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Compared with the Western Zhou Dynasty, the Spring and Autumn Period witnessed a shift

Date£º2022/10/26

In the Spring and Autumn Period, the culture has changed, and the "axis era" of Chinese culture has arrived. As for the cultural characteristics of the Spring and Autumn Period, Guo Moruo once used the famous lotus and crane square pot as a symbol. He said, "This crane is beginning to break through the great enlightenment of ancient times. It is hesitating to be full of ambition, arrogant, trampling on the tradition at its feet, and wants to fly higher and farther." (Assessment of Xinzheng Ancient Utensils) In fact, not only did the artifacts art in the Spring and Autumn Period break through the stereotype, but also the inscription writing in the Spring and Autumn Period showed a new character.


Compared with the Western Zhou Dynasty, the bronze inscriptions of the Spring and Autumn Period show distinctive turning features in at least the following aspects:


First, the breakthrough of etiquette, the exposure of individual consciousness and the high spirit of the times.


The Spring and Autumn Period is a typical city-state era (in Fu Daobin's language). After getting rid of the shackles of the Emperor Zhou, the vassals developed their territories in a vigorous manner. In Zuo Zhuan, the minister of Lord Shen Wu in the eighth year of Chenggong's reign said, "What country disdains a man who is insincere and thinks of sealing the territory to benefit the state?" In the Spring and Autumn Period, the feudal lords showed a distinctive spirit of self-reliance and self-consciousness, and developed city-state historiography and city-state philosophy emerged. The spirit of the times, which broke through the old shackles and emphasized self-consciousness and self-reliance, has become the main ideological trend in the Spring and Autumn Period. In line with this, the bronze inscriptions of the Spring and Autumn Period also showed a spiritual outlook of "giving up who I am".


The bronze ware of the mid Spring and Autumn Period, The Pot of the Duke of Jin, imitated the pattern of the Western Zhou Dynasty's bronze inscriptions at the beginning, and said that the ancestor Yang said, "Our emperor, the Duke of Tang, was ordered to control the king of Wu, respect the hundreds of barbarians, and take charge of the whole world. As for the Grand Court, there is no exception." But then he turned to praise his own generous words: "Although Yu is a boy today, he is a brave and handsome king. He has the rank of virtue, and he has become a leader of thousands of states. Yin and Yin are always humble and respectful. Yu Xian is a disciple, and he is a friend, a friend, and a protector of Yi Kingdom. He is extremely comfortable, and Pi Yan is not." At the end of the Spring and Autumn Period, the owner of the bronze ware "The Bell" told himself, "I am the grandson of King Yu Lu, the ally servant of King Cheng of Chu, and the standard of men Meaning: I am the grandson of King Lu, the ally servant of King Cheng of Chu, and the model of a man. I am not only talented, but also the best in the world. I am really a rare person. Li Jiahao said, "This boastful inscription is very special, which can be said to be the only one in the bronze inscriptions of the Pre Qin Dynasty." (Textual Research on the Inscriptions of the Bell) Compared with the arrogance of the Bell, the inscription of the LRC is not much less arrogant. There are seven places in the entire inscription that use the first person, and most of them use the main case, such as "the grandson of Yu Yi Gong", "Yu Jiegang is the king", "Yu Yu Yuwu", "Yu dare not be proud", "I enjoy filial piety". There are also some special cases, such as "As Yu Zhong" and "Happy My Ancestor". This is also the only inscription handed down from generation to generation.


In this way of inscription writing, the spirit of the Western Zhou Dynasty inscription "respect for God" is being stripped away bit by bit. It seems that the feudal lords and literati in the Spring and Autumn Period no longer took bronze inscriptions as a "charter" (Malinowski language) to prove their power and status, but believed that their moral struggle was more persuasive than their ancestors' genetic lineage.


Second, refined and personalized vocabulary description.


The bronze inscriptions in the Western Zhou Dynasty were entirely the product of ritual writing. On the one hand, the use of words was limited by the formula and standardized description of "ritual", on the other hand, by the vocabulary display of "ritual vessels", "gifts" and "ritual texts", leaving little space for individuals and personality expression. Therefore, its literariness is mainly manifested as the appearance of "literature" of "ritual literature", as a close approach to "poetry" in terms of form and rhythm, and as a written description of great achievements. From the perspective of literary acceptance, the final performance is the recollection of the Zhou Dynasty's etiquette and music civilization, which is "gloomy and literary". Therefore, the "literariness" of bronze inscriptions in the Western Zhou Dynasty is a comprehensive "literariness", which is far from the pure "literariness". Therefore, from a certain point of view, the bronze inscriptions of the Western Zhou Dynasty expressed more characteristics of "official writing", but lacked the personal sentiment of "private writing".


This situation changed significantly in the Spring and Autumn Period. With the change of historical context, since the early Spring and Autumn Period, the inscriptions on court rites, book names and other contents commonly seen in the Jin inscriptions in the late Western Zhou Dynasty have disappeared. The ritual code is hidden and weakened from the inscription, which has reserved space for personalized literary expression.


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