The "What If" Thread

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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby Han » Wed Dec 27, 2017 6:47 pm

Nope I havent?

Zhong Yao was innocent.

What? Liu Bei spared the assassins that literally tried to kill him and Song Zhong. Pei SongZhi praised Liu Bei for being righteous and rectitude even when the cards were stacked against him.

Post your sources that Liu Bei went the usual kill route excluding Yiling.
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Wed Dec 27, 2017 7:13 pm

How what?

Yes, Cao Cao was strict and talented, but he also murdered a large amount of officials compared to others excluding Dong Zhuo? Talent and cruelty dont contradict.

Cao Cao was capable of kindness yes, but he was also a cruel person in comparison to his rivals.


How a work of deliberate, and judging by the professor comment's, over the top propaganda (which judging by his latter service, the author himself did not believe) which contradicts everything else in the historical record about the Wei administration, can have a ring of truth.

I don't deny Cao Cao had a very nasty and cruel streak. That doesn't make Chen Lin's comments that are just short of "Cao Cao ties every damsel to a railtrack" any truer

And the SanGuoZhi and SanGuoZhiZhu has a section of men that Cao Cao killed.

Kong Rong death and Cui Yan one was pretty bad.


Zhong Yao who recommended Wei Feng to the important post got dismissed for that. If your protage goes bad, it does tend to backfire on the patron. With sackings if they are lucky.

Yes and Shu has it's section 40

Cui Yan was a shocker and Cao Cao should be condemned for it. Kong Rong? I don't recall, bar possibly Yuan Shao to Zang Hong (and everyone to Mi Heng), a warlord going so far out of his way not to kill a man, Kong Rong seems to have spent his life trying to get himself killed.

Source that Liu Bei tended to go for death? The SanGuoZhi disagrees.


You have 1 quote about sparing (Song Zhong based annotation) and 9 or so that has nothing to do with any execution or lack there of. Just general stuff about kindness and charisma

All the executions Liu Bei made? In his entire time at Yi, I can't recall a spared figure, I can recall good executions, I can recall bad executions and so in but not a spare one. Now fair play amidst all your "look how charismatic and kind Liu Bei is" you did show Song Zhong when I was I was going to say I couldn't think of any so yes, during his entire career he made one exception. I'm glad he decided not to kill Song Zhong and he was right, killing a famous scholar (some of his students later serving Liu Bei) for telling him news might not be an idea.

On the assassins, one source has them unable to bring themselves to kill him and another that he thought they were visitors and his welcome to them put them off killing him. Not that he found out they were killers and spared them

I don't recall Liu Bei being murderous during Yiling or over it, I would never accuse him of that. The idea he is angry beyond good judgement and so on during Yiling is a fallacy
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby Han » Wed Dec 27, 2017 8:30 pm

How a work of deliberate, and judging by the professor comment's, over the top propaganda (which judging by his latter service, the author himself did not believe) which contradicts everything else in the historical record about the Wei administration, can have a ring of truth.

I don't deny Cao Cao had a very nasty and cruel streak. That doesn't make Chen Lin's comments that are just short of "Cao Cao ties every damsel to a railtrack" any truer


Rafe said it was extreme, not propoganda.

Him serving Cao Cao doesnt change the fact that it was true.

Nasty and cruel streak? Cao Cao SanGuoZhi avaliable here http://kongming.net/novel/sgz/caocao-2.php , states:

Earlier, when Yuan Zhong was Chancellor of Pei state it was his desire to use the law to rein in the Great Ancestor. Additionally Huan Shao of Pei state belittled him and when they were in Yan province Bian Rang of Chenliu spoke his opinion that they should oppress the Great Ancestor, so the Great Ancestor killed Rang and executed his family. Zhong and Shao both took refuge in Jiao province and the Great Ancestor immediately tasked the Grand Administrator Shi Xie with totally eradicating them. Huan Shao was captured and brought forth as the leader, kowtowing and apologizing before the imperial court, but the Great Ancestor said, ‘To kneel is fitting for the death of a wicked man!’ and straightway executed him. Once he had led out the army and was passing by a field of grain. He gave an order, saying, ‘The soldiers are not to damage the grain, violators will be executed.’ The cavalrymen all got down from their horses so as to restrain them from going over to the grain, whereupon the Great Ancestor’s horse went galloping into it so he had the Master of Records come talk over his infraction. The Master of Records answered him according to the meaning found in the Spring and Autumn Annals, that a punishment is not to be imposed upon a superior. The Great Ancestor said, ‘I have laid out the law and myself have transgressed it, but how is a commander to submit? It is true that I act as commander of the army and cannot commit suicide, so I ask for myself to be punished.’ For this reason his assistants used a sword to shear off his hair so that it fell to the earth. Once there was a concubine who routinely served him as he rested during the day, and he laid his head on his pillow to sleep and spoke to her, saying, ‘In a short while come wake me up.’ The concubine, seeing the Great Ancestor was sleeping peacefully did not wake him, and when he himself awoke he struck and killed her with a staff. He frequently went on campaign against bandits and the government grain stores were deficient, so he secretly went to the supply master and said, ‘What is to be done?’ The supply master answered, ‘We can use the fewest hu of grain needed.’ The Great Ancestor replied, ‘Perfect.’ Afterward those within the army were saying that the Great Ancestor was deceiving the men, so he spoke to the supply master, saying, ‘I single you out to act as a pretext for me and be killed to satiate the men, lest the enterprise fall apart.’ He thereupon beheaded him and, taking the head and exposing it in public, said, ‘He dispensed few hu of grain and stole from the government granary, so I beheaded him at the army gates.’ Such did he cruelly and viciously deceive and in all things he behaved the same as this.

