Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

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

Unread postby Sun Fin » Fri Dec 16, 2016 2:16 pm

I’ve recently bought Medieval Chinese Warfare, 300-900 by David A. Graff on the recommendation of Aaron K. Considering that the Later Han/Three Kingdom is before the period he professes to cover it has a lot to offer on the era. I would certainly recommend it for people who are interested in military history. However it has raised a few questions for me.

Medieval Chinese Warfare, 300-900 p.30 wrote: ‘A standing army of approximately 40,000 men, drawn originally from the followers of Emperor Guangwu in the civil war that had brought him to power, was stationed at the capital and several other strategic points in North China. Members of this force were long-services recruits rather than short-term peasant conscripts.’


Was the standing army still about 40,000 people by the time of the Yellow Turban rebellion? Was it mainly the standing army that was used to put down the rebellion? I’m presuming that the forces commanded by Huangfu Song and Zhu Jun at least were made up from those troops?
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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby capnnerefir » Fri Dec 16, 2016 6:06 pm

Sun Fin wrote:Was the standing army still about 40,000 people by the time of the Yellow Turban rebellion? Was it mainly the standing army that was used to put down the rebellion? I’m presuming that the forces commanded by Huangfu Song and Zhu Jun at least were made up from those troops?


By 184, the standing army was smaller. In his Later Han Military Organisation, de Crespigny writes:

The men of the Northern Army were professional, skilled soldiers, who could be sent to any point of danger or disturbance as stiffening to forces recruited locally. The numbers were not great: each regiment had an official complement of some 700 men with between 60 and 120 junior officers.


So that's less than 4,000 men. Even if you included every soldier at the local garrisons around the empire, I doubt the total number of professional soldiers approached 40,000.

Han didn't rely much on its standing army. Rebellions were usually small, local affairs that didn't spread beyond one commandery, so local recruits reinforced by a few professionals were usually enough to deal with them. The Yellow Turban Rebellion was an exception, obviously.
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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby ivolga » Fri Dec 16, 2016 9:48 pm

In "A Biographical Dictionary of Later Han to the Three Kingdoms" the entry about Cao Cao mentions not only his childhood name (Aman) and courtesy name (Mengde), but also his "alternative personal name" - Jili (吉利).

I'd like to know, what an alternative personal name is, how common were such names, and why did Cao Cao have it?
Also does having this name means that Cao Cao could be called not "Cao Cao", but "Cao Jili" instead? Was he ever referred somewhere as "Cao Jili"?
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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby capnnerefir » Sat Dec 17, 2016 7:42 am

It's likely that neither of those names actually belonged to him. Rafe de Crespigny discusses it in Imperial Warlord.

Cao Song was around twenty-five when his formal wife the Lady Ding gave birth to their first son. The child was given the personal name of Cao, and the official style or intimate personal name of Mengde “Great Virtue.” The character cao sounded in the level tone indicates the verb “to grasp” or “to manage;” in the oblique, falling tone, it is understood as “that which is held on to,” or “principle.” In Han times there was usually a correlation between the meaning of the ming and of the zi, and Cao Cao’s personal name thus indicates that he should hold firmly to that which is right. Cao Man zhuan, however, claims that he was known in his childhood as A’man “Little Trickster,” and also that he had a second personal name, Jili “Fortunate and Profitable;” the term li was specifically condemned by Mencius; but Cao Man zhuan is known as a hostile source, not always reliable, and the name Jili appears in no other text.


So, both names are insulting (A'man actively so, Jili inappropriate) and come from an antagonistic and unreliable source. A'man might be mentioned elsewhere, but de Crespigny is certain that Jili is exclusive to the Cao Man Zhuan.
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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby ivolga » Sat Dec 17, 2016 6:18 pm

capnnerefir wrote:It's likely that neither of those names actually belonged to him. Rafe de Crespigny discusses it in Imperial Warlord.So, both names are insulting (A'man actively so, Jili inappropriate) and come from an antagonistic and unreliable source. A'man might be mentioned elsewhere, but de Crespigny is certain that Jili is exclusive to the Cao Man Zhuan.


