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From Shuihuidi 睡虎地 to Liye 里耶

by Lemardelé Élise - published on , updated on

Les 18 et 19 septembre 2014, l’ANR "Legalizing Chinese Space" et le CRCAO co-organisent deux journées d’étude autour des documents légaux de Zhangjiashan 張家山. La première de ces deux journées sera consacrée aux documents administratifs et aux manuscrits de l’époque des Qin et des Han. La seconde visera à replacer les documents de Zhangjiashan dans l’histoire du droit chinois. La langue de travail de ces deux journées sera l’anglais.

From Shuihuidi to Liye

Forty years of archeological discoveries

and their significance for Chinese History

Venue: Collège de France, 52 rue du Cardinal Lemoine, 75005 Paris (métro: Cardinal Lemoine) - Salle Claude Lévi-Strauss

Thursday 18: New Perspectives on Ancient China: Researches on Qin and Han Excavated Texts.


10h-13h: Qin-Han excavated texts reading session lead by Professors Robin Yates and Anthony Barbieri-Low: Zhangjiashan legal documents and Liye 里耶 administrative documents.

N.B.: A good command of classical Chinese language is required to attend to the morning reading session.



Alain Thote: “Early Chinese Manuscripts Discovered in Tombs: the Case of Rishu 日書.”

Marc Kalinowski: “Some remarks on the relationship between the Qin and Han excavated legal texts and daybook text type manuscripts.”

Marianne Bujard: "Rishu within the scope of Qin and Han religion.”


Enno Giele: “Administrative Documents from Jianshui 肩水.”

Eric Trombert: “Was the farming system of the military settlements (屯田 / 軍屯) really sustainable? About an unpublished manuscript from Juyan 居延.”

Arnaud Bertrand: “Excavating the eastern administrative border of Dunhuang imperial commandery during the former Han dynasty.”


General discussion

Friday 19: From Shuihudi to Liye, from law on paper to law in practice?

Morning (9-12):

- “Forms of Legislation during the Qin and Han,” the different types of laws, including statutes, ordinances, precedents, etc., by Robin Yates

- “The Evolution of Statutory Law from the Qin to the Han,” with highlight on some of the continuities from the Qin laws to the Tang Code, by Anthony Barberi-Low.

Afternoon (14-17): discussion, animated by three short presentations

Jérôme Bourgon: From the redemption of punishments to their commutation and abolition: questions about “changes” and “progress” of the Chinese legal system under Qing and Han dynasty

Frédéric Constant: The “Confucianization of law”, after the toppling of the “cruel Legalist dynasty of Qin”: An outdated historical myth?

Luca Gabbiani: “Contracts” in Chinese history: some remarks and questions.