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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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TitleBaiguan zhen 百官箴 [Admonitions to the One Hundred Officials]
Topic4.1 Magistrates handbooks: General
Historical periodAntique and Medieval period
AuthorXu Yueqing 許月卿
CollectionGuanzhen shu jicheng 官箴書集成
Number of volume1
Publication typeWoodblock
CommentRem.: J. 1 opens with a memorial of presentation to emperor Lizong 理宗 (r. 1225-64) and a preface by Xu Yueqing (both n.d.). In the memorial Xu makes it clear that the work was intended to be a guide for the officials to fulfill their duties so that they could assist the emperor and reinvigorate the empire. The implication was that the situation under Prime Minister Jia Sidao 賈似道 (1213-75) was critical. J. 1-2 include a general historical account of the empire’s government, an explanation of the origin of the phrase “baiguan zhen” (remonstrances by the officialdom), said to go back to the Shang dynasty, and of the various aspects of the genre, adducing a number of ancient texts and some noted neo-Confucians like Zhu Xi. J. 3-6 discuss the tasks of 49 types of office, from Left vice-director of the department of state affairs (zuo chengxiang 左丞相) downwards, and the consequences incurred in case of negligence (each section being an “admonition”, zhen, to the said officials). The emphasis is rather on ideological and theoretical aspects: Xu’s comments sound somewhat like those made in an “imperial colloquium” (jingyan 經筵), with a combination of quotations from the Classics and Histories, allusions to contemporary events and various remarks. It is not sure that the work ever reached the emperor. Its circulation seems to have been limited to Xu’s disciples and family, the work having been transmitted through the generations by Xu’s descendants. [n.p., phtc. pref., mulu, postf.]
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