Confucius 孔子

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Confucius 孔 (子姓)

English (default): Confucius, Chinese: 大成至聖先師 【(子姓)】 孔丘 (仲尼), Russian: Конфуций
Also Known As: "孔子", "大成至聖先師", "文宣王"
Birthplace: Mount Ni 尼山, Zou 陬, State of Lu 魯國, China
Death: November 21, -479 (72)
Jining, Shandong, China
Place of Burial: Jining, Shandong, China
Immediate Family:

Son of Shuliang He 叔梁紇 and Yan Zhengzai 顏徵在
Husband of Qiguan 亓官
Father of Kong Li 孔鯉 and 孔氏
Half brother of 孔皮 (孟皮)

Occupation: Chinese thinker and social philosopher
Managed by: Yigal Burstein
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Confucius 孔子

Genealogy of Confucius - Family tree of Confucius in the main line of descent

Confucius, official name Kong Qiu 孔丘, courtesy name Zhongni 仲尼, but widely known as Kong Zi 孔子 or Kong Fuzi 孔夫子 (literally Master Kong), was a Chinese teacher, editor, politician, and philosopher of the Spring and Autumn period of Chinese history.

The philosophy of Confucius, also known as Confucianism, emphasized personal and governmental morality, correctness of social relationships, justice and sincerity. His followers competed successfully with many other schools during the Hundred Schools of Thought era only to be suppressed in favor of the Legalists during the Qin Dynasty. Following the victory of Han over Chu after the collapse of Qin, Confucius's thoughts received official sanction and were further developed into a system known in the West as Neo-Confucianism, and later New Confucianism (Modern Neo-Confucianism).

Confucius is traditionally credited with having authored or edited many of the Chinese classic texts including all of the Five Classics, but modern scholars are cautious of attributing specific assertions to Confucius himself. Aphorisms concerning his teachings were compiled in the Analects, but only many years after his death.

Confucius's principles have commonality with Chinese tradition and belief. He championed strong family loyalty, ancestor veneration, and respect of elders by their children and of husbands by their wives, recommending family as a basis for ideal government. He espoused the well-known principle "Do not do to others what you do not want done to yourself", the Golden Rule. He is also a traditional deity in Daoism.

Throughout history, Confucius is widely considered as one of the most important and influential individuals in affecting the lives of humanity. His teaching and philosophy greatly impacted people around the world and still linger in today's society.


Kong Qiu (孔丘), as Confucius is commonly known, is a combination of his surname (孔) and his given name (丘), and he was also known as Zhong Ni (仲尼), which is his courtesy name. He was born in 551 BCE in the Lu state (This state was in the south of modern-day Shandong Province) in the later days of the Spring and Autumn Period. Confucius was from a warrior family. His father Shulianghe (叔梁紇) was a famous warrior who had military exploits in two battles and owned a fiefdom.

According to the first complete biography of Confucius, the Shiji, his dad, a warlord named Shu Liang He, and his mom, a member of the Yan clan, “came roughly together,” indicating either a rape, concubinage, or some other sort of extramarital shenanigan. His low birth, however, didn’t stop him from attracting plenty of highborn followers, many of whom protected him when his outspoken manner offended his various employers.

Confucius lost his father when he was three years old, and then his mother Yan Zhengzai (顏徵在) took him and left the fiefdom because as a concubine (妾), she wanted to avoid mistreatment from Shulianghe's formal wife. Thus, Confucius lived in poverty with his mother since childhood. With the support and encouragement of his mother, Confucius was very diligent in his studies. When Confucius was seventeen years old, his mother died as a result of illness and overwork. Three years later, Confucius married a young woman who was from the Qiguan family (亓官氏) of the Song state (宋) . Though he had a mild tempered wife who loved him, he left his family to strive for his ideals. Confucius sought to revive the perfect virtue of Huaxia (Chinese civilization) and the classical properties of the Western Zhou Dynasty to build a great, harmonious and humanistic society.

