Lets Discuss Liu Bei forces and Cao vs Yuan!

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Re: Lets Discuss Liu Bei forces and Cao vs Yuan!

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Sat Sep 02, 2017 1:16 pm

Thanks wayward

Awkwardly I found something while searching for the 195 famine Han asked about elsewhere and found something on pillaging but if I use it during the next round of debate, particularly given I said the Yuan Shao argument was his strongest, it might feel like a trap or somewhat underhand. From ZZTJ

Yuan Shao and Tian Kai, the Inspector of Qing province appointed by Gongsun Zan, had been fighting continually for two years. Both sides were exhausted, their supplies were finished, and they had plundered each
other's people till the land was a wilderness without one blade of grass.
“You, are a rebellious son who abandoned his father. You are a cruel brigand who murdered his lord. How can Heaven and Earth put up with you for long? And unless you die soon, how can you face the sight of men?”
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Re: Lets Discuss Liu Bei forces and Cao vs Yuan!

Unread postby Han » Sat Sep 02, 2017 2:39 pm

chapter 6, pages 128-136

Nope, wasn't offical historian. Served as educator to heir Liu Xuan and general adviser


Yep. He was a historian in the sense that he recorded histories. However he was never an official one.

I think most would associate ravage with plunder.


Agreed. Just expressing curiosity.

Ah, that makes sense.

I need to explain this so sorry if language is too simplistic. There is no "whose ZZTJ" or "He Yan's ZZTJ" or "Deng Ai's" becuase there is only one ZZTJ rather then individual bio's. What your referring to is cappenfier's, to use the kongming.net term, comprehensive bios which he uses ZZTJ as a main source, adds other sources into it and inserts very much his own personal views. Not the actual ZZTJ

When referring to ZZTJ, we are referring to Sima Guang's history/teaching aide which did cover the 3kingdoms as part of his history of China. It would go year by year as an overall history rather then individual bio's. The relevant ones for 3kingdoms are Emperor Huan and Ling, To Establish Peace 1 and 2 (warning, is a pain in the behind to copy and paste a passage from) and for the post Cao Cao death to invasion of Shu, Jordan posted Achilles Fang's translation here. The latter one is what I was referring to in this case

On the house and affair here
Concerning the “Four Sagacious” and the “Eight Intelligent,” the Weilue in its biography of LI Sheng states, “While Mingdi was prohibiting shallow superficiality, some one reported that Li Sheng had a hall where there were four windows and eight compartments, each having the name of its owner. Because of this he was arrested, but the matter involved too many persons, so he was pardoned, but was dismissed forever from official career.”


“Deng Yang, zi Xuanmao, was a descendent of Deng Yu. While still young, he became renowned in the capital. At that time, he became shangshulang and was appointed ling of Luoyang. Involved in a certain affair, he was dismissed and became zhonglang. Then he was reinstated at court, concurrently serving as zhongshu lang.


Incompetent scholars becuase? Bearing in mind you have provided no evidence so far they failed exams. Yes, Cao Rui the conservative Confucian was against neo-Doaists just like Confucian were against all the other power groups and of course like many a philosophical and theological group across time and world, against other beliefs that were not their own. Cao Rui was eccentric by standards of his time but was still a man of his time including some of the good points and, in this case, the bad


Ah I see. However, what do you mean by "inserts very much his own personal views." ?

I apologise I wrote wrongly. I meant scholars that were incompetent. As in they were great at scholarship but negative at mostly everything else. There are a few exceptions of course, like Xiahou Xuan military career.

According to the last link you provided:

Chapter 11
Wei: Fourth Year of Taihe (230 A.D.)
Shu: Eighth Year of Chien-hsing
Wu: Second Year of Huang-lung

1. Spring. The Sovereign of Wu sent the General (jiangjun) Wei Wen and Zhuge Zhi with ten thousand armed men to sail the sea, in search of the islands Yi-zhou and Tan-zhou; [1] he wished to make captives of the people of these places to augment his army. [2]

Lu Xun and Quan Cong both protested, giving their opinion:[3] "When Prince Huan [i.e., Sun Ce] started, he had no more than one division of troops. At present the army is quite sufficient for our purpose. We should not let our men sail afar through the wastes. In this attempt to make an onslaught on a people ten thousand li distant, wind and waves are difficult to calculate. Furthermore, when people change climate, they are inevitably subject to diseases and epidemics. Bent on increase, we shall suffer decrease; bent on profit, we shall suffer harm. Besides, the people of these places are like animals--even if we obtain them, they will not serve much purpose; without them our army is not deficient."

The Sovereign of Wu did not listen.

2. The shang-shu Zhuge Dan of Lang-ye, the zhongshulang Deng Yang of Nan-yang, and others, formed a partnership. They went on to make internal distinctions: the sanji changshi Xiahou Xuan and others, four men in all, were the "Four Sagacious"; Zhuge Dan, etc., eight in all, were the "Eight Intelligent". [1] Xiahou Xuan was a son of Xiahou Shang. Liu Xi (劉熙), was a son of the zhongshujian Liu Fang; Sun Mi (孫密), a son of the zhongshuling Sun Zi; and Wei Lie (衛烈), a son of the shang-shu Wei Zhen. These three were not their equals, but because their fathers occupied influential positions, they were tolerated as the "Three Candidates". [5]

3. The acting Minister over the Masses (situ) Dong Zhao memorialized the throne, "Of all those who have ruled over the empire there has been none who did not appreciate men of simplicity and truthfulness, and profoundly dislike those who were false and untruthful. This is because the latter would demolish good teachings, disturb good rule, destroy good custom, and injure good transformation. In recent years, Wei Feng was put to death at the end of the Jian-an period and Cao Wei suffered the punishment of death at the beginning of the Huang-chu period. I respectfully observe that the sacred edicts, ancient and modern, expressed deep hatred for superficiality and falsity, to the extent of gnashing the teeth, the intention being to destroy and scatter wicked partisanship. Yet the officials in charge of the law all stand in fear of their power and influence, and so are unable to eliminate them. The destruction of good custom has thus reached an extreme degree.

"I presume to observe that young men of our times do not consider study as their fundamental duty but make it their exclusive business to form associations. These gentlemen of the land do not take filial piety, brotherly affections, and the cultivation of character as the paramount matter, but put first running after the powerful and associating with those who might give them profit. They form groups and associate into parties, mutually praising and eulogizing; calumny and defamation are considered as capital punishment, partisan commendation and praise as rank and reward. Those who follow they praise vociferously; those who do not, they find fault with. They go so far as to say to each other, 'Why worry that we cannot make our lives and careers good? Worry only lest we should not be assiduous in the "way" of searching out people and not extensive in spreading out out net. Why should any man worry that other people do not appreciate him? He only needs to make them swallow our medicine to make them affable.'

"I am also told there are those who even let their slaves and retainers presumptuously assume official titles in their houses; and under these false titles they go to and from the palace, take letters back and fourth, and make inquires.

"All these are things which laws do not permit and which are unpardonable with respect to punishment. Even the crimes of Wei Feng and Cao Wei are not worse than these."

The Emperor commended his words.

4. Second month. On the day Mar. 5 the Emperor issued an edict: "As for internal quality and external embellishment, the change depends on the different teachings. Since war and disturbance began, the study of the classics has been completely abandoned; the advancements of younger people are not given through two Canons (i.e., Yaodian and Shundian) and the three Counsels (Da-yu-mu, Gao-yao-mu, and Yiji, in the Shu jing). Is it not that those whose study is yet insufficient and who are about to be given official appointment have become prominent by their virtue? Those of the shang-shu-lang who have mastered one classic and whose talent suffices to govern the people shall be examined by the Academicians. Those who pass the examination with high marks shall promptly be given appointment; those who are shallow and superficial, and do not consider the source of the true way as their cardinal business, shall be dismissed."

Thereupon the Emperor dismissed Zhuge Dan, Deng Yang, and others from office.

Assuming that Im reading it right, the incidents that you mentioned happened BEFORE the exams.
So it goes: they were talented - they given high positions because of their family - they commited crimes - they were dismissed - they were reinstated - they failed exams - they get fired.
It seems that Zhuge Dan, Deng Yang and others were removed from office after failing exams.

Cao Rui eccentric??? HOW?? The only faults he had were extravagence. He did not commit massacre like Sun Quan or Cao Cao. He did not purge people like Cao Pi or Sun Hao. So... eccentric for his time? Seriously? Other than Liu Bei, which of the Emperors were better than him in moral standards?

I'm basing it on being a knight-errant, possibly Zhang Miao was a rare exception and I may be being unfair given his general nature.

Quite a bit till things began to settle down and all three of the main kingdoms were involved in it. Without criticism.


Are you serious? Zhang Miao was a knight-errant? Prove?

Without criticism? Yes. Zero consequences? No. Mathematically speaking, Cao Cao had numerous campaigns and pillage twice. Liu Bei twice. Sun Quan uncountable( too vague terms). Just by seeing this we can see that pillaging was NOT the norm. Excluding the big three plus Lü Bu and Dong Zhuo(tyrants) very few pillage. Less than fifteen people I will guess. And how many campaigns and warlords were there? Military campaigns? Most likely more than fifty. Warlords? More than fifteen probably, even if we discount the bandit groups and yellow turbans.

Part of your argument is that pillaging was criticized/has bad consequences and that one of the proof is Cao Cao sent forces against the pillaging Liu Bei. That part of the argument only works if your argument is that if Liu Bei hadn't pillaged, Cao Cao would have left him alone.

If one is writing a list of all the pillaging of the era? Yes, one would put it on there. As an example of pillaging? No becuase razing the capital is exceptional.



Yes. If Liu Bei sit down at Runan or some other place without causing trouble, Im sure Cao Cao wouldnt care about him. But since Liu was pillaging near Cao main base, Cao Cao decided to deal with him.

When Liu Bei was a Xinye doing little stuff. Cao Cao largely left him alone excluding Bowang. Notice how Cao Cao didnt attack Liu Bei more than once when Liu Bei was not causing trouble aka pillaging near Cao Cao base. Now imagine if Liu Bei started pillaging the Wancheng area. Would Cao Cao left him alone? Nah... I dont think so.

So yeah. My argument works out.

Razing the capital is special... but is definitely an example of military pillage.
Well there were a few more jobs then that (including, if your rich enough, no job whatsoever which had become to been as a moral act)
In terms of armies, from a professor Rafe essay
The ramshackle pattern of military recruitment had considerable effect upon techniques of warfare and upon the structure of politics for generations to come. Despite theories and formalities of ranks and grades, the basic fighting unit was the group which had gathered or been conscripted about some leader, and each unit was accompanied by a mass of camp-followers, wives and children, cooks and prostitutes, peddlers and gamblers, and a few who specialised in care of the sick and wounded. At the core of command, each chieftain was supported by a group of companions, close relatives or old friends and comrades, whom he could rely upon completely and who served as a focus for the mass of his troops.

In these circumstances, success in combat depended very largely upon the personal courage of the individual commander, the degree with which he could encourage his men to follow him, and the ability to rally them to his standard even after serious defeat. Though accounts of the time exaggerate the heroism of the leaders, it does appear that the pattern of battle required a direct attack by small body of men, who sought to "break the enemy line" and throw the opposing body of troops into disorder and flight. The officers who could embark on such an enterprise were certainly brave and physically skilful, but they were also likely to be violent and egotistical, and they were not necessarily competent administrators or thoughtful counsellors.

The troops these men commanded were unwieldy and uncertain. As authority depended primarily upon prestige and personality, no individual could exercise real control over more than a few hundred or perhaps a thousand men, and any substantial force, perhaps thirty thousand men, must be ordered through a long hierarchy of command, from the leading general to individual units. With limited means of communication, there were constant problems of discipline and supply, while such a military mass was extremely difficult to manoeuvre in the face of battle, where even a minor set-back could produce loss of morale and swift collapse. And though the question was often ignored, there was serious danger of disease amongst such a host of men gathered together. To a considerable degree, armies of that time carried with them the seeds of their own destruction.


Man from Margin has similar


Yes I know how the army works.
Anyways,
Were they paid money to fight? Yes.
Were they given rules to follow? Yes.
Were they trained in formations and tactics? Yes.
Were they promoted and demoted based on official ranks? Yes.
Were they forbade from comitting crime? Usually Yes.
Were there a proper hierachy of official ranks? Yes.

So... were they a professional army? Yes.

Yes, repeated tactic. Yes, the Suns were good rulers who helped change course of Chinese history, they also pillaged their enemies when it was a useful tactic

and Cao Cao got no flak for it. He did for executing figures like Kong Rong, pillaging no.

You have repeated pillaging with no complaints, you have three people saying pillaging was sadly normal, your resorting to "well the exact word used is ravaged rather then pillaged" and "but razing the capital is objected to ergo all pillaging is objected to". Your best argument is the Yuan Shao/Lu Bu one in all honesty


Ok. And proof? The Sgz is very vague on Sun Quan pillages. Sun Ce did not pillage( I think). Pillaging twice or thrice isnt repeated tactic. The reign of the Suns lasted decades. Pillaging twice or thrice out of many military campaigns means it wasnt a constant thing.

Early historians did not criticse Cao Cao much. Only Sun Quan criticise the Kong Rong thing.

No complaints my ass. Lü Bu was rekt by Yuan Shao. By the way I just read finish Dong Zhuo Sgz which you can find here: viewtopic.php?f=5&t=18448

If you read up to the razing of Luoyang. You can still see that Chen Shou was unhappy with Dong Zhuo actions and criticise him for it. Ministers were not pleased with his actions too.
Here: Previously Dong Zhuo had sent an army to Yang Cheng. The attack coincided with February when people came out to celebrate the new year. He ordered troops to chop off men’s heads, confiscated their wagons and herds, kidnapped women and then proceeded to pillage the city. He tied the heads along side of chariots or even on wheel spokes. Dong Zhuo then triumphantly returned to Luoyang where he claimed to have defeated the bandits and the rebellions. People were asked to praise Dong Zhuo to live to ten thousand years of prosperity. After entering the palace compounds, he distributed the kidnapped women to his troops as slaves and concubines. He debauched palace ladies and princesses. His tales of indecency are endless. Dong Zhuo’s malignity had descended to such a profundity.

Here, Chen Shou criticse Dong Zhuo for banditry and pillage.

Xie Chang’s Book of the Later Han: Wu Fu styled Deyu. When he was young he served in a minor position in his local government. He acquired some fame. Later The General-in-Chief heard of him. He was promoted to Palace Attendant, Prefect of Henan, and finally Colonel of the Cavalry. When Dong Zhuo created disorder the court was very fearful. Wu Fu had little armor so he dressed in the garments of the Imperial Court. He hid a knife in them and planned to see and assassinate Dong Zhuo. When he saw Dong Zhuo be brought out the knife and attacked. Dong Zhuo was too strong and overpowered him. Dong Zhuo then brought Wu Fu near and said, “Who told you to rebel?” Wu Fu loudly replied, “You are not my liege, I am not your minister. Where is the rebellion? You have brought disorder to the country and usurped the throne. Your crimes and evils are great. Today is the day I die, having tried to punish a traitor! I am sorry I cannot tear you asunder with chariots to appease the wrath of the world!” Dong Zhuo forthwith killed Wu Fu.

Here, Xie Chang and Wu Fu criticise Dong Zhuo for indecency behaviours.

From this we can see that even if we leave aside the puppeting of Emperor thing and burning of Luoyang thing, many ministers and Chen Shou plus Xie Chang hated Dong Zhuo actions including his banditry deeds and pillaging habits. This means that pillaging and plundering was looked down upon by pretty much everybody.

If pillaging and plundering receive no criticism at all, the ministers will not react in such a manner. They will just accuse him of being a traitor and not say stuff like" Your crimes and evils are great" and " appease the wrath of the world".

so of all the marriages objected to, why does Zhang Fei and then Liu Shan's get nothing?


Yes its strange. But abducting women wasnt ok. Sun Hao and Dong Zhuo was criticise for that.

Ok I'm rather annoyed here on first (and on bit from elsewhere in post I brought in) part. Every time I discuss the reasons why the Chinese Confucian historians didn't act in favour of Cao Shuang and the western ones (bar Professor Rafe briefly in Wei-Jin essay, does touch on philosophical divide) don't cover it, you ignore it. Then repeat the same point, ignoring everything I said, even when I asked you a question. If you don't want to engage with that discussion, just say so but don't let me waste my time by giving you answers your just going to ignore and please, don't post about how histories don't blah blah when your refusing to engage or listen to the argument.

Now onto the now less then 9 points

1) The wife he hated? Such miliatry power, that miliatry commanders reacted badly when he took control?

2) Generally raising forces against the throne is controversial

3) We don't quite know what Shuang's reasoning was for rejecting the advice though I think the histories lean towards Shuang preferred retirement option being offered and lacking... drive but who knows why. Nobody in Cao Shuang's camp or Sima Yi or outsiders said plan wouldn't work. Would Shuang have won? Given Sima Yi's ability, I would place my money on no and it was great for the wider country he didn't becuase it would have plunged the north into a major civil war. However if Cao Shuang was so unpopular ala Liu Shan's regime in it's dying days, he would never have been able to get as far as a major civil war.

Why would soldiers in the Northwest, Xu Chang, the south have all their families in the capital?

7) Yep. Though they are talking in the context of supplying the army in the region. A key reform certainly

8) Yes, I know about Jiang Ji. Not sure why you think I didn't? The ZZTJ has
26. When Cao Shuang was south of the Yi River, Jiang Ji, later canonized as Lord Qing of Changling, sent him a letter saying that the tai-fu intended nothing further than removing him from office. [1] After Cao Shuang was put to death, Jiang Ji was raised in enfeoffment to be Lord of Duxiang. He sent up a memorial earnestly declining this promotion, but he was not permitted to do so. [3] Chagrined at his words to Cao Shuang not being fulfilled, he fell sick, and on the day bingzi (May 19) he died.


He may not have much love for Cao Shuang but he didn't seem to believe he should be executed either so hard to see why he would be angry if Shuang was a traitor and executed.

