An overview of Qin and Han bamboo slips

The so-called "Jian Du" is the collective name of "Jian" and "Diao", both of which are the names of writing materials in ancient my country before the invention of paper. Since they are both the names of writing materials, why are there differences in the names of "Jian" and "Diao"?
first,It is caused by the difference in the nature of the materials used for writing. Generally speaking, the so-called "Jane" refers to bamboo writing materials, which are made of bamboo tubes and cut into pieces. Therefore, the name "Jiandu" first came from the combination of "Bamboo Slips" and "Wooden Slips".
Second, "There are also differences in shape and structure between bamboo slips and slips. Generally speaking, the bamboo slips made of slips are relatively narrow, and most of them can only write one line of characters; while the slips made of wooden slips are wider and can write multiple lines of characters. Therefore , Bamboo slips and wooden slips also have different sizes and widths in shape. However, the above distinction is not absolute. Sometimes bamboo slips are wider and can write two lines of characters; slips are also made of wood, called It is called "wooden slips". It's just that these are relatively rare special cases. Generally speaking, "slips" and "slips" mostly have differences in the above two aspects.

Materials for making bamboo slips, besides bamboo slips, wooden slips, wooden slips, and willow wood are used, which is recorded in Sikong Lv on Qin bamboo slips; According to bamboo slips unearthed in Northwest China, the wood is mostly poplar, water willow, red willow and spruce. The appearance of bamboo slips is first of all manifested in the different specifications of bamboo slips with different lengths and short lengths. According to the Qin and Han bamboo slips that have been unearthed, the longest bamboo slips are three feet; the medium-length bamboo slips are generally two feet and four inches long in the Qin and Han Dynasties, which is about 56 centimeters today; About 23 centimeters today. There are also eight-inch slips in between, which is about 18 centimeters today. The bamboo slips used to write imperial edicts use long slips. The bamboo slips used to write legal provisions are also relatively long, and calendars are also written in three-foot bamboo slips. The bamboo slips used to write scriptures are also relatively long.

Short slips are generally one chi long in the Qin and Han Dynasties, and some are as short as eight inches. For example, the slips copied from "The Analects" are eight inches long; there are even slips that are six inches long; they are generally used for writing talismans and biographies. However, judging from the unearthed situation, short slips with a length of one foot are extremely common. This kind of brevity is mostly used to write general documents and letters. Over time, a habit of calling letters "chido" has formed.

The content contained in bamboo slips is very rich. Generally speaking, there are imperial edicts from the emperor, documents from various levels of government, official documents and letters between different departments, units or institutions, and various government documents. There are various rosters and books, there are various legal provisions, there are various contracts, there are various forms and contents of ID cards or passes, there are medical prescriptions, there are calendar records, there are files kept by the government, there are property registrations, there are The registration of sacrificial objects includes copies of various ancient books, a chronology of major events, official announcements, and even private letters.

As far as the documents of various levels of government are concerned, there are various names in bamboo slips. There are documents belonging to the central government such as making books, imperial edicts, and edicts; , Xishu (documents used for recruiting, explaining and appealing), Yingshu (replies from subordinates to inquiries from superiors), ultimatums (documents mainly used for appointment and dismissal, trial and election related to personnel affairs), Yuanshu (documents used to record matters related to legal trials), citations (with the nature of investigation reports), dispatches (it is different from the "dispatches" in tombs that record funeral objects, and is mostly a document for appointing and dispatching low-level officials ), newspapers (with the nature of judgments), disease books (documents explaining the health status of soldiers), governance books (specifically referring to documents in a certain area); other books (documents used to distinguish right from wrong), officials Ningshu (referring to officials’ application for family visits and approval letters), Xingtingshu (referring to special documents with the nature of a pass in the frontier area), Changingshushu (documents about making suggestions and opinions) and so on belong to the local Documents between various levels of government.