Lets Discuss Liu Bei forces and Cao vs Yuan!

Join the Romance of the Three Kingdoms discussion with our resident Scholars. Topics relating to the novel and history are both welcome. Don't forget to check the Forum Rules before posting.
Kongming’s Archives: Romance of the Three Kingdoms
Three Kingdoms Officer Biographies
Three Kingdoms Officer Encyclopedia
Scholars of Shen Zhou Search Tool

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

Unread postby Han » Sat Aug 19, 2017 12:56 am

It is true we can not say 100% either way but given general reactions to pillaging at the time, Yuan Shao's friendship with knight-errants, plan involving pillaging by Zhang Yang against eunuchs, Liu Bei (I'm not sure what Yuan Shao would have been expecting from Liu Bei given the situation he was sending Liu Bei into like how Liu Bei would supply his men), I think Yuan Shao's history would make it rather odd if he had issue with pillaging on that occasion.

I didn't deny Lu Bu's troops pillaged. More that Yuan Shao's anger was not with pillaging but with the cruelty (or excess might be another phrase).


The only thing you can hold against Yuan was the Runan pillage and even then Liu was so far away for Yuan to properly control.

Zhang Yang wiki make no mention of him pillaging.

Yeah. Yuan was angered at Lü Bu troops cruelty and "excess"...... because they pillaged. Feel free to offer other reasons for Lü Bu cruetly/escess that is not pillage.

You use good miliatry logic, like Dong did. While seemingly unaware of the immense political and PR ramifications of destroying your own capital which sums up a lot of Dong's problems. He could come up with what must have seemed to be perfectly practical solutions to Han's immense problems and have no idea why it would go down badly.

Where your logic doesn't quite work is you don't seem to understand how Luoyang was so special that pillaging in Xu, Yan, Henei was one thing, Luoyang quite another matter entirely. Dong wasn't so much pillaging ala Liu Bei and co as they saw it, he was destroying history, vandalizing the heart of the empire.

Maybe throw the question out to others here and KW to see their reaction?


You previously said that military pillaging was considered ok and that no one actively criticise them for it. I provided 3 examples that state otherwise. Yuan Shao/ Yuan Shu under Lü and Luoyang under Dong. So how does my logic "not work out"?

Dong pillaging is different from your normal military pillage because of the area. But the action is still the definition of military pillage.

I wasn't counting Sun Jian in terms of pillaging there, sorry for not making that clear.

I'm not sure how seizing resources and people to force them into your land isn't pillaging. Literally, your taking stuff from people's homes and people from their own homes for your own resources.

Generals of the South, Sun Quan (search war with Huang Zu) here

Lu Bu pillaging year 195, V, note 37


You are correct. Sun Quan and Lü Bu did pillage. But I did mention criticisms against Lü Bu(TWICE) actions previously. As for Sun Quan, that is inexcusable and strange for lack of criticiam. But Sun must have thought of moving Jing people east as they lacked human resources(at that time) compared to Jing and Yi.

Yes, I get your overall point. I just disagree as I see pillaging used time and time again until 3kingdoms really settles down by major and smaller warlords (like Zhang Yang) with no issue from anyone.



Source for Zhang Yang? Pillaging was mostly done by bandits and commoners. Professional armies seldom did so. There are notable exceptions like Lü Bu, Cao Xu massacre and Sun war against Jing.

However, Lü Bu was chased out by Shao and Shu because of plundering, Cao Cao was avenging his father and was the founder of Wei while Sun needed the human resources as he lacked them compared to Yi and Jing. Which could explain the lack of criticism( for Cao and Sun).

I'll be honest, I'm not sure the difference between Zhang Fei's horrible act and going into chambers armed ala Cao Pi as the new conqueror or having deal made on who the already married Lady Du would go to as prize of conquest.

I'm not accusing the historians of censoring, more histories were not overly concerned with women at the time. We only get to hear about Zhang Fei's wife due to annotation and I suspect more becuase of her daughters and the Xiahou Ba being family moment


Once involve abduction the other doesnt. One was uncommon the other was common.

Agree with your second point.

and I would immediately spin attacks on Liu Bei based on that, possibly Zhang Fei's recent murder of Qin Yilu (depends how awkward the whole bigamy issue would be), undermine his rep for kindness. Not once did Wei attack Liu Bei on that.

Of the marriages we have objections at the time (or from latter historians) to, nobody seems to have contested Liu Shan's which they would have if their mother's marriage was considered a scandal. Or actually attacked Zhang Fei's marriage (we get more flak about some of Cao marriages, or Xun Can loving his wife too much, Zhang Fei nada)


When Liu married them he was already an Emperor. No one will tell the Emperor "NO". Furthermore, him marrying Zhang daughter does not mean Zhang marriage was not controversial. Furthermore, there is no prove that Zhang daughters were born from Xiahou, Zhang could have concubines after all.

Lack of criticism by histories doesnt mean no criticism by people at that time. Most of their actions and words were not recorded at the time, much less about an abduction by a general who died early( by three kingdom standards) who was part of the empire that had few historians( histories were banned in Shu by Zhuge). Using common logic, the Xiahous were most likely angered at Zhang Fei.

Most importantly, Zhang had a reputation of being cruel and heartless and as Rafe say, a brute. Meanwhile Liu has a reputation of kindness towards the people and retainers. So attacking Liu is different from attacking Zhang.

Kidnapping, murder, cannibalism, people being able to ignore laws (which of course they were outraged when eunuchs did this) due to being friends with someone powerful. Of course there were great men among the gentry who stood up to power, I imagine the all round tax avoidance of the Han did get curbed, they were always good at protecting their own interests but a lot of things slid. Sometimes for pragmatic reasons


Things slid. Acts of tyranny? Not really.

I'm not seeking to vilify Cao Rui. I think some of his flaws are overexgerrated due to way Chinese history worked (didn't have male child aka must be doing something logic), I think he was a complex and contradictory man and a very skilled warlord but wouldn't put him as one of the benevolent figures of the era


Definitely benevolent. And a paragon of virtue. As previously mentioned, murdering empress and extravagance does not offset his virtuous deeds. This guy distributed resources, listened to legal cases, actively seek talent and fired incompetent people while creating a better legal code and accepting criticism. All acts of virtue.

As a scholar? The man helped form a new philosophy and his writings influenced people for centuries, I admire people who attempt reform and want to take on vested interested. As a person? I'm fine with someone being a libertine but if one is going to take office, one has to conform (imagine a He Yan in US or UK cabinet, would still be an immense problem) for greater good and his arrogance made him a... jerk.

As an officer? Hard to know. We know Cao Shuang's time was one strong for literature and philosophy but was He Yan part of that (as in helping encourage that beyond his own works)? What reforms (we know so little of the actual reforms bar attempting to widen officer entrance beyond Confucian Gentry, an idea gentry always took very badly against) was He Yan part of? Even if part of reforms, having a good idea and being able to implement is another matter, was he good at that? He must take blame for the PR damage he did to Cao Shuang's regime due to personal life, when Sima Yi was playing the "good Confucian restraint" card He Yan might as well have been the posterboy for contrast.

We know little of Cao Shuang's regime, most of their attempted reforms (bar a changing recruitment policy so it wasn't stacked in favour of the gentry, which I think we would agree with now but never went down well with gentry) we know nothing about. You seem to be "well Cao Shuang's opponents say they were corrupt and useless so it must be true" whereas my attitude is that given who Cao Shuang lost to, the way Chinese history works, gentry self interest, how reforms against vested interests get seen, Cao Shuang's regime taking on the gentry, some things not adding up=that I'm more then a tad sceptical about offical events. I would say the only major regime we have as bad a sense of is possibly Yuan Shu and I think we get even more sense of Yuan Shu's regime.


Admire his scholarship is fine, just dont get it mix up with his actual capabilities as an official.

What are you skeptical about and what does not add up?

Doubting the actual histories is find... i guess... but if everyone is saying the same thing( not just jin historians) then its most likely true. I have yet to see anyone trying to argue that Cao Shuang regime was good for Wei or that his reforms were effective and excellent( aka Cao Rui legeal code)

The gentry hated him becuase he didn't represent them in their eyes, Sima Yi played the good old Confucian man vs drug taking Neo-Doaists card and things like "hey let's open recruitment so we can get as wide a talented as possible" always went badly. Peasants never revolted over such coups so would remarkable if they had done there. I'm not saying Cao Shuang was Liu Yu level popular (Sima Yi plus Dowager Guo as head of the coup would have been extremely reassuring unless you were one of the generals suddenly being recalled) but he was also not revolted against so clearly wasn't unpopular


Open recruitment has been avaliable since the early Han dynasty through examinations. Chen Qun nine rank system exemplify it. These examination were usually "controlled" in a sense but still effective and a form of open recruitment where those who displayed ability could take part in.

You mention the failed exam thing here and in another segment. Source for they failing an exam? First I have heard that one

So others employed capable but partisan men, ostracised others but that's ok, Cao Shuang does it and it isn't?

Yes, the others avoided gentry hatred, Liu Bei and co didn't challenge them, Sun's relied heavily on them but ended up unable to keep them under control, Cao's had a... mixed relationship with gentry and lost their support over time. Not over Xian, the Xian loyalists were a small section and dwindling already when Cao Cao got Xian. There is always a debate when radical reform is do you try to win them over (not always possible) or ignore them and go hard at the reforms, Shuang went for the latter and that clearly failed. I agree though, a major Cao Shuang flaw was he failed to appease the gentry or defeat them and paid for it while those that had some sympathy with Cao Shuang avoided service under him becuase they felt he would lose that battle.


According to Cao Rui zztj: Cao Rui commended Dong Zhao’s words.[79] On March 5, he issued an edict in response, saying: “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 and the Three Counsels. 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 Gentlemen Masters of Writing [shangshu 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.” As a result of these examinations, a number prominent officials were dismissed from office when their studies were found to be insufficient.[80]

Important to note many from Cao Shuang cabal like Deng Yang, Li Sheng, Zhuge Dan were disliked by Wei officials who thought them as incompetent people but good scholars. After Cao Rui examination, many people were removed or demoted, aka those guys I mentioned aboved. Meanwhile He Yan wasnt even given office.

Liu Bei employed guys like Wei Yan and Li Yan. Cao Cao employed guys like Xun Yu and Guo Jia while Zhuge employed guys like Jiang Wan and Fei Yi and Sima Yi discover Deng Ai talent. ( Just to name a few) Those guys I mentioned were capable Generals or intelligent Advisors or excellent Administrators.

Cao Shuang cabal did not involved generals or advisors or administrators but scholars and philosophers that mostly could not pass an exam.

Both situation isnt even comparable by any means.

Fu Jia, the huangmen shilang, said to Cao Shuang's younger brother Cao Xi, “Hu Pingshu is calm externally but fierce internally. He is sharp and avaricious, not attending to what is fundamental. I am afraid he will first of all delude you and your brothers; good men will keep away and State affairs will be neglected.” Hu Yan and the others, as a result, were antagonistic toward Fu Jia, and on a trifling matter had him dismissed from office.


So... assuming Hu Yan was a member of Cao Shuang cabal. Arent you proving my point? Cao Shuang cabal fired a guy offering advice. Furthermore, Fu Jia was against regulation but there is no evidence at all that Cao Shuang wanted regulation. If thats the case, why did he have to monopolise power?

Yes, I can't imagine why the Sima's and their loyalists would say their governing was better then Cao Shuang's and that they themselves and their families who took over from Cao Shuang's men were better officers.

Better handled how? Wei's miliatry was clearly still working given defensive victories, there was more peace under Cao Shuang (one coup vs repeated revolts), Wei doesn't seem an economic or harvest hit under Cao Shuang, Wu and Shu didn't seem to see a chance for glory based on Cao Shuang.


I will give you the coup part. Sima Yi was the one who eliminated food shortages by inplementing Deng Ai policies. Wei victories were done by the generals NOT Cao Shuang and his cabal. In fact, Cao Shuang only military expedition was a huge disaster. By the way, Sima Yi HIMSELF was the one who repelled Wu attacks TWICE(during Shuang regime).

Battled handled as in better military achievements(conquer of Shu for once) and no political blunders other than things related to the puppet emperors. In fact, even when it comes to monopolising state power, the Sima were much much better.

There was an astonishingly amount of popular coups in Huan and Ling+three kingdoms era by that logic as generally the soldiers (outside those involved) and commoners didn't revolt over coups. I'm not sure many cared as long as they were getting fed and their own lives not disrupted.

Yes, the gentry disagreed with appointing outside their own circles or non-Confucian ways. Reform was easier during the early parts of the three kingdoms but in dying days of Han and once things settled down, the gentry kept their grip and acted as blocker for reforms that would weaken their power. I have no idea if Cao Shuang's reforms were poor ideas, good ideas but poorly executed or just annoyed the establishment. Maybe I'm biased due to expirence in my country on what happens if even a minister takes on establishment for reform

Yeah, Cao Rui's heir system was a mess given the constant chop and changes. It would be really really weird to appoint a regent you didn't think was capable though so not sure why he would, Sun Li filling an area Cao Shuang is lacking would make sense but "actually your useless, here have Sun Li as your assistant" is a bit weird a regency strategy. If Cao Shuang was so incompetent, why was Wei (rather then Cao's, his death was a disaster for the family) in a decent state when he died, why was he able to outwit the clever political minds of Sima Yi and Dowager Guo for a time (though he lacked the ruthlessness to destroy them)? Why Wu and Shu not try to exploit Cao Shuang's administration?

I don't know about reforms becuase the Sima's didn't advertise them? Which is a bit odd given Sima's said they were so bad and would surely want them out there as a warning :wink:


So... He Yan promoted those who agree with him and demoted those he didnt. What a great example of "reform".

How did Shuang outwit Sima? Even though Sima was promoted to Grand tutor, he still was able to retain military control. He mangaed to install his spies like Deng Ai in Shuang regime.

Decent state? You kidding???? Cao Shuang mitary campaign was so disastrous that according to wikipedia:

Lost more than one hundred and twenty thousand troops, or fifteen percent of the total armed troops of Cao Wei's eight hundred thousand army, a serious blow that could not be recovered. Furthermore, most of the lost troops were the crack units of Cao Wei.

And In order to tend farmlands and help the widows and orphans that resulted from the failed campaign, at least 150,000 soldiers from the tuntian army was reassigned back to their agricultural roles. These troops never returned to the active service again as they were needed to remain as farmers and as a consequence, the size of Wei's army decreased by a quarter, dropping from almost 600,000 at its peak to 400,000.

The numbers are a little suspicious but you get the general idea that Wei was NOT in a "decent state".

Shu did not capitalise because Fei Yi placed an emphasis on internal development instead of external aggresion.

Wu did capitalise on Shuang regime. In 241, Sun Quan ordered a full scale invasion of Wei at four different locations. However, Sima Yi and Sun Li kicked their ass. Now, Cao Shuang deserve praise for appointing Sun Li at Yang. But it is important to note that Sima was the one who did the most during the defensive campaign.

