In the fifth year of Huichang of the Tang Dynasty (845), the poet Li Shangyin (c. 813-c. 858) of the late Tang dynasty climbed the highest land of Leyouyuan in Chang'an on an evening when the empire was declining and in a bad mood.
Standing on the commanding heights, overlooking this thousand-year-old capital, he wrote "Le You Yuan" which was widely recited in the future:
As a thousand-year-old city whose capital has been established since the Western Zhou Dynasty, Chang'an has been prosperous for nearly two thousand years at this time, but this twin star city, also known as Luoyang, has begun to dim its stars.
At this time, it was 62 years before the fall of Datang and Chang'an.
In Chinese history, various unified dynasties and various forces have established 217 capitals, but Chang'an was the oldest capital city. Before the Song Dynasty, there were 11 dynasties, 3 emperors in exile, and 3 peasant leaders. The establishment of the capital lasted 1077 years.
As the largest capital in China’s history, Datang Chang’an City is the largest in the past with an area of 87.27 square kilometers: Chang’an City in the Tang Dynasty is even 1.8 times larger than Luoyang City in the Sui and Tang Dynasties, 1.9 times larger than Nanjing City in the Ming Dynasty, and larger than in the Qing Dynasty. Beijing City University is 1.4 times larger.
The direct origin of Chang'an City in the Tang Dynasty was Daxing City in the Sui Dynasty.
Emperor Wen opened the emperor for three years (583 years). He felt that the old Chang'an city built in the Han Dynasty lasted 800 years. The city was small and war-torn, coupled with the 800 years of human and animal dung and other life pollution. Salty brine is not very pleasant", so Sui Wen Emperor Yang Jian instructed an architectural expert
In the Tang Dynasty, the Tang Dynasty inherited Daxing City as its capital, and added Daming Palace and other buildings. Like Li Shangyin, the poet Bai Juyi (772-846) boarded the Qinling Wutai Guanyintai, the main peak of Qinling Wutai in the south of Chang'an early in the morning. Looking back at this majestic and well-planned capital:
At that time, in the memories of various poets, this was a capital of a country and a city full of poetry and painting. Han Yu (768-824) wrote in "Early Spring Chengshui Department Zhang Shibayuanwai Two Songs":
Poets are full of pride in this magnificent capital. King Luo Bin (c. 619-c. 687) wrote in "The Imperial Palace":
However, after welcoming the glory of nearly two thousand years, Chang'an City is about to come to the end of its fall in the magnificence of Tang poetry. In fact, after the fall of the Tang Dynasty in 907, Chang'an City completely declined and never became the official capital of the unified dynasty. Investigating the origin of history, why did a city that had prospered for nearly two thousand years perished in the Tang Dynasty? Falling down sharply in the future?
Speaking of which, first of all, it originated from the peak population and hidden crisis of the Datang Empire.
In the second year of Emperor Ping of the Western Han Dynasty (AD 2), China's population was 59.59 million at that time. After the turbulence of the Wei, Jin, Southern and Northern Dynasties, the Sui Dynasty, which had unified the country in the 5th year (609), had a statistical imperial population of 46.02 million After entering the Tang Dynasty, in the thirteenth year of Emperor Taizong's Zhenguan (639 years), due to war and chaos and population fleeing, at the time of the founding of the People's Republic of China, the population controlled by the government was only 12.35 million.
After more than one hundred years of development, in the fourteenth year of Emperor Xuanzong’s Tianbao (755 years), the official population at that time was 52.91 million. Taking into account the problem of population escape, demographers estimated that the population of China had reached 80 million at that time, more than The peak period of the Han Dynasty.
As the imperial Kyoto, demographers estimated that there were more than one million people in the city of Chang'an at that time, and the Guanzhong Plain, where Chang'an was located, had a population of more than three million. For an empire, the population was extremely prosperous. It means that the excessive exploitation of material supply is about to enter a state of serious imbalance.
First of all, this is manifested in the sharp decline of forest resources in Guanzhong area.
As the earliest "country of abundance" in Chinese ancient books, the Guanzhong Plain area where Chang'an is located was originally a beautiful ecological environment with fertile fields and dense forests.
