokkha” (a book of rules) was read to the Bhiskhus. At each rule broken, a mendicant would confess. It is not in the modern Buddhist canon.

Michaud continues to explain that Buddhist monks were present in China at this time, starting around 150 CE. If so, Zhang Jue may have learned of this ritual. However, this is where Michaud's scholarship again lacks. He addresses a possibility for Zhang Jue's non-Daoist tradition to exist in a supposedly Daoist sect, yet, he does not posit this as a reason why Yu Ji or Zhang Xiu had similar practices. Since confession is lacking in modern Daoism, it seems more likely (to me) that this tradition fell out of favor rather was introduced by monks barely little widespread recognition from their 34 year presence. (Actually, less than 34. If they arrive around 150 and the Way of Peace began some time shortly after 170, you're looking at twenty years). That said, it is possible that such an action was unique and dynamic enough that it caught the popular attention of the less educated, thus not making it into documented history. If so, religious leaders of the day could have been all capitalizing on contemporary zeitgeist. It's unproven either way.

Still, Michaud finds it curious that modern Taoists accept Zhang Lu and his rebels of Five Bushels as progenitors of their movement. They make no mention of Zhang Jue. Even in collections of black sheep masters, Zhang Jue makes no appearance. He is not claimed by any Taoist writing. Zhang Lu, who defied the Empire, is. It could be, Michaud argues, that because Jue died a failure and Lu was accepted back into imperial fold that Jue is preferred forgotten, though he could have been made a martyr and saint. Therefore, he argues, that the Yellow Turbans were too Buddhist for the Taoists and too Taoist for the Buddhists. He also argues that the Yellow Turbans could have been a completely unique existence, a mixture of beliefs with a new doctrine. Later Buddhist historians lumped them in with Taoists either because of an anti-Taoist agenda or a lack of knowledge otherwise.

He makes no mention of Yu Ji either way, despite Yu Ji hailing from the same region as Zhang Jue and having similar practices.

Finally, the story of the Five Bushels is presented here. Zhang Xiu was the leader of the movement (never mentioned as founder, leaving it open that Zhang Daoling was the founder a couple generations prior). His rebellion was likely spurned by the early success of the Yellow Turbans rather than any direct connection. Liu Yan sent Zhang Lu to battle Zhang Xiu. Lu won, and then proclaimed himself leader of the Five Pects, barred the valley of Hanzhong and continued Xiu's rebellion. There is no mentioned relation between Xiu and Lu. Lu is legitimized by being the grandson of Zhang Daoling.

This raises many questions. Why was Zhang Xiu leading Zhang Daoling's movement? Why send Zhang Lu to battle Zhang Xiu if Lu is in line for that movement as well? Why was Lu, Daoling's grandson, not leading the movement? Why did the followers of the Five Pects accept Lu after he killed Xiu? These questions are never answered by Michaud, but he presents a theory. His theory is that Lu is not the grandson of Daoling. He simply claimed to be in order to inherit the movement and gain its followers. They accepted him on this ground.

If that was the case, the followers would have known about Daoling as the real founder, which Michaud confusingly also disputes. Another possibility is that Xiu was the grandson and Lu claimed it in his stead. No answer is provided. Also, Zhang Lu's mother was noted for demonic practices and to use her charms on Liu Yan to get her son favor. Due to the writers, “demonic practices” could easily correlate to Taoist magic.

Moreover, the western region of China was known for having certain undocumented folk religions. Actually, the eastern too. These were rural and equivalent to many “pagan” (which means rural) religions in Europe. These could provide certain regional differences when mixed with Taoism. It is my interpretation that the distinctive “lenses” we look back on history with did not exist at that time.

Terminology: (for those interested)
Shan Tao- good “Way,” meaning the proper path to follow in life
Fang- general or wizard? Translation is unclear. These were some sort of commanders.
Ta-fang- commanded more than 10,000 men
Hsiao-fang- 6-7 thousand
Ch'u-shuai- lieutenant of sorts for the fang, means great leader.
Chia-tzu- first year of a new cycle
Huang-chin- Yellow Turban
Chien-ling – Officers-against-evil
Kuei-li – officers-against-specters
Chi-Chiu – wine sacrificers

4. The Motivation and Extent of the Rebellion
pgs 97-
In chapter IV, Michaud examines certain members of the movement, as well as execution and reason for it's existence. He writes about the event in 183 in which Liu Tao, Yueh Sung and Yuan Kung sent a joint memorial to the Emperor warning about the rise of the Yellow Turbans. But there's no evidence of the Yellow Turbans having caused trouble at this time. Simply, that they were rising in power. The memorial was ignored.

Despite De Groot, another historian, arguing that the Yellow Turbans were heavily and brutally persecuted, there is no evidence anywhere of such action. Michaud posits that Jue could have rebelled after looking and around and seeing significant followers, fearing potential backlashes from the government, or ambition.

(NOTE: it seems a logical conclusion if sinners need to be cleansed with charmed water, so does the corrupt empire. Therefore, it must be cleansed. Rebellion is the next step. Jesus was feared for this same thing, actually. He had peaceful followers, massive numbers. He spoke of righting wrongs. While dealing with the wronged, you must eventually look at those that wronged them. Romans feared he would start accusing them, at least, so some historians argue.)