Are you accusing the Simas of censoring information? If so why didnt future historians of future dynasties record Cao Shuang regime? Im sure the northen dynasties would have loved to shit on the Jin. Anyway, there are no historians praising Shuang regime... I wonder why? 8-)

You seem to believe "unfocused on matters of state" meant Cao Rui never focused on state affairs? That is not what I was saying, more his court felt that he got distracted by personal pursuits and indulgences and wouldn't focus on matters of state. Professor Rafe notes the criticism he didn't focus enough on state affairs, Cutter and Cromwell ditto (quite a few times they mention that), Bing Lan, Du Shu, Chen Qun, latter scholar Sun Sheng and I'm going to stop there if you don't mind


Those historians accused Cao Rui of extravagence not neglecting state affairs... Chen Qun criticse Cao Rui extravagence and behaviour but thats it(according to zztj)

For me, Cao Cao would be the Cao family at strongest


The might of Wei was at its peak during Rui in terms of size. Sima Zhao later eclipse that by conquering Shu.

For the local civillians, they will surely prefer Rui to Cao. Cao Cao was more of a warlord. In terms of administration he lowered taxes and built schools. However, Cao Rui changed the legal code and installed the nine ranks system making Wei more efficient and prosperous.

Sun Ce was a nice guy but there are a few stories of where he felt slighted in some shape or form and reacted badly like Gan/Yu Ji, Wei Tong or Gao Dai

Agree to disagree I guess


Gan Ji is fake... https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gan_Ji

Google net me nothing on Wei Tong or Gao Dai.

Anyway Liu Bei and Cao Cao have instances of being slighted and reacting badly too... Sun Ce should not be held against this in my view. There must be a reason why Chen Shou(anti wu) praised Sun Ce for his behaviour. Lastly, Sun Ce was extremely popular and well liked by not only his retainers but also the civillians.

I wish that was true, I really do.


In the three kingdom period, who else commited massacre on civillians of tens of thousands. Dong Zhuo, Sun Hao... and thats it...

So... uncommon.
Han
Initiate
 
Posts: 78
Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2017 1:46 pm

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

Unread postby Sun Fin » Sun Aug 20, 2017 2:57 pm

From Rafe's GoTS:

If one can find any common ground between the stories, it is the sense of insulted dignity which Sun Ce displayed, and which gave him the motive to eliminate Gan Ji as a rival to his authority. There is another tale, curiously similar, which offers the same message. Wu lu, again quoted by Pei Songzhi, tells how Sun Ce went to call upon the scholar Gao Dai, a man who came originally from Wu commandery but who lived as a hermit in Yuyao county in Kuaiji, and who was celebrated for his knowledge of the Zuo zhuan. Sun Ce took an interest in that work, and was anxious to discuss it with him. Some unkind person, however, advised Gao Dai that Sun Ce was young and arrogant and hated to be contradicted: Gao Dai's best policy, therefore, was to agree with everything he said. Then Sun Ce was told that Gao Dai despised amateurs, so he had no real interest in the discussion: he would pretend to accept what Sun Ce said and would make no attempt at debate; Sun Ce's opinions were simply not worth arguing about.

The conversation went just as badly as that, and Sun Ce was furious with what he perceived as Gao Dai's contempt for him. So he had Gao Dai arrested. Gao Dai was regarded with great respect, both as a scholar and as man of honour, and great numbers of people came and sat outside Sun Ce's headquarters to beg mercy for him. Sun Ce, still more infuriated by this show and public opposition, had Gao Dai executed.

From the evidence we have, Sun Ce was an orthodox, not particularly superstitious, Confucianist, and he certainly had
scholarly friends whom he respected. The approach to Gao Dai obviously went very wrong, and one might wonder who it was that played the role of Iago so effectively. Once again, however, we are shown another characteristic: Sun Ce was intensely sensitive about his authority and dignity, and he was jealous of others who appeared to have a following, even when based upon other grounds, which might rival his own. 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.


Whilst Rafe shows skepticism towards the specifics of the Gan Ji/Gao Dai stories he does accept the likelihood of the truth behind them - That Sun Ce didn't take challenges to his authority well. I do agree with you though, Han, that although by all accounts he looked after the common people under his authority very well.
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” ― Nelson Mandela
User avatar
Sun Fin
Scholar of Shen Zhou
 
Posts: 6759
Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2007 9:20 pm
Location: The birthplace of radio

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

Unread postby Xu Yuan » Mon Aug 21, 2017 9:22 pm

Han wrote:When Liu married them he was already an Emperor. No one will tell the Emperor "NO". Furthermore, him marrying Zhang daughter does not mean Zhang marriage was not controversial. Furthermore, there is no prove that Zhang daughters were born from Xiahou, Zhang could have concubines after


For being so outraged about the story you seem to have failed to notice that your very doubt is cleared up in the Only Mention of Lady Xiahou. Do you know where it is found? Just as Dongzhou has said time and time again, it's only mentioned because it was in relation to Xiahou Ba.

From Xiahou Ba's SGZ...

"After going out to gather firewood, she was taken by Zhang Fei. Zhang Fei knew she was from a good family and so he married her, and she bore a daughter who was later Liu Shan’s Empress (Empress Zhang). When Xiahou Yuan died, Zhang Fei’s wife asked to be able to bury [her uncle]. When Xiahou Ba entered Shu, Liu Shan met with him personally, where he explained saying, “Sir, your father met his end in the processes of war and not under the blade of my ancestors.” He pointed his finger to his own son and said, “Here is a [grand]-nephew of the Xiahou family.” He was generously rewarded with noble rank."

Your continual mention of pillaging is strange. Some of the criticism of Yuan Shao is that he allowed the foreign tribes to pillage the North during his reign. To hold him up as some saint who never pillaged is rather bizarre.

You seem to not understand the gravity of what Dong Zhuo did. This wasn't just a simple raiding of a village (which he did, killing Xun Yu's entire village after Xun Yu had warned them of the impending doom.) This was the burning of the Capital of not just Han but every previous dynasty. Shang had started its reign there according to traditional history, Zhou built a capital there, and so did Han build Luoyang in 25 AD. To have all of this history literally demolished was a great blow to not just the material, but the heart of the Han culture who saw themselves as the perfection of all previous dynasties. This is why Dong Zhuo's destruction of Luoyang is looked at with the vitriol that it is. It was not so much the action, but what it represented.

Yuan Shu was little better in regards to pillaging; he robbed Imperial Envoys and held Liu Yu's son hostage when the man eagerly needed to get assistance for his father's worsening position.

I am tempted to believe that Dong Zhou meant to write Zhang Yan the noted Black Mountain Bandit leader, the rival of Zhang Yang in many respects as pillaging, but still being brought into the fold.

As for your comparison of the lady's predicaments... Both involved abduction. One was out in a forest, the other was as a spoil of war. It is literally the same case for these ladies and to try to say otherwise pokes a hole in that overall argument of "moral righteousness".

who was part of the empire that had few historians( histories were banned in Shu by Zhuge


I would Love to see your source on that. I've seen it from one less than reputable source and it is so quickly contradicted it's hardly worthy of mention. Lest you forget that Qiao Zhou and Chen Shou were historians in their own right.

Definitely benevolent. And a paragon of virtue. As previously mentioned, murdering empress and extravagance does not offset his virtuous deeds. This guy distributed resources, listened to legal cases, actively seek talent and fired incompetent people while creating a better legal code and accepting criticism. All acts of virtue.


It's not one or the other. People are generally not Saints or Villains and to try to idolize people in this manner can make you blind to their true personalities, which is rich in humanity and at times contradiction. Even the saintly Liu Yu executed an advisor for speaking out against punishing Gongsun Zan. Part of being a good historian is seeing what is there, rather than avoiding the uncomfortable truths or seeing what you want to see.

On Cao Shuang and his clique...

What doesn't add up is the lack of information we have on their so-called terrible "reforms". Reading the histories it comes across as a propaganda campaign that gained steam when Cao Shuang failed military against Shu-Han in spectacular fashion. As Dongzhou mentioned Cao Rui was a strict Confucian so of course these Neo-Daoists would fail whatever "loyalty test" is put to them. The Canons at that time were very unstable and there were a couple main schools of thought. Zheng Xuan's Confucian as Uncrowned King or the Jing-based Confucianism popularized by Song Zhong which taught that Confucius was no more than a Sage. Through this the Xuanxue Sect managed to gain a small foothold. Considering that one of Song Zhong's student and greatest supporter, Wang Su (Wang Yuanji's dad) was firmly on the side of the Sage Confucius (the tradition that mostly was passed down to us, the Uncrowned King theory begins to fade with the Sixteen Dynasties). Since Wang Su's family was so connected to the Sima it may be that they too followed the Sage Confucius theory. If Cao Shuang promoted a questionable set of canon books based on He Yan's ideas I could see that quickly turning the Gentry against him, regardless of any other reforms.

In the three kingdom period, who else commited massacre on civillians of tens of thousands. Dong Zhuo, Sun Hao... and thats it...

So... uncommon.


Ahem... Dong Zhuo, Cao Cao, Sun Quan, possibly Ma Chao (it's difficult to say how much damage his rampaging in Liang caused)Two of the three founders of the Three Kingdoms have that indelible mark. Were they criticized for it? No, not really. It was a sad fact of the era that things like that can happen. Dong Zhuo literally picked up the structure of Han, threw it to the ground and lit a match to it so he predictable gets a high measure of the hate from historians of the era.
Last edited by Xu Yuan on Tue Aug 22, 2017 1:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
As you know security
is mortal's greatest enemy.

SimRTK is back up in a testing phase! Go ahead and give it a look over on the Simzhou forum branch.

http://simrtk.net/index.php
User avatar
Xu Yuan
Scholar of Shen Zhou
 
Posts: 899
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2005 7:13 pm

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

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:41 am

Xu Yuan

Xu Yuan wrote:
Your continual mention of pillaging is strange. Some of the criticism of Yuan Shao is that he allowed the foreign tribes to pillage the North during his reign. To hold him up as some saint who never pillaged is rather bizarre.


Source for that one? That sounds like criticism of Yuan Shao failing to protect his borders rather then "come pillage my lands" thing

I am tempted to believe that Dong Zhou meant to write Zhang Yan the noted Black Mountain Bandit leader, the rival of Zhang Yang in many respects as pillaging, but still being brought into the fold.


I had forgotten that one but it was Ding Yuan sent to pillage. Been busy but Han being kindly patient with me

What doesn't add up is the lack of information we have on their so-called terrible "reforms". Reading the histories it comes across as a propaganda campaign that gained steam when Cao Shuang failed military against Shu-Han in spectacular fashion.


I think rift was forming before then though a miliatry embrassment did not help Cao Shuang

As Dongzhou mentioned Cao Rui was a strict Confucian so of course these Neo-Daoists would fail whatever "loyalty test" is put to them. The Canons at that time were very unstable and there were a couple main schools of thought. Zheng Xuan's Confucian as Uncrowned King or the Jing-based Confucianism popularized by Song Zhong (yes That [url=http://kongming.net/encyclopedia/Song-Zhong]Song Zhong[/url) which taught that Confucius was no more than a Sage. Through this the Xuanxue Sect managed to gain a small foothold. Considering that one of Song Zhong's student and greatest supporter, Wang Su (Wang Yuanji's dad) was firmly on the side of the Sage Confucius (the tradition that mostly was passed down to us, the Uncrowned King theory begins to fade with the Sixteen Dynasties). Since Wang Su's family was so connected to the Sima it may be that they too followed the Sage Confucius theory. If Cao Shuang promoted a questionable set of canon books based on He Yan's ideas I could see that quickly turning the Gentry against him, regardless of any other reforms.


I don't think there is any indication of who failed the tests and not seen any source saying He Yan himself failed it. Given the way such exams worked (which tended to be a test of ability to remember an approved text or two rather then legal or administrative skill tests), would have been embarrassing for He Yan as a scholar if he flunked that test

For being so outraged about the story you seem to have failed to notice that your very doubt is cleared up in the Only Mention of Lady Xiahou. Do you know where it is found? Just as Dongzhou has said time and time again, it's only mentioned because it was in relation to Xiahou Ba.


In fairness, I forgot we had a Xiahou Ba sgz, else I would have seen him there and Han may not have known we had one.

======

Han

The only thing you can hold against Yuan was the Runan pillage and even then Liu was so far away for Yuan to properly control.

Zhang Yang wiki make no mention of him pillaging.

Yeah. Yuan was angered at Lü Bu troops cruelty and "excess"...... because they pillaged. Feel free to offer other reasons for Lü Bu cruetly/escess that is not pillage.


So not his friendship with pillagers, anti-eunuch grand plan involving pillaging and I'm not sure how you think Yuan Shao expected Liu Bei's troops to feed themselves when cut off from Yuan supplylines.

Sorry, that was very much my bad. Ding Yuan rather then Zhang Yang.

Going overboard, cruelty within the pillaging.

You previously said that military pillaging was considered ok and that no one actively criticise them for it. I provided 3 examples that state otherwise. Yuan Shao/ Yuan Shu under Lü and Luoyang under Dong. So how does my logic "not work out"?

Dong pillaging is different from your normal military pillage because of the area. But the action is still the definition of military pillage.


You provided one where sources and Yuan Shao's own history more point towards a different matter, decided razing the capital is just like pillaging which I don't think anyone else would agree with. On Yuan Shu/Lu Bu (which I think is your first time), the criticisms were Lu Bu's own arrogant assumptions (there is something in sgz about Yuan Shu being unhappy with Lu Bu's past record but that could be a mistranslation?) and unruly pillaging but that would be Lu Bu in Yuan Shu's own lands. Which doesn't tend to go down well, do it on your enemy as a legitimate tactic, your own is a really really really bad idea.

I have pointed to pillage after pillage after pillage (on enemy lands) where end result was=nothing.

To be honest, I'm not sure we are going to convince each other. I would still suggest you seek others views on whether razing the capital counts as pillaging or normal pillaging though.

You are correct. Sun Quan and Lü Bu did pillage. But I did mention criticisms against Lü Bu(TWICE) actions previously. As for Sun Quan, that is inexcusable and strange for lack of criticiam. But Sun must have thought of moving Jing people east as they lacked human resources(at that time) compared to Jing and Yi.


What Sun Quan and co did made sense, this was a time where most of the Huang Zu vs Sun's were raids (despite Wu glorifying it as something bigger) and Wu needed resources. It was seen as a legitimate tactic at the time as kingdoms needed resources, armies needed feeding at a time when logistics and famine were issues (which is perhaps why pillaging dies down once three kingdoms begins to settle) or a distraction technique

Pillaging was mostly done by bandits and commoners. Professional armies seldom did so. There are notable exceptions like Lü Bu, Cao Xu massacre and Sun war against Jing.

However, Lü Bu was chased out by Shao and Shu because of plundering, Cao Cao was avenging his father and was the founder of Wei while Sun needed the human resources as he lacked them compared to Yi and Jing. Which could explain the lack of criticism( for Cao and Sun).


and Liu Bei. Wu repeatedly. He Jin's forces, Lu Bu in Yan so and so on and so forth.

Once involve abduction the other doesnt. One was uncommon the other was common.


It is pretty much abduction in nicer form but I might be splitting hairs here

When Liu married them he was already an Emperor. No one will tell the Emperor "NO". Furthermore, him marrying Zhang daughter does not mean Zhang marriage was not controversial. Furthermore, there is no prove that Zhang daughters were born from Xiahou, Zhang could have concubines after all.

