Written during the 4th century BC, a time of great upheaval in China, this catalogue of sayings by Confucius offers both a profound philosophic insight into the thought, ideas and morals of the thinkers of the era as well as a history of ancient Chinese society. References to fierce battles and intrigues between dukes and kings are homage to the conflict which characterised the era in which Confucianist philosophy was born. To this day, Confucian thought – exemplified by his many sayings and quotations – remain influential throughout Eastern Asia, underpinning cultural concepts of family, responsibility and duty to the state and to one’s own work and intellectual development. The vast scope of Confucianism also affected Chinese government, with the importance of rigorous study and dedication finding ample outlet in the fields of education and governance in the present day.
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