Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
- In the beginning of the Qin Dynasty, skilled archers were highly prized, and often given positions of responsibility within the government. By the Han Dynasty, the púyè became assistants to prominant ministers (such as the Minister Steward). By the Tang Dynasty, the power of the púyè rivaled that of the Imperial Chancellor's. Subsequently, the position of púyè was phased out.
The character 射 is almost always pronounced shè in Mandarin. This is one of the very few compounds where it is pronounced yè.