Daily Archives: December 28, 2009

The Tomb of the Notorious Tsao Tsao!

Tsao Tsao (aka Cao Cao, aka King Wu of Wei) is _the_ villain with style, in the famous Chinese historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms, both skilled in war and Machiavellian power politics. He is famous for violating at least seven of the big fat Confucian principles of filial behavior, if I recall correctly. As the article notes, he was supposed to be not able enough to rule the world, but evil enough to destroy it. In real life, he doesn’t seem to have been all that evil a guy — just on the wrong side for the novel’s purposes. I don’t know enough about it to know if that’s just revisionism; but I do know that in the end, his dynasty won against the Han.

Anyyyyway, they just found his tomb! And his skull! And his queen’s skull! And some other very unlucky chick’s skull!

(Yes, early on, the Chinese were big on taking other people with them when they went. Wives and concubines and slaves and even soldiers faced a lot of pressure to go suffocate in the tomb with their dead lord, or kill themselves and get buried with them. And that was better than the other early option, which was that of not waiting for volunteers.)

Here’s Tsao Tsao in a typical scene of villainous doings from Romance of the Three Kingdoms.

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Koudelka Sisters? Is That You?

Other than the bad marriage choice, anyway.

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