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A note on the Tunhuang fragments of the T'ang Regulations (ko)

  • D. C. Twitchett

The study of codified law under the T'ang dynasty is greatly complicated by the fact that, of the four main categories of laws only the penal Code (lü ) is preserved in full. The chief secondary category of law, the administrative Statutes (ling) have been painstakingly reconstructed on the basis of their Japanese adaptations, by reassembling the very large number of quotations which are preserved in T'ang sources, and we have a tolerably complete picture of their form and content. The other two categories of centrally codified law, the Regulations (ko) which codified the major amendments to and supplements to the Code and Statutes which had been promulgated from time to time in imperial Edicts, and the Ordinances (shih) which provided detailed rules for the local implementation of the other categories of law, have disappeared almost completely, and virtually the sole substantial surviving fragments are included among the Tunhuang manuscripts.

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1 This statement needs some alight reservations. The texts of the Ku T'ang-lü shu-i in existing printed editions derive from versions current in late Sung and Yüan times, when the rang Code was still considered to have legal validity. But comparison of these texts with fragments recovered from Turfan and Tunhuang, and with the surviving portions of the Japanese Ritsu which were closely modelled on the rang Code, show that the work remained substantially unchanged. This need cause little surprise, for the Code (lü) was held to comprise those basic provisions of the law which were of universal application, and contained permanent norms of conduct.

2 See Niida Noboru , Tōkyō, , Tokyo, 1933, second edition, Tokyo, 1965.

3 See Twitchett, D. C., ‘The fragment of the rang Ordinances of the Department of Waterways discovered at TunhuangAsia Major, NS, vi, 1, 1957, 2379.

4 See Naba Toshisada , ‘Tō shōlon Tōkaku no ichi dankan’ , Kanda hakushi kanreki kinen Shoshigaku ronshū, , Kyoto, 1957, 323–36; Niida Noboru, ‘Tō no ritsuryō oyobi kaku no shinshiryō: Stein Tonkō bunken Tōyō Bunka Kenkyūjo Kiyō, xiii, 1957, 109–48. There is an important review of and commentary on these two articles by Naitō Kenkichi in Hōseishi Kenkyū, ix, 1958, 287–8. Niida's article is reprinted with some supplementary notes and corrections in his Chūkoku hōseishi kenkyū, iv, 261–304. The Paris manuscript to which Dr. Wu was kind enough to draw my attention is Fonds Pelliot chinois, Touen-houang, No. P 4978 v, on which see below.

5 See rang Chang-ju , ‘Tun-huang suo ch'u Tang-tai fa-lü wen-shu liang-chung pa, Chung-huah Wen-ship Lun-ts'ung, v, 1964, 377–94. Professor Tang, in a postscript to his article, says that he had been unable to read the study by Niida, which would have enabled him to avoid a number of errors, notably in the identification of S 4673. But his study is none the less of real value in identifying relevant historical materials elsewhere.

6 See Shiga Shūzō , ‘Kan Tō kan no hōten ni tsuite nisan no kōshō, Tōhōgaku, xvii, 1958, 27–43. Shiga, by a detailed textual examination of the text of the monographs on law in the two rang histories, has shown certain passages to derive from an incorrect account given by the T'ang liu-tien . He is thus able to deny the existence of certain series of ko and shih mentioned in these chapters and in the monographs on literature in the two rang histories.

7 The only significantly longer gaps are 685–705 and 719–37. In the latter period, and possibly also in the former, a set of Ko-hou ch`ang-hsing ch'th was issued to fill the gap.

8 Takikawa Masajirō, Shina hōseishi kenkyū , 1940, 114, interprets a passage from T'ang hui-yao, 39, p. 702, to mean that in 705 the Regulations of 685 were revised together with the set of Ko-hou ch'ih which, according to Takikawa must have been compiled at some time between 685 and 705. It is equally possible, and in my opinion preferable, to read this passage, as did Bünger, Quellen zur Rechtsgeschichte der T'ang-Zeit, as using the words ko-hou ch'ih in a non-specific sense, simply meaning ‘They edited the Chui-kung Regulations together with the Edicts which had subsequently been promulgated’. Takikawa, incidentally, quotes the T'ang hui-yao inaccurately. But there is some further evidence for his contention that there was such a series of Ko-hou ch'ih. The late ninth-century Japanese bibliography, Nihonkoku genzaisho mokuroku, 19, lists a work in 15 chapters entitled Chui-kung ko-hou ch'ang-hsing ko .

