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Confucius (K'ung Fu-tzu, K'ung-tzu)

Born: 551 AD
Died: 479 AD.

Nationality: Chinese
Categories: Philosophers


551 BC - Confucius was born in the 22nd year of the reign of Duke Hsiang of Lu in Ch'ü-fu, state of Lu (now in Shantung Province, China). China's most famous teacher, philosopher, and political theorist, whose ideas have influenced the civilization of East Asia.

536 BC -  He recalled toward the end of his life that at age 15 his heart was set upon learning. A historical account notes that, even though he was already known as an informed young scholar, he felt it appropriate to inquire about everything while visiting the Grand Temple.

532 BC - Confucius had served in minor government posts managing stables and keeping books for granaries before he married a woman of similar background when he was 19.

495 BC - He realized that his superiors were uninterested in his policies, Confucius left the country in an attempt to find another feudal state to which he could render his service. Despite his political frustration he was accompanied by an expanding circle of students during this self-imposed exile of almost 12 years.

484 BC - At the age of 67 he returned home to teach and to preserve his cherished classical traditions by writing and editing.

479 BC - He died at the age of 73. According to the Records of the Historian 72 of his students mastered the “six arts,” and those who claimed to be his followers numbered 3,000.


Page last updated: 12:21pm, 24th Feb '07

  • "It is only the wisest and the stupidest that cannot change."
  • "Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall."
  • "Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart."
  • "By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest."
  • "Do not use a cannon to kill a mosquito."