The Analects of Confucius (Translations from the Asian Classics)
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Compiled by disciples of Confucius in the centuries following his death in 479 B.C.E., The Analects of Confucius is a collection of aphorisms and historical anecdotes embodying the basic values of the Confucian tradition: learning, morality, ritual decorum, and filial piety. Reflecting the model eras of Chinese antiquity, the Analects offers valuable insights into successful governance and the ideal organization of society. Filled with humor and sarcasm, it reads like a casual conversation between teacher and student, emphasizing the role of the individual in the attainment of knowledge and the value of using historical events and people to illuminate moral and political concepts.
Confucius's teachings focus on cultural and peaceful pursuits and the characteristics of benevolent and culturally distinguished government. He also discusses ancestor worship and other rites performed for the spirits of the dead. The single most influential philosophical work in all of Chinese history, The Analects of Confucius has shaped the thought and customs of China and neighboring countries for centuries. Burton Watson's concise translation uses the pinyin romanization system and keeps explanatory notes to a minimum, yet his intimate knowledge of the Confucian tradition and precise attention to linguistic detail capture the original text's elegance, cogency, and wit.
humane but lacking in eloquence. The Master said, Why does he need to be eloquent? People who overwhelm others with their glibness often end up hated by others. I don’t know if Yong is humane, but why does he need to be eloquent? 6 The Master urged Qidiao Kai to take an official position, but he replied, I am not yet confident I’m up to it. The Master was pleased. 7 The Master said, The Way does not go forward—I’ll get on a raft and set out to sea! And the one who will go with me will be You
military matters and deplored the warlike tenor of the age, but it is reflected in numerous passages of the Analects. In addition to the threat of incursion from predatory neighbors, many of the feudal domains of the time were troubled by succession disputes. Although the principle of primogeniture was recognized in general, rulers at times disregarded it or delayed making clear their choice of an heir. Sons of the ruler, often by different mothers, vied for favor or fled or were exiled from the
decreed by Heaven rests with you. Hold sincerely to the center. If those within the four seas suffer hardship and want, Heaven’s bounty will end forever. And Shun voiced the same command [when he ceded the throne] to Yu. [Tang] said, I, the little one, Lu, venture to sacrifice this black ox, I venture to report clearly to the most august Lord above. The guilty one I have not ventured to pardon, but I do nothing to hinder the Lord’s officials. May they be chosen in accordance with the Lord’s
flee to the state of Qi [9:5, 17:1, 17:5]. YANG HUO Usually regarded as identical to Yang Hu [17:1]. YAO Sage ruler of antiquity who ceded the throne to Shun [6:30, 8:19, 14:44, 20:1]. YI Legendary, rowdy archer of antiquity who met a violent end [14:6]. YI Non-Chinese people who lived to the east of China [3:5, 13:19]. YI Area in the state of Wei [3:24]. YI YI Recluse [18:8]. YI YIN Minister who assisted Tang, founder of the Yin dynasty [12:22]. YONG See Zhonggong Ran Yong. YOU See
Qi, imitated the ways of a ruler. 15 A bell with a wooden clapper, used to summon people for important announcements. 16 The Shao, or “Succession,” music was said to date from the time when Shun ascended the throne peacefully ceded to him by Yao. The Wu, or “Martial,” music was from the time when the Zhou dynasty forcefully overthrew the Yin. The music was probably accompanied by dance performances. Book Four 1 The Master said, Humaneness is the beauty of the community. If you can