Lack of criticism by histories doesnt mean no criticism by people at that time. Most of their actions and words were not recorded at the time, much less about an abduction by a general who died early( by three kingdom standards) who was part of the empire that had few historians( histories were banned in Shu by Zhuge). Using common logic, the Xiahous were most likely angered at Zhang Fei.

Most importantly, Zhang had a reputation of being cruel and heartless and as Rafe say, a brute. Meanwhile Liu has a reputation of kindness towards the people and retainers. So attacking Liu is different from attacking Zhang


Wei scholars did that (unsuccessfully) for Cao's repeatedly, Wu scholars (with a bit more success) as well for Sun Quan. Liu Shan called Xiahou Ba family due to his wife's parentage

Zhuge Liang did not ban historians. Qiao Zhou was a noted historian for example, Shu records were rubbish but there is no evidence he banned history just not a priority (which might have something to do with what happened when Liu Bei started a project, it went so badly he had a play put on about it)

We can look at reactions of the time, did they riot, did officers refuse to join, was there unease, was there protests at her daughter being made empress (twice). There is none whatsoever. Given the complete lack of reaction then or after, we can not say people cared

Sometimes to undermine a regime or a political figure, one may not be able to go for leader but can use the scandal of a friend to get them. Wei could have gone big with "if Liu Bei is so kind, why does Liu Bei allow this kidnapper to be as a brother". They can't go on brutal alone becuase frankly, if your a early three kingdoms warlord, your army and circle is going to be full of brutal gits but if the kidnapping is as shocking as you think, that would have been a useful attack line.

Things slid. Acts of tyranny? Not really.


On that we are agreed

Definitely benevolent. And a paragon of virtue. As previously mentioned, murdering empress and extravagance does not offset his virtuous deeds. This guy distributed resources, listened to legal cases, actively seek talent and fired incompetent people while creating a better legal code and accepting criticism. All acts of virtue.


Agree to disagree I guess

What are you skeptical about and what does not add up?

Doubting the actual histories is find... i guess... but if everyone is saying the same thing( not just jin historians) then its most likely true. I have yet to see anyone trying to argue that Cao Shuang regime was good for Wei or that his reforms were effective and excellent( aka Cao Rui legeal code)


Partly I'm sceptical becuase of patterns and how Chinese history worked. Example Sun Hao is hit by "last king" where either Sun Hao was directly copying the most infamous kings or someone was playing morality tales with history. We know he descended into bad king due to other things (Sima Yan taking on a large harem from Sun Hao, the analysis for invading Wu talking about Sun Hao's paranoia crippling court so on and so forth) but it is there. Now with Cao Shuang, his being incompetent, corrupt, evil ambitions, kicking puppies is that every time where the gentry were not in charge, those same charges turn up. Be it a woman in charge, eunuchs or in this case, Neo-Doaists, somehow each and every time they were corrupt, appointed evil figures so on and so forth. There could be bad gentry leaders (Liang Ji and Dong for example) but there was never a good non Confucian overlord. Chinese historians kept to that, whatever they thought of a dynasty the need for Confucian over all else must be held so if they hated Sima's then those attacks could come after he stopped the non Confucians.

Unfortunately while we get Western historians who poke holes in "Han eunuchs were bad" or "yeah, no way Sun Jian said that about Dong during the Liang camapign", we don't get historians covering the Cao Shuang regime era. Works covering Wei as a centre piece (or a large part) by western historians earlier, Professor Rafe's encyclopaedia at Han's fall, his ZZTJ with commentary at Cao Cao's death, Empress and Consorts at Cao Rui. Personally would love to know how much the accusations against Cao Fang are true or not

If Cao Shuang was so incompetent, why did he have political victories against Sima Yi (forced to retire becuase he got outmanoeuvred initially), Dowager Guo, possibly Sun Li depending on how one views move outside capital? I fully agree Cao Shuang falls short of Sima Yi and Guo perhaps he lacked their ruthlessness but not being as good as them is not same as incompetent. If he was so unpopular how is Huan Fan's plan during the coup workable? The proposal Liu Shan flee south was unworkable becuase Liu Shan's regime had become unpopular yet nobody seems to suggest Huan Fan's plan wouldn't work. If Cao Shuang was a traitor, why did Jiang Ji push for no harm, why did the commanders outside the capital get alarmed? If things are so bad, why no reports of famine (unlike during Cao Rui's reign), mass revolts and that the army was still in good condition (I know you dispute that but come to that later)? When writing about the officers of Cao Shuang, they were all really really bad honest but also really really famous and talented but also useless, it struggles to deal with the contradiction. We get information about failed reforms from likes of Dong and Cao Pi and so on but Cao Shuang, we get little more then trying to widen recruitment process.

Now some bits of the histories add up. The manner of how the coup went down, Cao Shuang being indecisive at big moments has the whiff of exaggeration in how it is described but seems so oddly specific to be made up, the sheer amount of reforms which I see being unsettling. To borrow Rafe's encyclopaedia on Sima Yi
and he presented himself as representative for those who sought Confucian reform, morality and restraint in politics and society
which also rings true. Sima Yi was of unimpeachable Confucian stock, in a time where the Cao's had a bit of a track record before Cao Shuang of being... somewhat eccentric and of excess (including Cao Rui and Cao Cao), and of dabbling in new age, when new age of thought was coming with elements the Confucian gentry would not have been comfortable with and would have seemed full of excess and unrestrained (even without He Yan being a hedonist).

I do not argue Cao Shuang's was, outside of cultural life, massively successful as there is no evidence for that and ultimately he was a worse player of the game then Sima Yi and Dowager Guo as he seemed to lack perception of how things would look+he lost the game against two very wily political figures+he lacked the ruthlessness required. I don't think his regime was a disaster either (apart from for Cao family)

Open recruitment has been avaliable since the early Han dynasty through examinations. Chen Qun nine rank system exemplify it. These examination were usually "controlled" in a sense but still effective and a form of open recruitment where those who displayed ability could take part in.


Open recruitment to Confucians with the Confucians objecting any time a ruler wanted to look at wider scholarship. There were constant attempts to reform recruitment systems from near end of Han to... pretty much all the time. Some of which was due to clash between rulers more open tolerance for type of officers and what the gentry would allow and sometimes that recruiting systems always need tweaking to try to get round how mobility can freeze once times of crises has ended.

According to Cao Rui zztj

Cao Shuang cabal did not involved generals or advisors or administrators but scholars and philosophers that mostly could not pass an exam.:


Yeah Dong Zhao did not like the new age philosophers as his memorials show and his memorial would be a decent example of how Confucian reacted to those that thought differently. However your assuming that He Yan and co, where there has been mention in any source I find, failed those exams. This would be propaganda gold and a disaster for He Yan's reputation as a scholar if He Yan failed exams on texts including ones he was writing about

Also Li Yan and Wei Yan possibly not the examples you want to make about Liu Bei selection.

So... assuming Hu Yan was a member of Cao Shuang cabal. Arent you proving my point? Cao Shuang cabal fired a guy offering advice. Furthermore, Fu Jia was against regulation but there is no evidence at all that Cao Shuang wanted regulation. If thats the case, why did he have to monopolise power?


99% sure it a typo for He Yan

Fu Jia slams the heart of the government and loses job yep. Like... you would get nowadays if your an MP in cabinet. One rule for Cao Shuang (aka anything he does is wrong), another for everyone else (everyone does the same thing=perfectly fine).

One of the complaints by the gentry was so many many reforms so not sure why you think there wasn't regulation?

I will give you the coup part. Sima Yi was the one who eliminated food shortages by inplementing Deng Ai policies. Wei victories were done by the generals NOT Cao Shuang and his cabal. In fact, Cao Shuang only military expedition was a huge disaster. By the way, Sima Yi HIMSELF was the one who repelled Wu attacks TWICE(during Shuang regime).


Yep, sent during the early days of the regency and Sima Yi deserves credit for agreeing to his Huai reforms, Shuang can't be blamed for Huai's issues. So Cao Shuang's regime had armies that, with good choice of miliatry leaders, were strong enough to repel a Wu attack twice so army in good shape. Cao Shuang was a, judging by his one camapign, a poor miliatry leader but that needn't be an issue as long as 1) he stays away from doing that again, 2) the army is in good shape

Battled handled as in better military achievements(conquer of Shu for once) and no political blunders other than things related to the puppet emperors. In fact, even when it comes to monopolising state power, the Sima were much much better.


The conquest of Shu was way after Shuang vs Sima to be fair.

I agree, Sima's were better at controlling court and generally better then Cao Shuang. I'm arguing Cao Shuang's regime wasn't corrupt and massively incompetent, not who was better.

In short term though, Sima Yi's coup was an issue becuase it brought a lot of political instability as the Sima's purged the Wei ranks, went around removing Wei emperors and faced major revolts, plus the instability during that time encouraged invasions including one Shu one becuase of Sima Yi's coup. However Sima's rode that out and came out much stronger then Shuang seems capable of managing

So... He Yan promoted those who agree with him and demoted those he didnt. What a great example of "reform".

How did Shuang outwit Sima? Even though Sima was promoted to Grand tutor, he still was able to retain military control. He mangaed to install his spies like Deng Ai in Shuang regime.

Decent state? You kidding???? Cao Shuang mitary campaign was so disastrous that according to wikipedia:

Lost more than one hundred and twenty thousand troops, or fifteen percent of the total armed troops of Cao Wei's eight hundred thousand army, a serious blow that could not be recovered. Furthermore, most of the lost troops were the crack units of Cao Wei.

And In order to tend farmlands and help the widows and orphans that resulted from the failed campaign, at least 150,000 soldiers from the tuntian army was reassigned back to their agricultural roles. These troops never returned to the active service again as they were needed to remain as farmers and as a consequence, the size of Wei's army decreased by a quarter, dropping from almost 600,000 at its peak to 400,000.

The numbers are a little suspicious but you get the general idea that Wei was NOT in a "decent state".

Shu did not capitalise because Fei Yi placed an emphasis on internal development instead of external aggresion.

Wu did capitalise on Shuang regime. In 241, Sun Quan ordered a full scale invasion of Wei at four different locations. However, Sima Yi and Sun Li kicked their ass. Now, Cao Shuang deserve praise for appointing Sun Li at Yang. But it is important to note that Sima was the one who did the most during the defensive campaign.

Are you accusing the Simas of censoring information? If so why didnt future historians of future dynasties record Cao Shuang regime? Im sure the northen dynasties would have loved to shit on the Jin. Anyway, there are no historians praising Shuang regime... I wonder why? 8-)


Not sure what bit of that bit you quoted was He Yan related but I did say He Yan could be a jerk and I never said Cao Shuang was an example of purity leadership that had never existed before

Sima Yi was promoted to Grand Tutor which stripped him of authority and led to his retiring (which, like an MP going to backbenches, can be used if one is cunning enough but is not something MP's want to be). Checked Deng Ai's sgz which says nothing about any role against Cao Shuang

Heads up on Wiki, when it comes to 3kingdoms, it isn't considered the most reliable source (and seen that very article attacked on here as numbers seem way off and not backed up by conventional sources anyone can find while the wiki contains no "from so and so's sgz" sourcing). In fairness it's worst days ("Zhuge Liang was a taco") is far far behind it and it is a good starting point. The ZZTJ says regional supplies were exhausted by the camapign, nothing about a massive restructuring of the army

Clearly didn't explain the invasions bit well enough. This was a civil war, invasions were going to happen and as you rightly point out Wei were lucky during that period that Shu's regime was not inclined to attack, Cao Shuang can not take any credit for that. However there is a "I'm trying my luck" invasion and where the intent (either by discussions within the camp or timing) is to exploit a weakness. During the regency, there was one by Wu which seems to be due to Rui's death and which Sima Yi rightly deserves credit for winning but none where Wu or Shu felt "Cao Shuang is inept, their armies weakened". When there were attacks in the follow up of the coup, Wei's armies were clearly left in a good enough state to win which is Shuang was damaging the miliatry (which Wu and Shu never mentioned as an opportunity) would have been a bit of a problem.

Did the northern dynasties hate the Confucian gentry or want their support?

Those historians accused Cao Rui of extravagence not neglecting state affairs... Chen Qun criticse Cao Rui extravagence and behaviour but thats it(according to zztj)


Rafe encyclopaedia on Cao Rui
He sought to enhance the prestige oft he state with buildings and display, but he was criticized for extravagance, and for paying too little attention to serious matters of state.


Empress and consorts page 57
Emperor Ming who built up a large harem that occupied his attention at the expense of the affairs of state


59
Emperor Ming and his adoptive son Cao Fang increasingly directed their interests towards the harem and away from their responsibilities as heads of state-with predictable results


Sun Sheng (could be read differently granted): "But he did not think of planting his virtue and disseminating good influence, nor did he consolidate the 'fortified wall,' [3] with the result that the great power of the state was only partially invested and the foundation of the Imperial House lacked protection. What a pity!”"

Chen Qun "Now we neglect these urgent matters, and bring palaces to the forefront. I fear the people will suffer. "

The might of Wei was at its peak during Rui in terms of size. Sima Zhao later eclipse that by conquering Shu.

For the local civillians, they will surely prefer Rui to Cao. Cao Cao was more of a warlord. In terms of administration he lowered taxes and built schools. However, Cao Rui changed the legal code and installed the nine ranks system making Wei more efficient and prosperous.


Cao Cao ended famine and brought order back to chaos, why a lot of people flocked to him. We do have a fair bit of "people are suffering" (levy's, palaces generally) memorials by Cao Rui's court

Gan Ji is fake... https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gan_Ji

Google net me nothing on Wei Tong or Gao Dai.

Anyway Liu Bei and Cao Cao have instances of being slighted and reacting badly too... Sun Ce should not be held against this in my view. There must be a reason why Chen Shou(anti wu) praised Sun Ce for his behaviour. Lastly, Sun Ce was extremely popular and well liked by not only his retainers but also the civillians.


I think the wiki writer misread the article he quoted, I know of no historian that thinks Gan Ji (or somebody claiming to be Gan Ji) was fake story added to sgz

At no point have I denied that about Sun Ce, merely that he had an issue that really set him off.

Chen Shou is highly regarded as a neutral historian, where there are accusations of bias it is over people (Ding family, Zhuge Liang, Jing scholars) rather then states. I have seen no accusation Chen Shou was anti-Wu, the basis of his work on Wu was from Wu's own history project and if he wanted to he could have edited it to align with Shu's claims but he didn't

In the three kingdom period, who else commited massacre on civillians of tens of thousands. Dong Zhuo, Sun Hao... and thats it...

So... uncommon.


Xu Yuan answered this for me but I don't recall Sun Hao doing such a massacre?
“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?”
User avatar
Dong Zhou
A-Dou
A-Dou
 
Posts: 15053
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2005 12:32 pm
Location: "Now we must die. May Your Majesty maintain yourself"

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

Unread postby Han » Thu Aug 24, 2017 11:17 am

For being so outraged about the story you seem to have failed to notice that your very doubt is cleared up in the Only Mention of Lady Xiahou. Do you know where it is found? Just as Dongzhou has said time and time again, it's only mentioned because it was in relation to Xiahou Ba.

From Xiahou Ba's SGZ...

