Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

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

Unread postby greencactaur » Sat Dec 30, 2017 6:03 pm

Han wrote:My Question: How would you guys grade and rank Zhuge Liang, Liu Bei, and the 5 Tiger Generals in terms of Generalship.

Historical versions and sources only.

1. Zhang Fei. He was with Liu Bei from the very beginning. Participated in the Yi invasion, and Han Zhong campaigns. During Yi he managed to defeat YanYan who had a decent reputation. I'd say the pinnacle of Zhang Fei's career is the battle of BaXi where he defeated Zhang He.

2. Huang Zhong. I feel like he is often overlooked simply due to the novel classifying as an old man. Truth be told Huang Zhong was often the first to siege enemy walls, and would be first to charge enemy formations. During the Han Zhong campaign he managed to slay Xiahou Yuan arguably one of Cao Cao's top generals.

3. Zhao Yun my personal favorite! I feel like Zhao Yun gets a lot of praise in the novel. Many of his exploits are often extremely exaggerated, but he holds a special place in my heart for his loyalty. Despite being a famed warrior he was actually quite intelligent, often showing caution in the relationships he formed and also showing some tactical prowess. We see this during the whole Zhao Fan situation where Zhao Fan tried to marry his sister off to Zhao Yun, but Zhao Yun was extremely wary of this, and declined. We also have the situation at Yi Province where Liu Bei was unsure of what to do with the land, and Zhao Yun recommended giving it back to the people. He was noble, loyal, Humble, Brave, and calm. Now to mention his military exploits, he managed to capture Xahou len during Bowangpo, Saved Liu Chan, and Lady Mi during Chang Ban, He managed to surprise attack Cao Cao during Han Zhong, and also participated during the first Zhuge northern campaign.

4. Guan Yu. Guan Yu has sort of ascended into a deity esque status in Confucius culture. Personally I feel like Guans a bit overrated especially as his achievements just are either lost in the annals of history or maybe they just don't exist at all? Guan Yu's top exploit was slaying Yan Liang during Guan Du, but this seems to be the only exploit he has as far as i'm aware. There just isn't enough information on him, but I believe that there had to be some truth to his reputation. I'm sure if the records existed we'd find that he did quite a few achievements, but that is all just assumption.

5. Ma Chao. Ma Chao is very very controversial in my opinion. I believe if he wasn't under Liu Bei he would be considered another Lu Bu. He betrayed his own father and abandoned his own family. Ma Chao's whole campaign on Cao Caao in my opinion was a complete failure. Under Zhang Lu he abandoned him, and joined Liu Bei. In my opinion Ma Chao is highly overrated. It is only because he joined Liu Bei that history tries to praise him , rather then patronize him.

I'm not that knowledgeable on history, but I felt like putting in my own input on the 5 tigers. I tried to be a bit as factual as possible, but i'm sure some of my information is incorrect. Feel free to correct any of my information if possible :pika:
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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby Sun Fin » Sat Dec 30, 2017 6:18 pm

Dong Zhou wrote:Sung Chien sounds like Song Jian who died in 214 and was King?


Yeah that's him! Thanks :D
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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby Han » Sat Dec 30, 2017 7:41 pm

I do plan to get your posts Han, sorry been a busy day and I'm now under the weather


Its cool. Get well soon.

Personally, I feel that the Five Tiger Generals of Shu Han are inferior as a whole compared to the Five Elite Generals of Cao Wei.

Overall, I feel like various members of Shu Han have been harmed due to the scarcity of historical records about them probably due to the lack of an official historical department in Shu Han.

Guan Yu especially has been the one who has seen his reputation suffered the most, excluding fiction of course.
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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Sun Dec 31, 2017 7:54 am

In fairness, I don't think Ma Chao betrayed his father or at least he was put in an extremely complex situation. Cao Cao was trying to provoke a fight, Ma Chao tried to avoid a major fight and all the Liang warlords aligned on this

Han wrote:Personally, I feel that the Five Tiger Generals of Shu Han are inferior as a whole compared to the Five Elite Generals of Cao Wei.

Overall, I feel like various members of Shu Han have been harmed due to the scarcity of historical records about them probably due to the lack of an official historical department in Shu Han.

Guan Yu especially has been the one who has seen his reputation suffered the most, excluding fiction of course.


I know Chen Shou said there wasn't one but he actually served in Shu's history department so he was exaggerating a tad. Sadly only a tad

I do agree Shu generals do struggle becuase of the lack of records. You have whacking great gaps for figures like Zhang Fei and Guan Yu, some of them you get no sense of personality so difficult to warm to them, one or two have biographies smaller then some speeches. Or a restaurant menu. It is very difficult to get a sense of how skilled they are when basiclaly, your relying on reputation and a few small glimpses

Thanks for your source. I think Im gonna agree that Huan and Ling did have power. However, I still doubt that Huan and Ling were as influential as the 3k rulers( especially the founders).


