Talk:Chinese classics

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Ancient vs. recent classics[edit]

This sentence seems to be out of place in the article.

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 article started out on ancient Chinese text that have become classic. Then the second paragraph turned into Three Character Classic which is NOT an ancient creation. The text is less than 100 years old. Within the text of the Three Character Classic, there are a few phrases


which describe the rise and downfall of Qing Dynasty followed by the establishment of the republic after the nomination of a president. So this classic could not have existed before 1911. So this sentence should be moved under a subsection for recent classic or something like that at best. IMHO, it does not even belong in this article. Kowloonese 01:46, 25 Nov 2004 (UTC)

chinese classic texts[edit]

I am concerned that the level of this page falls below Wikipedia standards, and I say so based on specific inaccuracies and general lack of organizational clarity.

In terms of inaccuracy, I would point to the list of the Five Flassics that includes the Classic of Filial Piety, but not that of Music within the five. In point of fact, the Five Classics should include Changes, History, Poetry, Ritual, and Music (in this order, not that of the page). This was true up through the middle of the Western Han (206 BC- 9 AD) as indicated by many sources, from the Hanshu Yiwenzhi to the Mawangdui manuscript commentaries on the Changes. Although the Filial Piety was a respected text used for the education of the emperor and quoted in court debate after Emperor Wu of the Han (d 87 BC), it was not actually referred to as a classic unitil much later, when the number of texts that were designated as such had expanded substantially beyond five.

Secondly, to refer to the Four Books as if they were four Classics ignores the fact that two of the Four Books (Great Learning and the Mean) are actually excerpts from one of the Classics (Ritual).

Thirdly, the page does not clarify the issue of what is a commentary and what is a classic, which may indeed be difficult to define precisely, but is an essential foundation to approaching these texts.

Finally, the page is very fuzzy on the issue of the canonical (Confucian) Chinese Classics since it also includes "classic" texts from many other lines of thought (though for some reason completely neglecting Buddhism). Chinese thought is certainly much broader than Confucianism, but I am concerned that this page may confuse as much as it clarifies.


Recent attempt to move page[edit]

User:Eiorgiomugini recently moved the article to Chinese Classical Texts, as well as making a long string of changes to the article, none of them explained (not even edit summaries), most incorrectly marked as minor. I've reverted it all. If he has reasons for these changes, could he explain them here? --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 14:24, 20 May 2006 (UTC)

It better understanding for other in my version, I tidy it up, and I don't sees why you could revert all of it, I'm making a contribute here. Eiorgiomugini 14:41, 20 May 2006 (UTC)
More information: he had inserted another {copyedit} on Period of Disunity and Jie (ethnic group), and reverted my verion at Erya to his own version without explaining. Eiorgiomugini 15:19, 20 May 2006 (UTC)

Unable to move to Chinese Classical Texts[edit]

I'm pissed right now. Could somebody else care to explain me why I can't move to that section anymore, since after Mel Etitis had moved to another page:

The page could not be moved: a page of that name already exists, or the name you have chosen is not valid. Please choose another name, or use Requested moves to ask an administrator to help you with the move. Eiorgiomugini 14:52, 20 May 2006 (UTC)

Why did you revert to your version and try to move the page back without proper explanation? --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 15:47, 20 May 2006 (UTC)
Please answer my question first: Could somebody else care to explain me why I can't move to that section anymore, since after Mel Etitis had moved to another page:
The page could not be moved: a page of that name already exists, or the name you have chosen is not valid. Please choose another name, or use Requested moves to ask an administrator to help you with the move. Eiorgiomugini 15:55, 20 May 2006 (UTC)

The natural English name for this is Chinese classics. Please stop this. Septentrionalis 04:42, 23 May 2006 (UTC)

I agree that this should be renamed "Chinese classics", but I'm not sure how to go about renaming an article... Does someone know how to do this? Linguixperiments (talk) 01:15, 20 March 2009 (UTC)


Somehow in the recent mess of moves and edits, the article first gained a mixture of BC/AD and BCE/BC, and I then made it consistent by making them all the latter (misremembering how it was to start with). As the article has no relation to Christianity, it's a prime candidate for the BCE/CE system. Does anyone strongly object if it stays as it is? --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 17:43, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