"After going out to gather firewood, she was taken by Zhang Fei. Zhang Fei knew she was from a good family and so he married her, and she bore a daughter who was later Liu Shan’s Empress (Empress Zhang). When Xiahou Yuan died, Zhang Fei’s wife asked to be able to bury [her uncle]. When Xiahou Ba entered Shu, Liu Shan met with him personally, where he explained saying, “Sir, your father met his end in the processes of war and not under the blade of my ancestors.” He pointed his finger to his own son and said, “Here is a [grand]-nephew of the Xiahou family.” He was generously rewarded with noble rank."

Your continual mention of pillaging is strange. Some of the criticism of Yuan Shao is that he allowed the foreign tribes to pillage the North during his reign. To hold him up as some saint who never pillaged is rather bizarre.

You seem to not understand the gravity of what Dong Zhuo did. This wasn't just a simple raiding of a village (which he did, killing Xun Yu's entire village after Xun Yu had warned them of the impending doom.) This was the burning of the Capital of not just Han but every previous dynasty. Shang had started its reign there according to traditional history, Zhou built a capital there, and so did Han build Luoyang in 25 AD. To have all of this history literally demolished was a great blow to not just the material, but the heart of the Han culture who saw themselves as the perfection of all previous dynasties. This is why Dong Zhuo's destruction of Luoyang is looked at with the vitriol that it is. It was not so much the action, but what it represented.

Yuan Shu was little better in regards to pillaging; he robbed Imperial Envoys and held Liu Yu's son hostage when the man eagerly needed to get assistance for his father's worsening position.

I am tempted to believe that Dong Zhou meant to write Zhang Yan the noted Black Mountain Bandit leader, the rival of Zhang Yang in many respects as pillaging, but still being brought into the fold.

As for your comparison of the lady's predicaments... Both involved abduction. One was out in a forest, the other was as a spoil of war. It is literally the same case for these ladies and to try to say otherwise pokes a hole in that overall argument of "moral righteousness".


I apologise for the Xiahou thing. You are absolutely correct...... Does not excuse Zhang actions though...

I dont admire Yuan Shao or anything... Fact is, he did not like Lü Bu because he pillage... Source on the criticism thing?

Oh yes I absolutely agree with you on the Dong Zhuo thing. It dosent change the fact that what Dong did was an example of military pillage by professional troops. Many criticise him for his action( Luoyang destruction) too...

Source on the robbing imperial envoy part? Since when is holding someone hostage an example of military pillage? Kidnapping and stealing resources are examples of military pillage not hostaging...

https://www.google.com/search?q=militar ... e&ie=UTF-8

Both acts are wrong ... But one was common(making someone a wife) the other wasnt( abducting a female/girl)...

During Han dynasty, a man can make a woman his wife but not abduct her. The point Im making is many make women their wife but kidnapping isnt common. Zhang Fei , Dong Zhuo, Sun Hao did it... but thats about it.

I would Love to see your source on that. I've seen it from one less than reputable source and it is so quickly contradicted it's hardly worthy of mention. Lest you forget that Qiao Zhou and Chen Shou were historians in their own right.


It seems Im only partially right but here,
https://www.google.com/amp/3kfunfacts.t ... within/amp

According to Chen Shou himself, Shu did not set up a history bureau... and there no official note taking...

Source on Qiao Zhou? As far as I know he was a teacher, scholar and official of Shu. But reading histories is different from OFFICIALLY recording them.

Chen Shou was never a historian of Shu. He only became a historian during Sima Jin.

It's not one or the other. People are generally not Saints or Villains and to try to idolize people in this manner can make you blind to their true personalities, which is rich in humanity and at times contradiction. Even the saintly Liu Yu executed an advisor for speaking out against punishing Gongsun Zan. Part of being a good historian is seeing what is there, rather than avoiding the uncomfortable truths or seeing what you want to see.

On Cao Shuang and his clique...

What doesn't add up is the lack of information we have on their so-called terrible "reforms". Reading the histories it comes across as a propaganda campaign that gained steam when Cao Shuang failed military against Shu-Han in spectacular fashion. As Dongzhou mentioned Cao Rui was a strict Confucian so of course these Neo-Daoists would fail whatever "loyalty test" is put to them. The Canons at that time were very unstable and there were a couple main schools of thought. Zheng Xuan's Confucian as Uncrowned King or the Jing-based Confucianism popularized by Song Zhong which taught that Confucius was no more than a Sage. Through this the Xuanxue Sect managed to gain a small foothold. Considering that one of Song Zhong's student and greatest supporter, Wang Su (Wang Yuanji's dad) was firmly on the side of the Sage Confucius (the tradition that mostly was passed down to us, the Uncrowned King theory begins to fade with the Sixteen Dynasties). Since Wang Su's family was so connected to the Sima it may be that they too followed the Sage Confucius theory. If Cao Shuang promoted a questionable set of canon books based on He Yan's ideas I could see that quickly turning the Gentry against him, regardless of any other reforms.


Agreed... but Cao Rui is definitely a paragon of virtue for his time.

Sima Yi zztj criticised Cao Shuang cabal as corrupt. I have yet to see ANY historian- Chinese or Western argue against this.

Ahem... Dong Zhuo, Cao Cao, Sun Quan, possibly Ma Chao (it's difficult to say how much damage his rampaging in Liang caused)Two of the three founders of the Three Kingdoms have that indelible mark. Were they criticized for it? No, not really. It was a sad fact of the era that things like that can happen. Dong Zhuo literally picked up the structure of Han, threw it to the ground and lit a match to it so he predictable gets a high measure of the hate from historians of the era.


Wait what? Dong Zhuo and Cao Cao yes. But... Sun Quan? As far as I know, he purged officials during his later years but thats about it. Have you forgotten that Sun Quan moved Jing people to Jiangdong because He NEEDED human resources??? How is it possible that he killed tens of thousands civillians??? Furthermore, Lü Meng and Lu Xun treated Jing people nicely and convinced Sun to do the same. Sun Quan did so.

ALL of these can be found online in Lü Meng, Lu Xun and Sun Quan Sgz.

So please provide sources on Sun Quan.

As for Ma Chao... his Sgz describe his army movements but not his personal acts... so... source???

By the way you showed four people killing tens of thousands out of hundreds of generals at that time. So I guess im correct because 4/100+ is uncommon.

I had forgotten that one but it was Ding Yuan sent to pillage. Been busy but Han being kindly patient with me


Wait what...? Source???

I don't think there is any indication of who failed the tests and not seen any source saying He Yan himself failed it. Given the way such exams worked (which tended to be a test of ability to remember an approved text or two rather then legal or administrative skill tests), would have been embarrassing for He Yan as a scholar if he flunked that test


He Yan was never employed by Cao Pi or Cao
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zhuge_Dan
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Li_Shen ... e_Kingdoms)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deng_Yang

The above were all scholars and flunked. They were fired during Cao Rui era but came into prominence under Cao Shuang cabal. Its inportant to note that these guys were mostly failures but did have a few merit. Li Sheng was actually a decent administrator... But still it did not excuse their corruption.

So not his friendship with pillagers, anti-eunuch grand plan involving pillaging and I'm not sure how you think Yuan Shao expected Liu Bei's troops to feed themselves when cut off from Yuan supplylines.

Sorry, that was very much my bad. Ding Yuan rather then Zhang Yang.

Going overboard, cruelty within the pillaging.


Friendship with who??? He kicked Lü Bu out for pillaging... anti eunuch plan did not involve pillaging according to Sgz... it was excessive because Yuan wanted to kill EVERY eunuch... but not signs of military pillage(stealing resources, abducting people). You are right about the Runan one.

Source on Ding Yuan?

Cruelty within pillage? What? Explain. Pillaging is a cruel act and looked down by Yuan Shu and Shao. "Cruelty within pillaging makes no sense at all" Please elaborate clearly.

You provided one where sources and Yuan Shao's own history more point towards a different matter, decided razing the capital is just like pillaging which I don't think anyone else would agree with. On Yuan Shu/Lu Bu (which I think is your first time), the criticisms were Lu Bu's own arrogant assumptions (there is something in sgz about Yuan Shu being unhappy with Lu Bu's past record but that could be a mistranslation?) and unruly pillaging but that would be Lu Bu in Yuan Shu's own lands. Which doesn't tend to go down well, do it on your enemy as a legitimate tactic, your own is a really really really bad idea.

I have pointed to pillage after pillage after pillage (on enemy lands) where end result was=nothing.

To be honest, I'm not sure we are going to convince each other. I would still suggest you seek others views on whether razing the capital counts as pillaging or normal pillaging though.


Lü Bu pillage Yuan Shao enemy and was hated. Liu Bei pillage Runan and was crushed by Cao. End result= nothing?? Since when. The only time no one reacted to pillaging is when they are not in a position to fight back.

Razing a capital is definitely military pillaging. Google military pillage if you dont trust me.

What Sun Quan and co did made sense, this was a time where most of the Huang Zu vs Sun's were raids (despite Wu glorifying it as something bigger) and Wu needed resources. It was seen as a legitimate tactic at the time as kingdoms needed resources, armies needed feeding at a time when logistics and famine were issues (which is perhaps why pillaging dies down once three kingdoms begins to settle) or a distraction technique


Legitimate? No... bandits and commoners pillage but professional armies seldom do so. As previously mentioned, there were a few exceptions. But those exceptions usually lead to negative consequences...

and Liu Bei. Wu repeatedly. He Jin's forces, Lu Bu in Yan so and so on and so forth.


Liu Bei twice. Was a bandit at that time with other bandits, the second time he only plundered treasury. Wu once. Against Huang Zu, as revenge for father and because they lacked resources. Doesnt excuse their actions of course. He Jin forces is a broad term... Lü Bu was rekt by Yuan Shu/Shao and Cao Cao because he pillaged...

Source on He Jin?

It is pretty much abduction in nicer form but I might be splitting hairs here


Agreed... but during Han, making women wives were common, kidnapping(females/girls) were not.

Wei scholars did that (unsuccessfully) for Cao's repeatedly, Wu scholars (with a bit more success) as well for Sun Quan. Liu Shan called Xiahou Ba family due to his wife's parentage

Zhuge Liang did not ban historians. Qiao Zhou was a noted historian for example, Shu records were rubbish but there is no evidence he banned history just not a priority (which might have something to do with what happened when Liu Bei started a project, it went so badly he had a play put on about it)

We can look at reactions of the time, did they riot, did officers refuse to join, was there unease, was there protests at her daughter being made empress (twice). There is none whatsoever. Given the complete lack of reaction then or after, we can not say people cared

Sometimes to undermine a regime or a political figure, one may not be able to go for leader but can use the scandal of a friend to get them. Wei could have gone big with "if Liu Bei is so kind, why does Liu Bei allow this kidnapper to be as a brother". They can't go on brutal alone becuase frankly, if your a early three kingdoms warlord, your army and circle is going to be full of brutal gits but if the kidnapping is as shocking as you think, that would have been a useful attack line.


I was wrong sorry. I agree with all you said at first paragraph.

Yes Zhuge did not ban histories. Once again I was wrong.

Copy paste: Not exactly. Chen Shou himself explains the situation best:

“The state [of Shu] did not establish a history [bureau[, and no one was in charge of note-taking and record-keeping. Because of this [the records of[ many activities and events are missing, and disasters and anomalies lack documentation.”

https://www.google.com/amp/3kfunfacts.t ... within/amp

Chen Shou didnt really slander Liu Bei and Zhang fei... or anyone. Same goes for other chinese and western historians. Historians dont really slander. Just point out strengths and weaknesses and record events.

As mentioned previously, Xiahou family reaction was unrecorded. Just because it was not recorded doesnt mean that they dont care. Do you honestly honestly think the Xiahou will be cool with Zhang kidnapping? Seriously?

Partly I'm sceptical becuase of patterns and how Chinese history worked. Example Sun Hao is hit by "last king" where either Sun Hao was directly copying the most infamous kings or someone was playing morality tales with history. We know he descended into bad king due to other things (Sima Yan taking on a large harem from Sun Hao, the analysis for invading Wu talking about Sun Hao's paranoia crippling court so on and so forth) but it is there. Now with Cao Shuang, his being incompetent, corrupt, evil ambitions, kicking puppies is that every time where the gentry were not in charge, those same charges turn up. Be it a woman in charge, eunuchs or in this case, Neo-Doaists, somehow each and every time they were corrupt, appointed evil figures so on and so forth. There could be bad gentry leaders (Liang Ji and Dong for example) but there was never a good non Confucian overlord. Chinese historians kept to that, whatever they thought of a dynasty the need for Confucian over all else must be held so if they hated Sima's then those attacks could come after he stopped the non Confucians.

Unfortunately while we get Western historians who poke holes in "Han eunuchs were bad" or "yeah, no way Sun Jian said that about Dong during the Liang camapign", we don't get historians covering the Cao Shuang regime era. Works covering Wei as a centre piece (or a large part) by western historians earlier, Professor Rafe's encyclopaedia at Han's fall, his ZZTJ with commentary at Cao Cao's death, Empress and Consorts at Cao Rui. Personally would love to know how much the accusations against Cao Fang are true or not

If Cao Shuang was so incompetent, why did he have political victories against Sima Yi (forced to retire becuase he got outmanoeuvred initially), Dowager Guo, possibly Sun Li depending on how one views move outside capital? I fully agree Cao Shuang falls short of Sima Yi and Guo perhaps he lacked their ruthlessness but not being as good as them is not same as incompetent. If he was so unpopular how is Huan Fan's plan during the coup workable? The proposal Liu Shan flee south was unworkable becuase Liu Shan's regime had become unpopular yet nobody seems to suggest Huan Fan's plan wouldn't work. If Cao Shuang was a traitor, why did Jiang Ji push for no harm, why did the commanders outside the capital get alarmed? If things are so bad, why no reports of famine (unlike during Cao Rui's reign), mass revolts and that the army was still in good condition (I know you dispute that but come to that later)? When writing about the officers of Cao Shuang, they were all really really bad honest but also really really famous and talented but also useless, it struggles to deal with the contradiction. We get information about failed reforms from likes of Dong and Cao Pi and so on but Cao Shuang, we get little more then trying to widen recruitment process.

Now some bits of the histories add up. The manner of how the coup went down, Cao Shuang being indecisive at big moments has the whiff of exaggeration in how it is described but seems so oddly specific to be made up, the sheer amount of reforms which I see being unsettling. To borrow Rafe's encyclopaedia on Sima Yi


Once again, being skeptical is fine. But no western historians support Cao Shuang too...

What does Cao Fang have to do with Cao Shuang?

Sima Yi retired himself. No one forced him...
He outmaneuver Guo because he had more military power...
Sun Li fine... I give you that.
What plan did Huan Fan have?
Cao Shuang regime was unpopular too after his disastrous campaign...
Huan Fan plan might or might not have work. But most of the higher up guys like Jiang Ji supported Sima Yi so... Im leaning towards unworkable.
No reports of famine because Sima Yi and Deng Ai eliminated food shortages...
Jiang Ji push for no harm because Shuang had troops and emperor and if he rebelled, Wei will be thrown into chaos - so he needed to encourage them to surrender.
Commanders get alarm? When...

Famous and talented in scholarship doesnt mean they were capable and non corrupt.

