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Chinese Text Project
Show translation:[None] [English]

《祭法 - Ji Fa》

English translation: James Legge [?]
Books referencing 《祭法》 Library Resources
[Also known as: "The law of sacrifices"]

1 祭法:
祭法:有虞氏禘黃帝而郊嚳,祖顓頊而宗堯。夏后氏亦禘黃帝而郊鯀,祖顓頊而宗禹。殷人禘嚳而郊冥,祖契而宗湯。周人禘嚳而郊稷,祖文王而宗武王。
Ji Fa:
According to the law of sacrifices, (Shun), the sovereign of the line of Yu, at the great associate sacrifice, gave the place of honour to Huang Di, and at the border sacrifice made Ku the correlate of Heaven; he sacrificed (also) to Zhuan-xu as his ancestor (on the throne) and to Yao as his honoured predecessor. The sovereigns of Xia, at the corresponding sacrifice, gave the place of honour also to Huang Di, and made Gun the correlate at the border sacrifice; they sacrificed to Zhuan-xu as their ancestor, and to Yu as their honoured predecessor. Under Yin, they gave the place of honour to Ku, and made Ming the correlate at the border sacrifice; they sacrificed to Xie as their ancestor, and to Tang as their honoured predecessor. Under Zhou they gave the place of honour to Ku, and made Ji the correlate at the border sacrifice, they sacrificed to king Wen as their ancestor, and to king Wu as their honoured predecessor.

2 祭法:
燔柴於泰壇,祭天也;瘞埋於泰折,祭地也;用騂犢。埋少牢於泰昭,祭時也;相近於坎壇,祭寒暑也。王宮,祭日也;夜明,祭月也;幽宗,祭星也;雩宗,祭水旱也;四坎壇,祭四時也。山林、川谷、丘陵,能出云為風雨,見怪物,皆曰神。有天下者,祭百神。諸侯在其地則祭之,亡其地則不祭。
Ji Fa:
With a blazing pile of wood on the Grand altar they sacrificed to Heaven; by burying (the victim) in the Grand mound, they sacrificed to the Earth. (In both cases) they used a red victim. By burying a sheep and a pig at the (altar of) Great brightness, they sacrificed to the seasons. (With similar) victims they sacrificed to (the spirits of cold and heat, at the pit and the altar, using prayers of deprecation and petition; to the sun, at the (altar called the) royal palace; to the moon, at the (pit called the) light of the night; to the stars at the honoured place of gloom; to (the spirits of) flood and drought at the honoured altar of rain; to the (spirits of the) four quarters at the place of the four pits and altars; mountains, forests, streams, valleys, hills, and mounds, which are able to produce clouds, and occasion winds and rain, were all regarded as (dominated by) spirits. He by whom all under the sky was held sacrificed to all spirits. The princes of states sacrificed to those which were in their own territories; to those which were not in their territories, they did not sacrifice.

3 祭法:
大凡生於天地之間者,皆曰命。其萬物死,皆曰折;人死,曰鬼;此五代之所不變也。七代之所以更立者:禘、郊、宗、祖;其餘不變也。
Ji Fa:
Generally speaking, all born between heaven and earth were said to have their allotted times; the death of all creatures is spoken of as their dissolution; but man when dead is said to be in the ghostly state. There was no change in regard to these points in the five dynasties. What, the seven dynasties made changes in, were the assessors at the Great associate and the border sacrifices, and the parties sacrificed to in the ancestral temple; they made no other changes.

