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  • Yuri Pines (a1)


This article explores the dating of the Book of Lord Shang (Shangjunshu 商君書). Despite the importance of this text as one of major ideological products of the Warring States period (453–221 b.c.e.), it remained largely ignored in mainstream Western Sinology, in part because of the confusion about the dates of its composition. The article analyzes different criteria employed by earlier scholars to ascertain the dates of individual chapters of the Book of Lord Shang and investigates the relative weight of each of these criteria. This results in a methodologically transparent discussion, which not only advances our understanding of the complex textual history of the Book of Lord Shang but also makes a step toward establishment of a commonly acceptable set of dating determinants which may be employed in investigating the dates of other pre-imperial (i.e. pre-221 b.c.e.) texts.

本文討論《商君書》各篇的寫作年代。儘管《商君書》是戰國時代政治思想最重要作品之一, 但它長期被西方主流學術界所忽略。其被忽略的主要原因是該書的寫作年代不清晰。我在文章中討論了其他學者在判斷《商君書》各篇的寫作年代時所採用的標準及該標準的得失。文章所採用的極具透明性的研究方法, 不僅有助於提高我們對《商君書》的本質和寫作過程的了解, 而且也初步嘗試了提出適用于其他先秦文獻寫作年代研究的共同標準。作者希望这种標準能被廣泛接受以改善我們對諸子百家文獻年代問題的研究方法。

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1. For a sample of controversies, see Zhang Xincheng 張新澂, Weishu tongkao 偽書通考 (Changsha: Shangwu, 1939); Gu Jiegang 顧頡剛, ed. Guji kaobian congkan 古籍考辨叢刊, Vol. 1 (1955; rpt. Beijing: Shehui kexue wenxian, 2010); Zheng Liangshu 鄭良樹, Xu weishu tongkao 續偽書通考 (Taibei: Xuesheng, 1984).

2. See Kang Youwei, Xinxue wei jing kao 新學偽經考 (1891, rpt. Beijing: Guji, 1956); for pointing out the weaknesses of Kang's analysis, see, e.g., Ess, Hans van, “The Old Text/New Text Controversy: Has the 20th Century Got It Wrong?T'oung Pao 80.1–3 (1994), 146–70.

3. In China, an iconoclastic assault on the past, especially on traditional dating, is usually associated with Gu Jiegang 顧頡剛 (1893–1980) and his associates. In Japan, one of its most radical representatives was Tsuda Sōkichi 津田左右吉 (1873–1961); see Tsuda, Saden no shisō shiteki kenkyū 左傳の 思想史的研究 (Tokyo: Iwanami, 1935, rpt. 1958) and Tsuda, Rongo to Kōshi no shisō 論語と孔子の思想 (Tokyo: Iwanami, 1946); for Tsuda's pejorative views of China's culture, see Joël Joos, “A Stinking Tradition. Tsuda Sōkichi's views of China,” East Asian History 28 (2004), 1–26.

4. It is impossible to summarize here the great variety of recent Chinese studies on the topic of the texts' dating; for a single recent example, see Li Rui 李銳, “Xian Qin gushu niandai wenti chu lun—yi Shangshu, Mozi wei zhongxin” 先秦古書年代問題初論——以《尚書》《墨子》為中心, Xueshu yuekan 學術月刊 2015.3, 141–54; q.v. for further references.

5. For the latter view, see Mark E. Lewis, Writing and Authority in Early China (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1999), 58; Carine Defoort and Nicholas Standaert, “Introduction: Different Voices in the Mozi: Studies of an Evolving Text,” in The Mozi as an Evolving Text: Different Voices in Early Chinese Thought, ed. Carine Defoort and Nicholas Standaert (Leiden: Brill, 2013), 8. The former is too ubiquitous to name its proponents.

6. For the first approach, see, e.g., Yang Bojun's dating of the Zuo zhuan—the single largest pre-imperial text—to a short period “between 403 and 389 b.c.e.” (Yang Bojun 楊伯峻, “Qianyan” 前言, in Chunqiu Zuozhuan zhu 春秋左傳注 [Beijing: Zhonghua, 1981], 43). For the second, see William G. Boltz, “The Composite Nature of Early Chinese Texts,” in Text and Ritual in Early China, ed. Martin Kern (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2005), 50–78.

7. Fischer, Paul, “Authentication Studies (辨偽學) Methodology and the Polymorphous Text Paradigm,Early China 32 (2009), 3 and 40.

8. This is apparently Fischer's personal conclusion. Hence, in his recent study of the Shizi 尸子 (Shizi: China's First Syncretist [New York: Columbia University Press, 2012]) Fischer discusses in detail its textual history but avoids altogether discussion of the possible date of its composition.

9. See the survey of Chinese and Japanese scholarship below in the text. In Western languages the singularly systematic discussion of the text's dating by Jan J. L. Duyvendak (The Book of Lord Shang: A Classic of the Chinese School of Law [London: Probsthain, 1928; rpt. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1963], 141–59) was a major achievement of its time, but by now it has become quite outdated. The same can be said of Leonard S. Perelomov's discussion (Kniga Pravitelia Oblasti Shan (Shangjunshu) [Moscow: Nauka, 1968; rpt. Moscow: Ladomir 1993], 21–38).

