A prominent feature of Qin county-level administrative organization displayed in the newly unearthed Liye Qin slips is the division between bureaus (cao 曹) and offices (guan 官). On this point, fruitful comparison may be made with a recompiled excerpt from the lost Hongfan wuxing zhuan (Great Plan Five Phases Commentary), where government agencies are named according to the sexagenary ganzhi 干支 “heavenly stems and earthly branches” cycle. During the Qin period, bureaus were already established in commanderies and counties, however it would be inappropriate to classify all subordinate functionaries together as members of just “the arrayed bureaus” (liecao 列曹), as they were actually assigned to both bureaus and offices. Moreover, the role that Scribe (shi 史) personnel played in the operation of these bureaus and offices is also striking.
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GaoMing 高明 “Guti Han zi yijin xingpang tongyong li” 古體漢字義近形旁通用例 in Gao Ming lunzhu xuanji 高明論著選集 (Beijing: Kexue chubanshe 科學出版社2001) 31–61; this article was originally published in Xianggang zhongwen daxue Zhongguo wenhua yanjiusuo 香港中文大學中國文化研究所 ed. Zhongguo yuwen yanjiu 中國語文研究 1982.4; see also Gao Ming’s Zhongguo guwenzixue tonglun 中國古文字學通論 (Beijing: Beijing daxue chubanshe 北京大學出版社 1996).
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