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New Research on Alliance-Making in Spring and Autumn Period

Author: WuZhu
Tutor: DongEnLin
School: Central China Normal University
Course: Historical Philology
Keywords: Spring and Autumn Period alliance-making trust mechanism profane the alliance Chunqiu recording style
CLC: K225
Type: PhD thesis
Year: 2014
Downloads: 4
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Summarily, the thesis focuses on the alliance-makings in the period of Spring and Autumn and carries out3investigations:(1) based on the former research, carries out further research on the etiquette system in alliance-making;(2) by investigating the core facts and the phenomenon of profane the alliances in the period of Spring and Autumn, carries out fresh estimation on the property and the status quo of alliances;(3) by sorting and summarizing the alliance-making activities and the special recording sytles of Chunqiu in the traditional Confucian Classics, clarifies the historical facts about alliance in the period of Spring and autumn. Via these, the author probes the essence of Chunqiu.In the alliance-makings of Spring and Autumn period, treaties were read before "blood-sucking", not "blood-sucking" before reading. Before the alliance ceremony, the treaty is dictated by the host king or misters, written by Zuzhu(诅祝), and read by Simeng(司盟).The reader of treaty, the officer who performs the alliance-making should be the a kind of historiographer.In the ancient alliance-making ceremony, two kinds of paper-reading,(read by Simeng and read by alliance member) coexisted. As for the methods of Shaxue ((?)血), the traditional opinion that allies sucking or drinking the blood is reliable. The recent popular view that allies dye their lips with blood is the variety of the former. In the activities of alliance-making, the head of the alliance must hold bull ear, and one who holds bull ear must be the head of alliance.The person who responsible for ears-holding is a high-level officer, and there must be a ordinary officer who called Rongyou(戎右) to act as his assistant, his task was called assist ears-holding.They are closely related but different.In the etiquettes of Spring and Autumn period, the candidate of bull ear holder is elected according to national power, social rank, political situation, and subjective relations. Only when these four factors are taken into account can the researchers find the interior regulation and practical rationality in the historical background of Spring and Autumn period.Alliance-making itself is to construct a kind of trust relation or trust mechanism. The factors that consist of the trust mechanism are the core of alliance. The core factors decide the occurrence and essential features of alliance, and further secure the quality of alliance, and sustain the existence and development of alliance.All the epoch features of alliance making can be traced back to core mechanism and its change. This thesis probed into the development and evolution of the alliance making’s core mechanism from the primitive clan society to the declining period of Spring and Autumn. Research demonstrates that alliance makings reached its acme in forms and connotations in West Zhou Dynasty. The alliance-making was born to be a branch of the state systems, taking on a stable look. But till the period of Spring and Autumn, the rights of king, God, and Clan fell down almost at the same time, accordingly the core mechanism of alliance making paralyzed. Therefore, alliance-making became frequent, home alliance-making also increased.At the same time, disintegration of core mechanism led to the malfunction of trust mechanism of alliance. But the factors of credit and supremacy cannot secure the quality of alliance making. All these led to the violation and repetition of alliance. This is another reason why alliance makings rapidly increased and frequently rebuilt.The quantity and frequency of alliance always vary inversely with the quality of alliance. But we can’t conclude that it is the mature or prosperous age of alliance-making for the greatest frequency and largest quantity in the period of Spring and Autumn, because the bloom in surface implied the decay of essential core, the decline of quality and the expiration of credit mechanism for alliance. Based on these, it is better to conclude that Spring and Autumn period is the decay or decline age of alliance than to take it as the prosperity of alliance-making.As for the alliance-makings recorded in Chunqiu, the author select6of them, which is believed by the Confucians to be the typical and sublime words with deep meaning, to carry out further research. Research findings demonstrate that so-called "Chunqiu Recording Style", actually is not so abstruse as Confucians thought, but natural and normal.We can put all different kinds of doctrines of various scholars aside, and take2factors into account:one is historical fact; the other is the status of respecting the State of Lu and the Kings of Lu. Chunqiu has its own writing features and illustrative examples. In reading Chunqiu, one should be good at simplifying the complex. Forerunners of Confucians explained the Chunqiu features complicatedly mainly because of two reasons:firstly, the fact was ambiguous; Secondly, Chunqiu’s attribute was not clear. If one mistook Confucius’ Chunqiu for creating systems for later ages, and focus on the praise and critique between the lines, it is dangerous and impractical, especially in the ages of today when the academic research of Chunqiu has already faded away from the field of ideology and just becomes the object of purely scholastic study. The debate on the descriptive features of alliance-makings in Chunqiu is to correct the Confucians’ misunderstandings of the facts in alliance-makings in the period of Spring and Autumn, and via this, to clarify the attribute of Chunqiu and retrospect the resource and branches of academic research of Chunqiu.

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CLC: > History, geography > History of China > The 21st century slave society ( about BC ~ 475 BC ) > Spring and Autumn Period ( 770 BC - 475 BC ),
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