What are the three kingdoms

Three Kingdoms, the three kingdom dynasty of China

The Eastern Han Empire (AD 25-220) ended when the empire was split in two between the three rival regional leaders named Cao Cao (AD 155-220) who controlled the north of the Yangtze River, by Liu Bei (161-223), who controlled the inland area between Sichuan and the southwest; and Sun Quan (182-252), who controlled the southeast. The north was called Cao Wei (曹魏), the southwest was called Shu Han (蜀漢), and the southeast was called Dong Wu (東吳) which means the eastern Wu. The Han empire ended in natural disasters and rebellions that diminished the power of the court of the dynasty. Then there was also great conflict in the courts of the dynasties, which resulted in many killings and executions in the court itself. The Han Empire broke up into three economic, regional areas marked by natural boundaries through the Yangtze River and the central mountains where the three gorges were. Due to the natural disasters and the war at the end of the Empire and during the Three Kingdoms period, the population in the region decreased noticeably. At the end of the Three Kingdoms Period, the Jin Dynasty established itself, took control of Cao Wei and conquered Shu Han to form the Jin Empire (263-420). Then the Jin Dong Wu empire conquered in 280.

There were natural disasters here and the advent of the common people at the end of the Han era. The ancient idea of ​​the “mandate through heaven” gave natural disasters the general meaning that it was a sign of the end of government by a tribe of the dynasty and that this tribe would no longer control the empire or the region. These signs were tested for truth at the end of the Han Empire. There have been natural disasters here in the last few decades from the empire. During the last decades of the Han Empire, the struggle between the regional leaders, the Imperial Court and the army was farmers and gangs who murdered a great number of people. Many people emigrated to look for safety. As a result, many people died or moved away, losing their land and wealth, which then caused the official censuses conducted during the Three Kingdoms period to show a sharp decrease in the number of registered households. There were an estimated 54 million people in the Han empire according to a census from AD 156, but only an estimated 16 million people according to a census in the Jin empire in AD 280. The Jin Empire contained the same area as that of the Han Empire.


After Cao was broken up in the Battle of the Red Cliffs in 208, China was divided into three areas. Caocao was a leading figure in his attempt to take control of the whole area and also helped bring it down. He died in AD 220. When he died, his son Cao Pi became the last emperor of the Han Dynasty, then called the Emperor Xian, with whom he ascended the throne in 220. He then called himself the Emperor Wen. He only lived another 6 years until the year 226. He set his capital at Luoyang in Cao Wei.

In 221, Liu Bei renamed himself Shu Han to the Kasier of the Han Empire. In the same year, Sun Quan accepted the title of King of Wu. Liu Bei declared his war on Dong Wu. In the battle of Yiling, Liu Bei was knocked down by Sun Quan's army and forced to resign in Shu Han, where he died. After Liu Bei's death, Liu Bei's son took power in Shu Han. Zhuge Liang became the minister under Liu Bei. He was known to be unusually intelligent and a great military strategist. They made their peace with Sun Quan. That stabilized the political situation between them.

Both leaders then fought against the people who lived south of them. Sun Quan conquered the Shanyue people south of him in 234. He then took over tens of thousands of them for his army. At the same time, Liu Shan was fighting the Nanmen. He also transferred the Nanmen into his army.

In 227, Zhuge Liang sent an army against Cao Wei, even though Wei had a much larger population. According to the census around that time, the Shu Han had a population of only one million people. Wei had a population of about 3 or 4 million people because the census of Wei was taken in the year 260, which gave a number of 4.4 million people. So the area of ​​the Cao Wei was much larger. His venture went wrong and in 234 he led his last major offensive north before he died.

At the same time, Cao Wei continued to attack Dong Wu. But they could not break through the defenses on the Sun Quan River, which included a fortress called Ruxu. Dong Wu rose to prosperity during Sun Quan's reign. Incorporation of the northern people and subjugation of the Shanyue people increased the population and agricultural production. Great canals were dug to help handle inland traffic, and the Shu trade helped both kingdoms prosper. Dong Wu traders traded with sellers in Linyi (northern Vietnam) and Funan (southern Vietnam).

The Rise of the Jin Dynasty and Cao Wei, and the Fall of Shu Han

After the 230's, the leading Cao tribe in Cao Wei was driven out by the Sima tribe who owned much of the land. Sima Yi was a great general in Cao Wei. In 238 Sima Yi went to the capital Luoyang. In 263, Wei launched a three-pronged attack against the Shu Han and the Shu army was forced to make a general retreat. In 263, Lui Shan resigned. This marks the end of the Three Kingdoms Period.

The expansion of the Jin Empire

In Cao Wei, the Cao tribe still claimed the throne of the dynasty. Sima Yan forced Cao Huan to resign. This established the Jin Dynasty in 265. In 269, the Jin Dynasty began construction of a new navy to control the Yangtze River and ferry troops across the river to attack the Dong Wu. This invasion came in 279 after 10 years of preparation. In 280, Emperor Sun Hao resigned from the Dong Wu.

The romance of the three kingdoms

This interesting and bloody epoch in history was a portrait in popular literature later. The Romance of the Three Kingdoms is an almost historical work that is said to be written by Luo Guan Zhong. It is more of a historical invention about the life and struggles of the leaders and the circles at the end of the Han Dynasty and the Three Kingdoms period. The story describes the machinations, intrigues at the court and the alliances forged by the three kingdoms. Special attention is paid to the antagonists Liu Bei and Cao Cao. There were horrific deaths here and the leaders died after seeing ghosts appearing.

There is currently a discussion about who is the author and what date the novella was originally written. Chinese traditions say that the story of Luo Guan Zhong was written at the end of the time of the Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368), which must have been around 1368 or around. But other scholars say the books contain material suggesting that the books were written in the middle or late Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) or even about two hundred years later. It could also be that the earlier date is correct and that the material or information was added during processing. An important revision is known to have been published by Mao Lun and Mao Zonggang in 1522, during the Qing Dynasty. They revised the structure and erased a lot of material. Therefore, today there are two major versions: an older version that has about 900,000 words and a more popular version of 1522 that has about 770,000 words.