Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

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

Unread postby greencactaur » Tue May 08, 2018 3:30 am

I have a question about Jiang Wei. I read that the Wei generals felt as if Jiang Wei was going to defect to Shu.When he left the city they locked him out. Having no where to go he joined Shu. What exactly did Jiang Wei say that made them feel as if he was going to defect? Secondly why would a general defect from a stronger force to a weaker one? Seems more like the generals may not have liked Jiang, but I am not sure of the situation so if anyone could elaborate that'd be great :D.
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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby DaoLunOfShiji » Tue May 08, 2018 7:56 am

From Jiang Wei's SGZ translation
In the sixth year of Jian Xing [CE 228], the Prime Minister Zhuge Liang led his army to Qishan. At that time, the Governor of Tian Shui had gone on a tour of inspection; Jiang Wei as well as the Gong Cao, Liang Xu, the Zhu Pu, Yin Shang, and the Zhu Ji, Liang Qian etc. were in his suite. Hearing that the Shu army was about to arrive, and that the various counties of Tian Shui had revolted and joined the Shu, the Governor became suspicious that Jiang Wei and others would become disloyal. So that night he fled to Shang Bang. When they saw that the Governor had gone, Jiang Wei and his men went after him, but they came too late to the city gate of Shang Bang, which was already closed. Not being admitted, Jiang Wei and his men returned to Ji, which would not admit them either. In the end, Jiang Wei and his men all came to Zhuge Liang. At that time, Ma Su had been defeated at Jieting so Zhuge Liang returned, taking with him more than a thousand households of the Xi county as well as Jiang Wei and his men. It was thus that Jiang Wei lost his mother.

[Yu Huan's] Wei Lue says: Ma Zun, the Governor of Tian Shui, leading Jiang Wei and various other subordinate officers, was in the company of Guo Huai, the Ci Shi (Governor) of Yongzhou on his way from the west to Lo Men on a tour of inspection. Hearing that Zhuge Liang had already reached Qishan, Guo Huai looked at Ma Zun and said, "This is not going to turn out well". He then led him to the east and returned to Shang Bang. Remembering that Ji county, the residence-city of his prefecture, was to the west, and fearing that the under-officials and people were inclined to be rebellious, Ma Zun followed Guo Huai and went. At that time, Jiang Wei said to Ma Zun, "Your Excellency ought to return to Ji county." Ma Zun said to Jiang Wei and the others, "You may all return. The rebels are indeed everywhere; let us scatter." Jiang Wei could do nothing with Ma Zun. But, his home being at Ji, he finally returned to Ji together with the under-officials of Tian Shui, such as Shangguan Zi Xiu and others. In Ji, the under-officials and the people were glad to see Jiang Wei and the others back. They then forced them to see Zhuge Liang. Being compelled, the two men came together to Zhuge Liang. Zhuge Liang was greatly pleased to see them and sent his subordinates to summon the people of Ji. At that time, the vanguard of Zhuge Liang was defeated by Zhang He and Fei Yu, etc., so that he retreated bringing with him Jiang Wei and others. Thus Jiang Wei could not return and finally entered Shu. The various Wei troops attacked Ji county and captured Jiang Wei's mother, wife, and children. But because Jiang Wei had not gone voluntarily, they did not kill the members of his family, but only imprisoned them to make him return. This account seems to be different to that given in SGZ.


And just for comedies sake, several appraisals that speak on Jiang Wei's defections. Two are very opinionated.

Xi Zheng Zhu Lun commenting on Jiang Wei: Jiang Boyue had the burden of both a grand commander and as well as a minister. The house he lived in was very simple. He did not have much money. Though he had many concubines, they were all frugal. He did not arrange any music or entertainment. He was also frugal with the food he ate, the clothes he wore, the transportation he took, etc. After being paid his salary, he would have nothing left afterwards. But he was not corrupt, greedy, or lavish and did not restrain himself in order to give himself a good name. Thus he led a very simple and meagre life. The common people commented that he only looked up to those above while stepping on those below him. However, he may not have been as the people described and their views are inaccurate. For someone like Jiang Wei who dedicated himself to study and who led a very frugal and simple life, he should be set as an example for others to follow.

Sun Sheng says: I do not agree with this commentary of Xi Shi! A gentleman should be conscious and careful when he is above others. There is nothing exceptional about him being filial and loyal since any person in that position should be. He was originally a servant of Wei but later went to Shu. Such a thing shows that he did it to gain benefits and hence cannot be considered by loyal. Since he was very frugal to others like his relatives, etc. this cannot be considered filial. To fight his original kingdom, this cannot be considered to be righteous. After he was defeated and surrounded [by the Shu troops], he did not commit suicide, thus he cannot be considered honourable. Achieving no merits, the people were put through a tough time by him. Raised to such a high position of authority, his enemies were still out about, thus this cannot be considered bravery. Of the five attributes of loyalty, filial piety, honour, righteousness, and bravery, Jiang Wei possesses none of them. He is a traitor of Wei and the shameless face of a dying State. His external disposition of being a great general, I have grave doubts about. While he likes to study, he is prone to being arrogant while not have any real knowledge.

