Confucius Fact File Biography: Lifespan: 551 – 479 BC *** Full Name: His personal name was King Qiu, his courtesy name was Zhongni, in Chinese his name was Kongzi, he was also known honorifically as Kong Fuzi meaning “Grand Master Kong” and the Latinized name would become Confucius *** Occupation: Chinese Teacher, Editor, Politician and Philosopher *** Date of Birth: Confucius was born on September 28th 551 BC *** Place of Birth: Confucius was born in Zou, Lu state *** Family background: His father was Kong He was an officer in the Lu military and died when he son was just three years old and he was raised by his mother Yan Zhengzai. His mother also died quite young, before she was forty years *** Early life and childhood: He grew up with his mother. It is thought his family migrated from the Song State to Lu state and that Confucius was descendant from the Shang dynasty Kings through the Dukes of Song *** Education: He received his education in schools meant for common children and he learned the Six Arts ***
Confucius Fact 1: Confucius was born on September 28th 551 BC and during the period in history when Cyrus conquers Babylon and is known as the Axial Age where five great thinkers emerge across the globe including Buddha and Mahavira in India, Pythagoras in Greece, Zoroaster in Persia and Confucius in China.
Confucius Fact 2: He was born into the shi class which was between the common people and the aristocracy.
Confucius Fact 3: The head of the ruling ducal house was the Lu state.
Confucius Fact 4: Three aristocratic families bearing the title of viscount came under the Duke and whose positions were hereditary within the Lu bureaucracy.
Confucius Fact 5: The position of Minister over the Masses was held by the Ji family also being the Prime Minister. The Minister for Works was held by the Meng family and the Minister of War was held by the Shu family.
Confucius Fact 6: In the year 501 BC he was appointed as a governor of a town but he would eventually rise to the position of Minister of Crime.
Confucius Fact 7: His greatest wish was to see the authority of the state to the Duke having dismantled the fortifications of three families and their individual strongholds creating an established centralized government.
Confucius Fact 8: Confucius, however, did not believe in violence and would rely solely on diplomacy.
Confucius Fact 9: Having attempted to get each head of the three families to dismantle their walls in a bid to achieve the restoration of the legitimate Duke, he would not be successful.
Confucius Fact 10: During his attempts to this end he would make many enemies along the way and he would finally feel the need to flee the state of Lu. He left without resigning his position and would stay in self-exile until Viscount Ji Huan died.
Confucius Fact 11: While in exile Confucius traveled visiting the states of Song, Chen, Cai and Wei.
Confucius Fact 12: When he was sixty eight years of age he was invited to return to his home by Ji Kangzi who was the chief minister of Lu.
Confucius Fact 13: Once returned he took up teaching and passed on to his disciples the old wisdom called the Five Classics which were a set of texts.
Confucius Fact 14: He would also on occasion act as an adviser to various government officials in Lu on matters relating to crime and governance and assisting such as Ji Kangzi.
Confucius Fact 15: His principles of teaching were always based on non-violence and often revolved around making the right choice for the right reason, for the greater good and not just for one’s self.
Confucius Fact 16: He greatly believed in empathy and the understanding of others rather than by ordained rules.Confucius Fact 17: He was also a great advocate of encouraging people to be naturally moral and not by being coerced or bribed.
Confucius Fact 18: Confucius died in 479 BC in Lu State aged seventy one years!
Influence and Legacy of Confucius: He explained in the following terms "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. If they be led by virtue, and uniformity sought to be given them by the rules of propriety, they will have the sense of the shame, and moreover will become good."
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