Zhong Yao who recommended Wei Feng to the important post got dismissed for that. If your protage goes bad, it does tend to backfire on the patron. With sackings if they are lucky.

Yes and Shu has it's section 40

Cui Yan was a shocker and Cao Cao should be condemned for it. Kong Rong? I don't recall, bar possibly Yuan Shao to Zang Hong (and everyone to Mi Heng), a warlord going so far out of his way not to kill a man, Kong Rong seems to have spent his life trying to get himself killed.


Chen Gong rebelled and Cao wanted to spare him. Zhang Xiu murder Cao heir and nephew and Cao spared him. Show me someone sacking another person because he recommended a rebellious individual. Also, Zhong Yao was completely innocent.

Source on Shu?

Fine. I withdraw my Kong Rong comment. Still doesnt change my point that Cao murdered more gentry than everyone other than Dong Zhuo.

You have 1 quote about sparing (Song Zhong based annotation) and 9 or so that has nothing to do with any execution or lack there of. Just general stuff about kindness and charisma

All the executions Liu Bei made? In his entire time at Yi, I can't recall a spared figure, I can recall good executions, I can recall bad executions and so in but not a spare one. Now fair play amidst all your "look how charismatic and kind Liu Bei is" you did show Song Zhong when I was I was going to say I couldn't think of any so yes, during his entire career he made one exception. I'm glad he decided not to kill Song Zhong and he was right, killing a famous scholar (some of his students later serving Liu Bei) for telling him news might not be an idea.

On the assassins, one source has them unable to bring themselves to kill him and another that he thought they were visitors and his welcome to them put them off killing him. Not that he found out they were killers and spared them

I don't recall Liu Bei being murderous during Yiling or over it, I would never accuse him of that. The idea he is angry beyond good judgement and so on during Yiling is a fallacy


9 or so that shows that Liu Bei was a kind dude who treated his gentry nicely?

Is this a joke? Liu Bei at the beginning killed two people. In the latter part most of them surrended or tried to. Liu Bei offered to spare Zhang Ren but Zhang Ren himself refused. Those who marched troops against Bei later surrended to him and receive high ranks. Now you compare this with how Cao Cao treated Yuan Shao gentry and you will see a remarkable difference. From cutting of noses to massacring people on a large scale.

The source literally mention that the assassins did not kill him because PingYuan loved Liu Bei.

I clarified in my second post as thus: Post your sources that Liu Bei went the usual kill route excluding Yiling.

I dont think Liu Bei killed anyone as much as Cao Cao or as extreme. Cao Cao killed people and families because he felt salty that people insulted his ass.
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Thu Dec 28, 2017 2:23 pm

Rafe said it was extreme, not propoganda.

Him serving Cao Cao doesnt change the fact that it was true.

Nasty and cruel streak? Cao Cao SanGuoZhi avaliable here http://kongming.net/novel/sgz/caocao-2.php , states:


Wrote the proclamation to justify the attack is creating propaganda and as the professor notes, he went to extremes then notes later (which in fairness to you, I hadn't quoted)
When Cao Cao took over Ji province in 205, he taxed Chen Lin with his former propaganda
. The ZZTJ has
At the time of the Guandu campaign, Yuan Shao had Chen Lin write his proclamations. Chen Lin accused Cao Cao of a multitude of crimes, even attacked his family and ancestors, and thoroughly abused and slandered him.
. Add the situation, guy writing the justification for a war for his warlord is probably not the most trustworthy source at that moment

So everything else written about Wei administration under Cao Cao is a lie, the proclamation for war that contradicts the rest, is considered by others to be propaganda and extremely abusive is the truth?

Yes, not sure why you put a question mark on that? You can just say sgz rather then full title though in an sgz where your referring to an annotation (rather then the sgz itself) with a zillion multiple annotations, it helps to say the number. On Yuan Zhong, Professor Rafe has
When Sun Ce attacked the commandery in 196, Yuan Zhong fled by sea to the far south. He was called to take a ministerial position in the puppet court of Emperor Xian, just established at Xu city under Cao Cao, but died on the journey. -HHS 45/35:1526.

Another account says that when Yuan Zhong was in Pei he attempted to punish Cao Cao for some crime, and he was a friend of Bian Rang, who had also spoken against Cao Cao. Cao Cao therefore sent messengers to Shi Xie, warlord of the far south, that he should kill him. -SGZ 1:55, XC 2:10b.


though Yuan Zhong's reasons for being in south seems to have had nothing to do with Cao Cao (like many, fled civil war, then fled Sun Ce)

On Huang Shao, ah yes I remember that one (I was shocked when I first read about him). From the Cao Man zhuan is it not? Which is described as "by a man from the enemy kingdom of Wu" by Writing against the State and by essay adoption in China as
54) SGZ: 1.2 n. 3 says that Cao Man zhuan was compiled by a subject of Wu, rival to the state of Wei founded by Cao Cao, presumably during third century. SGZ: 1.1 n. 1 quotes the work as saying that Cao Cao had a childhood name of A'man fqfSffi; the title sought to denigrate him by a show of familiarity. Guo Ban f|5^, though not so specifically inspired, appears also to have been generally hostile to the Cao. Chapter 9 of Sanguo zhi contains biographies of both Cao and Xiahou family members.


Are the rest from the Wu based biography?

Chen Gong rebelled and Cao wanted to spare him. Zhang Xiu murder Cao heir and nephew and Cao spared him. Show me someone sacking another person because he recommended a rebellious individual. Also, Zhong Yao was completely innocent.


Cao Cao the merciful :wink: It is true there were exceptions (and Cao Cao had a few ones from that Yan revolt, don't know if he felt he screwed up there) but general rule for Han and 3kingdoms rebel+get cuaght=die. If you get off, your an extremely lucky figure (or where killing you brings a lot of problems), you really can't complain if you commit treason/revolt then get killed for it.

