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University of California, Santa Barbara (Santa Barbara, CA 93106-0001)
Anthony Jerome Barbieri (Project Director: November 2006 to June 2010)
Law, State, and Society in Early Imperial China: Translation and Study of the Zhangjiashan Legal Texts

The translation, annotation, analysis, and interpretation of a group of Chinese legal and administrative texts from the late 3rd to early 2nd centuries BCE, which were recently excavated from a tomb in Hubei Province, China. (24 months)

This project will translate and study a group of Chinese legal and administrative texts dating from the Qin and Han empires (late 3rd-early 2nd centuries BCE), recently excavated from a tomb at Zhangjiashan (Hubei Province, China). The importance of these texts for understanding the development of the early imperial legal and administrative system, social organization, and cultural values cannot be overemphasized. These extraordinarily detailed legal texts show how the Han rulers adopted and adapted Qin legal, bureaucratic, social, and economic precedents and how they and their Qin predecessors used the law to dominate and exploit local populations, including minorities, eventually forging a Chinese people. Our translation will be of value not only to historians of China and comparative historians, but also to those studying the importation of Western law into modern China.

Project fields:
East Asian History

Collaborative Research

Research Programs

$120,000 (approved)
$120,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2007 – 6/30/2009