Propganda and Prophecy

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Propganda and Prophecy

Unread postby Han » Mon Dec 25, 2017 1:54 pm

I fucking love you Dong. Lmaooo. You put things so eloquently and come off as extremely knowledgeble. You pretty much sum up what I wanted to say and get across in a single post.

Anyways, to elaborate about the Cao purging thing. When Chen Shou and Pei Songzhi compiled the SanGuoZhi they usually classify people biographies in terms of their actions, roles and moral behaviours.

Under this format, there is a particular section which sums up Cao Cao "purges". They are the biographies of Cui Yan, Kong Rong, Xu You and Lou Gui.

http://xuesanguo.tumblr.com/post/166798330402/121-cuī-yǎn-崔琰-jìguī-季珪

Furthermore, this is what Chen Shou have to say about Cao Cao: Previously, Tàizǔ by nature was envious, and those he could not bear, Lǔ-guó’s Kǒng Róng (1), Nányáng’s Xǔ Yōu (2) and Lóu Guī, all relied on old relations to not act with reverence and were executed. (3) But Yǎn was the most lamented for at the time, and to today it is considered an injustice. (4)

When Chen Lin drafted up Yuan Shao declaration of War, he also accused Cao Cao of harming worthy men : Cao Cao continued to act in the same erratic manner. Tyrannical and cruel, he plundered and oppressed the people, bringing harm to worthy men, and death to the good.

Bian Rang, for example, former Administrator of Juijiang, was known throughout the empire for his courage and ability, for his direct speech and his refusal to flatter. He was killed and his body was exposed, while he wife and children were likewise destroyed.

And also : Rewards and honours were granted at his whim, punishments and execution at no more than the expression of his wish. Those whom he favoured were glorified for five generations of ancestors; those whom he disliked were slaughtered with their families. Anyone who criticized suffered public execution, while anyone who expressed private disapproval was slain in secret. Officials kept their mouths shut, as people on the roads dared only to exchange glances. The clerks of the secretariat did no more than record the proceedings of the court, and senior ministers stood like dummies.

Than there is the whole Xun Yu forced suicide thing.

And although Cao Cao is noted as a kindhearted men, he is also noted to be suspicious and " over the top excessive" when it involves administration and warfare.

Im sure that there are a couple more people that Cao killed, but for now this is all I have.

Maybe Im being slightly harsh, but I dont see who murder more officials( although a few of them definitely deserve it) than Cao Cao other than perhaps Dong Zhuo.
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Tue Dec 26, 2017 9:35 am

We may have a different definition of purge

For m, a purge would be Huan vs Liang Ji's followers, Ling/eunuchs vs gentry with factionlisim, Wu's southern gentry vs northern gentry after Quan's death, Cao Rui vs Zhuge Dan and co. A deliberate policy of sacking (or worse) an internal group in a short space of time. Possibly Cao Cao switching out Han ministers for his own when Xian came into power, the examples you give can be described as a pattern but these were spread over the years and often in individual circumstances

Chen Shou intresting comment, Chen Lin was writing a work of propaganda and in this instance that description seems to contradict the wider image Cao Cao had for bringing through talented men and being law and order guy.

On the deaths listed (just musing), Cui Yan's death is a crime for which Cao Cao should be condemned, Bian Rang's execution for an old insult is a crime (and led to Cao Cao losing nearly losing Yan so Chen Lin was wise to try to use that). Kong Rong had a death wish and I sometimes wonder if he needed mental health care (not a mental health professional but he just seems to have had a need to provoke people to trying to kill him), Xu You seems to been becoming an issue (I suspect Wu would have gone for exile, Wei seems never to have really gone that route. I don't know if they felt they had no safe exile land whereas Wu felt they could send likes of Yu Fan south safely), Lou Gui feels weird but Rafe's encyclopaedia has
Favoured by Cao Cao, Lou Gui accumulated great wealth, but was later reported to have presumed upon his position and shown a lack of respect. Cao Cao killed him
so there is a theme here. Xun Yu died for his principles and becuase those principles made him a threat to Cao family when Cao Cao dies so I can see why Cao Cao did that.

