if you were born in The Three Kingdoms Era

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Re: if you were born in The Three Kingdoms Era

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Thu Feb 09, 2017 1:55 pm

"Death does not guarantee a place in history as witnessed by all the people I can't tell you about becuase their name was not recorded whereas Zhao Yun, Zhuge Liang, Jiang Wan, Fei Yi, Chen Shou secured their places in history without dying" might be more accurate, not sure it has the same impact.

Zhang Yi was indeed noted for his long service and skilled career. How many remember his death though? The manner of his fate also does not elevate him above the likes of Zhuge Liang and Zhao Yun who lived to reverberate down the ages
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Re: if you were born in The Three Kingdoms Era

Unread postby waywardauthor » Thu Feb 09, 2017 8:26 pm

Dong Zhou wrote:"Death does not guarantee a place in history as witnessed by all the people I can't tell you about becuase their name was not recorded whereas Zhao Yun, Zhuge Liang, Jiang Wan, Fei Yi, Chen Shou secured their places in history without dying" might be more accurate, not sure it has the same impact.

Zhang Yi was indeed noted for his long service and skilled career. How many remember his death though? The manner of his fate also does not elevate him above the likes of Zhuge Liang and Zhao Yun who lived to reverberate down the ages
It wasn't the sentiment I was questioning, but rather the framing when you take a minute and think about it.

That last bit is pretty telling too. Fame is a weird thing. It is safe to say we are aficionados regarding the Later Han/Three Kingdoms period. It would be even more correct to describe ourselves as amateur experts, the kind of people who before the days of the internet and the widespread university education might even be considered local authorities on the subject. Some of us may even have obtained a higher education in this field, as Sun Fin seems to be a graduate of SOAS and I wouldn't put that level beyond many of the people's here ability to obtain. Most of us know about Zhang Yi - even those who just played RoTK at least know of him.

Outside of the confines of this space, it gets considerably harder. While in a diaspora community of immigrants from China, the stories, myths, and legends regarding the Three Kingdoms era are famous - that is all it is for the most part. Stories and myths, in a not so dissimilar way the British know of King Henry VIII, William the Conqueror, and maybe Cnut and Alfred the Great. Outside of our traditions, the myths we've internalized growing up through osmosis more or less do not carry. Find a remote enough place and even figures like Jesus, Darwin, and Einstein fall by the way side.

When I was growing up, I had never heard of the Three Kingdoms period, let alone Cao Cao or Zhuge Liang. In Middle School I first encountered it via Dynasty Warriors IV, and was reading the novel in the seventh and eighth grade. It was actually kind of funny, because when it finally came time to study the page or so that covered the entirety of the Qin-Han period in my world history class, I was using old Koei English pronunciations and my teacher corrected me and told me to use the prompts "lyou bong" instead of Lee-u B(ae)ng for Liu Bang.

It was only when I dug deeper that I uncovered most of this, and started getting to know people who shared my interests in the history. I remember bluffing my way through a number of topics, unsure whether or not I was recalling the novel or the SGZ, or even just some other debater. I might have even made up some stuff on the spot without realizing it. As I continued to study, I continued to learn and appreciate things more. And then, I started to mourn everything I couldn't know. Most of that had to do with me not speaking Chinese, but some had to do with even the vast voluminous histories of the old dynasties failing to discuss or mention what I wanted to know more about.

While the novel got me to appreciate the main legends, Chen Shou, Qiao Zhou, Jiang Wan, and even Fei Yi seemed less interesting to me than Diaochan and Zhou Cang. I needed to get into the weeds and lose a few good hours reading in order to lose interest in fictionalized characters and go more into some of the real heroes of the post-Liu Bei era of the Han fragment in Yizhou. In some ways, this is true for every period. If we don't get into a subject academically, we are at first seduced by the allure of fun legends and myths that make the personages of history larger than life. The more we look into it, the more the legends become human, and the more the names of side characters and tertiary characters grow in importance - while entirely new actors enter into the scene.

So I doubt most people remember how Zhang Yi died, or even who he was. Even among academics you might be hard pressed to find a single one who specializes more generally in China who can tell you more than a sentence about Chen Shou or Qiao Zhou - and not a word about Fei Yi or Jiang Wan. You'll find more who know about Zhuge Liang and Zhao Yun, but as a person over in the UK I doubt more than a few thousand outside the diaspora would be able to tell you something real about them. Those names adopt household status, and those people - though long dead - gain renewed meaning to us because we look into them and because there is enough left of them to be remembered.

I'm convinced there are a decent number of people from the Western Jin period we know almost nothing about because our knowledge seems to reach a definitive end with the SGZ and Achilles Fang's ZZTJ translation - at least until we get to all those scholars I practically upended into the English sources section (Xun Xu from Howard Goodman seeming to be the most expansive, and someone is writing something on Wang Dao) - are every bit as expansive and talented (if not more so) than the ones we've mentioned here, especially as we transition into the War of the Eight Princes.

