Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

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

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Tue Jan 22, 2019 12:56 pm

well, perhaps how poor it is make him bemoaned, i know that Chen Shou do serve as historian but he wasn't around during the rise of Shu, so your statement of Shu's records were poorly written are true.

Edit - i think to give a more plausible explanation, that Chen Shou was around when most of people from Liu Bei's day were either dead or too old to remember such detail, or just unreliable source (since its only from their point of view). And what he can get is either from hearsay, folklore/song (idk what to call those children song thing). werent Chen Shou start writing those SGZ after the fall of Shu?


Yes Chen Shou was making a point about the poor records by use of exaggeration, problem is people take it to be actually true that Shu had no history department.

Chen Shou's sources were the records of each kingdom which, in Shu's case, would have been created by his predecessors and himself during his time in that department, he compiled and edited those records, he didn't tend to (though usually clear when he does add his own commentary) add to it with folklore or tales from those of his time. He did that work after Shu's fall as a private project I believe
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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby PyroMystic » Wed Jan 23, 2019 12:32 pm

Hello! May I ask a few questions?

1. Yuan Shu, as far as I know, used to be a good friend of Lu Kang the elder (Lu Xun's granduncle, not his son). This is proven by the orange incident which makes Lu Ji (Lu Kang's son) one of the 24 pillars of filial piety. So here Yuan Shu invited Lu Kang and apparently they seem to be in a good term. But then Yuan Shu ordered Sun Ce to attack Lu Kang. So my question is:
a. Is it true that Yuan Shu ordered Sun Ce to attack Lu Kang? I have also read somewhere that Sun Ce hated Lu Kang for looking down on him so it might be very well the case that Sun Ce was the one who initiated this attack.
b. Suppose it is true that Yuan Shu indeed was the one who ordered the attack, why did Yuan Shu do this to his old-time friend? Some said it is because Lu Kang opposes Yuan Shu's attempt to be emperor. Is this true? But virtually EVERYONE would oppose Yuan Shu if this is the case. And yet, Yuan Shu only paid attention at Lu Kang.
c. Also, if Yuan Shu really did attempted to be emperor, then wasn't there any sort of alliance against him? I mean, we have Dong Zhuo who didn't go as far as claiming himself emperor but everyone was trying to kill him. Then there was Cao Cao who didn't even want to be emperor, but Wu and Shu were so eager to defeat him. So why did everyone ignores Yuan Shu's treachery now?

2. The next question is about Lu Xun and Cao Xiu. And no, I am not talking about Battle of Shiting.
The annotation on Lu Xun's bio read as such:
Lu Xun’s grandfather, Lu Yu (陸紆), had the style name of Shupen (叔盆). He was a virtuous man, quick in wits, and served as a Colonel of the City Gates. Lu Xun’s father, Lu Jun (陸駿), who had the style name of Jicai (季才), was magnanimous and trustworthy, greatly loved by the different families in the clan. The highest rank he held was Chief Commandant of Jiujiang (九江).
However, Wikipedia article says that,
He was born in a family of high social status in Wu County, Wu Commandery
As for Cao Xiu, it is said that,
Cao Xiu’s grandfather had once been the Grand Administrator of Wu Commandary.
Also,
His father died, and he carried the coffin personally to the burial site, with just one servant to help him. After that, he took his elderly mother and crossed the Yangtze River into the Wu lands

Please bear in mind that Cao Xiu was born in 178 (according to KMA) while Lu Xun 183.
My question would be:
a. How could Lu Xun be born in Wu Commandery when his father was still in office in Jiujiang? I have checked a map and, if the map is accurate, then Jiujiang is actually very far away from Wu Commandery. To reach Wu Commandery, one must pass Lujiang first. Is my map wrong? Or is any of these information wrong? (As for me, I always thought that Lu Xun's father was the Chief Commandant of Wu Commandery. Turns out he is Chief Commandant of Jiujiang)
b. So Lu Xun was born in Wu commandery but his father was the Chief Commandant of Jiujiang. Prior to his father's death, where did Lu Xun live during that time? In Jiujiang r Wu Commandery?
c. What shocked me was that it turns out Cao Xiu's grandfather is the Grand Administrator of Wu Commandary. Now it is said that Cao Xiu lived there until the coalition against Dong Zhuo. Since the coalition was formed in 190, and since Cao Xiu was born in 178, then that means Cao Xiu was 12 when he joined Cao Cao. But is this true? I know Cao Xiu was a great warrior but being 12 during the first battle seems to be somewhat impossible.
d. If Cao Xiu's grandfather is the Grand Administrator of Wu Commandary, how could it be the case that Wu Commandery is the Lu's family homebase (because that's where Lu Kang sent Lu Xun and his family to when Lujiang was sieged)?
e. Lastly, do you think there is a possibility that Cao Xiu met Lu Xun during his time in Wu Commandery (assuming that Lu Xun was not just born there but lived there for some times)?

