The Four Books 四書; Sìshū (c. 1165)
Zhu Xi's selection of the most important wisdom teachings with his extensive commentaries, The Four Books became the cornerstone to Asian educational systems from the 12th to the 20th centuries. Originally an unorthodox departure from the traditional emphasis on the I Ching, they include Confucius’ Great Learning, Kong Ji’s Doctrine of the Mean, a compilation of talks given by Confucius and his students called The Analects, and a collection of Mencius’ dialogs and talks. The were used as the core curriculum, basis for examination, and promotion of aspiring officials and politicians.
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