About Kong Ming

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About Kong Ming

Unread postby shipei » Fri Dec 27, 2002 2:59 am

He is my favourite character, and even if historically he is not as great as the novel makes him out to be, I will always command great respect to him.

Next to my God, Jesus, he is the person I respect most.
Actually, because of ZGL, I started to like RTK. Because of his military and political abilities, I started to like history, thinking that history is worth looking into if there are stories in there of great men like Kong Ming.
So, even if he is not as great as he seems to be, at least, he is the one who first brought me to love chinese history, and to be proud of myself as a chinese.

I am awed by his calmness in emergencies, like in the empty city ploy.
I am inspired by his hardowrking attitudes, working hard til he died.
I am fascinated by his stories, like the one where he borrow arrows from Cao by tricks to save himself from Zhou Yi's unreasonable demand.

I wonder, though, how many of these stories are real, and how many are not.But no matter what, ZGL will never fail to inspire me.

However, I have a few questions in regard to Zhuge Kong Ming.

1) Is he loyal to Liu Bei? Is he loyal, even after Liu Bei's death?
2) Historically, is he a great man? Do he at least have some worthy achievements?
3) What are his flaws?
(One of them, I think is his pride, and his inability to trust others)
4) Why is he hold in high respect in the chinese community?

Like there are some proverbs in chinese that holds him in great respect.

5) Can Ah dou have any part in hindering ZGL from expanding his potential.

Friend, I want your honest opinions on ZGL, based on facts, rather than feelings. I know you are more well verse in historical facts, whcih I am not.
And I want to know how my hero, stands in history, as well as in the eyes of others.

Finally, I will like to know some other thing as well.

Lu Meng
Feng Xiao

Do you know anything about them?
And besides them, who are the capable people in 3 kingdom time, intellectual wise.

Thank you.
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Re: About Kong Ming

Unread postby James » Fri Dec 27, 2002 3:29 am

shipei wrote: I wonder, though, how many of these stories are real, and how many are not.But no matter what, ZGL will never fail to inspire me.


Here are a few links for you to read in order to learn more about Kongming.
San Guo Zhi Biography (Historical):
http://kongming.net/novel/sgz/zhugeliang.php
KMA Comprehensive Officer Biography:
http://kongming.net/novel/kma/zhugeliang.php
Way of the General, a book attributed to him:
http://kongming.net/novel/writings/wotg/

shipei wrote: 1) Is he loyal to Liu Bei? Is he loyal, even after Liu Bei's death?

I see him as having been very loyal to Liu Bei, even after his death. He fought for the kingdom of Shu until the end, never taking his chance to proclaim a new dynasty.

shipei wrote: 2) Historically, is he a great man? Do he at least have some worthy achievements?

Yes, he was a great man. The historical Zhuge Liang was more a political genius than a military terror though, although everything I have read seems to indicate honor as well.

shipei wrote: 3) What are his flaws?
(One of them, I think is his pride, and his inability to trust others)

Historically speaking his weakness was that he wasn’t talented enough as a military general to bring Shu to victory. He was however able to defend Shu very well until his death. Shu lacked resources though, but even then there were more talented military officers. He was able to trust others, but there are indications of significant mistrust in a few. I think he was afraid of what might happen if he lost the authority necessary to keep Shu in once piece while he was away on campaign. I do not think he was overly prideful.

shipei wrote: 4) Why is he hold in high respect in the chinese community?

Because he served Liu Bei, brother to Guan Yu and Zhang Fei. That has a great deal to it. The novel is of great significance, and the characters inside with fictional additions have become greater than life.

shipei wrote: Friend, I want your honest opinions on ZGL, based on facts, rather than feelings. I know you are more well verse in historical facts, whcih I am not.
And I want to know how my hero, stands in history, as well as in the eyes of others.

You will probably get to see a nice debate, you will get to make your own conclusions from that. I will leave some of the more culturally oriented questions to other members in the foru.

shipei wrote: Do you know anything about them?
And besides them, who are the capable people in 3 kingdom time, intellectual wise.

There were many talented intellectuals of the Three Kingdoms era, and many of them can be debated (this is what makes a forum about this era so much fun). Some names that come to mind include Xun Yu, Fa Zheng, Cao Cao, Lu Xun, Zhou Yu, Zhuge Liang, Sima Yi, Tian Feng, Li Ru, Guo Jia (yes, I listed him), Jia Xu, Jiang Wei (yeah, I listed him as well), Deng Ai, and many more.
Last edited by James on Sun Mar 30, 2008 3:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postby Mega Zarak » Fri Dec 27, 2002 3:38 am

I've also done a brief chronology of Zhuge Liang's life sometimes ago. The link is here http://www.the-scholars.com/viewtopic.p ... 15&start=0
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Unread postby shipei » Fri Dec 27, 2002 3:41 am

Well, thanks.
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Re: About Kong Ming

Unread postby Mu Shu » Fri Dec 27, 2002 4:01 am

shipei wrote:
Next to my God, Jesus, he is the person I respect most.
Actually, because of ZGL, I started to like RTK. Because of his military and political abilities, I started to like history, thinking that history is worth looking into if there are stories in there of great men like Kong Ming.
So, even if he is not as great as he seems to be, at least, he is the one who first brought me to love chinese history, and to be proud of myself as a chinese.