3. The exact number of Shu troops participated in the battle of Yi Ling is unknown, I think. Some claim it is 40,000, but some say it's just the vanguard. I personally think it is about 60,000-80,000? (Someone here claim it's about 100,000 but we cannot say for sure). But 60,000-80,000 is not a huge number. Also, Liu Bei lost some generals, but they were not some renowned generals. So why some claim that Liu Bei's defeat was so devastating they (both Shu and Wu) lost ALL chance to defeat Wei?
(Now I do not mean to bash anyone here, but ironically, the people who downplay Lu Xun's achievement in Yi Ling by claiming that the number of Shu troops were not that big and the generals are not so great are the same people who blames Wu for the battle of Yi Ling saying that the defeat were so great and Wu effectively destroyed any chance of them ever defeating Cao Cao. So which one is true? Is Wu's victory at Yi Ling that impressive (to the point of crippling Shu forever) or it is not (because the loss Shu suffered was not that great)?)

4. Lastly, this does not meant to bash any person but here's an honest question: What did Pang Tong actually do? I read KMA and here's what it says,
Pang Tong did not historically falsely defect to Cao Cao‘s forces, invent the ‘chaining of the ships’ idea that weakened Cao Cao’s navy at the battle of Chibi or come up with the idea to burn Cao Cao’s armada.
Pang Tong governed Leiyang poorly because he was bad at administrative duty. He did not remedy the problem, as the novel implies, after failing in his job.
Pang Tong did not historically advise Liu Bei to assassinate Liu Zhang, or incite Wei Yan to kill Liu Zhang at a banquet.
So what Pang Tong did was to advice Liu Bei on how to capture Yizhou. But I personally think that Fa Zheng could help him for this (after his defection, of course). I did not read Pang Tong's SGZ, so could someone please give me a short summary on what Pang Tong do AFTER THE BATTLE OF CHIBI? I'm not asking about his achievement prior to this battle. Also, could someone please tell me why Pang Tong gained so much recognition and known as "Young Phoenix"? Is this novel-only or historical? Did he really deserve all the fame and love? Also, why did Lu Su think highly of him?

Phew, that was really long. I'm sorry for asking so much :oops: Would be grateful to anyone who takes time to read and answer them. Thank you!
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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Wed Jan 23, 2019 2:33 pm

Of course you can, hope this helps

1) Yuan Shu ordered the attack becuase Lu Kang denied him supplies, this was way before Yuan Shu became Emperor. I'm not sure Lu Kang and Yuan Shu were ever friends, Yuan Shu may simply have invited the families of the major families in the region to build support.

The attack was around 194, Yuan Shu becoming Emperor was 197. When Yuan Shu made that move, he was attacked by alliance of Cao Cao, Sun Ce and Lu Bu (I might be missing someone?)

2) As I understand it, birth places were less where actually born and more the family's traditional area. Lu Jun likely wasn't at Jiujiang, it was a post being claimed by Lu Kang but not under his control and would have been within his uncle Kang's area. I know families could be sent away and Kang sent family away before siege to Wu which would suggest they were at Lujiang

I'm not sure where the 178 comes from in encyclopaedia, that may not be accurate. In terms of Wu could be home-base if Cao Xiu's family was there, could be plenty of gentry families in same area. In terms of meeting, I suspect unlikely as Lu Xun probably sent to Wu after Cao Xiu had left.

3) Records say 40,000 and De Crespigny argues that it was exaggerated.

