Confucius (551–479 BCE) is regarded as the most influential philosopher and educator in Chinese history. He largely shaped Chinese civilization and molded its moral beliefs. Confucius is best known for founding the Ru (Confucian) school of Chinese thought, which grew into one of the traditional religions, competing and coexisting with Taoism and Buddhism in Chinese civilization.

Confucius was born into a declining noble family in the state of Lu, in modern Shandong province. His family name was Kong and first name Qiu. He has been traditionally honored as Grand Master Kong (Kong Fu-zi in Mandarin Chinese), which has been Latinized as Confucius.

Confucius was about 3 years old when his father died. His mother was determined to provide him with a first-class education; as a result, he ...

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