In the eyes of the Chinese people, King Zhou of Shang Dynasty is a typical tyrant, which seems to be an ironclad case and can no longer be changed. However, there are always exceptions. Even those who have been criticized can occasionally hear a different voice. Around King Zhou of Shang Dynasty, many people have doubted, argued and refuted for thousands of years. Its twists and turns are worth pondering carefully.
The most common view, of course, is that King Zhou is one of the rare tyrants in ancient and modern times. In the book of Han, a list of ancient and modern people, whether Zang was a historical figure or not, King Zhou belonged to the lower class and was the worst in character. Since the book of Han, in the official history, notes, operas, novels and other forms of historical records, the records of King Zhou’s immorality and cruelty have emerged in endlessly, with numerous evil traces. For example, he was curious about how the baby grew in the mother’s body, so he opened the pregnant woman’s stomach to watch; His uncle bagan admonished him, angered him, and he dug out Bagan’s heart; Not to mention the most famous examples of “taking wine as a pool, hanging meat as a forest, so that men and women can compete with each other and drink for a long night”, which are already beyond the imagination of ordinary people. It is thrilling to read.
However, there are many people who overturn the case for King Zhou, and their views are reasonable. Speaking of it, it was very early for people to speak for King Zhou. Zi Gong, a student of Confucius, once said: “Zhou is not so good as it is. It is the evil of the gentleman who makes the world worse.” (Analects of Confucius · Zizhang) that is to say, King Zhou may indeed have done some bad things, but there is definitely not so much, so bad. It’s just that the wall fell down and people pushed it. Once you bear the bad name, all the excrement pots will be on your head. So a gentleman can’t bear a bad name. Once he bears a bad name, he will be useless. In addition to Zigong, Cui Shu, a man of the Qing Dynasty, also had doubts about King Zhou’s crimes. After his research, he believed that there were only five true crimes of King Zhou. Gujiegang, a modern man, made an in-depth study of this and wrote the order of the seventy evil events of Zhou. The main point is that King Zhou’s evil deeds gradually accumulated and increased with the passage of time. The time is getting closer to modern times, and King Zhou’s crimes are more and more outrageous. Obviously, there is a process of adding fuel and vinegar, so it is becoming more and more untrustworthy. Gujiegang carefully researched and found a lot of historical facts. Through his research, people learned that Daji was a character from Liu Xiang’s biographies of women in the Western Han Dynasty, and there was no person in history; However, all kinds of immorality and violence of King Zhou are basically artistic processing, which originates from novels such as the romance of gods, and there is no real evidence.
However, it is not easy to overturn the case of such a tyrant who has been infamous for centuries. At first, those who tried to overturn the case were extremely careful. They did not mention King Zhou’s evil deeds, but first examined King Zhou’s personal talents and historical achievements from another angle. In fact, there is clear evidence for this. In the historical records of Yin Benji, it was said that King Zhou “had the ability to distinguish between quick witted and quick witted diseases, was very sensitive, and had excellent material and strength”. He was both literate and martial, wise and powerful, and seemed to be the leader of the ruling class at that time. From the perspective of historical achievements, King Zhou opened up territory and territory in the southeast, once subdued the eastern barbarians, and expanded the Central Plains Dynasty to the Huaihe River and the Yangtze River Basin, which played an indelible role in the spread of the Central Plains culture to the southeast at that time, which contributed greatly to the formation of ancient China and the development of the Chinese nation.