For some reason I had thought we discussed Zhang Xiu before or am I imagining that? Zhang Xiu was 1) the circumstances of how he came under Cao Cao made killing him a very very stupid move at the time, 2) death in battle isn't murder, 3) that battle came about due to Cao Cao's mess up as he acknowledged, no fault of Zhang Xiu.

Hao Pu is the one that immediately comes to mind.

Was Zhong Yao innocent of treason? Yes, thus he wasn't executed (neither was Liu Yi despite family ties to one rebel as Chen Qun and Cao Cao intervened). Was Zhong Yao guilty of appointing a man to a big post who turned out to be untrustworthy? Yes. If you hold one of the great posts of states, this gave you great influence in recommending people, of bringing through your protege's. When that goes badly badly badly wrong, it is your guy, you brought him in and you pay a price.

Though having a look at it, Yang Jun then Cao Pi (who made the punishments harsher) seem more responsible for the punishments in that incident.

Source on Shu?

Fine. I withdraw my Kong Rong comment. Still doesnt change my point that Cao murdered more gentry than everyone other than Dong Zhuo.


I'm looking at the xuesangou collection, there is a section 40. Liu Bei is also lucky in that, while Cao Cao and Sun Quan's badly treated/controversially illed figures get full biographies (and rightly so), Shu's history department being so bad means there is no sgz for likes of Zhang Yu or Yong Mao (both unpopular executions) for example.

You can keep saying that, I'll keep saying I have no data to agree or disagree.

9 or so that shows that Liu Bei was a kind dude who treated his gentry nicely?

Is this a joke? Liu Bei at the beginning killed two people. In the latter part most of them surrended or tried to. Liu Bei offered to spare Zhang Ren but Zhang Ren himself refused. Those who marched troops against Bei later surrended to him and receive high ranks. Now you compare this with how Cao Cao treated Yuan Shao gentry and you will see a remarkable difference. From cutting of noses to massacring people on a large scale.

The source literally mention that the assassins did not kill him because PingYuan loved Liu Bei.

I clarified in my second post as thus: Post your sources that Liu Bei went the usual kill route excluding Yiling.

I dont think Liu Bei killed anyone as much as Cao Cao or as extreme. Cao Cao killed people and families because he felt salty that people insulted his ass.


Right. Given that when talking with Vinny, I mentioned how Liu Bei was kind, you felt I needed this becuase? That Liu Bei wasn't perfect doesn't mean he wasn't kind. Liu Shan was noted for kindness, being extremely lenient but also for killings during fit of temper, the latter doesn't override the two former statements about Liu Shan

Ok I see what happened there, my bad. I meant when Liu Bei ruled Yi but clearly it came across as during the invasion of.

right and so nothing to do with Liu Bei executing people or not so seems irrelevant to this discussion about Liu Bei executing people. A discussion about his charisma or his personal popularity, yes they work there but not about executions.

I'm not sure how to that? A list of everyone Liu Bei killed? I think you would accept Liu Bei killed people so not sure what that proves. If this man didn't tend to go for kills, maybe list the men Liu Bei spared?

Edit: In fairness, I did find out Fei Shi opposed Liu Bei becoming Emperor and lived, sent to small and distant post (though another got killed for doing the same thing so not sure why the difference). So one officer of his that Liu Bei spared.

Liu Bei really can't speak of not executing people for insults
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby Han » Thu Dec 28, 2017 7:13 pm

Wrote the proclamation to justify the attack is creating propaganda and as the professor notes, he went to extremes then notes later (which in fairness to you, I hadn't quoted)
When Cao Cao took over Ji province in 205, he taxed Chen Lin with his former propaganda
. The ZZTJ has
At the time of the Guandu campaign, Yuan Shao had Chen Lin write his proclamations. Chen Lin accused Cao Cao of a multitude of crimes, even attacked his family and ancestors, and thoroughly abused and slandered him.
. Add the situation, guy writing the justification for a war for his warlord is probably not the most trustworthy source at that moment

So everything else written about Wei administration under Cao Cao is a lie, the proclamation for war that contradicts the rest, is considered by others to be propaganda and extremely abusive is the truth?


Thanks for including sources. But anyhow, I dont see how Chen Lin slander was wrong just because it is propaganda? Which part of it is false?

I didnt say that. The Cao Man Zhuan was used by Pei Song Zhi so I dont see why it isnt reliable. The Zhao Yun BieZhuan is less reliable but I dont see anyone calling it out. The Cao Man Zhuan was written in the 3k period which is closer to the era than a few other sources making it more reliable than other sources.

Yes, not sure why you put a question mark on that? You can just say sgz rather then full title though in an sgz where your referring to an annotation (rather then the sgz itself) with a zillion multiple annotations, it helps to say the number. On Yuan Zhong, Professor Rafe has
When Sun Ce attacked the commandery in 196, Yuan Zhong fled by sea to the far south. He was called to take a ministerial position in the puppet court of Emperor Xian, just established at Xu city under Cao Cao, but died on the journey. -HHS 45/35:1526.

Another account says that when Yuan Zhong was in Pei he attempted to punish Cao Cao for some crime, and he was a friend of Bian Rang, who had also spoken against Cao Cao. Cao Cao therefore sent messengers to Shi Xie, warlord of the far south, that he should kill him. -SGZ 1:55, XC 2:10b.


though Yuan Zhong's reasons for being in south seems to have had nothing to do with Cao Cao (like many, fled civil war, then fled Sun Ce)

On Huang Shao, ah yes I remember that one (I was shocked when I first read about him). From the Cao Man zhuan is it not? Which is described as "by a man from the enemy kingdom of Wu" by Writing against the State and by essay adoption in China as
54) SGZ: 1.2 n. 3 says that Cao Man zhuan was compiled by a subject of Wu, rival to the state of Wei founded by Cao Cao, presumably during third century. SGZ: 1.1 n. 1 quotes the work as saying that Cao Cao had a childhood name of A'man fqfSffi; the title sought to denigrate him by a show of familiarity. Guo Ban f|5^, though not so specifically inspired, appears also to have been generally hostile to the Cao. Chapter 9 of Sanguo zhi contains biographies of both Cao and Xiahou family members.