Li Shimin, Emperor Taizong of the Tang Dynasty, described the scene of the imperial city of Chang'an on the edge of the Wei River and surrounded by forests in Wang Zhong Nanshan:
Du Mu (803-about 852), a poet of the late Tang Dynasty, once also recalled the dense forest vegetation surrounding Chang'an City in "Passing the Huaqing Palace":
Although the poems describe the beauty, but inherited the Sui Dynasty and re-entered the Tang Dynasty, the Guanzhong area with Chang'an and its core gradually expanded, and the forest resources of the entire Guanzhong Plain were gradually being devastated. At that time, from Large-scale urban construction to the daily lives of residents, coupled with thousands of years of agricultural reclamation, has made the primitive forests around the Guanzhong Plain completely unrecognizable.
At that time, the entire Guanzhong area
In this regard, the poet Du Mu of the Tang Dynasty once referred to the ancient in "A Fang Gong Fu" satirizing the Qin Dynasty, and it is also revealed today:
After two thousand years of devastating development and destruction, the forest vegetation in Guanzhong area has declined sharply and the conservation of the forest has been lost. Accompanied by this, the once abundant water resources, known as the "eight waters around Chang'an" scene, has gradually disappeared.
In the pre-Qin period, the Guanzhong area was rich in water resources due to its many rivers and lakes. The surrounding areas of Chang'an were surrounded by the Wei, Jing, Feng, Lao, Chu, Chu, Chan and Ba rivers. Under the nourishment of water resources, the Guanzhong area Farmland irrigation is convenient,
Regarding the natural environment of the "Qinchuan and eight long rivers" in the Guanzhong area, Tang Zhongzong Li Xian (656-710) wrote in "Dengli Mountain High-top Residence":
The poet Shao Yan of the Mid-Tang Dynasty also wrote in "Fu Dechun Fan Wei He":
However, the pattern of "eight waters around Chang'an" and abundant water sources. After nearly two thousand years of deforestation and destruction from the Western Zhou Dynasty to the Tang Dynasty, the Guanzhong area, where forest conservation has been lost, has continued to drastically reduce water resources until the end of the Tang Dynasty. , Jingshui, Weishui, Bashui and other rivers have smaller and smaller water flows, and the Longshou Canal, Qingming Canal and other artificial channels have also dried up; after entering the Northern Song Dynasty, the water flow in the "Eight Waters" was even smaller. The point where the water flows across the river.
According to statistics, since the Tang and Song dynasties, there have been 22 records of clear, exhausted, and dry water in the Guanzhong area. Among them, in the 45 years from the 22nd year of Kangxi (1683) to the 6th year of Yongzheng (1728) in the Qing Dynasty, the Weihe River and its tributaries, the most important river to nourish Chang'an, have been recorded as dry as six times. .
While the "eight waters around Chang'an" is fading away, with the deforestation, soil erosion in the Guanzhong area has become more and more serious, which has increased the frequency of natural disasters in the Guanzhong area:
According to statistics, from the 7th year of Wude in the Tang Dynasty (624) to the 29th year of Kaiyuan (741), 20 large-scale natural disasters occurred in the Gyeonggi area around Chang'an. There were 10 droughts, 7 floods, and 3 locust plagues.
According to historical records, the Shaanxi Meteorological Bureau found that starting from the Qin Dynasty in the 2nd century BC, floods and droughts in the Guanzhong area increased over time. Among them, it happened in the mid-Tang Dynasty in the 8th century. 37 droughts occurred every 2.7 years on average.
The depletion of water sources and secondary natural disasters caused by deforestation in the Guanzhong area have also caused the ecological environment of Chang'an to deteriorate.
According to statistics, in the 289-year history of the Tang Empire, a total of 240 years of floods, droughts, locusts and other disasters occurred. When the empire’s politics was peaceful and the military was strong, Chang’an City and the Tang Empire could still be dealt with. However, when the strength of the Tang Empire declined after the Anshi Rebellion, such frequent disasters gradually became a fatal factor in destroying the empire.
Under such circumstances, the crisis in Chang'an is becoming more and more urgent.
While large-scale deforestation led to the gradual disappearance of the "eight waters around Chang'an", the Guanzhong area that lost its forest conservation was increasingly experiencing floods with rain, and drought without rain. This was reflected in the Yellow River in the Tang Dynasty. Formally formed.
