Dissertation > History, geography > Geography > Geography

Ideas, System and Interest in the Geography of the Sung Dynasties

Author PanZuo
Tutor TangXiaoFeng
School Beijing University
Course Historical Geography
Keywords The Sung dynasties history of geography ideas system interest of knowledge
Type PhD thesis
Year 2008
Downloads 1042
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The dissertation reconstructed the basic features of the Sung dynasties from the ideas, system and knowledge interest on the stand of the knowledge system of the Chinese ancient geography.First, through surveying the bibliographies and lei shu (类书,encyclopedias)of the Sung dynasties, we came to the conclusion that there were obvious professional consciousness of the geography in ideas. And in regard to bibliographies, We found that the idea of the geography was defined along the path of the territory geography. While, the ancient geography tradition of the Shan hai jing(classic description on mountains and rivers) had been gradually to downplay consciously. And during the early years of the south Sung dynasty, the most eye-catcher was the classification of the geography by Zheng qiao(郑樵), which constituted a landscape of the geography which had the heavy academics consciousness between the North Sung and the South.And encyclopedias’classifications, from the North Sung,“di”(地) basing by concept of mountain, waters, etc., and“zhou jun”(州郡, administrative area) had gradually been taken into "di li"(地理, Geo-)category which had the explicit geography idea, then constituted a complete geography knowledge system. In practice, the concept and scope of the“di li”-“Yu di”(舆地)-“zhou jun”are explicit and logic gradually. Particularly, in the name of "Yu di ti gang"(舆地提纲,outline of the geography), Xi weixin(谢维新) explained the concrete objects from the geography eyes completely, such as mountain, stream, and road, which is a grate performance of the geography idea in the Sung dynasties. Generally, internal of the geography category, the knowledge was more same, then was more dissimilitude to external.Second, we had an inquiry into the change of the dynastic geography’s system during the Sung dynasties, from the writings’nature and technique tradition, and we came to following conclusions. Among them,‘Run niantu’(闰年图, a kind of maps making in the leap year) and‘Tu jing’(图经) ,as two kind of geography archives of the dynasty, had been ceased and discarded after the middle or later of the North Sung, and developed to administrative geography works compiled by locale government or wrote by elites. In the South Sung, it became popular. Although many of them inherited the style of‘Tu jing’of the North Sung, there took grate change, the process of their production were much difference, they were no longer reported to central Imperial government, no longer kept and managed as archives, but popularized as works even texts, and been honor and symbol of the local politics and culture. On the other hand, outside the periodical‘Run niantu’, the frequent system of official business maps making and reporting, and hard work of the common technique bureaucrats, which not only made up a set of fine space control technology, but also pushing forward the survey and map technical. All of these become the foundation that Shen kuo(沈括) and others made empire maps and discussed map theories. Outstanding, the North Sung edited all kinds of the empire geography books and maps actively, constructing the new empire image continuously, and then made up special office which once become an important stage of imperial political power. But along with the change of political geography situation between the North Sung and the South, such actives looked like fall into deadlock suddenly, and substituted central government, local become the main collectors and editors of the imperial geography data.Facing to the external world, the political geography situation of the Sung dynasties effected the development of the geography directly and obviously. Boundary making broke the classic political geography idea ,‘Wu fu’(五服,five different political cycle), and founded a set of principles to make out boundary and the way how to express humanities space. During diplomacy activity, ambassadors wrote many‘Yu lu’(语录, a kind of record of diplomacy travel) and poets, which recorded latest geography information of other countries. It was important that travels opened the scholar’s geography visual eyes, turned deeply to the understanding of the northern nature and the human geography, and promoted the geography knowledge accumulating. While elites’aggressive attitude turned those piecemeal knowledge with overseas trade into an orderly system, and become more complete and objective world idea gradually.At the third part, we discussed knowledge interest of the geography under academic background of the Sung dynasties. We found it was an important intellectual program how to annotate or explain Yu gong(禹贡, classic text by Da yu). Suffering the Yellow River’s flood frequently, most scholars and elites looked Yu gong as‘shui xue’(水学), the academic about rivers during the North Sung. Along with the variety of political and academic situation, the idea took grate change in the South Sung. Particularly, by the outstanding work of Zhu xi(朱熹) and Cheng dachang(程大昌), who induced and refined a set of theories and methods to research ancient geography in classic text, which was been accepted and practiced by scholars at that time. From then on, explaining and annotating of the text turned into geography study.According to the geography works of the Sung dynasties, we can come to Conclusions that scholars liked to write all kinds of contemporary geography books, on the same time, they were interest in historical geography, and writing books about‘Ming shan fu di’(名山福地,famous mountains and blessing ground). Outstanding, many scholars had strong interesting in observing the nature. Not only the aesthetic natural view was very flourishing, but they liked think and explain all kinds of nature phenomenon from object or material stand, even some scholars research nature by continue observing. Such action was not accidental phenomena in the scholars at that time, but a popular. On the condition, there were Yu jing(余靖)’s tide theories and Shen kuo’s science achieve, and etc.. Especially, observing and recording nature and geography phenomena became a stand content in diary during the South Sung, effected by the idea of‘ge wu’(格物) of‘li xue’(理学).Basing on above investigation, we thought that the geography had great development and prosper in practice field under the academic and political background, but there were grate change in epistemology during the Sung dynasties. The dynastic geography went forward along recording the territory change more and more. And its quantity tradition had been weaken gradually in describing place and locale, but the way of literature writing and history identity had been developed quickly and took the rule position. The scholars considered geography as professional knowledge gradually, but following the way the geography came to humanization. In the certain degree, booming development of the interest in nature world brought empiricism and positivism to the geography, but it was not come to current of the academic, and did not change the basic way of learn nature world at that times. So the prosper of the Sung dynasties did not get break development for the Chinese ancient geography, in other words, the geography does not an academic which could develop alone.

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