What Is Confucius Famous For?

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Confucius was a Chinese sage and philosopher who lived from 551 to 479 B.C. and was responsible for the official ideology, Confucianism, of early China. His theories became known as Confucianism, a system of social and political morality that some also consider a religion. Although Confucianism was officially abandoned in the 20th century, his philosophies still have large influence on modern Chinese ideals and customs.

Confucius was ridiculed in his lifetime, and his teachings were not praised by the majority until after his death. Confucius’ philosophy has been summarized as “sageness within and kingliness without.” Confucius wrote books by the name of “Analects,” “The Great Learning,” “The Doctrine of the Mean,” “Mencius,” “The Book of Changes,” “Book of Poetry,” “Classic of History,” “The Rites,” “Spring and Autumn Annals,” “Book of Filial Piety” and “Book of Music.” These texts centered on principles such as personal virtue, social customs and rituals, and the understanding of these texts was once a central requirement on the civil service examinations given to Chinese officials. Since these texts were only written after his death, there is some debate on if Confucius himself supported them, but it has been verified that the texts do accurately embody his teachings.