Confucian DocumentsContent created: File last modified:. Shortcuts: Components , Variants , English Translations. Although influential enough to have followers, he was rarely able to affect the political curents of his time. However in most later periods, teachings attributed to him served as the basis of state orthodoxy. At different periods different works —most not written by Confucius himself— have been considered the crucial sources of the Confucian tradition. The following fourteen items have all been included at one time or another. A note explaining the organization of this material under such names as "The Four Books" or "The Nine Classics" follows the listing.
They were selected by Zhu Xi in the Song dynasty to serve as general introduction to Confucian thought, and they were, in the Ming and Qing dynasties, made the core of the official curriculum for the civil service examinations. Several of the texts were already prominent by the Warring States period. Mencius , the leading Confucian scholar of the time, regarded the Spring and Autumn Annals as being equally important as the semi-legendary chronicles of earlier periods. During the Western Han dynasty , which adopted Confucianism as its official ideology, these texts became part of the state-sponsored curriculum. It was during this period that the texts first began to be considered together as a set collection, and to be called collectively the "Five Classics".
James Legge [ ] Legges' translation of the works of Confucius in English and Chinese in one file. To view this file properly your browser must be Unicode enabled. James Legge [ ] The Analects were a collection of sayings written down by Confucius' students in the period approximately seventy years after his death. Mencius Mencius , tr. James Legge [ ] The third book in the Confucian canon. Literally, 'Education for Adults'.
The Five Classics and Four Books were the basis of the civil examination in imperial China and can be considered the Confucian canon. From the Han to the early Song, the Five Classics grew into thirteen classics. In the early Song, however, scholars focused on the original Five Classics again. By the mid-Song, however, the Analects, Mencius, Great Learning, and Doctrine of the Mean began gaining importance and by the early fourteenth century, the Four Book were the texts for the civil examinations. The Four Books were to be read before the Five Classics, and were to be read this way:.
It has been established that none of them has been written by Confucious (K’ung-tzu, B.C.E.) but rather compiled by his students after his dead. However, The four books, are considered the closest we come to the original teaching of Confucious. If you were to seek a.
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The Chinese Classics
The Analects, or Lunyu, also known as the Analects of Confucius, is the collection of sayings and ideas attributed to the Chinese philosopher Confucius and his contemporaries, traditionally believed to have been written by Confucius' followers. By the early Han dynasty the Analects was considered merely a "commentary" on the Five Classics, but the status of the Analects grew to be one of the central texts of Confucianism by the end of that dynasty. During the late Song dynasty the importance of the Analects as a philosophy work was raised above that of the older Five Classics, and it was recognized as one of the "Four Books". The Analects has been one of the most widely read and studied books in China for the last 2, years, and continues to have a substantial influence on Chinese and East Asian thought and values today. There have been none, who, not liking to offend against their superiors, have been fond of stirring up confusion. That being established, all practical courses naturally grow up. Filial piety and fraternal submission,-are they not the root of all benevolent actions?
Collectively called The Four Books and The Five Classics, they cover such a wide range of subjects as literature, history, philosophy, politics, economics, education, moral ethics, geology, arts, science and technology, etc. In short, they have a far-reaching influence on the way of existence, intellectual quality, moral ethics and esthetic values of the Chinese nation. They were, in the Ming and Qing Dynasties, made the core of the official curriculum for the civil service examinations. They are:. These books were compiled or edited by Confucius himself.