Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Everlasting EmpireThe Political Culture of Ancient China and Its Imperial Legacy$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Yuri Pines

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691134956

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691134956.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 16 September 2021

The Literati

The Literati

(p.76) Chapter 3 The Literati
The Everlasting Empire

Yuri Pines

Princeton University Press

This chapter focuses on the intellectuals' voluntary attachment to the ruler's service as their single most significant choice. It elucidates both the advantages of this choice and its price. Having opted for a political career, leading intellectuals had to accept their position as the emperor's servitors, which was at odds with their self-proclaimed moral superiority over the throne; and the resultant tension between their roles as the leaders and the led generated persistent frustration and manifold tragedies. Yet bitterness aside, the voluntary attachment of the intellectuals to the throne had also greatly empowered the educated elite as a whole. For two-odd millennia, members of this stratum navigated the empire through many storms and challenges, contributing decisively toward the preservation of the imperial political structure, and of its cultural foundations, against all odds.

Keywords:   Chinese intellectuals, voluntary attachment, educated elite, imperial political structure, cultural foundations, shi, scholar-officials

Princeton Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.