The generals talents are unknown to us (poor records+their first noted camapign) but they were picked by Liu Bei, their deaths meant a considerable part of Shu's next wave of talent was killed of and in Huang Qan's case, surrendered to Wei. It is seen as devastating for Shu becuase of that generation loss they couldn't afford, it confirmed they would only have one province and Hanzhong to fight with, their momentum was dead. Liu Bei's death soon after robbing Shu of arguably their best commander isn't connected but it adds to the feel.

The argument that both Wu and Shu were doomed by Yiling is more doomed by the events of 219. That it was the weakpoint of Wei with Cao Cao in a panic and elderly, Shu having momentum, that the allies still had some trust and if they pushed a coordinated attack, Wei might have been in trouble. That Shu and Wu never trusted each other as well afterwards, that such opportunities never turned up again.

Some don't find Lu Xun's performance that impressive due to being on defensive and handling of his men. They can still saythe result was devastating

4) Pang Tong accompanied Zhou Yu's body return to Wu, made lots of friends in Wu, got sacked by Liu Bei then reappointed into inner councils, urged invasion of Yi, urged Liu Zhang be seized at upcoming meeting, gave Liu Bei three plans for taking Yi, rebuked Liu Bei for celebrating too much during conquest, died.

Pang Tong was seen by those who knew him as a very intelligent man, he was good at building relations. Nickname came from talent spotter and uncle Páng Dégōng. His reputation is based on the clear respect he gained from those who knew him and his plans, including ability to produce three camapign plans. There is the sense that the conquest of Yi slowed down with his death and "what might have been"
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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby PyroMystic » Wed Jan 23, 2019 3:21 pm

Hello! Thank you so much, Dong Zhou! Mind if I have some follow up question?
Dong Zhou wrote:Of course you can, hope this helps

1) Yuan Shu ordered the attack becuase Lu Kang denied him supplies, this was way before Yuan Shu became Emperor. I'm not sure Lu Kang and Yuan Shu were ever friends, Yuan Shu may simply have invited the families of the major families in the region to build support.

The attack was around 194, Yuan Shu becoming Emperor was 197. When Yuan Shu made that move, he was attacked by alliance of Cao Cao, Sun Ce and Lu Bu (I might be missing someone?)
I see. But this means that Lu Kang was against Yuan Shu being emperor is not true? Considering that Lu Kang died in 195 and Yuan Shu became emperor in 197?

As for Yuan Shu, is this coalition between Cao Cao, Sun Ce, and Lu Bu as big as the coalition against Dong Zhuo? If it wasn't the question would be why? Dong Zhuo's offense was, I think, not relatively as grave as Yuan Shu. I mean, Yuan Shu was declaring himself emperor and Dong Zhuo simply became an equivalent of prime minister. Why the opposition against Dong Zhuo seems to be greater than that against Yuan Shu?

2) As I understand it, birth places were less where actually born and more the family's traditional area. Lu Jun likely wasn't at Jiujiang, it was a post being claimed by Lu Kang but not under his control and would have been within his uncle Kang's area. I know families could be sent away and Kang sent family away before siege to Wu which would suggest they were at Lujiang

I'm not sure where the 178 comes from in encyclopaedia, that may not be accurate. In terms of Wu could be home-base if Cao Xiu's family was there, could be plenty of gentry families in same area. In terms of meeting, I suspect unlikely as Lu Xun probably sent to Wu after Cao Xiu had left.
But wouldn't this make it even complicated? I mean, Lu Kang had control over Jiujiang and Lujiang at the same time. Okay, this is possible. But somehow it is Wujun that is the home-base of Lu families?

Oh, and I've just found something even weirder. So when Sun Ce was trying to gain land from himself, he took Wujun from Liu Yao in 195. One or two year prior to this attack, Lu Kang sent Lu Xun and his family to Wujun (so yeah, he was sent after Cao Xiu had left). So Wujun was under the jurisdiction of Liu Yao but it was the home-base of the Lu's?

Here's what I think: Could it be the case that there are somehow two Wujun? The first Wujun was the one where Cao Xiu's grandfather served as well as being under Liu Yao's control during Sun Ce's conquest. The other Wujun was within Lujiang (or Jiujiang) and thus being under complete control of the Lu's. Because there were so much that took place in Wujun that the information doesn't match.

