Ancient Chinese literature is very-very old and is full of classics. The credit of compiling the Chinese classics goes to a great and famous scholar Confucius. China possesses a wealth of classic which historically started from the Eastern Zhou Dynasty. Book of Changes is the most important classic in Ancient China Literature. Another important classic is Classic of Poetry which comprises of 305 poems which are further subdivided. The best example of early Chinese prose is contained in the Classic of History which deals with the documents and speeches of the Zhou dynasty and was written in 6th century BC.
Another important classic of ancient China literature is the Record of Rites which got lost in 3rd century BC. It is a restoration of the original Classic of Rites. It is a record of ancient rites and court ceremonies.
Another important and very old classic on Chinese geography and topography is Huainanzi. The Spring and Autumn Annals is another very old classic of ancient China which was written from 722to 479 BC.
Chinese literature is thousands of years old. There is plenty of ancient Chinese literature available on the records of the court. Zuo Zhuan is the earliest known narrative history of China which was compiled in 389 BC. Many encyclopedias were also written during the ancient period in China.
The Yiwen Leiju, completed by Ouyang Xun in 624 during the Tang Dynasty is one such encyclopedia. Church, who was amongst the earliest and most influential poet, compiled Songs of Chu. These songs were more romantic and lyrical in nature.
It was during the Tang Dynasty that the classical poetry reached its zenith. Lushi, Zi, Jueju are some of the poems because of which the early Tang period is best known for. Li Bai and Du Fu are the two best poets of this time. Bai Juyi was one of the best-known poets of the Tang period whose poems contained inspiration and a critical comment and analysis of the society of this time.
Li Yun was an electric poet who wrote Palace poetry. The Quantangshi or complete Tang poems are some of the great compilation of the Tang poetry. The contributions and efforts towards Chinese prose style were made by the propagators and proponents of the Hundred Schools of Thought in the Warring States period and Spring and Autumn periods.