Tag Archives: Gongye Chang

Analects of Confucius Book 5: by numbers

Analects of Confucius Book 5 by numbers

Book 5 is a very different beast to the previous four books of the Analects. Rather than talk directly about the key values and principles of his teachings, Confucius focuses his attention on evaluating how well a dozen of his followers, four of his contemporaries, and eleven figures from the past live up to them.

Among his followers, Confucius only considers Yan Hui to be up to snuff. Indeed, in 5.9 Confucius admits that even he is not the equal of his protégé. 

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Biography of Qiguan Shi: the wife of Confucius

wife of Confucius

The wife of Confucius was a woman from his ancestral state of Song with the family name of Qiguan (亓官). Her first name isn’t known. She is often referred to as Qiguan Shi (亓官氏) or Lady Qiguan.

Confucius married her in 533 BCE at the age of 19.  A year later, Qiguan bore the couple’s only son Boyu (伯魚). She and Confucius are believed to have had two daughters as well, both of whose names are unknown. One of them probably died at an early age, while the other was married off by Confucius to a convicted criminal called Gongye Chang (公冶長), who he deemed “would make a good husband” and be declared “innocent” of his alleged crime. There are no records of whether Confucius consulted his wife or daughter about this decision. Presumably, given the prevailing customs of the time, the answer is negative. Continue reading Biography of Qiguan Shi: the wife of Confucius

Followers 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. Even though he spent some time in prison, Confucius believed he was innocent and gave his daughter to him in marriage.

Gongye  appears to have justified the faith that Confucius showed in him, becoming a prominent teacher and scholar according to some sources. He is also believed to have been offered many opportunities to become a government official or minister because of his great virtue but declined them so that he could focus on his academic pursuits. Continue reading Followers of Confucius: Gongye Chang

Leadership Lessons from Confucius: a second chance

second chance

子謂公冶長,「可妻也。雖在縲絏之中,非其罪也。」以其子妻之。
Confucius said of Gongye Chang: “He would make a good husband. Although he has spent time in prison, he was innocent.” He gave him his daughter’s hand in marriage. (1) (2)

Everyone has said or done something dumb in the past. Does that mean that they should be denied the chance of a job or perhaps even have their current livelihood taken away from them because someone has dredged up a drunken post or image from the murky depths of the internet? Continue reading Leadership Lessons from Confucius: a second chance