9) I don't see why you need to assert Sima Yi was a superior general to Cao Shuang there, we all agree on that. You seem rather aggrieved that Shuang had miliatry support


Im giving a reasonable reason for why Sima retired. Just because he hated his wife doesnt mean he wont retire for her funeral.
1. Military commanders hated him for monopolising power NOT for overthrowing Cao Shuang. I will elaborate further down.

2. Not denying that. Im just saying the Caos were incapable while the Simas were. So Im fine with them using military power against the throne.

3. There wont be a civil war. The local gentry and most of the high ranking ministers sided with Sima at that time.

7. A key reform that have nothing to do with Shuang.

8. I never said Shuang was a traitor. I was just giving reasons for Jiang Ji actions.

9. Im not aggrieved lmao. Dont start accusing me of stuff bro. That was rude and unnecessary. I have never accuse you of anything. Anyways, Cao Shuang military support of Shu invasion came from the likes of Xiahou Xuan and his buddies. And we know how that turned out at the end.

Point to me where I said that. Or hinted it. You seem to have got "Cao Shuang being incompetent doesn't add up" "Confucian historians were biased against non-Confucians, females, eunuchs being in power", "I have no idea if Shuang's reforms were good or not" "Sima Yi was superior to Cao Shuang" (I'm paraphrasing myself, not exact quotes) and pointing out some of your arguments seem to be based on a misunderstanding of the texts=confused for "Cao Shuang's regime was so wonderful there was unicorns for everyone". You seem to vehemently need to keep proving, even when your admitting your wrong ala point 9 above, that Sima Yi was superior to Shuang and I don't quite know why.

What I have said I like is the recruitment thing and that is due to the angle I come from on this. For me it is opening recruitment up beyond Confucian gentry, I see how the Confucian gentry kept a grip on things and their bigoted reactions around non-Confucians. So for me it is that there was offical recruitment biased towards gentry and blocking all creeds other then one which is clearly a bad thing so I welcome any attempt to shift it. I admit, becuase of the lack of details, that the reform might not have been effective.

Edit: In fairness, I also like the sound philosophical golden age that was going on


Im trying to say Cao Shuang regime was ineffective in military affairs and civil affairs. While you seem to argue otherwise... No?. That is all.
Calm down bro.

Give me proper evidence about your second paragraph, where Shuang regime was going to implement reforms that will open up recuitment.

Great philosophers and great scholars does not mean competent administrators or generals or advisors.
Xiahou Xuan was pretty decent but the rest of them have average to subpar careers.

Deng Ai's sgz, off the top of my head, also backs it being Sima Yi

Yep. For a kingdom like Wei and Wu, they could usually take such a defeat. A Jiang Wei like figure (aka long mismanagement) would be more crippling

yet within two lines you contradict your earlier acceptance about what that reform was for

Yes, Sima Yi had support and launched a successful coup with the capital's Confucian gentry. You claim the people didn't like Cao Shuang yet they rose up in revolt...0 times


Yes. Sima Yi, NOT Cao Shuang.

No they couldnt. The phrase used was " EXHAUST GuanZhong". The campaign left the army in a worse shape.

How. There were food shortages which Sima Yi eliminated thanks to Deng Ai irrigation projects which Sima Yi implemented. Thus Sima Yi could feed the people of the area. Where is the contradiction.

I did? Where?

Xiahou Xuan's wiki (doesn't quote it's sources so no idea if accurate or not without looking elsewhere) says he failed to curb long standing issue of bribery (wouldn't that indicate an issue with Rui's regime?) rather then he was corrupt himself, appointed good men and Sima Yi blocked a reform

See way way earlier in post on He Yan ZZTJ

Based on the word of their Confucian enemies who were biased and had a history of making such claims about their enemies every single time? Famed scholars of great intellect whose crime was thinking in ways the Confucian gentry didn't like. I agree, they fired those they disliked like the Sima's (who would go further and execute those they disliked :wink: ).

I have, quite a few times, but each time, you disagree. So why go through that merry go round again?


Xiahou Xuan was promoted under Shuang regime and did not have a high rank under Rui. So... the bribery thing probably happened under Shuang.

Its bullshit that you are defaming the official histories. You cant just pick and choose what to follow and not follow without giving ANY evidence. Thats not how history work at all.

For example, when I say abducting women was not okay, I pointed to Sun Hao and Dong Zhuo biographies as proper evidence.

When I say pillaging was not accepted, I pointed to Yuan Shao actions after Lü Bu actions.

So if you say stuff like "Based on the word of their Confucian enemies who were biased and had a history of making such claims about their enemies every single time? Famed scholars of great intellect whose crime was thinking in ways the Confucian gentry didn't like.", you need to provide proper evidence.

Furthermore, you previously said that He Yan was such an influential scholar that his works were studied over time. So, why didnt futute Chinese historians who studied these works try to make an argument for He Yan actions?

Lastly, every Chinese Dynasties are extremely different to one another. The way they approach Confucianism is also different. He Yan and friends were extremely influential and capable as SCHOLARS and their works were studied for nearly a thousand years. Yet, no historians of these times try to prop up He Yan.

Gee I wonder why.

Its up to you I suppose. Just a reminder that this is a forum for discussion. Its up to you if you want to share your opinions. Just dont expect people to agree with you every time.

I agree

When a adult monarch died (or a really really powerful regent) pretty much anywhere for a lot of history, it didn't so much matter if they ever led forces but it was seen as an opportunity by rivals. Why? The moment of death and succession was vulnerable in a monarchy system, all sorts of things could go wrong, political games get played, court gets distracted, new people come to a power that might impact them (Wang Yun for example, brilliant minister, awful head of government). People in moments of change, like in a company takeover, can feel uneasy and uncertain. Given Rui's succession was going to be riskier then most (adopted successor, child=regency), anything particularly could happen. Wu tried it's luck and worst case scenario, the court sorts itself out and they get nowhere so Wu gets defeated no real harm done. Good scenario for Wu is that tries it's luck and they could exploit chaos or nerves or regencies going horribly wrong.

I agree it was a bad defeat and it had temporary consequences for Guanzhong though it did seem to recover. Even worse for the Qiang mind, they got really shafted by that camapign and I suspect they got rather less help in recovering.


Im not just talking about military affairs by the way. Im also talking about domestic administration. Cao Pi compared Sima Yi to Xiao He while Cao Shuang was incompetent according to EVERY official histories.

Ah I understand now. Agreed. Wu first invasion was most likely because of Rui death. But their second invasion COULD be wanting to capatalise on Shuang incomptenecy, as Sun Quan removed Zhuge Ke after Sima Yi arrival.

Bad defeat is a huge understatement, considering the fact that it exhausted two provinces. They were only able to recover because Fei Yi was focusing on internal development while Sun Quan was starting to deal with the Crown Prince Affair.

Note what it is being dismissed is Yu Huan's claim of seizing married women. Not anything to do with ranking which is covered by Empress and Consorts. Page 57 and 58 mentions Rui's harem a few times
Both Wei and Wu saw the creation of large harems. Cao Fang's lasciviousness may have been encouraged by the example of his adoptive father Emperor Ming, who bult up a large harem that occupied his attention at the expenses of the affairs of state. Although it only obliquely mentioned in one place in the translation below
Cutter/Cromwell referring to the collection of Empress sgzs,
Emperor Ming was criticized for recruiting large numbers of young women for his harem. One passage from the Wei epitome reports that he established eight wards in which to house his ladies of talent according to rank, with those occupying titles of honourable lady and lady or above occupying the south side.
A bit about Rui having females handling correspondence
Finally the Wei Epitome observes that "those from the honourable ladies down to shangbao and those who swept the lateral courts (ie the harem) or were versed in entertainment and song, each numbers in the thousands. Chen Shou described the consequences of Emperor Ming's excesses: "The emperor built palaces on a large scale and thus made the people toil; he made the extensive levies of girls to fill his harem. The imperial sons born in the harem died prematurely one after another, no heir growing up." Emperor Ming's failure to produce an heir was thus linked-at the least in the historian's mind, to his profligacy and by extension, so was the fall of the Wei. Profligacy, then, was viewed as a political problem as a well as a moral one, for the growth of the harem usually was a taken to signal a decline in the emperor's engagement in affairs of state


Page 89 and 90 quoting the sgz directly explain Wei ranks
Wei followed the Han model, all the terms for mothers and empresses were the same as under the old system. But from the ranks of lady Down, here were additions and deletions. When the Grand Progenitorr (Cao Cao) established the kingdom, he initially named a queen with five ranks below her (skipping name of ranks).
Lists Cao Pi's five more, Cao Rui's three but abolishing one and one reshuffle.
from lay down, there were altogether twelve grades of aristocratic rank
and then how much bushels each rank was equivalent to. Sorry but unless you really want the naming of the ranks, skipping typing that part.


Okay fine. Cao Rui was extravagant and had too much women. But that was his only faults. Does not change the fact that he was a paragon of virtue. Once again, out of every warlord, who was more virturous than him? I cant think of any. Maybe Liu Bei and Liu Yu but thats it.

Most refugees in early years did flock well away from Central Plains becuase that was the sensible thing to do. Later you had likes of Chang Lin, Tian Chou, Tian Yu, He Kui and groups under them coming in, while the system was about resettling refugees which indicated Cao Cao and co had a lot to settle. Cao Cao plundered a few enemies but provided great administrative reform like the farming (Rafe's Wei Jin essay)

The problem facing Cao Cao was twofold: on the one hand, there were great numbers of refugees, driven from their homes by war and famine, and at the same time there were numerous local organisations which had taken responsibility for many of the people, and which offered a low-level competition for legitimacy and power. Many of these organisations, often described as "bandits" or "rebels" were formed amongst the peasants, and they sometimes took the form of clan groupings or religious associations. The great majority of dispossessed or uncertain people, however, gathered about some local magnate, and through this pattern of commutation the power of gentry clans, which had already been great under Later Han, came to dominate the local economy, society and administration. The restoration of full imperial power required not merely victory in war, but also the re-establishment or replacement of a system of government which had been growing steadily less effective for some two hundred years.

At an early stage of the civil war, about 196, Cao Cao established a number of "agricultural garrisons" (tuntian) in the neighbourhood of Xu city, his chief headquarters. There was arable land nearby which had been abandoned by refugees and was available to the government, and it was sensible and appropriate that surplus people should be allocated the empty fields. The distinctive point about the new system, however, was that the farmers maintained a direct relationship with the government, that they were granted supplies and material assistance, and that they returned a regular share of produce to the imperial granaries and treasury.

Traditionally, under the Han dynasty, a tax had been levied upon each subject's land-holding, while other government exactions, such as poll tax, civil corvee and military conscription or payment for substitutes, placed a heavy burden on the peasant farmer. The opportunities for corruption and confusion, and for false reporting and evasion, were very great, particularly since the bureaucrats responsible for the collection of the revenues tended to come from the land-owning families themselves. The new agricultural garrisons, through concentration upon sharing the yield, removed the need for surveys of the quantity and quality of the land, and by placing the peasants under the direct control of the government the system eliminated the influences of private interest.

A good deal of debate took place before this policy on sharing production was determined. Since the government was providing the land and farming equipment, notably including oxen for the heavy work of ploughing, there were many who argued that the farmers should be required to pay a fixed rental, regardless of the value of the crop. Cao Cao's adviser Zao Zhi, however, argued that the government levy should be taken as a percentage of the yield, not as a fixed sum: the share-cropping system provided a steady incentive towards higher production, and although a fixed sum might appear more likely to produce a guaranteed return, it would still be necessary to reduce payments in time of poor harvest. This was agreed, and it appears that the government received 50% of the annual yield from the tenant of a garrison, or 60% when the oxen used were owned by the state.


From Man from the margin
Second, still more important, Cao Cao established a system of military agricultural colonies, which resettled peasants dispossessed by war onto fields that others had abandoned. The new tenants were allocated land under direct control of the government, without intervention from the former landlords: and in ready exchange they defended their territory and produced reliable supplies for armies further afield. None of his rivals were willing or able to match this administrative coup, and the power of his state grew without interruption
Then there is the ZTTJ (search Ren Jun)

Tuntian system that was established after Lu Bu's invasion of Yan and yes, it did end (as much as one can of course) famine. I have read through the ZZTJ and it is remarkable how much famine there was before 196 compared to after. Yes, Cao Cao had supply issues during Guan Du, I said it ended famine not provided enteral unending supplies for armies though it does seem to have been given him a huge edge on his rivals.


Google net me nothing about those guys flocking to Cao Cao. Just Cao Cao hiring them thats it... Feel free to provide evidence to back up your claims.

The quotes that you link show Cao Cao setting up the tuntian system and the benefits, NOT refugees flocking to him.

Right. You are correct, Im wrong. Cao Cao ended famines to a certain extent. However, Yuan Shao did not stuggle with supply issues even though he was further away from his main base compared to Cao Cao. Furthermore, when the Jin dynasty abolish it, there was no negative consequences( famine, supplies issues).

But Professor Rafe doesn't argue Gan Ji didn't exist or that Sun Ce didn't kill him. With mystics, the tales are always tall


Rafe pretty much doubts the stories. Here:
This would provide the work with a useful antiquity, but it also
implies that Gan Ji was rather more than 250 years old at the time he
met with Sun Ce.

As Pei Songzhi remarks, it is impossible to reconcile the details
of these two stories concerning the death of Gan Ji.

If we can accept the stories, Gan Ji and Gao Dai
were both victims of this trait, but one should be careful of accepting
any of these tales as they stand

It is remarkable how the death of Sun Ce attracted such a variety
of anecdotes, with references and allusions to subjects as diverse as
Cao Cao and Taiping jing, but we can make no proper judgement of
which tales may be accepted, and to what degree.

I dont think Rafe flat out says: Gan Ji never existed. But he pretty much doubt the stories and the role Sun Ce play in it.

Liu Bei's sgz annotation 1


I: Throughout the Chronicles of Shu in SGZ, Liu Bei is referred to as the First Sovereign. This shows that Shu was considered only a kingdom rather than a legitimate dynasty at the time of writing. Later on, Liu Bei was also known by various names such as Liu Zhu, Shu Zhu, Han Zhu, and Han Zhao Lie.


Liu Bei's claim was to be Xian's successor. By calling him First Sovereign, Chen Shou is attacking the legitimacy of that claim and putting Liu Bei's dynasty as just two emperors. Why? Probably tactful for Jin.
[/quote]

That was the translator own opinion.

Chen Shou probably called Liu Bei First/Latter Sovereign because there were only two Emperors of Shu. The first and the second.

My point is Chen Shou preferred the Wei and Jin dynasties due to issues of legitmacy. However, he preferred his state over Wu.
Last edited by Han on Sat Sep 02, 2017 3:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Lets Discuss Liu Bei forces and Cao vs Yuan!

Unread postby Han » Sat Sep 02, 2017 2:51 pm

Awkwardly I found something while searching for the 195 famine Han asked about elsewhere and found something on pillaging but if I use it during the next round of debate, particularly given I said the Yuan Shao argument was his strongest, it might feel like a trap or somewhat underhand. From ZZTJ

Yuan Shao and Tian Kai, the Inspector of Qing province appointed by Gongsun Zan, had been fighting continually for two years. Both sides were exhausted, their supplies were finished, and they had plundered each
other's people till the land was a wilderness without one blade of grass.


Nah its not underhanded.
Anyways, Yuan Shao plundered once. Only once. This guys had tens of campaigns and he plundered once. Does not change the fact that plundering under professional armies was uncommon.
Does not change the fact that pillaging was looked down upon.
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Re: Lets Discuss Liu Bei forces and Cao vs Yuan!

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Sat Sep 02, 2017 3:39 pm

I want to deal with where I have caused offence or things look heated now rather then leave it for a few days

and just to clarify, I don't mean eccentric as an insult.

9. Im not aggrieved lmao. Dont start accusing me of stuff bro. That was rude and unnecessary. I have never accuse you of anything. Anyways, Cao Shuang military support of Shu invasion came from the likes of Xiahou Xuan and his buddies. And we know how that turned out at the end.


Would you have been happier with annoyed? Out of curiosity. I certainly did not mean to be rude or accusatory and I'm sorry for upsetting you.

I was puzzled. It may simply be your debating style (I'm seeing you doing similar things with Cao Rui) where you accept the point then go with a but. Which is fine, I honestly thought you were annoyed but if that isn't the case, I'll bear that in mind.
Im trying to say Cao Shuang regime was ineffective in military affairs and civil affairs. While you seem to argue otherwise... No?. That is all.
Calm down bro.


What you said was "suddenly make Wei better" (again paraphrasing) which would contradict several of the arguments I have made.

Maybe this will help: I'm arguing that Cao Shuang wasn't necessarily corrupt (I know you will disagree with that but just where I'm coming from) and wasn't kingdom destroying level blatantly incompetent. Not that he was better then Sima Yi, I think there is no evidence for that whatsoever. Partly becuase Sima Yi was, bar his bizarre performance against Zhuge Liang, brilliant so very high level to reach, I would say most of the political figures of the time would be inferior to Sima Yi and lose a conflict. I would also say Cao Shuang clearly had major flaws (inability to realize how appointing a make up wearing drug user like He Yan would seem, that camapign, lack of ruthlessness, dithering in the big moments).

Imagine how bad a He Yan like figure (and let us agree this modern He Yan isn't corrupt for our example) being appointed to high office would seem now, then go back a couple thousand years for how bad that PR disaster was. He really really should have foreseen that being a problem.

I am sorry for snapping. I have been seeing way too many (not you) "painting your opponent's viewpoint in a deliberately inaccurate way" of late (I'm an Arsenal fan, fair to say the divide in that camp leads to that a lot) and you got unfair blowback from that


Gee I wonder why.

Its up to you I suppose. Just a reminder that this is a forum for discussion. Its up to you if you want to share your opinions. Just dont expect people to agree with you every time.


Not sure if Gee bit is continuation on Chinese history or in reference to my saying you would disagree with any achievement I list line. I also see why you felt I was going for that, a bit harsh but I put my point badly and so fair enough.

What I was going for is that you asked for a list of achievements however I had posted some (like the philosophical golden age) and each time you disagree. I never said that wasn't fine, this forum would be boring if "who is the biggest traitor" dissolved into "and we all agree it is so and so" (Sima Yi and Liu Bei joint top, clearly :P ) but all my posting them up as a list would lead to is you disagreeing. Then we would go through the exact same arguments so I honestly didn't feel it would help the debate any. I realize that is not how it came across, I hold my hands up on that.

