To some of the first European visitors to the Ming dynasty Imperial court the system seemed as close to the ideal of fair and just government. The Emperor was advised by the top intellectuals and was seen to take great care to rule the people wisely. This was close to the Socratic plea for rule by a Philosopher King as described in Plato's book The Republic. The Imperial court was imbued in high culture: painting, music, literature and calligraphy not the selfish, profane excesses of the monarchs back home in Europe. Read More
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