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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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TitleLütiao shuyi 律條疏議[Comments and Explanations on the Penal Code]
Topic1. Code and commentaries
Historical periodAntique and Medieval period
AuthorZhang Kai 張楷
CollectionZhongguo lüxue wenxian 中國律學文獻
Place of publicationHeilongjiang renmin chubanshe 黑龍江人民出版社
Publication typeWoodblock

This commentary to the Ming penal code includes explanations appended to each article or paragraph thereof as well as short essays following the table of contents and at the beginning of certain sections (the essays and explanations are introduced by the words “shuyi yue” 疏議曰). The explanations are mostly expansions of the text of the law in clearer language; however, some of them provide concrete and detailed discussions as well as the historical background of the law under consideration. A few doubtful places are discussed in the form of questions and answers (wenda 問答). There are also some discussions of the “intention of the law”, introduced by the words “jinxiang lüyi” 謹詳律意. The preface is followed by a comparatively short section entitled Lütiao jiangyi 講疑, discussing 11 difficult or ambiguous laws; the discussions are introduced by the words “jiang yue” 講曰. Then come a general table listing the parts and sections of the Code and a detailed table listing all the 460 statutes. The tables (including the Five punishments, Instruments for punishments, Mourning, and Eight characters) are each followed by an essay placing the Ming code in historical perspective. The work proper is followed by a short appendix entitled Qinding tiaoli 欽定條例 listing the crimes (almost all of them capital) which are either non-redeemable (不准贖) or redeemable (准贖) according to both the Code and the [Grand] Pronouncements (gao 誥) [this appendix on zhenfan and zafan capital crimes first appeared with the 1397 edition of the Ming Code under the name Qinding lügao 律誥]. The preface indicates that a first printing was realized by a censor named Song Ru 宋儒; the new engraving was funded by a magistrate of Jiangpu 江浦 named Wang Di 王迪, from Hejian (Zhili), who thought that every person sincerely interested in government (cheng shixue 誠仕學) should be able to get a copy; it was for this edition that Ni’s 1467 preface was written. The Fazhui (q.v.) describes the work under the title Da Ming lü shuyi.

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