Paper on Xun Yu for Historical Conference

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Paper on Xun Yu for Historical Conference

Unread postby Xu Yuan » Fri Feb 24, 2017 3:50 pm

Hello everyone,

So earlier in the semester one of my professors suggested that I apply to be part of a Historical Conference and I was given the opportunity to write about anything I desired. As such I chose my subject to be on Xun Yu, his relationship with Cao Cao, and his attempt to protect the Han.

I have all of the necessary knowledge in my head and I can draw a large amount from his biography, but I will need other sources as this is a scholarly paper (at least more than 10 for the 7 page length this should be). So if anyone has any suggestions of English sources for this sort of study, I would be very grateful for your assistance.
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Re: Paper on Xun Yu for Historical Conference

Unread postby waywardauthor » Fri Feb 24, 2017 4:52 pm

Carl Leban's Ts'ao Ts'ao and the rise of Wei
Rafe de Crespigny's Man from the Margin
Howard L Goodman's Ts'ao P'i Transcendent: The Political Culture of Dynasty Founding in China at the End of the Han (In the early chapter there is a remark about how the Xuns and the Chengs were a close intermarried network of clans, but the two fell out of favor with each other because of issues of dynastic succession)
Rafe de Crepsigny's Imperial Warlord
Anything on the bureaucracy of the later Han
Rafe de Crespigny's Fire over Luoyang
Xun Yueh (149-209) The Life and Reflections of an Early Medieval Confucian by Chi Yun Chen
The Xun Xu book by Howard L Goodman might have a mention or two of him
And then there's the SGZs and the Zizhi Tongjian

There is a list of stuff here that I regurgitated all over the English Sources thread.
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Re: Paper on Xun Yu for Historical Conference

Unread postby Xu Yuan » Fri Feb 24, 2017 4:59 pm

That is quite the exhaustive list, I will need to ask my University to send for some of those books. Thank you for your help Waywardauthor.
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Re: Paper on Xun Yu for Historical Conference

Unread postby waywardauthor » Fri Feb 24, 2017 5:25 pm

Xu Yuan wrote:That is quite the exhaustive list, I will need to ask my University to send for some of those books. Thank you for your help Waywardauthor.

You're welcome!

The key thing is that when it comes to this era, you'll find a lot of stuff that is close - but not quite right. You can use other sources to compare and contrast Xun Yu's attempts to keep the Han Dynasty alive in Shu-Han (where you can use the book on the Talents of Shu), or with the loyalists of Wei during the Wei-Jin transition, or the Jin in the Jin-Liu Song transition.

It gets a bit messy sometimes.
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Re: Paper on Xun Yu for Historical Conference

Unread postby waywardauthor » Fri Feb 24, 2017 9:45 pm

A quote from Cao Pi Transcendent:

"If we put aside the legitimizing genealogy invented after the Simas became the Jin imperial family, then we clearly are delaing with loca magnates who come into state service during the Han as grand administrators, mayors, and generals. They apparently had not been critical military figures or famous scholars of the "pure" cliques - those anti-eunuch literary men who were martyred during the tang-ku proscriptions. The family was granted lands in Ho Nei, Wen Hsien, purportedly at the beginning of the Han, but whether or not that dating is correct, we know that throughout the last several decades of the Eastern Han they based their home there and derived power by raising troops and maintaining alliances. They established marriage ties with several powerful norther families, for instance the Ying Ch'uan Xuns, some of whom later would refuse to tender loyalty to Cao Cao, a stance parallel with that of the Simas"

Page 53, Chapter 2. There was more on them somewhere in the book, and when I come across it I'll post some quotes for you. The citation for this paragraph stated that Xun Kai was a grandson of Sima Yi by one of his daughters.
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Re: Paper on Xun Yu for Historical Conference

Unread postby Xu Yuan » Sat Feb 25, 2017 7:24 pm

That's a pretty bold claim! I especially liked the "stance paralleled with that of the Simas" as it presents the Sima's eventual overthrow of Wei in a wholly different light if they weren't really on board with Cao Cao to begin with (granted I knew that Sima Yi had to be forced into service, but by all appearances then he maintained loyalty through the first three Cao rulers).
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Re: Paper on Xun Yu for Historical Conference

Unread postby waywardauthor » Mon Feb 27, 2017 2:46 am

Xu Yuan wrote:That's a pretty bold claim! I especially liked the "stance paralleled with that of the Simas" as it presents the Sima's eventual overthrow of Wei in a wholly different light if they weren't really on board with Cao Cao to begin with (granted I knew that Sima Yi had to be forced into service, but by all appearances then he maintained loyalty through the first three Cao rulers).

