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Chinese classic texts

China has a wealth of classical literature, both poetry and prose, dating from the Eastern Zhou Dynasty (1122 BC - 256 BC) and including the Chinese classics texts, or Chinese canonical texts. Some of them are attributed to Confucius but he's probably only the editor of them. One of the aspects of the culture that allows its continuity is the importance given to those ancient texts, that shape the philosophies of the culture.

S shū wǔ jīng (四書五經), the Four Books and the Five Classics, were mandated study of those Confucian scholars who wished to become government officials. Any political discussion was full of references to this background and one couldn't be a literati, and even a military officier, without knowing them perfectly.

Chinese children first studied the Chinese characters with the Hundred Family Surnames (Bai Jia Xing) and the Three Character Classic (三字經 San Zi Jing). Then, they studied the following Classics, in order to climb the social hierarchy.

The Four Books (四書 S shū) are

The Five Classics (五經 Wǔ jīng) are Other classics: See also: Chinese literature, Imperial examination.

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