The Book of Rites 禮記

Also known as the Liji, a Warring States Confucian Text with English translation by James Legge

Notes on The Book of Rites 《禮記》

The Book of Rites, also known as the Classic of Rites or Liji, is a collection of rituals, customs, and stories. The date of the text is uncertain. The received tradition is that the content is based on Zhou rituals interpreted by Confucius and recorded by his disciples. However, they are now beleived to be written sometime later in the Warring States or Former Han. (Yao, 2000, p. 62)

The Book of Rites includes the first and second of the Four Books 四書: the Great Learning 《大学》 and the Doctrine of the Mean 《中庸》. Zhu Xi is understood to have rearranged these texts. (Chan, 1969, p. 85, 97 footnotes) The versions here are Zhu Xi's.


Source: Chinese Text Project, from 《四書章句集注》新編諸子集成(北京:中華書局,1983)


  1. Chan, W., 1969. A Source Book in Chinese Philosophy. Princeton University Press, Princeton, N.J.
  2. Schaberg, David 2017, 'Chapter 12: Classics (Jing 經),' in Denecke, Wiebke, Wai-Yee Li, and Xiaofei Tian (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Classical Chinese Literature (1000 BCE-900CE), New York: Oxford University Press, p. 178.
  3. Yao, X., 2000. An introduction to Confucianism. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Collection vocabulary analysis