San Guo Yen Yi___known In The English-speaking World As Romance Of The Three Kingdoms.

i___n this case, the connotation of "romance" is saga rather than love. It would have been better to translate San Guo Yen Yi as Epic of the Three Kingdoms to avoid unnecessary confusion. We go along with "romance" because it is an accepted convention, but we note that the world of translations is full of such interpretive glitches - the language barrier is sometimes too much for mere mortals



 Romance of the Three Kingdoms is a book with a long and impressive history. Nevertheless, this novel concerning the history of 1800 years ago is still acknowledged as a literary masterpiece today.

The novel (San Guo Yan Yi) covers one hundred and thirteen years of Chinese history, starting in 168 A.D. and ending with the reunification of the land in 280 A.D.

Three Kingdoms describes a fascinating dynastic-cycle: the fall of the Han Dynasty under Emperor Ling due to the Yellow Scarves rebellion, the division of the Empire into the three kingdoms – Shu, Wei, and Wu – and the reunification of the empire by the Jin Dynasty.



___written by Luo Guanzhong in the 14th century, is a Chinese historical novel based upon events in the turbulent years near the end of the Han Dynasty and the Three Kingdoms era of China, starting in 169 and ending with the reunification of the land in 280

 It is acclaimed as one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature, with a grand total of 800,000 words, nearly a thousand characters, most of them historical, in 120 chapters.





sample  from  CHAPTER ONE


1 The world under heaven, after a long period of division, tends to unite; after a long period of union, tends to divide. This has been so since antiquity. When the rule of the Zhou Dynasty weakened, seven contending kingdoms sprang up, warring one with another until the kingdom of Qin prevailed and possessed the empire. But when Qin's destiny had been fulfilled, arose two opposing kingdoms, Chu and Han, to fight for the mastery. And Han was the victor.

» Explainer -- Seven States and Qin -- Up to this time AD 168, China had had five dynasties: Mythology (BC 5000-2200), Xia Dynasty (BC 2200-1700), Shang Dynasty (BC 1700-1050), Zhou Dynasty (BC 1050-221), Qin Dynasty (BC 221-206), and Han Dynasty (BC 206-AD 220). The Age of Seven States was BC 475-221, which was also known as the Warring States Period. The seven main states were Qin, Chu, Yan, Qi, Wei, Zhao, and Han. At the end of the Warring States Period, Qin conquered other states, and consolidated the empire. The First Emperor [of Qin] is credited with the building of the Great Wall in large scale, but is also blamed for the burning of books and persecuting learned people. Qin lasted only one and a half generations, then the old states emerged again. » Super Dian Wei -- WARNING! -- FOR ANY OF YOU WHO HAVE NOT READ THIS BOOK YET, I HIGHLY SUGGEST YOU DO NOT READ THESE SIDENOTES UNLESS THEY ARE NOTES FROM THE "EXPLAINER". FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH THIS WARNING WILL LEAD TO SERIOUS DISAPPOINTMENT, BECAUSE THE SIDENOTES CONTAIN NUMEROUS SPOILERS. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED! » JiaGai -- Spoilers and warnings -- No fooling, guys, take heed of this. I, myself, am very guilty of contributing to this and for that I am terribly sorry. Excitement and enthusiasm can do that to you. » Explainer -- We edit all the posts. -- Whenever we see a spoiler in a post, we would delete the spoiler part. But sometimes we leave it unchanged for their note-worthy value. The new notes are the ones that have not gone thru editing and will go thru it in the near future. Please enjoy the contributions from the ROTK readers!!! We thank them all. » iluvNDfootball -- Enter Ye now the Romance of The THree Kingdoms. -- Here, though you may have stupid opinions (like me) there'll always be someone willing to debate and enlighten. Welcome and enjoy these tales of mighty heroes! » Ragnarok -- Listen very carefully. -- This is not Dynasty Warriors. I see so many posts in which people say "But in Dynasty Warriors..." or "That would be good in DW". Please do not get into all that, the site is plagued by people doing that. » Super Dian Wei -- While Dynasty Warriors has very little to do with this site... -- please understand that people won't EVER stop talking about DW because it was THAT GAME that brought many of them here in the first place. » toocold -- Agree -- This book is great, and when discussing it, every aspect should be left open, this includes ideas from DW or ROTK games. But i think somethings only need to be said once, not all names are the same, almost none of the DW weapons were accurate, and none of the women ever took the field except Zhu Rong. Other than that, i don't blame people for asking if this is such and such character from the game, because the game gives a face and a personality to characters that are not always conveyed in the book, so read, post, and have fun. » guanping -- Welcome -- Welcome to the best book in the world. Please read, enjoy, and put your own stuff in later. » DongDal -- And so it starts... -- Here begins perhaps one of the greatest tales of bravery, loyalty and war. I hope everyone enjoys it. » Heika -- A Word of Caution about the Manuscript -- This tale is based upon actual history. The Three Kingdoms, in broad terms, did exist, and the historical context is true. At the same time, this novel is only BASED upon the history, and is therefore inaccurate in certain places. It has even been said that Confucian scholars would not allow their students to study this work, for fear that the aforementioned inaccuracies would taint their understanding of actual Chinese history. Therefore, enjoy this great work of fiction, but do not believe everything that is written. » LordYuanrang -- Welcome to the club. -- A little friendly warning: Once you start read, you will probably get addicted, but hey, when it comes to the RoTK it really is a good thing. I hope you all will love and enjoy it as much as I have.

