Du Zhou (Recorded by Sima Qian)

Du Zhou (c. 2nd-1st century BCE), recorded by Sima Qian (c. 145-90 BCE)

“Whatever the earlier rulers thought was right they wrote down in books and made into laws, and whatever the later rulers thought was right they added as new clauses and stipulations. Anything that suits the present age is right. Why bother with the laws of former times?”

  • Commentary attributed to the official, Du Zhou, preserved in the Records of the Grand Historian (Shi Ji 122) by Sima Qian. Translated by Burton Watson (Columbia University Press, 1993).

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