Are the rest from the Wu based biography?


Because Cao Cao was not a good guy capable of cruelty. His a bad dude capable of virtue.

So you are just going to ignore the fact that Cao Cao tried to kill Yuan Zhong because he was salty?

As for the rest I agree. I think the Cao Man Zhuan is slandering Cao Cao although Im not going to completely dismiss it, especially considering that Pei Song Zhi trusted him.

Cao Cao the merciful :wink: It is true there were exceptions (and Cao Cao had a few ones from that Yan revolt, don't know if he felt he screwed up there) but general rule for Han and 3kingdoms rebel+get cuaght=die. If you get off, your an extremely lucky figure (or where killing you brings a lot of problems), you really can't complain if you commit treason/revolt then get killed for it.

For some reason I had thought we discussed Zhang Xiu before or am I imagining that? Zhang Xiu was 1) the circumstances of how he came under Cao Cao made killing him a very very stupid move at the time, 2) death in battle isn't murder, 3) that battle came about due to Cao Cao's mess up as he acknowledged, no fault of Zhang Xiu.

Hao Pu is the one that immediately comes to mind.

Was Zhong Yao innocent of treason? Yes, thus he wasn't executed (neither was Liu Yi despite family ties to one rebel as Chen Qun and Cao Cao intervened). Was Zhong Yao guilty of appointing a man to a big post who turned out to be untrustworthy? Yes. If you hold one of the great posts of states, this gave you great influence in recommending people, of bringing through your protege's. When that goes badly badly badly wrong, it is your guy, you brought him in and you pay a price.

Though having a look at it, Yang Jun then Cao Pi (who made the punishments harsher) seem more responsible for the punishments in that incident.


I agreed lol. I literally said many times that Cao Cao was capable of virtue and benevolence.

Agreed by the way, Im just pointing out that Cao Cao was capable of kindness.

Elaborate on Hao Pu?

So once again: Show me someone sacking another person because he recommended a rebellious individual. Also, Zhong Yao was completely innocent and Cao Cao was a c••• of sacking him.

I'm looking at the xuesangou collection, there is a section 40. Liu Bei is also lucky in that, while Cao Cao and Sun Quan's badly treated/controversially illed figures get full biographies (and rightly so), Shu's history department being so bad means there is no sgz for likes of Zhang Yu or Yong Mao (both unpopular executions) for example.

You can keep saying that, I'll keep saying I have no data to agree or disagree.


Right... Section 12 under Cao Wei shows 4 people killed 1 jailed by Cao Cao for one salty reason or another.

Section 40 make it 2 killed by Liu Bei 2 killed by Liu Shan. The remaining 3 had nothing to do with Bei and Shan.

You include Zhang Yu who accuse that the Han Dynasty will perish while excusing Kong Rong. Double standard much? Yong Mao was pretty bad but Fei Shi make up for it? Look how Cao Cao treated Xun Yu in comparison. :D

Section 12? Plus the other two that I mention, plus the constant revolts and rebellion against Cao Cao, plus him cutting of noses of pretty much everyone in Yuan camp other than surrendered generals? Thats alot of data especially when one considers that Liu Bei literally accepted every gentry that surrendered to him other than the original two and those that wanted to die.

Right. Given that when talking with Vinny, I mentioned how Liu Bei was kind, you felt I needed this becuase? That Liu Bei wasn't perfect doesn't mean he wasn't kind. Liu Shan was noted for kindness, being extremely lenient but also for killings during fit of temper, the latter doesn't override the two former statements about Liu Shan

Ok I see what happened there, my bad. I meant when Liu Bei ruled Yi but clearly it came across as during the invasion of.

right and so nothing to do with Liu Bei executing people or not so seems irrelevant to this discussion about Liu Bei executing people. A discussion about his charisma or his personal popularity, yes they work there but not about executions.

I'm not sure how to that? A list of everyone Liu Bei killed? I think you would accept Liu Bei killed people so not sure what that proves. If this man didn't tend to go for kills, maybe list the men Liu Bei spared?

Edit: In fairness, I did find out Fei Shi opposed Liu Bei becoming Emperor and lived, sent to small and distant post (though another got killed for doing the same thing so not sure why the difference). So one officer of his that Liu Bei spared.

Liu Bei really can't speak of not executing people for insults


Because Liu Bei did nothing wrong /s. In complete seriousness, Liu Bei was not perfect but he was far better than Cao Cao in terms of benevolence and virtue. Section 40 involves 7. 5 was harmed during Liu Shan reign. Liu Feng died because of succession issues. Peng Yang rebelled. Liao Li was simply removed. Li Yan removed. Liu Yan died after repeatedly accusing Emperor of adultery. Wei Yan rebelled. Yang Yi demoted. How the hell did Liu Shan killed in fits of temper?

Other than Liu Feng which death was not justified if you dont except Kong Rong and Lou Gui deaths?

Fair enough.

Liu Bei killed 2? Section 12 has 4 killed 1 jailed by Cao.

He spared Fei Shi though. And Cao Cao killed more people because of insults than Liu Bei who only killed one because of insults.
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Fri Dec 29, 2017 5:15 pm

Han, please don't use swear words or words that are going to be black spotted out like the c word. It is against forum rules due to age range we aim at, if you find yourself accidentally typing such a word then try to think of another that conveys your feelings.

