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date: 20 July 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter provides a historical examination of education and the examination system in China from the Former Han period through the tenth century. Particular educational practices and attitudes to education played an essential role in shaping elite culture. The civil service examination was equally fundamental as both an institution and a cultural ideal or motif. The chapter begins with an overview of educational systems (public, private, and religious) before turning to methods of recruitment and evaluation, including the civil service examinations. The chapter provides a special emphasis on the connection between the civil service examinations and literature, analyzing the development of new genres associated with the exams and the emergence of the examinations as a literary trope.

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