The harsh decree of the early Western Zhou Dynasty: all those who gathered to drink were arrested and beheaded

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According to Sima Qian’s historical records, the direct inducement for the subjugation of King Zhou of Shang Dynasty was to eat and drink and indulge in lust. There is also a saying about eating and drinking a lot, that is, the Shang and Zhou dynasties used to “take wine as a pool and meat as a forest”. Comparing “historical records” with its previous document “Shangshu”, this statement has a large component of folklore.

The book of Zhou Kang Gao in the book of history records the public order of Duke Zhou (Ji Dan), who took charge of the state affairs on behalf of King Cheng of Zhou, instructing his nephew Ji Feng to ban alcohol in the state of Wei. This order is not only aimed at the Wei state of Ji Feng, but also at all the regions under the jurisdiction of the whole Zhou Dynasty, including the capital.

This proclamation summarizes the lessons of the subjugation of Shang and Zhou dynasties, and lists excessive drinking as the most direct reason, but does not mention the specific details of Jiuchi Roulin. However, as a major historical lesson, assuming that Sakai Roulin really exists, Ji Dan’s public instruction will not be irrelevant.

In terms of the current situation at that time, even if the details of Jiuchi Roulin were just a legend rather than a historical truth, the newly established Dynasty was also very scared of the lessons of eating, drinking and subjugating the country. First, the conquerors were intoxicated with victory and indulged in success. It was impossible not to indulge in drinking and eating; Second, the conquered old Yinshang people were settled by the conquerors. Their previous habit of drinking and eating was hard to change, which inevitably affected the behavior of the conquerors.

The state of Wei was the old hinterland of the Yin and Shang Dynasties. Ji Feng, the vassal who was granted here, was the mother and brother of King Cheng of Zhou.

In this public instruction, Ji Dan did not completely prohibit drinking, but took three graded measures: first, the noble children who held official positions at all levels in the capital of the dynasty were not allowed to drink regularly; Secondly, the aristocratic children who served as officials at all levels in the vassal states could only drink alcohol during sacrifice; Third, take care of the old people of yin and Shang who lived in the state of Wei. When their parents were happy, they could drink alcohol.

The policy is not too detailed! Since it is so detailed, it is inevitable that there are strict provisions in the end. The most severe thing is to prevent group drinking, because once wine emboldens people, dissatisfaction will be ignited, and people will make trouble and rebel. Therefore, Ji Dan said: “if someone reports that ‘there are people drinking in groups’, Ji Feng, you should not indulge them. You should arrest them all and send them to the capital of the dynasty. I will kill them myself.” Such strict provisions still treat different objects differently. For those who were willing to drink in groups, the old people of the Yin and Shang Dynasties should give education and admonition instead of killing them. However, those who refuse to change after persuasion will also be killed.

The Duke of Zhou’s cruel policy really played a shocking role in the early Western Zhou Dynasty. However, when it came to the tenth generation of monarch Ji Hu (King li of Zhou), the prohibition order was no longer effective. Ji Hu’s close minister Rongyi was greedy for money and wine, and refused any criticism. At that time, people said that the kind of officials represented by him were “right when listening, and drunk when reciting”. In the present words: if you say something pleasant to your ear, I will talk to you for a few words; If you don’t like what you say, I’ll pretend to be drunk. I can’t hear you and ignore you.

Under the torment of Rong Yi Gong and of course his own suppression of dissent, the Li generation led to internal chaos. He was beaten away by a coup and ran to a place called “swine”. He died after being wronged for 14 years. After the coup, the word “Republic” appeared in Chinese historical documents for the first time. The two traditional politicians, Duke Zhou and Duke Zhao, were in charge together and spent 14 important years in Chinese history.

The 14 years began in 841 BC and ended in 828 BC. From 841 B.C., Chinese history had a definite chronology. Official documents recorded what happened in a certain year. The previous events can only be sketched out. For example, the instructions of kanggao written by Ji Dan can only be said to be in the early days of King Cheng and the reign of Duke Zhou, without an accurate year.

Jokingly, he said that it was the drinking of King li of Zhou Dynasty that gave China an accurate chronological time.

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