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Confucius and the state of Lu

Translated and edited by: Joe Hing Kwok Chu



Regime Change and Pacifying Act

After Zhou  dynasty (1066 - 256 BC) replaced Shang dynasty (1600 - 1066 BC) , for political reasons, the king of Zhou gave out the titles of duke to his officials who supported him in the war that defeated Shang dynasty (1600 - 1066 BC). To stabilize the political situation, he also conferred the titles to the chiefs of some of the conquered states. These dukes held land and functioned as individual state but were still responsible to the "son of heaven" (king) of Zhou.


Where did Confucius Come from?

Confucius's ancestor was an elder brother of the last king of Shang dynasty, conquered by Zhou. He was one of the dukes awarded by the  king of Zhou. He was awarded the title of the duke of Song. Song was located in Shang Qiu Area of Henan province of today China. The duke of Song was the ancestor of Confucius. The last duke of Song was murdered by his minister in a rebellion and the parents of Confucius fled to the state of Lu (in the area of Shandong province of today). Confucius was born in the state of Lu in 551 B.C.


The State of Lu


During the Spring and Autumn Period of China  (770-476 BC) the individual states controlled by the dukes knighted by the dynasty Zhou were getting stronger and becoming more and more out of reach by the king of Zhou


One of the states, Lu, where Confucius was born, started to fall into chaos. The power of the state fell into the hands of 3 ministers who were the sons of the duke, Lu Huan Gong.  The 3 ministers were of members of Ji Sun clan 季孫氏、Su Sun clan 叔孫氏、Meng Sun clan 孟孫氏. They are the younger brothers of the then duke of Lu, Lu Zhuang Gong, and the sons of Lu Huan Gong. In Chinese history, they are called 3 Huans. The political power was actually controlled by the three Huans.  Lu Zhao Gong, the duke of Lu, descendent of  Lu Huan Gong, resented that



Dance ritual in the worship of ancestors planted the seed of civil war


According to the law of rituals of Zhou  dynasty:

  1. The ritual dance for the "Son of Heaven" (the king), during the worship of ancestors were to be performed by 8 rows of dancers, with 8 dancers to a row..

  2. The ritual dance for the dukes during the worship of ancestors were to be performed by 6 rows of dancers, with 8 dancers to a row..

  3. The ritual dance for the ministers during the worship of ancestors were to be performed by 4 rows of dancers, with 8 dancers to a row..

During an ancestor worship ritual, a minister from the Ji Sun clan performed the ritual like that for the "son of heaven" (the king),  with 8 rows of dancers, which was illegal but the duke of Lu, Lu Zhao Gong was powerless to stop it because the Ji Sun clan was more powerful than the duke. This created the potential conflict of Ji Sun clan and the duke of Lu, Lu Zhao Gong.


Cock Fighting Incident Resulted Political Chaos of the state of Lu.


During the 9th moon of 25th year of reign of Lu Zhao Gong (517BC). Minister Ji Pin of the Ji Sun clan and Lord Hou Zhao郈昭伯 (a descendant of duke  Lu Xiao Gong) engaged in the gambling game of cock fighting, which was a popular game among the nobles at that time. Ji Pin spiked the wings of his cocks with mustard powder to blind the eyes of the fighting cocks of Lord Hou Zhao 郈昭伯. After many loses, Lord Hou Zhao discovered the secret of Ji Pin and attached bronze spikes to his fighting cocks. Ji Pin was furious about the loses and argument erupted. Ji Pin led an army and took over the knighted land of Lord Hou Zhao. Lord Hou Zhao complained to the duke, Lu Zhao Gong, who sent an army to attack Ji Pin.

Lord Hou Zhao went to persuade the other two ministers from the Su Sun clan 叔孫氏、Meng Sun clan 孟孫氏.

The head of Su Sun clan consulted his family official: "Which is better for us? With Ji Sun Clan or without Ji Sun Clan?"

"Without Ji Sun Clan, we, Su Sun Clan will not be in existence."

Thus the head of Su Sun Clan sent his army to attack the army of Lu.

Meng Sun clan who had been sitting on the fence, killed the visiting Lord Hou Zhao and also sent army to attack Lu Zhao Gong.  Lu Zhao Gong was defeated and fled to the state of Qi.


