Classic of Rites

(ca. 200–100 BCE)

The Classic of Rites, sometimes called Ritual Record or Book of Rites, is one of the Five Classics (Wujing) of Confucianism, a series of books first brought together as a collection in the second century BCE. In addition to the Classic of Rites, the Five Classics include the Classic of Changes, the Classic of Poetry (also called the Book of Odes or Book of Songs), the Classic of History, and the Spring and Autumn Annals; a sixth book, the Classic of Music, is lost. These texts, including the Classic of Rites, were written between 200 and 100 BCE and are collectively referred to as the Confucian classics because of their influence on Confucianism, a philosophy and religion originating in China. Traditionally, the Classic of Rites was attributed to the teacher-scholar Confucius, but it is now known that the core ideas of all of the Five Classics predate Confucius. The Classic of Rites was required reading for all educated people and was included on the governmental...

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A Confucian temple (Library of Congress)

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