Fair enough

I never said it was an "ok" attitude. What I said was the Emperor and Empress position was taken extremely serious at that time. This means that a proper comparison with Emperor murdering Empress and Ruler or Gentry murdering main wives cannot be made.


I agree. Which is why gentry didn't seem to murder their wives bar ruler (or set to become) level. Where you and I seem to disagree is I see ruler levels as Emperor in all but (important symbolic) name so killings happen but I don't see general gentry killing, you see rulers as not Emperor's (or even when Emperor's, it doesn't quite count if it is to kill to prevent Empress whereas for me it counts)

Right.

The opposite of the equal sign " = ". A slash over the equal which means unequal.


I'll try to remember that

But is it? The East Han Dynasty had tens upon tens of Empresses. And only 3 died. I dont think more Empresses died than Main Wives.

Now about Empress dying more than gentry and rulers wives, as you might recall, in a previous debate where we mentioned about Zhang Fei kidnapping thing and Warlords pillage thing, you made the argument that just because the official histories did not record kidnaps and plunders does not mean that they did not happen.

The same can be said for this argument. There are only a few ways an Woman in history was going to be recorded was

1) Have a royal rank.

2) Achieve something great.

This applies to Chinese history too. If we look at the SanGuoZhi we can see that most of the women recorded are Royalty or wives of important people. However, the former have proper biographies while the latter usually end up as a footnate here and there. Meanwhile, famous people like Huang Zhong and Zhao Yun and Warlords like Liu Yu and Zhang Yang did not have any wives attached to their biographies. Is this because they were childless? No.

This is why having an assumption like Empresses dying more often that other main wives should not be so firmly assumed. In natural fact, just based on the sheer amount of Gentries recorded, it should be assumed that main wives of Rulers/Gentry died more often than Empresses.


How many none ruler wives died though? I'm not saying Empresses deaths were a rite of passage but they did happen, particularly near the end for Han

It is a good rule of thumb. Not every situation it may work for (I think we can all agree Zhong Yao's supernatural love life is an aberration :wink: ) but sure. For battles we can say spears, horses and so on were likely used in battles that aren't detailed, if pillaging was happening in recorded battles then it seems extremely unlikely it never happened in the ones where we have no or next to no details. We have essays that mention pillaging, swords and so on.

With wives, the same rules does apply. So I can agree there are more divorces (including female led ones), affairs and concubines then we will ever know about. We know about the 3kingdom and Han society makes bachelors extremely unlikely, they may have existed but one would assume wives unless specified otherwise becuase it is basic normality of the time.

If there were one or two "wives quietly killed" below the rulers, then yes I would go yep then such deaths would (one could debate the extent of how much it went on) be going on without us knowing. There aren't. It isn't something mentioned in any of the marriages we do have, it isn't written in any essay I'm aware of about Han or 3kingdoms family life. The others rely on "there are examples in the records so it makes sense that this would also happen in the unrecorded parts", this relies on no example but it happens anyway
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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby Sun Fin » Sun Dec 31, 2017 9:00 am

greencactaur wrote:
5. Ma Chao. Ma Chao is very very controversial in my opinion. I believe if he wasn't under Liu Bei he would be considered another Lu Bu. He betrayed his own father and abandoned his own family. Ma Chao's whole campaign on Cao Caao in my opinion was a complete failure. Under Zhang Lu he abandoned him, and joined Liu Bei. In my opinion Ma Chao is highly overrated. It is only because he joined Liu Bei that history tries to praise him , rather then patronize him.


As Dong said Cao Cao wanted war and was looking for an excuse to wage it. Ma Chao was between a rock and a hard place. Personally I think he did reasonably well against Cao Cao, won a few battles before losing the campaign. We never really see his ability during his time in Shu because he just babysat the Qiang. His reputation among the tribe meant he was worth more than an army in those regions, freeing up more troops for the Northern Campaign.
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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby Han » Sun Dec 31, 2017 1:33 pm

I agree. Which is why gentry didn't seem to murder their wives bar ruler (or set to become) level. Where you and I seem to disagree is I see ruler levels as Emperor in all but (important symbolic) name so killings happen but I don't see general gentry killing, you see rulers as not Emperor's (or even when Emperor's, it doesn't quite count if it is to kill to prevent Empress whereas for me it counts)


I guess we have no choice but to agree to disagree?

