Wei kingdom. First among the three kingdoms in northern China, under the control of Ts’ao Ts’ao. The first sections of the work are narratives that chronicle various battles as Ts’ao Ts’ao conquers, then eliminates, numerous political rivals. The most important conquest is that of the Han empire.
Shu Han kingdom
Shu Han kingdom. Kingdom in which Liu Pei eventually succeeds in ruling from his throne in Szechwan and in which a second thread of narratives interwoven in the novel is set.
*Wu kingdom. Third and most wealthy kingdom, located south of the other two kingdoms, along the banks of the Yangtze River. This kingdom is controlled by Sun Ch’uan, who joins forces with Liu Pei to defeat Ts’ao Ts’ao. Thus the three kingdoms are for a while at peace. Later chapters in the work tell of military imbroglios between Kuan Yu, governor of a territory known as Hupeh, and Sun Ch’uan. Ultimately, Liu Pei conquers both Kuan Yu and Sun Ch’uan. However, the peace is unstable and various power struggles continue for another two generations until Ssu-ma Yen establishes control over the various kingdoms to make them into one nation.
As a novel that is both “historic” and “romantic,” Romance of the Three Kingdoms is not always necessarily given to geographic accuracy; moreover, the novel was written more than one thousand years after...
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