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Contemporary figures in the Analects of Confucius: Zixi

There is extensive debate over the identity of Zixi (子西), who makes only one rather inglorious appearance in the Analects in which Confucius compares him less than favorably to Zichan, the illustrious chief minister of the small state of Zheng.

Some commentators believe Zixi to have been a fellow minister of the great man who went on to succeed him as chief minister after his death. A few go as far as to claim that he was a brother of Zichan with the courtesy name of Gongsun Xia. Sibling or not, Zixi doesn’t appear to have distinguished himself in the post – perhaps partly because he had to operate in his renowned predecessor’s shadow. Continue reading Contemporary figures in the Analects of Confucius: Zixi