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How did people live back in the 3 Kingdoms?

Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 12:39 am
by Terranigma Freak
We tend to focus a lot on our favorite historical people or events, but I think the life of the common man or the mundane parts of life are ignored. I recently read some interesting facts (I hope) that changed how I viewed eating utensils in ancient China. Certainly made me think about how eating was depicted in the TV shows. I thought maybe we can compile a thread of facts on what life was like back then. It doesn't have to fall exactly during the time of the 3 kingdoms, it could have happened before or after it, and it could still change how we view people's lives during that time.

Edit - Crap, the chopstick stuff was BS. Or rather whoever wrote that wasn't well researched. They mentioned chopstick as an eating utensil in the book of Han. So chopsticks do go back before the 3 kingdoms, meaning people during that time did eat with chopsticks by then.

Re: How did people live back in the 3 Kingdoms?

Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 10:25 pm
by Terranigma Freak
Oh, I just realized my previous thread about what was the spoken language at the time also fits into this.


To sum it up, I questioned how people were able to understand each other back in the day with all the different dialects in China. The problem was that I was thinking in modern context. Back in the day, China probably didn't have as many dialects, and that ancient Chinese might have sounded more like Cantonese. It's still possible that there were regional differences. Maybe their own accents and what not. The thing is, people back then did not speak Mandarin. Mandarin itself is relatively new in the country.

So basically, seeing your favorite characters speaking Mandarin isn't historically accurate at all.

For more details on how we learn about what ancient Chinese sounded like, please see this video: viewtopic.php?f=5&t=24625

Special thanks to waywardauthor for the insight in the original thread.

Re: How did people live back in the 3 Kingdoms?

Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2020 5:05 pm
by Qin Feng
Yeah, the part about the language I can see. It sounded nothing like mandarin, as it happens with every language that suffers variations throughout history.

Here you can see how some characters might have sounded, very different from the way they're spelled today.

Re: How did people live back in the 3 Kingdoms?

Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2020 5:18 pm
by Terranigma Freak
BTW, hold off on the date of the chopstick becoming an eating utensil, I'm getting very conflicting info online. Some sources goes into Confucius's saying about knives and forks reminding him of the slaughterhouse and that eating at the table shouldn't remind them of violent acts.

That said, I can't confirm if Confucius had any influence on the use of chopsticks since it could be people justifying using chopsticks many years later. The sources just says Confucius had this saying about eating utensils, but I couldn't find any source saying he's directly the reason for people using chopsticks as eating utensils.