I am awed by his calmness in emergencies, like in the empty city ploy.
I am inspired by his hardowrking attitudes, working hard til he died.
I am fascinated by his stories, like the one where he borrow arrows from Cao by tricks to save himself from Zhou Yi's unreasonable demand.



I also greatly admire ZGL. But he is just one of many great men in world history. I've realized that Otto von Bismarck (founder of Modern Germany) is very similar to the ZGL portrayed in SGYY. Germans hold him in the same kind of awe that Chinese hold ZGL.

http://www.the-scholars.com/viewtopic.p ... ght=#29526
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Unread postby KINGSHAMOKE71 » Fri Dec 27, 2002 4:09 am

Here comes the disagreement:

"1) Is he loyal to Liu Bei? Is he loyal, even after Liu Bei's death?"

Was he loyal to Liu Bei? No doubt about it. He was not only loyal to him but he was also his good friend. Was he loyal to Liu Bei's cause? Yes, he wanted to put a Liu on the Chinese throne. But here's where I have problems with Kongming, after Liu Bei's sucessor was instated. Please note, this is an opinion backed up with facts, note OPINION.

I feel Kongming was extremely unloyal to the second emperor of Shu-Han. Kongming took complete control of the Riverlands upon Bei's death. He took over military affairs, and he already had political control. Sure he told the second emperor of his plans, but it didn't matter what the emperor said, Kongming could do what he wanted. The officers were more loyal to Kongming than to the emperor. Kongming wanted the power of the king, which he got, however he wanted to look loyal, therefore he refused to take the name of emperor (which he could have easily done). Sure, it can be argued that if he wanted to have power to himself, he would have named his son to suceed him instead of Jiang Wei, but like I said this was just my opinion. I'm sure I forgot some facts, if I did, I'll post more later.

Note: yes I do hate Kongming (though I respect his skills politically) because he didn't like Wei Yan. He saw Wei Yan as a threat because Yan thought on his own and didn't just take Kongming's word for the truth like everyone else did. Yan knew Kongming was capable of making mistakes, which most people wouldn't. He saw Yan as a threat to his power and therefore held a grudge against him. Though at least Kongming did put Yan to good use in placing him in defense of Han Zhong against Wei.
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Unread postby James » Fri Dec 27, 2002 4:49 am

KINGSHAMOKE71 wrote: I feel Kongming was extremely unloyal to the second emperor of Shu-Han. Kongming took complete control of the Riverlands upon Bei's death. He took over military affairs, and he already had political control. Sure he told the second emperor of his plans, but it didn't matter what the emperor said, Kongming could do what he wanted.

Zhuge Kongming has been instructed to, basically, do what was needed to keep the nation stable up to and including replacing Liu Shan with someone else. Liu Shan himself was not exactly equal to the task of defending Shu, let alone expanding it, so something had to be done.

KINGSHAMOKE71 wrote: The officers were more loyal to Kongming than to the emperor. Kongming wanted the power of the king, which he got, however he wanted to look loyal, therefore he refused to take the name of emperor (which he could have easily done).

What is your basis for stating that Kongming wanted power, especially seeing as how you phrased it for personal ambition? I don’t think he was that sort of man at all. I do think, however, that he wanted to maintain authority in Shu after Xuande’s death, and that is admirable. Frankly, if Kongming has lost his authority Shu would have probably collapsed, especially if all decision making passed into the hands of Liu Shan.

I don’t think he wanted to look loyal, there is nothing in his character to indicate that sort of deception, I think he simply was loyal.

KINGSHAMOKE71 wrote: Sure, it can be argued that if he wanted to have power to himself, he would have named his son to suceed him instead of Jiang Wei, but like I said this was just my opinion. I'm sure I forgot some facts, if I did, I'll post more later.

He named Jiang Wei, I suspect, simply because he felt he was the best choice. He had been working with Jiang Wei for quite some time before his death.

KINGSHAMOKE71 wrote: Note: yes I do hate Kongming (though I respect his skills politically) because he didn't like Wei Yan. He saw Wei Yan as a threat because Yan thought on his own and didn't just take Kongming's word for the truth like everyone else did. Yan knew Kongming was capable of making mistakes, which most people wouldn't. He saw Yan as a threat to his power and therefore held a grudge against him. Though at least Kongming did put Yan to good use in placing him in defense of Han Zhong against Wei.