Open recruitment to Confucians with the Confucians objecting any time a ruler wanted to look at wider scholarship. There were constant attempts to reform recruitment systems from near end of Han to... pretty much all the time. Some of which was due to clash between rulers more open tolerance for type of officers and what the gentry would allow and sometimes that recruiting systems always need tweaking to try to get round how mobility can freeze once times of crises has ended.


Thats why I said controlled....

Yeah Dong Zhao did not like the new age philosophers as his memorials show and his memorial would be a decent example of how Confucian reacted to those that thought differently. However your assuming that He Yan and co, where there has been mention in any source I find, failed those exams. This would be propaganda gold and a disaster for He Yan's reputation as a scholar if He Yan failed exams on texts including ones he was writing about

Also Li Yan and Wei Yan possibly not the examples you want to make about Liu Bei selection.


Examination part mentioned above...

Li Yan and Wei Yan was heavily promoted under Liu Bei though they were not influential nor famous under their previous lords. This show great judgement of talent under Liu Bei...

99% sure it a typo for He Yan

Fu Jia slams the heart of the government and loses job yep. Like... you would get nowadays if your an MP in cabinet. One rule for Cao Shuang (aka anything he does is wrong), another for everyone else (everyone does the same thing=perfectly fine).

One of the complaints by the gentry was so many many reforms so not sure why you think there wasn't regulation?


I never shit on Shuang for opening regulation... I just doubt if he really did open regulation...

There were regulations sure... but if guys like Deng Ai - a peasant can make it big, than I dont think regulation is as serious as you make it be. Im not denying regulation at all...

Yep, sent during the early days of the regency and Sima Yi deserves credit for agreeing to his Huai reforms, Shuang can't be blamed for Huai's issues. So Cao Shuang's regime had armies that, with good choice of miliatry leaders, were strong enough to repel a Wu attack twice so army in good shape. Cao Shuang was a, judging by his one camapign, a poor miliatry leader but that needn't be an issue as long as 1) he stays away from doing that again, 2) the army is in good shape


Why cant Shuang be blamed? He was the regent... he was suppose to ensure food shortages did not occur...

Early days during regency?So? Doesnt change the fact that Shuang was irrelevant other than being incapable at military affairs. Sun Li appointment was great but real credit goes to Sima Yi. And one appointment does not offset everything else...

Good shape... no... will answer below...

The conquest of Shu was way after Shuang vs Sima to be fair.

I agree, Sima's were better at controlling court and generally better then Cao Shuang. I'm arguing Cao Shuang's regime wasn't corrupt and massively incompetent, not who was better.

In short term though, Sima Yi's coup was an issue becuase it brought a lot of political instability as the Sima's purged the Wei ranks, went around removing Wei emperors and faced major revolts, plus the instability during that time encouraged invasions including one Shu one becuase of Sima Yi's coup. However Sima's rode that out and came out much stronger then Shuang seems capable of managing


They accepted bribes so... and they were all scholars who encouraged Shuang disastrous campaign... so, incompetent.

Thanks for proving my point. Sima Yi and his descendants won against Wu and Shu repeatedly while Shuang got his ass handed to him by Wang Ping that was heavily outnumbered...

Not sure what bit of that bit you quoted was He Yan related but I did say He Yan could be a jerk and I never said Cao Shuang was an example of purity leadership that had never existed before

Sima Yi was promoted to Grand Tutor which stripped him of authority and led to his retiring (which, like an MP going to backbenches, can be used if one is cunning enough but is not something MP's want to be). Checked Deng Ai's sgz which says nothing about any role against Cao Shuang

Heads up on Wiki, when it comes to 3kingdoms, it isn't considered the most reliable source (and seen that very article attacked on here as numbers seem way off and not backed up by conventional sources anyone can find while the wiki contains no "from so and so's sgz" sourcing). In fairness it's worst days ("Zhuge Liang was a taco") is far far behind it and it is a good starting point. The ZZTJ says regional supplies were exhausted by the camapign, nothing about a massive restructuring of the army

Clearly didn't explain the invasions bit well enough. This was a civil war, invasions were going to happen and as you rightly point out Wei were lucky during that period that Shu's regime was not inclined to attack, Cao Shuang can not take any credit for that. However there is a "I'm trying my luck" invasion and where the intent (either by discussions within the camp or timing) is to exploit a weakness. During the regency, there was one by Wu which seems to be due to Rui's death and which Sima Yi rightly deserves credit for winning but none where Wu or Shu felt "Cao Shuang is inept, their armies weakened". When there were attacks in the follow up of the coup, Wei's armies were clearly left in a good enough state to win which is Shuang was damaging the miliatry (which Wu and Shu never mentioned as an opportunity) would have been a bit of a problem.

Did the northern dynasties hate the Confucian gentry or want their support?


The He Yan part was you constantly praising Shuang reforms although there are zero historians that praise their reforms - if they had any in the first place.

Shuang was promoted to Grand tutor but retained his military command to a certain extent. His sons and close associates were given ranks too. The reason why Sima was able to take over capital so quickly was because of this fact.

Sima Yi zztj: However, Cao shuang's power was not as secure as it appeared. The primary goal of promoting Sima Yi to Grand Tutor was to remove his position as Intendant of the Affairs of the Masters of Writing, thereby making Cao Shuang the one with control over the Masters of Writing. Around this time, Sima Yi met a man by the name of Deng Ai. Though originally a minor secretary in the office of a local administrator, Deng Ai had met Sima Yi when Deng came to the capital to present some accounting records. Sima Yi was astounded by his abilities and immediately transferred Deng Ai into his service. By 242, Deng Ai was appointed Prefect of the Masters of Writing [shangshu lang]. [122] This effectively allowed him to replace Sima Yi as overseer of the Masters of Writing, with the result that Sima Yi was still able to supervise the edicts and memorials.

Additionally, Man Chong, [who had served Cao Cao since 196] who had been serving as Grand Commandant [123], died in 242. The position was given to Sima Yi's old associate Jiang Ji. [124] Through the careful appointment of a few talented individuals in key positions, Sima Yi was able to maintain his authority in the government even while he allowed Cao Shuang to remove him from a formal position of authority. The result was that Cao Shuang believed himself to dominate affairs, while his power was nowhere near as secure as it seemed

Source on zztj part?

You might be right on Cao Rui. But Rui himself did not participate in military affairs - much...

They won against Wu and Shu due to numerical advantage and generals skills... Does not change fact that Shuang campaign was disastrous...

Chinese and Western historians dont praise Shuang regime at all...

Rafe encyclopaedia on Cao Rui
He sought to enhance the prestige oft he state with buildings and display, but he was criticized for extravagance, and for paying too little attention to serious matters of state.


Empress and consorts page 57
Emperor Ming who built up a large harem that occupied his attention at the expense of the affairs of state


59
Emperor Ming and his adoptive son Cao Fang increasingly directed their interests towards the harem and away from their responsibilities as heads of state-with predictable results


Sun Sheng (could be read differently granted): "But he did not think of planting his virtue and disseminating good influence, nor did he consolidate the 'fortified wall,' [3] with the result that the great power of the state was only partially invested and the foundation of the Imperial House lacked protection. What a pity!”"

Chen Qun "Now we neglect these urgent matters, and bring palaces to the forefront. I fear the people will suffer. "


What are these " serious matters of the state" full quote please or give me a direct link to read.

Rui needed harem because he lacked children...

As mentioned previoisly, Rui showed his virtue many many times before... Cao Wei did not need the great wall because they had already conquered the Koreans and the northern barbarians were loosely divided at the time...

Cant find that Chen Qun quote anywhere...
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=22955
But isnt he criticising extravagence?

Cao Cao ended famine and brought order back to chaos, why a lot of people flocked to him. We do have a fair bit of "people are suffering" (levy's, palaces generally) memorials by Cao Rui's court


People flocked to him because he conquered them (Jing) or forcibly relocate them(Liang). During Cao vs Lü at Yan there was a famine.

Cao Rui extravagence was bad but he made Cao Wei more efficient and prosperous compared to Cao Cao.

I think the wiki writer misread the article he quoted, I know of no historian that thinks Gan Ji (or somebody claiming to be Gan Ji) was fake story added to sgz

At no point have I denied that about Sun Ce, merely that he had an issue that really set him off.

Chen Shou is highly regarded as a neutral historian, where there are accusations of bias it is over people (Ding family, Zhuge Liang, Jing scholars) rather then states. I have seen no accusation Chen Shou was anti-Wu, the basis of his work on Wu was from Wu's own history project and if he wanted to he could have edited it to align with Shu's claims but he didn't


Rafe de Crespigny wrote:
Sun Ce and the legend of Gan Ji: a medley of texts:

There is also, however, another cycle of stories about the death of Sun Ce, loosely centred around the powers of the magician Gan Ji(or Yu Ji)78, and these require some analysis. The crucial account is based upon the Soushen Ji, "Record of Enquiry about the Spirist", by Gan bao of the early fourth century. In this work, the account of Sun Ce's death goes as follows:
After Sun Ce had killed Gan Ji, whenever he sat alone he would think that he saw Gan Ji by his side. this had quite a considerable effect upon him, he was very upset, and he quite lost his usual good spirits.
Later [after the attack upon him by the retainers of Xu Gong, when] his wound was almost healed, he took a mirror to see his reflection. he saw Gan Ji's image in the mirror, but when he turned his head to look behind him there was no one there. And this happened another two or three times. the he struck the mirror, and he cried out loud, and all his wounds brok open again, and so he died.79
So who was this man Gan Ji, and how was it that he was so closely connected with Sun Ce?
Apart from the stories collected in the Pei Songzhi commentary to Sun Ce's biography in Sanguo zhi, Gan Ji is referred to most significantly as the discoverer or transmitter of the celebrated Taiping jing, "The Classic of Great Peace". The locau classicus for this attribution is the biography of the private scholar Xiang Kai in Hou Han shu, which preserves the text of the memorials submitted to Emperor Huan of Han in the summer of 166. At the end of his first memorial, Xiang Kai, who was protesting against the Emperor's policies and government, includes the statement:
Some time ago, I presented the throne with the sacred writings of Gan Ji, which had been passed to me by Gong Chong of Langye, but they did not accord with the emperor's opinions.80
In the second memorial, he noted once again:
That sacred book presented by Gong Chong bases its teaching on respect for heaven and earth and an obedience to the five powerss, and it also deals with the techniques required to bring the state prosperity and to help maintain a plentiful succession. The writing is easy to understand, and it fully accords with the [Confucian] classics. Yet Emperor shun failed to put its precepts into practice, and therefore his successors did not flourish.81
In the text of the biography, we ar given some further explanation of Xiang Kai's references:
Before this, in the time of Emperor Shun, Gong Chong of Langye had come to the palace and presented a sacred book in 170 chapters which his master, Gan Ji, had obtained by the water of the Quyang Spring. It was all written on pale green silk, with vermilion borders, dark green headings, and vermilion titles. It was called Taiping qingling shu, "The Book of Great Peace and Pure Guidance". The text dealt mainly with the schools of Yin and Yang and of the Five Powers, and it included a number of sayings of magicians and shamans.
The officials reported that the work Gong Chong had presented was unorthodox and false, outside the canon of the classics; it was, however received and retained. Later Zhang Jue used some of its teachings.82

More disconcerting, however, is the story recorded in the Shenxian zhuan, "Biographies of Spirits and Immortals" compiled by Ge Hong of the fourth century, which tells us that the text of Taiping jing was aquired by Gan Ji and Gong Chong in the time of Emperor Yuan of Former Han, who reigned from 49 to 33 B.C.83 This would provide the work witha useful antiquity, but it also implies that Gan Ji was rather more than 250 years old at the time he met with Sun Ce.

78 The surname of this Taoist teacher appears written both as Gan and as Yu. I have accepted the arguments of Fukui[1958], 63, who made a detailed survey of the evidence and adopted the reading Gan.

79 SGZ 46/Qu 1, 1112 PC note 3 quoting Soushen Ji.

80 HHS 30B/20B, 1080, translated in de Crespigny, Portents of Protest, 27

81 HHS 30B/20B, 1084

82 HHS 30B/20B, 1084

83 Shenxian zhuan 10, quoted by the Qing scholar Huai Dong in HHSJJ 30B/20B, 18b.

Chen Shou, a former Shu subject, favoured his state over Wu in the work, but this preference was subordinate to the Jin dynasty's point of view, which saw Wei as the legitimate successor to the Han dynasty. He referred to the Wei rulers as 'Emperors', the Shu rulers as 'Lords', and the Wu rulers by their personal names. He also never referred to the Wu empresses as "empresses", instead calling them "Ladies".

Xu Yuan answered this for me but I don't recall Sun Hao doing such a massacre?


Jia Chong implied he did. But I think Im wrong...
Han
Initiate
 
Posts: 78
Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2017 1:46 pm

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

Unread postby DragonAtma » Thu Aug 24, 2017 12:25 pm

Three things:

(1) Dong Zhuo and Sun Hao took their large number of women from their own force. Zhang Fei, however, took them from a prominent enemy -- specifically Xiahou Yuan's niece (keep in mind this was shortly after Dong Cheng's plot to kill Cao Cao -- which included Liu Bei -- was exposed).
(2) Cao Cao's relative Cao Chun also captured a pair of women in 208 -- specifically Liu Bei's daughters.
(3) In 197, Cao Cao took Zhang Ji's widow as a concubine -- and since this angered Zhang Xiu (and led to Cao Ang, DIan Wei, and Cao Anmin's deaths), it's safe to say that Cao Cao did not ask Zhang Xiu for permission!

Obviously ethics changed a lot over the last eighteen hundred years, but it seems that back then they had different opinions of taking a woman from your force and taking one from an enemy, just as they had different opinions on raiding supplies from your own force vs raiding supplies from an enemy.
Unless I specifically say otherwise, assume I am talking about historical Three Kingdoms, and not the novel.

In memory of my beloved cats, Anastasia (9/30/06-9/18/17, illness) and Josephine (1/19/06-9/23/17, cancer).
DragonAtma
Scholar of Shen Zhou
 
Posts: 1007
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2012 2:19 pm
Location: Long Island, NY

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

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Sat Aug 26, 2017 2:33 pm

Han, a few things before I respond

1) It helps if you clearly separate in post when your responding to multiple people. Something like bolded names or a ==== between sections

2) You have a bit of a habit of answering something with new information (which is good) but then repeating that information with a tone of "I already answered this, why haven't you got it" in the same post. I really doubt you mean it that way but obviously I can't answer something till next post.

3) You only need to ask/say something once (and if I miss the question, give me a kick in next post).

Generally skipping your bits with Xu Yuan

Source on Qiao Zhou? As far as I know he was a teacher, scholar and official of Shu. But reading histories is different from OFFICIALLY recording them.


Michael Farmer's book on Qiao Zhou. He was an innovative historian but based very much on local history and places

Wait what? Dong Zhuo and Cao Cao yes. But... Sun Quan? As far as I know, he purged officials during his later years but thats about it. Have you forgotten that Sun Quan moved Jing people to Jiangdong because He NEEDED human resources??? How is it possible that he killed tens of thousands civillians???


When he finally defeated Huang Zu here however there seems some dispute on translation

Wait what...? Source???


