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

Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 8:49 pm
by waywardauthor
Sun Fin wrote:
DragonAtma wrote:It varied from court to court; IIRC Cao Cao and Sun Quan were pure legalist, while Liu Bei was "Confucian in appearance but Legalist in substance".


I've heard the term 'legalism' tossed about a lot, largely in reference to Zhuge Liang, over the years I've been a member and I would say I've got a basic understanding of what it means in this context. However is there a text that gives a more detailed explanation of it or was it never as an organised philosophy as Confucianism?

Han Feizi and Lord Shang are chief champions of legalism, while Guanzi had some legalist elements before legalism was a thing.

The short answer to this is that legalism believes in the supreme rule of law and is inherently materialistic. It is often pragmatic, lends itself well to violence, and believes completely in (their idea of) meritocracy. Your value and existence is equal to the service you can do to the state. Draconian Laws are fine, so long as they work and are put against those whose value is more disposable. Of course, some of this belongs to how Confucian Critics viewed the philosophy.

As for how well known it is, it is perhaps the third best known school to emerge from the warring states behind Confucianism and Daoism, so there is plenty of information out there, just most of it will be in Chinese.

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

Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:16 pm
by Han
ValHellen wrote:Thank you for the answers, Dong Zhou.

Information on Shu officers are surprisingly very scarce in spite of the faction's folk popularity. I learned that Zhuge Liang banned historians from Shu's court, but a quick google search gave me someone saying that Zhuge Liang didn't ban the position as much as he never established any formal history bureau. Which one is correct? Any reason why Zhuge Liang didn't put much emphasis on records? You'd have thought with the amount of propagandas put out by the likes of Mi Zhu and Sun Qian Zhuge Liang'd have at least "manufactured" records of Shu. Why the silence?


Zhuge Liang never ban historians. He just never set up a history department like their rivals Cao-Wei and Sun-Wu. As a result, the histories of Shu-Han were a mess at least compared to their rivals.

And blaming Zhuge Liang for the poor state of Shu-Han history is flat out stupid.

Liu Shan and his other ministers could always start up a history department if they so wish to. Its just that they never officially did so.

Regardless, Shu-Han had historians. Just not official ones.

For why they never emphasis on record of the histories, we dont really know...

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

Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 2:01 am
by ValHellen
Han wrote:Zhuge Liang never ban historians. He just never set up a history department like their rivals Cao-Wei and Sun-Wu. As a result, the histories of Shu-Han were a mess at least compared to their rivals.

And blaming Zhuge Liang for the poor state of Shu-Han history is flat out stupid.

Liu Shan and his other ministers could always start up a history department if they so wish to. Its just that they never officially did so.

Regardless, Shu-Han had historians. Just not official ones.

For why they never emphasis on record of the histories, we dont really know...

Blaming is a strong word. I only discovered what Zhuge Liang may or may not have done and stated what I discovered. I did not care to blame or not to blame him for anything on this.

That and, I'd have already guessed that the scarcity of information for Shu was due to something far more complicated than "It's all Kongming's fault! >:O" even if I don't know exactly what. At the very least I'm aware enough that reality is often far more complex than whatever we'd think.

My question is pointed more on why there was silence to begin with, whether it'd be from Zhuge Liang or from Liu Shan and other officials. It may just seem like it'd be one of those eternal mysteries of the Three Kingdoms.

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

Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 4:04 am
by Han
Right. Apologies.

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

Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 6:50 am
by Han
I found the source on when and why Cheng Yu praised Guan Yu and Zhang Fei:
"Tàizǔ campaigned in Jīngzhōu [208], and Liú Bèi fled to Wú. Commentators believed Sūn Quán would certainly kill Bèi, but Yù predicted: “Sūn Quán is newly come to power, and is not yet feared Within the Seas. Lord Cáo has no match in the world Under Heaven. When he first raised up against Jīngzhōu, his authority shook beyond the Jiāng, and though [Sūn] Quán had planning ability, he cannot oppose us alone. Liú Bèi has heroic reputation, and Guān Yǔ and Zhāng Fēi are both a match for ten thousand enemies. [Sūn] Quán will certainly use them to oppose us. As his difficulty has been resolved, Liú Bèi is saved and cannot be taken and killed.” [Sūn] Quán indeed gave [Liú] Bèi troops to resist Tàizǔ."

Source: http://xuesanguo.tumblr.com/post/147780583978/141-chéng-yù-程昱-zhòngdé-仲徳

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

Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 10:31 am
by Dong Zhou
Thanks Han for finding that, was helpful learning the context.

ValHellen wrote:Thank you for the answers, Dong Zhou.