10. Shang 商 is a fief granted to Gongsun Yang in 340 b.c.e., just two years before his downfall and execution. The precise translation of Shangjunshu 商君書 should be Book of Shang's Lord or Book of the Lord of Shang, but since the Book of Lord Shang has become ubiquitous in English studies, I prefer to retain it.

11. A saying by Su Shi 蘇軾 (1036–1101), cited from Dongpo quanji 東坡全集 [e-Siku quanshu edition], 105: 14.

12. See more in Pines, Yuri, “Alienating Rhetoric in the Book of Lord Shang and Its Moderation,Extrême-Orient, Extrême-Occident 34 (2012), 7980 .

13. Han Feizi jijie 韩非子集解, compiled by Wang Xianshen 王先慎 (1859–1922) (Beijing: Zhonghua, 1998), 120 (“Nan mian” 南面, V.18). This chapter of Han Feizi suffers from textual corruption; the original was possibly accompanied by detailed quotations of Shang Yang and of other statesmen mentioned thereafter.

14. Han Feizi, 225 (“Nei chu shuo shang. Qi shu” 内儲說上七術, IX.30).

15. See Shangjunshu 4.4 and 13.5. In referring to the passages of the Book of Lord Shang I indicate the chapter and the paragraph following the divisions that I adopt in my forthcoming translation of the text (Yuri Pines, The Book of Lord Shang: Apologetics of State Power in Early China [New York: Columbia University Press]). In most cases these divisions are identical to those proposed by Zhang Jue 張覺, Shangjunshu jiaoshu 商君書校疏 (Beijing: Zhishi chanquan, 2012), in which case I do not provide a further reference. Whenever my divisions differ from those of Zhang, a specific reference to his edition follows.

16. Han Feizi, 451 (“Wu du” 五蠹, XIX.49).

17. Guanzi is a heterogeneous collection produced between the fourth and the second century b.c.e., attributed to a Qi statesman Guan Zhong 管仲 (d. 645 b.c.e.).

18. Students of Shang Yang's teachings include such eminent personalities as Chao Cuo 晁錯 (d. 154 b.c.e.) and Dongfang Shuo 東方朔 (fl. 130s b.c.e.) (Hanshu 49: 2276; 65: 2864). The influence of The Book of Lord Shang on Chao Cuo is particularly observable from Chao's memorials (Christian Schwermann, “From Theory to Practice? Putting Chao Cuo's Memorials on Economics and Finance into Historical Perspective,” in Between Command and Market: Economic Thought and Practice in Early China, ed. Christian Schwermann and Elisa Sabattini [Leiden: Brill, forthcoming]). Shang Yang and his legacy were openly endorsed by the government side during the Salt and Iron Debates in 81 b.c.e. (see, e.g., Yantie lun jiaozhu 鹽鐵論校注, annotated by Wang Liqi 王利器 [Beijing: Zhonghua, 1996], 93–97 [“Fei Yang” 非鞅, II.7]).

19. See Shi ji 68.2237; The Huainanzi: A Guide to the Theory and Practice of Government in Early China, trans. and ed. John S. Major et al. (New York: Columbia University Press, 2010) 20.833.

20. See Hanshu 30.1735 and 30.1757. Wang Shirun 王時潤 (fl. 1915) explained the double record as a lapse by Liu Xiang: while Liu Xiang was in charge of collating and recording the Masters' texts in the Han imperial catalog, the military texts were collated independently by Ren Hong 任宏 (fl. 30–10 b.c.e.). The final catalog, Bielu 別錄, and its subsequent abridgment, Qilue 七略, prepared by Liu Xiang's son, Liu Xin 劉歆 (46 b.c.e.–23 c.e.), contained quite a few double records of the texts collated by both scholars. Most of these double records were erased by the historian Ban Gu 班固 (32–92 c.e.) who incorporated Qilue in the bibliographical treatise of his History of the Former Han Dynasty (Hanshu 漢書 30.1757). Among the books eliminated by Ban Gu from the military section, one finds texts associated with Guanzi 管子, Xunzi 荀子 (named Sun Qingzi 孫卿子), He Guanzi 鶡冠子 and the like, all of whom are listed separately in the “Masters” section. Wang Shirun's analysis is cited in Zhang Jue, Shangjunshu, 331.

21. See Suishu 34.1003; Jiu Tangshu 47.2031.

22. See, for instance, Tong dian 1.7 (e-Siku quanshu edition), which refers to chapter 15 of the Book of Lord Shang.

23. Tong zhi 68.1 (e-Siku quanshu edition); Jun zhai dushu zhi 30.20–21 (e-Siku quanshu edition).

24. For the twenty-five-chapter version, see comment by Chen Zhensun 陳振孫 (c. 1183–1262) in his Zhizhai shulu jieti 直齋書錄解題 10.1 (e-Siku quanshu edition); the twenty-four-chapter Yuan recension (lacking chapters 16 and 21) was the one utilized by Yan Wanli 嚴萬里 (1762–1843) for his collation (see below in the text).