Jue's motivation is left unclear. However, Michaud proves an exemplary cliometric study of the rebellion. (NOTE: Cliometrics is a study through numbers, often paired with history... like economic history... pie charts, etc). He uses the Hou Han Shou to get the population of China at the time, which was roughly 57 million with something like 10.6 million households. 360,000 followers, he estimates were members of the Yellow Turbans. He gives a quote roughly stating “Of the men of Yu, chi, Yen, Hsu, Ching, Ch'ing, Yang, and Yu, there were none that did not entirely respond...to Chang Chueh.” Maspero argued that this meant 2/3s of the empire rose in revolt. Michaud then studies why the contemporary ministers would have believed it to be so widespread. The answer was simply 360,000 followers was significant, especially in the Heartland with high populations. (Combine this with other contemporary rebellions like the Five Sects and it seems like yes, the world is rising in revolution). Lastly, while not reported in detail here, he breaks down the location of the Yellow Turbans and presents in percentages.

5. Conclusion
Michaud's conclusion focuses on just how drastic the Yellow Turban rebellion was for the fate of the Han. From here, he tells us the tale of the eunuchs, Dong Zhuo, He Jin, and the fall of the Han. He ends with “The rebellion of the Yellow Turbans was then a danger signal which could have saved the dynasty, but as it was it became the first of a series of actions that brought the dynasty to its end.” Michaud's work took fifty pages to debunk and demystify the information surrounding the Yellow Turbans, creating a foundation from which future historians can build. Unfortunately, not all of this information was spread or accepted due to it being an academic piece. Academic history tends to miss the wide-audience of popular history.

III. Additional Annotations and Thoughts
Coming at a later date...
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Re: The Yellow Turbans - by Paul Michaud

Unread postby Sun Fin » Sun Jun 22, 2014 12:29 pm

When I've got time I'm going to sit down and spend some focused time reading your article Waw.

Until then I just wanted to add that you can buy a copy of this dissertation here in either PDF or hard copy form.

I also want to ask whether you'd be willing to write a short review for the Michaud's work for this thread I'm compiling.
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Re: The Yellow Turbans - by Paul Michaud

Unread postby waw » Sun Jun 22, 2014 6:23 pm

Yes, I'll post something for you in a few days.
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Re: The Yellow Turbans - by Paul Michaud

Unread postby Jordan » Sun Jun 22, 2014 10:39 pm

First time I've heard of this. Your commentary was a good read.

I might have to look into it.
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Re: The Yellow Turbans - by Paul Michaud

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Mon Jun 23, 2014 9:35 am

Interesting read, thanks waw. Not sure I would agree with the eunuch/gentry part mind

Finally, the story of the Five Bushels is presented here. Zhang Xiu was the leader of the movement (never mentioned as founder, leaving it open that Zhang Daoling was the founder a couple generations prior). His rebellion was likely spurned by the early success of the Yellow Turbans rather than any direct connection. Liu Yan sent Zhang Lu to battle Zhang Xiu. Lu won, and then proclaimed himself leader of the Five Pects, barred the valley of Hanzhong and continued Xiu's rebellion. There is no mentioned relation between Xiu and Lu. Lu is legitimized by being the grandson of Zhang Daoling.


Wasn't it that Zhang Xiu rebelled, was brought back into the fold then sent with Zhang Lu to take Hanzhong from Su Gu... then Zhang Lu killed him?
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Re: The Yellow Turbans - by Paul Michaud

Unread postby capnnerefir » Mon Jun 23, 2014 4:02 pm

Dong Zhou wrote:
Finally, the story of the Five Bushels is presented here. Zhang Xiu was the leader of the movement (never mentioned as founder, leaving it open that Zhang Daoling was the founder a couple generations prior). His rebellion was likely spurned by the early success of the Yellow Turbans rather than any direct connection. Liu Yan sent Zhang Lu to battle Zhang Xiu. Lu won, and then proclaimed himself leader of the Five Pects, barred the valley of Hanzhong and continued Xiu's rebellion. There is no mentioned relation between Xiu and Lu. Lu is legitimized by being the grandson of Zhang Daoling.


Wasn't it that Zhang Xiu rebelled, was brought back into the fold then sent with Zhang Lu to take Hanzhong from Su Gu... then Zhang Lu killed him?


According to de Crespigny, Zhang Xiu (or possibly Zhang Heng) rebelled in 184 (inspired by the success of the Turbans). Some time in 191, Liu Yan decided to disengate himself from the government, which was currently under Dong Zhuo's control. He made peace with Zhang Xiu and Zhang Lu and sent them to kill Su Gu, the Grand Administrator of Hanzhong. They did so successfully and then sealed off Hanzhong, capturing any messengers that were sent for Liu Yan, which gave Liu Yan a plausible reason to ignore any orders issued to him by Dong Zhuo or his successors. After Liu Zhang succeeded Liu Yan, Zhang Lu turned against him while Zhang Xiu supported him. So Zhang Lu killed Zhang Xiu and took sole command of Hanzhong.
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Re: The Yellow Turbans - by Paul Michaud

Unread postby waw » Mon Jun 23, 2014 5:44 pm

Yes, Michaud is quite unclear/wrong about Zhang Xiu. Please note the vast majority of that information is directly Michaud's, not my own.
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Re: The Yellow Turbans - by Paul Michaud

Unread postby Xu Yuan » Sat Jun 28, 2014 11:50 am

Well this is some impressive effort! I like the idea that Zhang Jue represents a "successful" Jesus. That a minor religious leader could rise in rebellion with some success. It's quite an interesting correlation and will have to make me rethink Zhang Jue's characterization in media.
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Re: The Yellow Turbans - by Paul Michaud

Unread postby Sun Fin » Sun Dec 04, 2016 4:42 pm

I've just ordered the Thesis as my Christmas present from my parents. Excited for it to arrive and to see what's there!
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