There does seem a pattern where old friends get arrogant, begin relying on that and Cao Cao reacts to kill them. Cao Cao clearly did not take insults well but I also wonder if, as well as the belittled element in Xu You/Lou Gui case, when he saw such behaviour he felt it could be an issue for his wider authority.

And although Cao Cao is noted as a kindhearted men, he is also noted to be suspicious and " over the top excessive" when it involves administration and warfare.


source on the bit after suspicious?

Maybe Im being slightly harsh, but I dont see who murder more officials( although a few of them definitely deserve it) than Cao Cao other than perhaps Dong Zhuo.


No idea if his numbers are excessive in propitiation to his rivals (taking into account how many more gentry he has) or previous Han Emperor's
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby Han » Tue Dec 26, 2017 11:09 am

We may have a different definition of purge

For m, a purge would be Huan vs Liang Ji's followers, Ling/eunuchs vs gentry with factionlisim, Wu's southern gentry vs northern gentry after Quan's death, Cao Rui vs Zhuge Dan and co. A deliberate policy of sacking (or worse) an internal group in a short space of time. Possibly Cao Cao switching out Han ministers for his own when Xian came into power, the examples you give can be described as a pattern but these were spread over the years and often in individual circumstances

Chen Shou intresting comment, Chen Lin was writing a work of propaganda and in this instance that description seems to contradict the wider image Cao Cao had for bringing through talented men and being law and order guy.

On the deaths listed (just musing), Cui Yan's death is a crime for which Cao Cao should be condemned, Bian Rang's execution for an old insult is a crime (and led to Cao Cao losing nearly losing Yan so Chen Lin was wise to try to use that). Kong Rong had a death wish and I sometimes wonder if he needed mental health care (not a mental health professional but he just seems to have had a need to provoke people to trying to kill him), Xu You seems to been becoming an issue (I suspect Wu would have gone for exile, Wei seems never to have really gone that route. I don't know if they felt they had no safe exile land whereas Wu felt they could send likes of Yu Fan south safely), Lou Gui feels weird but Rafe's encyclopaedia has


Ah I see.

Propaganda definitely. But it has element of truth to it.

source on the bit after suspicious?


Him massacring Western Xu province twice to avenge his fathers death for the warfare part?

No idea if his numbers are excessive in propitiation to his rivals (taking into account how many more gentry he has) or previous Han Emperor's


I dont think he has a more significant amount of gentry in comparison to Yuan Shao and Liu Biao. I think its a combination of

1) Cow Cow long career.

2) Constant plotting and even rebellions against him by Han loyalist.

3) Him always choosing " death route" in comparison to Early day Sun Quan who exiled or demoted his political enemies and Liu Bei who jailed a few gentry before his eastern campaign.
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby Sun Fin » Tue Dec 26, 2017 6:18 pm

VinnyYooo wrote:
No it's not! Sun Quan took away his recognition of Cao Pi without declaring himself emperor. Not recognising a usurper doesn't require you to become one yourself. By that logic, the only way for the warlords to not recognise Yuan Shu when he declared independence is by everyone becoming emperors.

And loyalty to the Han and loyalty to the emperor aren't mutually exclusive. In most cases, they're one and the same. There's no 'loyalty to the people'. That's nationalism. Nationalism wasn't a thing till Napoleon - on the other side of the planet.


Just to build on what others have been saying here, to the men of the day loyalty to the concept of Han was far more significant than loyalty to an individual Emperor. Most of the time these went hand in hand but we can see it a few times towards the end of the Han when the dynasty became more important.

This article wayward Author posted up a little while ago from the Cambridge History of China explores this topic throughout (a warning - it's a long essay!).

However two particular paragraphs stood out to me as helpful in proving this:

In 107, perhaps in 127, in 147 and in 188, we have evidence of plots to remove the living emperor. If any of them had succeeded, the new emperor would still have been chosen from the Liu family. When the coalition against Tung Cho [Dong Zhuo] deliberated the setting up of a new emperor in 191, the man they considered was again a member of the Liu family. If there were many indications among the people that the Han dynasty had outlived its mandate, this thinking did not travel upward into the elite.