Your free to disagree. From anything from "best colour" to who was at fault for Jing 219 (which used to be brutal when I was a new member, those got really heated) with anyone on this forum. I have even in this thread gone "agree to disagree" on certain points and however strongly we argue (and I do argue strongly), that will always be the case. If I ever make you feel like I'm demanding you can't disagree again then I'm sorry, please know that is never what I mean. I have been on places like this a long time, I know how forums work, trust me you never have to agree with me on a debate and I won't ever begrudge you for that.

Unless you say Cao Cao sucks :wink:
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Re: Lets Discuss Liu Bei forces and Cao vs Yuan!

Unread postby Han » Sat Sep 02, 2017 5:14 pm

Would you have been happier with annoyed? Out of curiosity. I certainly did not mean to be rude or accusatory and I'm sorry for upsetting you.

I was puzzled. It may simply be your debating style (I'm seeing you doing similar things with Cao Rui) where you accept the point then go with a but. Which is fine, I honestly thought you were annoyed but if that isn't the case, I'll bear that in mind.


Aggrieve is a pretty strong word... No? Anyways whatever. It doesnt really matter. Im not upset by the way...

Im on a forum of discussion. When discussing why would I be annoyed? Im never annoyed.

What you said was "suddenly make Wei better" (again paraphrasing) which would contradict several of the arguments I have made.

Maybe this will help: I'm arguing that Cao Shuang wasn't necessarily corrupt (I know you will disagree with that but just where I'm coming from) and wasn't kingdom destroying level blatantly incompetent. Not that he was better then Sima Yi, I think there is no evidence for that whatsoever. Partly becuase Sima Yi was, bar his bizarre performance against Zhuge Liang, brilliant so very high level to reach, I would say most of the political figures of the time would be inferior to Sima Yi and lose a conflict. I would also say Cao Shuang clearly had major flaws (inability to realize how appointing a make up wearing drug user like He Yan would seem, that camapign, lack of ruthlessness, dithering in the big moments).

Imagine how bad a He Yan like figure (and let us agree this modern He Yan isn't corrupt for our example) being appointed to high office would seem now, then go back a couple thousand years for how bad that PR disaster was. He really really should have foreseen that being a problem.

I am sorry for snapping. I have been seeing way too many (not you) "painting your opponent's viewpoint in a deliberately inaccurate way" of late (I'm an Arsenal fan, fair to say the divide in that camp leads to that a lot) and you got unfair blowback from that


By all accounts he was corrupt. Promoting and firing people however he like, forcing Sima Yi into retirement and limiting the Dowager power.

Kingdom destroying incompetent is a little too harsh.
However, in his brief reign, he f'd up the troops of TWO major provinces, turned all the local gentry against him which led to the ministers flying into the open arms of the Simas.

Its okay lol. Once again, Im not mad or annoyed. This is just a discussion forum. Thats it.

Not sure if Gee bit is continuation on Chinese history or in reference to your disagreeing with any achievement I list. I also see why you felt I was going for that, a bit harsh but I put my point badly and so fair enough.

What I was going for is that you asked for a list of achievements however I had posted some (like the philosophical golden age) and each time you disagree. I never said that wasn't fine, this forum would be boring if "who is the biggest traitor" dissolved into "and we all agree it is so and so" (Sima Yi and Liu Bei joint top, clearly :P ) but all my posting them up as a list would lead to is you disagreeing. Then we would go through the exact same arguments so I honestly didn't feel it would help the debate any. I realize that is not how it came across, I hold my hands up on that.


The gee bit refers to no historians propping up He Yan even though he was an extremely influential philosopher and scholar.

You did? Where? Anyways I NEVER disagreed with the philosophical achievements of Cao Shuang buddies. My argument was always they were great scholars and philosophers but incompetent in military and domestic affairs bar a few exceptions. Thus, they did not deserve their high ranks. Thats all.

Just wanted to say Im cool with everything. Not mad or upset or annoyed.
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Re: Lets Discuss Liu Bei forces and Cao vs Yuan!

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Sat Sep 02, 2017 7:21 pm

Aggrieve is a pretty strong word... No?


Not as far as I'm aware but I'll keep that in mind

You did? Where? Anyways I NEVER disagreed with the philosophical achievements of Cao Shuang buddies. My argument was always they were great scholars and philosophers but incompetent in military and domestic affairs bar a few exceptions. Thus, they did not deserve their high ranks. Thats all.


It is also about creating a situation by government where such a culture of philosophy to be fair. What essentially became the "numbered list" (think we got up to 9?) aka people fed, armies intact, people not revolting, political victories (I would also a more social liberal attitude, not that it stuck clearly), so and so on forth. I'm not claiming those are wonderful achievements (and I know you dispute most of them), most of these are doing the basic competences of government but it is vs the "can't find their own elbow" portrayal they usually get
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Re: Lets Discuss Liu Bei forces and Cao vs Yuan!

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Wed Sep 06, 2017 5:42 pm

Using spooler tags for the long passages I'm quoting

Ah I see. However, what do you mean by "inserts very much his own personal views." ?

I apologise I wrote wrongly. I meant scholars that were incompetent. As in they were great at scholarship but negative at mostly everything else. There are a few exceptions of course, like Xiahou Xuan military career.

According to the last link you provided:

Thereupon the Emperor dismissed Zhuge Dan, Deng Yang, and others from office.

Assuming that Im reading it right, the incidents that you mentioned happened BEFORE the exams.
So it goes: they were talented - they given high positions because of their family - they commited crimes - they were dismissed - they were reinstated - they failed exams - they get fired.
It seems that Zhuge Dan, Deng Yang and others were removed from office after failing exams.

Cao Rui eccentric??? HOW?? The only faults he had were extravagence. He did not commit massacre like Sun Quan or Cao Cao. He did not purge people like Cao Pi or Sun Hao. So... eccentric for his time? Seriously? Other than Liu Bei, which of the Emperors were better than him in moral standards?


Take for example a passage on Zhuge Ke
In the middle of this campaign [during the fifth month, June 26 – July 25], Sun Deng passed away. [9] In 221, Zhuge Ke had been “appointed” as one of Sun Deng’s close friends and future advisers. The unexpected passing of his future leader cast Zhuge Ke’s future in sudden doubt.


There isn't any source for this (beyond the death) that I can see and it doesn't tally from my understanding of Wu but it is a personal view of his as are elements of his account of Zhuge Ke's retreat like
After this, popular opinion turned sharply against Zhuge Ke, as the resentment of the widowed, orphaned, and maimed far outweighing the goodwill he had earned with his economic reforms in 252. [46]
or how Zhuge Ke showed no care.

My reading of it is people made friends but Dong Zhao, representing the perennial "the young will lead us to hell" (mind you, with He Yan's group, everything bar the possible homosexuality would raise "the youth of today" line nowadays) complaints plus Confucian bigotry, Cao Rui acts, exams happen and clearly that led to some sackings. He also purged the groups ie those who were or linked to neo-Daosisim. However none of the amendments mention "and then they failed exams" and seem to suggest other things. Li Sheng was banned for life for the house so how can he be banned for life and the be barred for office later? Zhuge Dan would serve as a major general under Sima's till his revolt, I'm not sure how that can be if he failed exam.

I don't see eccentric as being a bad thing, nothing wrong with being somewhat different. In terms of eccentric, it was things like wearing unusual clothes (I have no idea what is unusual about it but Yang Fu really didn't like it), females writing for him, that sort of thing. Cao Rui didn't fit the Confucian norms within his own personal life

Are you serious? Zhang Miao was a knight-errant? Prove?

Without criticism? Yes. Zero consequences? No. Mathematically speaking, Cao Cao had numerous campaigns and pillage twice. Liu Bei twice. Sun Quan uncountable( too vague terms). Just by seeing this we can see that pillaging was NOT the norm. Excluding the big three plus Lü Bu and Dong Zhuo(tyrants) very few pillage. Less than fifteen people I will guess. And how many campaigns and warlords were there? Military campaigns? Most likely more than fifty. Warlords? More than fifteen probably, even if we discount the bandit groups and yellow turbans.


ZZTJ

Before this, when Zhang Miao was young, he enjoyed acting as a knight-errant,11 and he was on good terms with both Yuan Shao and Cao Cao.
then talks about how friendship fell apart. The note 11 you might find intresting and shows I was being unfair
1 The expression xia appears in various combinations in
texts of the Han period, and it has been discussed by James Liu as The Chinese Knight-Errant. The reality of most of the cases cited, however, even in literature, does not well reflect the Western understanding of the English term. In fact, reference to activity as a "knight-errant" may better be regarded as a euphemism for the maintenance of private retainers, generally accompanied by action as a local bully, and often descending to simple banditry. Men described as xia were basically fighting men waiting for someone to hire them.

For a devastating, but to my mind reasonable, critique of these "heroes" in literature,
see Hsia, The Classic Chinese Novel, 86-114, discussing Shuihu zhuan. On the concept and conduct of xia in the Han period, see Ch'ü, Han Social Structure, 185-195.

Zhang Miao had been celebrated for his activity in this line, but he was evidently less thug-like than many such leaders of armed bands, and he was well regarded among the gentry of his day: he was one of the eight "Treasurers" ( chu) praised by student groups at the capital during the Faction affair at the end of the reign of Emperor Huan, and a Treasurer was defined as a man who could assist others by means of his wealth: HHS 67/57, 2187; de Crespigny,
Huan and Ling I, 110.


I think it is five or so here now backing pillaging as normal here, I have seen no source suggesting it wasn't. We don't get a lot of details about a lot of battles, if we go based on what we are told per battle then even bows and horses would be surprisingly rare. Which we know is clearly not the case, it is just such details are rarely mentioned. We only know about the Qing pillaging becuase of the stalemate going on so long it led to famine+it became the start of the rising star of Yuan Tan. We have pillaging from all the main rulers till the three kingdoms becomes more ordered, we have from some of the big rivals like Yuan Shao and Liu Biao, we have no complaints when they do it unless they do it against their own side or were deemed as being cruel in the way they handled it.

Yes. If Liu Bei sit down at Runan or some other place without causing trouble, Im sure Cao Cao wouldnt care about him. But since Liu was pillaging near Cao main base, Cao Cao decided to deal with him.

When Liu Bei was a Xinye doing little stuff. Cao Cao largely left him alone excluding Bowang. Notice how Cao Cao didnt attack Liu Bei more than once when Liu Bei was not causing trouble aka pillaging near Cao Cao base. Now imagine if Liu Bei started pillaging the Wancheng area. Would Cao Cao left him alone? Nah... I dont think so.

So yeah. My argument works out.

Razing the capital is special... but is definitely an example of military pillage.


Cao Cao wouldn't care about an enemy army in his own lands opening up a second flank?

Xinye was Liu Biao's lands rather then Cao Cao's own and launching an attack on Liu Bei means risking war with Liu Biao. However yes if Liu Bei had launched a raid in Cao Cao's lands then I expect Cao Cao would have responded

but is exceptional so not a good example

Yes I know how the army works.
Anyways,
Were they paid money to fight? Yes.
Were they given rules to follow? Yes.
Were they trained in formations and tactics? Yes.
Were they promoted and demoted based on official ranks? Yes.
Were they forbade from comitting crime? Usually Yes.
Were there a proper hierachy of official ranks? Yes.

So... were they a professional army? Yes.


Ah you mean the literal "they get paid " sense. In which case, yes. In the "fed utterly by logistics, a really well ordered system and training" then no, not for awhile.

Ok. And proof? The Sgz is very vague on Sun Quan pillages. Sun Ce did not pillage( I think). Pillaging twice or thrice isnt repeated tactic. The reign of the Suns lasted decades. Pillaging twice or thrice out of many military campaigns means it wasnt a constant thing.

Early historians did not criticse Cao Cao much. Only Sun Quan criticise the Kong Rong thing.

No complaints my ass. Lü Bu was rekt by Yuan Shao. By the way I just read finish Dong Zhuo Sgz which you can find here: viewtopic.php?f=5&t=18448

If you read up to the razing of Luoyang. You can still see that Chen Shou was unhappy with Dong Zhuo actions and criticise him for it. Ministers were not pleased with his actions too.
Here: Previously Dong Zhuo had sent an army to Yang Cheng. The attack coincided with February when people came out to celebrate the new year. He ordered troops to chop off men’s heads, confiscated their wagons and herds, kidnapped women and then proceeded to pillage the city. He tied the heads along side of chariots or even on wheel spokes. Dong Zhuo then triumphantly returned to Luoyang where he claimed to have defeated the bandits and the rebellions. People were asked to praise Dong Zhuo to live to ten thousand years of prosperity. After entering the palace compounds, he distributed the kidnapped women to his troops as slaves and concubines. He debauched palace ladies and princesses. His tales of indecency are endless. Dong Zhuo’s malignity had descended to such a profundity.

Here, Chen Shou criticse Dong Zhuo for banditry and pillage.

Xie Chang’s Book of the Later Han: Wu Fu styled Deyu. When he was young he served in a minor position in his local government. He acquired some fame. Later The General-in-Chief heard of him. He was promoted to Palace Attendant, Prefect of Henan, and finally Colonel of the Cavalry. When Dong Zhuo created disorder the court was very fearful. Wu Fu had little armor so he dressed in the garments of the Imperial Court. He hid a knife in them and planned to see and assassinate Dong Zhuo. When he saw Dong Zhuo be brought out the knife and attacked. Dong Zhuo was too strong and overpowered him. Dong Zhuo then brought Wu Fu near and said, “Who told you to rebel?” Wu Fu loudly replied, “You are not my liege, I am not your minister. Where is the rebellion? You have brought disorder to the country and usurped the throne. Your crimes and evils are great. Today is the day I die, having tried to punish a traitor! I am sorry I cannot tear you asunder with chariots to appease the wrath of the world!” Dong Zhuo forthwith killed Wu Fu.

Here, Xie Chang and Wu Fu criticise Dong Zhuo for indecency behaviours.

From this we can see that even if we leave aside the puppeting of Emperor thing and burning of Luoyang thing, many ministers and Chen Shou plus Xie Chang hated Dong Zhuo actions including his banditry deeds and pillaging habits. This means that pillaging and plundering was looked down upon by pretty much everybody.

If pillaging and plundering receive no criticism at all, the ministers will not react in such a manner. They will just accuse him of being a traitor and not say stuff like" Your crimes and evils are great" and " appease the wrath of the world".


Repeated tactic when against Huang Zu (Zhou Yu forcing Zu's allies Mo and Bao peoples to him, Sun Quan's offensive the following year before the main offensive as in chapter 4 of Generals of South. You can find all Generals of the South here). Of course Huang Zu's forces raided Wu a fair bit before then so it was mutual. After the fall of Jing to Cao Cao, there weren't raids as Wu had the resources and were going for consequences so such pillaging raids was of no use after that.

The exchanges with Sun Quan were becuase it was a waning to Sun Quan about executing similar figures would be as damaging for his reputation as Kong Rong's was. As Professor Rafe's encyclopaedia notes (entry Kong Rong)
Because of his (Kong Rong) reputation, Cao Cao had a special statement circulated, condemning Kong Rong's conduct and seeking to justify his punishment; but it was not a good mark for his regime.


For cruelty. By a man whose own forces were noted for pillaging in Qing for two years

First one, doing that to his own subjects combined with tales of cruelty (most pillagers didn't tie people to chariots as far as I'm aware), making false claims about his prowess. Wu Fu strike out Dong for being a traitor which is wrath of the world to them.

So we have Cao Cao, Wu, Liu Bei, Yuan Shao, Gongsun Zan, Liu Biao (well Huang Zu) doing it without complaints, Ding Yuan on He Jin's orders, Lu Bu only for excessive cruelty of his men. Everybody here telling you pillaging was normal.

Yes its strange. But abducting women wasnt ok. Sun Hao and Dong Zhuo was criticise for that.


Yet not Cao Cao, Guan Yu (for wanting to at least), Zhang Fei and others

Im giving a reasonable reason for why Sima retired. Just because he hated his wife doesnt mean he wont retire for her funeral.
1. Military commanders hated him for monopolising power NOT for overthrowing Cao Shuang. I will elaborate further down.

2. Not denying that. Im just saying the Caos were incapable while the Simas were. So Im fine with them using military power against the throne.

3. There wont be a civil war. The local gentry and most of the high ranking ministers sided with Sima at that time.

7. A key reform that have nothing to do with Shuang.

8. I never said Shuang was a traitor. I was just giving reasons for Jiang Ji actions.



That is possibly more common nowadays then it was back then (one was meant to take time out for mourning but in practise was a different matter) and it isn't something Sima claimed (he went for illness I believe).

1) Yet did nothing about Cao Shuang centralising power? If their concerns are centralizing power by Sima Yi then either Cao Shuang didn't centralize power to his faction or he did centralize in which case that would indicate something more then Sima Yi centralizing was behind it.

2) Your claim was Cao Shuang beat Guo by miliatry force, I was saying that would have been unlikely given conventions of the time and not an accusation the Sima's made. They would have loved to throw that at him.

3) So the armies of Xiahou Ba, Xiahou Xuan, Wen Qin would sit this one out?

7) I never claimed it was Shuang's

8) but the histories and Sima's claim Cao Shuang was a traitor. So I'm curious as to why on this one, you disbelieve them?

Give me proper evidence about your second paragraph, where Shuang regime was going to implement reforms that will open up recuitment.


The loss of the old chinahistoryforum means best I can point to nowadays is Xiahou Xuan wiki which tallies with what was on there.

Yes. Sima Yi, NOT Cao Shuang.

No they couldnt. The phrase used was " EXHAUST GuanZhong". The campaign left the army in a worse shape.

How. There were food shortages which Sima Yi eliminated thanks to Deng Ai irrigation projects which Sima Yi implemented. Thus Sima Yi could feed the people of the area. Where is the contradiction.

I did? Where?


I agree it was Sima Yi, I even go as far to give you an extra source to back it up, I have never said it was Cao Shuang's reform. I really really don't get why "I agree it was Sima Yi" needs you to mention it is Sima Yi's reform :?