9 See T'ang hui-yao, 39, p. 703; Chiu T'ang-shu, 50, p. 19b. This work must be distinguished from another work commonly known as the Chang-hsing chih compiled in 736. This book, the full title of which is Tu-chih ch'ang-hsing chih (or chih-fu) and which comprised 5 chapters (see T'ang-shu ching-chi i-wen ho-chih , 1956 edition, p. 144) was compiled under Li Lin-fu's direction to rationalize the annual budget.

10 On these see Niida, , Chūkoku hōseishi kenkyū, iv, 292, 331–5.

11 See T'ang hui-yao, 39, p. 702; Bünger, op. cit., 40.

12 Shiga, op. cit., 43.

13 Naitō Torajirō published the first mention of this MS in his article ‘Tōdai no bunka to Heian no bunka’ in 1928. In the same year Tung K'ang the eminent bibliophile who was also a very distinguished legal official who had held high judicial office both in the late Ch'ing and under the Republic recorded in his diary Shu-po yung-ran, p. 21a that he had seen the photograph of the manuscript possessed by Naitō, and gave a brief note on its significance. Tung later published an extended study of it entitled T'an-pen Lungshuo san-pan Hsing-pu ko yü T'ang Lü chih tui-chao in the Ssu-fa kung-pao . I have been unable to consult the original, but it was later reprinted together with a Japanese translation by Takikawa Masajirō, and is included in his Shina hōseishi kenkyū, 1940, 465–90. In 1934, Niida Noboru published some remarks on Tung's study and independently Otani Katsuma published the entire text, with a set of none-too-legible photographs, in a study entitled ‘Tonkō shutsuto San-han Keibu kaku zankan ni tsuitepublished in the Korean journal Seikyū Gakusō, xvii, 1934, 152–78. Lo Chen-yü also published two postfaces on the manuscript in the 1930's, neither of which is available in Britain.

14 Niida Noboru, ‘Tō no ritsuryō oyobi kaku no shin shiryō’ (n. 4 above), briefly mentions the identification of this manuscript. A full transcription of the text was first printed in the reprint of this article in Chūkoku hōseishi kenkyū, iv, 1964, 301–4. T'ang Chang-ju, op, cit. (n. 5 above) deals with this manuscript, but fails to identify it.

15 See Naba, op. cit. (n. 4 above).

16 See Niida, op. cit. (n. 4 above).

17 See T'ang Chang-ju, op. cit. (n. 5 above).

18 For Su Huai's part in the compilation see T'ang hui-yao, 39, p. 702, Chiu Tang-shu, 50, p. 18b, and his biography in Chiu T'ang-shu, 88, p. 1 1 a. The latter informs us that he was specially appointed compiler because of his knowledge of law. This may account for his name being given as the compiler of the ‘Regulations of the Board of Justice’, rather than that of the chief compiler of the Shen-lung Regulations, Wei An-shih

19 See P 3078, 1. 4.

20 This matter is well put by T'ang Chang-ju, op. cit., 377–8.

21 In B the lower half of the manuscript is missing, and for most of the clauses the date is torn away. The two remaining dates are 694 and 696. From the titles used for the various ministries it appears that most of the Edicts date from the reign of the Empress Wu. The dates of the Edicts in C T'ange from 674 to 713.

22 See Naba, op. cit. For a refutation of this conclusion, see Naitō's review cited in n. 4 above, p. 287.

23 C must be a portion of the series of 715, 719, or 737. It cannot be a part of the ‘Edicts for permanent enforcement subsequent to the Regulations’ of 731, since all of its contents are Edicts issued before—many of them long before—the previous series of Regulations issued in 719. The date of B is rather more open. It might be a portion of the 712, 715, 719, or 737 series. It also might be a portion of the ‘Edicts subsequent to the Regulations’.

