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Few individuals have shaped their country's civilization more profoundly than the Master Kong (Confucius, 551-479 BC). Compulsory reading in the late Imperial period for all who wished to enter the Civil Service or Government, his sayings and those of his disciples form the foundation of a distinct social, ethical, and intellectual system. They have retained their freshness and vigour throughout the two and a half millennia of their currency, and are still admired even in today's China. This lively new translation with clear explanatory notes by one of the foremost scholars of classical Chinese provides the ideal introduction to the Analects for readers who have no previous knowledge of the Chinese language and philosophical traditions.