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Topical Readings in Classical Chinese


Admission requirements

Premodern Chinese IV


This semester the seminar focuses on an eighth century text on government titled “Zhenguan zhengyao” (‘The Essentials of Government of the Zhenguan Reign’). The text was used to educate emperors and cultural elites and has become a standard reference in East Asian political thought from the eighth century through the present. In addition to traditional philological tools, students will also learn to work with (freely available) digital tools for the analysis of classical Chinese texts, including digital markup and publishing platforms.

Course objectives

  • the further development of language and research skills in classical Chinese

  • the use and evaluation of digital tools for classical Chinese


Check timetable

Mode of instruction


Course Load

Seminar 2 ×13 uur: 26 hours

  • Compulsory readings: 92 hours

  • Class Assignments: 62 hours

  • Term paper: 100 hours

  • Total: 280 hours

Assessment method

  • Class participation and assignments (40%)

  • Final essay, including a translation of a text selected by the student (60%)

In order to pass the course, students must obtain an overall mark of 5.50 (=6) or higher. A new version of the final assignment may be written if the overall mark for the course is “5.49” (=5) or lower. The deadline for this version will be determined in consultation. In the case of a re-write the overall grade will not exceed 6.0.



Reading list

Texts will be distributed in class and electronically.


Registration through uSis


Email: Prof. dr. De Weerdt