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Admonitions for the Yan Clan (Library of Chinese Classics: Chinese-English Edition) - (WF2H)

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Admonitions for the Yan Clan (Library of Chinese Classics: Chinese-English Edition) : Yan Zhitui's ancestors were originally from Linyi in modern-day Shandong Province. After the fall of the Jin Dynasty's capital city of Chang'an, the Yan family migrated south below the Yangtze River in the year 317. At the Eastern Jin's new capital of Jiankang (modern-day Nanjing) the Yan family became prominent amongst the elite families. The Yan family provided many officials that served the governments of the Eastern Jin Dynasty and the succeeding Liang Dynasty in southern China. There was one dissident of the Yan family, though; upon the transition of the Southern Qi to Liang regimes in the year 502, Yan Zhitui's grandfather refused to serve the Liang court out of continuing loyalty to the Southern Qi. When Emperor Wu of Liang assumed the throne and control over southern China, Zhitui's grandfather starved himself to death in an act of piety towards the dynasty he once served. Despite this act of devotion from his grandfather, Zhitui's father decided to serve Emperor Wu and the new Liang Dynasty. In his old age Yan also found time to work on a dictionary and related literary projects. In his 26 chapter book Yanshi jiaxun ???? ("The Family Instructions of Master Yan") Yan Zhitui left an entire written compendium of his own philosophy and life-advice to his sons, advising them on which paths to take and which paths to avoid in order to gain success in life. He wrote that he formed many bad habits in life that took years to overcome because his elder brother had not been strict enough with him in the absence of their father. He stressed the need to acquire a good education, since well-educated ministers were chosen for posts, while others who had prestigious family lines for centuries wound up working on farms or tending to horses in the stable if they were not properly educated. Although he stressed the need for mastering calligraphy, painting, and playing the musical instrument of the lute(guqin)..