Thanks for including sources. But anyhow, I dont see how Chen Lin slander was wrong just because it is propaganda? Which part of it is false?

I didn't say that. The Cao Man Zhuan was used by Pei Song Zhi so I dont see why it isnt reliable. The Zhao Yun BieZhuan is less reliable but I dont see anyone calling it out. The Cao Man Zhuan was written in the 3k period which is closer to the era than a few other sources making it more reliable than other sources.


Slander by it's definition is surely wrong? It is considered extreme and slanderous by historians so why should we trust it, particularly when it contradicts everything else?

Chen Lin's work you quoted (I haven't seen the full thing so there might be more) is good on two fronts

1) We get to see his skill as a writer is better then that of a propaganda guy

2) It shows that many years later, Bian Rang's death (even if Bian Rang's mother wouldn't recognize the description of him) was damaging to Cao Cao. A better propagandist would have made more of that by sticking closer to the truth. Propganda can be useful on that sort of thing when it goes beyond the usual (and the extreme) terms of abuse but focuses on a specific thing

I'll quote the bits of the two passages you cited that lines up with everything else
Bian Rang, for example, former Administrator of Juijiang, was known throughout the empire for his courage andability, for his direct speech and his refusal to flatter. He was killed and his body was exposed, while he wife and children were likewise destroyed.

And also : Rewards and honours were granted at his whim, punishments and execution at no more than the expression of his wish. Those whom he favoured were glorified for five generations of ancestors; those whom he disliked were slaughtered with their families. Anyone who criticized suffered public execution, while anyone who expressed private disapproval was slain in secret. Officials kept their mouths shut, as people on the roads dared only to exchange glances. The clerks of the secretariat did no more than record the proceedings of the court, and senior ministers stood like dummies.


In fairness to a small segment of the second sections is some of it is taking issues with powerful rulers (there were wrongful killings ala Bian Rang) so he isn't completely wrong that there were deaths on those lines but it is turning into acting as if this was the normal which contradicts what was written (by those not living in Wu :wink:) and acts as if criticism was never allowed. The summary at the end if Wei was like that, it would have lost. It would simply have not been able to run effectively

On the Cao Man Zhuan, Pei didn't always comment on what sources he included were reliable or not or not even always when they contradicted, maybe the Cao Man Zhuan's authorship and others was well known at the time he compiled them, I don't think "is in the sgz annotations" is meant to be considered Pei trust. He was right to include it, it is important that things like this get included, propaganda can reveal a lot about the time (though perhaps not the original target) and it is intresting how the Wu source goes against Shi Xie as well. I don't recall Sima Guang including it in the ZZTJ and three modern historians have outright pointed out it's source and that is a biased piece of work with a certain agenda

Why isn't it considered reliable by professional historians? Well I suspect that 1) it is written by someone in an enemy state which is usually not the first sign of neutrality or objectivity, 2) strangely enough the enemies of that state (Shi Xie is also attacked) are not put in a good light as if there is some agenda, 3) the deliberate insult with the naming suggests it's purpose is not to write a balanced report about Cao Cao, 4) it contradicts rather more reputed records. Never funnily enough in a way that makes Cao Cao look better :wink: So when it produces something mentioned in no other source that, funnily enough, makes Cao Cao look bad which is it's agenda, it's credibility is on the low side. Let alone when it contradicts.

Why is the Zhao Yun work considered reliable? There are some people in the western 3kingdom community who aren't fans of it and there will always be questions as nobody knows who writes it. Why does it get an easier ride? Well it doesn't seem to have been written by someone in an enemy state with the clear purpose of denigrating someone, it doesn't contradict the main texts and it praises one figure rather then attacks someone. So it either fleshes out a figure we know very little about or if deemed not true, you have a slightly less positive view of Zhao Yun, if fake that is as far the damage as it goes. So I think it is more seen as harmless.

Because Cao Cao was not a good guy capable of cruelty. His a bad dude capable of virtue. (and various other quotes along these lines)

So you are just going to ignore the fact that Cao Cao tried to kill Yuan Zhong because he was salty?

As for the rest I agree. I think the Cao Man Zhuan is slandering Cao Cao although Im not going to completely dismiss it, especially considering that Pei Song Zhi trusted him.


So why can't Liu Bei be seen as a kind guy capable of being a jerk? For record, would not put Zhang Xiu's down to mercy, more self awareness about that night and not being wanting to destroy his own kingdom

There are two versions of Yuan Zhong's death

1) the main one. It's sad that he had to leave his home and just as he was given a chance to return to office, he died. He does not seem to have had a good life

2) A source written by Wu figure claims Cao Cao and Shi Xie, amazingly enough Wu's enemies, conspire in a plot to kill Yuan Zhong. It ignores Yuan Zhong fled Sun family and nothing it claims has backing elsewhere and actually contradicts others. If it was true, this would taking pettiness to a whole new level but I'm not going to drag Shi Xie's name in mud and claim it is true

Elaborate on Hao Pu?

So once again: Show me someone sacking another person because he recommended a rebellious individual. Also, Zhong Yao was completely innocent and Cao Cao was a c••• of sacking him.