With the gradual recognition of King Zhou’s personal talent and historical achievements, the view of overturning the case completely for him began to appear. Those who overturned the case became more and more daring. On the basis of affirming King Zhou’s great historical achievements, they began to put forward that King Zhou’s historical status should actually be higher than that of King Wuding and King Wu of Zhou. It was because he was defeated and subjugated that he was forcibly branded a tyrant by his enemy Zhou people. Most of the records of various evils are exaggerated or even fictitious. Those who overturned the case believed that the most direct and fundamental basis for that period of history at that time was the Shangshu. According to the records in the Shangshu, King Wu of Zhou put forward the crimes of King Zhou when he attacked Zhou: drinking too much, not using his relatives and old ministers, promoting and reusing villains, listening to women’s words, and not paying attention to sacrifice. In fact, according to the detailed textual research on these crimes, none of them is true: drinking was a common phenomenon among the aristocracy at that time. Even if King Zhou drank a little more, it was nothing. It may be true that there is no need for your relatives and old ministers, but the upper classes of nobles vie for power and power. Which generation is less? King Zhou’s brother, Weiziqi, and others were defeated in the power struggle and were denounced by King Zhou. Even if it was a crime of King Zhou, it would be far fetched. The promotion and reuse of villains means that King Zhou selected talents from slaves for reuse. This may indeed violate the criteria for selecting talents at that time, but breaking class boundaries and focusing on talents should be regarded as an innovation and a progressive measure of King Zhou. It’s more unusual to listen to what women say. In the Shang Dynasty
A good woman in the Wuding era was an outstanding noble woman who made great contributions to the country. If there are such excellent women talents, what is the fault of listening to them? As for not paying attention to sacrifice, it is a big lie. We can see from the unearthed oracle bone inscriptions that the reign of emperor B, the father of King Zhou, and King Zhou was the most complete period with the most sacrifice times in the Shang Dynasty. Therefore, the reasons why King Wu attacked Zhou recorded in the book of history are basically the propaganda of the Zhou Dynasty for the war. It is either a distortion of facts or a fabrication out of nothing. It is completely a personal attack.
Then, since King Zhou did not have a special tyranny, why did the Shang Dynasty fall? Those who overturned the case also found reasons for the failure of King Zhou: first, during the reign of King Zhou, there were very serious divisions within the Shang Dynasty. King Zhou is the second son of emperor Yi, and should not ascend the throne according to the routine. However, Emperor Yi valued King Zhou’s talent and helped him to the throne. This caused a serious problem of division, and the imperial court was divided into two factions. Weiziqi, the brother of King Zhou, always wanted to take back their original throne, so they kept making troubles. By unscrupulous means, they resorted to a series of conspiracy activities, such as slander, conspiracy to assassinate and betray the country for prosperity, which posed a great threat to King Zhou. Secondly, King Zhou opened up territory and used troops abroad, which consumed the national strength. It was a great feat of King Zhou to pacify the eastern barbarians. However, the eastern expedition also consumed most of the troops of the Shang Dynasty. Before there was time to recuperate, the people of Zhou took advantage of the weakness. Thirdly, the strength of Zhou people should not be underestimated. The people of Zhou have a long-standing ambition to seize the world. After the full preparation of the two generations of King Wen and King Wu, they have accumulated strong strength. Their army is well-trained, strong and organized. In addition, the leadership of the people of Zhou is full of talents and good at using troops. It is really difficult to deal with. Finally, in the first World War in Muye, King Zhou committed a military taboo and took the lax captured soldiers as the vanguard. You should know that in the age of cold weapons, morale plays a crucial role in the victory or defeat of war. As long as the morale of the army is shaken a little, the army will collapse immediately. The prisoners turned against the enemy before the battle and dispersed in a crowd, resulting in the defeat of the Shang army, which could not be controlled at all.
Those who completely overturned the case went one step further and said King Zhou was a hero forever. He said that he not only pacified the eastern barbarians and opened up the southeast, but also actively advocated music and handicraft industry, which played a major role in carrying forward ancient culture, greatly promoted the development of social productive forces, and made important contributions to the formation of the Chinese nation.
History is really a little girl who can be dressed up. What you say is reasonable. Is it true that King Zhou was not only a tyrant, but also a sage of the Ming Dynasty? Are all historical records nonsense? Is this really an eternal injustice? For this reason, there is a view to refute these views of overturning the case for King Zhou.