Yep. Then the army was built up again and the region seemed able to keep it's army supplied under Xiahou Ba, Xuan and their replacements like Guo Huai.

You agreed with my explanation that Huai was a recently conquered land and that the reason it was important was for easing supply-lines to the armies. Then go back on it and go feeding the people

On you claiming Cao Shuang was hated by the common folk
From what we see, Cao Shuang and his friends were corrupt and dislike by pretty much everyone. [/quote]

Everyone hated Cao Shuang. Not just official histories and the gentry. Soldiers and commoners hate him

Cao Shuang regime was unpopular too after his disastrous campaign...(maybe you just meant gentry on that last one?)

Xiahou Xuan was promoted under Shuang regime and did not have a high rank under Rui. So... the bribery thing probably happened under Shuang.

Its bullshit that you are defaming the official histories. You cant just pick and choose what to follow and not follow without giving ANY evidence. Thats not how history work at all.

For example, when I say abducting women was not okay, I pointed to Sun Hao and Dong Zhuo biographies as proper evidence.

When I say pillaging was not accepted, I pointed to Yuan Shao actions after Lü Bu actions.

So if you say stuff like "Based on the word of their Confucian enemies who were biased and had a history of making such claims about their enemies every single time? Famed scholars of great intellect whose crime was thinking in ways the Confucian gentry didn't like.", you need to provide proper evidence.

Furthermore, you previously said that He Yan was such an influential scholar that his works were studied over time. So, why didnt futute Chinese historians who studied these works try to make an argument for He Yan actions?

Lastly, every Chinese Dynasties are extremely different to one another. The way they approach Confucianism is also different. He Yan and friends were extremely influential and capable as SCHOLARS and their works were studied for nearly a thousand years. Yet, no historians of these times try to prop up He Yan.

Gee I wonder why.



It could depend on 1) when Xiahou Xuan got the post, 2) how long "long" is. If near the start of Shuang's term, long running bribery would very much be under Cao Rui as this was a problem before Xuan too the office.

Most history is biased. History is written by humans who have attitudes of their time for good or for ill and of course, obligations to their bosses. My country's history is full of such things, the belief we haven't been invaded since 1066 (a Dutch army overthrowing our King doesn't count apparently), Catholic vs Protestant really impacted histories here, Tudor monarchs and their men shaping the way they portray wars of the roses, Victorians shaping history based on the march of progress. With the 3kingdoms era? Well we have blatant stuff like treatment of the engineer Bi Lan becuase he was the eunuch (to quote Professor Rafe's encyclopaedia
Needham and Bielenstein emphasise the achievements of Bi Lan as an engineer and artisan, but traditional historians noted the extravagance of his works, which were associated with Emperor Ling's mistaken and corrupted projects of rebuilding Luoyang.
), Sun Jian calling for Dong's execution in sgz when it makes no sense he would do so as Professor Rafe points out (GOS Sun Jian chapter, search Zhang Wen in it) while some of the attacks Dong gets seems to have a whiff of hypocrisy, Xi Zuochi inserting a anti-Cao Shuang speech into mouth of Wang Guang (Pei pointed this was wrong in Wang Ling's sgz, Sima Guang inserted the speech into ZZTJ without mentioning the minor minor detail of it being fake), Sun Hao getting hit with last ruler syndrome
GOS8
55Sun Hao is commonly criticised as an oppressive ruler and a man of poor moral fibre. There is some evidence to support the argument, but his reputation suffers from the historical tradition that the last sovereign of a conquered state must, by definition, be lacking in virtue - and the difficulties of his situation might excuse some harsh and ill-considered words and deeds.
.

I also look at pattern. Legalist governments? We get told how wrong they are. Eunuchs in control? Wrong. Women in control? Wrong. Neo-Doasits? Wrong. Somehow whenever a non Confucian grip held grip up to and including 3kingdoms, they were always baddies. Always. That the people writing these versions were Confucian gentry, is it such a surprise? One way histories were written, like by Sima Guang was moral lessons for good government, well it isn't it great how they always had the non-Confucians to use as "how not to do it". Maybe in the eras after Sima Guang, that changed and my reading of Empress Cixi (in fairness, the western coverage was far worse on her) was just unfortunate example and if so, that is great.

I look how Confucian figures reacted to such new thinkers even as far back as Cai Yong and Yang Qiu to the reaction to the neo-doaists within Wei's time even the ones not in office. One sees in the ZZTJ all the tales of how the eunuchs and non Confucian were damaging Han but as Professor Rafe's long essay points out, the gentry crippled Han, Wei and Wu.
"Indeed it is true that the perception of social status as a source of authority was sometimes more important than practical matters, for the dominance of gentry families in the political society of Later Han had brought a general expectation that local and national authority was reserved to men of lineage."

=====

"Overall, the history of Wu may be divided into two periods. At first, under Sun Ce and the younger Sun Quan, it was an energetic and aggressive state, commanded by men of military skill and achievement. Those officers who came from outside the ranks of the local gentry, however, depended closely upon the central government and were seldom able to establish an independent position in the society of the south. As the opportunities for expansion ended in the 220s, and the chances of politics and personality took their toll of the fortunes of the families of these early leaders, local clans and their retainers came to dominance.

Apart from personal rivalries, therefore, the faction conflicts of the central government reflect the transfer of power from the original leaders of the warlord enterprise to the established local families. Within the palace, cadet branches of the Sun clan contended for influence, but just as the authority of the ruler was limited by the rivalry and conflict of the great clans at the capital, so the central government had limited authority in the daily affairs of the provinces.

In 253, following the death of Sun Quan, the general Deng Ai in Wei observed that the great families of Wu, relying upon their military strength and their retainers, held the essential power of the state. Those families of the southeast which supported Sun Ce and Sun Quan in the early years had gained at the expense of their local rivals, and with the passage of time, they secured their positions as local magnates. They could be kept under control by the threat of force and by a system of internal hostages, but they were not easily overthrown by the chances of politics.

At the basic level, moreover, the government of Wu, recorded by the histories in terms of generals and ministers and intrigue at court, relied upon a broad class of village and county gentry, who might accept provincial office in one commandery or another, but who had small interest or concern with the politics of the capital. From this point of view, the same pattern was maintained as in the last years of Later Han: essential dues were paid to the imperial government, but the details of its activities were largely irrelevant to local power, influence and survival.

In its later years, therefore, the state of Wu was no longer an ambitious warlord enterprise, but a group of magnates concerned to maintain their wealth and authority. Faced with such a collection of family interests, operating at every level, the Sun rulers were never able to establish strong instruments for the control and development of agriculture and the machinery of war, with which they might compete efficiently against their rivals. In the end, though the government of Wu held power through its past military success, it failed to mobilise its resources to the full and it lacked authority against local interests within the state."

=====

"In the two hundred years which followed, gentry control in the countryside grew steadily, with land, tenants, clients and armed retainers, and the authority of the court and the capital became proportionately weaker. The collapse of authority in civil war confirmed this development, and presented both the opportunity and the necessity for non-official organisations for self-protection.

The problem facing Cao Cao was twofold: on the one hand, there were great numbers of refugees, driven from their homes by war and famine, and at the same time there were numerous local organisations which had taken responsibility for many of the people, and which offered a low-level competition for legitimacy and power. Many of these organisations, often described as "bandits" or "rebels" were formed amongst the peasants, and they sometimes took the form of clan groupings or religious associations. The great majority of dispossessed or uncertain people, however, gathered about some local magnate, and through this pattern of commutation the power of gentry clans, which had already been great under Later Han, came to dominate the local economy, society and administration. The restoration of full imperial power required not merely victory in war, but also the re-establishment or replacement of a system of government which had been growing steadily less effective for some two hundred years."

"Traditionally, under the Han dynasty, a tax had been levied upon each subject's land-holding, while other government exactions, such as poll tax, civil corvee and military conscription or payment for substitutes, placed a heavy burden on the peasant farmer. The opportunities for corruption and confusion, and for false reporting and evasion, were very great, particularly since the bureaucrats responsible for the collection of the revenues tended to come from the land-owning families themselves. The new agricultural garrisons, through concentration upon sharing the yield, removed the need for surveys of the quantity and quality of the land, and by placing the peasants under the direct control of the government the system eliminated the influences of private interest."

so and so forth


We have, in essence, three eastern sources of 3kingdom history as after Sima Guang, frankly we wouldn't notice if the historians in China since all started declaring Dong as the most benevolent ruler ever as most of us can't read Chinese and would only get the sense of impact from a western work mentioning said impact. The SGZ and the ZZTJ are the foundations of 3k knowledge. Chen Shou, a Confucian and a player in Jin politics who perhaps might have found it unwise to declare that the guys+families he was working with overthrew a good regime. Sima Guang a conservative Confucian who at least partly did the ZZTJ to help his faction oppose the reformist Wang Anshi so that doesn't sound a prime candidate for being pro Cao Shuang and his drug taking friends.

The only who I am unfamiliar with and his general attitude Pei Songzhi (one gets all sorts about Chen Shou and Professor Rafe writes about Sima Guang, strangely rarely see anything about Pei's life) though the writers whose work he uses I know anything about seem to be Confucian.

Im not just talking about military affairs by the way. Im also talking about domestic administration. Cao Pi compared Sima Yi to Xiao He while Cao Shuang was incompetent according to EVERY official histories.

Ah I understand now. Agreed. Wu first invasion was most likely because of Rui death. But their second invasion COULD be wanting to capatalise on Shuang incomptenecy, as Sun Quan removed Zhuge Ke after Sima Yi arrival.

Bad defeat is a huge understatement, considering the fact that it exhausted two provinces. They were only able to recover because Fei Yi was focusing on internal development while Sun Quan was starting to deal with the Crown Prince Affair.


Still doesn't add up for me like I said before. I'm more on the lines of Prfoessor Rafe's analysis in the Wei-Jin essay
In the cultural history of China the Zhengshi reign period from 240 to 249, the time of Cao Shuang's regency, is a moment of intellectual brilliance when the tradition of Confucianism, almost exhausted by the sterilities of Han, was revived for a time under the influence of Taoism and in particular by association with xuanxue, "The Study of the Mysteries." Among the leaders of this intellectual trend were He Yan, a close associate of Cao Shuang, and his friend Wang Bi, one of the greatest interpreters of the Yi jing )v8g the Book of Changes.

The social attitudes and personal conduct of this group of intellectuals and scholars, however, though fitting with the freedom of their philosophical attitudes, did not win wide approval or respect. He Yan, son of a concubine of Cao Cao, was elegant and arrogant, a scholar of the Laozi, brilliant in the repartee and dialectic of "pure conversation" (qingtan). Under Cao Shuang, as a member of the imperial secretariat, he had considerable influence on official appointments, and brought many of his colleagues to court. He had a reputation, however, as a libertine, and he and his associates were devotees of the ecstatic drug known as the Five Minerals Powder.

In many respects, the attitude of He Yan and his friends was comparable to the ideal of "spontaneity" and going "beyond the bounds" which was followed by their contemporaries Ruan Ji, Xi Kang and other Sages of the Bamboo Grove. These men, of good background and great talent, represented a movement which sought to avoid meaningless formality, and which deliberately opposed the traditions accepted by standard Confucianism. The attitudes of He Yan and his associates can be readily understood in the context of the society of their time, but their conduct was exaggerated both in reality and in the propaganda of their enemies. In political terms, He Yan appears to have been the only member of the group interested in substantial office, but Cao Shuang and all the court were affected by his reputation. In the earlier years of Wei, the literary life of the capital added lustre and authority to the new regime. Now, in a sad reversal, the excesses attributed to He Yan and his clique became an embarrassment, and Sima Yi was able to present himself as the representative for men of good family who sought Confucian reform, morality and restraint in politics and society.

In 247 Cao Shuang and his associates introduced a number of administrative and legal changes to enhance the central power which they controlled. Sima Yi pretended illness and ostensibly retired from public life, but at the beginning of 249, as the emperor and Cao Shuang were on a visit to the dynastic tombs outside Luoyang, Sima Yi gathered troops for a coup d'état, seized the cortege and massacred Cao Shuang, his colleagues and their kinsmen. From this time on, the state of Wei was in the hands of the Sima family.

and later on "but after the early death of Cao Pi, Cao Rui had not taken firm command of the army. For a dynasty of marginal lineage, still close to its military origins, this was already a risk, and the suspicions of other clans for any tendency to limit their local power were only enhanced as the government sought to demonstrate authority through display rather than reality. In the end, the leaders of the political community were prepared to support the virtues and achievement of Sima Yi and his sons, men whom they could identify with their own background and interests, against an imperial family perceived increasingly as being of poor character and lineage, lacking the true prestige of government, and without sympathy for the real leaders of the community. The new regime of Jin would reflect their interests far better."


Zhuge Ke seems to have been spying around, doesn't seem to be in ZZTJ real preparation for invading or any reason why they were. Maybe given how quickly Sun Quan dropped the idea, Zhuge Ke was just seeing what might fall their way again (or being Zhuge Ke) but certainly could be related to Shuang.

Agree to disagree on the last one since we are discussing it further up anyway

Google net me nothing about those guys flocking to Cao Cao. Just Cao Cao hiring them thats it... Feel free to provide evidence to back up your claims.

The quotes that you link show Cao Cao setting up the tuntian system and the benefits, NOT refugees flocking to him.

Right. You are correct, Im wrong. Cao Cao ended famines to a certain extent. However, Yuan Shao did not stuggle with supply issues even though he was further away from his main base compared to Cao Cao. Furthermore, when the Jin dynasty abolish it, there was no negative consequences( famine, supplies issues).


Chang Lin in ZZTJ
Liang Xi put forward recommendations of scholars such as Chang Lin, Yang Jun, Wang Xiang and Xun Wei of Henei, and Wang Ling of Taiyuan, men who had left their homes and come to take refuge in his territory. Cao Cao gave them appointments
and becuase the copying is weird, paragraph pretty much ends "and they all become famous"

Tian Chou here (search Tian Chou becuase copying that lot if going to be difficult)

Tian Yu is more a "advising his own lord to join" so I withdraw that one

He Kui from Rafe's encyclopaedia
In the early 190s He Kui took refuge south of the Huai. The claimant emperor Yuan Shu, a distant relative by marriage, tried to recruit him, but He Kui escaped into the hills and made his way back to Chen.
In 198 he joined Cao Cao's staff


Yeah it is a good question why Cao Cao, who is much praised for his organizational skills giving him an edge against rivals like Yuan Shao, is the one with supply problems and Yuan Shao (despite Ju Shou's complaints) seems to have been fine. Maybe Cao Cao having troops stretched across several flanks, maybe Cao Cao had more men in the field and Yuan Shao was fighting at a disadvantage. I can't give you a real answer on that one, just speculation. Edit: On Jin dropping it, maybe simply the tuntian's had their time, they had worked very well for Wei but something different was needed

I dont think Rafe flat out says: Gan Ji never existed. But he pretty much doubt the stories and the role Sun Ce play in it.


You might find the encolyepdia entry intresting
Gan Ji or Yu Ji (d.200); Langye. Many texts and modern scholars have the surname of this man as Yu, which is certainly the more common character in such a context. Fukui 52/58:63, however, argues that the correct reading is Gan, and I have accepted that.

A teacher and adept, in 200 Gan Ji was operating in Yang province south of the Yangzi, the territory controlled by the young warlord Sun Ce. He was extremely popular among the people, and Sun Ce found that his prestige rivalled his own. There are varying stories about the causes of Sun Ce's final exasperation: one account says that Gan Ji went by when Sun Ce was addressing his troops, and many of his men turned to Gan Ji; another that he accompanied Sun Ce's army and produced rain for his barge transports, but again Sun Ce was angry at the veneration which his men showed. In any event, Sun Ce killed Gan Ji.

Gan Ji's followers claimed that he had not in fact been killed but had taken immortal form; we are told also that Sun Ce was wounded soon afterwards and then, whenever he looked in a mirror he saw the face of his victim: in his rage and despair, his wounds broke open and he died.

The teachings and practices of Gan Ji, including charms to cure illness, were similar to those of Zhang Jue, chief of the Yellow Turbans rebellion, and Zhang Ling the theocratic warlord of the west. An extended tradition links him to the origins of the celebrated Taiping jing.

According to the second memorial of Xiang Kai, presented to Emperor Huan in 166, a sacred book had been presented to the throne of Emperor Shun by a certain Gong Chong, a disciple of Gan Ji. It is possible that Xiang Kai was involved in the presentation, and he may have acted on Gong Chong's behalf. The biography of Xiang Kai says that the book was called Taiping qingling shu/dao, which may be understood as "The Way [or Book] of Great Peace, with Dark Green Headings," and that it comprised 170 Juan chapters written on pale-green silk, with vermilion borders, dark green headings and vermilion titles green and vermilion being colours of magical significance. It was said that the book had been found by Gan Ji and Gong Chong at the Quyang Spring in Xiapi, and that its text relied heavily upon yin-yang and the Five Powers, with many references to shamanism Add,. The work had been rejected by the court, on the grounds that it was heretical and inappropriate; Xiang Kai's later recommendation proved no more fruitful. It is also claimed that the work was later used by Zhang Jue.

There are a number of other accounts, notably in the Shenxian zhuan of the fourth century, of how Gan Ji and Gong Chong obtained or created the Taiping jing, including claims that one or the other acquired it from an immortal, and that the transmission took place in the time of Emperor Yuan of Former Han. [A work entitled Baoyuan taiping jing had been presented to Emperor Yuan's successor Emperor Cheng by a certain Gan Zhongke: see Loewe 74:278-280, and QHX:113.] Even if we discount the attempts of later Taoists to add antiquity to their tradition, it would appear Gan Ji was already old when he encountered Sun Ce.

Petersen argues that the association between Gan Ji and the Taiping jing is fictitious, and all attempts to involve him with the book are later interpolations and/or forgeries. -HHS 30/20B:1084, SGZ Wu 1:1195; Seidel 69/70, Kaltenmark 79, Kandel 79, MBeck 80, Petersen 89-90, deC 90:200-208, Vervoorn 90:188-189.