25. The twenty-five-chapter recension was in the possession of Song Lian 宋濂 (1310–1381), as recorded in his Wenxian ji 文憲集 27.66 (e-Siku quanshu edition).

26. The titles of chapters 16 and 21 are preserved in most recensions: these are “Essentials of punishments” (“Xing yue” 刑約) and “Protecting from robbers” (“Yu dao” 禦盜). The fragment preserved by Wei Zheng belongs to a chapter “Six laws” (“Liu fa” 六法), which, judging from its placement in Wei Zheng's collection, was among the first chapters in the Tang dynasty version of the Book of Lord Shang.

27. The old glosses of an unidentified author survive in an edition prepared by Feng Jin 馮覲 in 1559 which exists now only in a 1626 recension prepared by Feng's grandson Feng Zhi 馮贄 (for details, see Zhang Jue, Shangjunshu, 307–8).

28. For problems concerning Shang Yang's biography in the Shi ji, to give a single example will suffice: Sima Qian defines Shang Yang as a follower of the school of “forms and names” (xing ming 刑名) (Shi ji 68.2227); yet these two terms never appear together in the Book of Lord Shang! See more criticism of this biography in Michimasa, Yoshimoto 吉本道雅, “Shō Kun henhō kenkyū josetsu” 商君變法研究序說, Shirin 史林 83–84 (2000), 129 .

29. The discussion of various currently available recensions is based on Zhang Jue, Shangjunshu, 305–51.

30. Yan Kejun's most famous project was a compilation of the surviving texts from the pre-Tang period, resulting in his magnum opus Complete Texts of High Antiquity, Qin, Han, the Three Kingdoms, and the Six Dynasties (Quan shanggu Sandai Qin-Han Sanguo Liuchao wen 全上古三代秦漢三國六朝文). For the identity of Yan Wanli as Yan Kejun, see Hongjun, Cao 曹紅軍, “‘Yan Kejun’ ‘Yan Wanli’ bian” “嚴可均”、“嚴萬里” 辨, Wenjiao ziliao 文教資料 1996.6, 105–8; Tong Weimin 仝衛敏, Chutu wenxian yu Shang jun shu zonghe yanjiu 出土文獻與《商君書》綜合研究 (Vols. 16–17 of Gudian wenxian yanjiu jikan 古典文獻研究輯刊, ed. Pan Meiyue 潘美月 and Du Jiexiang 杜潔祥; Taibei: Hua Mulan, 2013), 7–8n27.

31. For the list of typos in Yan's recension, and in that of Zhejiang publishers, see Zhang Jue, Shangjunshu, 321–23.

32. It is interesting to notice parallels between the revival of interest in the Book of Lord Shang and in the Mozi 墨子. However, it seems that the impact of the late Qing literati on shaping attitudes toward Mozi (for which see Carine Defoort, “The Modern Formation of Early Mohism: Sun Yirang's Exposing and Correcting the Mozi,” Toung Pao 101.1–3 [2015], 208–38) was much greater than their impact on subsequent studies of the Book of Lord Shang.

33. See, e.g., Beijing Daxue Rufa douzheng shi bianxie xiaozu 北京大學儒法鬥爭史編寫小組, Rufa douzheng shi gaikuang 儒法鬥爭史槪况 (Beijing: Renmin, 1975). See more in Li Yu-ning, ed., Shang Yang's Reforms and State Control in China (White Plains, NY: Sharpe, 1977).

34. Gao Heng 高亨, Shangjunshu zhuyi 商君書注譯 (Beijing: Zhonghua, 1974).

35. Zhang Jue, Shangjunshu.

36. Cited in Ma Duanlin's 馬端臨 (1254–1332), Wenxian tongkao 文獻通考 212.7 (e-Siku quanshu edition). Zhou is identified in Ma Duanlin's compendium only as “Mr. Zhou”; his identity was tentatively restored by Tong Weimin 仝衛敏, “Zhou Shi ‘She bi’ kao” 周氏〈涉筆〉考, Guji zhengli yanjiu xuekan 古籍整理研究學刊 2007.1, 89–93.

37. Huang Zhen, Huangshi richao 黃氏日抄 55.30 (e-Siku quanshu edition).

38. See Ma Su's Yi shi 繹史 115.27 (e-Siku quanshu edition); Wang Zhong is cited from Zhang Jue, Shangjunshu, 399.

39. See Ji Yun 紀昀 (1724–1805) et al., Shangzi tiyao 商子提要 (1778) (e-Siku quanshu edition). Shang Yang was reportedly executed by his nemesis, Lord Xiao's heir, King Huiwen of Qin 秦惠文王 (r. 337–311 b.c.e.).