In fact, in the pre-Qin and the early Qin and Western Han dynasties, the ancients referred to the "Yellow River" as "river" because the water quality of the Yellow River at that time was clear and there was no problem of large-scale carrying of sediment.
In the pre-Qin period before the Warring States period, there were still vast virgin forests in the Yellow River basin at that time, so the ancestors cut down large trees such as sandalwood here. The clear water quality of the "river water" became the object of praise in ancient poetry. However, in the late Warring States period, Under the influence of human reclamation and war destruction, the forest in the middle reaches of the Yellow River began to experience the first large-scale destruction.
Taking Jinghe, a tributary of the Yellow River, for example, the sand content of Jinghe River in the late Warring States period was already high. With the capital of the Qin and Han Dynasties, the increasingly prosperous population activities and the management needs of the Guanzhong region have caused large-scale deforestation and farming to continue. As a result, in the middle of the Western Han Dynasty, the Jinghe River became more turbid, showing the characteristics of "one stone in Jingshui, and its muddy buckets".
In the late Warring States period, the Yellow River began to be called the "Zhuohe"; in the Tang Dynasty, as the imperial population soared, and the entire Yellow River basin became increasingly deforested, soil erosion, and sedimentation, the name of the "Yellow River" began to be fixed. . This is what Li Bai wrote in "Jiang Jinjiu":
战国后期，黄河开始被称为“ Z河”。在唐代，随着帝国人口的猛增，整个黄河流域的森林砍伐，水土流失和泥沙日益增多，“黄河”的名称开始被固定。 。这就是李白在《江金酒》中写道：
With the intensification of deforestation, the flooding of the Yellow River in the Tang Dynasty also intensified. According to statistics, during the 400 years of the Han Dynasty, the Yellow River only overflowed 9 times, an average of once every 40 years. In the 290-year history of the Tang Dynasty (618-907), the Yellow River overflowed 24 times, with an average of 1 Once every 12 years, the frequency is greatly increased.
Due to the frequent flooding of the Yellow River and the impact of silt and silt on water transportation, Chang'an and Guanzhong areas, which rely on the Yellow River for water transportation, were fatally affected.
Due to the growing population, Chang'an in the Tang Dynasty had to rely on water transportation as its lifeline.
In the Western Han Dynasty, the population of Chang'an was only about 250,000. However, in the heyday of the Tang Dynasty, the population of Chang'an at its peak was as large as one million, and the population of the entire Guanzhong area reached 3 million.
However, in contrast to the growing population that is waiting to be fed, there is less and less arable land in the Guanzhong area.
At that time, due to deforestation, serious soil erosion, land salinization, and reduced fertility, the irrigated farmland in the Guanzhong area dropped from 44,500 hectares in the Western Han Dynasty to 0.62 in the Tang Dynasty Zongda calendar years (766-779). Million ares.
That is to say, compared with the Western Han Dynasty, the Tang Dynasty Chang'an City, which had a population expansion of 400%, the surrounding land irrigated area decreased by 38,300 hectares year-on-year, with a decay rate of 86.1%.
With no land and no food, the Sui and Tang empires, whose capital was Guanzhong Changan, became more and more embarrassed.
After the establishment of the Tang Dynasty in 618, despite the rebirth of the empire, the curse of food shortage has always plagued the emperors of the Tang Dynasty. As the Tang Dynasty gradually entered its heyday, the population of Guanzhong area continued to expand, and the food gap also skyrocketed in the early years of the Tang Dynasty. , Chang’an City’s annual grain gap is about 200,000 shi (42 kilograms per stone, or about 8.4 million kilograms). During the peak period, the gap reached 4 million shi (about 168 million kilograms). The annual food shortage in the city is still as high as 1 million shi (about 42 million kilograms).
At that time, starting from the Mid-Tang Dynasty, China's economic center gradually shifted from the Yellow River basin to the Jianghuai region. This made the Guanzhong Plain, the core area of the Datang Empire, to rely on the supply of grain, rice and wealth in the Jianghuai region to maintain its operation. At that time, the Jianghuai area supplied Chang'an's food and wealth, and it had to enter the Weishui River through the Yellow River, and then be supplied to Chang'an by water transportation. The Sanmenxia section of the Yellow River was very dangerous.
