Hanlin Academy

Hanlin Academy

The Hanlin Academy (Chinese: 翰林院, pinyin: "Hànlín Yuàn", literally "brush wood court") was founded in China by Emperor Xuanzong in the 8th century during the Tang dynasty.

It was an institution meant to perform, among others, secretarial and literary tasks for the court. Only the most elite scholars were allowed to join the academy. One of its main tasks was to decide on an interpretation of the Confucian classics. This formed the basis of examinations that gave access to the higher levels of bureaucracy.

Among the academicians of Hanlin were
*Li Bai (701-762)
*Bai Juyi (772–846)
*Ouyang Xiu (1007–1072)
*Shen Kuo (1031-1095), in a position of the leading chancellor
*Cai Yuanpei (1868–1940)

The Academy and its library were severely damaged in a fire started by Boxers during the siege of the Foreign Legations in Beijing in 1900. Many ancient texts were either destroyed by the flames or looted/rescued in their wake, including the last surviving volumes of the Yongle Encyclopedia. [cite book|author=Diana Preston|title=The Boxer Rebellion: The Dramatic Story of China's War on Foreigners That Shook the World in the Summer of 1900|year=1999|page=138-140|ISBN=0-8027-1361-0]

The Academy operated continuously until its closure during the 1911 Xinhai Revolution.


See also

* Education in China
* Academies (China)

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