Here we can see that several times when it had been convenient the ruling elite had considered replacing one Liu Emperor with another. On one particular occasion it was after Dong Zhuo enthroned Liu Xian and the warlords wanted to create their own candidate, Liu Yu. Here we can see loyalty to the Han dynasty rather than to any particular person.

This paragraph explains Shu-Hans justification for Liu Bei setting up his own dynasty:

In Liu Pei's [Liu Bei] dynasty, a theory was developed which held that several Han dynasties were to succeed each other, just as brothers are born one after the other. The Former Han was seen as the elder brother, the Later Han as the middle brother, and a new Han dynasty was to follow as the youngest brother. For this reason, the Han dynasty established by Liu Pei [Liu Bei] in A.D. 221 is sometimes called "youngest brother Han.'"'° This dynasty was suppressed in 263, but forty years later a new Han dynasty was proclaimed in north China in A.D. 304. Part of the proclamation which heralded this dynasty has been noted above (p. 363).


Here we also see that loyalty to the Han dynasty was what was important, not individual Emperors. Liu Xian had abdicated, had lost the mandate but it was crucial that a Han dynasty did exist so Shu-Han was born.
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Wed Dec 27, 2017 1:43 pm

Han wrote:
Ah I see.

Propaganda definitely. But it has element of truth to it.


I don't really see how.

On one hand you have comments from likes of Tian Chou and others on what they admire about Cao Cao is strict laws, when the records go into administration like how Cui Yan and Mao Jie's system works, again strict laws or feeding the people or talent coming through the ranks so on and so forth.

Vs a guy whose job when writing that is to do a hatchet job and where Profess Rafe describes it as
During the Guandu campaign of 200, Chen Lin composed the proclamation to justify Yuan Shao's attack, and he wrote pamphlets abusing Cao Cao and his family in most extreme terms
. Then was so oppressed he joined Cao Cao and took trusted positions under Cao Cao :wink:


Him massacring Western Xu province twice to avenge his fathers death for the warfare part?


I more meant the administration part but my fault for not being specific!

I dont think he has a more significant amount of gentry in comparison to Yuan Shao and Liu Biao. I think its a combination of

1) Cow Cow long career.

2) Constant plotting and even rebellions against him by Han loyalist.

3) Him always choosing " death route" in comparison to Early day Sun Quan who exiled or demoted his political enemies and Liu Bei who jailed a few gentry before his eastern campaign.


I was more thinking the Han emperors in terms of land mass and thus numbers then those two but fair enough. I think first two are fair, 3 is a little harsh.

Wu went for exile so agreed there. Liu Shan also was big on exile but the Wei and Sima regents never seem to have done so, they may have been more worried about the exile regions and tribes there then Shu/Wu I guess? Cao Cao didn't always go for death, there were times where he spared lives and of course there was major discussions on appropriate non-death punishments but sure, in big political battles he did go for death. Liu Bei also tended to go for death other then the Yiling disagreement but then, Cao Cao didn't tend to punish people for opposing wars off the top of my head
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby Han » Wed Dec 27, 2017 2:20 pm

I don't really see how.

On one hand you have comments from likes of Tian Chou and others on what they admire about Cao Cao is strict laws, when the records go into administration like how Cui Yan and Mao Jie's system works, again strict laws or feeding the people or talent coming through the ranks so on and so forth.

Vs a guy whose job when writing that is to do a hatchet job and where Profess Rafe describes it as
During the Guandu campaign of 200, Chen Lin composed the proclamation to justify Yuan Shao's attack, and he wrote pamphlets abusing Cao Cao and his family in most extreme terms
. Then was so oppressed he joined Cao Cao and took trusted positions under Cao Cao :wink:


How what?

Yes, Cao Cao was strict and talented, but he also murdered a large amount of officials compared to others excluding Dong Zhuo? Talent and cruelty dont contradict.

Cao Cao was capable of kindness yes, but he was also a cruel person in comparison to his rivals.

I more meant the administration part but my fault for not being specific!