4 祭法:
天下有王,分地建國,置都立邑,設廟祧壇墠而祭之,乃為親疏多少之數。
Ji Fa:
The sovereigns, coming to the possession of the kingdom, divided the land and established the feudal principalities; they assigned (great) cities (to their nobles), and smaller towns (to their chiefs); they made ancestral temples, and the arrangements for altering the order of the spirit-tablets; they raised altars, and they cleared the ground around them for the performance of their sacrifices. In all these arrangements they made provision for the sacrifices according to the nearer or more remote kinship, and for the assignment of lands of greater or less amount.
是故:王立七廟,一壇一墠,曰考廟,曰王考廟,曰皇考廟,曰顯考廟,曰祖考廟;皆月祭之。遠廟為祧,有二祧,享嘗乃止。去祧為壇,去壇為墠。壇墠,有禱焉祭之,無禱乃止。去墠曰鬼。
Thus the king made for himself seven ancestral temples, with a raised altar and the surrounding area for each. The temples were-his father's; his grandfather's; his great-grandfather's; his great-great-grandfather's; and the temple of his (high) ancestor. At all of these a sacrifice was offered every month. The temples of the more remote ancestors formed the receptacles for the tablets as they were displaced; they were two, and at these only the seasonal sacrifices were offered. For the removed tablet of one more remote, an altar was raised and its corresponding area; and on occasions of prayer at this altar and area, a sacrifice was offered, but if there were no prayer, there was no sacrifice. In the case of one still more remote, (there was no sacrifice); he was left in his ghostly state.
諸侯立五廟,一壇一墠。曰考廟,曰王考廟,曰皇考廟,皆月祭之;顯考廟,祖考廟,享嘗乃止。去祖為壇,去壇為墠。壇墠,有禱焉祭之,無禱乃止。去墠為鬼。
A feudal prince made for himself five ancestral temples, with an altar and a cleared area about it for each. The temples were--his father's; his grandfather's; and his great-grandfather's; in all of which a sacrifice was offered every month. In the temples of the great-great-grandfather, and that of the (high) ancestor only, the seasonal sacrifices were offered. For one beyond the high ancestor a special altar was raised, and for one still more remote, an area was prepared. If there were prayer at these, a sacrifice was offered; but if there were no prayer, there was no sacrifice. In the case of one still more remote, (there was no service); he was left in his ghostly state.
大夫立三廟二壇,曰考廟,曰王考廟,曰皇考廟,享嘗乃止。顯考祖考無廟,有禱焉,為壇祭之。去壇為鬼。
A Great officer made for himself three ancestral temples and two altars. The temples were-his father's; his grandfather's; and his great-grandfather's. In this only the seasonal sacrifices were offered. To the great-great-grandfather and the (high) ancestor there were no temples. If there were occasion for prayer to them, altars were raised, and sacrifices offered on them. An ancestor still more remote was left in his ghostly state.
適士二廟一壇,曰考廟,曰王考廟,享嘗乃止。皇考無廟,有禱焉,為壇祭之。去壇為鬼。
An officer of the highest grade had two ancestral temples and one altar; the temples of his father and grandfather, at which only the seasonal sacrifices were presented. There was no temple for his great-grandfather. If there were occasion to pray to him, an altar was raised, and a sacrifice offered to him. Ancestors more remote were left in their ghostly state.
官師一廟,曰考廟。王考無廟而祭之,去王考曰鬼。
An officer in charge merely of one department had one ancestral temple; that, namely, of his father. There was no temple for his grandfather, but he was sacrificed to (in the father's temple.) Ancestors beyond the grandfather were left in their ghostly state.
庶士庶人無廟,死曰鬼。
The mass of ordinary officers and the common people had no ancestral temple. Their dead were left in their ghostly state, (to have offerings presented to them in the back apartment, as occasion required).

5 祭法:
王為群姓立社,曰大社。王自為立社,曰王社。諸侯為百姓立社,曰國社。諸侯自立社,曰侯社。大夫以下,成群立社曰置社。
Ji Fa:
The king, for all the people, erected an altar to (the spirit of) the ground, called the Grand altar, and one for himself, called the Royal altar. A feudal prince, for all his people, erected one called the altar of the state, and one for himself called the altar of the prince. Great officers and all below them in association erected such an altar, called the Appointed altar.