Its a pretty bold book. I'm working my way through it at the moment. A basic idea that is used is that the Cao family were lower gentry upstarts that were rough and ready military men. Cao Cao was able to bring the family a sense of respectability that went above and beyond its station, and he was able to recreate and mediate court culture. However, the Caos were never fully accepted by the gentry, and won through their independent martial power. Cao Pi tried to correct this, but while he had a great deal of success, he left his Empire vulnerable. Chapter 2 of the book just compares and contrasts the Cao and Sima families, and their relationship with the gentry. I'm a little sad that he does not considered the Wei-Jin transition within the scope of his authorial purview.

Not worth treating as gospel, but it is a surprisingly good book. That the Xun family got rehabilitated somewhat under the Jin Dynasty is also an interesting thing to discuss in the Xun Xu book by the same author. When I come across useful quotes, I'll put them up here.
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Re: Paper on Xun Yu for Historical Conference

Unread postby Xu Yuan » Mon Feb 27, 2017 5:01 am

Oh that would be fantastic, thank you Waywardauthor. I have several of your suggestions being sent to my college and will dive into them when they arrive, it's always good to have a second set of eyes though.
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Re: Paper on Xun Yu for Historical Conference

Unread postby waywardauthor » Mon Mar 06, 2017 1:09 am

Xu Yuan wrote:Oh that would be fantastic, thank you Waywardauthor. I have several of your suggestions being sent to my college and will dive into them when they arrive, it's always good to have a second set of eyes though.

A few other things: Cao Cao's court was rather heavily influenced by Daoism, in contrast with the gentry affiliation for Confucianism. Cao Pi went hard on the Daoists within his court, as a way of tackling their influence. Zhang Lu was welcomed into Cao Cao's court, and his movement became very prolific. A follower of his, Li Fu, prompted the discussion for Cao Pi assuming the Emperor title in an official capacity. Cao Pi's locus of support was with the Yingchuan, and the various connected gentry. In Ye, there was another concentration of support, but a well connected member of the gentry Wei Fang took advantage of Cao Cao's absence as revolted. The revolt was put down, many members of the gentry executed, Cao Zhi was humiliated for his ties to some of the plotters, and a decent number of Confucian Gentry supporters of the Han found themselves ostracized and targets of suspicion. Xun Yu, You, and Yue died before this event, but you can look to the family networks and ties of the plotters as they connect back to the Xun family and other noted Han loyalists. It should also be noted that the Cao dynasty decline can be partly placed upon Cao Rui, who rolled back a few of Cao Pi's decisions - such as maintaining the Han calendar rituals. The Cao family also had a great deal of restraint when dealing with people who opposed them. Older Han loyalists were allowed to disappear into obscurity, Liu Xie was allowed to maintain himself and his ancestral temples, and even direct relatives of plotters were forgiven - as many had ties and sometimes close relations to the conspirators of Wei Fang. They were also relatively meritocratic, and attempted to avoid entanglements by choosing humble women an eliminating close family relation's power. They seemed to walk on a tightrope, in a way that the Sun family did not do in Wu. Howard L Goodman remarks that Sima Yi won the conflict with Cao Shuang because he was more bloodthirsty, and no where near as merciful. The Sima clan being a large, well connected family that gradually usurped the Yingchuan connections into itself as the Xiahou and Cao families went into relative decline also speaks to the changing dynamic.

While this is all later than the Xun family dynamic with Cao Cao, you can put the contention between the two in the context of later events. A lot of this is on relatively thin evidence (in my view), but the suggestions are illustrative and provide a plausible context. This is all still from Cao Pi Transcendent.
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: Paper on Xun Yu for Historical Conference

Unread postby Xu Yuan » Mon Mar 06, 2017 8:17 pm

That is exceptionally useful information on why the Han Court lost so much influence after Xun Yu's death. I shouldn't discount the importance of Wei Feng to its final demise.
As you know security
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SimRTK is back up in a testing phase! Go ahead and give it a look over on the Simzhou forum branch.

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