Art of the Ancient World, C. 5000 B.c.e.–400 C.E.

Art of Ancient China

What is Confucianism?

Confucianism is considered to be both a philosophy and a religion, and is native to China. It is named for Confucius, a scholar born in 551 B.C.E., whose teachings form the foundation of the philosophy. Confucianism is concerned with the relationship between people in society, including relationships with ancestors and even the emperor. The virtue of human-heartedness, called ren, is key to being a junzi, or gentleman. During the Han Dynasty (206 B.C.E.–220 C.E.), Confucianism became the official religion of the state and had a major impact on Chinese art and culture.


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