Due to the difficult supply of materials, under this circumstance, even in the good harvest years of the "nian valley", Chang'an City in the Tang Dynasty was still in short supply of food and "people are still lacking food". Once natural disasters such as water locusts occur, the emperor will have to Move east to Luoyang near the Yellow River and convenient for water transportation.
Take Tang Gaozong as an example. He reigned for 34 years (649-683). Among them, 11 years and 5 months lived in Luoyang. Three of the history books clearly mentioned that it was because Chang'an was short of food and moved to Luoyang to "food." After the death of her husband Tang Gaozong Li Zhi, Wu Zetian, who was subsequently in power, lived in Luoyang from 683 to 705, and 19 of 22 years. This is mainly because Luoyang is closer to the main grain producing areas such as the Jianghuai area, and there is no suffering of water transportation.
During the reign of Emperor Xuanzong of the Tang Dynasty (712-756), Li Longji moved to Luoyang five times because of food shortages in the Guanzhong area.
In the late Tang Xuanzong period, Jing Zhaoyin Pei Yaoqing presided over the reform, changing the water transportation through the Grand Canal from full navigation to segment navigation. For example, 18 li mountain roads were excavated in the Sanmenxia section of the Yellow River, and land transportation was used to avoid the natural dangers of the Yellow River in Sanmenxia, and then continue to ship. Luck.
On the basis of the reform of water transportation, from then until the Anshi Rebellion, through the Grand Canal and land transportation, the amount of grain entering the Guanzhong area from the Jianghuai River valley every year can reach the level of more than 2 million shi, which basically meets the food demand of the Guanzhong area. This allowed the Guanzhong area with a narrow land and few people to have enough food, and Tang Xuanzong finally didn't have to move east to Luoyang for "food".
On the basis of solving the problem of eating in the Guanzhong area, the Tang Empire gradually entered the peak of the Kaiyuan Prosperity. For this reason, the poet Du Fu wrote in "Recalling the Past":
However, the frequent flooding of the Yellow River basin and the problem of silt and silt have not been resolved. In the political peace, the Tang Dynasty government has the ability to organize the dredging of the water transport hub and the Grand Canal. The management of the Grand Canal has begun to fall into disuse, which has severely threatened the water transport bloodline that maintains the survival of Chang'an City.
The fourteenth anniversary of Emperor Xuanzong’s Tianbao (755 years), An Lushan raised troops in Hebei to rebel against Tang,
In fact, as early as the early Tang Dynasty, due to deforestation in the Guanzhong area and serious soil erosion, sediment accumulation in the Yellow River and Weishui River was very serious, and it was very difficult to sail.
After the middle of the Tang Dynasty, some water canals from Weishui to Chang'an were often blocked by sediment and had to dig sand while sailing.
After the Anshi Rebellion, the central financial and control power of the Tang Dynasty weakened, and the water resources in the Guanzhong area were increasingly depleted, and the flow and sediment in the Guanzhong area continued to silt. Therefore, by the end of the Tang Dynasty, the record of transport ships entering Chang'an via Weishui and Caoqu, Less and less, almost completely disappeared.
And what Du Fu once wrote in "Leaving the Frontier"
The lack of self-production and the increasingly difficult water transportation relying on the Yellow River and the Grand Canal have made the water transportation bloodline that Chang'an and the entire Guanzhong region depend on increasingly silted up.
In response to this, the poet Du Fu lamented in "Escape":
Due to the increasingly difficult transportation of water and the domineering vassal towns often blocked the Grand Canal after the Anshi Rebellion, Chang’an City fell into a dilemma of material supply after the Anshi Rebellion. In the second year of the Tang Dezong Zhenyuan (786), due to the transportation of grain to Chang’an The water transportation road was blocked by the feudal town, and the entire Chang'an city fell into a food shortage situation, which caused a disturbance in the Forbidden Army. At this time, exactly 30,000 Hu of rice was transported to the surrounding areas of Chang'an. After Tang Dezong heard the news, he almost shed tears and said to the Prince:
While the ecology of the Guanzhong region is deteriorating, natural disasters continue to occur throughout the Yellow River Basin.
