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Wang Anshi And The Zhouli

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Chapter Summary

The importance of the Zhouli to the great Northern Song reform leader Wang Anshi 王安石 is well known. This chapter examines Wang's commentary in two contexts. The first context is its intended use. The commentary, which was finished in 1075, was part of the creation of curriculum for a newly instituted national school system and a new examination system. The second context is the larger shift that had been taking place in the writing of commentaries on the Classics. It had first appeared in commentaries on the Springs and Autumns Annals in the late eighth century and had grown in force in Northern Song. This shift is commonly described as a change from a focus on philological issues to moral significance.

Keywords: Springs and Autumns Annals; Wang Anshi; Zhouli



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