Your servant Pei Songzhi believes Xi Zheng's commentary on Jiang Wei can only be taken at face value but in reality, it is not an accurate reflection. His good attributes were that he loved to study and was very frugal in life. The books Ben Zhuan and Wei Lue both say that Jiang Wei had no rebellious thoughts when he surrendered to Shu. Sun Sheng's harsh commentary was only valid on the point of filial piety when Jiang Wei left his mother. But his other criticisms are considered excessive and inaccurate. Thus both commentaries tend to deviate from the truth.
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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby Rezko_Kanashi » Tue May 08, 2018 10:34 am

When is Cao Pi first noted in history? Was he ever present in any campaigns before taking Zhen Ji as his wife after Guan Du?
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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby Sun Fin » Tue May 08, 2018 10:43 am

This is a great biography written about Cao Pi by one of our members - capnnerefir.

He has a few paragraphs on Cao Pi's childhood but this section is what I think you're looking for:

Due to the dangers of the time, Cao Cao often brought his young son along on his various military campaigns. This nearly cost Cao Pi his life when he was 10 years old. In 197, Cao Cao led his army to Jing province, where he received the surrender of the warlord Zhang Xiu. However, Zhang Xiu’s intentions were false and he suddenly attacked Cao Cao’s camp in the night. Cao Pi fled on horseback and barely escaped.[18] Others were not so lucky. Cao Cao’s general Dian Wei died attempting to hold back Zhang Xiu’s army almost single-handedly[19] Cao Pi’s older brother, Cao Ang, was also killed along with cousin, Cao Anmin.[20]

On September 13 of 204, Cao Cao captured the city of Ye in Ji province.[21] Not long afterwards, he made the city his personal base and moved his family there. Upon his arrival in Ye, Cao Pi met Lady Zhen, the estranged wife of Yuan Xi, and the two married soon afterwards.[22] Their son Cao Rui was born the next year[23], and Lady Zhen also gave birth to a daughter, the Princess of Dongxiang.
Interested in the history behind the novel? Find a list of english language Three Kingdom sources here.
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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby Rezko_Kanashi » Wed May 09, 2018 2:07 am

That's exactly what I was looking for thanks. I had no idea he was involved in the Wan Castle escape.
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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby Rezko_Kanashi » Wed May 09, 2018 2:18 am

I have one more question.

Does anyone know any three kingdoms era generals or advisors who's tombs or bodies have been discovered by archeologist? There is a lot of confusion with the Cao Cao one as some believe it belongs to Cao Yu, and Cao Huan, but which is the popular opinion on that? I also know of Cao Xiu's tomb.
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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby DaoLunOfShiji » Wed May 09, 2018 2:46 am

Off the top of my head I recall them finding Cao Xiu, Sun Xiu, Zhu Ran, Cao Huan and archaeologists say they've found Cao Cao but I am always skeptical of that. It seems like every 10 years they manage to find Cao Cao's tomb.
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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby Rezko_Kanashi » Wed May 09, 2018 8:24 am

Thanks. Yeah I was always confused on the tomb that many believed belonged to Cao Cao or Cao Huan. I agree that Cao Huan is who resides there.
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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby Han » Thu May 10, 2018 6:28 am

So based on spywork. His troops were, his (former) lord was. Remember the context of the chat. Which is not where Cao Pi is camped.


Information. Ok look, the conversation was about Hua Xin Yuzhang commandery vs Yu Fan Huiji commandery. Yu Fan was basically saying is your commandery better than mine? We got rekt by the Suns. And then Hua Xin agreed that his commandery in terms of troops, provisions, arms etc were inferior and he would thus stand no chance against Sun Ce enroaching army. THATS the contect. But was where Wei borders were.

So an amazing coincidence that only one of thousands of predictions, including from Emperors was recorded this one time?

Soothsaying. Different rules and you have forgotten what I have said about soothsaying in past?


I can only think of 4 recorded military predictions that did not involve direct military confrontations IE battles between troops yet. Cao Cao on Xiliang warlords. Liu Bei on Cao Cao. Zhang He on Zhuge Liang and of course Cao Pi on Liu Bei. As you can see, all predictions excluding Zhang was from rulers. Even Zhang He prediction was a conversation with his ruler. So its not coincidence but simply normal.

Both were and are predictions. Same game same rules.

I know. Thing is, I'm not asking for "was spies ever used effectively." Tian Feng is taking spy information about the enemy they are about to fight and using it to form a strategy, perfectly normal and sensible. Different from being able to predict the moment of camapign victory of a camapign person is not involved in many many many miles away. Which only happens once. To a man who struggled to win big battles. Who just happens to be newly enthroned Emperor.


Im breaking it down part by part. Im talking about taking advantage of weak points. Nothing to do with spies. Reciting from a book does not require military accomplishments nor is a person status relevant.

Soothsaying so different rules. Can you find a non mystic/oracle more outstanding prediction?


