Book

History, Culture and Law in Ancient China.  Collected Works History, Culture and Law in Ancient China. Collected Works

Stanislav Robert Kuchera

History, Culture and Law in Ancient China. Collected Works


Еditor: Anatolij Vyatkin

Institut vostokovedeniya RAN

Moskva, 2012, 416 pages

ISBN: 978-5-8928-2481-1

This volume is a kind of a report summarizing author’s academic activities in the field of Chinese studies throughout a long period covering more than fifty years. Due to the fact that the book comprises publications written in various periods of time and falling within different disciplines, it allows to capture a wide range of author’s academic interests. The latter do not confine themselves to the three main sections of the volume: “History”, “Culture”, and “Law”, but also include Archaeology, Fine Arts, Literature, and the other. The volume, therefore, is a vivid demonstration of a huge diversity of author’s interests based on his knowledge of ancient and modern Chinese as well as ancient and medieval sources. All the chapters of the volume are based on analysis of a wide range of sources and research works written in many languages. Historical section consists of eight articles touching upon various aspects of Chinese history and archaeology. Some of these articles are devoted to historical turning-points, such as a turn to a producing economy, beginnings of metallurgy and written language; and Mongol conquests; the other chapters throw light on not so great, but still important aspects of life in ancient China. Six articles of the volume touch upon cultural issues. The two of them are devoted to a small, but significant Confucian treatise Xiao Jing, which has rarely attracted scholarly attention. The author (for the first time) has translated into Russian the eight chapters of this work which will make available to the readers moral and philosophical principles proclaimed by the treatise. Two other articles are also interrelated. In these papers analysis of many aspects of spiritual life of ancient Chinese people is based on that of material aspects of eating and alcohol consumption. A concluding huge article presents a panoramic picture of Chinese culture “behavior” under the Mongol rule, depicting its transformation and its influence on the conquerors. Finally, the third section devoted to legal issues is the shortest one. In the first two articles the author investigates two specific traits of the ancient Chinese law, to put it more precisely, of a penitentiary system. These are, 1) collective character of responsibility and penalty; 2) tradition of resorting, in the very ancient times, to a kind of symbolic penalties. Many other legal problems accompanying life in ancient China are analysed in the last article of the third section. At the end of the volume the readers will find a list of publications of S. Kuchera containing the main part of his research works.
This book is meant for the lecturers and students of the departments of history and law, sinologists, ethnologists, and for the scientists of other humanities, as well as for the increasing circle of the people who are interested in cultural achievements of the great Chinese civilization.

RUS