40. For the Republican-period insistence on the lateness of the Book of Lord Shang in its entirety, and its subsequent rejection as a source for Shang Yang's activities and thought see, e.g., Hu Shi 胡適, Zhongguo zhexue shi dagang 中國哲學史大綱 (1919, rpt. Beijing: Dongfang, 1996), 322–23; Liang Qichao 梁啟超, Xian Qin zhengzhi sixiang shi 先秦政治思想史 (1919; rpt. Beijing: Dongfang, 1996), 80; Luo Genze 羅根澤, “Shang jun shu tanyuan” 《商君書》探源 (1935), rpt. in Luo Genze shuo zhuzi 羅根澤說諸子, compiled by Zhou Xunchu 周勛初 (Shanghai : Shanghai guji, 2001), 369–80; Qian Mu 錢 穆, Xian Qin zhuzi xi nian 先秦諸子繫年 (1935, rpt. Beijing: Shangwu, 2001), 266–67; Guo Moruo 郭沫若, “Qianqi fajia de pipan” 前期法家的批判 (1945); rpt. in Guo Moruo, Shi pipan shu 十批判書 (Beijing: Zhongguo huaqiao, 2008), 236; Qi Sihe 齊思和, “Shang Yang bianfa kao” 商鞅變法考 (1947), rpt. in Qi Sihe, Zhongguo shi tanyan 中國史探硏 (Shijiazhuang: Hebei jiaoyu, 2001), 247–78. In contrast to the somewhat cavalier approach adopted in many of these studies, Duyvendak (Book of Lord Shang, 141–59) made an earnest, even if by now outdated, attempt to distinguish different temporal layers in the Book of Lord Shang.

41. See Qian Mu, Xian Qin zhuzi, 266–67; Fu Sinian 傅斯年, Zhanguo zijia xulun 戰國子家敍論 (rpt. Shanghai: Shanghai guji, 2012), 58–59. For a detailed analysis of these two chapters' interrelatedness see Zheng Liangshu 鄭良樹, Shang Yang ji qi xuepai 商鞅及其學派 (Shanghai: Shanghai guji, 1989), 82–103.

42. Chen Qitian 陳啓天, Shang Yang pingzhuan 商鞅評傳 (Shanghai: Shangwu 1935), 113–21.

43. See, e.g., Angus C. Graham, Disputers of the Tao: Philosophical Argument in Ancient China (La Salle, IL: Open Court, 1989), 267–92, whose views of the Book of Lord Shang (and whose treatment of the text as secondary to Han Feizi in analyzing “Legalist” thought) clearly echo Chinese Republican-period studies. David S. Nivison's lack of interest in Shang Yang's thought may also be related to this trend (Nivison, “The Classical Philosophical Writings,” in The Cambridge History of Ancient China, ed. Michael Loewe and Edward L. Shaughnessy [Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999], 745–812). For minuscule interest in the Book of Lord Shang in the West, see Pines, “Alienating Rhetoric,” 80, n. 7.

44. Among Western scholars, the concept of accretion is discussed briefly by Lewis, Writing and Authority, 58, and Boltz, “The Composite Nature.” It was employed most consistently in E. Bruce Brooks and A. Taeko Brooks, The Original Analects: Sayings of Confucius and His Successors (New York: Columbia University Press, 1998). Alas, the overtly speculative nature of Brooks and Brooks's study (see Schaberg, David, “‘Sell It! Sell It!’: Recent Translations of Lunyu,Chinese Literature: Essays, Articles, Reviews [CLEAR] 23 [2001], 115–39) made it difficult to treat the idea of accretion with due seriousness. Fischer (“Authentication,” 39–40, n. 107) dismisses the “accretion” paradigm as one that implies “that once a part of the received text has been ‘established,’ it can only be added to and not removed.” I think this statement misrepresents the accretion theory; in fact there is no major contradiction between views of, e.g., Lewis and Boltz and those proposed by Fischer in his “polymorphous text” paradigm. That accretion paradigm can accommodate different textual scenarios is seen from Matthias L. Richter's perceptive distinction between additive and transformative accretion (i.e. one in which new textual segments are added without influencing the original wording, and one that does influence earlier parts of the text). See Richter, The Embodied Text: Establishing Textual Identity in Early Chinese Manuscripts (Leiden: Brill, 2013), 157–70.

45. See Chen Qitian, Shang Yang; Zhaozu, Rong 容肇祖, “ Shangjunshu kaozheng” 商君書考證, Yanjing xuebao 燕京學報 21 (1937), 61118 ; Gao Heng, Shangjunshu, 6–12.

46. Zheng Liangshu, Shang Yang.

47. Yoshinami Takashi 好并隆司, Shōkunsho kenkyū 商君書研究 (Hiroshima: Keisuisha, 1992).

48. Zhang Jue, Shangjunshu.

49. Zhang Linxiang 張林祥, ‘Shang jun shu’ de chengshu yu sixiang yanjiu 《商君書》的成書與思想研究 (Beijing: Renmin, 2008); Tong Weimin, Chutu wenxian.

50. See Sarah Allan, Buried Ideas: Legends of Abdication and Ideal Government in Recently Discovered Early Chinese Bamboo-Slip Manuscripts (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2015), 23–24. For potentially consequential change of just a few characters, see Richter, The Embodied Text, 84–85ff.

