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Chinese classic texts

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The term "Chinese classic texts" has varying definitions, but it always refers at least to the Confucian classics, also called the Four Books and Five Classics, which were the basis of Imperial Chinese political orthodoxy and of the educational and civil service examination systems for most of the period from the second century BCE to the fall of the last imperial regime in the early twentieth century CE.

Many other books, however, are also sometimes included in the category of "classics." Philosophical works by non-Confucian schools of thought (e.g., Legalist and Daoist), histories, geographies, poetry and song collections, military theory, and texts in other genres may be included in an expansive definition of "classics."