The Tang-Yin-Pi-Shih, compiled in 1211 CE by Kuei Wan-jung, is a record of 144 criminal and civil court cases, judged in the courts of ancient China, spanning a period of some 1,400 years from approximately 300 BCE. During this period, China's judiciary was chosen from among the ranks of the country's scholar-officials, who, dispatched to various parts of the Empire often with little or no prior training in the legal arts, fulfilled the role of both investigative detective and court judge in the provincial centers of the land. A casebook such as this one would have been an essential tool of the appointees, providing guidance and precedence to which to refer, when the courts were confronted with challenging cases. This volume is translated and introduced by the diplomat and writer, R. H. van Gulik, who is well-known as the writer of the Judge Dee stories, a series of detective novels set in ancient China.
Crime and Punishment in Ancient China
AuthorsVan Gulik, R. H. (trans.)