Advances in Humanities Research

Advances in Humanities Research

Vol. 3, 20 November 2023


Open Access | Article

Horse Policy and Ruling Thought in the Early Western Han: Examining the “Ordinances on Fords and Passes”

Xiaoxu Liang * 1
1 University of Macau

* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.

Advances in Humanities Research, Vol. 3, 58-69
Published 20 November 2023. © 2023 The Author(s). Published by EWA Publishing
This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Citation Xiaoxu Liang. Horse Policy and Ruling Thought in the Early Western Han: Examining the “Ordinances on Fords and Passes”. AHR (2023) Vol. 3: 58-69. DOI: 10.54254/2753-7080/3/2023023.

Abstract

The central government's regulations on the sale and purchase of horses in the Land within the Passes (Guanzhong 關中) and their entry and exit from the Pass in the “Ordinances on Fords and Passes” (Jinguan ling 津關令) are important sources for understanding the horse policy of the early Western Han Dynasty and recognizing the relationship between the dynasty and the counties and vassal states outside the Pass. By examining the ordinances on the purchase and sale of horses, it is clear that the Han state strictly controlled horses, restricted private ownership of horses, and prohibited horses from exiting the Pass. However, some "privileged classes" still had the right to purchase horses from the Han government and take them out of the Pass after following some legal procedures, but this privilege was entirely dependent on the imperial power. Behind these regulations, it reflects the legislative thought of the supremacy of imperial power, "power over law"(“權大于法”), and the fundamental purpose of consolidating centralized power, weakening the strength of vassal states, and "strengthening the central forces while weakening the local ones" (“强幹弱枝”).

Keywords

“Ordinances on Fords and Passes”, early Han, horse policy, Power over Law, Strengthening the Central Forces while Weakening the Local Ones

References

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Data Availability

The datasets used and/or analyzed during the current study will be available from the authors upon reasonable request.

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Volume Title
ISBN (Print)
ISBN (Online)
Published Date
20 November 2023
Series
Advances in Humanities Research
ISSN (Print)
2753-7080
ISSN (Online)
2753-7099
DOI
10.54254/2753-7080/3/2023023
Copyright
© 2023 The Author(s)
Open Access
This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited

Copyright © 2023 EWA Publishing. Unless Otherwise Stated