Hao Pu, served Liu Bei but got tricked by Lu Meng, rose up to be Wu's Minister of justice but then he supported Yin Fan. Yin Fan was a defector/possibly a Cao Rui spy, someone who spoke very eloquently and impressed various figures (though some saw through it and warned against). Hao Pu particularly pushed for Yin Fan's rise through the ranks which didn't happen but helped legitimatise Yin Fan and make him a highly popular figure in Wu. Till Yin Fan attempted a revolt, failed, got cuaght and killed. Hao Pu committed suicide after Sun Quan had a word, Fan's other backer Zhu Ju was sacked for some time. There was another similar incident I think but I need GOS to be up

Maybe you should wait for the answer to the question you wanted elaborating on? I was giving you an example, you didn't understand it which is more then fair but don't then jump in and say Cao Cao is a git for 1) doing what is normal, 2) as I mentioned, the choice of punishments was Cao Pi (to a lesser extent Yang Jun's) choice. Cao Cao was rather far away at the time. As much as I dislike Cao Pi (possibly my least fav 3kingdom warlord), I can't blame him on this one (I can for his treatment of Yang Jun afterwards mind)

Right... Section 12 under Cao Wei shows 4 people killed 1 jailed by Cao Cao for one salty reason or another.

Section 40 make it 2 killed by Liu Bei 2 killed by Liu Shan. The remaining 3 had nothing to do with Bei and Shan.

You include Zhang Yu who accuse that the Han Dynasty will perish while excusing Kong Rong. Double standard much? Yong Mao was pretty bad but Fei Shi make up for it? Look how Cao Cao treated Xun Yu in comparison. :D

Section 12? Plus the other two that I mention, plus the constant revolts and rebellion against Cao Cao, plus him cutting of noses of pretty much everyone in Yuan camp other than surrendered generals? Thats alot of data especially when one considers that Liu Bei literally accepted every gentry that surrendered to him other than the original two and those that wanted to die.


I also pointed out that, unlike Wei and Wu, Liu Bei had those... harshly executed unfortunately not get sgz's. Not for any deliberate reason, just the bad bad state of Shu so Liu Bei got lucky. Add Cao Cao ruled a far larger kingdom for years, Liu Bei ruled one province for a short space of time.

No becuase it was known that Zhang Yu was executed for being wittier then Liu Bei and even on soothsayer issue, that one private moment whereas Kong Rong was repeated insults in public so not sure you got the right comparison? I don't agree with "well he didn't execute one guy so that counters the other". I actually agree with you on Yong Mao, it was clearly extremely damaging in Yi that Liu Bei executed Yong Mao (and also really really fun to quote at Shubies :P ), but from what limited information I have, I would side with Liu Bei on the need for a discreet killing.

Yes you highlighted section 12 earlier. Yes, both kingdoms had major revolts. The mutilation was at Wuchou rather then entire Yuan force and there has been questions as to how accurate that one is. Liu Bei yes accepted the surrender of the gentry in his entire new base, yes that seems a wise move from Liu Bei.

Because Liu Bei did nothing wrong /s. In complete seriousness, Liu Bei was not perfect but he was far better than Cao Cao in terms of benevolence and virtue. Section 40 involves 7. 5 was harmed during Liu Shan reign. Liu Feng died because of succession issues. Peng Yang rebelled. Liao Li was simply removed. Li Yan removed. Liu Yan died after repeatedly accusing Emperor of adultery. Wei Yan rebelled. Yang Yi demoted. How the hell did Liu Shan killed in fits of temper?

Other than Liu Feng which death was not justified if you dont except Kong Rong and Lou Gui deaths?

Fair enough.

Liu Bei killed 2? Section 12 has 4 killed 1 jailed by Cao.

He spared Fei Shi though. And Cao Cao killed more people because of insults than Liu Bei who only killed one because of insults.


and that is a perfectly legitimate view point. I would actually say the Liu Shan segments on section 40 shows at least partly why there was a feeling he was overly lenient. On the list Liu Feng had to die (and Shanyong mess up alone might have been enough to kill him as I have argued on this forum before), Peng Yang had to die, I don't see why Liao Li had to be exiled by Zhuge Liang, Li Yan should have died (forging an imperial decree), Liu Yan rightly died (but Zhuge Liang shouldn't have sacked him just to appease Wei Yan) since mental health wasn't something they had full understanding of, agreed Wei Yan had to die (just Yang Yi went over his authority), Yang Yi rightly exiled.

On the Liu Shan temper thing, got it from Qiao Zhou book which has Pei mention the views of Jin historian Zhang Fan (on Shu's surrender) after talking of Shan's kind nature
Sometimes he was angry and would rashly put a person to death, establishing for a time, fear.


Zhong Yu. Executing a man becuase you insulted him and then he was wittier then you is never right. Liu Bei should have put on his big boy pants and be able to take what he dishes out

Cao Cao never executed someone who only insulted him after being insulted by Cao Cao first. :wink:

The thing is, I said Liu Bei tended to choose to execute. Your not really coming up with an explanation that he didn't. You could say it of Liu Shan, some of the Suns but you can't say it of Liu Bei. Even Cao Cao has more of a record of mercy but I would put that at least partly down to time he had in power
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby Han » Fri Dec 29, 2017 6:43 pm

Right. Sincere apologies.

Slander by it's definition is surely wrong? It is considered extreme and slanderous by historians so why should we trust it, particularly when it contradicts everything else?

Chen Lin's work you quoted (I haven't seen the full thing so there might be more) is good on two fronts

1) We get to see his skill as a writer is better then that of a propaganda guy

2) It shows that many years later, Bian Rang's death (even if Bian Rang's mother wouldn't recognize the description of him) was damaging to Cao Cao. A better propagandist would have made more of that by sticking closer to the truth. Propganda can be useful on that sort of thing when it goes beyond the usual (and the extreme) terms of abuse but focuses on a specific thing


It does not contradict everything. How does it contradict?

I'll quote the bits of the two passages you cited that lines up with everything else
Bian Rang, for example, former Administrator of Juijiang, was known throughout the empire for his courage andability, for his direct speech and his refusal to flatter. He was killed and his body was exposed, while he wife and children were likewise destroyed.