Thanks! This alternative name puzzled me, since it was the first time I've seen it.
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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby plunged » Sun Dec 18, 2016 9:51 am

DragonAtma wrote:Yong Kai led the force, not Meng Huo. To make this explanation clear, let me point out that Yizhou Commandery is one of the dozen-ish commanderies of Yizhou province (just as New York City is physically a small part of New York State -- although NYC area has over half the state's population, while Yizhou Commandery only has a small part of Yizhou Province's population).

In 215 Liu Bei took over Yizhou province from Liu Zhang. Either Yong Kai refused to accept Liu Bei as the leader of Yizhou, or he accepted Liu Bei but rebelled a few months later. In any case, 215 also had a territorial dispute with Wu (over whether Nanjun was a gift or a loan), and Cao Cao took over Hanzhong from Zhang Lu. Both were more important than the ruler of distant Yizhou Commandery.

In 218, Gaoding rebelled, killing general Jiao Huang (who, to my knowledge, was not known for anything other than getting killed by Gaoding); the famous Li Yan (Administrator of Jianwei at the time) defeated him.

In 220, Zhang Yi [Junsi] was put in charge of Yizhou Commandery to settle things. But by then Yong Kai had been building a power base in southern Yizhou province -- so there may well have been rivaled power bases there. Again, Liu Bei was too busy dealing with Guan Yu's last days and the aftermath to directly deal with Yong Kai.

In 223, Liu Bei died. Around that time, Yong Kai defeated and captured Zhang Yi Junsi; he was sent off to Wu as a sign of allegiance. In return, Sun Quan recognized him as grand administrator of Yongchang. But Shu loyalists Lu Kai and Wang Kang refused to let Yong Kai enter, so he had to return to Yizhou commandery. So he sent Meng Huo to recruit support form others. Zhu Bao (grand administrator of Zangke commandery) and the above Gaoding joined him, bringing much of Yuexi commandery.

In 225, Zhuge Liang went south to put down Yong Kai's force. He would take the western route (Yuexi), Li Hui the central route (southern Jianwei), and Ma Zhong (not the Ma Zhong serving Wu, but Ma Zhong [Dexin]) would take the eastern route (Zangke). As for Yong Kai's force, they planned to draw Zhuge Liang into the south and cut him off from northern Yizhou province,

Zhuge Liang's plan
Image


Shortly after Zhuge Liang's invasion, some of Gaoding's followers murdered Yong Kai. Meng Huo was picked as the force's new leader. But what of the three Shu armies?

(1) Zhuge Liang had no problem defeating Gaodong's army; Gaoding was captured and executed.
(2) Around the same time, Ma Zhong Dexin defeated Zhu Bao. They do not say whether ZHu Bao survived, nor are there any records for him afterwards, so I would not be surprised if he died in battle.
(3) Li Hui had a harder time than the other two; he was besieged by larger numbers, so he faked a surrender. His opponents let down their guard, and Li Hui crushed them in battle, then met up with Ma Zhong Dexin to the east.

By now, Meng Huo was the only remaining southern leader. He was respected by both the chinese and the non-chinese, so Zhuge Liang wanted his submission, not his death. While the historical work claims he was defeated seven times, I find that unlikely for two reasons:

(1) They give no details on the battles.
(2) They have details on when Zhuge Liang left from and returned to Chengdu down to the month. If you include travel time (about 500 miles, plus they have to set up camps, cooks, etc. every day) that only leaves about a month for seven battles with Meng Huo, each of which requires him to regroup his troops, convince them that despite losing X battles in a row they can win battle X+1, and convince them that despite losing X times in a row he's not utterly incompetent.

So I imagine there was only one, *maybe* two battles. Remember, they like to exaggerate, especially when non-chinese are involved. He Qi's biography, for example, claims that when fighting bandits in rural Yangzhou they faced a sorcerer whose spells protected from metal edges and sharp arrows -- thus causing his army to attack with wooden clubs and win easily.

