Abstract：The origin of the Military Prefecture can be traced back to the early Tang Dynasty. After its transformation and development in the Five Dynasties and the Song Dynasty, the military prefecture gradually became an administrative division which administered the affairs of the people in certain districts(县). During the Song Dynasty, three levels of local administrative units were defined: the circuit(lu 路), the prefecture (zhou 州), the superior prefecture(fu 府) or the military prefecture or the industrial prefecture(jian监)), and the district. The administrative division was quite stable though somewhat out-off-balance. Among the administrative divisions in the Song Dynasty, the system of the prefecture and the superior prefecture was stable, continuable and mature. Compared with the prefecture and the superior prefecture, the administrative system of the military prefecture was immature and unstable, though the prefecture, the superior prefecture and the military prefecture were at the same administrative level. During the period of Song Zhenzong, the military identity of the military prefecture diluted, notwithstanding the original intention to establish it was to satisfy military requirements. Although the situation afterwards was different to some extent, the system of military prefecture was preserved. According to Yuanfeng Jiuyu Zhi, there were “twenty-three circuits, four capital prefectures(jingfu京府), ten superior prefectures(次府), two hundred and forty-two prefectures, thirty-seven military prefectures, four industrial prefectures and one thousand two hundred and thirty-five districts”. It is obvious that the number of prefecture-level military prefectures (zhouji jun 州级军) and the prefecture-level industrial prefectures (zhouji jian 州级监) was extremely small. In the meantime, unlike the prefecture and the superior prefecture, there were several district-level military prefectures (xianji jun 县级军) which were affiliated to the prefectures or the superior prefectures instead of to the circuit, and district-level industrial prefectures (xianji jian 县级监) affiliated to the prefectures, the superior prefectures or the military prefectures. The district-level military prefecture was derived from the prefecture-level military prefecture. It was a process of gradual change to mutation of the official system that resulted in the establishment of the district-level military prefecture. In the Song Dynasty, some military commanders(junshi 军使) held the positions of district magistrates(知县) in former central districts of the military prefectures after the executive functions of the military prefectures which governed some districts were cancelled. Those military prefectures were not prefecture-level military prefectures, but district-level industrial prefectures. Furthermore, they were not senior officers of military prefectures, but commissioners of the districts. The only difference between a military district and a normal district was that the former had military personnel. The academic circles take different views on the nature of the military commander's appointment and they regard it as a district magistrate from a military prefecture to a military district. For example, based on their document analysis, some scholars argued that the “military commander” was an administrative division between the prefecture and the district. However, the “military commander” was an official title of a district-level military prefecture governor and it was obviously not the title of an administrative machinery. Thus the opinion of these scholars is clearly a misinterpretation. Established in the Northern Song Dynasty, the district-level military prefecture continued in the Southern Song Dynasty and the number of the district-level military prefecture was higher. All in all, the coexistence of the prefecture-level military prefectures and the district-level military prefectures was a historical fact which can be demonstrated by the existing historical materials. From Qin and Han Dynasties to Ming and Qing Dynasties, the prefecture and the superior prefecture remained. However, the commandery (jun 郡), the circuit, the prefecture-level military prefecture and the industrial prefecture in the Song Dynasty lost the opportunity to maintain their positions as administrative divisions in the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Based on the above cited situations, it can be concluded that the system which adapted to the management system survived; otherwise, it would be eliminated. This is also an objective law in the development of the institutional history. The dual system of the military prefectures in the Song Dynasty was a notable political phenomenon, and the principal topic of this paper is to discuss this issue. The purpose of this paper is to determine what the true system was in the Song Dynasty, and to invite scholars to make careful and comprehensive research on the system.
龚延明. 宋代“军”行政区划二重制研究[J]. 浙江大学学报(人文社会科学版), 2018, 4(5): 5-18.
Gong Yanming. On the Dual System of the Military Prefectures in the Song Dynasty. JOURNAL OF ZHEJIANG UNIVERSITY, 2018, 4(5): 5-18.