Followers of Confucius: Tantai Mieming

There is a lot controversy over the exact identity of Tantai Mieming (澹臺滅明). According to the Records of the Historian (not always the most reliable of sources), Tantai was so ugly that the first time Confucius met him he mistook him for being stupid. It was only later that the sage realized his error and grew to appreciate him for his exemplary moral conduct.

Tantai Mieming, also known by the courtesy name of Ziyu (子羽), obviously forgave him for he went on to become a follower of Confucius and to establish his own school to promote the teachings of the sage.

Intriguingly, some scholars speculate that Tantai Mieming was an alternative name for the disciple Zengzi, who hailed from the same home town of Wucheng located in the south of the state of Lu.

Appearances in the Analects of Confucius
Book 6, Chapter 14

Book 6
Chapter 14
When Ziyou became governor of Wucheng, Confucius asked him: “Have you managed to find any good people there?” He replied: “There’s one called Tantai Mieming. He takes no shortcuts and has never visited me at home except on official business.”

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