Around the ninth lunar month of 219, when Cao Cao was away on a campaign against Liu Bei in Hanzhong, Wei Feng plotted a rebellion in Ye together with Chen Yi and others. However, before the plan was carried out, Chen Yi became afraid and he reported the plot to Cao Pi, Cao Cao's heir apparent, who was in charge of Ye during his father's absence. Wei Feng and his accomplices, numbering dozens, were arrested and executed.[7] Those who were implicated include: Zhong Yao, who recommended Wei Feng, was dismissed from his position as the Chancellor (相國) of Cao Cao's vassal kingdom;[8] Wang Can's two sons, who were executed;[4] Liu Wei, who was also executed.[5]

And the SanGuoZhi and SanGuoZhiZhu has a section of men that Cao Cao killed.

Kong Rong death and Cui Yan one was pretty bad.

I was more thinking the Han emperors in terms of land mass and thus numbers then those two but fair enough. I think first two are fair, 3 is a little harsh.

Wu went for exile so agreed there. Liu Shan also was big on exile but the Wei and Sima regents never seem to have done so, they may have been more worried about the exile regions and tribes there then Shu/Wu I guess? Cao Cao didn't always go for death, there were times where he spared lives and of course there was major discussions on appropriate non-death punishments but sure, in big political battles he did go for death. Liu Bei also tended to go for death other then the Yiling disagreement but then, Cao Cao didn't tend to punish people for opposing wars off the top of my head


Sure, Cao Cao is a cruel person but capable of virtue.

Source that Liu Bei tended to go for death? The SanGuoZhi disagrees.

The SanGuoZhi states: He did not speak very much but treated his people very well and hid his emotions under a calm exterior. The First Sovereign made friends with famous and heroic people and many youths had struggled to attach to him. At Zhongshan, there were two merchants, Zhang Shiping and Su Shuang, who saved up a thousand gold and went to sell horses in Zhuo prefecture. They saw the First Sovereign and noticed how exceptional he was so they gave him some of their gold. With these resources, the First Sovereign started recruiting the multitudes.

In Pingyuan, a man named Liu Ping despised and was jealous of the First Sovereign, hence sent assassins to kill him. But the assassins could not bear to lay their sword on the First Sovereign, hence this showed that everyone in Pingyuan loved Liu Bei. (6)

6: Wei Shu (X): Liu Ping sent assassins to kill Liu Bei. Liu Bei did not know of their purpose but instead treated them generously. The assassins felt rather shamed and left. The people of Pingyuan were very poor, yet Liu Bei treated them very well. On one hand, he dealt with bandits yet on the other hand he distributed money, ate and slept with the commoners, just like he was one of them. Hence the people of Pingyuan loved him.

20: Kong Yan’s Han Wei Chun Qiu: Liu Zong had surrendered to Cao Cao but did not tell Liu Bei. Liu Bei also did not know. After time, Liu Bei found out and sent someone to ask Liu Zong. Liu Zong sent Song Zhong to inform Liu Bei that he did indeed surrender. At that time, Cao Cao had reached Yuncheng. Liu Bei was afraid and said to Song Zhong, ‘Why was I not told of this earlier? Now only when the danger is so close that you people tell me, is that not unreasonable?’ He grabbed a sword and said, ‘If I cut your head off now, it will not be able to solve my problems but rather will ruin my reputation’. So he released him. He gathered a council of his people. Some said that Liu Zong should be taken hostage and moved together to Jiangling. Liu Bei replied, ‘Liu Jingzhou (XXVI) asked me to take care of his sons, yet I betray his sons like this? How can I face the late Liu Jingzhou when I enter Heaven?’. When Liu Bei galloped passed Xiangyang, he called out to Liu Zong, but Zong refused to see him. Many of Liu Zong’s people switched to the First Sovereign’s side.

Dian Lue: Liu Bei, before he left, went to Liu Biao’s shrine and wept for a while before leaving

21: Xi Zuochi comments: (XXVII) Liu Xuande, in the most dangerous sitations, still was righteous, and in the most pressed situation, never swayed away from rectitude. He never betrayed his promise to Liu Biao to protect his citizens and this inspired the troops and increased their admiration and loyalty. The First Sovereign therefore deserved the great success he had achieved.