Those who refute those who overturned the case believe that the indictment of King Zhou is undeniable, and the basis of the overturned article is too far fetched. First, it was absolutely true that King Zhou drank too much. Although drinking too much in the aristocracy at that time was a social trend, it showed that the corruption of the upper class of the whole aristocracy was definitely not a good thing. Under the social reality of extremely low productivity at that time, it would cost a lot of food to make wine, and alcoholism was definitely a sin. Moreover, when King Wu listed the sins of King Zhou on behalf of Zhou, there was no such thing as drinking too much. King Zhou’s drinking was mentioned in the internal proclamation of the Zhou Dynasty, which was already after the establishment of the Zhou Dynasty. At that time, the Duke of Zhou cited the example of King Zhou in order to educate uncle Kang and King Cheng. Since it is only used for internal education, why deliberately exaggerate the sins of King Zhou? Second, the use of villains by King Zhou is also debatable. Those who overturned the case said that King Zhou used talents. For example, Fei Zhong was “good at managing money”, which proved that King Zhou was a virtuous person, not a flattering villain. But Fei zhonghaoli is clearly recorded in history. He once received gifts from the people of Zhou, including beautiful women, horses, etc., and then said good things for the king of Zhou in his ear, hoodwinking the king of Zhou and making the king of Zhou underestimate the strength of the people of Zhou. Even if Fei Zhong is really talented, he is also a traitor in the Shang Dynasty. King Zhou’s reuse of such a person is a major mistake, if not a crime. Thirdly, if women are right, they should be listened to. But history does not record any outstanding women around King Zhou. If there is a heroine like a woman, history should record her name. Since there is no such thing, it means that the women around King Zhou do not have any special talents. I am afraid that listening to women is more based on the likes and dislikes of King Zhou, Not according to the right or wrong point of view. Fourth, it is indeed an internal struggle not to have to pay tribute to the old ministers. However, it is difficult to say who is right and who is wrong in this struggle. Even though the Weiziqi group is engaged in a conspiracy, it is also a fact that King Zhou cannot do a good job in internal unity. In short, internal strife aggravated the internal contradictions of the ruling group of the Shang Dynasty, and caused the collapse of the Shang Dynasty.
One of the important reasons of China. In addition, as mentioned in Article 1, most of the cases of King Zhou’s tyranny mentioned by the people of Zhou Dynasty are found in their internal proclamations, which means learning from history and pursuing long-term stability. It can not be said that they are all propaganda for the sake of war.
In addition to determining King Zhou’s crimes, those who opposed overturning the case went further and wanted to completely overthrow King Zhou’s so-called “achievements”. They found a lot of evidence: first, according to the Ancient Bamboo Annals and the biography of Dongyi in the later Han Dynasty, the contact between Dongyi and Xia was much earlier than King Zhou. Although the specific time of the final conquest of Dongyi cannot be determined, it cannot be later than the period of emperor B, the father of King Zhou. Of course, King Zhou did use his troops to reconquer the eastern barbarians, but later the eastern barbarians rebelled again when King Wu attacked Zhou, and Duke Zhou and bomao’s father sent troops to the East. It can be seen that the conquest of Dongyi was not initiated by King Zhou, nor was it accomplished in his hands. Moreover, the conquest of the eastern barbarians was an invasion after all, and it would be far fetched to say that it was a credit. Therefore, it is too much to say that King Zhou’s conquest of the eastern barbarians was the pioneer of China’s reunification. As for the fact that King Zhou spread the advanced culture to the relatively backward southeast region at that time, it is also worth discussing, because there is no historical data to prove that the people of yin and Shang Dynasties moved southward on a large scale during the king Zhou period. Moreover, how backward China’s southeast region was at that time must be discussed again. Ancient Chinese culture originated in many places, such as Shandong, Huaihe River and Yangtze River. The origin of these cultures was very high before King Zhou. Needless to say, the Longshan culture of Shandong and Henan existed in prehistory, that is, the bronze culture of Hubei and Anhui. The time is basically the same as that of the Shang Dynasty, and the style is very different, and the level is very high. It can never be said that it was influenced by the Shang Dynasty. Therefore, it is not enough to praise King Zhou for spreading culture. As for the conclusion drawn from the records of “Zhou’s love of wine and pleasure”, it is said that this is “King Zhou’s advocacy and creation of music”, which is even more important to the world. It is the iron evidence that King Zhou is greedy for pleasure and wastes people and money. How can it be publicized as a merit? In a word, those who opposed the overturning of the case still believed that King Zhou was a wanton, brutal, militaristic tyrant, and had an unshirkable responsibility for the destruction of the Yin Dynasty.
Looking at the views and arguments of the two schools, we will have an interesting discovery, that is, both sides use basically the same historical materials. Different interpretations of the same historical materials lead to different views on both sides. It is in these different views derived from the same historical materials that the face of King Zhou becomes more and more blurred. It seems that to explore whether King Zhou is a tyrant, how cruel he is, and what his merits and demerits are, we can only hope that the excavation of new materials will provide us with more evidence.