19 documents
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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Description
documentTypeBook
Title[Xinke pingzhi guan pingshi] Xiao Cao zhijun shu 新刻平治館評釋蕭曹致君術 [The Art of Xiao and Cao in Assisting the Ruler, Newly Published with Explanations by the Hall of Peace and Tranquillity]
Short titleB3874300-00
Topic4.3 Magistrates handbooks: Handbooks for Pettifoggers (songshi 訟師)
Historical periodUnknown
CountryChinese
AuthorWolong zi 臥龍子 (ed.)
Publication typeWoodblock
Abstract

A relatively short manual for pettifoggers (songshi 訟師). The cover-leaf has the words zhaotian zhulü 照天燭律 at the top; the complete title appears at the head of the chapters, where the name of the compiler is preceded by the words qintang 琴堂 (meaning a governmental yamen). The cases featured typically include the accusation (gao 告), the counter-accusation (su 訴), and the magistrate’s conclusions (shenyu 審語), but there are also examples of statements of surrender (shou 首), of declarations by village chiefs (chengci 呈詞), of memoranda (shuotie 說帖), and of magistrate’s answers (piyu 批語). There are short commentaries in the upper register (three characters per line) and occasionally a few words in small characters between the lines. The cases are rather simple; the protagonists are given names, but otherwise there is no indication of time or place. The following categories in the Penal Code are represented: banditry (zeidao 賊盜) (j. 1), sexual crimes (jianqing 姦情), homicides (renming 人命), and marriage (hunyin 婚姻) (j. 2). Each section is followed by examples of phraseology (zayu 雜語) and of word pronunciation (yinshi 音釋). Nothing in the book permits to ascertain that it is a Ming edition as claimed in the Tōyō Bunko catalogue.

Comment

A relatively thorough manual for litigation masters. The cover-leaf has the words zhaotian zhulü 照天燭律 at the top; the complete title appears in the chapter captions, where the name of the compiler is preceded by the words qintang 琴堂 (meaning a governmental yamen). The cases featured are arranged by types of crime or misdemeanor; they include violence and robbery (賊盜) (j. 1), sexual crimes (姦情), homicides (人命), and marriage (婚姻) (j. 2), affrays (鬥毆), indebtedness (債負), real estate (產業), and corvée (戶役) (j. 3), cheating and harming (騙害), adoption and inheritance (繼立), and tombs (墳山) (j. 4). They typically include the accusation (告), counter-accusation (訴), and magistrate’s conclusions (審語). To this are added examples of results of investigations (考實), declarations by village chiefs (呈詞), defendant’s argument (說帖), and magistrate’s answers (批語). There are short commentaries in the upper register (three characters per line), and occasionally a few words in small characters between the lines. The cases are rather simple; the protagonists are given names, but indications of time or place are few. Each section is followed by examples of phraseology with explanations (雜語) and of word pronunciation (音釋). J. 首 has general presentations (several of them in the form of rhymes) on lawsuits, the Penal Code, sexual crimes, and long lists of terminology and set phrases (all of this is placed in j. 1 in the mulu). J. 5 has entries on various sorts of documents as well as general proclamations (禁示). J. 6 contains models of complaints and testimonies, discussions of judgments in the form of questions and answers, definitions of the various types of homicide, and more. Several indications scattered in the text (such as dates, the mention of certain institutions, the mention of the Hongwu emperor’s Dagao, etc.) confirm that this is a Ming work.

SubjectLaw
LanguageChinese
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