An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

Song mingchen zouyi 宋名臣奏議

May 29, 2012 © Ulrich Theobald

Song mingchen zouyi 宋名臣奏議 "Memorials of famous ministers of the Song period", also known by the name (Guochao) Zhuchen zouyi (國朝)諸臣奏議 "Memorials of all ministers of (Our Dynasty)", is a collection of memorials presented to the throne by Northern Song-period 北宋 (960-1126) ministers.

The 150-juan long book was compiled by the early Southern Song-period 南宋 (1127-1279) scholar Zhao Ruyu 趙汝愚 (1140-1196), who was a distant member of the imperial family and occupied the offices of Minister of Personnel (libu shangshu 吏部尚書), Administrator of the Bureau of Military Affairs (zhi shumiyuan shi 知樞密院事) and Counsellor to the right (you chengxiang 右丞相). After a failed attempt to get rid of the Left Counsellor Han Tuozhou 韓侂胄 (1152-1207), the latter forced Zhao to leave his office in the central government, so that Zhao Ruyu served as a local governor in Fujian. He has also compiled an extract to the veritable records of Emperor Taizu 宋太祖 (r. 960-975), Taizu shilu juyao 太祖實錄舉要. His collected memorials are united in the book Zhao Zhongdinggong zouyi 趙忠定公奏議, his collected writings in the Zhao Zhongdinggong shiwen ji 趙忠定公詩文集.

The Song mingchen zouyi is divided into 12 chapters in which the memorials are arranged according to themes. For each memorial, information is provided about the author and his position in the administrative structure. This is very helpful for an evaluation of the functioning of the government of the Song empire. Zhao Ruyu's intention was to provide examples of good and bad suggestions for government and so points at some reasons for the failure of the Northern Song empire.