In the summer of the nineteenth year of Jian’an [AD 214], the defences of Luocheng were broken. (32) After being surrounded for several days in Chengdu, Liu Zhang came out and surrendered. (33) The people in Shu were very happy and celebrating. The First Sovereign ordered lots of wine to be brought for the troops and conferred gifts to the Shu officials. The First Sovereign became Imperial Protector of Yizhou; Zhuge Liang his assistant; Fa Zheng his advisor; Guan Yu, Zhang Fei, and Ma Chao his subordinate generals; titles were given to Xu Jing, Mi Zhu, Jian Yong, Dong He, Huang Quan, Li Yan (who were Liu Zhang’s former generals), Fei Guan (who was Liu Zhang’s relative), Peng Yang (who Liu Zhang did not like), Liu Ba. Liu Zhang was wary and jealous of people like Liu Ba but the First Sovereign gave them the right positions and all were very satisfied. (XL)

XL: It can be seen here that Liu Bei not only treated his own subordinates generously but also Liu Zhang’s generals and subordinates. We note that Liu Ba, who constantly avoided Liu Bei for many years, was promoted. Everyone was satisfied and Rafe De Crespigny mentions about Liu Bei’s amazing charisma and how he won the alleigance of people from all over China, from his home province of Zhuo (Jian Yong), to Xuzhou (Mi Zhu), the Jingzhou region and now the officials and generals of Yizhou.
32: Yibu Qijiu Zaji: Liu Zhang sent Zhang Ren and Liu Qi to defend Fucheng, but were both defeated by the First Sovereign. They retreated, taking with them Liu Zhang’s son, Liu Xun, and went to defend Luocheng. Zhang Ren led troops to Yan bridge to fend off the First Sovereign but was again defeated and captured. The First Sovereign knew he was very capable and asked him to surrender. Zhang Ren very loudly replied, ‘Thy old servant cannot serve two lords’. Zhang Ren was then executed. The First Sovereign felt a great loss.
33: Fu Zi (XLI): Initially, when Liu Bei attacked Shu, Zhao Jian, an official of the Prime Minister (cheng xiang) said, ‘How useless is Liu Bei? He was defeated many times and was constantly wandering around. How can he gain a victory? Even though Yizhou is small, there are lots of natural defences hence it is easy to defend.’ (XLII)

Zhen Shi Fu Gan: Liu Bei was a person who was very generous and courteous with everyone, hence many people were willing to fight for him. Zhuge Liang was a very capable person. He was very righteous and resourceful, hence he was most suitable to be his Prime Minister. Guan Yu and Zhang Fei were brave yet righteous, able to withstand ten thousand men, and hence were suitable to be his commanders. These three people together were true talents of the time. And together with Liu Bei’s charisma and vision, how can they not succeed?

Chen Shou comments: The First Sovereign was kind and generous and knew how to read and use peoples’ abilities well. He had the charisma of Gaozu (Liu Bang) and the qualities of a hero. He entrusted the affairs of the state to Zhuge Liang with utmost sincerity. This demonstrated great trust between a sovereign and minister which is something rarely seen in present and ancient times. His ambition, power, and strategy were below that of Wei Wu (Cao Cao), hence his territories were smaller. Though he suffered many defeats [at the hands of Cao Cao], he always remained resilient and would not bow and serve him. He resisted [Cao Cao] because he knew that [Cao Cao] was certain to not tolerate him [within his ranks]. Hence what he did was not just for personal benefit but also to avoid being harmed.
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Wed Dec 27, 2017 2:43 pm

Han, you seem to have accidentally posted wrong quotes. For Cao Cao's excessive in administration, you have him punish people complicit in Wei Feng's planned revolt in the normal manner of the time. For Liu Bei not killing people you post nothing of where he spares lives of others, which I assume is what you meant to post, but quotes about how he was charismatic and kind (maybe quotes you meant for Vinny?). Do you want to edit in the quotes you meant to post?
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby Han » Wed Dec 27, 2017 6:47 pm

Nope I havent?

Zhong Yao was innocent.

