2012 New History
P. O. Box 1-44, Nankang, Taipei 11529, Taiwan, R. O. C.
02-2782-9555 # 226

The Acquisition and Transfer of Land by the Western Chou Nobility: And the Theory and Reality of “Crown Land”

Shu-huan Ho

Department of Chinese Literature, National Sun Yat-sen University

Inscriptions on bronze vessels that deal with land are the principal source for this article. This article discusses the relations between these inscriptions and traditional documents, and explains how the nobility acquired and transferred land during the Western Chou. As well, conceptions of “crown land” and what it actually meant are also discussed. In addition to analyzing these inscriptions and traditional documents concerning feudalism and land bestowed by the king and the relationship between these inscriptions and contracts which were written in books, this articles also discusses such problems as the procedure of transferring land and explains the meanings of some disputed terms.


KeywordWestern Chou, land, “crown land”