A New Understanding of the Problem of Yunmeng Zhou Hongwei (4)
Since the Tang dynasty, scholars have generally taken Yunmeng (云梦) in the pre-Qin stateof Chu to be the name of a specific lake or hunting zone, although they have had different viewson its exact location and area. But the author believes that originally, yunmeng was not a propername but a general term in the Chu dialect of the ancient Xia (夏) or Chinese language; itreferred to a body of water used for pleasure outings that was not large but had rich vegetation,and its original meaning was "grassy marsh" or "swamp grass." This view is based on the factthat there were more than seven yunmengs from the pre-Qin period to the Han and Jin dynasties,located in the Jianghan-Dongting Lake plain region north and south of the Yangtze River, theThree Gorges region and the Huang-Huai plain region north of the Huai River. In the Handynasty, more than one region had a "yunmeng official. " Besides, in the state (region) of Chu,people had explanations like "a weedy lake is called yun (薮日云 sou yue yun),""meng (梦)means ‘in the marsh’"and "meng means ‘in the grass. ’" The broad distribution of yunmengand the deciphering of its true meaning not only enable us to better address the long-standingcontroversy over yunmeng, but also give us a better understanding of the natural environment ofthese regions in China´s early history.
The Political and Social Conditions of the Weibo Region in the Late Tang Dynasty as Reflected in theInscription on the Luorang Stele
Qiu Luming (27)
The inscription on the Luorang Stele is an important document reflecting political and socialconditions in the Weibo region in the late Tang dynasty, a period whose continuous turmoilreflects the internal conflicts between generals and garrison soldiers. The self-interested andconservative nature of the garrisons meant that Weibo lost its drive for expansion in the turbulentdays of the late Tang. Setting up memorial stele was one of the important tools whereby theTang dynasty strengthened the order that subsisted between the emperor and his subjects. Steleinscriptions, as a striking feature of the political landscape, had considerable influence on socialpsychology and cultural transmission. The erection of very large steles in the mid and late Tangdynasty in what is now Hebei was a way in which military governors demonstrated theirlegitimacy and shaped their local identification. The Luorang Stele is a good example. LuoHongxin was of humble origins, so in the inscription he made much of the imperial favors shownto his family and forged auguries and divinations with the aim of consolidating the basis of hisrule. The sharp contrast between the arrogance of the stele´s form and its submissive language,as well as the tension between promoting a consciousness of loyalty to the Emperor and the semi-independent status of the military governor all reflect the complexity of the political and culturalbackground of Hebei in the late Tang dynasty.