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地理变迁中的“江南”

2019-12-13余连祥

文化交流 2019年11期
关键词:江东江南

余连祥

“江南可采莲,莲叶何田田。”在人教版一年级上册语文课本里,这首汉乐府《江南》作为必背古诗出现。

对很多中国人来说,这是江南的模样第一次朦胧地在眼前勾勒出来。

可是,江南,到底指哪里?地理上的江南,如何界定?历史上的江南,又有过怎样的变迁?它的精神内涵又是什么?在长三角一体化的时代进程中,“新江南”又具体指向何处?

江南是一个历史性概念。

历史地理学家周振鹤认为,先秦秦汉三国西晋时期,江南大致指的是今湖南地区,兼及今江西。《史记》《三国志》等史书就是如此使用江南这一概念的。长江下游以南,古代称为江东。当年项羽率领的江东八千精兵,就是从太湖流域的吴中带去的。“至今思项羽,不肯过江东。”李清照的诗也沿用了这一历史概念。

明清江南区域经济史研究专家李伯重在《简论“江南地区”的界定》中说,“通常从北方到今江南是通过今安徽渡江到今南京一带的。而南京至芜湖一段长江正是西南东北向,所以称今江南为江东顺理成章”。当年也称江东为江左,同时称对岸的今安徽北部及其以北地区为江西。东晋永嘉丧乱,大批中原人“如过江之鲫”,从广陵(今扬州)渡江南下。此处的长江是东西走向的,于是,原先的“江东”被改称“江南”了。江南对岸的苏北被称为江北。唐代的行政区划把长江中下游以南地区称为江南道,后又分江南东道与江南西道。唐后期,出现了湖南,取代了秦汉时期的“江南”。

《禹贡》为《尚书》中的名篇,是我国历史研究与考古研究中最重要的参考文献。《禹贡》分天下为九州,江南属扬州。同治《湖州府志·物产上》载:“扬州土惟涂泥,郡地最低,性尤沮洳,特宜水稻。”江南的太湖流域,其地形基本特征是四周高耸,中部低洼,是一个以太湖为中心的大型碟形洼地。数千年的粮田垦殖,就是将“涂泥”湿地垦殖成粮田的过程。

五代十国时,吴越王钱鏐建都杭州,大兴水利,重点治理钱塘江和太湖。“世方喋血以事干戈,我且闭关而修蚕织”,一心一意发展经济,使这一带成为闻名全国的“鱼米之乡,丝绸之府”。吴越时“岁多丰稔”,范成大说“民间钱五十文籴白米一石”。

太湖流域塘浦圩田系统的形成,为太湖平原由自然河道形态向人工河网化方向迈进奠定了基础,又使太湖流域的农业经济走上繁荣的道路,促使国家经济重心的南移。南宋时,形成了“苏湖熟,天下足”的局面。明清时期,太湖流域成为全国经济最发达的地区。经济的发达,又促进了商业的繁荣。“无丝不成镇”,南浔、双林、乌镇、盛泽、新市等专业性丝绸业市镇迅速崛起。“上有天堂,下有苏杭。”这样的江南令人艳羡。

研究明清经济史的专家,一般把太湖流域称为明清时期的“江南”。李伯重就把“江南地区”界定为太湖流域的八府一州。“就明清时代而言,作为一个经济区域的江南地区,其合理范围应是今苏南浙北,即明清的苏、松、常、镇、宁、杭、嘉、湖八府以及由苏州府划出的仓州”。这其实是明清时期“江南”的核心區块,即狭义的江南。而广义的江南一般指长江中下游的苏南、皖南和浙江,包括后起的区域中心城市上海。

受政治、经济、文化、交通等因素的影响,江南的中心城市也有一个变迁的过程。吴越国和南宋小朝廷都建都杭州,杭州就成为江南地区的中心城市。南京是六朝金粉之地,加上明太祖定都南京,南京也常常成为江南地区的中心城市。明永乐大帝朱棣迁都北京,旧都南京日渐衰落。京杭大运河成为从江南往北京漕运的经济大动脉,大运河畔的苏州走向繁荣,成为明清时期江南地区的中心城市。

上海开埠以后,迅速发展成为“东方的巴黎”。于是,上海又取代苏州,成为江南地区的中心城市。海轮、火车、内河轮船、汽车等现代化的交通工具,拓展了上海作为中心城市的辐射能力。其辐射圈由太湖流域扩大到钱塘江南岸的宁波绍兴地区,甚至还延伸到浙东的台州和金华。

皖南的徽商在宋代崛起,至明清达到顶峰。江南小城镇上的当铺大都由徽商经营,“安徽朝奉”曾特指当铺伙计。以青砖黛瓦马头墙为标识的徽派建筑,是明清江南小城镇上的主流建筑。上海开埠后,洋行中的买办主要为宁波人。宁波帮商人,加上南浔的丝商群体,使浙商的势头迅速盖过了徽商。上海话也都是由松江话与宁波话杂合而成的。进入民国,上海对浙东的辐射力加强了,而对于日渐衰落的皖南的辐射力就没那么强了。

