Confucius (551–479 BC) was a Chinese teacher, editor, politician, and philosopher of Chinese history.
The philosophy of Confucius emphasized personal and governmental morality, correctness of social relationships, justice and sincerity. His followers competed successfully with many other schools during the Hundred Schools of Thought era only to be suppressed in favor of the Legalists during the Qin Dynasty. Following the victory of Han over Chu after the collapse of Qin, Confucius's thoughts received official sanction and were further developed into a system known as Confucianism.
Confucius's principles had a basis in common Chinese tradition and belief. He championed
He also recommended family as a basis for ideal government. He espoused the well-known principle "Do not do to others what you do not want done to yourself", an early version of the Golden Rule.
He is also known by the honorific Kong Fuzi (literally "Master Kong"). The Latinized name "Confucius" is derived from "Kong Fuzi", and was first coined by 16th-century Jesuit missionaries to China, most probably by Matteo Ricci.
One of the deepest teachings of Confucius may have been the superiority of personal exemplification over explicit rules of behavior. His moral teachings emphasized self-cultivation, emulation of moral exemplars, and the attainment of skilled judgment rather than knowledge of rules.