ZZTJ
He sent Ding Yuan,
Chief Commandant Who is Martial and Brave, to lead several thousand men
to ravage Henei and burn Mengjin. The fire could be seen from the capital.
All this was done under pretext that they sought to punish the eunuchs
He referring to He Jin

He Yan was never employed by Cao Pi or Cao
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zhuge_Dan
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Li_Shen ... e_Kingdoms)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deng_Yang

The above were all scholars and flunked. They were fired during Cao Rui era but came into prominence under Cao Shuang cabal. Its inportant to note that these guys were mostly failures but did have a few merit. Li Sheng was actually a decent administrator... But still it did not excuse their corruption.


I don't recall saying He Yan was employed by Cao Pi (guessing you meant Rui with last one?) who hated him

Zhuge Dan's wiki (which does source on the section) doesn't seem to have mentioned exam and somewhat tallies with ZZTJ

Li Sheng's says nothing about exams (ZZTJ says Li Sheng's house got him arrested)

Deng Yang's says nothing about exam. ZZTJ mentions some sort of affair got him in trouble

They were all sacked by Rui rather then flunked. Cao Rui was, whatever his personal life, an arch Confucian and reacted in the traditional Confucian manner to a different philosophy emerging. Who called them failures? Ah yes, the Confucian gentry.

Friendship with who??? He kicked Lü Bu out for pillaging... anti eunuch plan did not involve pillaging according to Sgz... it was excessive because Yuan wanted to kill EVERY eunuch... but not signs of military pillage(stealing resources, abducting people). You are right about the Runan one.

Cruelty within pillage? What? Explain. Pillaging is a cruel act and looked down by Yuan Shu and Shao. "Cruelty within pillaging makes no sense at all" Please elaborate clearly.


Zhang Miao off the top of my head. pillaging of Han forces see above, the genocide of eunuchs wasn't seen as overkill back then

Pillage was seen as a military tactic, cruelty being the word constantly used suggests that it went into excess, that treatment of those they were pillaging went into unusual levels of brutality.

Lü Bu pillage Yuan Shao enemy and was hated. Liu Bei pillage Runan and was crushed by Cao. End result= nothing?? Since when. The only time no one reacted to pillaging is when they are not in a position to fight back.

Razing a capital is definitely military pillaging. Google military pillage if you dont trust me.


That Liu Bei one only works if your argument is that Cao Cao would have left an enemy force at his rear if Liu Bei had somehow brought all his supplies from market

and two others have have pointed out there is a difference between pillaging in Xu (or most places) and razing the capital of the empire

Legitimate? No... bandits and commoners pillage but professional armies seldom do so. As previously mentioned, there were a few exceptions. But those exceptions usually lead to negative consequences...


These were not modern, professional armies. The Han had them (well not the modern part but you get the point) and when three kingdoms got more stable, they had them. During the chaos of civil war it was what troops you could raise and try to keep fed by any means necessary, not helped that till Cao Cao's tuntinian reforms, food supply all together (let alone feeding an army) was a massive problem

Liu Bei twice. Was a bandit at that time with other bandits, the second time he only plundered treasury. Wu once. Against Huang Zu, as revenge for father and because they lacked resources. Doesnt excuse their actions of course. He Jin forces is a broad term... Lü Bu was rekt by Yuan Shu/Shao and Cao Cao because he pillaged...

Source on He Jin?


Wu's raiding was a repeated tactic against Huang Zu and nobody objected to it.

Cao Cao killed Lu Bu becuase Lu Bu was unreliable (and probably a fading force), Cao Cao never raised a complaint about Lu Bu pillaging him.

Chen Shou didnt really slander Liu Bei and Zhang fei... or anyone. Same goes for other chinese and western historians. Historians dont really slander. Just point out strengths and weaknesses and record events.


Depends on the historian! Or the era the historian was from. I don't recall saying Chen Shou slandered Liu Bei or Zhang Fei (though he made his feelings clear on the latter's brutality) but that he gets both praised as a neutral historian and accused of little pieces of bias (no biography for the Ding Yi scholars, treatment of Zhuge family, his Yi and Jing scholars section) means historians can slander or selectively inform. Sometimes becuase of who they serve (there is one Tudor historian whose history work remarkably changes from when he wrote under Richard III to when he wrote under the Tudor's), sometimes the message they want to send (Sima Guang was using ZZTJ for teaching), how their education and status shapes their view on history (Victorians, religious divide, Confucianism), sometimes historians fighting other histories versions of events.

As mentioned previously, Xiahou family reaction was unrecorded. Just because it was not recorded doesnt mean that they dont care. Do you honestly honestly think the Xiahou will be cool with Zhang kidnapping? Seriously?


I simply don't know their reaction. Clearly not angry enough to do anything about it at all and I can note the general reactions of time they are from which saw nobody condemn Zhang Fei at all and no sense of scandal. I'm not trying to argue that the Xiahou's and the whole era was against this they just showed no sign of it in any way shape of form

I wish the answer was different but it isn't

Once again, being skeptical is fine. But no western historians support Cao Shuang too...

What does Cao Fang have to do with Cao Shuang?

Sima Yi retired himself. No one forced him...
He outmaneuver Guo because he had more military power...
Sun Li fine... I give you that.
What plan did Huan Fan have?
Cao Shuang regime was unpopular too after his disastrous campaign...
Huan Fan plan might or might not have work. But most of the higher up guys like Jiang Ji supported Sima Yi so... Im leaning towards unworkable.
No reports of famine because Sima Yi and Deng Ai eliminated food shortages...
Jiang Ji push for no harm because Shuang had troops and emperor and if he rebelled, Wei will be thrown into chaos - so he needed to encourage them to surrender.
Commanders get alarm? When...

Famous and talented in scholarship doesnt mean they were capable and non corrupt.


No western historian has covered in depth latter Wei unless you have something I have missed? As I said Unfortunately while we get Western historians who poke holes in "Han eunuchs were bad" or "yeah, no way Sun Jian said that about Dong during the Liang camapign", we don't get historians covering the Cao Shuang regime era. Works covering Wei as a centre piece (or a large part) by western historians earlier, Professor Rafe's encyclopaedia at Han's fall, his ZZTJ with commentary at Cao Cao's death, Empress and Consorts at Cao Rui.

I just mentioning if a historian did cover that period, I would like to hear views on Sima accusations against Cao Fang.

On the list
1) As in he didn't have knife to the throat? Yes. As in "his dearest wish was to retire" unlikely. He lost a political fight and felt he could be more effective now from a position of retirement rather then as joint-regent now Shuang had moved him from a position of power

2) Sima's were the ones who used armed force against the throne, not Cao Shuang. Jin would have loved Cao Shuang to have used army to bully the Empress Dowager

4) Your later answer indicates you found it but basically get to Xu Chang and raise the armies. Nobody in the era disputes the plan could work

5) and your evidence is based purely on the words of his foes. No revolt or anything like that

6) Nobody at that time said it couldn't unlike the "Liu Shan go south and gather support" plan

7) As lovely as I'm sure that small region of Huai is, I doubt it was suddenly becoming the foodbasket of the entire Wei empire

8) Jiang Ji was furious at Cao Shuang being killed though there seems to be contradiction in texts on that one

9) Xiahou Ba fled, Xiahou Xuan foresaw his own death and Wang Ling revolted immediately

Li Yan and Wei Yan was heavily promoted under Liu Bei though they were not influential nor famous under their previous lords. This show great judgement of talent under Liu Bei...


Li Yan got sacked for faking a decree (lucky not to be executed) with allegations of corruption and Wei Yan, brilliant general though he was, ended up endangering an army for his own ego. I know what your going for though, I'm just being annoying :wink:

I never shit on Shuang for opening regulation... I just doubt if he really did open regulation...

There were regulations sure... but if guys like Deng Ai - a peasant can make it big, than I dont think regulation is as serious as you make it be. Im not denying regulation at all...


By open regulation you mean?

If we are talking about rising through ranks, saying Deng Ai proves things were alright despite constant constant attempts to reform is like saying a country doesn't have social mobility problem becuase it has an ex-miner in the cabinet even though there are constant concerns there about social mobility.

Deng Ai met Sima Yi an extremely powerful patron, if he hadn't met Sima Yi would he have risen through the ranks? Patronage (and the army in 3kingdoms) was a way to rise through ranks but the aim was that the government system would pick up such men and bring them through whatever their background (as long as they were Chinese, male and Confucian) rather then rely on such meetings.

Why cant Shuang be blamed? He was the regent... he was suppose to ensure food shortages did not occur...

Early days during regency?So? Doesnt change the fact that Shuang was irrelevant other than being incapable at military affairs. Sun Li appointment was great but real credit goes to Sima Yi. And one appointment does not offset everything else...

Good shape... no... will answer below...


Huai generally was, due to being a no-man's land between Wu and Wei, a long standing issues including food as in before Cao Shuang was likely born. Deng Ai's sgz says this part of Huai was newly conquered so that would be responsibility of past owners. The general idea from the new court was to improve their existing farming rather then "we have major problems" to be fair to Rui's regime

Ah so army being in good shape, people being fed is not responsibility of government? Cao Shuang, army in good shape, no famines, no mass revolts=bad is a fascinating argument for bad but not sure what you call governments that failed those three basics :wink:

They accepted bribes so... and they were all scholars who encouraged Shuang disastrous campaign... so, incompetent.

Thanks for proving my point. Sima Yi and his descendants won against Wu and Shu repeatedly while Shuang got his ass handed to him by Wang Ping that was heavily outnumbered...


accepted bribes?

I agree, Sima Yi and children were superior generals. However given I said
I agree, Sima's were better at controlling court and generally better then Cao Shuang. I'm arguing Cao Shuang's regime wasn't corrupt and massively incompetent, not who was better.

In short term though, Sima Yi's coup was an issue becuase it brought a lot of political instability as the Sima's purged the Wei ranks, went around removing Wei emperors and faced major revolts, plus the instability during that time encouraged invasions including one Shu one becuase of Sima Yi's coup. However Sima's rode that out and came out much stronger then Shuang seems capable of managing


that isn't a surprise.


The He Yan part was you constantly praising Shuang reforms although there are zero historians that praise their reforms - if they had any in the first place.

Shuang was promoted to Grand tutor but retained his military command to a certain extent. His sons and close associates were given ranks too. The reason why Sima was able to take over capital so quickly was because of this fact.

Sima Yi zztj: However, Cao shuang's power was not as secure as it appeared. The primary goal of promoting Sima Yi to Grand Tutor was to remove his position as Intendant of the Affairs of the Masters of Writing, thereby making Cao Shuang the one with control over the Masters of Writing. Around this time, Sima Yi met a man by the name of Deng Ai. Though originally a minor secretary in the office of a local administrator, Deng Ai had met Sima Yi when Deng came to the capital to present some accounting records. Sima Yi was astounded by his abilities and immediately transferred Deng Ai into his service. By 242, Deng Ai was appointed Prefect of the Masters of Writing [shangshu lang]. [122] This effectively allowed him to replace Sima Yi as overseer of the Masters of Writing, with the result that Sima Yi was still able to supervise the edicts and memorials.

Additionally, Man Chong, [who had served Cao Cao since 196] who had been serving as Grand Commandant [123], died in 242. The position was given to Sima Yi's old associate Jiang Ji. [124] Through the careful appointment of a few talented individuals in key positions, Sima Yi was able to maintain his authority in the government even while he allowed Cao Shuang to remove him from a formal position of authority. The result was that Cao Shuang believed himself to dominate affairs, while his power was nowhere near as secure as it seemed

Source on zztj part?

You might be right on Cao Rui. But Rui himself did not participate in military affairs - much...

They won against Wu and Shu due to numerical advantage and generals skills... Does not change fact that Shuang campaign was disastrous...


I have no idea if Cao Shuang's reforms were poor ideas, good ideas but poorly executed or just annoyed the establishment. is praise? Really? Also odd that you say one shouldn't doubt the histories then constantly doubt there are reforms when the histories constantly mention reforms

I agree, if Cao Shuang's position was so strong he wouldn't have lost :wink: Most of that segment seems to be capp's personal view

ZZTJ generally for latter era, specifically this one

The only time I mention Cao Rui is his death led to a "let's try our luck" invasion from Wu which isn't a criticism of Cao Rui but "new ruler, things are unsettled, things might happen for us if we try"

It was a bad defeat certainly.

What are these " serious matters of the state" full quote please or give me a direct link to read.

Rui needed harem because he lacked children...

As mentioned previously, Rui showed his virtue many many times before... Cao Wei did not need the great wall because they had already conquered the Koreans and the northern barbarians were loosely divided at the time...

Cant find that Chen Qun quote anywhere...
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=22955
But isnt he criticising extravagence?


Empress and Consorts is a book, Rafe's encyclopaedia is nickname for
A Biographical Dictionary of Later Han to the Three Kingdoms (23-220 AD)
and I should have used full title so my bad. Those are the relevant quotes (Rafe's for example goes onto "Cao Rui died in..."). I think the problem your having is that your right, Cao Rui does some great things and ZZTJ is filled with examples of his working so why the complaints? The problem is we see a year overview and "and we did this reform" sounds impressive and time-filling, those around him saw day to day. They seem to have felt he got (to use a modern phrase) work-life balance wrong, that too much went to hunting, palaces, love life, not enough to affairs of state.

Harem yes, adding 4 or so layers of ranks to harem due to sheer amount of expansion is overkill. The Chinese thinking at the conventional harem numbers limit was too many would be unhealthy and actually stop one having children

I think Sun Sheng is referring to disposition of his family rather then the Great Wall, not entirely sure

That is the main thrust but is here also complaints about neglecting state affairs

People flocked to him because he conquered them (Jing) or forcibly relocate them(Liang). During Cao vs Lü at Yan there was a famine.

Cao Rui extravagance was bad but he made Cao Wei more efficient and prosperous compared to Cao Cao.


No, people flocked to Cao Cao. Of their own free will (and in some cases, dragged there as you mentioned). Why? Two reasons mostly, 1) he brought law and order which given the chaos of the latter Han and civil war, one can see the popularity. 2) He ended famine. Yes, he didn't within first few years as he fought for survival but it was one of the biggest reasons for his success. Famine spread across the Central Plains and yes hit Yan in the early days but the tuntian reforms brought an end to famine in his areas. People from outside his areas liked being fed and went to him

Without that reform, Cao Cao may not have been able to conquer most of China.

Rafe de Crespigny wrote:
Sun Ce and the legend of Gan Ji: a medley of texts:


You might want to look at Generals of the South, chapter Sun Ce (on his death section). Professor Rafe has never as far as I'm aware, argued Gan Ji was fake but that elements of his story are fake (as tends to happen with mystics of the era)

Chen Shou, a former Shu subject, favoured his state over Wu in the work, but this preference was subordinate to the Jin dynasty's point of view, which saw Wei as the legitimate successor to the Han dynasty. He referred to the Wei rulers as 'Emperors', the Shu rulers as 'Lords', and the Wu rulers by their personal names. He also never referred to the Wu empresses as "empresses", instead calling them "Ladies".