包伟民在论述江南市镇的近代(1840~1949)命运时,界定的近代江南范围是“清末江苏省的江宁、镇江、松江、常州、苏州、太仓直隶州,浙江省的杭州、嘉兴、湖州、绍兴、宁波等地”。

周振鹤在《释江南》中指出:“江南不但是一个地域概念——这一概念随着人们地理知识的扩大而变易,而且还具有经济涵义——代表一个先进的经济区,同时又是一个文化概念——透视出一个文化发达所取得的范围。”

(本文图片提供:CFP)

Located in the south of the Yangtze River Delta, Jiangnan is a legendary region in China. However, historically and geographically, where was and is Jiangnan exactly? What are people talking about nowadays when they talk about New Jiangnan in terms of the integration of the Yangtze River Delta?

First of all, Jiangnan as a term emerged in ancient history. For centuries starting before the Qin (221-206BC) and all the way up to the Western Jin (206BC-8AD), Jiangnan largely covered present-day Hunan province, which is now in central China. Part of Jiangxi to the east of Hunan was also Jiangnan. What is known today as the south of the Yangtze River Delta was called Jiangdong, literarily, east of the Yangtze River.

Li Bochong, a scholar of the regional economy in Jiangnan of the Ming (1368-1644) and the Qing (1644-1911) dynasties, says in his book on the geographic demarcation of Jiangnan that in ancient times, people in the north came to the present-day Jiangnan by crossing the Yangtze River in present-day Anhui to present-day Nanjing. In this part of the country, the river runs from the southwest to the northeast. That was reasonable to call present-day Jiangnan as Jiangdong. When the Western Jin (265-316) crashed and a large number of people from the north fled to the south, they crossed the Yangtze River at present-day Yangzhou and moved further southward. The Yangtze River runs from west to east in this part. Thats how present-day Jiangnan came into being when the Eastern Jin came into being.

Present-day Jiangnan experienced ups and downs in history. In very ancient documents, this part of the country is mentioned. People in this region built dikes and reclaimed lands from the Taihu Lake for rice farming. Qian Liu founded the Wuyue Kingdom (852-988) and dedicated the kingdoms resources to bringing under control the floods in the Qiantang River and the Taihu Lake. Thanks to the king, Jiangnan became a land of legendary prosperity and peace.

In ancient times, a river system became a wide-ranging network of natural rivers and manmade rivers in the Taihu Lake basin. The system controlled floods and made agriculture and industry flourish. The prosperity of Jiangnan shifted the national economic focus from the north to the south. When there were wars and chaos in the north, Jiangnan was the place people from the north fled to. During the Ming and the Qing, the Taihu Lake basin, that is, Jiangnan, was the countrys best developed region. Economy boomed and trade prospered. Cities based on silk production and trade mushroomed.

Jiangnan in the Ming and the Qing, in a narrow sense, included eight prefectures and one state, which are in the south of present-day Jiangsu and the north of present-day Zhejiang. In a broader sense, Jiangnan refers to the south of Jiangsu, the south of Anhui, Zhejiang, and Shanghai which rose to be the megacity in Jiangnan.

The ranking of the cities in Jiangnan has been changing all the time. Once upon a time, Hangzhou housed the royal house of the Wuyue Kingdom and later the royal house of the Southern Song Dynasty. The city was the center of Jiangnan for centuries. Nanjing was home to the Ming in the first decades of the dynasty and thus served as the center of Jiangnan. The city declined after the dynasty relocated its capital to Beijing in the north. Suzhou became important during the Ming and the Qing as it benefited hugely from a conveniently central position on the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal. In the late 19th century, Shanghai rose to forefront after the world powers came to the gateway city, replacing Suzhou as the center of Jiangnan. The metropoliss economic and cultural influences radiated out throughout the Taihu Lake basin and even pushed across the Qiantang River to the rest part of Zhejiang.

Business people from Anhui thrived in Jiangnan in the Song Dynasty (960-1279). Their fortune reached a historical high in the Ming and the Qing. They almost ran a monopoly on pawnshops in towns throughout Jiangnan. The architectural style of Anhui was the mainstream trend in Jiangnan. Its influence can still be seen in many parts of the region. After Shanghai became a major city of international trade, businesspeople from Ningbo, a port city in Zhejiang, became important, acting as native business managers for European business houses in Shanghai. They and the silk tycoons in Nanxun, a small town in northern Zhejiang, became an important phenomenon outshining the businesspeople from Anhui. In the first half of the 20th century, Shanghai built up close ties with the eastern Zhejiang and its influence in southern Anhui declined.

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