Knowledge of Chinese Culture
The "Four Book" and the "Five
Classics" are the chief amongst the classical works of the Chinese. The Four Books
consist of The Confucian Analects, The great Learning, The Doctrine of the mean,and The
Works of Mencius. The Five Classics consist of The Book of Changes, The Book of History,
The Book of Odes, The Book of Rites and The Spring and Autumn Annals. The last is the only
one of which Confucius is actually the author, though he compiled The Book of History and
The Odes. The Book of Changes is regarded with almost universal reverence, both on account
of its antiquity, and also for the unfathomable wisdom which is supposed to be concealed
under its mysterious symbols. The Four Books, which rank next after The Five Classics are
composed, for the most part, of the words, conversations, and opinions of Confucius and
Mencius, as recorded by their disciples.
Historical Annals - This class of
histories contains a concise narrative of events on the plan of The Spring and Autumn
Annals. Among the most celebrated of these is the Tsz Chi Tung Kin, of the famous
historian Sima Guang, in 294 books,which occupied the author 19 years in writing.
Geographical and Topographical Works
- Every small division of the empire has its topographical work dealing with its own
history, antiquities, towns,curiosities, and anything of interest connected with it.
Other literature includes astronomy,
mathematics, essays, Buddhist literature, Taoist literature, Belles letters, rhymes and
songs, drama, etc.