Yes, the Professor doubts the tales of magic or that Gan Ji got his revenge. I don't believe he doubts Sun Ce killed Gan Ji

That was the translator own opinion.

Chen Shou probably called Liu Bei First/Latter Sovereign because there were only two Emperors of Shu. The first and the second.

My point is Chen Shou preferred the Wei and Jin dynasties due to issues of legitmacy. However, he preferred his state over Wu.


True, I just remember things that are no longer around so asking in Q&A thread

Remember Liu Bei's entire claim for legitimate rule is he is a Han ruler. Part of a long long line of Han rulers. First Emperor is going "no your not Liu Bei, your a new ruler and your claim of being the legitimate successor is bogus"

Certainly Chen Shou did the naming to highlight Wei/Jin legitimacy.
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Re: Lets Discuss Liu Bei forces and Cao vs Yuan!

Unread postby Han » Thu Sep 07, 2017 3:53 pm

Take for example a passage on Zhuge Ke
In the middle of this campaign [during the fifth month, June 26 – July 25], Sun Deng passed away. [9] In 221, Zhuge Ke had been “appointed” as one of Sun Deng’s close friends and future advisers. The unexpected passing of his future leader cast Zhuge Ke’s future in sudden doubt.


There isn't any source for this (beyond the death) that I can see and it doesn't tally from my understanding of Wu but it is a personal view of his as are elements of his account of Zhuge Ke's retreat like
After this, popular opinion turned sharply against Zhuge Ke, as the resentment of the widowed, orphaned, and maimed far outweighing the goodwill he had earned with his economic reforms in 252. [46]
or how Zhuge Ke showed no care.


I agree with you on the first bit. It makes zero sense at all lmao and most importantly, no sources were cited.

However, I see nothing wrong with the second paragraph though...

My reading of it is people made friends but Dong Zhao, representing the perennial "the young will lead us to hell" (mind you, with He Yan's group, everything bar the possible homosexuality would raise "the youth of today" line nowadays) complaints plus Confucian bigotry, Cao Rui acts, exams happen and clearly that led to some sackings. He also purged the groups ie those who were or linked to neo-Daosisim. However none of the amendments mention "and then they failed exams" and seem to suggest other things. Li Sheng was banned for life for the house so how can he be banned for life and the be barred for office later? Zhuge Dan would serve as a major general under Sima's till his revolt, I'm not sure how that can be if he failed exam.

I don't see eccentric as being a bad thing, nothing wrong with being somewhat different. In terms of eccentric, it was things like wearing unusual clothes (I have no idea what is unusual about it but Yang Fu really didn't like it), females writing for him, that sort of thing. Cao Rui didn't fit the Confucian norms within his own personal life


No. The Zztj states:4. Second month. On the day Mar. 5 the Emperor issued an edict: "As for internal quality and external embellishment, the change depends on the different teachings. Since war and disturbance began, the study of the classics has been completely abandoned; the advancements of younger people are not given through two Canons (i.e., Yaodian and Shundian) and the three Counsels (Da-yu-mu, Gao-yao-mu, and Yiji, in the Shu jing). Is it not that those whose study is yet insufficient and who are about to be given official appointment have become prominent by their virtue? Those of the shang-shu-lang who have mastered one classic and whose talent suffices to govern the people shall be examined by the Academicians. Those who pass the examination with high marks shall promptly be given appointment; those who are shallow and superficial, and do not consider the source of the true way as their cardinal business, shall be dismissed."

Thereupon the Emperor dismissed Zhuge Dan, Deng Yang, and others from office.

As you can see, the sacking of Zhuge Dan and others happened IMMEDIATELY after the exams.

Anyways, according to wikipedia:After gaining some experience in the Ministry of Personnel, Zhuge Dan was then reassigned to be a Palace Assistant Imperial Secretary and Master of Writing (御史中丞尚書). He was close friends with Xiahou Xuan and Deng Yang. They enjoyed much praise from other officials and the citizens in the imperial capital. Later, someone told the Wei emperor Cao Rui that Zhuge Dan and his friends, along with other "celebrities",[a] were engaging in superficial and fame-seeking behaviour. Cao Rui felt disgusted and wanted to discourage such behaviour among his subjects, so he removed Zhuge Dan from office.[7]

After Cao Rui's death in 239, Cao Fang became the new Wei emperor. He restored Zhuge Dan as Palace Assistant Imperial Secretary and Master of Writing, and subsequently promoted him to Inspector (刺史) of Yang Province and General of Illustrious Martial Might (昭武將軍).[8]

This wiki sites Chinese sources, specifically Sgz.

According to this source, Cao Fang reinstate Zhuge Dan after Rui death.

Eccentric can be a good or bad thing I guess... However, complaining about his attire is very childish and trivial. Also, employing women is a great thing as it sets an example for others to follow to further the status of females. So Im going to consider Eccentric a good thing.

I think it is five or so here now backing pillaging as normal here, I have seen no source suggesting it wasn't. We don't get a lot of details about a lot of battles, if we go based on what we are told per battle then even bows and horses would be surprisingly rare. Which we know is clearly not the case, it is just such details are rarely mentioned. We only know about the Qing pillaging becuase of the stalemate going on so long it led to famine+it became the start of the rising star of Yuan Tan. We have pillaging from all the main rulers till the three kingdoms becomes more ordered, we have from some of the big rivals like Yuan Shao and Liu Biao, we have no complaints when they do it unless they do it against their own side or were deemed as being cruel in the way they handled it.


And I have four or so sources saying Pillaging was dislike during the 3k era. Show me sources that Liu Biao pillaged and plundered.

Anyway, pillaging is pillaging and plunder is plunder - there is nothing "too cruel" because it already IS too cruel.

Anyways, it is important to keep in mind that most of the Warlords at that time was fighting for Land, Resources and Survival. Thus, common sense dictates that pillaging and plundering will only make their Human resources desert them at best or betray them at worst. There is the occasional plunder and pillage when there is famine. And other times, out of personal grudes. Cao Cao revenge against Tao Qian and the Suns sons revenge against Huang Zu. All for their deaths of their fathers.

Thus, out of hundreds of campaigns in the Warlord era, I highly doubt that "every campaign involve a degree of pillage" as others have put it. If I have to guess, there are probably less than 20 times pillage occur out of like hundreds or battles.

Feel free to disagree.

Cao Cao wouldn't care about an enemy army in his own lands opening up a second flank?

Xinye was Liu Biao's lands rather then Cao Cao's own and launching an attack on Liu Bei means risking war with Liu Biao. However yes if Liu Bei had launched a raid in Cao Cao's lands then I expect Cao Cao would have responded

but is exceptional so not a good example


Of course he does. But when Bei was at Xinye not pillaging anything, Cao Cao attacked him only once until he finished over the North

Is that why he sent Xiahou Dun and Yu Jin after Liu Bei? Cao Cao was always more worried about Bei than Biao.

Of course he will respond. Because pillaging has consequences. But if one sit at Xinye doing nothing, Cao Cao would not attack him. In fact, Cao Cao invaded the South only after he was done with the North.

But an example nonetheless.

Ah you mean the literal "they get paid " sense. In which case, yes. In the "fed utterly by logistics, a really well ordered system and training" then no, not for awhile


This is complete bullshit. Guys like Cao Ren and Gao Shun and Cao Chun were known to train their men to high-discipline forces.

Meanwhile, people like Zhuge Liang, Zhang Zhao and Xun Yu were known for their capabilities in domestic affairs and for feeding their armies using logistics.

By the way, further evidence that pillaging by a PROFESSIONAL ARMY was looked down upon.

Yu Jin biography(wiki)states: Before reaching Cao Cao's position, Yu Jin encountered about a dozen injured and naked men on the road. When he asked them what happened, they told him that they were robbed by the Qingzhou Corps (青州兵). The Qingzhou Corps was a unit in Cao Cao's forces formed by the former Yellow Turban rebels who surrendered to Cao in Qing Province (Qingzhou) in the early 190s. The furious Yu Jin said, "The Qingzhou Corps are part of Lord Cao's army. How dare they become robbers!" He then led his men to attack and punish them. Some of the Qingzhou soldiers escaped to Wuyin and accused Yu Jin of committing the crimes they were responsible for. When Yu Jin reached Wuyin, he immediately set up defensive fortifications around the camp instead of reporting directly to Cao Cao. His subordinates told him, "The Qingzhou soldiers framed you. You should explain matters to Lord Cao as soon as possible." Yu Jin replied, "The enemy is still in pursuit and may reach here anytime. If we don't set up defences now, how can we expect to hold them off? Lord Cao is intelligent and wise. Those accusations aren't a cause for concern." After the defences were set up, Yu Jin went to meet Cao Cao and explained everything. Cao Cao was pleased and he said, "How dangerous it was for me when we were defeated at the Yu River (淯水). General, you're able to bring order to chaos and hold your ground against a fierce enemy, and you display unwavering loyalty. Even the famous generals of ancient times couldn't have done better than you!" Yu Jin was awarded the title "Marquis of Yishou Village" (益壽亭侯) in recognition of his contributions.[11]

Once again, they cite a Chinese source, specifically, the Sgz

Notice how even though the QingZhou troops were known for their past tyranny was punished by Yu Jin for looting? Of course, the source isnt exact about whether the QingZhou loot Cao Cao people or Liu Biao people. Regardless, we can see that looting was disliked EVEN THOUGH no men were killed or no women were raped. Which tosses away your "were deemed as being cruel in the way they handled it." theory which frankly makes no sense in the first place.

Also, it seems like pillage and plunder were not actively part of Cao Cao way of doing things post XuZhou which actually happened because of the Cao Song thing.

Repeated tactic when against Huang Zu (Zhou Yu forcing Zu's allies Mo and Bao peoples to him, Sun Quan's offensive the following year before the main offensive as in chapter 4 of Generals of South. You can find all Generals of the South here). Of course Huang Zu's forces raided Wu a fair bit before then so it was mutual. After the fall of Jing to Cao Cao, there weren't raids as Wu had the resources and were going for consequences so such pillaging raids was of no use after that.

The exchanges with Sun Quan were becuase it was a waning to Sun Quan about executing similar figures would be as damaging for his reputation as Kong Rong's was. As Professor Rafe's encyclopaedia notes (entry Kong Rong)


So... according to your description, Sun Quan forces pillaged twice. The Sun familiy bore a great grudge against Huang Zu for Sun Jian death and yet they pillage only twice. And how many campaigns did the Sun Clan have anyways... Just in that timespan, probably more than ten considering the fact that they were

1. Expanding South.
2. Expanding West.

Not a good mark yes. But who else criticise Cao Cao?

For cruelty. By a man whose own forces were noted for pillaging in Qing for two years

First one, doing that to his own subjects combined with tales of cruelty (most pillagers didn't tie people to chariots as far as I'm aware), making false claims about his prowess. Wu Fu strike out Dong for being a traitor which is wrath of the world to them.

So we have Cao Cao, Wu, Liu Bei, Yuan Shao, Gongsun Zan, Liu Biao (well Huang Zu) doing it without complaints, Ding Yuan on He Jin's orders, Lu Bu only for excessive cruelty of his men. Everybody here telling you pillaging was normal.


For pillaging. The Sgz states: Despite this, Yuan Shao despised Lü Bu due to his ways and the plunders committed by his troops

According to this guy: http://xuesanguo.tumblr.com/post/146736393201/71-lǚ-bù-呂布-fèngxiān-奉先
He with his close followers Chéng Lián, Wèi Yuè, and others always led charges to break enemy lines, and so defeated Yān’s army, but he sought profit for his troops and army, and his officers and soldiers robbed and plundered, so Shào resented him. Bù became aware of these feelings, so he asked to leave Shào.

Yeah most people just kill them or abduct them...

No complaints? Maybe. But conversations were not often recorded at that time. Consequences? No. Excluding Cao Cao and Wu who plundered as a form of revenge, most of them were either chased off or attacked. Ding Yuan wasnt because he was too powerful and under official orders.

Many people here also tell me that they are not knowledgable about Chinese history outside of 3K AND THEN immediately tell me Cao Cao was better in Generalship compared to Han Xin, Xiang Yu, Bai Qi and Yue Fei. They dont back up their claims at all.

Once again, this is a forum for discussion where not everybody will agree with one another... So using the "Everybody here telling you" logic is kind of childish.

If ANYONE here shows me evidence using a Chinese source and Western source that pillaging was normal and there was little consequence, I will honestly consider changing my mind.

Yet not Cao Cao, Guan Yu (for wanting to at least), Zhang Fei and others


Once again, there is a difference between actively abducting women and making a woman your wife. And yes, there is a difference. All the women who have biographies during that period mostly Wed under the will of their families, NOT kidnapped. Today, when we look back its all the same, but back then it was obviously different.

That is possibly more common nowadays then it was back then (one was meant to take time out for mourning but in practise was a different matter) and it isn't something Sima claimed (he went for illness I believe).

1) Yet did nothing about Cao Shuang centralising power? If their concerns are centralizing power by Sima Yi then either Cao Shuang didn't centralize power to his faction or he did centralize in which case that would indicate something more then Sima Yi centralizing was behind it.

2) Your claim was Cao Shuang beat Guo by miliatry force, I was saying that would have been unlikely given conventions of the time and not an accusation the Sima's made. They would have loved to throw that at him.

3) So the armies of Xiahou Ba, Xiahou Xuan, Wen Qin would sit this one out?

7) I never claimed it was Shuang's

8) but the histories and Sima's claim Cao Shuang was a traitor. So I'm curious as to why on this one, you disbelieve them?

Give me proper evidence about your second paragraph, where Shuang regime was going to implement reforms that will open up recuitment.


The loss of the old chinahistoryforum means best I can point to nowadays is Xiahou Xuan wiki which tallies with what was on there.


No. Mourning for loss of family was the norm in Han Dynasty China which State philosophy was Confucianism. Sima Yi can claim one thing but me and you know thats an obvious lie. Sima Yi definitely was not ill.

1. A Sima centralising power is very very different than a Cao doing it.

2.i never claim that... giving a quick glance back, I just agree that "Jin would have love if Cao Shuang used army ti bully the Empress Dowager".

3. Actually, yes. Xiahou Xuan and Ba were in Liang. Wen Qin in Yang. Im not sure they will have the support of their troops and enough provisions to put up a fight. Most likely, their troops will just abandon them and flee to their families.

7. Just showing how incompetent Shuang was.

8. Source? Once again I was just giving a reason for Jiang Ji actions. Cao Shuang harbouring traitorous thoughts is impossible to proove. Now... My thoughts on Shuang is that he is extremely incompetent and corrupt with no significant achievements excluding scholarly ones under his regime. Im not going to judge his personal INTENTIONS because no one knows for sure.

The loss of the old chinahistoryforum means best I can point to nowadays is Xiahou Xuan wiki which tallies with what was on there.


You might recall that previously I use wiki and you call me out for that. However, I changed my mind when you showed a proper source(zztj).

This shows that wiki is generally unreliable when it does not cite any source.

Anyways, wiki make no mention of implementing reforms...

I agree it was Sima Yi, I even go as far to give you an extra source to back it up, I have never said it was Cao Shuang's reform. I really really don't get why "I agree it was Sima Yi" needs you to mention it is Sima Yi's reform :?

Yep. Then the army was built up again and the region seemed able to keep it's army supplied under Xiahou Ba, Xuan and their replacements like Guo Huai.

You agreed with my explanation that Huai was a recently conquered land and that the reason it was important was for easing supply-lines to the armies. Then go back on it and go feeding the people

On you claiming Cao Shuang was hated by the common folk
From what we see, Cao Shuang and his friends were corrupt and dislike by pretty much everyone.


Everyone hated Cao Shuang. Not just official histories and the gentry. Soldiers and commoners hate him

Cao Shuang regime was unpopular too after his disastrous campaign...(maybe you just meant gentry on that last one?)
[/quote]

Just showing you how pathetic Shuang was.

BECAUSE Shu never pursued an effective offensive policy until 253. This gave Cao Wei close to a decade to replenish and recover.

The sources I cite SPECIFICALLY mention eliminating food shortages. So... it definitely fed the people and probably help easing supply lines. How is it contradictory?

Oh shit. Lmao. You are right. And actually, I stand by that. Xu people probably hated Cao Cao but only revolted once under Liu Bei so theres that...

Thus its possible for a person to hate an individual and not rise up.

It could depend on 1) when Xiahou Xuan got the post, 2) how long "long" is. If near the start of Shuang's term, long running bribery would very much be under Cao Rui as this was a problem before Xuan too the office.

Most history is biased. History is written by humans who have attitudes of their time for good or for ill and of course, obligations to their bosses. My country's history is full of such things, the belief we haven't been invaded since 1066 (a Dutch army overthrowing our King doesn't count apparently), Catholic vs Protestant really impacted histories here, Tudor monarchs and their men shaping the way they portray wars of the roses, Victorians shaping history based on the march of progress. With the 3kingdoms era? Well we have blatant stuff like treatment of the engineer Bi Lan becuase he was the eunuch (to quote Professor Rafe's encyclopaedia
Needham and Bielenstein emphasise the achievements of Bi Lan as an engineer and artisan, but traditional historians noted the extravagance of his works, which were associated with Emperor Ling's mistaken and corrupted projects of rebuilding Luoyang.
), Sun Jian calling for Dong's execution in sgz when it makes no sense he would do so as Professor Rafe points out (GOS Sun Jian chapter, search Zhang Wen in it) while some of the attacks Dong gets seems to have a whiff of hypocrisy, Xi Zuochi inserting a anti-Cao Shuang speech into mouth of Wang Guang (Pei pointed this was wrong in Wang Ling's sgz, Sima Guang inserted the speech into ZZTJ without mentioning the minor minor detail of it being fake), Sun Hao getting hit with last ruler syndrome
GOS8 Hide
55Sun Hao is commonly criticised as an oppressive ruler and a man of poor moral fibre. There is some evidence to support the argument, but his reputation suffers from the historical tradition that the last sovereign of a conquered state must, by definition, be lacking in virtue - and the difficulties of his situation might excuse some harsh and ill-considered words and deeds.
.

