Conquest and Resistance: Political Dynamics and Cultural Transformation in the “Southern Territory” of the Zhou Dynasty
The Nan Tu 南土, or the Southern Territory, was the southern periphery of the Western Zhou Dynasty. Situated between the middle reaches of the Huai River and Han River, the Southern Territory was home to a group of regional states, whose relations with the Zhou central court remained fluid throughout the Western Zhou period. It thus became one of the most politically dynamic regions within the domain of the Western Zhou Dynasty. However, the Southern Territory was one of the most neglected regions in the study of the Western Zhou history so far due to the lack of primary sources and an effective research strategy. By combining transmitted texts with bronze inscriptions and recent archaeological findings, this research adopts a narrative approach to represent the history of cross-regional interactions between the Southern Territory and the core area of the Zhou Dynasty from the early Western Zhou to the early Spring and Autumn period. I argue that political dynamics generated by geographical heterogeneity within the Western Zhou State were responsible for a series of political and military conflicts that involved both the Southern Territory and the Zhou central court, including King Zhao’s Southern Expedition, the Southern Huai Yi War, King Li’s Southern Expedition and the establishment of the Zhou regional states in the south during King Xuan’s reign. By painstakingly reconstructing and analyzing the chronology, geography, sequence of events and consequences of these incidents, I conclude that they not only involved political struggles and institutional changes within the Zhou central court, but also affected and transformed the political landscape and culture in the Southern Territory. It thus stimulated the rise of the Chu Culture and ultimately contributed to the sinicization of South China in the long run. It is hoped that this paper may settle a series of controversies concerning the chronology and the political and military history of the Western Zhou Dynasty. Additionally, by shifting the focus from the core to the periphery and from North China to South China, this research may provide new insights into the history of Western Zhou China. In a larger context, I wish to address more general issues, including the mechanisms of sinicization and contingency as the primary agent of change in history.
在 IR 系統中的文件，除了特別指名其著作權條款之外，均受到著作權保護，並且保留所有的權利。