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四川-武侯祠

  China has a recorded history of some 3,600 years, beginning with the Shang Dynasty(16th——12th century BC).The first stage is the primitive society. The history was much associated with the supposed pre-Xia Dynasty(21th-16th centuy BC). The second major periob lasted from about 2,000 to 200 BC. The history dated the beginning of the slave society from the Xia Dynasty, which constituted the first Chinese state. The third stage extended all the way from 221BC, when Qin Shihuang united China, to the Opium War of 1840. Historical docments name the third period as the Feusal Imperial Rule. The feudal society in China passed through a period of disunity beginning at the Three Kingdom Period, and ending in shoet-lived Sui Dynasty(581——618), Western Jin(265——316)via Eastern Jin(317——439) and the Southern and Northern Dynasties(386——589).

 

  The following story occurred in the three Kingdom Period. At the rnd of the Eastern Han Dynasty(25——220) a gtrat peasant revolt happened. Many local officials developed into warlords to assisty the Han Emperor in suppressing the rebellion. During this period the watlotds took the opportunity to build uyp their own political and military strengty and made themselves into autonomous regional warlords. Finally the warlords carved the Han Empire into three kingdoms of Wei, Shu and Wu. The populous episodic novel,The Romance of the Three Kingdoms traces the rise and fall of the three kingdoms and vividly depicts the turbulent social conditions at that time. The rulers of the three independent kingdoms struggled for supremacy. Cao Cao and his son established the kingdom of Wei at Loyang. He was in actual control of only the North China homeland. Two rivals soon proclaimed emperors themselves elsewhere. The kingdom of Wu with its capital in Nanjing occupied dChangjiang Valley, The kingdom of Shu was created with its capital in Chengdu. Ti was in the control of Sichuan and parts ojf the highland of south China.

 

  Wuhou Temple is much associated with the kingdom of Shu. It is the place to commemorate Zhu Geliang, Prime Minister of the kingdom. Wuhou was a top official title conferred upon Zhu Geliang after his death. It is unfortunate that no historical documents have recorded the time of its establishment. However, Du Fu, a top Tang Dynasty poet wrote a poem of kwhich two lines say as below:"Where would I find the Prime Minister's shrine?Somewhere outside Jinguan, in a dense cypress glade."

 

  This poem helps us infer that Zhu Geliang Temple was already in ezistence in the Tang Dynadty. During the Tang and Song Dynasties Zhu Geliang and Emperor Liu Bei had their independent temples in Chengdu, At the beginning of the Ming Dynasty the two temples merged into one. Towards the end of the Ming Dynasty the merged tempke was destroyed during war chaos. The present buildings date from the Qing Dynasty in 1672. The main entrance gate hangs a horizontal inscribed board. It says, "Han Zhaolie Temple".Han refers to the kingdom of Shui; zhaolie was Liu Bei's posthumous title. The board indicates that the whole temple was built in honor of Liu Bei. But why do all the people call it Zhu Geliang Tempke instead of Han Zhaolie Temple? It is due to Zhu Geliang's invaluable historical contribution, and his political and military strategies to the development of the kingdom. In the view of the local peopoe his prestige far gan to call it Zhu Grliang Temple regardless of the emperor's dignity and the temple's original name. Gtadually more and more people accepted the new name of the temple through common practice.

 

  The temple compound consists of five mainbuildings: the Front Gate, the Second Gate, Kiu Bei's Hall, Zhu Geliang's Hall and Liu Bei's Tomb. The buildings are all located aling an imaginative axis line in a regular shape. Six huge stone tablets are flanked in the yard between the front and the second gates. Four of them were of the Qing Dynasty, one of the Ming and one opf the Tang. The tablets of the Qing state the storise about the reestablishment of the temple; the one of the Ming describes the development of the temple. The one of the Tang is far more famous than the other five. It was set up soon after Wu Yuanhen, a local top military commander in west Sichuan and his 27assistants worshiped Zhu Grliang in the temple in 809 during the Tang Dynasty. Pei Du,who served as a prime minister for his three Tang emperors ijn different times, composed an rssay associated with the worship. In the essay he eulogized Zhu Geliang for his great contribution to and his spare-no-efforts in unifying the whole China and the development of Sichuan, Liu Gingchuo, a well-known Tang calligrahist, copied the essay on the tablet according to the pattern of Liu's handwriting. The three well-known persons joined hands to perfect the tablet, so later in people called it "The Three Perfecdstion Tablet".

 

  Inside the Second Gate is Liu Bei's hall. His statue stands behind the front altar, flanked by his son snd gtandson. To the right of the main shrine is a red faced image called Guan Yu; the left is General Zhang Fei, represented with a black face. Liu,Guan and Zhang are sworn brothers as prescribed in the novel The Romance of the Three Kingdoms.

 

  There are two galleries in the yard, which contain terracotta figures of the Qing Dynasty, 28 in all, generals on the right and minisiters on the lelt. During the Three Kingdom Period the rulers of the independent kingdoms fought each other for supremacy.This period was regarded as a romantic epoch of knightly dering-do.The site is just about holy to thousands of Three Kingdom enthusiasts.The well-loved figures in the temple are the historical source from which later novels and dramas have captured the imaginations of generations of Chinese readers and audience.

