Tang Code

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The Tang Code () was a penal code that was established and used during the Tang Dynasty in China. Supplemented by civil statutes and regulations, it became the basis for later dynastic codes not only in China but elsewhere in East Asia. The Code synthesised Legalist and Confucian interpretations of law. It is composed of 12 sections that contain a total of more than 500 articles. It was created in 624, modified in 627 and 637, and enhanced with a commentary (the Tánglǜ shūyì 唐律疏議) in 653. Considered as one of the greatest achievements of traditional Chinese law, the Tang Code is also the earliest Chinese Code to have been transmitted to the present in its complete form.

Origin and context

The Tang code took its roots in the code of the Northern Zhou (564) dynasty, which was itself based on the earlier codes of the Cao-Wei and Western Jin (268). Aiming to smooth the earlier laws and reduce physical punishments (such as mutilations) in order to appease social tensions in the newly pacified Tang territories, it was created in AD 624 at the request of Emperor Gaozu of Tang. After further revisions in 627 and 637 under Emperor Taizong, the code was completed by commentaries in 653, under Gaozong.

Organization and......

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