Just to take note that BC/AD are more popularity in use than BCE/CE Eiorgiomugini 17:46, 22 May 2006 (UTC)
That is a debate that has been gone through at length in Wikipedia; the BCE/CE system is in fact more common in modern academic English, but the point is that we have established an approach.
The BCE/CE system is nowhere more common and this page began with AD/BC. Since there's no consensus for the change to BCE/CE (2 of us against versus one for), I'll restore the original usage pending a stronger consensus here. — LlywelynII 15:11, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
I don't have a strong argument (I prefer BCE/CE), but I'm surprised this isn't standardized in wikipedia, like a guideline or something?Herbxue (talk) 17:29, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
The Wikipedia-wide guideline is found at WP:ERA. Simply stated, it generally makes no difference whether an article uses BC/AD or BCE/CE, and one should just follow whatever the original creator of the article used.  White Whirlwind  咨  18:45, 11 August 2014 (UTC)


With regard to your insistence on making some links to the article titles and some to piped English translations, would you explain? --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 17:50, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

Well, I'm not trying to make a double standards here, but when there's a interpretation of the title, then I would prefer to use it, instead of romanisation, after all this edition of Wikipedia is in English. Eiorgiomugini 17:55, 22 May 2006 (UTC)
But the fact that the articles in question aren't in English should tell you something. We use the title by which a book, person, or thing is best known. if a book is best known by its original name, not by a translation, then we use the original. --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 21:59, 22 May 2006 (UTC)
Its in a kind of English–Chinese bilingual edition. I had not yet not to see any books of translation work known as Zhan Guo Ce or Guo Yu in English, with exception let say Tao De Jing instead of Daodejing in publishing, care to help me out. Eiorgiomugini 22:10, 22 May 2006 (UTC)
The refernces in the text aren't to the translations, but the books themselves. If a book is best known by an English translation, then we use that form; otherwise we use the original form. --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 10:11, 24 May 2006 (UTC)
Exactly which was what I said, Zhan Guo Ce is probably more well known as the Stratagems of the Warring States, as shown in google search results, not sure about Guo Yu, though Shan Hai Jing are known better in its English translation anyway. Eiorgiomugini 10:22, 24 May 2006 (UTC)

Lost books[edit]

I've read that there were two other books like the I Ching, but where lost. I'm unsure of what they were about or how they got lost, perhaps someone with any knowledge of these missing texts could fill me in, or add something on the article. Other than those two books which are gone, perhaps there are many others throughout Chinese history, and someone will be able to create a list of them. Daily Rubbings 14:57, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

Qin Fire[edit]

Shouldn't this article mention the fire, that it is the event before and after which things are dated, and the impact thereof? (talk) 12:30, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

Can you clarify? Do you mean the discovery of fire, or do you mean Qin Shi Huang's burning of books? (Or Xiang Yu's, or Emperor Yuan of Liang's?) --Nlu (talk) 18:08, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
OK, never mind, I see the subject (which somehow I missed). Someone with some more knowledge of the subject should write something about it, yeah. (I may try it sometime, but I'm not an expert as to that event.) --Nlu (talk) 18:09, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

Yeo Ok[edit]

I have just started a little entry on Yeo Ok (麗玉)(여옥). We don't have much information on her but there is a mention of doubts about whether she and /or her poem, Gonghuin (箜篌引), was Korean or Chinese. Does anyone know about this and have more information in general which we could add to the entry? Best wishes (Msrasnw (talk) 09:55, 28 February 2009 (UTC))

Chinese classics translated by james legge[edit]

Rajmaan (talk) 06:25, 13 December 2012 (UTC)

What Translations exist for the Classics ?[edit]

Wow, I'm just astounded at how terrible this Wikipedia article is. Apparently, very few people in the West care about China ! The Chinese Classics are the Bible of China !

There needs to be a section directing to a separate article on translations of the Classics in all languages, just like there is for the Bible or the Koran (sic) or the Rig Veda or what have you.