Personally, I felt that the position of Emperor and Empress is too different and important than that of usual gentries or even regents to make a proper comparison. Not just the religious importance but also the cultural significance.

How many none ruler wives died though? I'm not saying Empresses deaths were a rite of passage but they did happen, particularly near the end for Han

It is a good rule of thumb. Not every situation it may work for (I think we can all agree Zhong Yao's supernatural love life is an aberration :wink: ) but sure. For battles we can say spears, horses and so on were likely used in battles that aren't detailed, if pillaging was happening in recorded battles then it seems extremely unlikely it never happened in the ones where we have no or next to no details. We have essays that mention pillaging, swords and so on.

With wives, the same rules does apply. So I can agree there are more divorces (including female led ones), affairs and concubines then we will ever know about. We know about the 3kingdom and Han society makes bachelors extremely unlikely, they may have existed but one would assume wives unless specified otherwise becuase it is basic normality of the time.

If there were one or two "wives quietly killed" below the rulers, then yes I would go yep then such deaths would (one could debate the extent of how much it went on) be going on without us knowing. There aren't. It isn't something mentioned in any of the marriages we do have, it isn't written in any essay I'm aware of about Han or 3kingdoms family life. The others rely on "there are examples in the records so it makes sense that this would also happen in the unrecorded parts", this relies on no example but it happens anyway


I see what you are saying and understand your point.

Just to clarify, Im not saying murdering Empresses or Main Wives were common. If anything, Im saying the opposite. I just believe that just due to a the large and sheer amount of Gentries especially when in comparison to Emperors, the number of main wives killed by Gentries should be higher.

Ma Teng and Han Sui. Dong Zhuo and Yuan clan. GongSun Zan mass suicide. Liu Bei abandoning family. Cao Cao fleeing Dong Zhuo without Wives. Yuan Shao main wife killing concubines. Sima Yi wanting his Zhang ChunHua to die if not for his sons. Etc Etc. This shows that the Confucian gentries were not that different from other cultures of their time and share the main view that Male > Female. Just base on this reasons alone, its possible that Main Wives died by their Husbands hands but were not recorded.

After all, going but to my previous post:

There are only a few ways an Woman in history was going to be recorded was

1) Have a royal rank.

2) Achieve something great.
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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby Han » Sun Dec 31, 2017 3:10 pm

Another question: When Guan Yu advanced north, did he defeat anybody?

Furthermore, the Zztj and SGZ paints it as:

Guan Yu advanced - Flood happens - Yu Jin surrenders.

So other questions would be:

1. Did fighting between Guan Yu and Yu Jin take place before or after the flood?

2. Did Yu Jin and later Pang De troops surrender or were they massacred/ revolt.

Also, Cao Wei had the Five Elite Generals and Shu Han had the Five Tiger Generals, what about Sun Wu?
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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby Sun Fin » Sun Dec 31, 2017 3:25 pm

Officially those titles didn't exist in history. Luo Guanzhong seems to have invented the name 'The Five Tiger Generals' for RoTK. However his basis for the grouping is the officers listed in Shu's chapter 6 of the SGZ.

Wei's five generals are also based off of a grouping in Wei's SGZ.

Whereas in Wu the closest to this is the chapter that contains all of: Cheng Pu, Huang Gai, Han Dang, Jiang Qin, Zhou Qin, Chen Wu, Dong Xi, Gan Ning, Ling Tong, Xu Sheng, Pan Zhang, Ding Feng and Zhu Huan.

Clearly an inadequate job as there is no Taishi Ci, the best of the Wu generals in my opinion. :lol:

Over the years there have been many debates on who should have been included in Wu's Five Generals though.
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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby Han » Sun Dec 31, 2017 5:54 pm

Oh I knew about the Five Tiger Generals fiction thing.

Anyway, it seems you are correct.

According to this:

http://xuesanguo.tumblr.com/wu

54/55/56/60/64 can all be equivalent to the Five Tigers and Five Elites with 55 being the closest.
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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Mon Jan 01, 2018 1:47 pm

Fair enough Han on the wives

On the Fan question

Pang De's sgz says he shot Guan Yu with an arrow so I assume there were skirmishes before the flood. When the flood happens, Yu Jin's mentions "they were unable to prevail" which suggests there was an initial attempt to fight off Guan Yu's follow up attack. Several SGZ's used terms like "Yu Jin's seven armies were destroyed" but Pang De's sgz says the main armies surrendered, ZZTJ says surrendered and that one seems to be the general consensus. Pang De's men were forced to fight to the penultimate man, Pang De executing those who suggested they surrender as well, then when it got to last man (Pang De himself) he tried to flee.
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