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Ancient Chinese military ranks


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#1 Guest_lanhao_*

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Posted 09 March 2005 - 03:23 PM

Hi everyone, please forgive the awkwardness of this post (it's my first). A friend of mine and I were trying to get our hands on the actual rank titles used by the military from the various dynasties. If possible, can someone point the way, or perhaps just give a quick rundown on what the ranks were and their modern day equivalent (if there is such a thing).

Thanks very much! :D

#2 Snafu

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Posted 09 March 2005 - 05:30 PM

Well even though it's not representative of traditional Chinese military structure, I do know what the military heriarchy of the Jin/Jurchen army was.

Each soldier in the Jurchen army was accompanied by an A-li-hsi or auxiliary soldier (usually conscripted slaves). Officers in the Jurchen army bore the same titles as their respective units. The lowest ranking officier was called a P'u-li-yen, a commander of about 50. Next were the Mou-k'o, commanders of about 300. Above them were the Meng-an, commanders of about 3,000. Higher up were the Wan-hu, the generals of 10,000. Then came the Tu-t'ung or Chief Commander, and in wartime a Commander-in-chief (Tu yuan-shuai) was chosen to lead the entire army.

Outside of the regular army there were also specialized military units like the Ho-cha, which served as the imperial bodyguard to the emperor and crown prince (candidates for the Ho-cha had to be at least 5'5 tall), and the Chiu units, which were frontier defense detachments.

#3 Guest_lanhao_*

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Posted 09 March 2005 - 06:49 PM

Thanks so much for the response, it will definately help out!

#4 TMPikachu

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Posted 09 March 2005 - 06:55 PM

to add to the question...
I've read that animal signs are sometimes used to name ranks
something like birds for scholars, and land animals for commanders, or the other way around.
"the way has more than one name, and wise men have more than one method. Knowledge is such that it may suit all countries, so that all creatures may be saved..."

#5 Yun

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Posted 09 March 2005 - 08:28 PM

http://www.chinahist...p?showtopic=126 has some info on the ranks of generals. It's far from complete, though.

Here's the military ranking system of the Northern and Southern Dynasties (439-589, during the Age of Fragmentation):

[Format-
Unit: Commander
Second-in-command]

部 bu (Division): 将军 jiangjun (General)
统军 tongjun (Lieutenant-General)

军 jun (Regiment): 军主 junzhu (Colonel)
军副 junfu (Lieutenant-Colonel)

队 dui (Company): 队主 duizhu (Captain)
队副 duifu (Lieutenant)

Other less formal ranks:
幢主 chuangzhu (Detachment Commander)
戍主 shuzhu (Garrison Commander)
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#6 Yun

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Posted 09 March 2005 - 08:33 PM

I've read that animal signs are sometimes used to name ranks
something like birds for scholars, and land animals for commanders, or the other way around.


That was in the Qing, and you're in luck - the second post on this thread just listed them all out:

http://www.chinahist...5
The dead have passed beyond our power to honour or dishonour them, but not beyond our ability to try and understand.

#7 TMPikachu

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Posted 10 March 2005 - 03:19 PM

That was in the Qing, and you're in luck - the second post on this thread just listed them all out:

http://www.chinahist...5

View Post

but the book I was reading was like... Song era stuff. Could the Qing have gotten it from an older historic example?
"the way has more than one name, and wise men have more than one method. Knowledge is such that it may suit all countries, so that all creatures may be saved..."

#8 Snafu

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Posted 10 March 2005 - 11:56 PM

You're thinking of the insignia officials wore on their robes during the Qing era. Civil officials wore different types of birds and military officials wore land animals (generally fierce ones like lions and rhinos). As far as I know the Sung didn't use this practice at all. Sung officials showed their ranks by the color of their robes. The highest ranking officials wore purple and I think the lowest wore blue.

#9 浪淘音

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Posted 11 March 2005 - 01:57 PM

You're thinking of the insignia officials wore on their robes during the Qing era. Civil officials wore different types of birds and military officials wore land animals (generally fierce ones like lions and rhinos). As far as I know the Sung didn't use this practice at all. Sung officials showed their ranks by the color of their robes. The highest ranking officials wore purple and I think the lowest wore blue.

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insignia robes were common in Ming as well

#10 HaSY

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Posted 11 March 2005 - 07:14 PM

as I don't know how to read Chinese letters...........I used a program to translate the Qing military.........
but the results are different than what have I think..........
can someone please translate to me?thanks
''Fear leads to anger,anger leads to hate,hate leads to
suffering'' -Yoda

아론 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

---------谭伟伦-----------------------------------

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

#11 Guest_lanhao_*

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Posted 14 March 2005 - 05:06 PM

thanks so much for the help! this will definately help out alot! :D

are there any good translation programs for mandarin that you know of out there that shows like a brushstroke count or anything?

#12 Snafu

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Posted 14 March 2005 - 07:36 PM

thanks so much for the help! this will definately help out alot! :D

are there any good translation programs for mandarin that you know of out there that shows like a brushstroke count or anything?

View Post



Here's a good online character dictionary that gives brush strokes.

http://chineselangua...n&show=frequent

And here's another site that lists characters in both simplified and traditional versions.

http://www.mandarint...m/chardict.html

#13 Bruce "Calidar" Heard

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 09:37 AM

Greetings to all.  I'm working on a skyship version of an ancient Chinese treasure ship, inspired from those of the Zheng He expeditions.  It's an adaptation for my current project -- the World of Calidar.  Now that I have to key the massive deck plans, I realize I do need some help with the names of naval ranks in ancient China's navy.  Does anyone have some good info on this by any chance?






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