In any case, this is a bit unfair to the point you were trying to make - and a bit long winded too. I guess I just used what you wrote as a base to let my thoughts run a little wild, so you have my apologies if it sounded like I was being overly pedantic. :lol:
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Re: if you were born in The Three Kingdoms Era

Unread postby Sun Fin » Thu Feb 09, 2017 9:10 pm

waywardauthor wrote: Some of us may even have obtained a higher education in this field, as Sun Fin seems to be a graduate of SOAS and I wouldn't put that level beyond many of the people's here ability to obtain.


If only :lol:

I got an offer from SOAS but then forgot to work for my A-Levels. I just live close enough that I can travel in and I'm obsessed enough I'm happy to pay for access to their books.
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Re: if you were born in The Three Kingdoms Era

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Sat Feb 11, 2017 12:48 pm

I'll hold my hands up on Fei Yi and Jiang Wan, those were bad choices. I would like to keep Chen Shou on that even if only immortal in an academic sense in admired among historians since his work is the foundation for everything about that era

I have actually discussed the fickle nature of fame before so I can hardly object to you discussing the same thing :wink: I thought it was an intresting post from you and pretty much agree with it
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Re: if you were born in The Three Kingdoms Era

Unread postby Xian Xu » Thu Feb 23, 2017 8:50 pm

I've thought about this a lot. In fantasy, I'd be a scholar with the wits to match the fictional Zhuge Liang.

The more realistic scenario is:
I'd probably desperately want to be intellectual in some field, but be born into a family without means and a scholarly path would be near impossible. I'd probably start doing manual labor to get by and help my family. I'd have no interest, but nonetheless end up in the army of some jagbag warlord with delusions of grandeur. I'd manage to get through a battle or two largely because of luck. People would think "eh, he's an alright soldier." Another battle would approach and I'd die some miserable death.
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Re: if you were born in The Three Kingdoms Era

Unread postby Li_Shengsun » Thu Dec 20, 2018 5:20 am

its hard to say. either i died in a horrific death or peaceful dead. I might remembered being either a notorious evil minister or undying loyalty minister.
I am a smooth talker, but also a sharp critics. I think like what you call 'paranoid' and have similar way of thinking like Cao Cao does or at least his bad side.

If i were born around Cao Cao's territory, i might able to climb up rank in the ministry, but i would ended up like Kong Rong is due to my inability to control my mouth which might offend him. If im able to control my mouth or somehow talk my way out after i shot a critics, Cao still gonna dislike me (see Yang Xiu) and i would die sooner or later if i stay. So i might opted to switch allegiance instead of planning a coup. :|

If i were born around Sun Quan's territory, still the same, able to climb up in ministry ranks since the minister here are quite easy to please but might died due to some sort of conspiracies politics or just live life and died peacefully before Jin conquer Wu. :?

If i were born around Liu Bei's territory, hard to say. I might despised by ranking official like ZGL and other, but managed to get away since im able to grease my way to Liu Shan or Huang Hao, or even Liu Bei himself (see Fa Zheng). and served Shu doing 'shady' deals with Huang Hao. If Shu is conquered, i may just surrender and continue to be a 'good' minister for Jin. :D

Hence of all, i'd certainly abusing my power once i gain access of high position, though i certainly minimize to the certain extent. But still, due to this, people would remember me being an evil minister. :|
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Re: if you were born in The Three Kingdoms Era

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Thu Dec 20, 2018 3:53 pm

Bonus points for the honesty there
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Re: if you were born in The Three Kingdoms Era

Unread postby Jia Nanfeng » Thu Dec 20, 2018 6:58 pm

If I was born female, hopefully I’d be attractive enough to join one of the concubine competitions. :lol: I’d do what I have to do to get into the emperor’s ear... and hopefully be the daughter of a famous general or official so I’m not executed on the spot.

If I was born male, I’d like to be a traveling collector of anecdotes, a la Gan Bao. Ideally I’d avoid war since I don’t really want to be a dispensable soldier and I’m too lazy to strive for greater military positions. :lol:

I also have a feeling I’d die from falling off a cliff and end up having the cliff named for me.
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Re: if you were born in The Three Kingdoms Era

Unread postby DaoLunOfShiji » Thu Dec 20, 2018 8:00 pm

Killed by a stray arrow. Every time. No matter what position I was born into. Nobleman in court? Stray arrow. Mat weaver? Stray arrow. Arrow maker? Stray arrow.
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Re: if you were born in The Three Kingdoms Era

Unread postby Kongde » Mon Feb 18, 2019 11:28 pm

If I had a choice, it'd be hard to pick. But either a commoner or a strategist for either Sun Quan or Cao Cao. I think being a commoner would be hard work, but I'd stay out of the spotlight. I don't like being in the spotlight myself, but if I did, I'd sacrifice it to be a strategist because I'm a very puzzle-minded and over-analytical of most situations and I can read people fairly well. I think it would fit right in with my personality and mind, but of course, it would have to be right under the right lord. I would not want to be a leader, ever. I think Sun Quan would be the most worthy, as (at least in the novel) he is able to take criticism of his failures and admit his defeats and wrongdoings. He listens intently to reason as long as it brings results. Cao Cao mostly does this, but has moments of being offended from criticism and rarely admits his mistakes.
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