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Bjørnar Sverdrup-Thygeson

© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2012 DOI: 10.1163/187119112X626843 The Hague Journal of Diplomacy 7 (2012) 245-267 A Neighbourless Empire? The Forgotten Diplomatic Tradition of Imperial China Bjørnar Sverdrup-Thygeson Norwegian University of Life Sciences / Norwegian Institute for

Carpentry and Building in Late Imperial China

A Study of the Fifteenth-Century Carpenter's Manual Lu Ban jing.



This volume deals with the world of carpenters and joiners in late Imperial China, discussing both the technical and the religious and ritual aspects of building. It uses as its point of departure a unique and hitherto unused source: the fifteenth-century carpenter's manual Lu Ban jing.
The first part of the book examines building materials, the life of labourers and craftsmen, and the process of building a house. Subjects included are the choice of favourable measurements, the ritual of raising the ridge pole, and the complete, annotated translation of the Lu Ban jing, preceded by a bibliographic essay. The sections on furniture construction are especially important for the art historian. The book is finely illustrated with more than eighty original drawings and includes a facsimile of the extremely rare, richly illustrated earliest edition of the Lu Ban jing, dating from ca. 1600.

Wanton Women in Late-Imperial Chinese Literature

Models, Genres, Subversions and Traditions


Edited by Mark Stevenson and Cuncun Wu

The contributors to Wanton Women in Late-Imperial Chinese Literature: Models, Genres, Subversions and Traditions draw attention to ‘wanton woman’ themes across time as they were portrayed in court history (McMahon), fiction (Stevenson), drama (Lam, Wu), and songs and ballads (Ôki, Epstein, McLaren). Looking back, the essays challenge us with views of sexual transgression that are more heterogeneous than modern popular focus on Pan Jinlian would suggest. Central among the many insights to be found is that despite gender performance in Chinese history being overwhelmingly determined by the needs of patriarchal authority, men and women in the late imperial period discovered diverse ways in which to reflect on how men constantly sought their own bearings in reference to women.


Pierre-Étienne Will

The 1,165 entries of Handbooks and Anthologies for Officials in Imperial China by Pierre-Étienne Will and collaborators provide a descriptive list of extant manuscript and printed works—mainly from the Song, Ming, and Qing dynasties—created with the aim to instruct officials and other administrators of imperial China about the technical and ethical aspects of government, and to provide tools and guides to help with the relevant procedures. Both generalist and specialized texts are considered. Among the latter, such disciplines as the administration of justice, famine relief, and the military receive particular attention. Each entry includes the publishing history of the work considered (including modern editions), an analysis of contents, and a biographical sketch of the author.

Keith McMahon

these early times than in later imperial China. 19 The answer is probably a combination of both, since the Tang ruling family came from the north and since Han precedents were well established, though still contested. Two women of nomadic conquest regimes stand out, Empress Dowager Feng and Empress

Jen-Der Lee

wet n u rs es in earl y i m peri al ch i n a 1 © Brill, Leiden, 2000 NAN NÜ 2.1 WET NURSES IN EARLY IMPERIAL CHINA BY JEN-DER LEE (Institute of History and Philology, Academia Sinica) Abstract Wet nurses in early imperial China were chosen from household slaves based on their physical and

International Law as World Order in Late Imperial China

Translation, Reception and Discourse, 1847-1911


Rune Svarverud

This is the first systematic analysis of the early introduction and reception of international law as a Western political and legal science in China. International law in late imperial China is studied both as part of the introduction of the Western sciences and as a theoretical orientation in international affairs between 1847 and 1911. The first chapters serve the purpose of analysing the political, institutional, intellectual and linguistic process of adapting the theories of international law to the Chinese context language. The second major part of the book is dedicated to the discourse on China and world order within this framework.

War Finance and Logistics in Late Imperial China

A Study of the Second Jinchuan Campaign (1771–1776)


Ulrich Theobald

In his book War Finance and Logistics in Late Imperial China, Ulrich Theobald shows how the Qing dynasty (1644 – 1911) overcame the tyranny of logistics and successfully enlarged the territory of its empire. A detailed analysis of the long and expensive second Jinchuan war (1771 – 1776) in Eastern Tibet demonstrates that the Chinese state ordered its civilian officials as well as the common people, merchant associations, and different ethnic groups to fulfil and to foot the bill for the “common cause”. With increasing military success the state gradually withdrew from its responsibilities, believing that a War Supply and Expenditure Code (Junxu zeli) might offset the decreasing skill in and readiness to imperial leadership.


Paolo Santangelo

How was the concept of 'personality' perceived in (late-imperial) China? Re-constructing the main features describing the individual, this volume, firmly based in textual sources, is a reflection on personality and its attributes in China.
It discusses terms that express the propensity, inclinations, predispositions, and temperament of subjects, departing from the descriptions that represent one’s and the other’s self, as well as terms that describe or label a person's main qualities or defects. As judgments contribute to formulate the image of ourselves and others, when talking of personality not only individual characters (biological traits, cultural basis, innate and acquired traits and habits) are looked into, but also social values and collective mentality, as well as individual and group subjectivity.

Law, State, and Society in Early Imperial China (2 vols)

A Study with Critical Edition and Translation of the Legal Texts from Zhangjiashan Tomb no. 247


Anthony J. Barbieri-Low and Robin D.S. Yates

Law, State, and Society in Early Imperial China has been accorded Honorable Mention status in the 2017 Patrick D. Hanan Prize (China and Inner Asia Council (CIAC) of the Association for Asian Studies) for Translation competition.

In Law, State, and Society in Early Imperial China, Anthony J. Barbieri-Low and Robin D.S. Yates offer the first detailed study and translation into English of two recently excavated, early Chinese legal texts. The Statutes and Ordinances of the Second Year consists of a selection from the long-lost laws of the early Han dynasty (206 BCE-220 CE). It includes items from twenty-seven statute collections and one ordinance. The Book of Submitted Doubtful Cases contains twenty-two legal case records, some of which have undergone literary embellishment. Taken together, the two texts contain a wealth of information about slavery, social class, ranking, the status of women and children, property, inheritance, currency, finance, labor mobilization, resource extraction, agriculture, market regulation, and administrative geography.