6 祭法:
王為群姓立七祀:曰司命,曰中溜,曰國門,曰國行,曰泰厲,曰戶,曰灶。王自為立七祀。
Ji Fa:
The king, for all the people, appointed (seven altars for) the seven sacrifices - one to the superintendent of the lot; one in the central court, for the admission of light and the rain from the roofs; one at the gates of the city wall; one in the roads leading from the city; one for the discontented ghosts of kings who had died without posterity; one for the guardian of the door; and one for the guardian of the furnace. He also had seven corresponding altars for himself.
諸侯為國立五祀,曰司命,曰中溜,曰國門,曰國行,曰公厲。諸侯自為立五祀。
A feudal prince, for his state, appointed (five altars for) the five sacrifices - one for the superintendent of the lot; one in the central court, for the admission of light and rain; one at the gates of the city wall; one in the roads leading from the city; one for the discontented ghosts of princes who had died without posterity. He also had five corresponding altars for himself.
大夫立三祀:曰族厲,曰門,曰行。
A Great officer appointed (three altars for) the three sacrifice - one for the discontented ghosts of his predecessors who had died without posterity; one at the gates of his city; and one on the roads leading from it.
適士立二祀:曰門,曰行。
An officer of the first grade appointed (two altars for) the two sacrifices - one at the gates; and one on the roads (outside the gates).
庶士、庶人立一祀,或立戶,或立灶。
Other officers and the common people had one (altar and one) sacrifice. Some raised one altar for the guardian of the door; and others, one for the guardian of the furnace.

7 祭法:
王下祭殤五:適子、適孫、適曾孫、適玄孫、適來孫。
Ji Fa:
The king, carrying down (his favour), sacrificed to five classes of those who had died prematurely - namely, to the rightful eldest sons (of former kings); to rightful grandsons; to rightful great-grandsons; to rightful great-great-grandsons; and to the rightful sons of these last.
諸侯下祭三,大夫下祭二,適士及庶人,祭子而止。
A feudal prince, carrying down (his favour), sacrificed to three classes; a Great officer similarly to two; another officer of the first grade and the common people sacrificed only to the son who had died prematurely.

8 祭法:
夫聖王之制祭祀也:法施於民則祀之,以死勤事則祀之,以勞定國則祀之,能御大菑則祀之,能捍大患則祀之。是故厲山氏之有天下也,其子曰農,能殖百穀;夏之衰也,周棄繼之,故祀以為稷。共工氏之霸九州也,其子曰後土,能平九州,故祀以為社。帝嚳能序星辰以著眾;堯能賞均刑法以義終;舜勤眾事而野死。鯀鄣洪水而殛死,禹能修鯀之功。黃帝正名百物以明民共財,顓頊能修之。契為司徒而民成;冥勤其官而水死。湯以寬治民而除其虐;文王以文治,武王以武功,去民之菑。此皆有功烈於民者也。及夫日月星辰,民所瞻仰也;山林川谷丘陵,民所取材用也。非此族也,不在祀典。
Ji Fa:
According to the institutes of the sage kings about sacrifices, sacrifice should be offered to him who had given (good) laws to the people to him who had laboured to the death in the discharge of his duties; to him who had strengthened the state by his laborious toil; to him who had boldly and successfully met great calamities; and to him who had warded off great evils. Such were the following - Nong, the son of the lord of Li-shan, who possessed the kingdom, and showed how to cultivate all the cereals; and Ji (the progenitor) of Zhou, who continued his work after the decay of Xia, and was sacrificed to under the name of Ji; Hou-tu, a son of the line of Gong-gong, that swayed the nine provinces, who was able to reduce them all to order, and was sacrificed to as the spirit of the ground; the Di Ku, who could define all the zodiacal stars, and exhibit their times to the people; Yao, who rewarded (the worthy), made the penal laws impartial, and the end of whose course was distinguished by his righteousness; Shun, who, toiling amid all his affairs, died in the country (far from his capital); Yu, (the son of) Gun, who was kept a prisoner till death for trying to dam up the waters of the flood, while Yu completed the work, and atoned for his father's failure; Huang Di, who gave everything its right name, thereby showing the people how to avail themselves of its qualities; Zhuan-xu, who completed this work of Huang Di; Xie, who was minister of Instruction, and perfected the (condition and manners of the) people; Ming, who, through his attention to the duties of his office, died in the waters; Thang, who ruled the people with a benignant sway and cut off their oppressor; and king Wen, who by his peaceful rule, and king Wu, who by his martial achievements, delivered the people from their afflictions. All these rendered distinguished services to the people. As to the sun and moon, the stars and constellations, the people look up to them, while mountains, forests, streams, valleys, hills, and mountains supply them with the materials for use which they require. Only men and things of this character were admitted into the sacrificial canon.

URN: ctp:liji/ji-fa