Ten Abominations

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The Ten Abominations (十惡) were a list of offenses under traditional Chinese law which were regarded as the most abhorrent, and which threatened the well-being of civilized society. They are listed below. The first three were capital offences:

  1. Plotting rebellion (曰謀反): to overthrow the current regime. Commentary states: "The ruler or parent has no harbours [from plots]. If he does have such plots, he must put them to death." This means that if one harbours rebellious thoughts against the ruler or father, he must then put them to death.
  2. Plotting great sedition (曰謀大逆): to damage or destroy royal temples, tumuli, or palaces. Ancient Chinese belief in feng shui equated intentional damaging of royal property with casting a curse on the sovereign. This type of person breaks laws and destroys order and goes contrary to virtue.
  3. Plotting treason (曰謀叛): to defect to an enemy state, usually carrying national secrets.
  4. Contumacy (曰惡逆): to harm or murder one's own parents and grandparents; to murder one's own or husband's elder relatives.
  5. Depravity (曰不道): to murder three or more innocent people; to disembowel a victim's body after committing a murder; to produce gu and use it to cast curses.
  6. Great irreverence (曰大不敬): to show disrespect to the Emperor or his family.
  7. Lack of filial piety (曰不孝): to maltreat one's parents or grandparents, or to procure entertainment during periods of mourning (up to three years for one's parents).
  8. Discord (曰不睦): to harm or sue one's husband or elder relatives.
  9. Unrighteousness (曰不義): to murder one's superiors, mentor, or local government officials.
  10. Incest (曰內亂): to have affairs with concubine(s) of one's father, grandfather, or elder male relatives.[1]

Legal privileges, such as the Eight Deliberations, were not applicable to the Ten Abominations due to their seriousness.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Emperor Yang of the Sui Dynasty: His Life, Times, And Legacy - S. 136 Online
  2. ^ The Great Ming Code: Da Ming Lü, S. lxvi Online