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Literature on Statecraft and Administration (zhengshu lei 政書類)

Jul 8, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald

Literature on Statecraft and Administration (zhengshu lei 政書類) is a subcategory in traditional Chinese bibliographies and part of the category of Historiography (shibu 史部). The section of books on politics and administration (zhengshu lei 政書類) is a sub-category to the literary category of historiography (shibu 史部) in the collectaneum Siku quanshu. It is a relatively new category that iss found with the name diangu 典故 “statutes and predecents” in the bibliography Zhizhai shulu jieti 直齋書錄解題 (Song). The content of this section is quite heterogeneous. It includes canonic texts on all government institutions like Zhenguan zhengyao貞觀政要, Sanchao zhengyao 三朝政要, Tongdian通典, Xu tongdian續通典, Guochao tongdian國朝通典, Tang huiyao唐會要, Wudai huiyao五代會要, Chaozhi yaolan朝制要覽 or Xianchao zhengfan 先朝政範, collections of memorials like Wei Zhenggong jianlu 魏鄭公諫錄 (also called Wei Wenzhengong gushi 魏文貞公故事), regulations for individual institutions like Hanlin shengshi 翰林盛事 (on the Hanlin Academy) or Neizhi shengjian 內治聖監 (the imperial household), or on specialized topics like Yiguan shengshi 衣冠盛事 (on the robes and caps of the officialdom), Qinzhuan yuxi pu 秦傳玉璽譜 (on state seals), Jingde kuiji lu 景德會計錄, Changle caifu zhi 長樂財賦志 (on state revenue), Zunhaolu尊號錄 (on the terminology of titles) or Qingshe zhenji lu 青社賑濟錄 (on disaster relief), imperial instructions like Sanchao baoxun 三朝寶訓 or Renhuang xundian 仁皇訓典, encyclopaedias like Huangchao zhiji tonglei 皇朝治跡統類 or Huangchao shilei shuyao 皇朝事類樞要, or collections of administrative matters on local governments like Tailing gushi 泰陵故事 or Dongjia zaji 東家雜記. The last two examples show that the section of the diangu texts was partially reserved for texts formerly found in a sub-category called gushi 故事 or, still much earlier, jiushi舊事, literally meaning “ancient matters”. It must have been created around 500, because such a category is already found in Ruan Xiaoxu’s 阮孝緒 catalogue Qilu 七錄. In the Suishi bibliography it is defined as a genre describing the duties and activities of all officials, the archives of which also belonged to the jurisdiction of the grand historiographer (taishi 太史). Like all matters of administration, even this custom was led back to a regulation in the Confucian Classic Zhouli. It is furthermore explained that during the early Han dynasty, Xiao He 蕭何 fixed the administrative and penal laws (lüling 律令), Zhang Cang 張蒼 brought the statutes (zhangcheng 章程) into a clear system, and Shusun Tong 叔孫通 regulated the court ceremonies (yifa 儀法). During the Jin period, Emperor Wu 晉武帝 ordered Jia Chong 賈充 to further consolidate these administrative regulations by consulting all Confucian writings (bo yin qun ru 博引群儒). He discerned between canonic rules and common rules (faling 法令), of which those serving to execute rules were made statutes of administravie law (shixing zhidu zhe wei ling 施行制度者為令), and those serving to classify byelaws were dubbed “ancient matters [of standard]” (pinshi zhangcheng zhe wei gushi 品式章程者為故事). They were archived in the particular institutions of the bureaucracy. Because they found not entrance into the official histories, they were called “ancient matters [to be consulted in the archives, not in “public” texts]”, but had still the character of precedents serving as models for various administrative matters. Only very few of these survived the ages, the most important being Han Wudi gushi 漢武帝故事 “Ancient matters from the reign of Emperor Wu of the Han dynasty” or Xijing zaji 西京雜記 “Miscellaneous records from the Western Capital”. From some titles it can be seen what theme they dealt with, like Jin bawang gushi 晉八王故事 (the rebellion of the eight princes), Huan Xuan wei shi 桓玄偽事 (the usurpation by Huan Xuan in 403) or Kaiye ping Chen ji 開業平陳記 (the foundation of the Sui dynasty). Some titles show that the records were made concerning a certain office or institution, like Jin donggong jiushi 晉東宮舊事, Donggong dianji 東宮典記 (the Eastern Palace), Shangshu dashi 尚書大事 (the Imperial Secretariat), or Niannan gushi 沔南故事 (local records from Miannan, i.e. the region south of River Han). Yet most books of this type have neutral titles like Jinchao zashi 晉朝雜事 “Miscellaneous matters from the Jin court” or Jin Jianwu gushi 晉建武故事 “Ancient matters from the Jianwu reign of the Jin”. In the Xintangshu, the great text on the regulation of state administration are found among the miscellaneous histories (zashi, like Zhenguan zhengyao) or enyclopaediyas (Du You’s Tongdian, Su Mian’s 蘇冕 Huiyao 會要 and Xu huiyao), while the smaller “ancient matters” were found in the jiushi section. A similar arrangement was made in the Junzhai dushu zhi and