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 In his career as a scholar-official

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Join date : 2011-06-10

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PostSubject: In his career as a scholar-official    In his career as a scholar-official  Icon_minitimeSat Jun 11, 2011 11:23 am

In 1063 Shen Kuo successfully passed the Imperial examinations, the difficult national-level standard test that every high official was required to pass in order to enter the governmental system.[13] He not only passed the exam however, but was placed into the higher category of the best and brightest students.[13] While serving at Yangzhou, Shen's brilliance and dutiful character caught the attention of Zhang Chu (張蒭; 1015–1080), the Fiscal Intendant of the region. Shen made a lasting impression upon Zhang, who recommended Shen for a court appointment in the financial administration of the central court.[13] Shen would also eventually marry Zhang's daughter, who became his second wife.

In his career as a scholar-official for the central government, Shen Kuo was also an ambassador to the Western Xia Dynasty and Liao Dynasty,[15] a military commander, a director of hydraulic works, and the leading chancellor of the Hanlin Academy.[16] By 1072, Shen was appointed as the head official of the Bureau of Astronomy.[13] With his leadership position in the bureau, Shen was responsible for projects in improving calendrical science,[10] and proposed many reforms to the Chinese calendar alongside the work of his colleague Wei Pu.[8] With his impressive skills and aptitude for matters of economy and finance, Shen was appointed as the Finance Commissioner at the central court.[17]

As written by Li Zhiyi, a man married to Hu Wenrou (granddaughter of Hu Su, a famous minister of the Song Dynasty), Shen Kuo was Li's mentor while Shen served as an official.[18] According to Li's epitaph for his wife, Shen would sometimes relay questions via Li to Hu when he needed clarification for his mathematical work, as Hu Wenrou was esteemed by Shen as a remarkable female mathematician.[18] Shen lamented: "if only she were a man, Wenrou would be my friend."[18]

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