51. See, e.g., Sato Masayuki, The Confucian Quest for Order: The Origin and Formation of the Political Thought of Xun Zi (Leiden: Brill, 2003), 30–32 for the case of Xunzi 荀子, or Paul R. Goldin, Confucianism (Durham, NC: Acumen, 2011), 39 for the case of Mengzi 孟子.

52. This may be the reason for which Sima Qian or the Huainanzi authors often cite titles of individual chapters when referring to a Master's oeuvres. For a different explanation, see Kern, Martin, “The Masters in the Shiji,T'oung Pao 101.4–5 (2015), 340–42.

53. Chen Qitian, Shang Yang, 113–21.

54. In his study of “authentication” Fischer conveniently summarizes various criteria used to determine the text's authenticity and also elucidates approaches employed by earlier scholars from the Han to the Republican period. Fischer considers anachronism as “extrinsic” argument, because “a part or the whole of a text is judged anachronistic with regard to other, contemporary writings” (Fischer, “Authentication,” 4). I prefer to call the arguments based on the text's content “internal” (Fischer's “intrinsic”) rather than “extrinsic.”

55. The introduction of cavalry into China proper is commonly associated with reforms of King Wuling of Zhao 趙武靈王 (r. 325–299 b.c.e.) in 307 b.c.e. The story of King Wuling's reforms may be spurious but the usage of cavalry in Chinese armies is indeed unattested before c. 300 b.c.e. In the Book of Lord Shang cavalry is mentioned only in a late chapter, 15 (for which see below in the text).

56. Tong Weimin, Chutu wenxian, 219.

57. Ōkushi Atsuhiro 大櫛敦弘, “Shin hō—Unmei Suikochi Shin kan yori mita toitsu zenya” 秦邦—雲夢睡虎地秦簡よち見た「統一前夜」, Ronshū: Chūgoku kodai no moji to bunka 論集: 中國古代の文字と文化 (Tōkyō: Kyūko shoin, 1999), 319–32.

58. For Wu Huo's execution, see Shi ji 5.209. Theoretically it is possible that the section that mentions Wu Huo does not belong to the original text of the chapter but was added later; yet I found no convincing reasons to support this assertion.

59. The text praises the military strength of the state of Chu 楚, but then adds: “Yet when the Qin army arrived, Yan and Ying were upturned as if they were a withered tree; Tang Mie died at Chuisha, Zhuang Qiao started [rebellion] from within, and Chu was divided into five.” Putting aside complexities of Zhuang Qiao's 莊蹻 rebellion, the text clearly mixes two unrelated events. Tang Mie 唐蔑 was killed during Chu's campaign against the joint forces of Qin, Qi 齊, Han 韓, and Wei 魏 in 301 b.c.e., while Qin's assault on Yan 鄢 (Chu's major stronghold in the middle Han River valley) and on the Chu capital Ying 郢 was conducted in 279–278 b.c.e. The Xunzi which refers to the same events (Xunzi jijie 荀子集解, annotated by Wang Xianqian 王先謙 [1842–1917] [Beijing: Zhonghua, 1992], 281–83 [“Yi bing” 議兵, X.15]) clearly distinguishes between the two campaigns, while the Book of Lord Shang does not, which may indicate a much later date of composition of that passage.

60. Shang Yang replaced the aristocratic system of Qin with the new system of ranks of merits, granted in exchange for decapitating enemy soldiers (or purchasable in exchange for grain). See a brief introduction in Yuri Pines et al., “General Introduction: Qin History Revisited,” in Birth of an Empire: The State of Qin revisited, ed. Yuri Pines et al. (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2014), 24–25, q.v. further references; cf. Zhengsheng, Du 杜正勝, “Cong juezhi lun Shang Yang bianfa suo xingcheng de shehui” 從爵制論商鞅變法所形成的社會, Zhongyang yanjiuyuan lishi yuyan yanjiusuo jikan 中央研究院歷史語言研究所集刊 56.3 (1985), 485544 .

61. This is how the authors of General History of Chinese Economy interpret the sentence (Zhou Ziqiang 周自強, Zhongguo jingji tongshi: Xian Qin jingji juan 中國經濟通史: 先秦經濟卷 [Beijing: Zhongguo shehui kexue, 2007], 1143–44); see also Zhang Jue, Shangjunshu, 20, n. 1. In an aristocratic age, nobles could determine the rates of taxation in their allotments (cai yi 采邑); see Zhu Fenghan 朱鳳瀚, Shang Zhou jiazu xingtai yanjiu 商周家族形態研究 (Tianjin: Tianjin guji, 1990), 544–55.

62. The degree of decentralization in Qin is subject to scholarly debate; I accept Yoshimoto Michimasa's view according to which Qin did not differ fundamentally from other polities of the aristocratic Spring and Autumn Periods (Yoshimoto, “Shin shi kenkyū josetsu” 秦史研究序說, Shirin 史林 78.3 [1995], 34–67). For a different view, see Thatcher, Melvin P., “Central Government of the State of Ch'in in the Spring and Autumn Period,Journal of Oriental Studies 23.1 (1985), 2953 .