the bibliographic chapter of the Tongzhi, where the Tongdian and the huiyao texts are found among the encyclopaedias. The bibliography Suichutang shumu, in which books written under the then-reigning Song dynasty are separated from older texts, the character of gushi texts as writing on administrative matters can clearly be seen in many titles, like Zhuqian gushi 鑄錢故事 “Old regulations for the production of coins”, Jintong yaolüe 浸銅要略 “Concise report on wet copper production”, Zhihe fayun chayan xuzhi 至和發運茶鹽須知 “Must-knows about the transport of tea and salt during the Zhihe reign”, Fujian daozei xuzhi 福建盗賊須知 “Must-knows about the [control of] bandits in Fujian”, Hubu zhudao suishou shu 户部諸道歲收數 “Earnings of the Ministry of Revenue from all provinces”, Sichuan xuanfusi caifu bingma shu 四川宣撫司財賦兵馬數 “Tax [revenue] and [expenditure] on troops and horses of the Pacification Commissioner of Sichuan”, Guochao yunliang shu 國朝運糧數 “Figures on grain transport of Our Dynasty”, Yuanyou fenjiang lu 元祐分疆錄 “On local administrative divisions during the Yuanyou reign”, Shen Li beibian lu 沈黎備邊錄 “Shen Li’s records on border defense”, Huaixi cuozhi shiyi 淮西措置事宜 “Specific regulations and arrangements for the region of Huaixi”, Huangyou pingman ji 皇祐平蠻記 “The pacification of the barbarian tribes during the Huangyou reign” or Fengshi bielu 奉使别錄 “Another records on the imperial mission [to the court of the Khitans]”. It can be seen that gushi writings covered all different aspects of state administration. They were often records of specific arrangments that served as models for similar cases in the future. Althought the term diangu, introduced in the Zhizhai shulu jieti, might be better to demonstrate the precedential character of such cases, there term gushi continued to be used, although it was also used with the meaning of fictional story. The gushi section in the very late Song period catalogue Jingji kao, a chapter of the encyclopaedia Wenxian tongkao, includes books on coin production in the gushi section, and also Zheng Qiao’s Tongzhi, although the latter has the structure of a history book, written in the biographical-thematical style (jizhuanti). The introduction to the section quotes from the bibliography Song sanchao yiwen zhi 宋三朝藝文志, where it was said that during the Han period there was an office called zhanggu 掌故, whose occupant had the duty to archive and consult the “ancient precedents”. During the Cao-Wei period, this duty was taken over by no one else than the Counsellor-in-chief (chengxiang 丞相), and during the very late Former Han, Kong Guang 孔光 (65 – 5 BCE), Censor-in-chief (yushi dafu 御史大夫), was for more than ten years the most influential minister at the court, also made use of gushi regulations during his period of service. Administrative regulations were mostly subject to actual conditions, and were therefore not necessarily adapted by succeeding dynasties, although it was common that legal or administrative codes were retained and then revised according to actual circumstances. After the Song period therefore, the many administrative regulations mentioned above became obsolete and are not any more found in later bibliographies. The early Qing period catalogue Qiantingtang shumu therefore lists in the diangu section only texts that were written during the Ming period and could serve as models for the Qing administration. Older texts like Wenxian tongkao (Song) or Da-Yuan tongzhi 大元通制 (Yuan) by Wanyan Na 完顏納 and Zeng Boqi 曾伯啟 are only found in the appendix, and even these do not reach back further than the Song period. The model character of the precedent regulations (gushi) of former dynasties is also explained in the preface to the section zhengshu in the descriptive catalogue Siku quanshu zongmu tiyao. The compilers make clear that they only included books on administrative matters in the zhengshu sub-category, and not texts on event history, not to speak of fictional stories. The term zhengshu was apparenty already first used in an imperial catalogue written by Qian Pu 錢溥 (1408 – 1488, Bige shumu 祕閣書目), and was accordingly adapted for the Siku quanshu project, instead of the older terms diangu or gushi. The compilers of the Siku quanshu divided the texts belonging to the sub-category of zhengshu into six types, namely comprehensive books on all matters of administration (tongzhi 通制, 19 books), books on ritual regulations (yizhi 儀制, 24 books), books on administrative regulations for the local governments (bangji 邦計, 6 books), military regulations (junzheng 軍政, 4 books), judicial regulations (faling 法令, 2 books), and regulations concerning official work (kaogong 考工, 2 books). The section of administrative books in the Siku quanshu includes 57 books in total, and the catalogue describes a further amount of 113 texts in the cunmu section.