Table 1. Contents of the Song mingchen zouyi 宋名臣奏議
1-24 君道門 Jundao The Way of the Ruler
1-4 君道 Jundao The Way of the Ruler
5-7 帝學 Dixue The teachings of rulership
8 政體 Zhengti The body of government
9-10 慈孝 Cixiao Benevolence and filiality
11 恭儉 Gongjian Respect and austerity
12 法祖宗 Fa zuzong Taking ancestors as a model
13-17 用人 Yongren Employment of [competent] persons
18-19 廣言路 Guang yanlu Widening channels through which criticisms and suggestions may be communicated
20 勤政 Qinzheng Diligence in politics
21 聽斷 Tingduan Listening [to advice] before making decisions
22-23 詔令 Zhaoling Decrees and orders
24 風俗 Fengsu Customs and styles
25-35 帝繫門 Dixi The imperial house
25 尊號 Zunhao Honorific designations
26 皇太后 Huangtaihou The Empress Dowager
27-28 皇后 Huanghou The Empress
29 嬪御 Binyu Imperial consorts
30-31 皇太子 Huangtaizi The Heir Apparent
32 宗室 Zongshi The imperial house
33 公主 Gongzhu Princesses
34-35 外戚 Waiqi Relatives of empresses
36-45 天道門 Tiandao The Way of Heaven
36 祥瑞 Xiangrui Omina and portents
37-45 災異 Zaiyi Natural disasters and freaks of nature
46-77 百官門 Baiguan State offices
46-48 宰執 Zaizhi The Counsellor-in-chief
49 侍從 Shicong Attendants
學士待制 Xueshi daizhi Academicians awaiting instructions
50 經筵 Jingyan The imperial colloquium
51-55 臺諫 Taijian Censorate and Remonstrance Bureau
56-57 給舍 Jishe Supervising secretaries and secretariat drafters
58 六部 Liubu The Six Ministries
寺監 Shijian The [Nine] and [Five] Directorates
59 館閣 Guange Academies and institutes
60 史官 Shiguan Historiographers
東宮官屬 Donggong guanshu Officials in the Eastern Palace [of the Heir Apparent]
61-63 内侍 Neishi Palace attendants
64 三衙 Sanya The Three Commands [Palace, Capital Cavalry, Capital Infantry]
諸將 Zhujiang The generals
65 帥臣 Shuaichen Military commissioners
66 奉使 Fengshi Envoys
67 監司 Jiansi Circuit supervisors
68 守令 Shouling Prefects
69 官制 Guanzhi The system of officials
謹名器 Jin mingqi Respecting title and insignia
70 省官 Shengguan Department officials
優禮 Youli Ceremonial reception
71 薦舉 Jianju Promotion by recommendation
72 考課 Kaoke Examination
73 重外官 Zhong waiguan The importance of the local officialdom
久任 Jiuren Length of appointment
74 致仕辭 Zhishi ci Announcement of retirement
䕃補 Yinbu Inheritance of offices
75 戒敕 Jiechi Admonitions to officials
辭免 Cimian Notice of resign
76 朋黨 Pengdang Court factions
77 轉對 Zhuandui Monthly report for assessment
見辭謝 Jian cixie Polite decline of an audience
78-84 儒學門 Ruxue Confucian learning
78-79 學校 Xuexiao Schools
80-81 貢舉 Gongju The elevation of prefectural and provincial graduates
82 制科 Zhike Civilian state examination
武舉 Wuju Military examinations
83 學術 Xueshu Scholarship
84 釋老 Shi-Lao Buddhism and Daoism
方技 Fangji Magic and divination
85-96 禮樂門 Liyue Rituals and music
85 郊祀 Jiaosi The suburban sacrifices
86 明堂 Mingtang The Bright Hall
祖宗侑祀 Zuzong yousi Assistance(?) in ancestral sacrifices
87-88 宗廟 Zongmiao The ancestral shrines
89-90 濮議 Puyi Discussion on [the posthumous honorific title of Prince Yi] of Pu'an 濮安懿王
91 褒崇先聖 Baochong xiansheng Veneration of imperial ancestors
羣祀 Qunsi Various sacrifices
92 朝會 Chaohui Court audiences
臨幸 Linxing Imperial visits
宴饗 Yanxiang Hospitation and banquets
93-94 喪禮 Sangli Funeral rites
95 諡法 Yifa Rules for posthumous titles
䘏典 Xudian Rituals of expressing imperial sympathy
96 士庶五禮 Shishu wuli The five rites for the lower officialdom
雅樂 Yayue Elegant music
97-100 賞刑門 Shangxing Reward and punishment
97 賞罰 Shangfa Rewards and penalty
98 法令 Faling Laws and orders
禁約 Jinyue Restrictions
99 恤刑 Xuxing Well-considered use of penalties
議獄 Yiyu Trials and announcements of verdict
100 赦宥 Sheyou Amnesties
錫賚 Xilai Rewards
101-119 財賦門 Caifu Finance and taxes
101-103 理財 Licai Financial management
104 稅賦 Shuifu Tax and corvée
寛䘏 Kuanxu Tax cuts and remittance
105 勸課 Quanke Adhortation to and supervision [of agriculture]
營屯田 Ying tuntian Military agro-colonies
106 荒政 Huangzheng Disaster relief
107 内帑 (封樁庫) Neitang (Fengzhuangku) The state treasury (reserve)
常平義倉 Changping-yicang Ever-normal granaries and charity granaries
108 茶法 Chafa Tea administration
鹽法 Yanfa Salt administration
109-119 新法 Xingfa The new laws [of Wang Anshi]
120-125 兵制門 Bingzhi Military system
120-121 兵議 Bingyi Discussions on military matters
122 禁衛 Jinwei Palace guards
州郡兵 Zhou-junbing Prefectural and commandery troops
123-124 民兵 Minbing Militia
125 蕃兵 Fanbing Provincial troops
馬政 Mazheng Horse administration
126-128 方域門 Fangyu Local administration
126 宮禁 Gongjin Imperial and princely palaces
都城 Ducheng Cities and city walls
127 河議 Heyi Discussions on river conservancy
128 營造 Yingzao Public construction
129-144 邊防門 Bianfang Border defence
129-140 遼夏 Liao-Xia The Liao and Western Xia empires
141 青唐 Qingtang Qingtang (i.e. Tibet)
高麗 Gaoli Koryŏ
142 女真 Nüzhen The Jurchens
143 蠻猺 (交趾) Man-Yao (Jiaozhi) Man and Yao barbarians (Jiaozhi, i.e. Annam)
144 盗賊 Daozei Bandits and robbers
145-150 總議門 Zongyi General discussions
145-150 總議 Zongyi General discussions
Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰, ed. (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe), Vol. 1, 962.