On the Origin of Shang and Zhou Law
This paper refutes the hypothesis that Shang and Zhou law or penal law originated with the Miao tribe. After examining the sociological theory that custom is the basis of law, I focus on the role of ritual-action and law in Shang and Zhou China embodied in the military, the administrative operations at court, and in the records and literature, to show that the scientific position provides a reasonable interpretation that the Shang people originated their own law. The evidence for Shang and Zhou law is examined. Finally, I critique the hypothesis for the non-Chinese origin of Shang law.