Oooh, a lot of personal opinion here. We don’t know much about Zhuge Liang and Wei Yan’s relationship. I can say though, that if they were enemies, Zhuge Liang was wise not to trust him. If Wei Yan did not respect Zhuge Liang’s orders Zhuge Liang should not have trusted him. Even though Wei Yan was very talented a commander cannot rely on people who cannot be depended upon to carry out their orders. Any good commander knows that the other commanders can make mistakes, and I doubt Wei Yan was an exception to this. They can offer their advise and attempt to dissuade their commander from the improper course, but once that is done, whether they succeed or not, they should move on and follow orders. Also, the Wei Yan thing is far from being sufficient enough to judge Zhuge Liang’s character as a whole.
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Unread postby KINGSHAMOKE71 » Fri Dec 27, 2002 5:20 am

What is my basis for saying Kongming wanted power? it is mainly that he had all the power in the kingdom of Shu. He could have easily appointed someone else to control the military, but he wanted that power for himself. I'll post the rest of my response tomorrow, it's late over here.
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Unread postby James » Fri Dec 27, 2002 8:48 am

KINGSHAMOKE71 wrote:What is my basis for saying Kongming wanted power? it is mainly that he had all the power in the kingdom of Shu. He could have easily appointed someone else to control the military, but he wanted that power for himself. I'll post the rest of my response tomorrow, it's late over here.

He did not possess all the power in Shu, and in fact he did not attempt to control everything possible. He was perfectly fine putting others in charge of tasks so he could focus on what was important. Just because after Liu Bei’s death he came into power (he was, after all, the Prime Minister) does not insinuate that he was a power-hungry man.
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Re: About Kong Ming

Unread postby Han Xin » Fri Dec 27, 2002 2:29 pm

shipei wrote:I am awed by his calmness in emergencies, like in the empty city ploy.
I am inspired by his hardowrking attitudes, working hard til he died.
I am fascinated by his stories, like the one where he borrow arrows from Cao by tricks to save himself from Zhou Yi's unreasonable demand.

I wonder, though, how many of these stories are real, and how many are not.But no matter what, ZGL will never fail to inspire me.

:lol: First off none of that was true.

shipei wrote:1) Is he loyal to Liu Bei? Is he loyal, even after Liu Bei's death?

Zhuge Liang was more loyal to himself rather than anyone or any kingdom. He didn't usurped the throne not because he was loyal to Liu Bei or Shu, he just couldn't bring himself for his name to be mudded. Liu Bei didn't really trusted Zhuge Liang, on his death bed he asked both Li Yan and Zhuge Liang to his side. Liu Bei's will were very strange, why did he needed Li Yan there when he said to Zhuge Liang that "if Liu Shan was found unworthy, you could take over yourself"? This to show that Liu Bei wanted Li Yan to judge on Liu Chan's performance as well, and that even if Liu Chan was useless, it not upto Zhuge Liang alone to judge.

shipei wrote:2) Historically, is he a great man? Do he at least have some worthy achievements?

NO... Although he made some political reform in Shu, some of his ideas was a direct copied of other. His administratives ability was no greater that people like Zhang Zhao in Wu or even Jiang Wan or Fei Yi in Shu. I remember some guy asking how could Shu survived without him? it just plain and simple, what did Zhuge Liang do from 223AD to 234AD to help the survival of Shu? Practically nothing and Shu survived another 30 years without him. What did he do to strengthtened Shu? his gadgets?

shipei wrote:3) What are his flaws?
(One of them, I think is his pride, and his inability to trust others)

Where do I starts? (Since James changes his username, it'll an open slatter on ZL attacking :lol: )

* His double standard and his lack of taking responsibility. Guys like Ma Su and Li Yan paid dearly for their mistake, what did Zhuge Liang paid for his own mistakes? he got demoted 3 mediocre ranks for his failure in the first northern campaign and regained it after taking 2 prefectures which he later abandonned. Zhuge Liang's vision of justice is laughable.

* He think too highly of his own abilities, he was not a very good commander but still insist of taking charge of the army. The second northern campaigns where he attacked the fortress of ChenCang during deep winter was pure madness and think too little of his enemy.

* He rely on favourtism rather than judgin on people's abilities. The first northern campaign was a mis judge in Ma Su's abilities due to his own favourtism even when a few veteran generals think that it was not a good idea.

* He virtually encourage factionalism within Shu's military. He probably realised the dislike of Yang Yi and Wei Yan had for one another, but still did not try resolved the issue before his death causing the death of Wei Yan in the end.

shipei wrote:4) Why is he hold in high respect in the chinese community?

Mainly based upon myths.

shipei wrote:5) Can Ah dou have any part in hindering ZGL from expanding his potential.

Liu Chan practically allowed Zhuge Liang to do what ever he wanted, there nothing that actually suggested that Liu Chan hinderred Zhuge Liang, his failure was all to his own making. Most of Zhuge Liang's supporters like to shift blamed to others to safeguard his god-like image
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