Analects Book 3 by numbers

As in the previous book,  Confucius is featured in all the chapters of Book 3 of the Analects.  Three new disciples also appear in the form  of the rather dim-witted Lin Fang,  the grasping Ran Qiu,  and the clever but arrogant Zai Yu, along with Zixia and Zigong


With the vast majority of the book given to a discussion of the importance of the rites and complaints from Confucius about violations of them by his political foes, other common themes of the Analects such as leadership and learning barely get a mention.


The same applies to primary and secondary values, with nearly 40% of the chapters in the book featuring the term “rites” (禮/lǐ), and most of the others dealing with ritual matters such as the right number of rows of dancers that should be allowed to perform at an ancestral temple ceremony and the importance of being fully “present” at a sacrifice.



Book 3 also features a number of contemporary and historical figures that  can read more about here.  The contemporary ones are Wangsun Jia (王孫賈), Duke Ding (定公), and Duke Ai (哀公) of the state of Lu.  In addition to the mythical emperor Shun (韶) and the legendary Zhou Dynasty founder King Wu (周武王), these also include the brilliant statesman Guan Zhong  (管仲), who made Qi (齊) one of the most powerful and wealthiest states in the Zhou Empire 150 years before Confucius’s birth.

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