1. 通制之屬 tongzhi Comprehensive regulations
通典 二百卷 Tongdian (Tang) 杜佑 Du You
唐會要 一百卷 Tang huiyao (Song) 王溥 Wang Pu
五代會要 三十卷 Wudai huiyao (Song) 王溥 Wang Pu
宋朝事實 二十卷 Songchao shishi (Song) 李攸 Li You
建炎以來朝野雜記 四十卷 Jianyan yilai chaoye zaji (Song) 李心傅 Li Xinchuan
西漢會要 七十卷 Xihan huiyao (Song) 徐天麟 Xu Tianlin
東漢會要 四十卷 Donghan huiyao (Song) 徐天麟 Xu Tianlin
漢制考 四卷 Hanzhikao (Song) 王應麟 Wang Yinglin
文獻通考 三百四十八卷 Wenxian tongkao (Yuan) 馬端臨 Ma Duanlin
經世大典 * Jingshi dadian (Yuan) 趙世延 Zhao Shiyan, 虞集 Yu Ji (comp.; imp. ord.)
大明會典 一百八十卷 (Da-)Ming huidian (Ming) 徐溥 Xu Pu (et al.; imp. ord.); 李東陽 Li Dongyang (et al.; rev.)
七國考 十四卷 Qiguokao (Ming) 董說 Dong Shuo
明經世文編 * Ming jingshi wenbian (Ming) 陳子龍 Chen Zilong (et al.)
(欽定)大清會典 一百卷 (Qinding) Da-Qing huidian (Qing) 允挫 Yun Cuo (et al; imp. ord.)
續文獻通考 二百五十 (續修) Xu wenxian tongkao (Qing) 王圻 Wang Qi
(欽定)續文獻通考 二百五十卷 (Qinding) Xu wenxian tongkao (Qing) 嵇璜 Xi Huang, 曹仁虎 Cao Renhu (et al.; imp. ord.)
(欽定)皇朝文獻通考 三百卷 (Qinding) Huangchao wenxian tongkao (Qing Qianlong 12) Coll. (imp. ord.)
(欽定)續通典 一百五十卷 (Qinding) Xu tongdian (Qing) 嵇璜 Xi Huang, 曹仁虎 Cao Renhu (et al.; imp. ord.)
(欽定)皇朝通典 一百二十六卷 (Qinding) Huangchao tongdian (Qing Qianlong 32) Coll. (imp. ord.)
皇清經世文編 * Huang-Qing jingshi wenbian (Qing) He Zhangling 賀長齡, Wei Yuan 魏源
宋會要輯稿 * Song huiyao jigao (Qing) 王雲海 Wang Yunhai
2. 儀制之屬 yizhi Regulations of rituals and ceremonies
漢官舊儀 二卷 Hanguan jiuyi (Han) 衛宏 Wei Hong
大唐開元禮 一百五十卷 Da-Tang Kaiyuan li (Tang) 蕭嵩 Xiao Song (et al.; imp. ord.)
謚法 四卷 Shifa (Song) 蘇洵 Su Xun
政和五禮新儀 二百一卷 Zhenghe wuli xinyi (Song) 鄭居中 Zheng Juzhong (et al.; imp. ord.)
大金集禮 三十三卷 Da-Jin jili (Jin) Anon.
大金德運圖說 一卷 Da-Jin deyun tushuo (Jin) Anon.
明集禮 五十三卷 Ming jili (Ming) 徐一夔 Xu Yinao (et al.)
明宮史 五卷 Ming gongshi (Ming) 呂毖 Lü Bi; 劉若愚 Liu Ruoyu
皇明祖訓 一卷 (存目) Huang-Ming zuxun (Ming) (et al.; imp.ord.)
明典彙 二百卷 (存目) Ming dianhui (Ming) 徐學聚 Xu Xueju (et al.)
皇明寶訓 * Huang-Ming baoxun (Ming) (et al.; imp.ord.)
歷代貢舉志 一卷 (存目) Lidai gongju fa (Ming) 馮夢禎 Feng Mengzhen
(欽定)大清通禮 五十卷 (Qinding) Da-Qing tongli (Qing) 來保 Lai Bao, 李玉鳴 Li Yuming (et al.; imp. ord.)
皇朝禮器圖式 十八卷 Huangchao liqi tushi (Qing) 允祿 Yun Lu (et al.; imp. ord.); 福隆安 Fu Longan (et al.; rev.)
國朝宮史 (清宮史) 三十六卷 Guochao gongshi (Qing gongshi) (Qing Qianlong 7) Anon. (imp. ord.)