63. Theoretically it is possible of course that later editors deliberately made the chapter more archaic-looking, but I doubt this is the case: there is simply no visible reason for such manipulation of this otherwise insignificant segment of the Book of Lord Shang.

64. Of course, every state could nominally face enemies on each of its borders, but only Wei and Han were surrounded by equally powerful polities, and Wei was the major victim of coordinated assaults by its four neighbors (Qin, Zhao, Qi, and Chu; see more in Lewis 1999a: 595–96, 634–35). Also, only Wei neighbored a state which “backed the sea,” i.e. Qi.

65. It is possible of course that the chapter was unrelated to Shang Yang and misplaced in the Book of Lord Shang by later transmitters. I do not find, however, any reason to support this scenario.

66. See Yates, Robin D. S.. “The Mohists on Warfare: Technology, Technique, and Justification,” in Studies in Classical Chinese Thought, ed. Rosemont, Henry Jr., and Schwartz, Benjamin I., Journal of the American Academy of Religion 47.3 (1979), Thematic Issue, 549603 , especially pp. 583–85.

67. The characters in curly brackets are missing from the text and are complemented from the parallel passage in chapter 15.1, following Yu Yue's suggestion.

68. Reading ren 任 here and below in this passage as “to utilize” or “to make use of” following Gao Heng.

69. One is the “Wang zhi” 王制 chapter of the Liji 禮記 (Liji jijie 禮記集解, compiled by Sun Xidan 孫希旦 [Beijing: Zhonghua], 392 [XIV.5]), where proportion of arable lands is two-thirds (slightly higher than in the Book of Lord Shang); a similar proportion is cited from the alleged Li Kui's 李悝 (fl. c. 400 b.c.e.) regulations (Hanshu 24A: 1124). Elsewhere the Hanshu refers to the situation under Yin 殷 (i.e. Shang 商 [c. 1600–1046 b.c.e.]) and early Western Zhou 西周 (c. 1046–771 b.c.e.), when arable lands constituted only 36 percent of the landmass (Hanshu 23: 1081–82). Li Ling 李零 correctly suggests that the latter number reflected the underdevelopment of agricultural production in the early Zhou period ( Ling, Li, “ Shangjunshu zhong de tudi renkou zhengce yu juezhi” 《商君書》中的土地人口政策與爵制, Guji zhengli yu yanjiu 古籍整理與研究 1991.6, 2324 ).

70. Sichuan Basin, of course, is mostly arable, just like the Loess Plateau, but it is separated from the Qin heartland at the Wei River 渭河 valley by a sizable area covered by mountain ranges, in which arable lands are just a tiny proportion of the landmass.

71. One square li contained 900 small mu (300 by 300 paces). One hundred li squared (i.e. 10,000 square li) is then 9 million small mu, of which, according to the proportion outlined in the text, six-tenths are agriculturally productive, which means 5,400,000 mu. Following the proportion of one serviceman for 500 mu, we get 10,800 soldiers, which is close to what the text says (Li Ling, “Shangjunshu,” 25).

72. Calculations of mu are based on A. F. P. Hulsewé, Remnants of Ch'in Law: An Annotated Translation of the Ch'in Legal and Administrative Rules of the 3rd Century B.C. Discovered in Yün-meng Prefecture, Hu-pei Province, in 1975 (Leiden: Brill, 1985), 19. The decrease in size of a standard family plot evidently reflected the increased productivity of Qin agriculture in the aftermath of the introduction of iron tools in the fourth century b.c.e., which allowed higher yields from a smaller plot.

73. For the translation of the Haojiaping Statute see Hulsewé, Remnants, 211–12; for a detailed analysis, see Maxim Korolkov, “Zemel'noe zakonodatel'stvo i kontrol’ gosudarstva nad zemlej v epokhu Chzhan'go i v nachale ranneimperskoj epokhi (po dannym vnov’ obnaruzhennykh zakonodatel'nykh tekstov)” (Ph.D. thesis, Russian Academy of Sciences, Institute of Oriental Studies, 2010), 76–90.

74. See Karlgren, Bernhard, “On the Authenticity and Nature of the Tso Chuan,Göteborgs Hogscholes Årsskrift 32 (1926), 165 . For a recent example of criticism of Karlgren's methods, see Shaodan, Luo 羅紹丹, “Inadequacy of Karlgren's Linguistic Method as Seen in Rune Svarverud's Study of the Xinshu,Journal of Chinese Linguistics 31.2 (2003), 270–99.

75. David Schaberg, A Patterned Past: Form and Thought in Early Chinese Historiography (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center, 2001), 315.

76. Pines, Yuri, “Lexical Changes in Zhanguo Texts,Journal of the American Oriental Society 122.4 (2002), 691705 .

77. There are several studies of the grammar and the lexicon of the Book of Lord Shang, but none of these seems to be interested in using their data to establish the dating of the text or of its individual chapters. See, e.g., Du Lirong 杜麗容, Shang jun shu shici yanjiu 《商君書》實詞研究 (Ji'nan: Shandong wenyi, 2010); Li Jiequn 李傑群, Shang jun shu xuci yanjiu 商君書虛詞研究 (Beijing: Zhongguo wenshi, 2000).