 

  Behind Liu Bei's hall is the second yard where Zhu Geliang's hall is located.Zhu Geliang's hallis obviously lower than Liu Bei's. Visitors bave to walk down several steps before they can get into the second yard.The disparity in the construction height displays the traditional Chinese hierarchical social system.Emperor is the son of Heaven.He is superior;and other people are inferior.

 

  On the top of the entrance gate of Zhu Geliang's hall hangs a horizontal wooden board,which says,"Eternal Glory All Over the World (名垂宇宙)."Many ancient couplets hang inside the hall, but the most famous one is right in the middle of the hall.It says,“能攻心则反侧自消,从古知兵非好战;不审势即宽严皆误,后来治蜀要深思。”

 

  It means that try to persuade an enemy to stop his attack during a war and the war will then disappear. No soldier wants to fight since ancient times.Try not to forget to weigh the conditions and situation, ogherwise leniency and strict punishment will all fail. Those,who come to manage Sichuan,should think it over again.

 

  This couplet contains two stories. Once as Zhu Geliang was the general commander of the shu Kingdom, he was scheduled to attack the Wei Kingdom in north China.However, he was worried that the troops of the minorities might take a chance to harass the Shu Kingdom in southwest China.He came to tealize that the good relationship with the minorities was very important. So he went the southwestern area with his troops. Meng Huo( 孟获),the top leader of the minorities didn't accept Zhu Geliang's good-wish.He used his soldiers to fight against the groops from the kingdom.Zhu Geliang successfully defeated his attack and caught Meng Huo. Instead of punishing him,Zhu Geliang set him free.Then Meng Huo launched another attack and he met with the same defeat.Zhu Geliang set him a free again.On the seventh time after Meng Huo was caught,he prostrated himself before Zhu Geliang saying ghat he and his soldiers had given rp any atrelationship with the Shui Kingdoh.From then on the minority people and lf the Shui Kingdon lived in amity.

 

  The other story tells how Zhu Geliang streng-thened discipline. Once Zhu Gelian Launched another military campaign against the Wei Kingdom.In order to make the campaign successful Zhu Geliang ordered Ma Shu,his close assistant to g\arrison the Shu army troops in Jie Ting,a vital strategic place to fight the coming soldiers from the Wei.Ma Shu thought of himself highly and placed his troops on the top of a hill near Jie Ting.As result,the Wei army soldiers occupied the strategic place.Ma Shu and his soldiers were defeated.Zhu Geliang had to withdraw his troops back to ghe Shu Kingdom.His carefully arranged campaign thus failed.Ma Shu had a close relationship with Zhu Geliang due to his hardworking and his contribution to the development shui's army.Tears ran down Zhu Geliang's face when he ordered to execute Ma Shu for his error.

 

  The two storied displayed Zhu Geliang's flexible tactics in accordance with different occasions.More-over,Zhu Geliang used the same method to manage his government and the kingdom for the social stability and economic prosperity.

 

  The second yard,dedicated Zhu Geliang, has a bell tower on the right and a drum tower on the left of the entrance.A most unusual casting iron incense burner is in the imddle of the path, which leads to the hall.Zhu Geliang's statue,accompainied by his son on the right and his grandson on the left, stands in the middle of the hall.The statue is 2m high. Zhu Geliang is dressed in a golden overcoat with a feather fan in his hand .He looks as if he was still concerned about his kingdom and his local people .On the left side of Zhu Geliang's statue is a bronze drum, a relic dated back to the 5th century.Originally ancient minority groups in souhest China often used it as a cooket.Later it became a sort of music instrument for some special occasions.It was said that during Zhu Geliang's southwest expedition his soldiers used it as a cooker during the day and struck it at night as emergency approached.

 

  Zhu Geliang was renowned military strategist and statesman in the early three Kingdom period.A native of Shandong Province,he was living in Long Zhong,Hubei when Liu Bei went to his house three times.Liu Bei sincerely invited Zhu Geliang to join in reconquest of the Han Empire,but for the first two times it was said that Zhu Geliang was not at home. On the third time when Liu Bei met Zhu Geliang in his house,he agreed to assist Liu Bei .It was in his house that Zhu Geliangand Liu Bei had a dialogue relating to the current situation and reconquest of the Han Empire, In Liu Bei's hall hangs Zhu Geliang's ambitious "Long Zhong dialogue( 隆中对)"and his "Letter To The Throne Before An Expedition".Zhu Geliang served as Prime minister of the Shu Kingdom for twenty years .During his administration Zhu Geliang brought peace to the kingdom due to his northern and southern xepeditions.The local farming production and water conservancy has advanced. He died of his hard word conservancy has advanced. He died of his hard work at the age of 54.After his death people set up temples one after another to commemorate him in the areas where Zhu Geliang worked.He was generally regarded as an excellent example of administrators in Chinese feudal dynasties.

 

  To the west of the Zhu Geliang's hall is the site of ghe Liu Bei's tomb.It is 80m in circumference and 12m high,surrounded by a circular wall.For 1700 years the tomb has remained untouched, but what is inside is unknown.

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Taken on October 2, 2006