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Shared Heritage, Different Paths Wang Shizhen and Wang Shimao

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image of Ming Qing Yanjiu

The relationship of brother and brother is one of the Five Great Relationships in Confucian culture, yet it has been relatively little studied. The lives of the brothers Wang Shizhen and Wang Shimao in the sixteenth century provide a case study of how two male siblings shared a family heritage of education and political engagement, and pursued parallel careers in public life, yet followed distinct paths in both their intellectual interest and political engagements. The nature of their personal relationship also serves to illustrate how the fraternal bond both structured their respective careers and provided emotional support in times of peril and loss.

Affiliations: 1: * Department of History, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM 88003 USA.


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