And also : Rewards and honours were granted at his whim, punishments and execution at no more than the expression of his wish. Those whom he favoured were glorified for five generations of ancestors; those whom he disliked were slaughtered with their families. Anyone who criticized suffered public execution, while anyone who expressed private disapproval was slain in secret. Officials kept their mouths shut, as people on the roads dared only to exchange glances. The clerks of the secretariat did no more than record the proceedings of the court, and senior ministers stood like dummies.


In fairness to a small segment of the second sections is some of it is taking issues with powerful rulers (there were wrongful killings ala Bian Rang) so he isn't completely wrong that there were deaths on those lines but it is turning into acting as if this was the normal which contradicts what was written (by those not living in Wu :wink:) and acts as if criticism was never allowed. The summary at the end if Wei was like that, it would have lost. It would simply have not been able to run effectively


http://kongming.net/encyclopedia/Bian-Rang :

Biography
Historic (Confirmed)
Bian Rang was a distinguished composer of fu rhapsodies, who served a short term in Jiujiang commandery as Grand Administrator, with limited success during the early 190s. When he returned to his home in Chenliu, Cao Cao heard of Bian Rang’s criticism so he killed Bian Rang and his family.

Section 12 fits the second paragraph nicely. Although I admit, its probably a huge exaggeration like you mentioned.

Also, Sun Sheng seems to support this:

Sūn Shèng states: Wèi Wǔ [Cáo Cāo] therefore failed in governing punishments. The Yì says “Enlighten and decide imprisonment” and the [Zuó] Zhuàn has “Raise the upright to manage the crooked.” When imprisonment is enlightened then the state has no complaining people, when the crooked are straightened then the people have no disobedience, there will be no wish for the false noise of blue-green files, or trust in spreading slander and complaints. The one able to fairly govern the Four Seas, is only the one who is pure and splendid. In the past Hàn Gāo [Liú Bāng] imprisoned Xiāo Hé, but released him and again made him Chancellor. Jiè for one fault, was forever expelled. These two rulers in their magnanimity, how different they were!

On the Cao Man Zhuan, Pei didn't always comment on what sources he included were reliable or not or not even always when they contradicted, maybe the Cao Man Zhuan's authorship and others was well known at the time he compiled them, I don't think "is in the sgz annotations" is meant to be considered Pei trust. He was right to include it, it is important that things like this get included, propaganda can reveal a lot about the time (though perhaps not the original target) and it is intresting how the Wu source goes against Shi Xie as well. I don't recall Sima Guang including it in the ZZTJ and three modern historians have outright pointed out it's source and that is a biased piece of work with a certain agenda

Why isn't it considered reliable by professional historians? Well I suspect that 1) it is written by someone in an enemy state which is usually not the first sign of neutrality or objectivity, 2) strangely enough the enemies of that state (Shi Xie is also attacked) are not put in a good light as if there is some agenda, 3) the deliberate insult with the naming suggests it's purpose is not to write a balanced report about Cao Cao, 4) it contradicts rather more reputed records. Never funnily enough in a way that makes Cao Cao look better :wink: So when it produces something mentioned in no other source that, funnily enough, makes Cao Cao look bad which is it's agenda, it's credibility is on the low side. Let alone when it contradicts.

Why is the Zhao Yun work considered reliable? There are some people in the western 3kingdom community who aren't fans of it and there will always be questions as nobody knows who writes it. Why does it get an easier ride? Well it doesn't seem to have been written by someone in an enemy state with the clear purpose of denigrating someone, it doesn't contradict the main texts and it praises one figure rather then attacks someone. So it either fleshes out a figure we know very little about or if deemed not true, you have a slightly less positive view of Zhao Yun, if fake that is as far the damage as it goes. So I think it is more seen as harmless.


What SanGuoZhi are you reading?

Wikipedia: He went about providing detailed explanations to some of the geography and other elements mentioned in the original. More importantly, he made corrections to the work, in consultation with records he collected of the period. In regard to historical events and figures, as well as Chen Shou's opinions, he added his own commentary. From his broad research, he was able to create a history which was relatively complete, without many of the loose ends of the original.

Pei Song Zhi does point out when a source has flaws or contradict. The Guan Yu complaining thing comes to my mind and others obviously.

Other than Rafe who else?

Shi Xie was never Wu enemy. If anything he immediately submitted to Sun Quan without any resistance at all.

I dont see how it contradicts?

Fair enough.

So why can't Liu Bei be seen as a kind guy capable of being a jerk? For record, would not put Zhang Xiu's down to mercy, more self awareness about that night and not being wanting to destroy his own kingdom

There are two versions of Yuan Zhong's death

1) the main one. It's sad that he had to leave his home and just as he was given a chance to return to office, he died. He does not seem to have had a good life

2) A source written by Wu figure claims Cao Cao and Shi Xie, amazingly enough Wu's enemies, conspire in a plot to kill Yuan Zhong. It ignores Yuan Zhong fled Sun family and nothing it claims has backing elsewhere and actually contradicts others. If it was true, this would taking pettiness to a whole new level but I'm not going to drag Shi Xie's name in mud and claim it is true


Because Liu Bei never mass murder gentry. When he murdered his adopted son he expressed grieve. That makes it slightly better too. Personally, I feel like Cao Cao not killing Zhang Xiu ranks up there with his display of occassional kindness towards gentry. Couldnt it be Cao Cao was aware and virtuous?( When it comes to Zhang Xiu)

What is Rafe opinion on Yuan Zhong?

