|Title of host publication||The Encyclopedia of Ancient History : Asia and Africa|
|Editors||Daniel T. POTTS, Ethan HARKNESS, Jason NEELIS, Roderick MCINTOSH|
|Number of pages||2|
|Publication status||E-pub ahead of print - 5 Jul 2022|
The Guanzi is one of the most important textual collections from early China. It is a sprawling text with seventy-six chapters, totaling more than 135,000 characters. They touch on a wide range of topics, including politics, ethics, military strategies, geography, cosmology, education, and self-cultivation. It is particularly noted for containing some of the most sophisticated writings on economic theories from early China. There is no identifiable author of the texts in the Guanzi; they are also of uncertain dates. It was put together, as a distinct collection, for the first time in the late first century bce, and scholars have surmised that most of the pieces were likely written between the late fourth century and the first century bce. The Guanzi provides a valuable snapshot of the dynamic intellectual universe of early China in this period.