Rubbings from Stone Inscription of Inspired Strategy Army

The "Rubbings from Stone Inscription of Inspired Strategy Army" copied and bound in Song Dynasty. On the cover, there are characters "Stele of Virtues of the Emperor upon Inspired Strategy Army by Liu Gongquan". As passed down from remote times, the characters are somewhat missing. The inscription on the stele records the historical fact that after Uighur Khanate collapsed, its residual force submitted to the authority of Tang Dynasty under the leadership of Wa Mosi, and the event that Emperor Wuzong of Tang Dynasty went on an inspection tour upon Left Inspired Army.

"Rubbings from Stone Inscription of Inspired Strategy Army" was copied from the stele of Inspired Strategy Army. The full name of the stele was Stele of Virtues of the Emperor Making Inspection Tour upon Inspired Army. It mainly recorded the event that Emperor Wuzong of Tang Dynasty went on an inspection tour upon Left Inspired Strategy Army and the historical fact that after Uighur Khanate collapsed, its residual force submitted to the authority of Tang Dynasty. As the stele was built in the royal palace, the ordinary people hardly had a chance to look at it and it was destroyed in wars later, so only a few rubbing editions of the stele have been passed down and they are very precious. The "Rubbings from Stone Inscription of Inspired Strategy Army" collected in National Library of China in the only copy of Song Dynasty in the world, called Unique Copy of Song Dynasty. The contents about Uighur Khanate are important historical data for the research of regimes of minorities. Uighur was originated in Altal Mountain, ad had been active in Mongdian Plateau. All the time, it had been in close relationship with Tang Dynasty. It even sent troops for many times to assist Tang Dynasty in putting down rebellion and resisting invasion of Tubo. According to records in "Rubbings from Stone Inscription of Inspired Strategy Army", around 840 A.D., being beset by internal and external difficulties, Uighur collapsed. A leader named Wa Mosi led some Uigjur people to submit to Tang Dynasty. Tang Dynasty received them with great ceremony, not only conferred high status and honor to Wa Mosi and others, but also built houses and supplied food for their relatives. The inscription on the stele recorded the event in words "restore their houses and bestow food to them". Wa Mosi and his fellows had been loyal to Tang Dynasty and played an important role in defending the frontiers. The then Prime Minister Li Deyu also recorded a series of articles about pacifying and assisting Wa Mosi tribe in "huichang Collection". He wrote a biography for Wa Mosi, and praised him as a person who could "persist in virtues and gain great achievement". About the word "Teqin" in "Rubbings from Stone Inscription of Inspired Strategy Army", there was a literal dispute in history.

"Rubbings from Stone Inscription of Inspired Strategy Army" recorded another important event about Li Yan, Emperor Wuzong of Tang Dynasty went on an inspection tour upon Left Inspired Strategy Army. We can imagine the ceremony at the time should be very solemn and spectacular, but what behind this was a bloody palace revolution. This was also the background of the birth of the tale of Inspired Strategy Army.
In 754 A.D., the famous general of Tang Dynasty Ge Shuhan established an elite Inspired Strategy Army for frontier defense. After many difficulties and postponements, the army became imperial guards and expanded rapidly. The army was under control of the Emperor's most trusted eunuchs. By control of Inspired Strategy Army, eunuch group began to arrogate all powers for long time and even manipulated the life and dethronement of the Emperor. Emperor Wuzong of Tang Dynasty, Li Yan, ascended to the throne by support of the eunuch group. Li Yan was only an ordinary infant at first. In the same year with the collapse of Uighur, eunuch Qiu Shiliang and Yu Hongzhi and so on  started a coup in the palace. They killed the crown prince and his supporters. Then Li yan got the chance to ascend to the throne. In 843 A.D., Li Yan went on an inspection tour on Inspired Strategy army controlled by eunuchs and established stele of Inspired Strategy Army to commemorate the so-called grand event. He also ordered great calligrapher Liu Gongquan to write inscription for the stele of Inspired Strategy Army. He wanted to express friendship to eunuchs through these. Well, the Inspired Strategy Army played a pivotal role during the coup, and what happened to it in the future?

As fighting capacity was weak, till 903 A.D., powerful official Zhu Wen killed eunuchs and also dismissed Inspired Strategy Army which had been existed for almost 150 years.

The Inspired Strategy Army used to be glorious no longer existed. The stele of Inspired Strategy Army was also destroyed in wars, but the "Rubbings from Stone Inscription of Inspired Strategy Army" survived after year of hardships and received great admiration. Writing of "Rubbings from Stone Inscription of Inspired Strategy Army" in infused with strong strength, and is clean-cut and vigorous, mainly square and supplemented by circle; between squatting and spreading of writing brush, the thin but hard and powerful strokes are displayed. This is the bone of Liu style praised and admired by later generations. However, they are just intellectuals and writing; where does the bone come from?

Liu Gongquan had a smooth official career. His biggest frustration was that when he was 82 year old, because of old age, he said the wrong words at the court and was punished a penalty of salary of a season. At the same time, the bone of Liu style with Liu Gongquan's virtues. In Qing Dynasty, Liu Xizai wrote in "General Survey under Art Overview of Book" that "Like author, like book. Book would be like its author's knowledge, talent, and ambition. In a word, it would be like its author." Fu Shan, who lived in late Ming Dynasty and early Qing Dynasty, also said that "to write, one need to learn how to behave first; will certainly pass down." Among ancient calligraphers, Liu Gongquan can be deemed as the representative of "like author, like book".

As the most precious treasure in Nation Library of China, "Rubbings from Stone Inscription of Inspired Strategy Army" has had a history of more than one thousand year to today. During the long period, it experienced hardships and was passed down.

Most experts think in Northern Song Dynasty, "Rubbings from Stone Inscription of Inspired Strategy Army" was collected by Li Qingzhao's husband, Zhao Mingcheng, a famous scholar in inscription on stones and metal wares. While till middle and later period of Southern Song Dynasty, "Rubbings from Stone Inscription of Inspired Strategy Army" appeared in the collection list of powerful official Jia Sidao.

Around 1949,"Rubbings from Stone Inscription of Inspired Strategy Army" was passed to Hong Kon. 1965, under the attention of Premier Zhou Enlai the unique copy of Song Dynasty was returned to Beijing and collected in National Library of China.

"Rubbings from Stone Inscription of Inspired Strategy Army" is clear and straight, thin but hard an vigorous. In late Tang Dynasty, with its brand new chirography and powerful but delicate beauty, it was admired and praised by people. It can be said that "Rubbings from Stone Inscription of Inspired Strategy Army" was he most glorious part in Liu Gongquan's life, and also a precious treasure a Chinese calligraphy history.

 

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