78. For the introduction of the term li into the philosophical discourse of the Warring States period, see Sato Masayuki 佐藤將之, Xunzi lizhi sixiang de yuanyuan yu Zhanguo zhuzi zhi yanjiu 荀子禮治思想的淵源與戰國諸子之研究 (Taida zhexue congshu 8; Taibei: Taida chuban zhongxin, 2013), 177–235; Deng Guoguang 鄧國光, Jingxue yi li 經學義理 (Shanghai: Shanghai guji, 2011).

79. Allan, Buried Ideas, 23–24.

80. The crucial issue for the chapter's dating is whether or not its last section (19.9) refers to a General Inspector (zheng yushi 正御史) or to a Royal Inspector (wang yushi 王御史); since no fewer than ten recensions use zheng 正 (Zhang Jue, Shangjunshu, 235), this usage seems more appropriate.

81. Recall that Qin rulers did not call themselves tianzi (this term referred exclusively to the Zhou kings prior to the dynasty's final demise in 256 b.c.e.). Whether or not the Qin kings on the eve of the imperial unification or in its aftermath tried to appropriate this self-appellation is debatable.

82. The concept of the True Monarch is distinguished from that of a regular “king” by the usage of the term wang as a verb (“to act as [or become] a [true] monarch”), by the topicalization wang zhe 王者, by the notion of the Monarch's Way (wang dao 王道), and the like (see Yuri Pines, Envisioning Eternal Empire: Chinese Political Thought of the Warring States Era [Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 2009], 229, n. 5). In the Book of Lord Shang, the verbal usage of the term wang prevails.

83. See, e.g., Rong Zhaozu “Shangjunshu”; Zheng Liangshu, Shang Yang.

84. Meng Jifu 蒙季甫, “Shang jun shu ‘Shuo min’ ‘Ruo min’ pian wei jieshuo ‘Qu qiang’ pian kanzheng ji” 《商君書》〈說民〉〈弱民〉篇為解説〈去強〉篇刊正記. Tushu jikan 圖書集刊 1 (1942).

85. The existence of internal exegesis is not peculiar to the Book of Lord Shang; it is represented, for instance, by the Wu xing 五行 text discovered both in Tomb 1, Guodian 郭店 (Hubei) and Tomb 3, Mawangdui 馬王堆 (Hunan); the second of these provided exegesis to the first ( Pu, Pang, “A Comparison of the Bamboo Slip and the Silk Manuscript Wu Xing,Contemporary Chinese Thought 32.1 [2000], 5057 ). For more parallels, see, e.g., chapters “Ban fa” 版法 and “Ban fa jie” 版法解 or “Xing shi” 形勢 and “Xing shi jie” 形勢解 of the Guanzi 管子 or jing 經 and shuo 說 chapters of the Mozi.

86. See Zheng Liangshu, Shang Yang, 82–103. Zheng's detailed textual analysis cannot be repeated here in full; suffice it to illustrate its correctness with a single example. All the three chapters tell the ruler that if he heeds the author's advice he will either become Monarch (wang 王) or become powerful (qiang 強); if he fails, his state will be dismembered (xiao 削). This wang-qiang-xiao (or, more often wang-qiang-wang 亡 [to be ruined]) sequence recurs throughout many chapters of the Book of Lord Shang but not in the Han Feizi; clearly then the latter borrows a chapter from the former and not vice versa. See also Michinao, Mozawa 茂澤方尚, “ Kanpishi ‘Chokurei’ hen to Shōkunsho ‘Kinrei’ hen’ ryōhen no zengo kankei ni tsuite” 『韓非子』「飭令」篇と『商君書』「靳令」篇— —両篇の前後関係について, Komazawa shigaku 駒澤史學 43 (1991), 123 . Mozawa's analysis differs from Zheng, but he also concludes that both chapters were produced by the followers of Shang Yang.

87. See further in Pines, “Alienating Rhetoric.”

88. Rong Zhaozu, “Shangjunshu.”

89. It is unclear whether “arable lands” (gu tu 谷土) refers here to all the fields (60 percent of the normative territorial unit) or only to fertile fields (40 percent of the unit).

90. Yoshinami Takashi 好并隆司 in a perceptive study (“Shōkunsho Raimin, Sanchi ryōhen yori mita Shinchō kenryōku no keisei katei” 商君書徠民、算地兩篇よりみた 秦朝權力の形成過程, Tōyōshi kenkyū 東洋史研究 44.1 [1985], 1–22) noticed differences in ideological emphases between chapters 6, and 15; and while some of his discussion is overtly speculative, overall his analysis is convincing.

91. See, e.g., Zheng Liangshu, Shang Yang, 20–23; Tong Weimin, Chutu wenxian, 190–99.

92. Zheng Liangshu, Shang Yang; Yoshinami, “Shōkunsho” and Shōkunsho.

93. Zheng Liangshu, Shang Yang, 35–40.

94. Paul R. Goldin, After Confucius: Studies in Early Chinese Philosophy (Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 2005), 58–65; and Goldin, “Han Fei and the Han Feizi,” in Dao Companion to the Philosophy of Han Fei, ed. Paul R. Goldin (Dordrecht: Springer, 2013), 1–21.

