An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Qingyuan tiaofa shilei 慶元條法事類, the Song Code

Jul 3, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald

Qingyuan tiaofa shilei 慶元條法事類 "The law code of the Qingyuan reign, arranged topically" is a collection of laws compiled during the Qingyuan reign-period 慶元 (1195-1200) of the Song period 宋 (960-1279), with a length of 18 juan.

The first emperor issuing a collection of Song dynasty laws was Song Xiaozong 宋孝宗 (r. 1162-1189). The result was the Chunxi tiaofa shilei 淳熙條法事類 "Law code of the Chunxi reign (1174-1189), arranged topically", which was permanently enlarged over the next decades. In 1202 Xie Shenfu 謝深甫 (1139-1204) submitted an updated version to the throne, the Qingyuan tiaofa shilei.

The Song laws were modelled on older Tang-period 唐 (618-907) precedents, especially the 律 (administrative and penal law). The ling 令 (case-related regulations), on the other side, were not any more adequate to the circumstances of the more urbanised and economized society of the the early Song period.

The Qingyuan tiaofa shilei is the only Song dynasty law code preserved, although not in completeness: juan 1, 2, 18-27, 33-35, 38-46 and 53-72 are missing. The surviving parts are nevertheless sufficient to present an impressive picture of economic, social and political details of the Song period, like the social group of the local petty officials (xingshihu 形勢戶), laws concerning them are only preserved in the Qingyun tiaofa shilei. There are even jurisdictional regulations preserved in the Song code that were already outdated during the later part of the Song period, like the regulations for the governmental purchase (hemai 和買) of privately manufactured clothing to equip the army.

The best reprint of the Song code was published by the Library of Yanjing University 燕京大學 in Beijing.

Kong Xue 孔學 (2000). "Qingyuan tiaofa shilei yanjiu 《慶元條法事類》研究", Shixue yuekan 史學月刊, 2000 (4).
Wang Cengyu 王曾瑜 (1992). "Qingyuan tiaofa shilei 慶元條法事類", in: Zhongguo da baike quanshu 中國大百科全書, Zhongguo lishi 中國歷史 (Beijing/Shanghai: Zhongguo da baike quanshu chubanshe), Vol. 2, 847.
Yang Zhengting 楊政婷, Zhang Maogang 鄭州茂剛 (2015). "Cong Qingyuan tiaofa shilei tan Nansong shiqi wenshu dang'an de guanli 從《慶元條法事類》探南宋時期文書檔案的管理", Lantai shijie 蘭台世界, 2015 (9).