孔夫子 Kǒng Fūzǐ (551-479 BCE) was an influential Chinese sage widely known throughout China as well as abroad. He was a Chinese philosopher and politician during the Spring and Autumn periods (771-476 BCE) in Chinese history. Before he was born, his father went to the Niqui mountain to worship the god Niqui and ask for a son. Thus his given name was “qui” (丘). His “capping name” was Zhòngní(仲尼) with Zhòng meaning “second son”. His family name was Kǒng(孔).
He was given the name “Confucius” later in life as on honorific title. Its meaning is “Master Kong” and its significance is similar to that of the Hebrew title “Rabbi”.
Confucius was born in the modern Shandong province. Due to his father’s untimely death when Confucius was only three years old, he grew up in poverty. He received education at schools for commoners, and studied Six Arts, the basis of ancient Chinese culture. At 19, he became an official and later married. He began to lecture and have disciples in the villages at 23, and at the same time he visited many other famous teachers and learned from them. Then later, he was involved in education abd began teaching at the age of 30. It is said he had 3,000 disciples and 72 wise men under him. He traveled around to different countries to spread his philosophy and teaching. He died at the age of 71.