Philosophy: Confucianism

Disciples and legacy: Disciples of Confucius

Memorial ceremony of Confucius

The Chinese have a tradition of holding spectacular memorial ceremonies of Confucius (祭孔) every year, using ceremonies that supposedly derived from Zhou Li (周禮) as recorded by Confucius, on the date of Confucius' birth. This tradition was interrupted for several decades in mainland China, where the official stance of the Communist Party and the State was that Confucius and Confucianism represented reactionary feudalist beliefs which held that the subservience of the people to the aristocracy is a part of the natural order. All such ceremonies and rites were therefore banned. Only after the 1990s, did the ceremony resume. As it is now considered a veneration of Chinese history and tradition, even Communist Party members may be found in attendance.

In Taiwan, where the Nationalist Party (Kuomintang) strongly promoted Confucian beliefs in ethics and behavior, the tradition of the memorial ceremony of Confucius (祭孔) is supported by the government and has continued without interruption. While not a national holiday, it does appear on all printed calendars, much as Father's Day does in the West. Influence in Asia and Europe

Confucius's works are studied by many scholars in many other Asian countries, particularly those in the Sinosphere, such as Korea, Japan and Vietnam. Many of those countries still hold the traditional memorial ceremony every year.

The works of Confucius were translated into European languages through the agency of Jesuit scholars stationed in China. Matteo Ricci started to report on the thoughts of Confucius, and father Prospero Intorcetta published the life and works of Confucius into Latin in 1687. It is thought that such works had considerable importance on European thinkers of the period, particularly among the Deists and other philosophical groups of the Enlightenment who were interested by the integration of the system of morality of Confucius into Western civilization.

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community believes Confucius was a Divine Prophet of God, as was Lao-Tzu and other eminent Chinese personages.

Visual portraits

No contemporary painting or sculpture of Confucius survives, and it was apparently only during the Han Dynasty that he was portrayed visually. Carvings often depict his legendary meeting with Laozi. In 2007 a Han dynasty fresco depicting this meeting was found in Dongping County. Since that time there have been many portraits of Confucius as the ideal philosopher. In former times it was customary to have a portrait in Confucius Temples; however, during the reign of Emperor Taizu of the Ming dynasty it was decided that the only proper portrait of Confucius should be in the temple in his hometown, Qufu. In other temples Confucius is represented by a memorial tablet. In 2006, the China Confucius Foundation commissioned a standard portrait of Confucius based on the Tang dynasty portrait by Wu Daozi.

Home town

Soon after Confucius' death, Qufu, his hometown in the state of Lu and now in present-day Shandong Province, became a place of devotion and remembrance. It is still a major destination for cultural tourism, and many people visit his grave and the surrounding temples. In pan-China cultures, there are many temples where representations of the Buddha, Laozi and Confucius are found together. There are also many temples dedicated to him, which have been used for Confucianist ceremonies.


Confucius' descendants were repeatedly identified and honored by successive imperial governments with titles of nobility and official posts. They were honored with the rank of a marquis thirty-five times since Gaozu of the Han Dynasty, and they were promoted to the rank of duke forty-two times from the Tang Dynasty to the Qing Dynasty. Emperor Xuanzong of Tang first bestowed the title of "Duke Wenxuan" on Kong Suizhi of the 35th generation. In 1055, Emperor Renzong of Song first bestowed the title of "Duke Yansheng" on Kong Zongyuan of the 46th generation.

Despite repeated dynastic change in China, the title of Duke Yansheng was bestowed upon successive generations of descendants until it was abolished by the Nationalist Government in 1935. The last holder of the title, Kung Te-cheng of the 77th generation, was appointed Sacrificial Official to Confucius. Kung Te-cheng was offered the position of puppet Emperor of China in 1937 by the Japanese, but Kung declined the offer. Te-cheng died in October 2008, and his son, Kung Wei-yi, the 78th lineal descendant, had died in 1989. Kung Te-cheng's grandson, Kung Tsui-chang, the 79th lineal descendant, was born in 1975; his great-grandson, Kung Yu-jen, the 80th lineal descendant, was born in Taipei on January 1, 2006. Te-cheng's sister, Kong Demao, lives in mainland China and has written a book about her experiences growing up at the family estate in Qufu. Another sister, Kong Deqi, died as a young woman.

