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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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TitleXiao Cao zhijun shu 蕭曹致君術[The Art of Xiao and Cao to Assist the Ruler]
Short titleB3874300-00
Topic4.3 Magistrates handbooks: Handbooks for Pettifoggers (songshi 訟師)
Historical periodUnknown
AuthorWolong zi 臥龍子 (ed.)
Publication typeWoodblock
AbstractA 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.
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