In fairness, Shu sacked him :wink: He didn't act against Wu in the history records. Had he wanted to, he could have edited Wu's records/history project (which were the foundations for his Wu work) to align it with Shu's claims on events. That the whole tale of Jing is such a controversial mess due to conflicting accounts indicates Chen Shou's neutrality on the issue. Remember even the pro-Wu historian Professor Rafe hasn't argued Chen Shou altered the records against Wu

On the naming, that was clearly pro Jin (unsurprisingly) but the First Emperor is seen as a shot at Shu-Han who claimed to be a continuation of the Han. Not really seen as a anti-Wu thing
“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?”
User avatar
Dong Zhou
A-Dou
A-Dou
 
Posts: 15053
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2005 12:32 pm
Location: "Now we must die. May Your Majesty maintain yourself"

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

Unread postby Han » Mon Aug 28, 2017 12:25 pm

Michael Farmer's book on Qiao Zhou. He was an innovative historian but based very much on local history and places


Link? Gimme an exact page and paragraph please...
As far as I know Qiao Zhou was never given a role as an official historian of Shu-Han.

When he finally defeated Huang Zu here however there seems some dispute on translation


You are right. But other than these few accidents we mention, the action of massacreing tens of thousands of innocent civillians seem to be few.

He sent Ding Yuan,
Chief Commandant Who is Martial and Brave, to lead several thousand men
to ravage Henei and burn Mengjin. The fire could be seen from the capital.
All this was done under pretext that they sought to punish the eunuchs
He referring to He Jin


I dont think this is an example of military pillage. "Ravaging" is a vague term, there was no use of words like " plunder" or "pillage", you know, unlike Cao Cao invasions of Xü.

I don't recall saying He Yan was employed by Cao Pi (guessing you meant Rui with last one?) who hated him

Zhuge Dan's wiki (which does source on the section) doesn't seem to have mentioned exam and somewhat tallies with ZZTJ

Li Sheng's says nothing about exams (ZZTJ says Li Sheng's house got him arrested)

Deng Yang's says nothing about exam. ZZTJ mentions some sort of affair got him in trouble

They were all sacked by Rui rather then flunked. Cao Rui was, whatever his personal life, an arch Confucian and reacted in the traditional Confucian manner to a different philosophy emerging. Who called them failures? Ah yes, the Confucian gentry.


I was giving you the reason why He Yan didnt take the exam...

I need a proper source for your next three paragraphs. "Zztj" is vague, especially considering the fact that you did not specify whose Zztj.

In any case, it does not change the fact that those guys were incompetent scholars(albeit with a few merits here and there) who were not promoted during Cao Rui(Great judge of character) but heavily promoted under Cao Shuang regime...

Zhang Miao off the top of my head. pillaging of Han forces see above, the genocide of eunuchs wasn't seen as overkill back then

Pillage was seen as a military tactic, cruelty being the word constantly used suggests that it went into excess, that treatment of those they were pillaging went into unusual levels of brutality.


I dont think Zhang Miao ever pillage... I really need a source on that...

Pillaging was never a legitmate tactic... out of the hundreds of campaigns during the late Han how many times were military pillage mentioned? Excluding the likes of Cao Cao, Dong Zhuo and Lü Bu of course. Those guys were the exceptions not the norm. Furthermore, those who conduct military pillage usually receive criticism or destroyed.

That Liu Bei one only works if your argument is that Cao Cao would have left an enemy force at his rear if Liu Bei had somehow brought all his supplies from market

and two others have have pointed out there is a difference between pillaging in Xu (or most places) and razing the capital of the empire


I dont understand your first paragraph...

Yes. No one disputes the fact that razing the capital is different. But it does not change the fact that it was an example of military pillage.

These were not modern, professional armies. The Han had them (well not the modern part but you get the point) and when three kingdoms got more stable, they had them. During the chaos of civil war it was what troops you could raise and try to keep fed by any means necessary, not helped that till Cao Cao's tuntinian reforms, food supply all together (let alone feeding an army) was a massive problem


These guys were paid money and trained by proper generals. They are a professional army. They were not like the Yellow Turbans or Heishan bandits; ragtag groups of commoners that plunder and pillage as they please or for survival.

Yes. Most of them were most likely forcely conscripted, but back in medival China, during chaotic times, all males that come of age must be a civil official, a farmer or a soldier...

Wu's raiding was a repeated tactic against Huang Zu and nobody objected to it.

Cao Cao killed Lu Bu becuase Lu Bu was unreliable (and probably a fading force), Cao Cao never raised a complaint about Lu Bu pillaging him


Repeated tactic??? Most of the time they forcibly relocate people, and only commitered massacre once. The rest of the time, the Sun clan were known for their kindness in treating the local populace of Jing and Yang. (Sun Ce, Lü Meng and Lu Xun Sgz CLEARLY states that)

Cao Cao cant really criticse Lü Bu considering that he himself participated in plunder and pillage multiple times.

Depends on the historian! Or the era the historian was from. I don't recall saying Chen Shou slandered Liu Bei or Zhang Fei (though he made his feelings clear on the latter's brutality) but that he gets both praised as a neutral historian and accused of little pieces of bias (no biography for the Ding Yi scholars, treatment of Zhuge family, his Yi and Jing scholars section) means historians can slander or selectively inform. Sometimes becuase of who they serve (there is one Tudor historian whose history work remarkably changes from when he wrote under Richard III to when he wrote under the Tudor's), sometimes the message they want to send (Sima Guang was using ZZTJ for teaching), how their education and status shapes their view on history (Victorians, religious divide, Confucianism), sometimes historians fighting other histories versions of events.

As mentioned previously, Xiahou family reaction was unrecorded. Just because it was not recorded doesnt mean that they dont care. Do you honestly honestly think the Xiahou will be cool with Zhang kidnapping? Seriously?


I simply don't know their reaction. Clearly not angry enough to do anything about it at all and I can note the general reactions of time they are from which saw nobody condemn Zhang Fei at all and no sense of scandal. I'm not trying to argue that the Xiahou's and the whole era was against this they just showed no sign of it in any way shape of form

I wish the answer was different but it isn't


Abducting women was definitely criticise against. Dong Zhuo and Sun Hao frequently did so and were criticise against. Zhang Fei not being criticse was the exception not the norm. Considering the fact that abducting women was look down upon, it is most likely that the Xiahous hated Zhang actions... the Xiahous couldnt really do anything considering the fact that Liu and his gang were constantly fleeing.

No western historian has covered in depth latter Wei unless you have something I have missed? As I said Unfortunately while we get Western historians who poke holes in "Han eunuchs were bad" or "yeah, no way Sun Jian said that about Dong during the Liang camapign", we don't get historians covering the Cao Shuang regime era. Works covering Wei as a centre piece (or a large part) by western historians earlier, Professor Rafe's encyclopaedia at Han's fall, his ZZTJ with commentary at Cao Cao's death, Empress and Consorts at Cao Rui.

I just mentioning if a historian did cover that period, I would like to hear views on Sima accusations against Cao Fang.

On the list
1) As in he didn't have knife to the throat? Yes. As in "his dearest wish was to retire" unlikely. He lost a political fight and felt he could be more effective now from a position of retirement rather then as joint-regent now Shuang had moved him from a position of power

2) Sima's were the ones who used armed force against the throne, not Cao Shuang. Jin would have loved Cao Shuang to have used army to bully the Empress Dowager

4) Your later answer indicates you found it but basically get to Xu Chang and raise the armies. Nobody in the era disputes the plan could work

5) and your evidence is based purely on the words of his foes. No revolt or anything like that

6) Nobody at that time said it couldn't unlike the "Liu Shan go south and gather support" plan

7) As lovely as I'm sure that small region of Huai is, I doubt it was suddenly becoming the foodbasket of the entire Wei empire

8) Jiang Ji was furious at Cao Shuang being killed though there seems to be contradiction in texts on that one

9) Xiahou Ba fled, Xiahou Xuan foresaw his own death and Wang Ling revolted immediately


Yes you are correct. But if Cao Shuang really did open up any special reforms dont you think a Western or Chinese historian would have written about it now? Fact is, every single account point to Cao Shuang being incapable...

1. Sima Yi wife died around that time. Cao Shuang moved him from a position of power sure, but Sima retained his military authority...

2. Nothing wrong with using armed forces against the throne. Shuang regime was corrupt and pathetic.

4,5,6. Cao Shuang himself believe that it wont work... Anyways if Shuang decide to fight on. His soldiers will abandon him because their families were with Sima(see Zhong Hui rebellion) or he will have his ass handed to him by Sima Yi or at that point, had the support of most of the civil and military officials.

7. Maybe... but the zztj specify that food shortages were eliminated...

8. Zztj:
Cao Shuang was the son of Cao Zhen, one of the state's greatest and most loyal generals. Because Jiang Ji believed that Cao Zhen did not deserve for his line to be cut off due to Cao Shuang's greed and corruption, Jiang Ji ensured that Cao Shuang's nephew Cao Xi succeeded his title and lands so that Cao Zhen's line would continue.[48]

Following Cao Shuang's execution, Jiang Ji was made Marquis of Duxiang. He tried to decline the promotion citing that he should receive no reward for Cao Shuang's defeat, saying:

“I was invested with high office, yet Cao Shuang dared to harbor iniquitous intentions; this proves that I was incapable. The Grand Tutor (Sima Yi) exerted himself and took the matter in his hands for decision. Your Majesty (Cao Fang) has shown recognition of his loyal service. That criminals are put to death is a good fortune for the state. On the other hand, enfeoffment and rewards should be given to those who have earned merit. But as far as counsel is concerned, I was not aware beforehand; as far as battle is concerned, I am not one who led it.

If right measures are missed above, those below will suffer the evil consequences. I happen to be a State Minister, and in the eyes of all people, I am afraid a precedent of receiving rewards undeservedly might thus begin, and the excellent usage of modest declining fall into desuetude.”[49]

In spite of his protests, Jiang Ji was made Marquis of Duxiang anyway.[50]

On May 19, 249 Jiang Ji passed away due to illness.[51]

Jiang Ji served the Cao family for over 40 years, providing sound advice four generations of Cao rulers. He never hesitated to speak his mind and always warned his superiors when he believed they were making mistakes. He spoke out against Cao Shuang's faction at a time when it was very dangerous to do so and showed humility by attempting to decline reward for his part in ousting that faction. He was disparaging of the examination system and believed that people of ability could be found regardless of their backgrounds. He was an extremely capable minister whose service to his state was rivaled by few.

Jiang Ji was mad that Cao Zhen line went out... he dosent seem to give a shit about Cao Shuang...

9. Fine I agree. But unlike Shuang disastrous campaign, these rebellions were quite minor in comparison. Sima Yi kick everyones asses. Shuang got his ass kicked.

By open regulation you mean?

If we are talking about rising through ranks, saying Deng Ai proves things were alright despite constant constant attempts to reform is like saying a country doesn't have social mobility problem becuase it has an ex-miner in the cabinet even though there are constant concerns there about social mobility.

Deng Ai met Sima Yi an extremely powerful patron, if he hadn't met Sima Yi would he have risen through the ranks? Patronage (and the army in 3kingdoms) was a way to rise through ranks but the aim was that the government system would pick up such men and bring them through whatever their background (as long as they were Chinese, male and Confucian) rather then rely on such meetings


Sorry, I meant getting rid of regulations.

The reforms that you keep talking about, and Fu Jia being against reforms

Yes, Im not denying regulations at all. I just doubt if Shuang regime was going to make some special reforms that will suddenly make Cao Wei better that you seem to keep hinting at.

Huai generally was, due to being a no-man's land between Wu and Wei, a long standing issues including food as in before Cao Shuang was likely born. Deng Ai's sgz says this part of Huai was newly conquered so that would be responsibility of past owners. The general idea from the new court was to improve their existing farming rather then "we have major problems" to be fair to Rui's regime

Ah so army being in good shape, people being fed is not responsibility of government? Cao Shuang, army in good shape, no famines, no mass revolts=bad is a fascinating argument for bad but not sure what you call governments that failed those three basics :wink:


Ah yes, you are correct, I missed the part about it being newly conquered... Anyways, according to Sima Yi zztj he was the one who send Deng Ai to do irrigation projects and accepted his proposal - aka while Cao Shuang was monopolising power, Sima Yi was getting shit done.(eliminate food shortages in the area).

So... Shuang lost a disastrous battle against Shu... but the army was in good shape?

Sima Yi and Deng Ai were the ones that feed the people...

No rebellions... except that Sima Yi rebelled and numerous officers supported him like Jiang Ji and Chen Tai...

accepted bribes?

I agree, Sima Yi and children were superior generals. However given I said
I agree, Sima's were better at controlling court and generally better then Cao Shuang. I'm arguing Cao Shuang's regime wasn't corrupt and massively incompetent, not who was better.

In short term though, Sima Yi's coup was an issue becuase it brought a lot of political instability as the Sima's purged the Wei ranks, went around removing Wei emperors and faced major revolts, plus the instability during that time encouraged invasions including one Shu one becuase of Sima Yi's coup. However Sima's rode that out and came out much stronger then Shuang seems capable of managing

that isn't a surprise.


https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xiahou_Xuan

He Yan zztj implies that he was extremely corrupt.

Cao Shuang regime was definitely corrupt. Explain to me how so many scholars were prompted to such high ranks. These scholars have only a little merit and immediately was given high positions. They fired who they did not like as they please. The Zztj of He Yan, Sima Yi and Fu Jia proves that. These guys were so incompetent that they turned all of the Wei high ranking officials to Sima Yi open arms.

Name me one thing that Cao Shuang regime accomplished. Just one.

I have no idea if Cao Shuang's reforms were poor ideas, good ideas but poorly executed or just annoyed the establishment. is praise? Really? Also odd that you say one shouldn't doubt the histories then constantly doubt there are reforms when the histories constantly mention reforms

I agree, if Cao Shuang's position was so strong he wouldn't have lost :wink: Most of that segment seems to be capp's personal view

ZZTJ generally for latter era, specifically this one

The only time I mention Cao Rui is his death led to a "let's try our luck" invasion from Wu which isn't a criticism of Cao Rui but "new ruler, things are unsettled, things might happen for us if we try"

It was a bad defeat certainly.


I cant find any histories that mention Cao Shuang "reforms"... because you know... he kinda sucked...

Cao Shuang was never a match against Sima Yi...

From the second link that you post:

9. The taifu Sima Yi sent a letter to Xiahou Xuan saying, “In the Chunqiu the severest reproofs are given those of greatest virtue. Formerly Emperor Wu (Cao Cao) twice entered Hanzhong and came close to being badly defeated, as you know. Now the mountain Xingshi is very steep, and the Shu troops have already occupied it. If we advance and fail to take it, our retreat will be cut off, and the army will certainly be annihilated. How are you going to take such a responsibility?”

Xiahou Xuan grew afraid and told Cao Shuang to lead his troops back.

10. Fifth month (June 23-July 21). Cao Shuang led his troops back.

11. Fei Wei moved forward and occupied three ridges [2] to intercept Cao shuang. Cao Shuang struggled up the steep terrain, fighting bitterly. In the end he barely got away after suffering heavy losses in dead and missing, and as a result Guanzhong was exhausted. [3]

The point Im trying to make was that Cao Rui death should have no effect on Cao Wei military might, considering the fact that he never personally led troops like his predessecors.

Bad defeat? More like disastrous campaign. Cao Shuang campaign was such a failure that it exhausted GuanZhong...

Guanzhong refers to all of Liang plus Sili provinces by the way. Aka where most Cao Wei troops were stationed excluding the southern and northern borders.

