The Great Ming Code
Da Ming lü
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: University of Washington Press
Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
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During the past decade as I worked on this project, I accumulated enormous
intellectual, emotional, and financial debts to a number of individuals
and institutions. Three circumstances prepared me for the translation
Note on the Translation
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This translation is based on the text of The Great Ming Code contained in Gao Ju, ed., Da Minglü jijie fuli (The great Ming code with commentaries attached by regulations), originally published during the Wanli reign (1573– 1619) and reprinted in five volumes...
Ming Units of Measure and Money
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Introduction: The Making of The Great Ming Code
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The Great Ming Code (Da Ming lü) is one of the most important law codes in Chinese history.1 An essential part of the social reform eªorts of the early Ming dynasty (1368–1644),2 the Code provided the empire with a definitive statement of values and social...
The Great Ming Code
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The Imperial Prefaceto The Great Ming Code
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Ihave the realm and govern it by imitating antiquity. Rituals are manifested to guide the people; law codes are established to restrain the wayward. They were promulgated in statutes and carried out for a long time. Nevertheless, there were still many who violated them one after another. I therefore went beyond...
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Chapter 1 - Laws on Punishments and General Principles
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The first is plotting rebellion [moufan]. (This means to plot to endanger the Altars of Soil and Grain [she ji] [Art. 277].) The second is plotting great sedition [moudani]. (This means to plot to destroy imperial ancestral temples, mausoleums, or palaces [Art. 277].) The third is plotting treason [moupan]. (This means to plot to betray one’s own country or...
Chapter 2 - Laws on Personnel
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In all cases where guards lack battalion commanders, company commanders, or judges [zhenfu], one copy of the document concerning the vacancies [queben] shall be sealed and sent to the throne to open; another copy shall be sent to Regional Military Commissions and then transferred to the Five Chief...
Chapter 3 - Laws on Revenu
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In all cases where a household is completely unregistered, if it should contribute to land taxes or corvée services, the household head [jiazhang] shall be punished by 100 strokes of beating with the heavy stick. If it should not contribute to land taxes or corvée services, [the household head] shall be punished by 80 strokes of...
Chapter 4 - Laws on Rituals
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In all cases where the responsible o‹ces fail to announce in advance the dates of Great Sacrifices [Dasi] or of imperial ancestor worship ceremonies [miaoxiang] to each yamen, the o‹cials shall be punished by 50 strokes of beating with the light stick. If mistakes occur during the sacrifices, they shall be punished by...
Chapter 5 - Laws on Military Affairs
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In all cases of entering the gates of the Imperial Ancestral Temple or of the imperial mausoleums without authorization, the oªenders shall be punished by 100 strokes of beating with the heavy stick. If they enter the gates of the Altar of the Soil [Taishe], they shall...
Chapter 6 - Laws on Penal Affairs
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In all cases of plotting rebellion (this means to plot to endanger the Altars of Soil and Grain) or great sedition (this means to plot to destroy the Imperial Ancestral Temple, mausoleums, or palaces), those who jointly plot shall all be sentenced to death by slicing [lingchi chusi], without distinction of principals and accessories...
Chapter 7 - Laws on Public Works
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In all cases where civil or military o‹cials engage in constructions and manufactures, if they should report to the superiors but they do not do so, or if they should await [the superiors’] replies but they do not do so, and they levy labor services without authorization, in each case calculate the wages of the hired laborers...
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Publication Year: 2012