Hao Pu, served Liu Bei but got tricked by Lu Meng, rose up to be Wu's Minister of justice but then he supported Yin Fan. Yin Fan was a defector/possibly a Cao Rui spy, someone who spoke very eloquently and impressed various figures (though some saw through it and warned against). Hao Pu particularly pushed for Yin Fan's rise through the ranks which didn't happen but helped legitimatise Yin Fan and make him a highly popular figure in Wu. Till Yin Fan attempted a revolt, failed, got cuaght and killed. Hao Pu committed suicide after Sun Quan had a word, Fan's other backer Zhu Ju was sacked for some time. There was another similar incident I think but I need GOS to be up

Maybe you should wait for the answer to the question you wanted elaborating on? I was giving you an example, you didn't understand it which is more then fair but don't then jump in and say Cao Cao is a git for 1) doing what is normal, 2) as I mentioned, the choice of punishments was Cao Pi (to a lesser extent Yang Jun's) choice. Cao Cao was rather far away at the time. As much as I dislike Cao Pi (possibly my least fav 3kingdom warlord), I can't blame him on this one (I can for his treatment of Yang Jun afterwards mind)


Whats GOS?

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zhu_Ju

Source on Zhu Ju? Wikipedia doesnt mention this supposed sacking that you mention.

Right. I thought you were avoiding my question so I asked once again. But calling Cao Cao a C is overboard. I still believe he is one though.

So two instances and its normal?

I also pointed out that, unlike Wei and Wu, Liu Bei had those... harshly executed unfortunately not get sgz's. Not for any deliberate reason, just the bad bad state of Shu so Liu Bei got lucky. Add Cao Cao ruled a far larger kingdom for years, Liu Bei ruled one province for a short space of time.

No becuase it was known that Zhang Yu was executed for being wittier then Liu Bei and even on soothsayer issue, that one private moment whereas Kong Rong was repeated insults in public so not sure you got the right comparison? I don't agree with "well he didn't execute one guy so that counters the other". I actually agree with you on Yong Mao, it was clearly extremely damaging in Yi that Liu Bei executed Yong Mao (and also really really fun to quote at Shubies :P ), but from what limited information I have, I would side with Liu Bei on the need for a discreet killing.

Yes you highlighted section 12 earlier. Yes, both kingdoms had major revolts. The mutilation was at Wuchou rather then entire Yuan force and there has been questions as to how accurate that one is. Liu Bei yes accepted the surrender of the gentry in his entire new base, yes that seems a wise move from Liu Bei.


Yes. And Cao Cao also killed Han loyalists that are not mentioned in SanGuoZhi 12. Im also sure that Cao Wei and Sun Wu had historians writing about Liu Bei. Isnt it more likely that Liu Bei was more kind than his rivals as noted by the official histories that constantly mentioned this?

Hold up. The official reason for both is: Liu Bei killed Zhang Yu because Zhang Yu claimed that the reign of the Liu( Han Dynasty) would be over aka treason while Cao Cao killed Kong Rong because Róng met Sūn Quán’s envoy, said mocking and slanderous words [about Tàizǔ], and met with execution. How is the latter better than the former?

On the Liu Shan temper thing, got it from Qiao Zhou book which has Pei mention the views of Jin historian Zhang Fan (on Shu's surrender) after talking of Shan's kind nature
Sometimes he was angry and would rashly put a person to death, establishing for a time, fear.


Lmao. If you are going to dismiss Sun Wu slanders on Cao Cao then Im sure as hell not listening to a Jin Dynasty historian on Liu Shan. And unlike the Cao Man Zhuan, this dude isnt backed by anything at all, just pure opinions without any EXAMPLES.

Zhong Yu. Executing a man becuase you insulted him and then he was wittier then you is never right. Liu Bei should have put on his big boy pants and be able to take what he dishes out

Cao Cao never executed someone who only insulted him after being insulted by Cao Cao first. :wink:

The thing is, I said Liu Bei tended to choose to execute. Your not really coming up with an explanation that he didn't. You could say it of Liu Shan, some of the Suns but you can't say it of Liu Bei. Even Cao Cao has more of a record of mercy but I would put that at least partly down to time he had in power
[/quote]

If Zhang Yu was smarter, he should not have slandered the Han Dynasty. Than maybe he could live longer.

Yeah. He just had more recorded gentry murder than Liu Bei and pretty much everyone else bar Dong Zhuo... maybe.

Liu Bei defeated many of Liu Zhang gentry. Other than the initial two, those who he fought, he allowed them to surrender to him after the war with zero troubles and gave them proper ranks. No mutiliations...
Those who wanted to surrender was received warmly and was also given ranks.
Liu Bei did nothing wrong.
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby VinnyYooo » Sat Dec 30, 2017 10:18 am

Hi all,

Crap, sorry, Christmas shit with family. Dayum, I missed a whole page. So, in conclusion, ... Liu Bei was ok but not extraordinary ... And Yuan Shao was pretty awesome ... and Wu was the best all around. I think we can agree on these at least.

Anyway, continue on with where you're up to. I'll be back to pay out Shu after the holidays.

:lol:
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby Sun Fin » Sat Dec 30, 2017 10:24 am

Sorry to hear about your Christmas! We'll still be here when you get back :D.
Interested in the history behind the novel? Find a list of english language Three Kingdom sources here.
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby Han » Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:33 am

Hi all,

Crap, sorry, Christmas shit with family. Dayum, I missed a whole page. So, in conclusion, ... Liu Bei was ok but not extraordinary ... And Yuan Shao was pretty awesome ... and Wu was the best all around. I think we can agree on these at least.

Anyway, continue on with where you're up to. I'll be back to pay out Shu after the holidays.


Hi. Hope you are enjoying your holidays.

Liu Bei was exceptional. Not as good as Cao Cao definitely but his on par with Sun Quan. Yuan Shao was definitely great. Being best at something especially something ambiguous like " all around" is too subjective to make a proper decision.
Liu Bei did nothing wrong.
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