Sorry, I pull back my proposal for your reading.
Obviously, you know the detailed records in Shiji and Hanshu.
But I'm afraid there's something considerable in your analysis method leading an incorrect understanding.
1 Absolute accurate number and conclusion does not exist, we have to accept some ambiguous numbers
and disputable materials, or we could do nothing.
An number couldn't be completely denied for it's exaggerated as usually done in Chinese documents.
As the number of Wu's army, it couldn't be everyones from 14 to 62 , of course! but it's must be the most
number he can mobilized, that's enough. And I used a quoted words of "All man..." of LiuBi to avoid inurbane accusation.
I found many members doubt any number of history records for it's ambiguity and exaggeration so as to blame any view here.
2 Everthing have it's possibility to be or not to be.
But we can't say it's inconclusive only for there's a minor reversal possibility.
If it has a major possibility, it could be acceptable. that's enough.
3 Use a global analysis method, avoid isolated analysis.
In this case, the rebellion should be connected with the long proceeding centralization policy from GoaZu, across Wen,Jing, to Wu; and also be connected with the personality of Jing, ChaoCuo in China, such a person-oriented society.
Obviously,Emperor Jing was rash and ChaoCuo was radical at that time.
4 Break through ideological curtain and recover original facts.
Histories were distorted by many things, especially ideological yoke.
But distorted history doesn't mean it unbelievable. the key is to weed the noise.
In this case, traditional elaberated-rebellion-view derived from the monarchy authoritarian ideological needs.
But now, the old ideological shadow is weakened, so we could recover it and discover it,
thus the new opinion emerged - the provoked-rebellion-view.
In the book of Cambridge China History, it mensioned a more radical opinion that the court elaberated to provoke the rebellion like an intrigue.
I don't think it's they wanted, but it's they provoked, by carelessness of the ruler's centralization plan.
And I don't think Wu had long elaberated to rebel for dozens of years.
Rebellion and war were also not inevitable in the conflict between the two sides, if the emperor would continue the moderate gradual policy.
To you privately,
1 The basic facts you mastered can lead a conclusion by youself easily, but you say " still no clear answer".
Of course there couldn't be one unique answer, if you want such a clear answer, there will never be.
But two opposite answers exist already.
The problem is you yourself wouldn't make a judgement between them.
2 Hold a stand, and use a rational logic.
Any view would be respected, if it had it's basis and evidence.
but disputing without an attitude and full of irrational logics not.
You firgured out the troops number of Wu to proof it's threatening ability.
But then you said "numbers is not the most significant factor" in another place.
When a number lead to the inevitable-opinion, you raised it,
when a number or estimate lead to the provoked-opinion, you doubt it.
and later you said you have no stand.
You asked if Wu is not threatening so why Emperor Jing worried.(though I answered it's his peronality)
Then you said you don't presume Emperor Jing is always right.
I don't know if you have a logic and what you want to do!
If you are not kidding me, then you are trapping me.
Edited by kingswonder, 23 December 2007 - 09:46 AM.