The third degree is a widely used colloqualism for an intensive, possibly brutal, interrogation. This usage is derived from the Freemasons, an extremely popular fraternal organization from the eighteenth through the early twentieth century. Masonic lodges have three degrees of membership; the first is called Entered Apprentice, the second Fellowcraft, and the third is Master Mason. thr granting of the Third Degree involves an extended interrrogation carried out as a scripted play in which the role of the inductee is physically challenging and, to an inductee with a lively imagination, possibly frightening, although no physical harm is inflicted. This interrogation was, by exaggeration, the source of the name of the police interrogation technique. That is referred to in an 1900 edition of Everybody's Magazine: "From time to time a prisoner... claims to have had the Third Degree administered to him."
周末选读了S.N.Eisenstadt的The Political Systems of Empires。很久没看过这么sociological的书了，架构清晰，推论严整，比如说“在何种社会条件下，官僚系统会倾向于发展自己的独立性，从而和统治者产生冲突”，然后就列出一二三四五条。再比如“古代帝国的官僚体系都有哪几个类型”，也列出一二三四五种，然后古代中国宋以前的属于种类二，晚期的"decadent stages"属于种类三⋯⋯总之就是随便翻到一页，都可以作成很漂亮的bullet points，但未免言语无味。
The history of the genre leishu 類書 can be tracked back to the compilation of Huanglan 皇覽 under the first ruler of Wei 魏 during the Three Kingdoms period in 220CE. The term leishu, however, was only fixed in the New Book of Tang 新唐書, completed circa 1060CE, in which the category of leishu was placed at the beginning of the “monograph on arts and literature” Yiwenzhi 藝文志.
Given the fact that leishu occupied almost 10% of the content in Siku 四庫, the genre provides extraordinarily rich material for researchers then and now. Hu Daojing defined leishu as comprehensive compilation of all branches of knowledge about human society and natural world, but this differs from the modern idea of "encyclopedia" (Baikequanshu百科全書) in that entries in leishu were quotes and excerpts from primary material instead of a separately-composed essay. In a sense, leishu could be understood as a hybrid of encyclopedia essays and compiled information.
The broad scale of Leishu creates difficulty for bibliographers in deciding the place of this genre in the tree of knowledge. Since texts from all the traditional divisions of writing (Jing 經／Shi 史／, zi 子／ji 集 i.e., Classics/ Histories/ Philosophers/ Belles-lettres) could all be found within the pages of a Leishu, where should Leishu go? The Siku compilers were aware of this problem, but nonetheless followed convention and kept Leishu in the Zi category.
When using a particular leishu, it is important to note its origin, its intended readership, and its scope of content. Aside from the imperially funded leishu projects, there is also a considerable body of leishu titles compiled by individual literati and printing houses. Official leishu such as Gujin tushu jicheng 古今圖書集成 signified the imperial court's support of scholarly endeavor and its authority over knowledge production, while at the same time providing useful guidance for officials in composing memorials and reports.
The wide circulation of practical leishu in all literate social strata, however, merits closer attention. Researchers have noted that the booming market for phonology leishu in the early Tang was closely related to the widespread practice of poetry-writing at the time, and that leishu also figured prominently in helping aspiring civil service exam-takers to prepare. In the Ming and Qing, vernacular leishu titles were sold, bought, and re-issued by printing houses. They offered popular guidance in coping with everyday life.
Hu Daojing, Zhongguo gudai de leishu. Beijing Shi : Zhonghua shu ju, 2005. Tang Guangrong, Tang dai lei shu yu wen xue. Chengdu Shi : Ba Shu shu she, 2008. Liu Tianzhen, Ming dai tong su lei shu yan jiu. Jinan : Qi Lu shu she, 2006.