2 The rise of the fortunes of Han began when Liu Bang the Supreme Ancestor slew a white serpent to raise the banners of uprising, which only ended when the whole empire belonged to Han (BC 202). This magnificent heritage was handed down in successive Han emperors for two hundred years, till the rebellion of Wang Mang caused a disruption. But soon Liu Xiu the Latter Han Founder restored the empire, and Han emperors continued their rule for another two hundred years till the days of Emperor Xian, which were doomed to see the beginning of the empire's division into three parts, known to history as The Three Kingdoms.

» Explainer -- Liu Bang -- Liu Bang (or Gao Zu) (BC 256-195) was the founder of Han Dynasty, aka Western Han or Former Han (capital in Changan). From a farmer family. His first office was assistant to a magistrate in Pei. Joined peasant rebellions against Qin Dynasty. Fought under Chu banner. Became a general, then ennobled as King of Han. In BC 206 Liu Bang defeated the King of Chu Xiang Yu, and won the empire. » Explainer -- Wang Mang and Liu Xiu -- Wang Mang (BC 45-AD 23) was regent and a nephew of the empress dowager Wang. He assumed the throne from AD 9 to 23. Liu Xiu (or Guang Wu) (BC 5-AD 57) (reigned AD 25-57) restored Han after Wang Mang's usurpation. The dynasty Liu Xiu restored is also known as Eastern Han (capital in Luoyang) or Latter Han. » guanping -- Read the intros -- Please I advise you read the Chinese history and the wonderful lecture on the three kingdoms before hand. It really helps you know who they usally are refering to in his book when they speak about men of the past

3 But the descent into misrule hastened in the reigns of the two predecessors of Emperor Xian---Emperors Huan and Ling---who sat in the dragon throne about the middle of the second century.

» Cynoc -- FOR NOOBS! -- IF YOUR A NEW MEMBER TO THE SITE, TO POST SIDE NOTES LIKE THESE YOU HAVE TO SIGN IN AT THE TOP OF THE PAGE AND THEN CLICK THE BLUE NUMBER(S) TO THE LEFT OF EACH PARAGRAPH » MaTseng -- ... -- thanks for that captain obvious » guanping -- Ah well it will probably help somebody -- although I dislike the term noobs » MaTseng -- fine hows... newbie sound? -- besides it's not meant to be mean or anything it's just easier then saying NEW GUYS or new people. » ShenXia -- O.o; -- Helped me when I first posted... » zhenluo -- ooh, post -- 'new guys'...that's a bit sexist 'new people'...better

4 Emperor Huan paid no heed to the good people of his court, but gave his confidence to the Palace eunuchs. He lived and died, leaving the scepter to Emperor Ling, whose advisers were Regent Marshal Dou Wu and Imperial Guardian Chen Fan. Dou Wu and Chen Fan, disgusted with the abuses of the eunuchs in the affairs of the state, plotted the destruction for the power-abusing eunuchs. But Chief Eunuch Cao Jie was not to be disposed of easily. The plot leaked out, and the honest Dou Wu and Chen Fan were put to death, leaving the eunuchs stronger than before.

» Explainer -- The Eunuchs -- Since remote antiquity, eunuchs had been employed in palaces for two main functions: As guards and servants in harems or other women's quarters, and as chamberlains to kings. The eunuchs' confidential position frequently enabled them to exercise an important influence over their royal masters and even to raise themselves to stations of great trust and power. » Explainer -- Regent Marshal and Imperial Guardian -- Regent Marshal was the highest military office, while Imperial Guardian highest civilian office. » ChangshanTiger -- Enter the Eunuchs -- Here we see the first mention of the eunuchs. They hold a lot of power, and have a lot of sway in politics. Throughout all of history, eunuchs have either saved or destroyed kingdoms. Lets see what happens here... » guanping -- Huan and Ling where not always bad but they failed to halt the slide -- Huan was 22 when he became disgusted as to Liang Ji, who effictivly controlled the court. With the help of the eunuchs, he gained control but eunuchs took over. He didn't do to bad as such but not strong enough... just helped the slide into chaos Ling was but a child when Dou and Chen revolt failed, they where hardly honest themselves and they failed in bad style. Still unlucky in some respects about the revolt. Ling then listned to bad advice at times, his love of art didn't help. A questining mind but also a very greedy man, sold postions for his own purse. Eunuchs had great acess to the Son of Heaven and the woman who could talk to him. Any attempt to defy them was soon ended on crimes varying from treason to faction. Any revolt outside the capital was dealt with by Imperial Army. Inside the capital, revolts where dealt with by the eunuch supporting army, eunuch and army combined could take strong points in the city before the revolters even moved. At this point, I belive He Jin was the chief figure against the eunuchs but the odds where against him. Despite being a capable man, Ling's hatred of him and the eunuchs control of China made things nearly impossible.

5 It fell upon the day of full moon of the fourth month, the second year, in the era of Established Calm (AD 168), that Emperor Ling went in state to the Hall of Virtue. As he drew near the throne, a rushing whirlwind arose in the corner of the hall and, lo! from the roof beams floated down a monstrous black serpent that coiled itself up on the very seat of majesty. The Emperor fell in a swoon. Those nearest him hastily raised and bore him to his palace, while the courtiers scattered and fled. The serpent disappeared.

Demigiozia Demigiozia
Feb 14, 2010