Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

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

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Sat Dec 09, 2017 12:49 pm

Oh I agree with you about the twice massacre Han, I was speculating as to why

I do not know why you are talking about Dowages when we are debating about Empresses. Dowagers getting into power feuds with Ministers were very common and something Han Gaozu even feared. However, Empresses dieing of grief( forced to suicide) was very rare if we look at the list of Emperors in East Han and even in the Three kingdoms.


Showing that there had, particularly of recent decades, a running theme of imperial woman lives were not valued.

Likewise, Cao Cao as a minister had zero right to kill any Empress. Throughout the history of East Han and three kingdoms, no Empress were killed by a minister. He is pretty much the first one to do so. Furthermore, Cao should just request the Empress be desposed or jailed for life. Granted, Cao Cao as a minister also had zero right to despose or imprison an Empress. But he should have done so instead of killing her instead of stepping wayyyyy over his boundaries. Desposing her and imprisoning her would have therefore been more valid and proper reason especially when one considers the fact that Dong Cheng rebellion was pretty much over by that point.


It is true, Cao Cao was the first. However I struggle to believe the gentry were "killing the very representative of Heaven is pretty normal" but the misogynistic gentry would be up in arms over the killing of a woman. As long as she was a certain rank, slip a dowager status on her and he can kill her, that would have been fine but empress is the line is also very odd. Add that plenty of imperial women had been killed in recent decades and I don't see why this one instance is across the line.

Why is the normal activity of killing Emperor's (even child emperors) and Empress Dowager's ok but Empresses is where the line is drawn?

Because desposing and killing an Empress was very rare in the first place. And there was zero set logic that Cao needed to kill an Empress. And when presented with the choice of choosing three options - Imprisonment, Despose, Execution - Cao should have picked the more benevolent two considering that he intended to overstep his boundaries as a minister.


The last two Han adult emperors had done it. Maybe in the entire context of Han history it is rare but in recent years, almost a right of passage for Han emperors (and Cao's after them)

As for the logic, she tried to kill him. Why would most warlords keep an internal attempted killer alive? Cao Cao did seem to take care that he and his family couldn't be put in a position where foes could overthrow and kill them so he was never going to take it well. So of the options when plot was discovered: he can either keep her alive where she can become a rallying point/handy excuse for any Han loyalist, create potential legitimacy issues (she had two children), create potential legacy issues of her not pleased family or or where she can continue plotting. Or he can kill her, ensuring she and her family can never risk the lives of his family, get rid of her line who can be a threat, open a space for a new Empress (say, his daughters)

Lastly, not everyone went with kill if Empress was out of favour.

Pi kill one.

Rui kill one.

Sun Hao fell out of favour with his Empress and wanted to despose - not kill - her but Dowager intervened so he did nothing. But ehhh this is Hao we are talking about... so granted its possible that he will eventually killed her. However history is not about possibilities but what already happened. And fact of the matter is Sun Hao the tyrant first option was always to despose her.


So we have the later Han emperors, Cao family killing the empresses/main wives that fell out of favour, we have Sima Shi, with Wu we have Lady Xie, Lady Wang, first Lady Zhang. We also have the court murdering Lady Pan and Sun Hao killing Empress Dowager.

Sun Hao was displeased with Lady Teng (who was one of the gentry) but she had protection of Dowager He and shamans were used to play on his nature, he didn't even dare depose her. She also had backing of gentry so Sun Hao also seems to have adjudged he didn't have the strength to strike. A better example then Sun Hao's one would be Lady Xu, mother of Sun Deng who was left behind in Wu. Quite why he killed two and let her live (possibly something to do with court being behind her and risking damaging legitimacy of Sun Deng) is an intresting question.
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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby Sun Fin » Sat Dec 09, 2017 2:03 pm

I posted this in the DW thread but it got buried. Kind of feel this is a more relevant place for it anyway:

Sun Fin wrote:
Dong Zhou wrote:Yuan Shu was noted for gallantry in early days so add that in


He was?


I was just wondering what source that's from?
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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Sat Dec 09, 2017 2:37 pm

Rafe's tome
As a young man Yuan Shu acquired a reputation for gallantry and for hunting and
falconry. Nominated Filial and Incorrupt, he later became Intendant of Henan and then General of the Household Rapid as a Tiger.


Sorry, missed your post
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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby Sun Fin » Sat Dec 09, 2017 2:39 pm

Yeah no worries - it's easy to miss small posts in busy threads :D

Ah cool, I have to say 'gallantry' isn't a word I connect with Yuan Shu in my head - feels quite remote from the man he becomes. :lol:
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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby Han » Sat Dec 09, 2017 3:55 pm

People back then were misogynistic. The Confucian gentry were not particulary special in that regard.

