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Unless otherwise specified, the descriptions of sources in this section are extracted from Pierre-Etienne Will and collaborators,Official Handbooks and Anthologies of Imperial China: A Descriptive and Critical Bibliography (Leiden: Brill, forthcoming).
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TitleDulü suoyan 讀律瑣言 [Trivial Words about Reading the Code]
Topic1. Code and commentaries
Reprint (year of)1999
AuthorLei Menglin 雷夢麟 (js. 1544)
CollectionZhongguo lüxue congkan 中國律學叢刊
PublisherFalü chubanshe 法律出版社
Place of publicationBeijing
Publication typePrint

One leading commentary under the Ming, the first that included not only status law 律, but also the wenxing tiaoli 問刑條例, that is the "rules for penal investigation", the origins of tiaoli which were appended to each relevant status in the DaMing lü jijie fuli


An explanatory commentary on the Ming Code (based on its 1550 ed.) comparable in format to Minglü jijie fuli (q.v.) and several such works published in the late Ming, to which it may have served as model. Lei Menglin is sometimes said to have synthesized commentaries by earlier authors (see e.g., Chen Sheng’s postf. to Da Ming lüli fujie [q.v.]). The appendices in the supplementary chapter (讀律瑣言附錄) include long lists of redemption tariffs, sanctions applying to officials who increased or decreased punishments either deliberately (故) or by mistake (失), price equivalents to a large number of goods, and mourning rules, as well as models for memorials (題奏之式) and other types of official correspondence, and advice on writing sentence proposals (招議). The caption of each statute is in a black cartouche. The author’s explanatory notes (introduced by the words suoyan yue 曰) may be quite extensive; they are mostly expansions of the text of the law, with some word changes and much paraphrase, for clarity; moral considerations are occasionally added. The notes are placed after each article and, possibly, small-type commentary (the last introduced with the word wei 謂); wherever relevant, they are followed by quotations of corresponding substatutes extracted from Wenxing tiaoli 問刑條例, first published in 1500, which by 1555 had reached the figure of 385 substatutes. In the chapter captions the author bears the title of director of the Shandong bureau in the Ministry of Justice (刑部山東清吏司郎中), which allows dating the text to 1556 or 1557 (see intro. to the 1999 typeset ed.). Later in the Ming, Dulü suoyan was used as a sort of official commentary to the Penal Code.

KeywordMing, lü 律, Lei Menglin 雷夢麟
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