As a secondary disaster caused by deforestation and soil erosion, according to statistics, in the 289-year history of the Tang Empire, there were 240 years of floods, droughts, and locusts. Due to the serious flooding of the Yellow River and the frequent droughts, in fact, as early as the Tang Taizong period, the locust plagues that often accompanied floods and droughts began to frequently invade the entire Datang Empire from the second year of Zhenguan to the fourth year of Zhenguan (628-630). For example, for three years, the entire Datang Empire was under severe locust plagues. Since then, small locust plagues have erupted every few years, and large locust plagues have erupted every few decades, throughout the history of the Tang Dynasty. .
In the three to four years of Emperor Xuanzong’s Kaiyuan period (715-716), a large-scale plague of locusts broke out again in the Tang Empire. At that time, some people advocated that locusts should be eliminated. At that time, even Prime Minister Lu Huaishen believed that locusts were natural disasters, and large-scale burials would occur. "Too much insecticide is hurting and friendly."
In this regard, even the great poet Bai Juyi naively wrote:
At that time, the people generally established the Eight Wax Temple and the Chongwang Temple to worship the locust god. In the case of the Shandong locust, the people even "or burned incense and worshipped by the field and did not dare to kill." Yao Chong, the prime minister, said angrily:
Yao Chong said that if the plague of locusts is not eliminated, it will inevitably lead to "the crops will be exhausted, and people will eat each other." For this reason, Yao Chong resolutely asked Tang Xuanzong to eliminate the locusts. ", then I, Yao Chong, asked to bear the punishment of God alone, "just don't look down on it." At the request of Yao Chong, Tang Xuanzong finally ordered the extermination of locusts, "from the continuous locust plague, there will be no great hunger" and "the locusts will gradually cease", thus laying the foundation for the arrival of the prosperity of Kaiyuan.
However, when the Datang Empire was in political peace, the control of the locust plague was still controversial. Once turmoil occurred, the political execution power immediately declined.
After the Anshi Rebellion (755-763), the locust plagues in the Tang Dynasty increased markedly. Among them, there were three consecutive years of large locusts from 783 to 785, six consecutive years of large locusts from 836-841, eight consecutive years of large locusts from 862-869, and 875- In 878 there were four consecutive years of large locusts.
In this context of separatist regimes, out-of-control political governance, and locust plagues, in the 9th year of Xiantong in the Tang Dynasty (868), due to the financial constraints of the Tang Dynasty and the deduction of soldiers’ salaries, the 800 soldiers in Xuzhou and Sizhou who were guarded in Guilin for a long time Exceeded the period of service but could not return home, then launched a mutiny and supported
Due to the simultaneous occurrence of floods and locust plagues, countless victims who lost their support for survival have turned to Pang Xun’s army, making Pang Xun’s army rapidly expanded to 200,000 people. Despite the strong suppression of the Tang Dynasty and various towns and towns, Pang Xun failed. The Guilin Garrison Uprising led by Guilin spread rapidly with the help of floods and droughts.
After Pang Xun’s failure, the locust plague in the Tang Dynasty continued to spread. In the second year of Qianfu (875), the locust plague in the Tang Dynasty was "from east to west, covering the sun and passing the red land." During the great locust plague in the northern part of the empire, the bureaucratic group of the Tang dynasty fooled Tang Xizong and said that all the locusts went on a hunger strike and "all died of thorns." For this reason, several prime ministers at that time congratulated Tang Xizong that it was alive.
Facing the situation of large-scale drought and the spread of locust plagues, at that time, some people cried out to the Tang Dynasty’s Shanzhou Observatory, Cui Yu, crying about the drought and the magnitude of the locust plague. Unexpectedly, Cui Yu pointed to the leaves in the official office and said: “There are still leaves here. Why is there a drought?" Then the people who asked for relief were beaten up.
Under such large-scale droughts and locust plagues one after another, the entire bureaucracy of the Tang Dynasty remained indifferent from top to bottom.
In the second year of Qianfu (875), when the locust plague was raging, Wang Xianzhi led a three-year large-scale peasant uprising in Puzhou (now Juancheng, Shandong), where the locust plague was the worst.