(欽定)滿洲祭神祭天典禮 六卷 (Qinding) Manzhou jishen jitian dianli (Qing) 允祿 Yunlu (et al.; imp. ord.)
(欽定)南巡盛典 一百卷 (Qinding) Nanxun shengdian (Qing) 高晉 Gao Jin, 薩載 Sa Dai, 阿桂 Agūi, 傅恆 Fuheng
八旬萬壽盛典 一百二十卷 Baxun wanshou shengdian (Qing) 阿桂 Agūi (et al.; comp.)
3. 邦計之屬 bangji Administrative regulations
食貨志 Shihuo zhi ()
律曆志 Lüli zhi ()
救荒活民書 三卷 Jiuhuang huomin shu (Song) 董煟 Dong Wei
熬波圖 二卷 Aobotu (Yuan) 陳椿 Chen Chun
錢通 三十二卷 Qiantong (Ming) 胡我琨 Hu Wokun
捕蝗考 一卷 Buhuangkao (Qing) 陳芳生 Chen Fangsheng
荒政叢書 十卷 Huangzheng congshu (Qing) 俞森 Yu Sen
(欽定)康濟錄 六卷 (Qinding) Kangjilu (Qing) 陸曾禹 Lu Zengyu, 倪國璉 Ni Guolian (arr.)
保甲書 *
保甲書輯要 *
Baojiashu
Baojiashu jiyao
(Qing) 徐棟 Xu Dong; 丁日昌 Ding Richang (rev.)
牧令書 *
牧令書輯要 *
Mulingshu
Mulingshu jiyao
(Qing) 徐棟 Xu Dong; 丁日昌 Ding Richang (rev.)
(欽定)戶部則例 * (Qinding) Hubu zeli (Qing) 載齡 Zailing etc. (comp.)
賦役全書 * Fuyi quanshu (Ming/Qing) imp. ord.
續富國策 * Xu fuguo ce (Qing) 陳熾 Chen Chi
(欽定)學堂章程 * (Qinding) Xuetang zhangcheng (Qing) 張百熙 Zhang Baixi
4. 軍政之屬 junzheng Military regulations
歷代兵制 八卷 Lidai bingzhi (Song) 陳傅良 Chen Fuliang
中樞政考 * Zhongshu zhengkao (Qing) Ortai 鄂爾泰 (imp. ord.)
馬政紀 十二卷 (大元馬政記) Mazhengji (Da-Yuan mazheng ji) (Yuan/Qing) 文廷式 Wen Tingshi (et al.)
(欽定)八旗通志 三百四十二卷 (Qingding) Baqi tongzhi (Qing) Anon. (imp. ord.)
5. 法令之屬 faling Jurisdictional regulations
呂刑 * Lüxing (part of Shangshu 尚書) (Zhou) NN
子產鑄刑鼎 * Zichan zhu xingding (Zhou) 子產 Zichan
法經 * Fajing (Zhou) 李悝 Li Kui
唐律疏義 三十卷 Tanglü shuyi (Tang code) (Tang) 長孫無忌 Zhangsun Wuji (et al.; imp. ord.)
慶元條法事類 * Qingyuan tiaofa shilei (Song code) (Song) 謝深甫 Xie Shenfu
天盛年改定新律 * Tiansheng nian gaiding xinlü (Western Xia code) (Xixia)
通制條格 * Tongzhi tiaoge (Yuan code) (Yuan)
元典章 * Yuan dianzhang (Yuan)
御製大誥 * (Yuzhi) Dagao (Ming) Ming Taizu Zhu Yuanzhang 明太祖朱元璋
大明律 * Da-Ming lü (Ming code) (Ming) 李善長 Li Shanchang, Liu Ji 劉基 (et al.; imp.ord.)
三朝要典 * Sanchao yaodian (Ming) 顧秉謙 Gu Bingqian, 黃立極 Huang Liji, 馮銓 Feng Quan (et al.; imp.ord.)
皇明制書 * Huang-Ming zhishu (Ming) (et al.; imp.ord.)
大清律例 四十七卷 Da-Qing lüli (Qing code) (Qing) 三泰 Santai, 徐本 Xu Ben (et al.; imp. ord.)
6. 考工之屬 kaogong Regulations concering state-operated construction work
魯班經 * Lu Ban jing (Zhou) 魯班 Lu Ban (?)
營造法式 四十三卷 Yingzao fashi (Song) 李誡 Li Jie (et al.; imp. ord.)
(欽定)武英殿聚珍版程式 一卷 (Qinding) Wuyingdian juzhenban chengshi (Qing) 金簡 Jin Jian

* not included in the collectaneum Siku quanshu 四庫全書, the catalogue Siku quanshu zongmu tiyao 四庫全書總目題要, nor the Xuxiu siku quanshu 續修四庫全書.