I also look at pattern. Legalist governments? We get told how wrong they are. Eunuchs in control? Wrong. Women in control? Wrong. Neo-Doasits? Wrong. Somehow whenever a non Confucian grip held grip up to and including 3kingdoms, they were always baddies. Always. That the people writing these versions were Confucian gentry, is it such a surprise? One way histories were written, like by Sima Guang was moral lessons for good government, well it isn't it great how they always had the non-Confucians to use as "how not to do it". Maybe in the eras after Sima Guang, that changed and my reading of Empress Cixi (in fairness, the western coverage was far worse on her) was just unfortunate example and if so, that is great.

I look how Confucian figures reacted to such new thinkers even as far back as Cai Yong and Yang Qiu to the reaction to the neo-doaists within Wei's time even the ones not in office. One sees in the ZZTJ all the tales of how the eunuchs and non Confucian were damaging Han but as Professor Rafe's long essay points out, the gentry crippled Han, Wei and Wu.
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We have, in essence, three eastern sources of 3kingdom history as after Sima Guang, frankly we wouldn't notice if the historians in China since all started declaring Dong as the most benevolent ruler ever as most of us can't read Chinese and would only get the sense of impact from a western work mentioning said impact. The SGZ and the ZZTJ are the foundations of 3k knowledge. Chen Shou, a Confucian and a player in Jin politics who perhaps might have found it unwise to declare that the guys+families he was working with overthrew a good regime. Sima Guang a conservative Confucian who at least partly did the ZZTJ to help his faction oppose the reformist Wang Anshi so that doesn't sound a prime candidate for being pro Cao Shuang and his drug taking friends.

The only who I am unfamiliar with and his general attitude Pei Songzhi (one gets all sorts about Chen Shou and Professor Rafe writes about Sima Guang, strangely rarely see anything about Pei's life) though the writers whose work he uses I know anything about seem to be Confucian.


There are many people who criticise Cao Rui. Bribery is not one of them. Thus, it most likely started during Shuang reign.(known of corruption and incompetence)

No offense. But whats your point? You never directly answer my point.

Its true that He Yan was labeled as a Neo Daoist. However, He Yan believed that Daoism an Confucianism was CONPATIBLE AND COMPLIMENTARY.

FURTHERMORE, He Yan Wikipedia states: He Yan was a member of a committee that produced an influential and authoritative commentary on Confucian theory, the Collected Explanations of the Analects (Lunyu Jijie), which collected, selected, summarised and rationalised the most insightful of all preceding commentaries on the Analects that had been written by his time. He produced the commentary as a member of a five-member committee (the other four members of the committee were Sun Yong, Zheng Chong, Cao Xi and Sun Yi), but was given almost sole credit as the principal writer by subsequent Chinese scholars, and by the Tang dynasty (618-907) He Yan's name was the sole author associated with the Collected Explanations. Modern scholars are unsure of what evidence led medieval Chinese scholars to believe that He was the sole author, or if he wrote the Collected Explanations out of interest or because he was ordered to by the Wei court, but continue to credit He Yan as the principal author out of convention. After He Yan presented it to the imperial court, the Collected Explanations was quickly recognised as authoritative and remained the principal text used by Chinese readers to interpret the Analects for nearly 1,000 years, until it was displaced by Zhu Xi's commentary in the 14th century.[9]

As you can see, He Yan was such a respectable and influential scholar.

Yet there is noone NOONE arguing for He Yan or Cao Shuang regime.

Still doesn't add up for me like I said before. I'm more on the lines of Prfoessor Rafe's analysis in the Wei-Jin essay


Except that your source make zero mention of Shuang administration and military affairs.

Once again, just because a sourcw says that they were good scholars does not mean they were actually competent.

Zhuge Ke seems to have been spying around, doesn't seem to be in ZZTJ real preparation for invading or any reason why they were. Maybe given how quickly Sun Quan dropped the idea, Zhuge Ke was just seeing what might fall their way again (or being Zhuge Ke) but certainly could be related to Shuang.


No... Zhuge Ke zztj states: Two years later, in 243, Zhuge Ke launched a surprise attack on Liu'an. He returned home after taking many prisoners. [11] Afterward, Zhuge Ke made preparations to attack Shouchun. Sima Yi anticipated Zhuge Ke's attack and led an army into a neighboring commandery and prepared to attack Zhuge Ke. Sun Quan called off the attack and transferred Zhuge Ke to Chaisang. [12]

Chang Lin in ZZTJ
Liang Xi put forward recommendations of scholars such as Chang Lin, Yang Jun, Wang Xiang and Xun Wei of Henei, and Wang Ling of Taiyuan, men who had left their homes and come to take refuge in his territory. Cao Cao gave them appointments
and becuase the copying is weird, paragraph pretty much ends "and they all become famous"

Tian Chou here (search Tian Chou becuase copying that lot if going to be difficult)

Tian Yu is more a "advising his own lord to join" so I withdraw that one

He Kui from Rafe's encyclopaedia
In the early 190s He Kui took refuge south of the Huai. The claimant emperor Yuan Shu, a distant relative by marriage, tried to recruit him, but He Kui escaped into the hills and made his way back to Chen.
In 198 he joined Cao Cao's staff


Just because a small group of people come to join Cao Cao does not mean that refugees FLOCKED to him...
We know that Refugees fled south because Liu Biao and Zhang Zhao Sgz makes mention of it...

Here, all we see is a couple... less than 50 people joining Cao Cao...

Feel free to show proper evidence...

Yeah it is a good question why Cao Cao, who is much praised for his organizational skills giving him an edge against rivals like Yuan Shao, is the one with supply problems and Yuan Shao (despite Ju Shou's complaints) seems to have been fine. Maybe Cao Cao having troops stretched across several flanks, maybe Cao Cao had more men in the field and Yuan Shao was fighting at a disadvantage. I can't give you a real answer on that one, just speculation. Edit: On Jin dropping it, maybe simply the tuntian's had their time, they had worked very well for Wei but something different was needed


I abosolutely agree. By the way, Cao Cao himself ran out of supplies too during his first invasion of Xu.

By the way, about Jin, its important to note that they had recently conquered the Sichuan Basin which was noted to be fertile(during its time) which can explain why the Jin did not need to rely on Tuntian for food.

You might find the encolyepdia entry intresting
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Yes, the Professor doubts the tales of magic or that Gan Ji got his revenge. I don't believe he doubts Sun Ce killed Gan Ji


I literally copypasta that source word for word before I think...

Anyways the consensus seem to be Gan Ji did not exist...

http://kongming.net/encyclopedia/Gan-Ji

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=6121

True, I just remember things that are no longer around so asking in Q&A thread

Remember Liu Bei's entire claim for legitimate rule is he is a Han ruler. Part of a long long line of Han rulers. First Emperor is going "no your not Liu Bei, your a new ruler and your claim of being the legitimate successor is bogus"

Certainly Chen Shou did the naming to highlight Wei/Jin legitimacy.


I actually agree... but a proper source will be nice...

Anyways, I still think Chen Shou preferred: Jin>Wei>Shu>Wu.
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Re: Lets Discuss Liu Bei forces and Cao vs Yuan!

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Tue Sep 12, 2017 11:23 am

I agree with you on the first bit. It makes zero sense at all lmao and most importantly, no sources were cited.

However, I see nothing wrong with the second paragraph though...


There is a mention of Zhuge Ke remaining calm throughout, not that he didn't care in the histories for example.

This wiki sites Chinese sources, specifically Sgz.

According to this source, Cao Fang reinstate Zhuge Dan after Rui death.

Eccentric can be a good or bad thing I guess... However, complaining about his attire is very childish and trivial. Also, employing women is a great thing as it sets an example for others to follow to further the status of females. So Im going to consider Eccentric a good thing.


Agree to disagree on the exams I guess. I still don't see a guy banned for life can be then sacked for failing exams from office he has already been banned for though

the child Cao Fang. Who neither Cao Shuang or Sima Yi let near the reigns of power or remotely seemed to trust. Now Shuang appointing Zhuge Dan and "credit" being given to emperor makes sense, the Sima's keeping a guy who failed the test and making him one of their senior generals? Not so much. Also that Zhuge Dan in the source you cite was sacked by Rui for behaviour not exams.

Depends how people use eccentric, I tend to mean "goes against society norms of time". On a personal level in regards Rui? I think it is great he gave women a role, I also think Yang Fu should concentrate on real problems Wei had rather then what clothing Rui wears in private. However in terms of Wei survival, it was a problem. 3kingdoms society was misogynistic, women were fine as long as they knew their place and an Emperor promoting a woman to such a role was an offence to the natural order (which was male, Confucian and rich :wink: ).

On the clothing, the Confucians weren't always consistent to say the least and it reeks of going after minor and ignoring real issues but they had a love for the proper order, they were very wary of excess of most kinds and believed in restraint. There was the right amount of mourning (Xun Can mourned too much for example), harems were good but excess harems were bad so on and so forth. Part of the neo-doaists were a revolt again such rules and stuffiness and so I actually have sympathy with the Confucian gentry's alarm about the likes of He Yan, Zhuge Dan and co. Doesn't mean I don't find some of the Confucian "this is improper" stuff to be silly. Like the clothing

And I have four or so sources saying Pillaging was dislike during the 3k era. Show me sources that Liu Biao pillaged and plundered.

Anyway, pillaging is pillaging and plunder is plunder - there is nothing "too cruel" because it already IS too cruel.

Anyways, it is important to keep in mind that most of the Warlords at that time was fighting for Land, Resources and Survival. Thus, common sense dictates that pillaging and plundering will only make their Human resources desert them at best or betray them at worst. There is the occasional plunder and pillage when there is famine. And other times, out of personal grudes. Cao Cao revenge against Tao Qian and the Suns sons revenge against Huang Zu. All for their deaths of their fathers.

Thus, out of hundreds of campaigns in the Warlord era, I highly doubt that "every campaign involve a degree of pillage" as others have put it. If I have to guess, there are probably less than 20 times pillage occur out of like hundreds or battles.

Feel free to disagree.


Huang Zu's raids are I believed mentioned in GOS4, Pan Zhang's SGZ and Xu Sheng's SGZ. Then Liu Biao use of Liu Bei

So a lot of generals throughout Europe, people on this forum and 3kingdom warlords lacked common sense? :wink: I agree that ideally, the warlords would have conquered lands as intact as possible and with as little popular anger as possible. So why did the warlords of china do it till a certain point in the 3kingdoms, why did generals in Europe do it so often? Sometimes, as in Quan vs Huang Zu for awhile, there wasn't the ability to invade and take enough land or deal a real blow so forces raided to get resources, men and so on till they were in a strong enough position. Pillaging highlighted "your current lord can't protect you", could give resources to your men, gives you resources to keep you in field longer which as Man from Margin notes was a real issue. Also bear in mind that when pillaging, we are talking about warlords with limited lands at the time, beset by enemies, where the infrastructure has been in decline for some time (or in Central Plains case, the entire farming system seems to collapse judging by "it is Tuesday and there is another famine"), raising an army which costs a lot of resources for one area. Supplies were often an issue (as Rafe mentions, a lot of foraging went on) and in terms of annoying the people you want to conquer, well other warlords are doing it so they don't have much elsewhere to go (Hanzhong and Yi basically if you want pillaging safely. Bar when Liu Zhang's troops went out of control) and you hope to install a good government. Once kingdoms became large, secure, had got farming infrastructure and supply lines in place, it did curb down becuase it wasn't needed anymore.

Disagree. I think the later battles as things settled down into 3 seems to have had very limited pillaging but when umpteen warlords vs umpteen warlords (plus self defence forces, local groups), pillaging was a sad factor of warfare.

Of course he does. But when Bei was at Xinye not pillaging anything, Cao Cao attacked him only once until he finished over the North

Is that why he sent Xiahou Dun and Yu Jin after Liu Bei? Cao Cao was always more worried about Bei than Biao.

Of course he will respond. Because pillaging has consequences. But if one sit at Xinye doing nothing, Cao Cao would not attack him. In fact, Cao Cao invaded the South only after he was done with the North.

But an example nonetheless.


When Liu Bei was not attacking Cao Cao and under a "not at war with" warlord's protection, Cao Cao left him alone. When Liu Bei was in Cao Cao's lands in a war, Cao Cao attacked.

I checked the ZZTJ for the Xiahou Dun attack to see if there was any stated reasoning and Wei forces were sent becuase Liu Biao sent Liu Bei to raid Wei so Cao Cao dispatched Xiahou Dun to drive back the raid.

This is complete bullshit. Guys like Cao Ren and Gao Shun and Cao Chun were known to train their men to high-discipline forces.

Meanwhile, people like Zhuge Liang, Zhang Zhao and Xun Yu were known for their capabilities in domestic affairs and for feeding their armies using logistics.

By the way, further evidence that pillaging by a PROFESSIONAL ARMY was looked down upon.

Yu Jin biography(wiki)states: Before reaching Cao Cao's position, Yu Jin encountered about a dozen injured and naked men on the road. When he asked them what happened, they told him that they were robbed by the Qingzhou Corps (青州兵). The Qingzhou Corps was a unit in Cao Cao's forces formed by the former Yellow Turban rebels who surrendered to Cao in Qing Province (Qingzhou) in the early 190s. The furious Yu Jin said, "The Qingzhou Corps are part of Lord Cao's army. How dare they become robbers!" He then led his men to attack and punish them. Some of the Qingzhou soldiers escaped to Wuyin and accused Yu Jin of committing the crimes they were responsible for. When Yu Jin reached Wuyin, he immediately set up defensive fortifications around the camp instead of reporting directly to Cao Cao. His subordinates told him, "The Qingzhou soldiers framed you. You should explain matters to Lord Cao as soon as possible." Yu Jin replied, "The enemy is still in pursuit and may reach here anytime. If we don't set up defences now, how can we expect to hold them off? Lord Cao is intelligent and wise. Those accusations aren't a cause for concern." After the defences were set up, Yu Jin went to meet Cao Cao and explained everything. Cao Cao was pleased and he said, "How dangerous it was for me when we were defeated at the Yu River (淯水). General, you're able to bring order to chaos and hold your ground against a fierce enemy, and you display unwavering loyalty. Even the famous generals of ancient times couldn't have done better than you!" Yu Jin was awarded the title "Marquis of Yishou Village" (益壽亭侯) in recognition of his contributions.[11]

Once again, they cite a Chinese source, specifically, the Sgz

Notice how even though the QingZhou troops were known for their past tyranny was punished by Yu Jin for looting? Of course, the source isnt exact about whether the QingZhou loot Cao Cao people or Liu Biao people. Regardless, we can see that looting was disliked EVEN THOUGH no men were killed or no women were raped. Which tosses away your "were deemed as being cruel in the way they handled it." theory which frankly makes no sense in the first place.

Also, it seems like pillage and plunder were not actively part of Cao Cao way of doing things post XuZhou which actually happened because of the Cao Song thing.


Some men were very good trainers (Lu Qian was one as well but) as Professor Rafe describes the early armies of the time in Man From Margin (including the constant need for foraging in later section)
The matter of controlling and maintaining an army in being was central to the success of Cao Cao and the failure of Yuan Shao. For the armies of this time were ramshackle affairs. <snip about Han forces> In civil war, as the mobilisations of the warlords brought vast numbers to the competing banners, there were neither time nor resources for proper training. Many men with experience in the old imperial army gained advancement as commanders of the new recruits, but their units were overwhelmed by the hordes of newcomers, and the traditions, skills and discipline were lost. As for equipment, uniforms, supply and general co-ordination, the texts indicate either that they were completely lacking or, when they were present, that this was considered exceptional.

In reality, these armies were simple armed mobs, with landless troops driven variously by loyalty or fear, by personal desperation, and by the hope of plunder. And they were accompanied by a mass of camp-followers _women and children, cooks and prostitutes, peddlers and gamblers, and a few who specialised in care of the sick and wounded. In the ruin of the society of the past, these masses of ragged misery joined the command of any chieftain who might gain them a measure of security.

So the structure and fighting techniques of these armies were based upon small groups of men following individual leaders. The heart of each unit was the commander himself, supported by his Companions, skilled soldiers who owed him personal allegiance and served as a body-guard, and the most important tactic was expressed in the phrase "to break the enemy line". In aggressive action, the commander and his Companions acted as spearhead for a drive at the enemy array, and if they were successful they could hope to be followed by the mass of their followers, spreading out to attack the broken enemy from the flank and the rear.

Such tactics have been used at other times and places, and the reliance upon mass, concentrated at one point, is a natural technique for an ill-disciplined force, but it is a frightening operation for the leaders of a primitive army, with no certainty of support. Such attack requires great courage from the leader and his immediate followers, and a high level of personal authority to attract his men to follow in the charge. So if we read in the stories how one man held a bridge, or another advanced alone against an army, some part of the tale may be true:


so not bullshit.

We have a translated Yu Jin bio, I read it given route Yu Jin was travelling that it would have been Wei's people, and clear that Qingzhou had completely lost discipline in the mist of a retreat which was hardly helpful.

There are many people who criticise Cao Rui. Bribery is not one of them. Thus, it most likely started during Shuang reign.(known of corruption and incompetence)

No offense. But whats your point? You never directly answer my point.

Its true that He Yan was labeled as a Neo Daoist. However, He Yan believed that Daoism an Confucianism was CONPATIBLE AND COMPLIMENTARY.

FURTHERMORE, He Yan Wikipedia states: He Yan was a member of a committee that produced an influential and authoritative commentary on Confucian theory, the Collected Explanations of the Analects (Lunyu Jijie), which collected, selected, summarised and rationalised the most insightful of all preceding commentaries on the Analects that had been written by his time. He produced the commentary as a member of a five-member committee (the other four members of the committee were Sun Yong, Zheng Chong, Cao Xi and Sun Yi), but was given almost sole credit as the principal writer by subsequent Chinese scholars, and by the Tang dynasty (618-907) He Yan's name was the sole author associated with the Collected Explanations. Modern scholars are unsure of what evidence led medieval Chinese scholars to believe that He was the sole author, or if he wrote the Collected Explanations out of interest or because he was ordered to by the Wei court, but continue to credit He Yan as the principal author out of convention. After He Yan presented it to the imperial court, the Collected Explanations was quickly recognised as authoritative and remained the principal text used by Chinese readers to interpret the Analects for nearly 1,000 years, until it was displaced by Zhu Xi's commentary in the 14th century.[9]

As you can see, He Yan was such a respectable and influential scholar.

