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Da-Ming huidian 大明會典, shortly called Ming huidian 明會典, is a collection of official statutes of the Ming dynasty 明 (1368-1644). It was submitted to the throne in 1497 and, after revision, officially issued and printed in 1509. The first version contained 180 juan "scrolls", and after two supplements were added during the Jiajing 嘉靖 (1522-1566) and the Wanli 萬曆 (1573-1619) reigns, it obtained its final seize of 228 juan in the edition of 1597.
In 1393 the founder of the dynasty, Ming Taizu 明太祖 (r. 1368-1396) ordered the compilation of a legislative encyclopaedia of the state, to be modeled after the Tang liudian 唐六典 "The six canons of the Tang dynasty" 唐 (618-907). It was to contain an exact description of all state offices, the staff of each institution and the task all of them had. The legislative coded issued under Ming Taizu were so numerous that it appeared that many statutory books were containing a lot of redundancies so that the "Statues" were not finished under his reign. Only a century later Emperor Xiaozong 明孝宗 (r. 1487-1505) ordered to actualize the draft (called Zhusi zhizhang 諸司職掌) and to compile the statutes with the title of Da-Ming huidian 大明會典. The compilation was observed by Xu Pu 徐溥 and Liu Jian 劉健 and was finished in 1502. It was then revised under the guidance of Li Dongyang 李東陽 and finally printed in 1509. One printing has survived which is normally referred to as the Zhengde huidian 正德會典 "The statutes from the Zhengde reign (1506-1521)".
The Ming huidian is divided into 24 themes (tiao 條). It includes the earliest sources on administrative regulations like the Zhusi zhizhang draft, but also the Huangming zuxun 皇明祖訓 (the dynastic "house law"), Dagao 大誥 (instructions for the state officials), Da-Ming ling 大明令 (the administrative code), Da-Ming jili 大明集禮 (collected rituals), Hongwu lizhi 洪武禮制 (rituals from the Hongwu reign), Liyi dingshi 禮儀定式 (rituals and court etiquette), Jigu dingzhi 稽古定制 ("fixed rules researching into antiquity"), Jiaomin bangwen 教民榜文 ("instructions to the people"), Junfa dinglü 軍法定律 (military penal law), Xianwang 憲網, Da-Ming lü 大明律 (the penal code), and the Xiaocilu 孝慈錄 ("on filial piety and imperial clemency"). Other sources for the Huidian were the many precedent cases (shili 事例) dealt with until that time.
The government institutions of are arranged as subordinated to the Six Ministries (liubu 六部), except that of the ministries of Revenue and of Justice, the subordinated agencies of which are arranged according to the provinces they were entrusted with.
In 1576 the Wanli Emperor 萬曆 (Emperor Shenzong 明神宗, r. 1573-1619) ordered to undergo a revision of the Statutes which was supervised by Zhang Juzheng 張居正 and finished in 1585. This version is called Wanli chongxiu huidian 萬曆重修會典. The Ming huidian served as a model for the institutional code of the Qing dynasty 清 (1644-1911), the Da-Qing huidian 大清會典.
The commonly used version of the "Statutes" is that of the series Wanyou Wenku 萬有文庫 and the edition reprinted in 1976 in Taiwan. In 1989 the Shangwu yinshuguan press 商務印書館 has published a modern edition.
宗人府 Zongrenfu The Court of the Imperial Clan|
吏部 Lìbu The Ministry of Personnel
戶部 Hubu The Ministry of Revenue
禮部 Lǐbu The Ministry of Rites
兵部 Bingbu The Ministry of War
刑部 Xingbu The Ministry of Justice
工部 Gongbu The Ministry of Works
都察院 Duchayuan The Censorate
通政使司 Tongzhengshi si The Office of Transmission
大理寺 Dalisi The Court of Judicial Review
太常寺 Taichangsi The Court of Imperial Sacrifices
詹事府 Zhanshifu The Household Administration of the Heir Apparent
光祿寺 Guanglusi The Court of Imperial Entertainments
太僕寺 Taipusi The Court of the Imperial Stud
鴻臚寺 Honglusi The Court of State Ceremonial
國子監 Guozijian The Directorate of Education
翰林院 Hanlinyuan The Hanlin Academy
尚寳寺 Shangbaosi The Seals Office
欽天監 Qintianjian The Directorate of Astronomy
太醫院 Taiyiyuan The Imperial Academy of Medicine
上林苑監 Shanglinyuan jian The Directorate of Imperial Parks
僧錄司 Senglusi The Central Buddhist Registry
道錄司 Daolusi The Central Daoist Registry
五軍都督府 Wujun dudufu The Five Chief Military Commissions
錦衣衛 Jinyiwei The Imperial Bodyguard ("The Brocade Guard")
Offices working in Nanjing attached to those in Beijing.
Designations according to Charles O. Hucker (ed. 1985), A Dictionary of Official Titles in Imperial China (Stanford, CA)
Sources: Wang Qiju 王其榘 (1992). "Da-Ming huidian 大明會典", in: Zhongguo da baike quanshu 中國大百科全書, Zhongguo lishi 中國歷史, vol. 1, pp. 139 f. Beijing/Shanghai: Zhongguo da baike quanshu chubanshe. ● Zhao Hankun 趙含坤 (2005). Zhongguo leishu 中國類書, pp. 200-201. Shijiazhuang: Hebei renmin chubanshe.
July 12, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail
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