The Economy of Western Xia

A Study of 11th to 13th Century Tangut Records

Editor / Translator:
This is the first introduction to the economic history of the Tangut Empire (1038-1227). Built on a wealth of economic data and evidence, it studies the economic lives and activities, laws and institutions, trade and transactions in the “Great State White and High”. It interprets primary sources written in the mysterious Tangut cursive script: taxes, registers, and contracts, alongside archives, chronicles, and law codes. By weaving Song, Liao, and Jin materials with Khara-Khoto, Wuwei, and Dunhuang manuscripts into a historical narrative, the book offers a gateway to the outer shape and inner life of the Western Xia (Xixia) economy and society, and rethinks the Tanguts’ influence on the Hexi Corridor and the Silk Road.
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Shi, Jinbo is a Fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. He has authored The Society of Western Xia and Tangut Language and Manuscripts, and edited The Revised Laws of Heavenly Prosperity and The Russian Collection of Khara-Khoto Manuscripts. Li, Hansong is a scholar of political, legal, and economic thought in the Department of Government and the Centre for History and Economics at Harvard University.
Translator’s Preface
Hansong Li

List of Illustrations
Shi Jinbo

1 The Empire of Western Xia and the Tangut Economy
 1 Natural Conditions of Western Xia
 2 Dangxiang People and Their Economy before the Tangut Empire
 3 Founding of Western Xia and Its Economy
 4 Tangut Politics and Economy in the Early Period of Western Xia
 5 Tangut Politics and Economy in the Middle Period of Western Xia
 6 Tangut Politics and Economy in the Late Period of Western Xia

2 Economic Records in the Corpus of Tangut Manuscripts
 1 Economic Regulations in the Laws of Heavenly Prosperity
 2 Economic Documents in the Corpus of Tangut Social Documents

3 Tangut Documents of Household Registrations
 1 Household Registers and Accounts
 2 Household Self-Reports (Shoushi)
 3 Analysis of Khara-Khoto Household Registers

4 Tangut Tax Records
 1 Accounts of Agricultural Taxes
 2 Accounts of Land and Forage Taxes
 3 Poll Tax
 4 Irrigation Tax
 5 Land Tax Increase and Grain Storage
 6 Features of Agricultural Taxes in Western Xia

5 Accounts of Grains and Properties
 1 Accounts of Grains
 2 Accounts of Properties

6 Records of Trade and Transaction
 1 Transaction Accounts and Commodity Prices
 2 Accounts of Transaction Taxes
 3 Accounts of Monetary Loans and Interests
 4 Accounts of Grain Loans and Debt
 5 Accounts of Land Sales
 6 Features of Tangut Trade and Transaction Records

7 Tangut Contracts
 1 Types and Formats of Tangut Contracts
 2 Loan Contracts
 3 Transaction Contracts
 4 Lease Contracts
 5 Employment Contracts
 6 Exchange and Mortgage Contracts
 7 Communal Contracts
 8 Features of Tangut Contracts

8 Economic Records in Chinese
 1 Markets and Materials
 2 Contracts
Historians interested in East and Inner Asia in the 11th-13th centuries, historians of medieval China: late Tang, Five Dynasties, Liao, Song, Jin Dynasties; Scholars interested in Dunhuang and Tangut studies.
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