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Four Beauties


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Since we've been talking about Spring Autumn period and the Three Kingdoms, the Four Beauties would be an relevant and interesting topic.

from Wikipedia

Not sure if the URL is permanent, so copy it below.

The Four Beauties (Chinese: 四大美人; pinyin: sì dà měi rén) are four ancient Chinese women, renowned for their beauty. Though actual historical figures, their stories have been greatly embellished by legend.

According to legend, they are the most beautiful women of ancient China, and among the most significant as well. They have remained famous because of their effect on the emperors and kings with whom they were involved. Some brought kingdoms or dynasties to their knees. Most ended their lives in tragedy or mystery.

They are, in chronological order:

Xi Shi (c. seventh- to sixth-century BC, Spring and Autumn period), said to be "so beautiful as to sink fishes"

Wang Zhaojun (c. first-century BC, Western Han Dynasty period), said to be "so beautiful as to let fall flying geese"

Diao Chan (c. third-century, Three Kingdoms period), said to have "a face that would make clouds cover up the full moon"

Yang Guifei (719-756, Tang Dynasty period), said to have "a face that would shame any flower"

Diao Chan is also a playable character in a video game, Dynasty Warriors, where she fights with maces. She is a great beauty and is a peace loving person, that is also down to earth. And never in the game does she die or kill her self, but we don't know what really happened to her.

Funny they compile video game stuff into this category. I like the game very much and I played version 3 and 4. In the game, Diao Chan is with a very cold, dark, mysterious and sad looking, and of course, with extreme beauty. She's a girl you want to get close but would get lost in her eyes. I wonder if she loved Lu Bu. Maybe it's not a bad thing that she loved someone.

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laohu489

Actually, I think there is some controversy as to whether Diao Chan actually existed. I spoke to my proffesor about this once and he said that there is no historical record of her. Not for about 200 years *after* the Three Kingdoms is there any mention of her. I will look and find more if I can.

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Yes, Diao Chan would be the most dubious person, among the four ladies. But on the other hand, proving someone didn't exist is much harder than proving otherwise, if it's ever possible. Right? :)

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studentyoung
Actually, I think there is some controversy as to whether Diao Chan actually existed.

是个悬案,没错!

and he said that there is no historical record of her.

唔,似乎还是有的。唐《开元占经》(此书今尚传世)卷三十三:“荧惑犯须女。占注云:《汉书通志》(此书已失传):‘曹操未得志,先诱董卓,进刁蝉以惑其君。’”只不过,好像是罗贯中无意间把曹操干的事安到王允的头上了。

恐怕《开元占经》是很难在书摊上找到的了,不过听说鲁迅在他的《小说旧闻钞》中也提过此事,有兴趣的可以拿鲁迅的书先看看。

Thanks!

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