The study of factionalism is an important issue in the historical research of the Northern Song Dynasty. So far, emphases have mainly been focused on people like scholars, generals and royals, etc. However, this paper turns the perspective from the upper class to one group of small figures or insignificant people, namely, the stone carving workers. This change in perspective may lead to a preliminary exploration into the public opinions and narrative standpoints of scholars in the Southern Song Dynasty. Stone carving workers were part of the traditional community of manual laborers, a group of people earning their living by carving skills. Therefore, they are rarely mentioned in the existing ancient documents. Occasionally, the workers would leave their names on the stones, which constitute the only historical materials for us to study them. At present, the ongoing studies mainly concentrate on collecting and compiling the name lists of these workers, but systematic and deep-going studies still fall short. Except for comprehensively filtrating the handed-down literatures, this paper attempts to makes full use of the stone carving workers' signatures occasionally left on the stone carvings and study them from the perspective of factionalism, which not only contributes to a better knowledge about the living state of these people, but also makes a better understanding of the political stand of small figures in the grand history. In the Northern Song Dynasty, most of the stone carving workers taking office in the central government came from local stone carving families or succeeded the posts from their fathers who had been technical officials. Compared with civil officials, they were usually humble both in political status and earnings. As a consequence, they were regarded as craftsmen and had difficulty in promotion or direct involvement in the upper class factionalism. That is the reason why they are relatively unknown in the documents about factionalism. Different from many official stone carving workers who have been forgotten, civil stone workers such as An Min and Li Zhongning have enjoyed longstanding reputation for rejecting to carve steles for Yuanyou Partisans in the ″Inhibition of Party in the Reign of Chongning″. Stories about An Min and Li Zhongning are found in personal note novels in the Song Dynasty. The History of Song Dynasty which was compiled and revised in the Yuan Dynasty adopted the story of An Min into Biography of Sima Guang to praise his noble character and outstanding moral principles, which unquestionably expanded the influence. From the stories of An Min and Li Zhongning, it can be concluded that these were brave enough to uphold justice and expressed their political stands when civil officials dared not voice their opinions. For one thing, extolling their stories showed public sympathy to the Old Faction; for another, the descendants of the partisans recorded in the list uniformly backed up the Old Faction and opposed the New Faction when narrating factionalism in the Northern Song Dynasty. To some extent, they launched a counterattack with the purpose of carrying forward ancestral merits and virtues. In actuality, An Min and Li Zhongning's refusal to carve for Yuanyou Partisans were not only due to justice, but also for private reasons. Many poems in the Ming and Qing Dynasties eulogized An Min and Li Zhongning, which reflects later scholars' appreciation for their sticking to justice and virtue in spite of their insignificant status. Judging from the perspective of factionalism, small figures like stone carving workers, who appeared to be far from or at the edge of politics, couldn't be completely independent of big events. Faced with such circumstances, they would join in the factionalism consciously or get involved in the stream passively, and some of them even took their own stand in the political struggle. The paper surmises about the names of the people who carved for Yuanyou Partisans' Steles in the imperial capital Kaifeng. Our studies show that Zhao Yin and his fellows might be the ones who carved for Yuanyou Partisans' Steles in Chongning. The main research methods used in this paper are dual evidence, document statistics and analysis and so on. It is expected that these research methods may contribute to the future studies of stone carving workers.
罗昌繁. 大历史与小人物： 北宋晚期党争视域下的官私石工考察[J]. 浙江大学学报(人文社会科学版), 2019, 5(3): 48-.
Luo Changfan. Grand History and Small Figures: A Study on Official and Civil Stone Carving Workers from the Perspective of Factionalism in the Late Northern Song Dynasty. JOURNAL OF ZHEJIANG UNIVERSITY, 2019, 5(3): 48-.