Yet there is noone NOONE arguing for He Yan or Cao Shuang regime.


Not a good mark yes. But who else criticise Cao Cao?


When you have a professor pointing out it was a black mark on Cao Cao's regime, Wu using it as a example of bad rule, Cao Cao having to go to extra lengths to try to limit the reputation damage and Cao Pi going against his father by making him one of the seven masters, I think fair to say Cao Cao took a reputation hit.


Lu BU sgz quote
Yeah most people just kill them or abduct them...

No complaints? Maybe. But conversations were not often recorded at that time. Consequences? No. Excluding Cao Cao and Wu who plundered as a form of revenge, most of them were either chased off or attacked. Ding Yuan wasnt because he was too powerful and under official orders.

Many people here also tell me that they are not knowledgable about Chinese history outside of 3K AND THEN immediately tell me Cao Cao was better in Generalship compared to Han Xin, Xiang Yu, Bai Qi and Yue Fei. They dont back up their claims at all.

Once again, this is a forum for discussion where not everybody will agree with one another... So using the "Everybody here telling you" logic is kind of childish.

If ANYONE here shows me evidence using a Chinese source and Western source that pillaging was normal and there was little consequence, I will honestly consider changing my mind.


That is interestingly detailed. It is odd though, Yuan Shao who pillaged for two years in Qing and had his commanders pillage on Cao Cao's flank objects on this occasion. Why? ZZTJ and Rafe go on the cruelty but if you have another theory why a twice pillaging force objected to pillaging on a seperate occasion, would love to hear it

exactly

It is true, most conversations aren't recorded. We can see most warlords doing it, constant raids, we can see that when there is outrage, it is when words like cruelty or unnecessary come in. Or when your doing it on your own side becuase that is never good

So people knowledgeable about three kingdoms shouldn't be listened to due lack of knowledge outside that era? Which was one guy who said they don't have knowledge and his feeling was that the old guard would struggle becuase times had changed.

No but I'm wondering why, when you have lord after lord after lord after lord pillaging and everyone going "pillaging was sadly normal", why you would go all those lords doing it doesn't count and everyone else but you is wrong?

Alas I doubt there is any nice list provided by some 3kingdoms writer of what the line is on everything. I can only go on behaviour, how armies operated, commentary, patterns.

Once again, there is a difference between actively abducting women and making a woman your wife. And yes, there is a difference. All the women who have biographies during that period mostly Wed under the will of their families, NOT kidnapped. Today, when we look back its all the same, but back then it was obviously different.


I'm not sure "without the consent of the still alive husband" counts as consent of the family. Or at sword point.

No. Mourning for loss of family was the norm in Han Dynasty China which State philosophy was Confucianism. Sima Yi can claim one thing but me and you know thats an obvious lie. Sima Yi definitely was not ill.

1. A Sima centralising power is very very different than a Cao doing it.

2.i never claim that... giving a quick glance back, I just agree that "Jin would have love if Cao Shuang used army ti bully the Empress Dowager".

3. Actually, yes. Xiahou Xuan and Ba were in Liang. Wen Qin in Yang. Im not sure they will have the support of their troops and enough provisions to put up a fight. Most likely, their troops will just abandon them and flee to their families.

7. Just showing how incompetent Shuang was.

8. Source? Once again I was just giving a reason for Jiang Ji actions. Cao Shuang harbouring traitorous thoughts is impossible to proove. Now... My thoughts on Shuang is that he is extremely incompetent and corrupt with no significant achievements excluding scholarly ones under his regime. Im not going to judge his personal INTENTIONS because no one knows for sure.


I meant believe as in "I believe the excuse Sima Yi gave" rather then I believed his excuse. There were huge debates particularly in the Han's dying years of the mourning period but I have seen far more Cheng Yu like retirements or Lu Meng "I'm sick *cough cough*" then I do major officers taking effective retirement for mourning peroid. It wasn't they couldn't mourn but much time away from work was not going to help the state

1) True

2) I'm thinking of this line
He outmaneuver Guo because he had more military power...


3) Based on? They didn't when Wen raised troops against Sima Yi. Or the repeated coups of generals against Sima's.

7) Eh I would gone with "shows Sima Yi's great ability" myself

8) Of Sima's accusing Cao Shuang and co of treason, ZZTJ
Thereupon, Cao Shuang, Cao Xi, Cao Xun, He Yan, Deng Yang, Ding Mi, Bi Gui, Li Sheng and Huan Fan as well, were all imprisoned and charged with high treason. Together with Zhang Dang they were all put to death, and also the members of their families to the third degree. [4]


Personally, I agree with you. Treason seems to be number 1 (alongside corruption of) "my defeated internal foe was..." so I tend to take accusations of treason with a large dose of salt.

You might recall that previously I use wiki and you call me out for that. However, I changed my mind when you showed a proper source(zztj).

This shows that wiki is generally unreliable when it does not cite any source.

Anyways, wiki make no mention of implementing reforms...


Indeed. Unfortunately the main source we had for that era of 3k is down and unlikely to come back so was best I could offer you

Just showing you how pathetic Shuang was.

BECAUSE Shu never pursued an effective offensive policy until 253. This gave Cao Wei close to a decade to replenish and recover.

The sources I cite SPECIFICALLY mention eliminating food shortages. So... it definitely fed the people and probably help easing supply lines. How is it contradictory?

Oh shit. Lmao. You are right. And actually, I stand by that. Xu people probably hated Cao Cao but only revolted once under Liu Bei so theres that...

Thus its possible for a person to hate an individual and not rise up.


I really don't get "Sima Yi does good thing" is, for you, a stick to beat Shuang with.

and seemed well supplied when Sima took over the country or else really weird he made no reforms there to bring it up to level.

Yes. Food shortages for the army. From Deng Ai's SGZ
At that time, the Wei administration intended to embark on agricultural projects in order to boost the army food supplies. Deng Ai was thus dispatched to inspect Chen Xuan, Xiang Xuan and the region to the east till Shou Chun for possibility of implementation of the projects. From his inspection tour, Deng Ai concluded that systematic and large scale irrigation projects would need to be executed in order to maximize land use in those regions and he wrote a report entitled “Ji He Lun” to justify his opinions. In addition, Deng Ai believed that the issue of adequate food supply and the methods of obtaining it were crucial to winning battles. Due to the under-developed farmlands in the newly acquired prefectures (region south of Huai Shui), food supplies for large-scale military maneuvers had to be supplemented by transportation of supplies from other regions. According to Deng Ai’s observation, the number of soldiers used in transportation of supplies often measures more than half of the total number of soldiers mobilized. As such, Deng Ai proposed an alternative solution, which was to cultivate the region around Huai Shui by diverting more irrigation channels to it and reducing those intended for the regions Chen Xuan, and Shang Cai Xuan, which according to Deng Ai, already had fertile topsoil. Through this plan, Deng Ai postulated that after 6-7 years, the food supplies obtained from the Huai river region would be sufficient for the consumption by 100,000 soldiers in a period of 5 years. Sima Yi accepted his proposal and in Zhen Shi 2nd year, large-scale implementation were carried out by the army. As a result of Deng Ai’s proposal, food supplies were sufficient in the region of the Huai River and there was no flood for many years.


We do get mass revolts when a regime is hated. Gongsun Zan, Han, Jiang Wei and the dying days for Shu and so on. So why not Xu? Possibly your right though at best, all the lack of revolt means is there a possibly Shuang was hated but we can't say he was and possibly Cao Cao was still hated. Possibly those that feared Cao Cao had already left for safer harbours or enough of them that those unhappy didn't have enough part. Possibly by the time Cao Cao takes Xu, any half decent government that will last longer then 5 seconds and can feed them will be popular enough.

There are many people who criticise Cao Rui. Bribery is not one of them. Thus, it most likely started during Shuang reign.(known of corruption and incompetence)

No offense. But whats your point? You never directly answer my point.

Its true that He Yan was labeled as a Neo Daoist. However, He Yan believed that Daoism an Confucianism was CONPATIBLE AND COMPLIMENTARY.

FURTHERMORE, He Yan Wikipedia states: He Yan was a member of a committee that produced an influential and authoritative commentary on Confucian theory, the Collected Explanations of the Analects (Lunyu Jijie), which collected, selected, summarised and rationalised the most insightful of all preceding commentaries on the Analects that had been written by his time. He produced the commentary as a member of a five-member committee (the other four members of the committee were Sun Yong, Zheng Chong, Cao Xi and Sun Yi), but was given almost sole credit as the principal writer by subsequent Chinese scholars, and by the Tang dynasty (618-907) He Yan's name was the sole author associated with the Collected Explanations. Modern scholars are unsure of what evidence led medieval Chinese scholars to believe that He was the sole author, or if he wrote the Collected Explanations out of interest or because he was ordered to by the Wei court, but continue to credit He Yan as the principal author out of convention. After He Yan presented it to the imperial court, the Collected Explanations was quickly recognised as authoritative and remained the principal text used by Chinese readers to interpret the Analects for nearly 1,000 years, until it was displaced by Zhu Xi's commentary in the 14th century.[9]

As you can see, He Yan was such a respectable and influential scholar.

Yet there is noone NOONE arguing for He Yan or Cao Shuang regime.


That Rui directly bribed or set up system to bribe? Of course not. That issues got neglected was an accusation on the ohter hand

So you call it bull when I criticise history for bias, I point to accepted examples of bias. I show history of bias among of gentry against those who were, by nature of gender/philosophy/eunuch as you ask for. You talk about later historians, I address that point but you seem to have missed that part judging by rest of the post.

I agree He Yan felt his philosophy was compatible. Alas those at the time did not

Except that your source make zero mention of Shuang administration and military affairs.

Once again, just because a sourcw says that they were good scholars does not mean they were actually competent.


It mentions the further damage to Cao miliatry prestige of defeat at Xingshi, it means the immense PR damage of He Yan and co to the regime, the flourishing of philosophy under Shuang. It makes no claim that Cao Shuang and co were corrupt or incompetent but that the reason they were overthrown was not to do with ability but gentry self interest and of gentry exaggerating about He Yan and co.

The essay also seems to be reproduced here with annotations including 110:
10 Bala1$, "Nihilistic revolt," pp.234-5, and Holzman, Poetry and
politics, pp.13-14, discuss the slanderous propaganda pre­sented by the Sima faction against Cao Shuang and He Van.


No... Zhuge Ke zztj states: Two years later, in 243, Zhuge Ke launched a surprise attack on Liu'an. He returned home after taking many prisoners. [11] Afterward, Zhuge Ke made preparations to attack Shouchun. Sima Yi anticipated Zhuge Ke's attack and led an army into a neighboring commandery and prepared to attack Zhuge Ke. Sun Quan called off the attack and transferred Zhuge Ke to Chaisang. [12]


ZZTJ says spying rather preparations

Just because a small group of people come to join Cao Cao does not mean that refugees FLOCKED to him...
We know that Refugees fled south because Liu Biao and Zhang Zhao Sgz makes mention of it...

Here, all we see is a couple... less than 50 people joining Cao Cao...

Feel free to show proper evidence...


I somehow doubt all those groups had less then 50 :wink:

I'm not going to go through the entire ZZTJ for every time people went to Cao Cao. Feel free not to take my word on it though

I abosolutely agree. By the way, Cao Cao himself ran out of supplies too during his first invasion of Xu.

By the way, about Jin, its important to note that they had recently conquered the Sichuan Basin which was noted to be fertile(during its time) which can explain why the Jin did not need to rely on Tuntian for food.


In fairness that was before the farming reforms

Thanks for that answer

I literally copypasta that source word for word before I think...

Anyways the consensus seem to be Gan Ji did not exist...

http://kongming.net/encyclopedia/Gan-Ji

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=6121


Sorry, didn't think you had the encyclopaedia

Note that the lack of fictional or even "fictional?" by the name, name note refers to historical figure. The second thread is from 2003, I think fair to say our understanding of mystics overall and Gan Ji in particular has got better since then

I actually agree... but a proper source will be nice...

Anyways, I still think Chen Shou preferred: Jin>Wei>Shu>Wu.



Sorry, can't track one down.

I'm less sure on the Wei one but yes, one would assume he would prefer the places he lived and worked then a place he never went. Thankfully Wu's sgz tend to be from Wu's own scholars and history department
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Re: Lets Discuss Liu Bei forces and Cao vs Yuan!

Unread postby Han » Wed Sep 13, 2017 4:19 pm

There is a mention of Zhuge Ke remaining calm throughout, not that he didn't care in the histories for example.


Wiki states: He eventually withdrew after Wei reinforcements arrived, but instead of returning to the capital Jianye and apologise for his erroneous strategies, he remained from the capital for some time and never apologised to the people for the heavy losses suffered.

Agree to disagree on the exams I guess. I still don't see a guy banned for life can be then sacked for failing exams from office he has already been banned for though

the child Cao Fang. Who neither Cao Shuang or Sima Yi let near the reigns of power or remotely seemed to trust. Now Shuang appointing Zhuge Dan and "credit" being given to emperor makes sense, the Sima's keeping a guy who failed the test and making him one of their senior generals? Not so much. Also that Zhuge Dan in the source you cite was sacked by Rui for behaviour not exams.

Depends how people use eccentric, I tend to mean "goes against society norms of time". On a personal level in regards Rui? I think it is great he gave women a role, I also think Yang Fu should concentrate on real problems Wei had rather then what clothing Rui wears in private. However in terms of Wei survival, it was a problem. 3kingdoms society was misogynistic, women were fine as long as they knew their place and an Emperor promoting a woman to such a role was an offence to the natural order (which was male, Confucian and rich :wink: ).

On the clothing, the Confucians weren't always consistent to say the least and it reeks of going after minor and ignoring real issues but they had a love for the proper order, they were very wary of excess of most kinds and believed in restraint. There was the right amount of mourning (Xun Can mourned too much for example), harems were good but excess harems were bad so on and so forth. Part of the neo-doaists were a revolt again such rules and stuffiness and so I actually have sympathy with the Confucian gentry's alarm about the likes of He Yan, Zhuge Dan and co. Doesn't mean I don't find some of the Confucian "this is improper" stuff to be silly. Like the clothing


Cao Shuang appointed Deng Yang and buddies to power who were all removed by Cao Rui...

Zhuge Dan was appointed as inspector of Yang Zhou. The wiki source(Sgz) states: 會帝崩,正始初,玄等並在職。復以誕為御史中丞尚書,出為揚州刺史,加昭武將軍。) Sanguozhi vol. 28.

揚州 is Yang Province according to google translate.

How do you know that source SPECIFICALLY states that Dan waa fired by behaviour. Can you translate Chinese? I tend to use google translate... cause Im not Chinese...

Huang Zu's raids are I believed mentioned in GOS4, Pan Zhang's SGZ and Xu Sheng's SGZ. Then Liu Biao use of Liu Bei

So a lot of generals throughout Europe, people on this forum and 3kingdom warlords lacked common sense? :wink: I agree that ideally, the warlords would have conquered lands as intact as possible and with as little popular anger as possible. So why did the warlords of china do it till a certain point in the 3kingdoms, why did generals in Europe do it so often? Sometimes, as in Quan vs Huang Zu for awhile, there wasn't the ability to invade and take enough land or deal a real blow so forces raided to get resources, men and so on till they were in a strong enough position. Pillaging highlighted "your current lord can't protect you", could give resources to your men, gives you resources to keep you in field longer which as Man from Margin notes was a real issue. Also bear in mind that when pillaging, we are talking about warlords with limited lands at the time, beset by enemies, where the infrastructure has been in decline for some time (or in Central Plains case, the entire farming system seems to collapse judging by "it is Tuesday and there is another famine"), raising an army which costs a lot of resources for one area. Supplies were often an issue (as Rafe mentions, a lot of foraging went on) and in terms of annoying the people you want to conquer, well other warlords are doing it so they don't have much elsewhere to go (Hanzhong and Yi basically if you want pillaging safely. Bar when Liu Zhang's troops went out of control) and you hope to install a good government. Once kingdoms became large, secure, had got farming infrastructure and supply lines in place, it did curb down becuase it wasn't needed anymore.

Disagree. I think the later battles as things settled down into 3 seems to have had very limited pillaging but when umpteen warlords vs umpteen warlords (plus self defence forces, local groups), pillaging was a sad factor of warfare.


Whats GOS4?

http://xuesanguo.tumblr.com/post/157639413276/5511-pān-zhāng-潘璋-wénguī-文珪

According to this guy: From when Liú Biǎo occupied Jīngzhōu, the people were repeatedly robbed, but from when Zhāng was appointed, robbers could not enter the borders.

The way I look at it, when Liu Biao pacified Jing, the bandits aka COMMONERS NOT PROFESSIONAL ARMIES, decided to harass Yang people.

Xu Sheng Sgz states: Huang Zu often sent his son, Huang She, with about 1000 men down to attack Xu Sheng. During then, Xu Sheng’s troops numbered not more than 200 and he engaged the enemies, wounding more than a thousand of the enemies' troops. Following which, he opened the castle's gate for an open battle and served a major defeat to Huang She. The defeat forced Huang She into hiding and he did not return to Huang Zu but instead turned to banditry.

No raiding. The translator use the word ATTACK not RAID, PILLAGE, PLUNDER OR RAVAGE.

When Huang She turned to banditry he was no longer a professional soldier or receive any orders to raid as he did not return to his father in the first place.

Europe and China is so different.. in fact, West Europe and East Europe is also quite different...

If you want to compare, then feel free to use other histories of China( SnA, WS, C-H).

Tao Qian, Liaodong Gongsun, Liu Zhang, Zhang Lu, Kong Rong never pillaged other enemies during a campaign(aka while using professional troops). They also never directly ordered their professional troops to pillage...

Cao Cao pillage as a form of revenge plus lacking of supplies.
Sun Quan pillage as a form of revenge plus human resources.
However, during the Jianan Era ALONE, they had tens of campaigns and only pillaged a few times.
So yes, they pillage, but it was not an active thing but a once in a while thing.
Source on the foraging?

