Confucius (551–479 BCE) was a renowned Chinese philosopher and teacher whose influence on Chinese thought and language has been profound. He was born in the state of Lu, China, and his ideas have had a lasting impact on the civilizations of China and other East Asian countries. Confucius is also known as "Master Kong" and his teachings have been preserved in the text known as the Analects. He is associated with the philosophy of Confucianism, which is concerned with inner virtue, morality, and respect for the community and its values. Confucius' influence has been the subject of admiration, debate, and study for centuries, and his ideas continue to be relevant in the modern world

Confucius, born in 551 BCE in the state of Lu, China, was a renowned teacher, philosopher, and political theorist whose profound ideas significantly impacted Chinese and East Asian civilizations. Born into a modest family, Confucius faced challenges due to his low social standing. His early career involved serving the Jisun clan, leading to government positions such as minister of works and minister of crime in Lu.

However, Confucius' clash with hereditary families striving for power in Lu led to his resignation and a 14-year self-imposed exile. During this period, he traveled through various states, seeking rulers willing to adopt his vision of virtuous governance. Confucius believed that, born in a time of political instability, he could contribute to restoring order by promoting moral leadership. The political landscape of the time was marked by feuds among regional rulers and a declining aristocracy, creating an opportunity for common gentlemen, like Confucius, to influence governance.

Confucius aimed not only to compete in politics but also to challenge societal norms. He sought to redefine worth and nobility based on ability and moral character, advocating for the virtuous to hold influential positions. Inspired by Zhougong, the Duke of Zhou, Confucius envisioned a society grounded in trust, moral obligations, and minimal reliance on legal rules. Despite his aspirations, Confucius faced criticism, including doubts about compromising his principles during his travels and exile, even from some of his disciples.