55 Facts About Confucius


Confucius was a Chinese philosopher and politician of the Spring and Autumn period who is traditionally considered the paragon of Chinese sages.

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Confucius considered himself a transmitter for the values of earlier periods which he claimed had been abandoned in his time.

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Confucius's followers competed with many other schools during the Hundred Schools of Thought era, only to be suppressed in favor of the Legalists during the Qin dynasty.

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Confucius is traditionally credited with having authored or edited many of the Chinese classic texts, including all of the Five Classics, but modern scholars are cautious of attributing specific assertions to Confucius himself.

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Confucius espoused the Golden Rule, "Do not do unto others what you do not want done to yourself".

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Name "Confucius" is a Latinized form of the Mandarin Chinese, and was coined in the late 16th century by the early Jesuit missionaries to China.

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Confucius's father Kong He was an elderly commandant of the local Lu garrison.

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Confucius's ancestry traced back through the dukes of Song to the Shang dynasty which had preceded the Zhou.

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Traditional accounts of Confucius's life relate that Kong He's grandfather had migrated the family from Song to Lu.

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Kong He died when Confucius was three years old, and Confucius was raised by his mother Yan Zhengzai in poverty.

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Qiguan and Confucius later had two daughters together, one of whom is thought to have died as a child and one was named Kong Jiao.

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Confucius was educated at schools for commoners, where he studied and learned the Six Arts.

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Confucius was born into the class of shi, between the aristocracy and the common people.

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Confucius is said to have worked in various government jobs during his early 20s, and as a bookkeeper and a caretaker of sheep and horses, using the proceeds to give his mother a proper burial.

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When his mother died, Confucius is said to have mourned for three years, as was the tradition.

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Thus, that year, Confucius came to be appointed to the minor position of governor of a town.

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Confucius desired to return the authority of the state to the duke by dismantling the fortifications of the city—strongholds belonging to the three families.

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However, Confucius relied solely on diplomacy as he had no military authority himself.

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Confucius immediately launched an attack and entered the capital Lu.

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Confucius disapproved the use of a violent revolution by principle, even though the Ji family dominated the Lu state by force for generations and had exiled the previous duke.

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When Confucius heard of the raid, he requested that Viscount Ji Huan allow the duke and his court to retreat to a stronghold on his palace grounds.

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Confucius ordered two officers to lead an assault against the rebels.

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Confucius had made powerful enemies within the state, especially with Viscount Ji Huan, due to his successes so far.

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Confucius left the state of Lu without resigning, remaining in self-exile and unable to return as long as Viscount Ji Huan was alive.

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Confucius was disappointed and resolved to leave Lu and seek better opportunities, yet to leave at once would expose the misbehavior of the duke and therefore bring public humiliation to the ruler Confucius was serving.

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Confucius therefore waited for the duke to make a lesser mistake.

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Confucius was buried in Kong Lin cemetery which lies in the historical part of Qufu in the Shandong Province.

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Confucius puts the greatest emphasis on the importance of study, and it is the Chinese character for study that opens the text.

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Some believed that li originated from the heavens, but Confucius stressed the development of li through the actions of sage leaders in human history.

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Confucius argued that the best government is one that rules through "rites" and people's natural morality, and not by using bribery and coercion.

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Confucius explained that this is one of the most important analects: "If the people be led by laws, and uniformity sought to be given them by punishments, they will try to avoid the punishment, but have no sense of shame.

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Confucius looked nostalgically upon earlier days, and urged the Chinese, particularly those with political power, to model themselves on earlier examples.

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Confucius argued for representing truth in language, and honesty was of paramount importance.

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Confucius believed that if a ruler is to lead correctly, by action, that orders would be unnecessary in that others will follow the proper actions of their ruler.

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Confucius believed in ruling by example, if you lead correctly, orders by force or punishment are not necessary.

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Confucius heavily promoted the use of music with rituals or the rites order.

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Confucius is traditionally ascribed with compiling these classics within his school.

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Confucius's teachings were later turned into an elaborate set of rules and practices by his numerous disciples and followers, who organized his teachings into the Analects.

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Works of Confucius were first translated into European languages by Jesuit missionaries in the 16th century during the late Ming dynasty.

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Francois Noel, after failing to persuade ClementXI that Chinese veneration of ancestors and Confucius did not constitute idolatry, completed the Confucian canon at Prague in 1711, with more scholarly treatments of the other works and the first translation of the collected works of Mencius.

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Confucius's works are studied by scholars in many other Asian countries, particularly those in the Chinese cultural sphere, such as Korea, Japan, and Vietnam.

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Ahmadiyya Muslim Community believes Confucius was a Divine Prophet of God, as were Lao-Tzu and other eminent Chinese personages.

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Confucius began teaching after he turned 30, and taught more than 3, 000 students in his life, about 70 of whom were considered outstanding.

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The Han dynasty historian Sima Qian dedicated a chapter in his Records of the Grand Historian to the biographies of Confucius's disciples, accounting for the influence they exerted in their time and afterward.

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Confucius did not charge any tuition, and only requested a symbolic gift of a bundle of dried meat from any prospective student.

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Confucius considered his students' personal background irrelevant, and accepted noblemen, commoners, and even former criminals such as Yan Zhuoju and Gongye Chang.

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Confucius often engaged in discussion and debate with his students and gave high importance to their studies in history, poetry, and ritual.

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Confucius advocated loyalty to principle rather than to individual acumen, in which reform was to be achieved by persuasion rather than violence.

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Confucius continued to remind his disciples to stay true to their principles and renounced those who did not, all the while being openly critical of the Ji family.

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The oldest known portrait of Confucius has been unearthed in the tomb of the Han dynasty ruler Marquis of Haihun.

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In 2006, the China Confucius Foundation commissioned a standard portrait of Confucius based on the Tang dynasty portrait by Wu Daozi.

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In Taiwan, where the Nationalist Party strongly promoted Confucian beliefs in ethics and behavior, the tradition of the memorial ceremony of Confucius () is supported by the government and has continued without interruption.

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Confucius's descendants were repeatedly identified and honored by successive imperial governments with titles of nobility and official posts.

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Many of the Muslim Confucius descendants are descended from the marriage of Ma Jiaga, a Muslim woman, and Kong Yanrong, 59th generation descendant of Confucius in the year 1480, and are found among the Hui and Dongxiang peoples.

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In 2013 a DNA test performed on multiple different families who claimed descent from Confucius found that they shared the same Y chromosome as reported by Fudan University.

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