Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby Fornadan » Sun Jun 18, 2017 12:04 pm

The top eunuchs were quite literally the Han emperor's most loyal servants, but the Yellow Turbans started out as a religious movement so there are plenty of ways to make connections
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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby DragonAtma » Sun Jun 18, 2017 12:17 pm

Officially they were the Emperor Ling's most loyal servants, just as officially Sima Yi was Cao Fang's most loyal regent.

In practice, things don't always work out as intended.
Unless I specifically say otherwise, assume I am talking about historical Three Kingdoms, and not the novel.

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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby plunged » Sun Jun 18, 2017 12:33 pm

Ma Yuanyi was a leader in planning for rebellion. Also the only turban we know of who is said to have commanded a Large Division. He commanded the largest troop of Yellow Turbans (aside from the Zhang brothers) and the set date of the rising (3 April 184) seems to have been decided by him/his group.

Where he was from we don't know, but if I were to guess I'd say Wei commandery in Ji province. His main base of operations seems to have been Ye city in that commandery and he was going to strike from there on that third of April. He and his associates made several trips 200km southeast to Luoyang to claim adherents there. When they did so they set the date 3 April to all rise.

There were three main centers of rebellion and the Luoyang traitors were to co-operate with the Yu/Jing group:

group 1: Ji province
especially the commanderies Wei and Julu
Yellow Turbans who were active here: Zhang Jue, Zhang Bao, Zhang Liang, and Ma Yuanyi

group 2: You province
especially the commanderies Guangyang and Zhuo
Yellow Turbans who were active here: no surviving names

group 3: Yu and Jing province
especially the commanderies Runan (Yu), Yingchuan (Yu) and Nanyang (Jing)
Yellow Turbans who were active here: Zhang Mancheng, Bo Cai, Zhang Bo, Liang Zhongning, Peng Tuo, Wu Ba

Interesting to see that Ma Yuanyi is part of the group where the Zhang brothers were active.

The third group 3, which was to work together with Ma's team, has some big names: Zhang Mancheng, Bo Cai (and perhaps Peng Tuo, the only named Turban in Runan). I guess Ma, Zhang, Bo and Peng must've been in contact with each other several times during the planning. Liang Zhongning and Zhang Bo appear to be lesser names. They were probably "gang leaders", which were like sub-officers or group leader, commanding a portion of an army of a Division Leader.

I once wrote some info on Ma Yuanyi here:

Ma Yuanyi.

It's old... one of the first I wrote... but I don't think it's bad. May be worth checking out.

If you do, Bo's and Peng's may also be worth checking out:

Bo Cai
Peng Tuo
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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby Sun Fin » Sun Jun 18, 2017 5:14 pm

Thanks everyone!

Plunged - your wiki was the first place I looked. I know that on the Yellow Turban campaign in particular your wiki is a top resource. I was just wondering if any of the scholars had any obscure piece of knowledge from a source off the beat and track :D.
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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby DragonAtma » Sun Jun 18, 2017 5:41 pm

As early as 177, Yang Ci (grandfather of Yang Xiu, son of Yang Zhen) and Liu Tao warned the emperor about Zhang Jue (Liu Tao would send another warning in 183). If they followed the advice in the 177 warning, either there would be no yellow turban rebellion, or it would be weaker.

More trivia? Well, there were claims (probably false, but claims nonetheless) that Zhang Jiao was the grandson of Celestial Masters founder Zhang Daoling -- which, if true, would make him (and his brothers) Zhang Lu's first cousin.
Unless I specifically say otherwise, assume I am talking about historical Three Kingdoms, and not the novel.

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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby plunged » Sun Jun 18, 2017 6:35 pm

Sun Fin wrote:Thanks everyone!

Plunged - your wiki was the first place I looked. I know that on the Yellow Turban campaign in particular your wiki is a top resource. I was just wondering if any of the scholars had any obscure piece of knowledge from a source off the beat and track :D.


wow, thanks :D Back in the day I spent a lot of time working on Yellow Turbans information.. so, nice to hear this :)
Please check out: Gongjin's Campaign Memorials: a Three Kingdoms Wiki.
Now with translations of: He Jin, Huangfu Song, Zhu Jun, Lu Zhi, Cheng Pu, Sima Shi, Lady Wang and many more.

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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby Rezko_Kanashi » Sun Jun 25, 2017 11:39 pm

Is it clear on how close Xiahou Yuan, and Xiahou Dun are related to Cao Cao? I'm aware they are cousins, but do we know the degree of how close they are? (First, Second?)

Also we know that the three were close, but do we know why they all had a fondness of each other? I remember reading that Xiahou Yuan had taken a punishment for Cao Cao when they were younger, but as for Xiahou Dun I have no idea on what made them so close.
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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby Sun Fin » Mon Jun 26, 2017 6:59 am

Rafe argues in his recent book about Cao Cao that the Cao clan and the Xiahou clan were related by marriage as they were two of the biggest names in Qiao county. The Xiahou clan were the far more powerful but the Cao clan were worth building connections with.

So when Cao Teng, the eunuch - Cao Cao's adoptive grandfather, wanted to adopt and there was no suitable candidate bearing the Cao name one was instead chosen from a marital relative in the Xiahou can: Xiahou Song. He is better better known now of course as Cao Song (Cao Cao's dad). Xiahou Dun and Yuan are believed to be the child of Cao Song's brother.

Therefore their relation is of 1st cousins.

This is a matter of some debate, Carl Leban in his older thesis on Cao Cao said that there was enough evidence to dismiss any family connection between the two as highly unlikely. However upon the discovery of some tombs belonging to members of the Cao clan a few years ago Rafe felt there was enough evidence to challenge that view.

If you are interested in the debate I'm happy to give you a brief overview.
Last edited by Sun Fin on Wed Jun 28, 2017 10:07 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby Rezko_Kanashi » Mon Jun 26, 2017 9:10 am

Yes I'd be interested in learning more about the debate.
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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby Sun Fin » Mon Jun 26, 2017 10:14 am

Carl Leban's arguments against them being related are largely based on three factors. I have his text in front of me so I'm checking what I type. When it comes to Professor De Crispigny's arguments I am going to be relying on memory, a far less reliable source!

1) When Chen Shou wrote the SGZ he makes no mention of Cao Cao being related to the Xiahou clan.

Rafe's argument is that he doesn't need to say it because it is so well known that it was presumed knowledge, additional to that the Xiahou clan was discussed in the same chapter as the Cao clan. In his opinion clear proof that they were related.

2) Cao Cao allowed his children to marry members of the Xiahou clan which Leban believes would have been inappropriate if Cao Cao was a close relative to the Xiahou clan.

This is where I'm particularly hazy on Rafe's arguments (if anyone has access to his book please feel free to correct me!), but I think it's based around the fact that actually 2nd cousins was deemed appropriate by the culture of the day. Besides Cao Cao was powerful enough to ignore tradition if he so wanted to.

3) The Xiahou clan were so powerful that they wouldn't have been willing to have a son adopted by a despised eunuch.

Rafe argues that the gentry were in turmoil at this time, and the Eunuch faction was in almost complete control of the court. Any sensible political player would have taken advantage of a connection with a power Eunuch who could then be relied to to treat their family with favour.

As I said earlier in the post if anyone wants to add or correct me they are very welcome to do so! :D
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