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Transformative JourneysTravel and Culture in Song China$
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Cong Ellen Zhang

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780824833992

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824833992.001.0001

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date: 19 August 2017

A Transient Life

A Transient Life

Travel and the Song Literati

Chapter:
(p.19) Chapter 1 A Transient Life
Source:
Transformative Journeys
Author(s):

Cong Ellen Zhang

Publisher:
University of Hawai'i Press
DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824833992.003.0002

This chapter highlights the impact civil service examinations had on the physical mobility of Song scholar-officials. It shows that not only did an attraction to examination learning and court service make elite men of the Song frequent travelers, the same commitment also profoundly shaped the patterns of their movements. The trips these men took to attend school and participate in the examinations brought top talent to the cultural and political centers of the realm, and once employed, government service required that they embark on journeys of even greater length and scope. This placed civil servants at the mercy of imperial policies and the factionalism that afflicted both the Northern and Southern Song courts.

Keywords:   civil service examinations, Song men, examination learning, court service, government service, civil servants, imperial policies, educated elite

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