In any case, to deter rebellion, Zhuge Liang put local officers in charge of the south: Meng Huo, Meng Yan (may or may not be related to Meng Huo), and Cuan Xi (an uncle of Yong Kai).

As for Wu and Wei, Cao Pi invaded three times between 222 and 223. He planned a fourth invasion in 225, and sent an army of 100,000 troops (Incident at Guangling), but when he saw Xu Sheng's dummy walls, he turned around and left without any actual fighting.


Hmm I think a reference to my wiki Gongjin's Campaign Memorials would've been much appreciated here...
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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby MrFunTimes » Sun Dec 18, 2016 10:00 am

How did governors go about improving the economy of their land? For instance, I'd like to know how exactly Zhuge Liang promoted the development of industries in Shu.
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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby DragonAtma » Sun Dec 18, 2016 11:15 am

Sorry, I thought that your site, Gongjin's Campaign Memorials, was well-known enough here that it didn't need a mention.

But yes, details on the southern campaign include data from Gongjin's Campaign Memorials.

-=-=-=-

As for the governors, I imagine it was the standard stuff everyone did since time immemorial:

* Replacing corrupt bureaucrats with honest people.
* Making sure there were no overly absurd laws.
* Making sure non-absurd laws were enforced.
* Making sure criminals were caught.
* Putting down any bandit groups that appeared.
* Making sure there were enough (but not too many) tax collectors, guards, bureaucrats, etc.
* Promoting competent people.

And so on.

Now, there very well may have been specialized things (Wei's revival of tuntian, Wu's absorbing the Shanyue, etc.), but I don't have details on them offhand.
Unless I specifically say otherwise, assume I am talking about historical Three Kingdoms, and not the novel.
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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby Sun Fin » Mon Dec 19, 2016 8:43 pm

plunged wrote:Hmm I think a reference to my wiki Gongjin's Campaign Memorials would've been much appreciated here...


In his defense I had linked to your wiki in the post above so he may have felt that it wasn't needed to posts in a row?

capnnerefir wrote:By 184, the standing army was smaller. In his Later Han Military Organisation, de Crespigny writes:

The men of the Northern Army were professional, skilled soldiers, who could be sent to any point of danger or disturbance as stiffening to forces recruited locally. The numbers were not great: each regiment had an official complement of some 700 men with between 60 and 120 junior officers.


So that's less than 4,000 men. Even if you included every soldier at the local garrisons around the empire, I doubt the total number of professional soldiers approached 40,000.

Han didn't rely much on its standing army. Rebellions were usually small, local affairs that didn't spread beyond one commandery, so local recruits reinforced by a few professionals were usually enough to deal with them. The Yellow Turban Rebellion was an exception, obviously.


Graff also says (p29) that there was an army of about 10,000 men kept on the northern border. I have no difficulty in believing that the Northern professional army had shrunk and been dispersed among garrisons but presumably that was the same size? If with a lot of convicts/tribesmen making up numbers?

Also was Zhu Jun's initial army made up of the Northern army? Did they start with only 4,000 odd men against the Yellow Turbans?
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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby Jia Shengde » Wed Dec 21, 2016 10:51 am

Sun Fin wrote:
Graff also says (p29) that there was an army of about 10,000 men kept on the northern border. I have no difficulty in believing that the Northern professional army had shrunk and been dispersed among garrisons but presumably that was the same size? If with a lot of convicts/tribesmen making up numbers?


de Crespigny talks about the military structure of Later Han in chapter four of Imperial Warlord. He says that there was an army based on the Ordos loop called the army of the General on the Liao. And garrisons on the Great Wall. Both estimated at about five thousand each. "They included volunteers, conscripts on short-time service and convicts whose sentences had been commuted, but the proportion of the categories is unknown and must have varied over time." ... "I suggest that a declining population in the northern frontier commanderies meant the northern and eastern sections of the Wall were manned very lightly, if at all, for the concentrated force of the Trans-Liao encampment had replaced the former line of garrisons."
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