Empress and Consorts is a book, Rafe's encyclopaedia is nickname for
A Biographical Dictionary of Later Han to the Three Kingdoms (23-220 AD)
and I should have used full title so my bad. Those are the relevant quotes (Rafe's for example goes onto "Cao Rui died in..."). I think the problem your having is that your right, Cao Rui does some great things and ZZTJ is filled with examples of his working so why the complaints? The problem is we see a year overview and "and we did this reform" sounds impressive and time-filling, those around him saw day to day. They seem to have felt he got (to use a modern phrase) work-life balance wrong, that too much went to hunting, palaces, love life, not enough to affairs of state.

Harem yes, adding 4 or so layers of ranks to harem due to sheer amount of expansion is overkill. The Chinese thinking at the conventional harem numbers limit was too many would be unhealthy and actually stop one having children

I think Sun Sheng is referring to disposition of his family rather then the Great Wall, not entirely sure

That is the main thrust but is here also complaints about neglecting state affairs


The harem part was disproven to be slander...

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cao_Rui

No other historian other than Yu Huan support the claim that Rui increases his women collection.

Fortified wall refers to the great wall. Before the Ming dynasty, the great wall was just a loose collections of fortified borders here and there.

No, people flocked to Cao Cao. Of their own free will (and in some cases, dragged there as you mentioned). Why? Two reasons mostly, 1) he brought law and order which given the chaos of the latter Han and civil war, one can see the popularity. 2) He ended famine. Yes, he didn't within first few years as he fought for survival but it was one of the biggest reasons for his success. Famine spread across the Central Plains and yes hit Yan in the early days but the tuntian reforms brought an end to famine in his areas. People from outside his areas liked being fed and went to him

Without that reform, Cao Cao may not have been able to conquer most of China.


I want a direct source that "people" flocked to Cao Cao.
Every record of refugees fleeing they either go to Jing or to Yang. Occasionally Yi or Jiao.
I honestly doubt people flocked to Cao Cao. This guy had a habit of plundering and pillaging during his early days against Tao Qian.
The Tuntian system did not really end famine. During Cao battles against Lü Bu over Yan. There was famine. During Guandu, Cao Cao contemplated retreat due to lack of supplies...

You might want to look at Generals of the South, chapter Sun Ce (on his death section). Professor Rafe has never as far as I'm aware, argued Gan Ji was fake but that elements of his story are fake (as tends to happen with mystics of the era)


Dude, this is not how things work. When you ask me for a source, I literally take my time to copy and paste or at the very least, leave a link. Why cant you do the same?

Anyways:

Before this, in the time of Emperor Shun [125-145], Gong Chong
of Langye had come to the palace and presented a sacred book in
170 chapters which his master, Gan Ji, had obtained by the waters
of the Quyang Spring. It was all written on pale green silk, with
vermilion borders, dark green headings, and vermilion titles. It
was called Taiping qingling shu, "The Book of Great Peace and
Pure Guidance." The text dealt mainly with the schools of Yin
and Yang and of the Five Powers, and it included a number of
sayings of magicians and shamans.
The officials reported that the work Gong Chong had
presented was unorthodox and false, outside the canon of the
classics; it was, however, received and retained [in the imperial
library]. Later, Zhang Jue used some of its teachings.83
More disconcerting, however, is the story recorded in the
Shenxian zhuan, "Biographies of Spirits and Immortals" compiled
by Ge Hong of the fourth century, which tells us that the text of
Taiping jing was acquired by Gan Ji and Gong Chong in the time of
Emperor Yuan of Former Han, who reigned from 49 to 33 B.C.84
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.

Pei Songzhi agrees, observing
that Zhang Jin was still in Jiao province in 201; so on that point, at
least, the account of the death of Gan Ji in Soushen ji is mistaken.90
If one can find any common ground between the stories, it is the
sense of insulted dignity which Sun Ce displayed, and which gave
him the motive to eliminate Gan Ji as a rival to his authority

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.92

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.

- All from Generals of the South.

Anyways it seems like Rafe feel that the stories of Gan Ji are "tales".

In fairness, Shu sacked him :wink: He didn't act against Wu in the history records. Had he wanted to, he could have edited Wu's records/history project (which were the foundations for his Wu work) to align it with Shu's claims on events. That the whole tale of Jing is such a controversial mess due to conflicting accounts indicates Chen Shou's neutrality on the issue. Remember even the pro-Wu historian Professor Rafe hasn't argued Chen Shou altered the records against Wu

On the naming, that was clearly pro Jin (unsurprisingly) but the First Emperor is seen as a shot at Shu-Han who claimed to be a continuation of the Han. Not really seen as a anti-Wu thing


Why would Chen Shou take a shot at Shu Han by referring to them as "Lords". Do you have any source for your claim?
Han
Initiate
 
Posts: 78
Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2017 1:46 pm

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

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Fri Sep 01, 2017 12:16 pm

First of all, an apology

Dude, this is not how things work. When you ask me for a source, I literally take my time to copy and paste or at the very least, leave a link. Why cant you do the same?


I agree, it was my bad to not give you a link to Generals of South and very bad form, I apologize. Unacceptable on my part. For some reason, I assumed you knew where it was and I should never make that assumption and it is no excuse


Link? Gimme an exact page and paragraph please...
As far as I know Qiao Zhou was never given a role as an official historian of Shu-Han.


the Book

chapter 6, pages 128-136

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

I dont think this is an example of military pillage. "Ravaging" is a vague term, there was no use of words like " plunder" or "pillage", you know, unlike Cao Cao invasions of Xü.


I think most would associate ravage with plunder.

I was giving you the reason why He Yan didnt take the exam...

I need a proper source for your next three paragraphs. "Zztj" is vague, especially considering the fact that you did not specify whose Zztj.

In any case, it does not change the fact that those guys were incompetent scholars(albeit with a few merits here and there) who were not promoted during Cao Rui(Great judge of character) but heavily promoted under Cao Shuang regime...


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

I dont think Zhang Miao ever pillage... I really need a source on that...

Pillaging was never a legitmate tactic... out of the hundreds of campaigns during the late Han how many times were military pillage mentioned? Excluding the likes of Cao Cao, Dong Zhuo and Lü Bu of course. Those guys were the exceptions not the norm. Furthermore, those who conduct military pillage usually receive criticism or destroyed.


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.

I dont understand your first paragraph...

Yes. No one disputes the fact that razing the capital is different. But it does not change the fact that it was an example of military pillage.


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.

These guys were paid money and trained by proper generals. They are a professional army. They were not like the Yellow Turbans or Heishan bandits; ragtag groups of commoners that plunder and pillage as they please or for survival.

Yes. Most of them were most likely forcely conscripted, but back in medival China, during chaotic times, all males that come of age must be a civil official, a farmer or a soldier...


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

Repeated tactic??? Most of the time they forcibly relocate people, and only commitered massacre once. The rest of the time, the Sun clan were known for their kindness in treating the local populace of Jing and Yang. (Sun Ce, Lü Meng and Lu Xun Sgz CLEARLY states that)

Cao Cao cant really criticse Lü Bu considering that he himself participated in plunder and pillage multiple times.


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 (see my next post)

Abducting women was definitely criticise against. Dong Zhuo and Sun Hao frequently did so and were criticise against. Zhang Fei not being criticse was the exception not the norm. Considering the fact that abducting women was look down upon, it is most likely that the Xiahous hated Zhang actions... the Xiahous couldnt really do anything considering the fact that Liu and his gang were constantly fleeing.


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

Yes you are correct. But if Cao Shuang really did open up any special reforms dont you think a Western or Chinese historian would have written about it now? Fact is, every single account point to Cao Shuang being incapable...

1. Sima Yi wife died around that time. Cao Shuang moved him from a position of power sure, but Sima retained his military authority...

2. Nothing wrong with using armed forces against the throne. Shuang regime was corrupt and pathetic.

4,5,6. Cao Shuang himself believe that it wont work... Anyways if Shuang decide to fight on. His soldiers will abandon him because their families were with Sima(see Zhong Hui rebellion) or he will have his ass handed to him by Sima Yi or at that point, had the support of most of the civil and military officials.

7. Maybe... but the zztj specify that food shortages were eliminated...

8.

Jiang Ji served the Cao family for over 40 years, providing sound advice four generations of Cao rulers. He never hesitated to speak his mind and always warned his superiors when he believed they were making mistakes. He spoke out against Cao Shuang's faction at a time when it was very dangerous to do so and showed humility by attempting to decline reward for his part in ousting that faction. He was disparaging of the examination system and believed that people of ability could be found regardless of their backgrounds. He was an extremely capable minister whose service to his state was rivaled by few.

Jiang Ji was mad that Cao Zhen line went out... he dosent seem to give a shit about Cao Shuang...

9. Fine I agree. But unlike Shuang disastrous campaign, these rebellions were quite minor in comparison. Sima Yi kick everyones asses. Shuang got his ass kicked.


I cant find any histories that mention Cao Shuang "reforms"... because you know... he kinda sucked...


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


Yes, Im not denying regulations at all. I just doubt if Shuang regime was going to make some special reforms that will suddenly make Cao Wei better that you seem to keep hinting at.


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

Ah yes, you are correct, I missed the part about it being newly conquered... Anyways, according to Sima Yi zztj he was the one who send Deng Ai to do irrigation projects and accepted his proposal - aka while Cao Shuang was monopolising power, Sima Yi was getting shit done.(eliminate food shortages in the area).

So... Shuang lost a disastrous battle against Shu... but the army was in good shape?

Sima Yi and Deng Ai were the ones that feed the people...

No rebellions... except that Sima Yi rebelled and numerous officers supported him like Jiang Ji and Chen Tai...


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.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xiahou_Xuan

He Yan zztj implies that he was extremely corrupt.

Cao Shuang regime was definitely corrupt. Explain to me how so many scholars were prompted to such high ranks. These scholars have only a little merit and immediately was given high positions. They fired who they did not like as they please. The Zztj of He Yan, Sima Yi and Fu Jia proves that. These guys were so incompetent that they turned all of the Wei high ranking officials to Sima Yi open arms.

Name me one thing that Cao Shuang regime accomplished. Just one.


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?

Cao Shuang was never a match against Sima Yi...

The point Im trying to make was that Cao Rui death should have no effect on Cao Wei military might, considering the fact that he never personally led troops like his predessecors.

Bad defeat? More like disastrous campaign. Cao Shuang campaign was such a failure that it exhausted GuanZhong...

Guanzhong refers to all of Liang plus Sili provinces by the way. Aka where most Cao Wei troops were stationed excluding the southern and northern borders.


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.

The harem part was disproven to be slander...

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cao_Rui

No other historian other than Yu Huan support the claim that Rui increases his women collection.



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.

I want a direct source that "people" flocked to Cao Cao.
Every record of refugees fleeing they either go to Jing or to Yang. Occasionally Yi or Jiao.
I honestly doubt people flocked to Cao Cao. This guy had a habit of plundering and pillaging during his early days against Tao Qian.
The Tuntian system did not really end famine. During Cao battles against Lü Bu over Yan. There was famine. During Guandu, Cao Cao contemplated retreat due to lack of supplies...


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.

Dude, this is not how things work. When you ask me for a source, I literally take my time to copy and paste or at the very least, leave a link. Why cant you do the same?


I want to apologize again for my inconsiderate behaviour

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

Why would Chen Shou take a shot at Shu Han by referring to them as "Lords". Do you have any source for your claim?


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.
“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?”
User avatar
Dong Zhou
A-Dou
A-Dou
 
Posts: 15053
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2005 12:32 pm
Location: "Now we must die. May Your Majesty maintain yourself"

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

Unread postby waywardauthor » Sat Sep 02, 2017 11:31 am

Han wrote:
Michael Farmer's book on Qiao Zhou. He was an innovative historian but based very much on local history and places


Link? Gimme an exact page and paragraph please...
As far as I know Qiao Zhou was never given a role as an official historian of Shu-Han.

When he finally defeated Huang Zu here however there seems some dispute on translation


I dont think this is an example of military pillage. "Ravaging" is a vague term, there was no use of words like " plunder" or "pillage", you know, unlike Cao Cao invasions of Xü.

I'll stay out of the larger fray, but as I am catching up on the discussion between you two there were a couple things to jump out at me.

Shu-Han had done some minor experimentation with the idea of a history bureau, but this was abandoned due to vague reasons. As such, official historians would not have existed in Shu-Han. Qiao Zhou's efforts would have been predominately personal in nature, as this was not an uncommon activity for the scholar-gentry class. At least one other author was attempting to write on the Three Kingdoms, but abandoned the project upon discovering Chen Shou's Sanguo Zhi. Local histories and written accounts may well have been in greater abundance than anyone now can guess, but as they never entered into the historical canon such accounts were consigned to folklore and oblivion. No matter how plentiful our sources may appear, we are dealing with a precious fragment of the history of this period. Our sources are brightest when they orbit key events in specific locations, and grow ever dimmer as one migrates outside of this.

However, on the question of Qiao Zhou, yes - he was a historian. J Michael Farmer has written extensively on him, turning Qiao Zhou into his area of academic expertise. He wrote Rotten Pedant! which can be viewed online for free in an index I compiled in the Three Kingdoms English source thread, and originally came from Asia Major. More to the point, he wrote "HOW I CAME TO DOUBT QING SCHOLARSHIP: THE CASE OF YAO ZHENZONG AND QIAO ZHOU'S RECORDS OF THE LATER HAN" which can be viewed through JSTOR or an equivalent where he states that:

"Qiao Zhou was the second-best historian of Shu Han, surpassed only by his disciple, Chen Shou (233-297). Qiao left behind writings on such diverse historical topics as ancient history, historical criticism, and local history. The impact of his historical writings is readily apparent. His major work on ancient history, the Gushi kao [Investigations of Ancient History] was widely cited by commentators on Sima Qian's (ca. 145-86 B.C.) Shiji [Grand Scribe's Records], and is regarded as one of the earliest examples of historical criticism. In the field of local history, Qiao compiled no less than four works dealing with the administrative history, and physical and cultural landscapes of the southwest. Passages of these works have been incorporated in the local and geographic writings of later local historians like Chang Qu (ca. 291 - ca. 361) and Li Daoyuan (466/472-527). 5 In addition to these works which have survived in fragmentary form, some scholars have also argued that Qiao Zhou compiled another work in the historical genre of "standard history" (zheng shi) - a history of the Eastern Han"

In addition, Dong Zhou made reference to his Farmer's book. I have not yet completed it, but it is one of the better pieces of scholarship on the Three Kingdoms I have read so far, and instrumental for approaching Shu-Han if you do not have access to Chinese scholarship.

---

As for the notion of ravaging - this is not really all that vague a term. It should be taken to be much more harsh a term than pillage or plunder, as those imply a devastation of people and property. Ravage implies a larger destruction of the land itself, which is much worse.
Alone I lean under the wispy shade of an aged tree,
Scornfully I raise to parted lips a cup of warm wine,
Longingly I cast an empty vessel aside those exposed roots,
And leave behind forgotten memories and forsaken dreams.
User avatar
waywardauthor
Sage
 
Posts: 300
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2016 11:27 am

PreviousNext

Return to Sanguo Yanyi Symposium

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Jia Nanfeng and 3 guests

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