95. One can immediately think of similar speculative debates about the supposed evolution of the ideas in the Mozi 墨子 core chapters (see the summary of these debates in Defoort and Standaert, “Introduction”; cf. Li Rui, “Xian Qin,” 144–46).

96. Chapter 2 comprises twenty short recommendations about how to push the population toward farming: each briefly introduces the desired policies, summarizes their social effects, and concludes with the uniform desideratum: “then wastelands will surely be cultivated” (則草必墾矣). There is no visible logic in the internal organization of the twenty items, and their reasoning about the effects of the proposed actions is at times difficult to follow. This type of perfunctory argumentation does not recur elsewhere in the Book of Lord Shang.

97. For increasing articulation of philosophical discourse in the second half of the Warring States period, see Sato, The Confucian Quest, 108–62.

98. See respectively Yoshinami, Shōkunsho, 341–43; Zheng Liangshu, Shang Yang, 121–23; for a general discussion of the Warring States-period views of the state evolution, see Yuri Pines and Gideon Shelach, “‘Using the Past to Serve the Present’: Comparative Perspectives on Chinese and Western Theories of the Origins of the State,” in Genesis and Regeneration: Essays on Conceptions of Origins, ed. Shaul Shaked (Jerusalem: The Israel Academy of Science and Humanities, 205), 127–63.

99. Yoshinami, Shōkunsho, 343.

100. Zheng Liangshu, Shang Yang.

101. Charles Sanft, “Concepts of Law in the Shangshu,” in The Classic of Documents and the Origins of Chinese Political Philosophy, ed. Martin Kern and Dirk Meyer (Leiden: Brill, forthcoming).

102. See Yuri Pines, “A ‘Total War’? Rethinking Military Ideology in the Book of Lord Shang,” Journal of Chinese Military History 5.1 (2016) (forthcoming).

103. These discussions are summarized in Defoort and Standaert, “Introduction,” q.v. for further references.

104. See the summaries of earlier views in Defoort and Standaert, “Introduction,” 9–19; see also Paul van Els, “How to End Wars with Words: Three Argumentative Strategies by Mozi and His Followers,” in The Mozi as an Evolving Text, 69–94; Karen Desmet, “All Good Things Come in Threes: A Textual Analysis of the Three-fold Structure of the Mohist Ethical Core Chapters” (Ph.D. dissertation, KU Leuven, 2007), 124–49.

105. Mozi V.19: 221 [“Fei gong xia”].

106. In chapter 18, Mozi mentions Wu 吳 rather than Yue among the four superpowers (along with Chu, Jin, and Qi) (Mozi jiaozhu 墨子校注, compiled and annotated by Wu Yujiang 吳毓江 [1898–1977] [Beijing: Zhonghua, 1994], 203 [V.18, “Fei gong zhong”]); commentators agree that this is a mistake for Yue, as Wu's demise is narrated in the same chapter (note that in the mid-fifth century b.c.e., Yue moved its capital to the former Wu capital, which may be a reason for its appellation as Wu). For adding Yue to the list of superpowers, see also Mozi, 265 (VI.25, “Jie zang 節葬 xia”).

107. Mozi jiaozhu, 242, n. 136.

108. See especially sections 19–23 of Xinian. For Qin's domestic struggles that caused its temporary decline, see Shi ji 5. 199–200.

109. David Schaberg, “Speaking of Documents: Shu Citations in Warring States Texts,” in Origins of Chinese Political Thought.

110. A clearest example of such a failure are the quasi-historical chapters of the Guanzi, most notably “Da kuang” 大匡 and “Xiao kuang” 小匡 (the latter is related to the “Qi yu” 齊語 section of the Guoyu 國語). While these do reproduce certain events from the lifetime of historical Guan Zhong 管仲 (d. 645 b.c.e.), they overall embed these in the realities of the middle to late Warring States period.

111. Hunter, Michael, “Did Mencius Know the Analects?,T'oung Pao 100.1–3 (2014), 3379 .

112. For Gu Jiegang's attempt to distinguish later interpolations in the Zuo zhuan, see Gu Jiegang 顧頡剛, Chunqiu sanzhuan ji Guoyu zhi zonghe yanjiu 春秋三傳及國語之綜合研究, ed. Liu Qiyu 劉起釪 (Chengdu: Bashu, 1988). For my summary of these interpolations, see Yuri Pines, Foundations of Confucian Thought: Intellectual Life in the Chunqiu Period, 722–453 B.C.E. (Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 2002), 233–46.

This research was supported by the Israel Science Foundation (grant No. 240/15) and by the Michael William Lipson Chair in Chinese Studies. I am deeply indebted to Carine Defoort, Paul R. Goldin, Martin Kern, and Early China reviewers for their insightful comments on early versions of this article. Needless to say, all possible mistakes and misinterpretations are my sole responsibility.



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