Cai Wenji

Join the Romance of the Three Kingdoms discussion with our resident Scholars. Topics relating to the novel and history are both welcome. Don't forget to check the Forum Rules before posting.
Kongming’s Archives: Romance of the Three Kingdoms
Three Kingdoms Officer Biographies
Three Kingdoms Officer Encyclopedia
Scholars of Shen Zhou Search Tool

Re: Cai Wenji

Unread postby Tian Shan » Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:03 am

Zyzyfer wrote:It's possible to speculate, as with the case of Lady Xiahou and Zhang Fei, that abducting a woman could be a euphemism for rape, but everything I looked at mentions that she was married during this time, not a concubine.


Well I doubt they abduct women to only cook for them... In fact abducting women and forcing them to marry is still commonly practiced in ancient Xiongnu lands such Kazakhstan (though they identify themselves highly with the Islamic culture as opposed to Mongolians-that are said to be the main Xiongnu descendents) where laws are not enforced against it.

I remember that I might have read that in an online scanned book source, but still don't recall the name. However it appears that there has been much confusion on this. Thank you for the link, it illustrates a clearer picture on how she may have been abducted in the first place.
“If intelligence is defined as the ability to understand, learn and reason then Mankind is the least intelligent species on this planet . Abusing and destroying nature and other creatures is destroying themselves.-"

"Peace be with you."
User avatar
Tian Shan
Initiate
 
Posts: 60
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:44 pm
Location: Montreal, Canada

Re: Cai Wenji

Unread postby Jordan » Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:28 am

The confusion between what's a name and what's a title is very very common in early East Asian history and probably in world history in general.

Ce Xian apparently comes from the romance of the three kingdoms novel and may very well be a title confusion. I don't really know.

Hans Frankel wrote an essay about Cai Yan in which he contests the authorship of poems traditionally attributed to her on several grounds. This is what he says about the issue of Cai Yan's abduction, though:

"Then followed a series of events which made Cai Yan famous. She was abducted by troops in the civil war that was raging in North China in the last decade of the second century. It is not known when, where, and by whom she was captured; what we do know is that she ended up in the possession of the Southern Xiongnu. She lived among these barbarians for about twelve years, was married to one of their leaders, and bore him two sons. Then, in or about the year 206, she was ransomed and brought back to Han territory on orders of Cao Cao."

The first post quoted by Zyzyfer of Yun's, however, clarifies that there are anachronistic as well as logical issues (relating to the number of children Cai Yan was purported to have as compared to the number of children Liu Bao was known to have) with Liu Bao being the one to have taken in Cai Yan.

The book Notable Women of China that was linked to as a google books was painful to look at. I cannot take it seriously when it calls Cao Pi and Cao Zhi Chao Pei and Chao Zhi, among other issues including also mistaking the name of the Han Emperor. It doesn't cite its sources properly and each essay on a famous woman is written by a different author, some of which in addition to not citing sources properly also do not use legitimate sources (example: modern magazines). It also doesn't seem to include Jia Nanfeng as one of its notable women even though she ruled China under the Western Jin for a time! WHY
User avatar
Jordan
Scholar of Shen Zhou
 
Posts: 5934
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 4:52 am

Re: Cai Wenji

Unread postby Zyzyfer » Thu Feb 07, 2013 12:35 am

Tian Shan wrote:Well I doubt they abduct women to only cook for them... In fact abducting women and forcing them to marry is still commonly practiced in ancient Xiongnu lands such Kazakhstan (though they identify themselves highly with the Islamic culture as opposed to Mongolians-that are said to be the main Xiongnu descendents) where laws are not enforced against it.


Maybe I didn't clarify my point well enough. But I'm basically questioning how "abducting women and forcing them to marry" is the same as "Liu Bao raped Cai Wenji/forced her to be his concubine".

Only two things about her experience are stated with any regularity: 1) she was abducted during the chaos of the collapse of the Han court as Li Jue's regime fell apart; and 2) she is said to have married a highly chieftain and bore two children with him. I'm not denying the realities behind being abducted in those times, but I have my doubts about it being Liu Bao as, based on his year of death according to that Yun chap from CHF, he would have had to have lived to be nearly 100* to be all abducty and rapey in 194/195.

What is more likely to me is that she was abducted along with other court ladies by Xiongnu raiders and taken back with them. At some point between 194/195 and 205 she married a chieftain, which is suggested to have been Liu Bao, but all we know is the husband's supposed rank and Liu Bao may have held that rank.

Like Jordan requested, I'd also like to know where you learned that Liu Bao raped Cai Yan and made her his concubine. If it's a valid source it's worth taking into consideration, but if it's something like the "Zhao Yun was a woman!" speculation I've seen floating around, then yeah I wouldn't give it too much credence.

*(Truth be told he was most likely alive at this point anyway as his father died in 196, so he seems to have lived a very long life either way)
Gamefaqs: KongZhou
Steam: heinous_won
User avatar
Zyzyfer
Scholar of Shen Zhou
 
Posts: 3432
Joined: Thu May 08, 2008 1:17 pm
Location: South Korea

Re: Cai Wenji

Unread postby Tian Shan » Thu Feb 14, 2013 7:36 am

Zyzyfer wrote:
Maybe I didn't clarify my point well enough. But I'm basically questioning how "abducting women and forcing them to marry" is the same as "Liu Bao raped Cai Wenji/forced her to be his concubine".


I did not mean to imply that it did. Merely that its hard to believe forced woman abduction could lead to anything but rape. (though I would like to believe it could be possible)
I am not contesting against the point you and Jordan made that its probably not Liu Bao, I admit that I was probably wrong, and I appreciate what has been shared.
Like I said, I 'learned' this years ago and can not recall the source. Though I have thought it was him for so long that I have to change my bias against him.


Zyzyfer wrote: but if it's something like the "Zhao Yun was a woman!" speculation I've seen floating around, then yeah I wouldn't give it too much credence.


lol
“If intelligence is defined as the ability to understand, learn and reason then Mankind is the least intelligent species on this planet . Abusing and destroying nature and other creatures is destroying themselves.-"

"Peace be with you."
User avatar
Tian Shan
Initiate
 
Posts: 60
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:44 pm
Location: Montreal, Canada

Previous

Return to Sanguo Yanyi Symposium

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 33 guests

Copyright © 2002–2008 Kongming’s Archives. All Rights Reserved