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The Confucian Classics

The Five Confucian Classics
Title   Subject Authorship

1

Yi Jing (I Ching)

Book of Changes

Short texts relating to results of divination cast by priests

The 'wings' are by Confucius, according to tradition. Modern historians believe they were composed by other authors.

2

Shu Jing (Shu Ching)

Book of History or Documents

Short documents relating to announcements, speeches, manifestos and reports by rulers and their ministers (period from mythical king Yao to early Zhou Dynasty)

Explanatory introductions by Confucius. Also credited with editing the original documents. Modern historians consider the Zhou documents authentic, but earlier writings date from a later period.

3

Shi Jing (Shih Ching)

Book of Odes or Poetry

Anthology of 300 poems (includes folk songs and ceremonial songs)

Supposedly selected and edited by Confucius. They date from the early Zhou period.

4

Li Jing (Li Ching) or Li Ji (Li Chi)

Book of Rites

Government rules of the Zhou Dynasty, code of conduct and rules for important ceremonies

Many documents authored supposedly by the Duke of Zhou (a founder of the Zhou dynasty). According to tradition, selection and editing of the documents by Confucius.

5

Qunqiu (Ch’un-ch’iu)

Annals of Spring and Autumn

Chronicle of the state of Lu from 722–481 BC

By Confucius.

The Four Books of Neo-Confucianism

Title

 

Subject

Authorship

1

Lunyu (Lun-yu)

Analects of Confucius

A record of the words and actions of Confucius

By the pupils of Confucius

2

Mengzi (Meng Tzu)

Book of Mencius

The writings of Mencius

By Mencius

3

Daxue (Ta-hsueh)

Great Learning

An essay from the Book of Rites

 

4

Zhongyong (Chung-yung)

Doctrine of the Mean

An essay from the Book of Rites

 



Sources

Ackermann, M. E., ed., et al. Encyclopedia of World History, vol. 1. New York: Facts On File, Inc., 2008.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





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