Tag Archives: Disciples of Confucius

Young pretenders and old companions: the disciples of Confucius in Book 1 of the Analects

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Confucius attracted quite a following during his lifetime as a result of his reputation as a great teacher. It is traditionally believed he had as many as three thousand students, though only seventy-two were said to have truly mastered his teachings. In Sima Qian’s Records of the Grand Historian (史記/shǐjì) Confucius himself is quoted as saying that he had seventy-seven “scholars of extraordinary ability” who were able to understand his “instructions”. Continue reading Young pretenders and old companions: the disciples of Confucius in Book 1 of the Analects

Disciples of Confucius: Gongye Chang

Gongye Chang (公冶長), also known as Zichang (子長), Zizhi (子之), or Gongye Zhi (公冶芝), was born either in the state of Lu or the state of Qi. Despite having been imprisoned as a criminal, Confucius believed he was innocent and gave his daughter to him in marriage.

Nothing else is known about him, unless you count some fantastical tales of his amazing supernatural abilities based on his ability to understand the language of birds and other animals. Continue reading Disciples of Confucius: Gongye Chang