Yes. Its understandable to kill a Dowager(and more reasonable) as Dowagers are usually more powerful than Empress.

Plently of imperial women killed? No. A few? Yes. Empresses? Only 2.

Im not debating about Emperors or Dowagers...

Copy paste: I do not know why you are talking about Dowages when we are debating about Empresses.

By the way killing Emperors were not a " normal activity". And yes killing Emperors and Dowagers are not "ok". But thats not what we are debating now...

Yes. Only the last two... And no it isnt "maybe" its rare. It is rare.

Maybe because she wasnt just some random " internal attempted killer"? She was the literal Han Empress. If Cao Cao can spare his son and nephew killer, I dont see why he cant do the same for the Empress.

If he despose and jail her and spread propaganda - think Kong Rong execution - than there would be literally zero legitimacy issues and she would not be able to plot against his regime. Han loyalist who would rebel would already rebel regardless of Cao actions.

By desposing and jailing her, he can already create a new open space. Thats literally the purpose of desposing.

Right. Last two... or 3/9 to 13. At best a 33% rate. The Cao family ... as in 2/5...

Sima Shi was never Emperor.

All the ladies that you mention are Concubines...

The Lady Pan think is not 100% factual. Only a commentator support that argument.

Sun Hao was a tyrant who was frequently opposed by the gentry... Sun Hao also weakened the gentry already before considering desposing his Empress.

Anyway, the point about Sun Hao I was trying to make was that the first decision Sun Hao considered when he fell out of favour with his Empress was desposing instead of execution.
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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby Han » Sat Dec 09, 2017 4:03 pm

A few people on tumblr( gee, I wonder who) claim that Cao Rui set up construction works because he wanted to spread propaganda and incite the opposing States to surrender. Is this true? If so, can I have a proper source? I dont mind a wikipedia link as long as that particular wikipedia cites source/sources.
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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Sat Dec 09, 2017 7:18 pm

Sun Fin wrote:Yeah no worries - it's easy to miss small posts in busy threads :D

Ah cool, I have to say 'gallantry' isn't a word I connect with Yuan Shu in my head - feels quite remote from the man he becomes. :lol:


It's the sports angle I keep forgetting and feels odd from the perception I have of him

Han wrote:A few people on tumblr( gee, I wonder who) claim that Cao Rui set up construction works because he wanted to spread propaganda and incite the opposing States to surrender. Is this true? If so, can I have a proper source? I dont mind a wikipedia link as long as that particular wikipedia cites source/sources.


I take it you don't have a tumbler account to ask them? The propaganda is true to an extent I see two possibilities for the "inciting surrender"

1) there is a memorial or some such from Cao Rui saying that and I haven't see it. I would suggest what one says a project is for when needing to sell the idea of creating and what it actually is for isn't the same, I can't see Cao Rui believing Liu Shan would surrender due to impressive waterworks, as much as Shan was a fan of such things.

2) they mistook things like Professor Rafe's comment
. He sought to enhance the prestige of the state with buildings and display
(from tome) and gone a bit too far with the opposing side thing. Building works could be used to spread internal propaganda in a "look at how strong we are" or a sense of permanence and wealth, of legitimacy and wonder

Sorry, Cao Cao stuff tomorrow
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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby Jia Nanfeng » Sat Dec 09, 2017 8:55 pm

Han wrote:A few people on tumblr( gee, I wonder who) claim that Cao Rui set up construction works because he wanted to spread propaganda and incite the opposing States to surrender. Is this true? If so, can I have a proper source? I dont mind a wikipedia link as long as that particular wikipedia cites source/sources.

Tangential question: I follow a few people on tumblr who write about 3K stuff, and you aren't the first I've seen here to call the tumblr 3K community into question, so to speak. Are there particular popular folk there that I should not be learning from?
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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby Han » Sun Dec 10, 2017 4:12 am

Im not the only one to call out people from tumblr...

There are a few reddit threads that point out the flaws of the tumblr 3k community arguments.

I also remember that someone from 4chan complaint about the biasness of the tumblr 3k community, rightfully so by the way.

Also, we discussed this a few pages back which you can read yourself. Long story short, a few members of the 3k tumblr community are extremely hypocritical and very bias and love to give a very warped view of the history of 3k.

Lastly, whenever the 3k tumblr community claims something, they very very rarely post their sources. Of course, they do not need to, but it simply speaks about their character and credibility especially when they claim something completely different from the official histories.
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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby Sun Fin » Sun Dec 10, 2017 10:04 am

Dong Zhou wrote:It's the sports angle I keep forgetting and feels odd from the perception I have of him


That's a really good point - I'm now viewing him as a stereotype, arrogant jock figure :lol:.
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