Journal of East China Normal University(Educationa ›› 2015, Vol. 33 ›› Issue (4): 99-106.doi: 10.16382/j.cnki./000-5560.2015.04.015

• Educational History(教育史) • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Taking Advantage of the Imperial Examination: On Disproportionate Reading of the Classics in the Imperial Examination Era——Also on the Geographical Distribution of Successful Candidates in the Examination

DING Xiu-Zhen   

  • Online:2015-12-20 Published:2016-01-26
  • Contact: DING Xiu-Zhen
  • About author:DING Xiu-Zhen

Abstract: The reading of Classics in the Imperial Examination era is disproportionate— attendants of the exam tended to put more emphasis on certain Classic. A certain Classics became especially popular in a set region at a time, a phenomenon budding in Tang Dynasty, gaining ground in Song Dynasty, and by Ming Dynasty in full swing as several regions gained fame for specializing in certain Classics. Previous analysis of this phenomenon lack thoroughness in terms of its evolvement as well as its influence on the system of Imperial Examination. Based on an innovative reading of the existing documents, this study will comb through its historical evolvement and reexamine the herding of successful candidates in various regions. It turns out that while success in the Imperial Examinations has much to do with regional culture and economy, a more direct factor was the literary men’s preference in choosing the Classics to study and peruse. It can be concluded that the geographical distribution of successful candidates in the examination was brought by an interaction between the disproportionate reading of Classics and the regional system of the Examination.