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Becoming Acquainted With Nature From The Odes: Sidelights On The Study Of The Flora And Fauna In Song Dynasty's Shijing 詩 經 (classic Of Odes) Scholarship

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Chapter Summary

Confucius firmly established the study of the flora and fauna in the field of Chinese canonical scholarship (jingxue), in particular Shijing scholarship, which dealt with the Classic of Odes. This chapter looks into the scholarly tradition of studying plants and animals occurring in the Odes, and focuses on the Song period during the eleventh and twelfth centuries. It provides a few random remarks on the origin and early development of the various branches of botanical and zoological knowledge in the period from the Han to the Tang dynasties, and a brief discussion of Confucius's saying quoted in the beginning of the chapter. The chapter outlines the development of Odes botany and zoology in the late eleventh century, and ends by presenting some concluding remarks.

Keywords: Chinese canonical scholarship; Confucius; fauna; flora; Han dynasty; Odes; Shijing; Song dynasty; Tang dynasty



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