What? Liu Bei spared the assassins that literally tried to kill him and Song Zhong. Pei SongZhi praised Liu Bei for being righteous and rectitude even when the cards were stacked against him.

Post your sources that Liu Bei went the usual kill route excluding Yiling.
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Wed Dec 27, 2017 7:13 pm

How what?

Yes, Cao Cao was strict and talented, but he also murdered a large amount of officials compared to others excluding Dong Zhuo? Talent and cruelty dont contradict.

Cao Cao was capable of kindness yes, but he was also a cruel person in comparison to his rivals.


How a work of deliberate, and judging by the professor comment's, over the top propaganda (which judging by his latter service, the author himself did not believe) which contradicts everything else in the historical record about the Wei administration, can have a ring of truth.

I don't deny Cao Cao had a very nasty and cruel streak. That doesn't make Chen Lin's comments that are just short of "Cao Cao ties every damsel to a railtrack" any truer

And the SanGuoZhi and SanGuoZhiZhu has a section of men that Cao Cao killed.

Kong Rong death and Cui Yan one was pretty bad.


Zhong Yao who recommended Wei Feng to the important post got dismissed for that. If your protage goes bad, it does tend to backfire on the patron. With sackings if they are lucky.

Yes and Shu has it's section 40

Cui Yan was a shocker and Cao Cao should be condemned for it. Kong Rong? I don't recall, bar possibly Yuan Shao to Zang Hong (and everyone to Mi Heng), a warlord going so far out of his way not to kill a man, Kong Rong seems to have spent his life trying to get himself killed.

Source that Liu Bei tended to go for death? The SanGuoZhi disagrees.


You have 1 quote about sparing (Song Zhong based annotation) and 9 or so that has nothing to do with any execution or lack there of. Just general stuff about kindness and charisma

All the executions Liu Bei made? In his entire time at Yi, I can't recall a spared figure, I can recall good executions, I can recall bad executions and so in but not a spare one. Now fair play amidst all your "look how charismatic and kind Liu Bei is" you did show Song Zhong when I was I was going to say I couldn't think of any so yes, during his entire career he made one exception. I'm glad he decided not to kill Song Zhong and he was right, killing a famous scholar (some of his students later serving Liu Bei) for telling him news might not be an idea.

On the assassins, one source has them unable to bring themselves to kill him and another that he thought they were visitors and his welcome to them put them off killing him. Not that he found out they were killers and spared them

I don't recall Liu Bei being murderous during Yiling or over it, I would never accuse him of that. The idea he is angry beyond good judgement and so on during Yiling is a fallacy
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby Han » Wed Dec 27, 2017 8:30 pm

How a work of deliberate, and judging by the professor comment's, over the top propaganda (which judging by his latter service, the author himself did not believe) which contradicts everything else in the historical record about the Wei administration, can have a ring of truth.

I don't deny Cao Cao had a very nasty and cruel streak. That doesn't make Chen Lin's comments that are just short of "Cao Cao ties every damsel to a railtrack" any truer


Rafe said it was extreme, not propoganda.

Him serving Cao Cao doesnt change the fact that it was true.

Nasty and cruel streak? Cao Cao SanGuoZhi avaliable here http://kongming.net/novel/sgz/caocao-2.php , states:

Earlier, when Yuan Zhong was Chancellor of Pei state it was his desire to use the law to rein in the Great Ancestor. Additionally Huan Shao of Pei state belittled him and when they were in Yan province Bian Rang of Chenliu spoke his opinion that they should oppress the Great Ancestor, so the Great Ancestor killed Rang and executed his family. Zhong and Shao both took refuge in Jiao province and the Great Ancestor immediately tasked the Grand Administrator Shi Xie with totally eradicating them. Huan Shao was captured and brought forth as the leader, kowtowing and apologizing before the imperial court, but the Great Ancestor said, ‘To kneel is fitting for the death of a wicked man!’ and straightway executed him. Once he had led out the army and was passing by a field of grain. He gave an order, saying, ‘The soldiers are not to damage the grain, violators will be executed.’ The cavalrymen all got down from their horses so as to restrain them from going over to the grain, whereupon the Great Ancestor’s horse went galloping into it so he had the Master of Records come talk over his infraction. The Master of Records answered him according to the meaning found in the Spring and Autumn Annals, that a punishment is not to be imposed upon a superior. The Great Ancestor said, ‘I have laid out the law and myself have transgressed it, but how is a commander to submit? It is true that I act as commander of the army and cannot commit suicide, so I ask for myself to be punished.’ For this reason his assistants used a sword to shear off his hair so that it fell to the earth. Once there was a concubine who routinely served him as he rested during the day, and he laid his head on his pillow to sleep and spoke to her, saying, ‘In a short while come wake me up.’ The concubine, seeing the Great Ancestor was sleeping peacefully did not wake him, and when he himself awoke he struck and killed her with a staff. He frequently went on campaign against bandits and the government grain stores were deficient, so he secretly went to the supply master and said, ‘What is to be done?’ The supply master answered, ‘We can use the fewest hu of grain needed.’ The Great Ancestor replied, ‘Perfect.’ Afterward those within the army were saying that the Great Ancestor was deceiving the men, so he spoke to the supply master, saying, ‘I single you out to act as a pretext for me and be killed to satiate the men, lest the enterprise fall apart.’ He thereupon beheaded him and, taking the head and exposing it in public, said, ‘He dispensed few hu of grain and stole from the government granary, so I beheaded him at the army gates.’ Such did he cruelly and viciously deceive and in all things he behaved the same as this.

Zhong Yao who recommended Wei Feng to the important post got dismissed for that. If your protage goes bad, it does tend to backfire on the patron. With sackings if they are lucky.

Yes and Shu has it's section 40

Cui Yan was a shocker and Cao Cao should be condemned for it. Kong Rong? I don't recall, bar possibly Yuan Shao to Zang Hong (and everyone to Mi Heng), a warlord going so far out of his way not to kill a man, Kong Rong seems to have spent his life trying to get himself killed.


Chen Gong rebelled and Cao wanted to spare him. Zhang Xiu murder Cao heir and nephew and Cao spared him. Show me someone sacking another person because he recommended a rebellious individual. Also, Zhong Yao was completely innocent.

Source on Shu?

Fine. I withdraw my Kong Rong comment. Still doesnt change my point that Cao murdered more gentry than everyone other than Dong Zhuo.

You have 1 quote about sparing (Song Zhong based annotation) and 9 or so that has nothing to do with any execution or lack there of. Just general stuff about kindness and charisma

All the executions Liu Bei made? In his entire time at Yi, I can't recall a spared figure, I can recall good executions, I can recall bad executions and so in but not a spare one. Now fair play amidst all your "look how charismatic and kind Liu Bei is" you did show Song Zhong when I was I was going to say I couldn't think of any so yes, during his entire career he made one exception. I'm glad he decided not to kill Song Zhong and he was right, killing a famous scholar (some of his students later serving Liu Bei) for telling him news might not be an idea.

On the assassins, one source has them unable to bring themselves to kill him and another that he thought they were visitors and his welcome to them put them off killing him. Not that he found out they were killers and spared them

I don't recall Liu Bei being murderous during Yiling or over it, I would never accuse him of that. The idea he is angry beyond good judgement and so on during Yiling is a fallacy


9 or so that shows that Liu Bei was a kind dude who treated his gentry nicely?

Is this a joke? Liu Bei at the beginning killed two people. In the latter part most of them surrended or tried to. Liu Bei offered to spare Zhang Ren but Zhang Ren himself refused. Those who marched troops against Bei later surrended to him and receive high ranks. Now you compare this with how Cao Cao treated Yuan Shao gentry and you will see a remarkable difference. From cutting of noses to massacring people on a large scale.

The source literally mention that the assassins did not kill him because PingYuan loved Liu Bei.

I clarified in my second post as thus: Post your sources that Liu Bei went the usual kill route excluding Yiling.

I dont think Liu Bei killed anyone as much as Cao Cao or as extreme. Cao Cao killed people and families because he felt salty that people insulted his ass.
Liu Bei did nothing wrong.
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