Confucius's family, the Kongs, has the longest recorded extant pedigree in the world today. The father-to-son family tree, now in its 83rd generation, has been recorded since the death of Confucius. According to the Confucius Genealogy Compilation Committee, he has 2 million known and registered descendants, and there are an estimated 3 million in all. Of these, several tens of thousands live outside of China. In the 14th century, a Kong descendant went to Korea, where an estimated 34,000 descendants of Confucius live today. One of the main lineages fled from the Kong ancestral home in Qufu during the Chinese Civil War in the 1940s, and eventually settled in Taiwan.

Because of the huge interest in the Confucius family tree, there was a project in China to test the DNA of known family members. Among other things, this would allow scientists to identify a common Y chromosome in male descendants of Confucius. If the descent were truly unbroken, father-to-son, since Confucius's lifetime, the males in the family would all have the same Y chromosome as their direct male ancestor, with slight mutations due to the passage of time. However, in 2009, the family authorities decided not to agree to DNA testing. Bryan Sykes, professor of genetics at Oxford University, understands this decision: "The Confucius family tree has an enormous cultural significance," he said. "It's not just a scientific question." The DNA testing was originally proposed to add new members, many of whose family record books were lost during 20th-century upheavals, to the Confucian family tree.

The fifth and most recent edition of the Confucius genealogy was printed by the Confucius Genealogy Compilation Committee (CGCC). It was unveiled in a ceremony at Qufu on September 24, 2009. Women are now included for the first time.

Note that this only deals with those whose lines of descent are documented historically. Using mathematical models, it is easy to demonstrate that people living today have a much more common ancestry than commonly assumed, so it is likely that many more have Confucius as an ancestor.

Images and media on Confucius

О Конфуцом (русский)

Конфу́ций (кит. 孔子, пиньинь Kǒngzǐ, палл. Кун-цзы, Чжэнчжан: (*kʰloːŋʔ ʔslɯʔ); реже - кит. 孔夫子, пиньинь Kǒngfūzǐ, палл. Кун Фу-цзы, Чжэнчжан: (*kʰloːŋʔ pa ʔslɯʔ); латинизировано как Confucius[1]; собственные имена 孔丘 Кун Цю и 孔仲尼 Кун Чжунни [2], ок. 551 до н. э., близ Цюйфу — 479 до н. э., Цюйфу[3]) — древний мыслитель и философ Китая. Его учение оказало глубокое влияние на жизнь Китая и Восточной Азии, став основой философской системы, известной как конфуцианство.

Конфуций основал первый университет и систематизировал летописи, составленные в разных княжествах. Учение Конфуция о правилах поведения князей, чиновников, воинов и крестьян распространялось в Китае так же широко, как учение Будды в Индии. Настоящее имя — Кун Цю (孔丘 Kǒng Qiū), но в литературе часто именуется Кун-цзы, Кун Фу-Цзы («учитель Кун»[4][1]) или просто Цзы — «Учитель». Уже в возрасте немногим более 20 лет он прославился как первый профессиональный педагог Поднебесной.

До победы легизма школа Конфуция была только одним из многих направлений в интеллектуальной жизни Воюющих царств, в период, известный под названием Сто школ. И только после падения Цинь возрождённое конфуцианство достигло статуса государственной идеологии, который сохранился до начала XX века, лишь временно уступая место буддизму и даосизму. Это привело к возвеличиванию фигуры Конфуция и включению его в религиозный пантеон.

大成至聖先師 孔丘 (仲尼)生平 (中文)

子姓 孔氏 名丘 字仲尼 魯國陬邑(今山東曲阜)人

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Confucius 孔子's Timeline

September 28, -551
Mount Ni 尼山, Zou 陬, State of Lu 魯國, China


November 21, -479
Age 72
Jining, Shandong, China


Age 71
The Cemetery of Confucius, Jining, Shandong, China