24 Series were issued in 785 (Chen-yüan ko-hou ch'ih , 30 chapters), 807 (Yüan-ho ko-hou ch'ih , 30 chapters), 818 (Ko-hou ch'ih, 30 chapters), 827–9 (Ko-hou ch'ih, 60 chapters), 833 (T'ai-ho ko-hou ch'ih , 50 or 40 chapters), and 851 (Ta-chung Hsing fa tsung-yao ko-hou ch'ih , 60 chapters). The regular revisions of codified law ceased with that of 737.

25 See above, nn. 8, 9.

26 For a discussion of such passages see Takikawa Masajirō, Ryō-no-shūge ni mieru Tō no hōristu sjorup, reprinted in his Shinn hōnreiehi kenkyū, 1940, 104–15.

27 See Nihonkoku genzaisho mokuroku, 19. This lists the Ch'ui-kung ko-hou eleang-hying ko in 15 chapters (see n. 8), a Ch'ang-hsing ch'ih in 7 chapters, most probably that of 731, and a Ko-hou ch'ih in 30 chapters, which may be any one of the series of 785, 807, or 818.

28 See below, and Fonds Pelliot chinois, Touen-houang, No. P 4978 v, 1. 9.

29 See Twitchett, op. cit., 35.

30 Unfortunately the bottom of this manuscript is almost entirely illegible, and it is impossible to give a coherent translation.

31 See the edition in the Zōtei Kokushi taikei.

32 It is perhaps unfortunate that the Rui-jū San-dai kaku are called into the argument. This early Heian work, the precise date of which is not clear, is a conflation of the kaku issued in the three reign-periods KOnin (810–23), agan (859–76), and Engi (912–22). The contents of these were rearT'anged under various administrative topics, on much the same lines as in the Chinese T'ung-tien or Hui-yao administrative encyclopedias. But the original kaku, it would appear from the preface to the Kōnin kaku, which survives, and from the résumé of the contents of the same work, Kōnin kaku shō , a fragment of which is reprinted in Kokushi taikei, were not arT'anged in this way. They were arT'anged more or less on the T'ang model, with a chapter for each separate ministry, but with the addition of a chapter of miscellaneous rules.

33 See Naitō, op. cit., 288.

34 See Niltonkoku genzaisho mokuroku, 19.

35 See Po-shih shih-lei chi, 24, p. 92b. This is mentioned and translated in my Financial administration under the T'ang dynasty, 1963, 152.

36 See the passages cited by Niida, Chūkoku hōseishi kenkyū, p. 300, n. 21d. There is only one quotation of the Regulations in Sung Hsing-t'ung which does not begin with Cleih. One other passage begins Ch'ih-chieh wen

37 Niida, op. cit., 291. See Tung-lien, 170, p. 905a. The Edict from which this is taken is given in résumé in T'ang hui-yao, 41, p. 744.

38 See Ryō-no-shūge, 13, p. 412 (Kokushi taikei edition). The Regulation is mentioned and translated in my Financial administration, 152–3. The textual differences between the C text and Ryō-no-shūge are in fact considerable, the latter being only the middle section of the complex ruling of C.

39 See Ryō-no-shūge, 13, p. 412–13, for these texts. The passages from Statutes and Ordinances are translated in Financial administration, p. 146, 149.

40 See P 3078, 11. 40–7.

41 See Tung-lien, 9, pp. 52c-53a.

48 See Sung Hsing-t'ung, 26, pp. 12a-b (Wen-hai reprint pp. 863–4).

43 See Code, 26, article 3. See also Financial administration, 277–8.

44 See Financial administration, 75–6.

45 See Naitō, op. cit., 287.

46 See T'ang Chang-ju, op. cit., 378.

48 See S 1344; 11. 15–17 deal with north-eastern rebels, 11. 27–30 with the north-western frontier zone, 11. 35–6 with the Szechuan frontier, 11. 42–8 with Ling-nan, 11. 68–70 again with Ling-nan.

49 Niida, op. cit. (n. 4 above). Naitō, loc. cit., accepts this identification.

50 See S 1344, 11. 15–17, 21–3, 35–6.

51 ibid., 11. 27–30, 3141, 42–8.

52 See T'ang Chang-ju, op. cit., 378.

53 See Twitchett, op. cit. (n. 3), 36–8.

54 See the passages from ‘Ordinances of the Board of Finance’ (Hu-pu shih ) and ‘Regulations of the Department of Treasury’ (Chin-pu ko ) translated in Financial administration, 150,152.

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