Information on Shu officers are surprisingly very scarce in spite of the faction's folk popularity. I learned that Zhuge Liang banned historians from Shu's court, but a quick google search gave me someone saying that Zhuge Liang didn't ban the position as much as he never established any formal history bureau. Which one is correct? Any reason why Zhuge Liang didn't put much emphasis on records? You'd have thought with the amount of propagandas put out by the likes of Mi Zhu and Sun Qian Zhuge Liang'd have at least "manufactured" records of Shu. Why the silence?


Mi Zhu and Sun Qian put out propaganda? One was a merchant and the other a sometimes diplomat.

Yeah Zhuge Liang banned histories is a common myth (that or he wrote the Shu sections of the SGZ) so the second (more or less): Chen Shou bemoaned a lack of history office but given he served in it Chen Shou was exaggerating a tad. However it was clear Shu's record system was awful

As for why Shu didn't have a proper one? Possibly that when Liu Bei set up a local hstory project the infighting was so bad that Liu Bei put on a play mocking the scholars so that may have put the likes of Liang off trying another project. History departments is also the sort of thing that gets dropped/sidelined when resources and officer core is limited, it is something courts mean to do but is a low priority.

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

Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 12:06 pm
by Han
Liu Bei put on a play mocking the scholars


Source?

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

Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 1:18 pm
by ValHellen
Han wrote:Right. Apologies.

:D No hard feelings. I'm just glad we could clear that up.

Dong Zhou wrote:Mi Zhu and Sun Qian put out propaganda? One was a merchant and the other a sometimes diplomat.

Yeah Zhuge Liang banned histories is a common myth (that or he wrote the Shu sections of the SGZ) so the second (more or less): Chen Shou bemoaned a lack of history office but given he served in it Chen Shou was exaggerating a tad. However it was clear Shu's record system was awful

As for why Shu didn't have a proper one? Possibly that when Liu Bei set up a local hstory project the infighting was so bad that Liu Bei put on a play mocking the scholars so that may have put the likes of Liang off trying another project. History departments is also the sort of thing that gets dropped/sidelined when resources and officer core is limited, it is something courts mean to do but is a low priority.

Maybe that's why I shouldn't trust Wikipedia so fast. I read there that Mi Zhu, Sun Qian, Jian Yong and Yi Ji wrote essays that supported Liu Bei's government as Confucian, which went popular with the masses and propped his popularity. Did that not happen?

At any rate this seems the best explanation for the scarcity.

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

Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 6:29 pm
by Sun Fin
waywardauthor wrote:Han Feizi and Lord Shang are chief champions of legalism, while Guanzi had some legalist elements before legalism was a thing.

The short answer to this is that legalism believes in the supreme rule of law and is inherently materialistic. It is often pragmatic, lends itself well to violence, and believes completely in (their idea of) meritocracy. Your value and existence is equal to the service you can do to the state. Draconian Laws are fine, so long as they work and are put against those whose value is more disposable. Of course, some of this belongs to how Confucian Critics viewed the philosophy.

As for how well known it is, it is perhaps the third best known school to emerge from the warring states behind Confucianism and Daoism, so there is plenty of information out there, just most of it will be in Chinese.


Thanks for the answer Wayward! As far as you're aware has anyone translated any of Han Feizi or Lord Shangs work?

On an unrelated note I'm finding myself puzzled by Liu Bei/Tao Qian's place in the Yuan brothers web of alliances.

Initially of course you have Yuan Shao, Cao Cao, Liu Biao on one side. On the other is Yuan Shu and Gongsun Zan. Tian Kai (a subordinate of Gongsun Zan) then sends men to assist Tao Qian when the Xu Province is attacked by Cao Cao's army. Yet soon after Yuan Shu attacks the now Lord Liu Bei. Was the Xu province really independent of both factions and Kai assisted merely to spite Cao Cao (Yuan Shao) or was Tao Qian originally part of their alliance and then something changed? If so what?

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

Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 9:59 pm
by DragonAtma
Yuan Shu got greedy.
"Next, an officer of Yuan Shu’s named Wu Jing took over Danyang commandery. The ambitious Yuan Shu then followed up this success by declaring himself King of Xu, thus making himself a formal adversary of Tao Qian, who reigned over that region (Xu)." -- KMA's Yuan Shu comprehensive biography

But seriously, it's Yuan Shu; he managed to fight almost everyone in eastern china (off the top of my head there's Eunuchs, Dong Zhuo, Yuan Shao, Cao Cao, Liu Biao, Liu Chong, Liu Bei, Sun Ce, and Liu Yao), so his disputes with Tao Qian are only natural.