Also, what is gentry familes? I often heard this but do not know what this means :oops:

Also another stupider question: If Cao Xiu is in the Wu territory, why did he join Cao Cao? I know that he's Cao Cao's nephew but I think that alone is, I think, not suffice to be a good reason (after all, Zhuge Jin and Zhuge Liang served two different lords and they were okay with it).

3) Records say 40,000 and De Crespigny argues that it was exaggerated.

The generals talents are unknown to us (poor records+their first noted camapign) but they were picked by Liu Bei, their deaths meant a considerable part of Shu's next wave of talent was killed of and in Huang Qan's case, surrendered to Wei. It is seen as devastating for Shu becuase of that generation loss they couldn't afford, it confirmed they would only have one province and Hanzhong to fight with, their momentum was dead. Liu Bei's death soon after robbing Shu of arguably their best commander isn't connected but it adds to the feel.

The argument that both Wu and Shu were doomed by Yiling is more doomed by the events of 219. That it was the weakpoint of Wei with Cao Cao in a panic and elderly, Shu having momentum, that the allies still had some trust and if they pushed a coordinated attack, Wei might have been in trouble. That Shu and Wu never trusted each other as well afterwards, that such opportunities never turned up again.

Some don't find Lu Xun's performance that impressive due to being on defensive and handling of his men. They can still saythe result was devastating

So you're saying that the defeat in Yi Ling is devastating in a long term and in a big picture but it wasn't a big deal in a short-term? But then why did it, I think, causes Liu Bei's death?
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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby Sun Fin » Thu Jan 24, 2019 1:23 pm

PyroMystic wrote:I see. But this means that Lu Kang was against Yuan Shu being emperor is not true? Considering that Lu Kang died in 195 and Yuan Shu became emperor in 197?


It’s not true, but might be based on a kernel of truth. I’ve read before that Lu Kang resisted Yuan Shu’s expansion, refusing to submit to his authority. Yuan Shu had been a fairly aggressive warlord before declaring himself Emperor.

PyroMystic wrote:As for Yuan Shu, is this coalition between Cao Cao, Sun Ce, and Lu Bu as big as the coalition against Dong Zhuo? If it wasn't the question would be why? Dong Zhuo's offense was, I think, not relatively as grave as Yuan Shu. I mean, Yuan Shu was declaring himself emperor and Dong Zhuo simply became an equivalent of prime minister. Why the opposition against Dong Zhuo seems to be greater than that against Yuan Shu?


A matter of timing. By the time Yuan Shu declared himself Emperor the country was embroiled in lots of little wars. Many warlords didn’t have the resources to go to war for the Han’s honour. Whereas Dong Zhuo’s offense kick started the whole era.

PyroMystic wrote:Oh, and I've just found something even weirder. So when Sun Ce was trying to gain land from himself, he took Wujun from Liu Yao in 195. One or two year prior to this attack, Lu Kang sent Lu Xun and his family to Wujun (so yeah, he was sent after Cao Xiu had left). So Wujun was under the jurisdiction of Liu Yao but it was the home-base of the Lu's?

Here's what I think: Could it be the case that there are somehow two Wujun? The first Wujun was the one where Cao Xiu's grandfather served as well as being under Liu Yao's control during Sun Ce's conquest. The other Wujun was within Lujiang (or Jiujiang) and thus being under complete control of the Lu's. Because there were so much that took place in Wujun that the information doesn't match.


I believe that the reason Sun Ce and Lu Xun met was because Xun was in Wujun when Ce conquered it. So, no I don’t think there are two.

PyroMystic wrote:Also, what is gentry familes? I often heard this but do not know what this means :oops:


Not a stupid question at all, gentry is a slang term for gentleman. So in Han terms the nobility.
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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Thu Jan 24, 2019 4:52 pm

Because this will help some of the questions: Sun Fin is right, the gentry are the nobility/the upper class/the rich land owners. The elite. Some families were national level elite like the Yuan's, some regional, some more local. They had the lands, the connections, the wealth (usually), the manpower, the free-time and wealth to be scholars, power of patronage and connections. They were a powerful political faction locally and nationally, usually conservative and Confucian, tended to protect their own interests and ideology.

