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BODHI FIELD

陶淵明詩講緣
Lectures on Tao Yuanming's Poems

葉嘉瑩教授 講 By Professor Yeh Chia-ying
郇若慧‧比丘尼恆音 英譯 English translation by Josey Shun and Bhikshuni Heng Yin

陶淵明是生活在東晉時代。那是個怎樣的時代呢?你們知中國歷史那麼長久,我們真不知該從何說起。我只能從中說一點點大家比較熟悉的。我想大家都知道「三國演義」這本小說。現在我們這裡的「中國城」還有「劉關張」的一些社團組織那就是東晉之前的「三國」時代的人。那現在我就從三國時代接下來說。所謂「三國」的時代,是指魏國、蜀國、還有吳國。本來在三國時代以前是漢朝;漢朝最後一個皇帝是獻帝。他的名字叫劉協。漢獻帝是一個很無能的皇帝。那個時候是曹操,大家都知道唱戲的時候,臉上晝著很多白粉的那個人,那就是曹操。曹操在漢獻帝時代是作丞相的。那麼那個蜀呢?當然大家都知道那是由劉備以及諸葛亮所代表的一方。

吳的國君呢?就是孫權。後來蜀國最先滅亡了。魏是最後滅亡的。魏是曹操死了以後,他的兒子曹丕廢了漢獻帝,自己作了皇帝後的國號。那後來到他孫子那一代的時候,他手下有一家姓司馬的人家,你如果看過中國的京戲「空城計」就知道了。一個叫司馬師,一個叫司馬昭;司馬昭的兒子叫司馬炎。就是這個司馬炎把曹魏的皇帝推翻了,自己作了皇帝。然後就改自己國家的稱號為「晉」,這就是晉朝的開始。

好,大家現在就有了一個印象,就是從曹操、劉備、孫權那裡下來的三國,後來兼併成了曹魏的一國,後來又被司馬氏一家篡奪了,於是才有了晉這個朝代。然而晉朝的政治非常不好,他們常常自己發動內戰。那時候,他們朝廷中的皇帝、官吏、大臣、將軍、以及貴族們,他們的道德都很敗壞,很墮落。他們只知道追求自己的權力和地位,不但想要設法從人家異姓手裡搶來政權,由自己取代人家作皇帝,甚至他們自己家裡的兄弟、叔侄之間也相互爭奪,彼此互相殺戮。

那個時候歷史上曾經發生過「八王之亂」,就是八個王子,他們都是司馬家族裡的人,因為爭權奪位而相互打仗引起的戰亂。既然他們自己朝廷內部的政治是這樣敗壞,於是許多異族的敵人也乘虛而入。於是這就出現了中國歷史上叫做「五胡十六國」的時代。

「胡」,是中國歷史上對外族的稱謂;就是把外族人叫做「胡人」。「五胡十六國」,是說有五種不同的外族胡人,在中國建立了十六個小國家。後來這些小國的勢力慢慢強大起來,其中有一個匈奴種族建立的國家,就把晉朝的皇帝給推翻了。晉朝最後的一個皇帝是晉懷帝,他的首都是在洛陽。當洛陽被匈奴佔領了,晉懷帝被俘虜去之後,當時晉朝的皇帝還有一個子孫是在長安的。他就在長安自立,承繼了皇位,這就是晉愍帝。後來長安也被外族佔領了,愍帝也被俘虜了。而且他們受了很多侮辱,最後都被殺死了。

這個時候,中國的北方就都被外族佔領了。與此同時,在南方也有司馬家族的人,這個人叫司馬睿,他當時是在建康;建康就是相當於今天南京的地方。這個司馬睿看到中國的北方,黃河流域的大片國士都被外族的胡人佔領了,所以他就在南方又建立起自己的國家,他的首都就是建康,他的朝代也還叫做晉。

不過為了與原來滅亡了的晉朝有所區別,所以大家就稱這個建都在中國東南方向的建康的晉朝為「東晉」,把原來建都在中國西部的洛陽的那個晉叫做「西晉」。好,現在我們已經來到東晉了。我們下面要講的這個詩人陶淵明,就是東晉這個時代的人。