Sad factor yes lol. Often factor? Nah...

When Liu Bei was not attacking Cao Cao and under a "not at war with" warlord's protection, Cao Cao left him alone. When Liu Bei was in Cao Cao's lands in a war, Cao Cao attacked.

I checked the ZZTJ for the Xiahou Dun attack to see if there was any stated reasoning and Wei forces were sent becuase Liu Biao sent Liu Bei to raid Wei so Cao Cao dispatched Xiahou Dun to drive back the raid.


Link? Anyways yes. Liu Bei raid Cao Cao. And as I repeatedly said before, pillaging have negative consequences.

Some men were very good trainers (Lu Qian was one as well but) as Professor Rafe describes the early armies of the time in Man From Margin (including the constant need for foraging in later section)
The matter of controlling and maintaining an army in being was central to the success of Cao Cao and the failure of Yuan Shao. For the armies of this time were ramshackle affairs. <snip about Han forces> In civil war, as the mobilisations of the warlords brought vast numbers to the competing banners, there were neither time nor resources for proper training. Many men with experience in the old imperial army gained advancement as commanders of the new recruits, but their units were overwhelmed by the hordes of newcomers, and the traditions, skills and discipline were lost. As for equipment, uniforms, supply and general co-ordination, the texts indicate either that they were completely lacking or, when they were present, that this was considered exceptional.

In reality, these armies were simple armed mobs, with landless troops driven variously by loyalty or fear, by personal desperation, and by the hope of plunder. And they were accompanied by a mass of camp-followers _women and children, cooks and prostitutes, peddlers and gamblers, and a few who specialised in care of the sick and wounded. In the ruin of the society of the past, these masses of ragged misery joined the command of any chieftain who might gain them a measure of security.

So the structure and fighting techniques of these armies were based upon small groups of men following individual leaders. The heart of each unit was the commander himself, supported by his Companions, skilled soldiers who owed him personal allegiance and served as a body-guard, and the most important tactic was expressed in the phrase "to break the enemy line". In aggressive action, the commander and his Companions acted as spearhead for a drive at the enemy array, and if they were successful they could hope to be followed by the mass of their followers, spreading out to attack the broken enemy from the flank and the rear.

Such tactics have been used at other times and places, and the reliance upon mass, concentrated at one point, is a natural technique for an ill-disciplined force, but it is a frightening operation for the leaders of a primitive army, with no certainty of support. Such attack requires great courage from the leader and his immediate followers, and a high level of personal authority to attract his men to follow in the charge. So if we read in the stories how one man held a bridge, or another advanced alone against an army, some part of the tale may be true:


so not bullshit.

We have a translated Yu Jin bio, I read it given route Yu Jin was travelling that it would have been Wei's people, and clear that Qingzhou had completely lost discipline in the mist of a retreat which was hardly helpful.


Looks like Im only partially correct...
Your source specifically stated: The matter of controlling and maintaining an army in being was central to the success of Cao Cao and the failure of Yuan Shao
Here, Rafe notes that Cao Cao was superior to Yuan in terms of controlling and maintaining an army. Last I check, the only way to attain both is to actually train your soldiers...
And: In civil war, as the mobilisations of the warlords brought vast numbers to the competing banners, there were neither time nor resources for proper training.
Yes during wartime there was no time... however, fighting wasnt an all the time thing. Sometimes it take weeks or maybe months for people to recruit fresh troops or transfer supplies, thus logically speaking, troops will usually be trained during these small periods of peace time.
And here, the word used is proper training, so yes, no proper training, but they were still given some form of training one way or a other...
And: In reality, these armies were simple armed mobs, with landless troops driven variously by loyalty or fear, by personal desperation, and by the hope of plunder.
Agreed. But just because someone hope to do something does not mean they do it. Also doesnt mean they are ALLOWED to do it.
And: The heart of each unit was the commander himself, supported by his Companions, skilled soldiers who owed him personal allegiance and served as a body-guard, and the most important tactic was expressed in the phrase "to break the enemy line".
Last I check, to be skilled at something, especially fighting, you need training. Note that the word here used is SKILLED(something that needs to be honed.) NOT STRENGTH(something that can be at times gifted.).
Also, Rafe considers breaking the enemy line a TACTIC that is used extremely oftened, and thus something that need to be trained.

When you have a professor pointing out it was a black mark on Cao Cao's regime, Wu using it as a example of bad rule, Cao Cao having to go to extra lengths to try to limit the reputation damage and Cao Pi going against his father by making him one of the seven masters, I think fair to say Cao Cao took a reputation hit.


Black mark yes lol... But no one criticise Cao Cao for this...

Sun Quan was drunk, and his ministers were desperate to stop him from comitting a rash act. So they intentionally demonize Cao Cao who were already their enemies at that time...

Cao Pi admired Kong Rong scholarship, but never criticise Cao Cao.

That is interestingly detailed. It is odd though, Yuan Shao who pillaged for two years in Qing and had his commanders pillage on Cao Cao's flank objects on this occasion. Why? ZZTJ and Rafe go on the cruelty but if you have another theory why a twice pillaging force objected to pillaging on a seperate occasion, would love to hear it

exactly

It is true, most conversations aren't recorded. We can see most warlords doing it, constant raids, we can see that when there is outrage, it is when words like cruelty or unnecessary come in. Or when your doing it on your own side becuase that is never good

So people knowledgeable about three kingdoms shouldn't be listened to due lack of knowledge outside that era? Which was one guy who said they don't have knowledge and his feeling was that the old guard would struggle becuase times had changed.

No but I'm wondering why, when you have lord after lord after lord after lord pillaging and everyone going "pillaging was sadly normal", why you would go all those lords doing it doesn't count and everyone else but you is wrong?

Alas I doubt there is any nice list provided by some 3kingdoms writer of what the line is on everything. I can only go on behaviour, how armies operated, commentary, patterns.


Source on two years?
Because they only pillaged twice. Out of tens of campaigns, ONLY TWICE. Once because famine.

Not most. I answered it aboved.

Great people adapt to Great changes. During Cao Cao military campaigns, he received more help than the other Legends and accomplished less(military speaking).
His victories were not as impressive and his failures are straight up laughable.

I acknowledge that half of the warlords pillaged a few times. I disagree that they pillage ACTIVELY.

From Cao Cao rise to Guandu he had 8 campaigns. They were the two invasions of Xü, his two battles against Zhang Xiu, his battles with Yuan Shu, his two battles with Lü Bu and his securing Emperor Xian.
During these canpaigns he pillage only thrice. Thats Half of his campaigns. They are his battles against Xu and his battles against Yuan Shu. Once was for revenge for his father. Thats 3/8

From Sun Ce unification of Jiangdong to his death, he had 5 campaigns. They were his battles against Liu Yao, his battle against Wang Lang, his battle against Yan Yu, his battles against Liu Yao remnants, his battle against Huang Zu.
During these campaigns, he pillage only once against Huang Zu who murdered his dad. Thats 1/5

From Liu Bei gaining Xü to him fleeing to Liu Biao( end of Guandu) he had 7 campaigns. They were his stalemate against Yuan Shu, his battle against Gao Shun, his invasion of Xü, his two defense of Xü against Cao, his battle against Cao under Yuan and his Runan pillage. Thats 1/7

Feel free to use my nice list.

I'm not sure "without the consent of the still alive husband" counts as consent of the family. Or at sword point.


Except that he and his sons had a great relationship with Qin Lang. Qin Lang did not protest unlike Zhang Xiu for example...

Sword point is an overexaggeartion...

I meant believe as in "I believe the excuse Sima Yi gave" rather then I believed his excuse. There were huge debates particularly in the Han's dying years of the mourning period but I have seen far more Cheng Yu like retirements or Lu Meng "I'm sick *cough cough*" then I do major officers taking effective retirement for mourning peroid. It wasn't they couldn't mourn but much time away from work was not going to help the state

1) True

2) I'm thinking of this line
He outmaneuver Guo because he had more military power...


3) Based on? They didn't when Wen raised troops against Sima Yi. Or the repeated coups of generals against Sima's.

7) Eh I would gone with "shows Sima Yi's great ability" myself


I know. Im just saying its more likely he retired because of his Wife death compared to sickness.

2) Ah I see. My point is, Shuang and Co had more military authority compared to Guo at that point... who will thus be unlikely to oppose Shuang to prevent a cause of civil war. She never directly opposed Shuang after all.

3) Wen camapign was too fast to make a conclusion lol...(small sample size).

A better once will be Sima Shi campaign as thus:

The Minister of the Household [guanluxun] Zheng Mao suggested that Sima Shi adopt a defensive posture, and Sima Shi agreed.[54] On the advice of the accomplished general Wang Ji, he advanced the army to the Yin River, halting at Yinqiao.[55] While Sima Shi was there, Shi Zhao and Li Xu, both of whom were generals under Guanqiu Jian, fled from Xiang and surrendered to Sima Shi.[56]

And

Sima Shi reasoned that Guanqiu Jian retained control over his forces by deception and threat of violence. Given this, he believed that if Guanqiu Jian’s officers and soldiers were left to their own devices, they would realize their error and lay down their arms. However, he believed that if his army attacked swiftly, it would only bind the rebels more tightly together. In light of these assumptions, Sima Shi determined that the best way to quell the rebellion was to isolate Guanqiu Jian’s army and let it tear itself apart.

And

Their soldiers and officers grew disillusioned and nearly all of them defected to Sima Shi. Guanqiu Jian conscripted the farmers of the region to fill his ranks. In short order, the rebel forces were rendered nearly harmless without Sima Shi fighting a single battle.[59]

7) And Shuang incompetence.

Indeed. Unfortunately the main source we had for that era of 3k is down and unlikely to come back so was best I could offer you


So do you have any other sources that show or at least hinted that Shuang cabal was going to institute reforms?
A wiki is actually fine, I dont mine... but Xiahou Xuan wiki make zero mention of reforms...

I really don't get "Sima Yi does good thing" is, for you, a stick to beat Shuang with.

and seemed well supplied when Sima took over the country or else really weird he made no reforms there to bring it up to level.

Yes. Food shortages for the army. From Deng Ai's SGZ
At that time, the Wei administration intended to embark on agricultural projects in order to boost the army food supplies. Deng Ai was thus dispatched to inspect Chen Xuan, Xiang Xuan and the region to the east till Shou Chun for possibility of implementation of the projects. From his inspection tour, Deng Ai concluded that systematic and large scale irrigation projects would need to be executed in order to maximize land use in those regions and he wrote a report entitled “Ji He Lun” to justify his opinions. In addition, Deng Ai believed that the issue of adequate food supply and the methods of obtaining it were crucial to winning battles. Due to the under-developed farmlands in the newly acquired prefectures (region south of Huai Shui), food supplies for large-scale military maneuvers had to be supplemented by transportation of supplies from other regions. According to Deng Ai’s observation, the number of soldiers used in transportation of supplies often measures more than half of the total number of soldiers mobilized. As such, Deng Ai proposed an alternative solution, which was to cultivate the region around Huai Shui by diverting more irrigation channels to it and reducing those intended for the regions Chen Xuan, and Shang Cai Xuan, which according to Deng Ai, already had fertile topsoil. Through this plan, Deng Ai postulated that after 6-7 years, the food supplies obtained from the Huai river region would be sufficient for the consumption by 100,000 soldiers in a period of 5 years. Sima Yi accepted his proposal and in Zhen Shi 2nd year, large-scale implementation were carried out by the army. As a result of Deng Ai’s proposal, food supplies were sufficient in the region of the Huai River and there was no flood for many years.


We do get mass revolts when a regime is hated. Gongsun Zan, Han, Jiang Wei and the dying days for Shu and so on. So why not Xu? Possibly your right though at best, all the lack of revolt means is there a possibly Shuang was hated but we can't say he was and possibly Cao Cao was still hated. Possibly those that feared Cao Cao had already left for safer harbours or enough of them that those unhappy didn't have enough part. Possibly by the time Cao Cao takes Xu, any half decent government that will last longer then 5 seconds and can feed them will be popular enough


Because whenever Sima Yi does something that help, Shuang seems to be nowhere at all.

And what exactly are the reforms did Shuang make that bring it up to the level?

I see. You are right.

Nah Im surprise that there were a lack of MULTIPLE revolts under Xü(revolt once only) when factoring in Cao Cao cruelty TWICE massacring Xü.

However, GongSun reign was not long. The Han rebellions were a multitude of things(famines, corruption, incompetency) that all slowly accumulated to one clusterf*ck. Elaborate on Jiang Wei and dying days of Shu?
I know its all spectaculation, but I still believe the ordinary people hated Shuang. The fact the most of the gentry sided with Sima immediately after 5 years or so can serve as fact that even those loyal to the Caos for decades decided to side with Sima Yi in the end due to Shuang incompetency and corruption, much less the ordinary people.

But who knows for sure?? Once again, all spectaculation.

That Rui directly bribed or set up system to bribe? Of course not. That issues got neglected was an accusation on the ohter hand

So you call it bull when I criticise history for bias, I point to accepted examples of bias. I show history of bias among of gentry against those who were, by nature of gender/philosophy/eunuch as you ask for. You talk about later historians, I address that point but you seem to have missed that part judging by rest of the post.

I agree He Yan felt his philosophy was compatible. Alas those at the time did not


No wait... people accuse Rui neglected affairs of state because of his extravagence, his harem, him not reparing the great wall and him not taking proper control of military affairs...

Last I check, Cao Rui himself ACTIVELY worked hard to root out corruption and incompetency(exams, legal cases, telling his retainers not to recommend people who only have popularity and etc) and was a great judge of talent.

Saying history is written by winners is borderline retarded. That stuff has been disputed so many times already...

And your comparison to Europe and UK(?) Is laughable considering the facts that the two situations are so different, and thus incomparable.

No, according to wiki: After He Yan presented it to the imperial court, the Collected Explanations was quickly recognised as authoritative and remained the principal text used by Chinese readers to interpret the Analects for nearly 1,000 years, until it was displaced by Zhu Xi's commentary in the 14th century.[9]

The source is Gardner.

It mentions the further damage to Cao miliatry prestige of defeat at Xingshi, it means the immense PR damage of He Yan and co to the regime, the flourishing of philosophy under Shuang. It makes no claim that Cao Shuang and co were corrupt or incompetent but that the reason they were overthrown was not to do with ability but gentry self interest and of gentry exaggerating about He Yan and co.

The essay also seems to be reproduced here with annotations including 110:
10 Bala1$, "Nihilistic revolt," pp.234-5, and Holzman, Poetry and
politics, pp.13-14, discuss the slanderous propaganda pre­sented by the Sima faction against Cao Shuang and He Van.


Your source make ZERO claim on any achievement of Shuang cabal EXCLUDING his scholarly ones.

ZZTJ says spying rather preparations


Wiki supports cappnefere: In 243, Zhuge Ke planned a major attack on the Wei-controlled garrison of Shouchun and he put his army in an attack posture.

I somehow doubt all those groups had less then 50 :wink:

I'm not going to go through the entire ZZTJ for every time people went to Cao Cao. Feel free not to take my word on it though


Ok. At max, a few hundreds. Maybe. We dont know how big their families are and how many servants they have. But a few hundreds dont really mean "flock" considering the territory size of Cao Cao compared to other Warlords.

You dont have to look through the Zztj lol. Just show me a source(ANY) where people actively flocked to Cao.

Sorry, didn't think you had the encyclopaedia

Note that the lack of fictional or even "fictional?" by the name, name note refers to historical figure. The second thread is from 2003, I think fair to say our understanding of mystics overall and Gan Ji in particular has got better since then


Except that the administrator literally source Rafe work and use basic proper logic.

Feel free to debate his points: Phew! Thanks for providing the original text... I would hate to believe your statement that "Rafe mentions that Yu Ji first appeared in chinese historical records about 150 years prior to the three k."

DeCrespigny did not state that Yu Ji (or Gan Ji) first appeared 250 years before Sun Ce's death. He mentioned that Ge Hong's Shenxian Zhuan dated the acquisition of the Taiping Jing at 49 to 33 BC. It's good to keep views from different people attributed differently. Let's see where logic takes us:

There are 4 main propositions:
(A) No one can live for 250 years. (Given)
(B) Gan/Yu Ji met Sun Ce (Shou Shen Ji, Jiang Biao Zhuan)
(C) Gan/Yu Ji was the discoverer or transmitter of Taiping Jing in the AD 160's. (Xiang Kai, in Hou Han Shu)
(D) Gan/Yu Ji and Gong Chong got the Taiping Jing sometime between 49 and 33 BC. (Shenxian Zhuan)

Given (A), if either (B) or (C) is true, (D) is false, and vice versa. There are several possibilities:
(i) Gan/Yu Ji existed in 49BC, and Xiang Kai uttered a falsehood to the emperor, or Hou Han Shu recorded a falsehood. Shou Shen Ji and Jiang Biao Zhuan were both wrong -- Sun Ce never met Gan/Yu Ji.
(ii) Gan/Yu Ji discovered the Taiping Jing in ~AD160, but didn't meet Sun Ce (SSJ/JBZ, as well as the SXZ were wrong).
(iii) Sun Ce did meet a Gan/Yu Ji, who never got the Taiping Jing. (HHS, SXZ wrong)
(iv) Sun Ce met Gan/Yu Ji, who got the Taiping Jing in ~AD160 (SXZ wrong).
(v) Gan/Yu Ji never existed (everyone was wrong).

I tend to believe a source unless there is evidence that it is wrong (if it contradicts common sense/logic or a more trustworthy work). Since the 4 sources can't be all right, and there's no evidence that they are all wrong, I opt for option (iv). I would never rank the Shenxian Zhuan, a collection of fairy tales, over HHS or even Jiangbiao Zhuan, so (i) is out. Considering it unlikely that all those sources could be wrong at the same time, (v) is also ruled out. (ii-iv) are left. Of the three, (iv) gives us the most reconstructed, internally consistent information, so I say take it.

The upshot is, in want of a proof against Gan/Yu Ji, there is no harm taking as basic hypothesis that he existed, and that he and Sun Ce crossed paths.

Personally, I go with (v). Since there are too many contradictory sources and illogical sources.
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