From what little I know, I'm guessing that maybe we have some Latin translations from Rici or one of his successors, then in the 1800s some or maybe all of it in various European languages. I'm sure that, right now, for all major European languages, you can find a translation for the whole thing (maybe), but nothing that's in public domain. And then, beyond the Western scene, there might be translations into various Silk Road languages like Aramaic or Kharosthi or something. Definitely Manchu (the Mongolian-Korean-Japanese-ish language of the rulers of the last dynasty, the Qing). And of course, Vietnamese, Korean, and Japanese, even going back a ways, for sure have translations of the Classics. The language par-excellence, of course, would be Modern Standard Mandarin, though I would rather learn and rely on Manchu, Latin, or something else, knowing how corrupt and deceitful the current regime is. Maybe something in Mandarin from Taiwan I might give more credence to. But the mainland might not completely botch it, they pass off some OK scholarship hit or miss.

The classics are all in Classical Chinese, as was everything before like 1900, which is sad because Classical uses the writing system a whole lot better. Demotic Egyptian is harder than Cuneiform is harder than Japanese is harder than Chinese, but to most people Chinese is the hardest, and this is because of native-Chinese hype. If you read any book, it will tell you that modern Chinese is hard, Classical Chinese is impossible, and Bronze Script and Oracle Bone (Old Chinese) are so hard they will, respectively, dismember and decapitate you. And if you ask a native Chinese, they will make it sound even worse. But all this is non-sense, if you don't follow the books and take your own approach, Chinese (writing) isn't so bad, especially the older it gets. Unfortunately, your best bet is just visiting a university library because all the professors and native teachers have no clue, really. They'll tell you to memorize everything because that's how incompetent the Chinese are, and why they still use corrupt hieroglyphics. And professors are professors because they drank that Kool-Aid. They spend their entire K-College education mindlessly memorizing characters without much of a clue what their etymology is. We also memorize spellings without a clue what their etymology is, but this is because Latin and Greek are no longer taught except to the rich and in-the-know, and Old English or Middle English were discovered recently and have yet to be encorporated into our antiquated K-12 curricula. But Classical and Old Chinese and Classical Japanese still have their own zest and specialties, and inform you greatly on the cultures concerned, especially if you can think critically.

- And this is relevant : Now-a-days there are millions of Americans studying Chinese from clueless natives who expect Americans to behave like Chinese and mindlessly memorize a thousand or so characters, without much reference to either etymology or even Classical Chinese, which is deemed "very advanced matter". And these native teachers and local students flood our country with Chinese errors about how excellent their writing system is, how much better-suited it is to Chinese and this sort of nonsense. I pity both systems, on either side, it's the blind leading the blind. But I enjoy working with all writing systems because I use the modern science of linguistics to understand each sign and character, instead of seeing it all as aimless bird tracks which I have to recognize, not be able to write upon command.

All this shows how avoided China is, and has been. Schools prefer native teachers instead of Western ones, not realizing that this isn't French, folks. It's a very very different culture. When I was in school, we learned German, which is much more practical than Chinese and a ton easier. People are clueless about all this and so Westerners who understand Chinese writing are the more undervalued - it's a vicious circle. We think we can always important "loyal immigrants" to translate and teach for us - it's a delusion. People learn, but it takes hundreds of years.

But the Wikipedians, instead of realizing the ultimate relevancy of the above discourse, will delete it. The relevancy is this, summarized : This page is sorely lacking because neither the West nor China appreciate the Classics, whose value is in understanding or conveying culture, and in etymology towards the understanding of the Chinese writing system (and languages). Today we see an explosion in Chinese language-learning, but it hasn't and isn't going to affect this page because of the disconnect of the last 200 years between native Chinese and their writing systems and languages. They studied the Classics for 2,221(+) years for a reason, whereas now they and we neglect them in error and stupidity.

The French article was much more extensive, and even had a picture of one of those carvings of The Classics into stone. Can we get that for the English article ? I love that stuff. Maybe somewhere in Korean they still have an old set of carved wooden plates for printing off a set of the classics.

Dwarfkingdom (talk) 05:08, 21 March 2013 (UTC)

Four section-classification, comprehensiveness and Wikitable[edit]

I'm going to get started on some proposed changes to this page:

1. Organize the works within each time period in the order they appear in the Si Ku Quan Shu Zong Mu Ti Yao四庫全書總目提要, as this is a more authentically Chinese way of listing them than arbitrary western conventions.

2. Make sure to include all pre-Qin & Han works found in the above Si Ku Quan Shu (about 100 items), conveninently listed in the ICS Concordance Series.

3. Make the lists into Wikitables for easier reading. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Metuselth (talkcontribs) 11:25, 12 July 2017 (UTC)

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