In the three years of Tang Xizong's neutralization (883), Huang Chao led his army to break through Chang'an. Soon after Tang Dynasty officials counterattacked into the city, Huang Chao counterattacked again and entered Chang'an. In this repeated struggle, first the Tang Dynasty officials looted the city of Chang'an, and then angered the residents of Chang’an who helped Huang Chao of the officials and ordered the army to massacre the city.
After this bloody and repeated struggle, Chang'an City was destroyed on a large scale. In this regard, the late Tang poet Wei Zhuang, who experienced this firsthand, wrote in his famous long poem "Qin Fu Yin":
During the Huangchao Rebellion in 883 AD, at that time, Chang'an City had "palaces, residences, and Luli burned six or seven ten times", and the magnificent and glorious Daming Palace was burnt down to the Hanyuan Palace.
After the Huangchao Rebellion was settled, from 883 to 904, in just 21 years, Chang'an City experienced three turmoil successively. Among them, in 885, when the eunuch Tian Lingzi hijacked Tang Xizong to withdraw from Chang'an, he ordered the whole city to be set on fire. In the imperial capital, “the palace is in depression, and the grass is lush”, “only the three palaces of Zhaoyang and Penglai remain”;
Although the city of Chang'an has been repaired since then, in the third year of Emperor Zhaozong of Tang Dynasty (896), the warlord Li Maozhen invaded Chang'an from Qizhou (Fengxiang, Shaanxi), killing and setting fire everywhere in the city. At this point, the entire Chang'an City "golden the palaces and chambers into ashes, and since the neutralization has been done, the sweeping efforts have been done."
The fourth and last devastating blow to Chang'an City came from Zhu Wen. On the first month of the first year of Tang Zhaozong Tianyou (904), the warlord Zhu Wen forced Tang Zhaozong to move his capital to Luoyang. According to the "Old Tang Book · Zhaozong Ji", Zhu Wen ordered the soldiers and civilians of Chang Ancheng:
This ancient city was eventually demolished by the warlord Zhu Wen to build Luoyang Palace. As a result, in the four turmoil from 881 to 904, the city of Chang'an, which has experienced many turbulences, finally went to destruction under repeated wars and man-made destruction, and fell into the abyss of fall.
Three years later, in 907, Zhu Wen forced Emperor Tang Ai to "the Zen throne", and then Zhu Wen became the emperor, destroyed the Tang Dynasty, and changed the country's title to beam.
The city of Chang'an in the Tang Dynasty was completely destroyed.
Although Chang'an City was repeatedly destroyed and revived before the Tang Dynasty, from the Huangchao Rebellion at the end of the Tang Dynasty until Zhu Wen ordered the demolition of Chang'an City, Chang'an City has never risen.
After entering the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms, the surrounding areas of Chang'an continued to be chaotic.
In the first year of Qianyu of the Later Han Dynasty (948), after Zhao Siwan captured Chang'an, he confronted the army of the Later Han Dynasty. At that time, the population of Chang'an City had been reduced from one million in the prime of Tang Dynasty to only one hundred thousand. After the War of the Later Han Dynasty, the population of Chang'an City eventually dropped to more than 10,000 people. Compared with the peak period, the population of Chang'an City dropped by 99%.
In the Northern Song Dynasty, the Song people used troops to the northwest, causing long-term turbulence in Chang'an. In the Southern Song Dynasty, the Chang'an area became the front line of the battle between the Song people and the Jin people and the Mongols. It can be said that from the Huangchao Rebellion in 883 to the fall of the Southern Song Dynasty in 1279, the entire Chang'an and Guanzhong areas have been in continuous political and military turmoil.
This turbulent cycle in Chang'an even surpassed the Wei, Jin and Southern and Northern Dynasties. From then on, Chang'an Wang was depressed.
Since then, throughout the Five Dynasties, Ten Kingdoms and Song Dynasty, the surrounding areas of Chang'an
Later, Li Xianfu, a person in the Southern Song Dynasty, wrote in "The Trip to Chang'an", that Chang'an and Guanzhong Plain that had been in decline:
In the shattered time and space, the splendid and magnificent Chang'an City in Tang poetry will never come back.