Four Books


Four Books

Ancient Confucian texts used as the basis of study for civil service examinations (see Chinese examination system) in China (1313–1905).

They served as an introduction to Confucianism and were traditionally studied before the more difficult Five Classics. The publication of the four texts as a unit in 1190 with commentaries by Zhu Xi helped revitalize Confucianism in China. The texts are Daxue, Zhongyong, Lunyu (the Analects, which reputedly contains direct quotations from Confucius and is deemed the most reliable source of his teachings), and Mencius.

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Universalium. 2010.

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