“Drafting,” “Copying,” and “Adding Notes”: On the Semantic Field of “Writing” as Reflected by Qin and Early Han Legal and Administrative Documents


In: Bamboo and Silk
Thies StaackUniversity of Heidelberg, Heidelberg

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The present paper investigates three terms that were all used to refer to acts of writing in the early imperial administration: shu 書, xie 寫, and shu 署. Based on an analysis of their usage in administrative and legal texts, it illustrates the semantic differences of these terms, which also bear implications for our understanding of the production and use of administrative documents.

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