Author: David JASPER, Emeritus Professor, University of Glasgow
Abstract:Different cultures sometimes meet, or perhaps appear to meet, in ways that might seem surprising at first glance. Making a link between the English nineteenth century novelist Anthony Trollope (1815-1882) and the teachings of Confucius may appear to stretch the imagination, but they have much in common in their understanding of what it is to be a “gentleman” (English) or “Junzi君子” (Chinese), a person of ideal moral character. This paper argues that the figure of Plantagenet Palliser in Trollope’s “political” novels is just such a character who looks back to the ideal of Cicero in Latin antiquity - and perhaps even further back in history to the Confucius of the Analects.
Gentleman: chün tzu (Junzi), Cicero,Analects, virtue, ming
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