上面我們說了,自從西晉那個時代開始,中國朝廷裡邊的那些作皇帝的,做大官的,就都是彼此爭奪殘殺的。西晉的時代如此,東晉的時代也仍然是這樣子,因為時間的關係,我這裡只簡單講幾件重要的東西。

待續

Tao Yuanming lived during the Eastern Jin Dynasty. What kind of time was it? You all know that China has such a long history; we really don't know where to start. I can only talk about a little part of it with which all of you are familiar. Everyone has heard of the novel called Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Right here in Chinatown, there is a "Liu-Guan-Zhang" Society. Those were people in the Era of the Three Kingdoms, which preceded the Eastern Jin Dynasty. Now, I will talk from the Era of the Three Kingdoms.

The Three Kingdoms were the kingdoms of Wei, Shu, and Wu. Be­fore the Three Kingdoms was the Han Dynasty. The last emperor of the Han Dynasty was Emperor Xiang, whose name was Liuxie. He was a very incompetent ruler. Cao Cao—whose character in Chinese opera is always shown with a white face—was Emperor Xiang's prime minister. The kingdom of Shu, as everyone knows, was represented by Liu Bei and Zhu Geliang.

The king of Wu was Sun Quan. Later on, Shu was the first to perish, and Wu the last. Wei was the title of the dy­nasty started by Cao Cao's son, Cao Pi, who usurped the throne of Han Emperor Xiang after Cao Cao's death. When Cao Cao's grandson was in power, there was a family with the surname Sima. You will know this name if you have watched the Chinese opera, "The Scheme of the Empty City." There was Sima Shi and Sima Zhao. Sima Zhao's son was Sima Yan, who usurped the throne from the emperor of the Wei dynasty. He changed the name of the dynasty to Jin, and that is how the Jin Dynasty began.     Now everyone has a general idea: The Three Kingdoms of Cao Cao, Liu Bei, and Sun Quan were later unified under the dynasty of Cao-Wei, which was then overthrown by the Sima family who started the Jin dynasty. However, the government of the Jin dynasty was corrupt, and there were constant civil wars. Everyone in the imperial court, including the emperor, the officials, the ministers, the generals, and the aristocrats, was very corrupt and depraved. All they cared about was the pursuit of personal power and position. Not only did other families try to usurp political power and place their own members on the throne, even within the royal family brothers fought and killed each other.

That was when "The Revolt of the Eight Princes" occurred. It was a war brought on by feuding over power and rank among eight princes in the Sima family. Many foreign tribes took advantage of the corruption of the ruling court and invaded China, ushering in the period in Chinese history known as the "Five Barbarian Tribes and the Sixteen Kingdoms."

"Hu" was a general name given to foreign tribes in Chinese history. The foreigners were called "Hu people." The "Five Hu and Sixteen Kingdoms" refers to five foreign tribes that set up sixteen small kingdoms in China. Those small kingdoms gradually expanded their strength, until one of them, a kingdom established by the Xiongnu tribe, overthrew the Jin Dynasty. The last emperor of Jin Dynasty was Emperor Huai, whose capital was at Loyang. While the Xiongnu occupied Loyang and held Emperor Huai captive, a descendant of the emperor living in Chang'an proclaimed himself heir to the throne and became Emperor Ming. Later on, Chang'an was overtaken and Emperor Ming was also captured. Both emperors were tortured and killed.

At that time, all of north China was occupied by foreigners. In south China, there was a man named Sima Rui who lived in Jiankang (near present-day Nanjing). When Sima Rui saw that ihe whole ter­ritory of north China along the Yellow River basin had been over­taken by foreigners, he set up his own country in the south, with its capital at Jiankang and the dynasty still named Jin.

In order to distinguish this Jin Dynasty from the former Jin Dynasty, it is called the Eastern Jin Dynasty, for it was located in southeast China with its capital at Jiankang. The other one is known as the West­ern Jin Dynasty, being located in western China with its capital at Loyang. Now we are in the Eastern Jin Dynasty, and we are going to talk about a poet, Tao Yuanming, who lived in that period.

We have mentioned that the emperors and high officials had been fighting with each other since the Western Jin Dynasty. It was that way in the Western Jin Dynasty, and it was still the same in the Eastern Jin Dynasty. Due to limited time, I will only briefly talk about some of the more important events.

To be continued

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