The Han usually ensured their officers, like grand administrators, were not part of the locals, to try to give outside authority. Relations between ruler or the local officials with the gentry depending on situation, power balance and people involved. So while Cao Xiu's ancestor may have been the offical in charge of Wu but that would only have been for a spell, the Lu family would have been a power there for generations. Never formally in charge but powerful figures who Xiu's ancestor would have had to have been aware of

====

I see. But this means that Lu Kang was against Yuan Shu being emperor is not true? Considering that Lu Kang died in 195 and Yuan Shu became emperor in 197?

As for Yuan Shu, is this coalition between Cao Cao, Sun Ce, and Lu Bu as big as the coalition against Dong Zhuo? If it wasn't the question would be why? Dong Zhuo's offense was, I think, not relatively as grave as Yuan Shu. I mean, Yuan Shu was declaring himself emperor and Dong Zhuo simply became an equivalent of prime minister. Why the opposition against Dong Zhuo seems to be greater than that against Yuan Shu?


There can be a tendency to "Yuan Shu wished to become Emperor so everything he did was with that in mind"

To add to what Sun Fin said, state of war, more of the warlords had no threats, it was easy to form a sort of unified alliance with those they knew from capital. Also Dong Zhuo was a huge threat, he had the imperial army, his own army, considerable miliatry expirence. He could easily destroy them if they fell out amongst themselves, it was mutual interest. Yuan Shu's declaration was when foes like Yuan Shao and Liu Biao were busy elsewhere and couldn't come in, those that could had enough breathing space and saw opportunity to weaken a major rival

ut wouldn't this make it even complicated? I mean, Lu Kang had control over Jiujiang and Lujiang at the same time. Okay, this is possible. But somehow it is Wujun that is the home-base of Lu families?

Also another stupider question: If Cao Xiu is in the Wu territory, why did he join Cao Cao? I know that he's Cao Cao's nephew but I think that alone is, I think, not suffice to be a good reason (after all, Zhuge Jin and Zhuge Liang served two different lords and they were okay with it).


He didn't have control, he claimed it. It was a show of ambition and intent

Relations. Who is more likely to treat you well? A relative who would be impressed by you coming all that way or the local warlord? Families tended to serve same warlord

So you're saying that the defeat in Yi Ling is devastating in a long term and in a big picture but it wasn't a big deal in a short-term? But then why did it, I think, causes Liu Bei's death?


A wipe out of an army and all it represented still hurt Shu badly short term. Liu Bei seems to have had something wrong in his stomach that was killing him.
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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby ValHellen » Wed Jan 30, 2019 11:14 am

How seriously can we take the Zhao Yun Biezhuan?

It's been bothering me how many people disparage Zhao Yun for being "overrated", going so far as to say he was really a nobody, but I do realize most of his better feats came from the Biezhuan.

Depending on how acceptable the Biezhuan is, Zhao Yun's worth'd vary, I'd think. I personally don't really agree to call him a nobody regardless of Biezhuan's authenticity. I doubt Chen Shou had any agenda when he indirectly called him one of Shu's most famed general when he commented on Chen Dao, but he still called Zilong that. You don't get called most famed for no reason.

But what's kongming.net's opinion on Zhao Yun?
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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Wed Jan 30, 2019 1:37 pm

I accept it becuase professional historians seem to but I suspect they do that becuase it provides much needed fleshing out of Lady Sun and Zhao Yun without contradicting other sources. Those that reject it as not backed up by anything and unclear ownership do have a fair case for going no so people are split
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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby Elitemsh » Wed Jan 30, 2019 6:39 pm

Dont agree with the above. I’ve never heard a fair argument for disregarding or disbelieving that text. The only people who do are ones who want a excuse to hold onto a negative opinion. They start discrediting the source when they can’t argue effectively any more. Chen Shou used local biographies when he compiled his work. He didn’t list the names of these so I don’t see the difference.
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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby greencactaur » Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:27 pm

Dumb question whats the Biezhuan? I assume some sort of historical record?
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