Same game same rules. Liu Bei predicting that he will win against Cao Cao in Hanzhong even though Cao Cao just arrived. Zhang He predicting that Zhuge Liang will retreat based on supplies even though he was not involved in the campaign and so could not know Zhuge exact supplies nor his army movements. Cao Zhen predicting that Zhuge Liang will attack Chencang just after the first NE was over.

Yes there were. There were plenty of battles in Zhuge Ke's lifetime that he wasn't involved in. How many did he predict the exact timing of?


Im not Zhuge Ke so I wouldnt know really. Zhuge Ke may or may not have made predictions but unfortunately none are recorded down or translated for me to read.

You have one instance, which just happens to be about the Emperor. This isn't a few times which we can then translate into "and probably happened more often". Are you saying there was no long stalemate in rest of 3kingdoms? I doubt it so what is so special about Yiling that no other camapign ever could be predicted in same way?

I didn't claim cities were built, you may have misread my point there.


Status is irrelevant when it came to reciting from a book. Cao Pi simply was fortunate enough to be able to shout his prediction to everyone for the historians to know it and thus record it while others probably did not have that luxury. Or maybe there were predictions for other campaigns but no historians knew of it so not recorded.

Given I can't read Chinese, not entirely sure how you think that helps? If you have translations, that would help


You requested a SGZ evidence of Cao Pi claim. I cant find anywhere for an english version of Cao Pi bio. What I did was showed you Achilles Fang notes where it was claimed that the prediction was in Cao Pi SGZ. You demanded a better source and so I showed you the Chinese version of Cao Pi SGZ. What more do you want?

Fact of the matter is, the prediction is found in the ZZTJ AND SGZ.

Being the only one in 3kingdoms to make such a prediction? Just as he becomes Emperor? Seems like it to me


There were better predictions really. Lu Xun also did predict it IIRC and since it was on a note to Sun Quan, it was fortunately recorded down.

Can you quote all four of them (translated please) saying Liu Bei was in swampland? I can't see swamps mentioned in Liu Bei's sgz. Lu Xun's sgz mentions gorge, mountains, plains. I may have missed something so please share where the four of them mentions swamps.


Cao Pi claimed it. Chen Shou wrote it. Pei Song Zhi was fine with it. Sima Guang rewrote it. Its located in the SGZ AND ZZTJ. If all four believe it and not a single ancient Chinese rebutt it, provide another account, append a contradictory annontation or dismiss it. Then that means they were fine with Cao Pi prediction. And the claims that it was swamps.

Two parts to this

1) I agreed it was devastating defeat so not sure why you want me to agree it was devastating defeat

2) Your then saying he choked without providing reason why he choked. A devastating defeat can happen for many many reasons of course, you have yet to tell me why this one was down to choking.


1) It was not just a devastating defeat. It was a defeat that forever changed the landscape of the 3K. Possibly the worst defeat of that era.

2) No other campaign foresaw the loss of that many generals and gentries. Huang Quan defection and Ma Liang death was notably a brutal blow to Shu Han. Thats why he choked. It was not just devasting defeat. It cost Shu Han the loss of many talented and famous people. And thats not to mention the tens of thousands of soldiers that died.

Worked up yes, maybe agitated. Alarmed (at their commander getting men killed rather then Liu Bei) I would also agree. I would add frustrated. Nothing pointing to panic. Hotheaded I would agree with, mutinous perhaps, not panic


Google panic synonyms were those words that I mentioned. I couldnt care less what you agree with really.

I have asked for spywork of such detail that predictions of timing with far off camapigns. I'm not claiming that good spywork didn't exist (I don't agree with all the examples you gave but I agree with the general point there was good spies)


There were too little predictions in that era for me to make a comparison for you really. And those said predictions may have some similarities but still had differences here and there

Example, Zhang He prediction was notably similar to Cao Pi in terms of timing. Zhang He with days and Cao Pi with soon.

Zhang He prediction also came as a conversation with his ruler while Cao Pi was a declaration to his surbodinates.

However, the reasoning was different with Zhang He being supplies and Cao Pi being AOW.

This is why I needed to break things down one by one to answer them hence the Hua Xin vs Wang Lang/ Yu Fan and Fu Jia petition and Zhuge Ke actions and Tian Feng advising Yuan Shao.
Liu Bei did nothing wrong.
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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby DaoLunOfShiji » Thu May 10, 2018 1:10 pm

No other campaign foresaw the loss of that many generals and gentries.


Tossing in my two cents on this, the Conquest of Wu saw a lot of death.
Wang Hun and Du Yu initially took thousands captive in the first skirmishes.
Wang Jun killed Liu Xian, Lu Yan, Lu Jing all in a row.
Du Yu killed Wuu Yan at Jiangling, as well as fourteen other commanders and 120 generals.
Wang Hun killed Yu Gong, Zhang Ti, Sun Zhen, Shen Ying and 8,000 of Wu's soldiers, with only one person escaping alive; Zhuge Jing.
Tao Jun and his remaining two men out of the 20,000 that fled during the night were killed by Wang Jun.
Cen Hun was killed by the gentry in Wu.

The total casualties for the campaign are not known as far as I am aware, but Wu's forces were either butchered like stuck pigs or surrendered on mass.
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