Legal Process Unearthed A New Source of Legal History of Early Imperial China

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Maxim Korolkov



A group of Qin documents inscribed on bamboo slips was acquired by the Yuelu Academy on the antique market in Hong Kong in 2007. Four of these manuscripts are criminal case records dated from the final decades before the unification of China by the state of Qin in 221 B.C. These texts shed light not only on the administration of justice on the eve of imperial unification but also on various aspects of social, economic, and cultural history and historical geography. The present article reviews the recently published English translation of the Yuelu case records by Ulrich Lau and Thies Staack and discusses the value of these texts as historical source material.

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