Recruiting Confucius by Yang Tiger (also Known as Yang Huo)


Yang Tiger was a family official of Ji Sun clan. The political power of Ji Sun clan was actually controlled by their family employee, Yang Tiger. Eventually Yang Tiger took over the Ji Sun clan.

Confucius at that time was well known by the dukes of different states and was highly respected and within his disciples, there were many talented people.  Yang Tiger (Yang Huo) trying to make his control of state of Lu  look legitimate, tried to enlist Confucius. Confucius hated this type of behaviour where the subordinates usurp the power of their superiors. Confucius tried to avoid Yang Huo.


Yang Huo waited when Confucius was not home and sent a gift of cooked small pig to Confucius' home. According to the etiquette at that time, Confucius had to go to Yang Huo's house to thank him but he waited until Yang Huo was not at home and went there to thank him. On the way home Confucius was intercepted by Yang Huo on the street.

Yang Huo said to Confucius: "Come over here! I have to talk to you."  The use of words shows that Yang Huo was arrogant, rude and in command.

 Yang Huo said: " If one possesses the valuable knowledge and let the state to run down, is it humane? No, it is not."

Yang Huo said: "You like to do administrative work, but you let the chances past by many times. Is is wise? No, it is not."

Yang Huo said: " Time passes by fast (meaning people age fast) and it does not wait for us."

 Then Confucius said: "Yes. I will be an official."

Confucius said that to avoid being harmed by Yang Huo, who was in power,  but he did not explicitly say he was going to work for him.


" Spring and Autumn Period " is a term often used by Chinese historian referring the period around 770-476 BC, based on a famous literature "Spring and Autumn Period " which describes the events of that period. It is deemed as the first Chinese chronicle.


(Next: story about Confucius' military and political ability;  to be continued)

Map from Google. Caption added by the editor.


Titles or Names of King of State of LuPeriod on throne
Ji Bo Qin 姬伯禽BC 1042-BC 997
Lu kao Gong 魯考公BC 996-BC 993
Lu Yang Gong 魯煬公BC 992-BC 987
Lu You Gong 魯幽公BC 986-BC 973
Lu Wei Gong 魯魏公BC 973-BC 924
Lu Li Gong 魯厲公BC 923-BC 887
Lu Xian Gong 魯獻公BC 886-BC 855
Lu Zhen Gong 魯真公BC 854-BC 826
Lu Wu Gong 魯武公BC 825-BC 816
Lu Yi Gong 魯懿公BC 815-BC 807
Lu Fei Gong 魯廢公BC 806-BC 796
Lu Xiao Gong 魯孝公BC 795-BC 769
Lu Hui Gong 魯惠 公BC 768-BC 723
Lu Yun Gong 魯隱公BC 722-BC 712
Lu Huan Gong 魯桓公BC 711-BC 694
Lu Zhuang Gong 魯莊公BC 693-BC 662
Lu Jun Zi Ban 魯君子 斑BC 662-BC 662
Lu Min Gong 魯閔公BC 661-BC 660
Lu Xi Gong 魯僖公BC 659-BC 627
Lu Wen Gong 魯文公BC 626-BC 609
Lu Xian Gong 魯宣公BC 608-BC 591
Lu Cheng Gong 魯成公BC 590-BC 573
Lu Xiang Gong 鲁襄公BC 572-BC 542
Lu Jun Ye 魯君野BC 542June to September
Lu Zhao Gong魯昭公BC 541-BC 510
Lu Ding Gong 魯定公BC 509-BC 495
Hu Ai Gong 魯哀公BC 494-BC 468
Lu Tiao Gong 魯悼公BC 467-BC 437
Lu Yuan Gong 魯元公BC 436-BC 416
Lu Mu Gong 魯穆公BC 415-BC 383
Lu Gong Gong 魯共公BC 382-BC 353
Lu Ka ng Gong 魯康公BC 352-BC 344
Lu Jing Gong 魯景公BC 343-BC 323
Lu Pin Gong 魯平公BC 322-BC 303
Lu Wen Gong 魯文公BC 302-BC 280
Lu Qing Gong 魯頃公BC 279-BC 256




2004-02-11 15:33:40         華夏 經緯網

  魯昭公是春秋時魯國國君,名裯,一作稠,裙 是魯襄公庶子。西元前541-前510年 在位。魯昭公五年(前537),罷中軍,被三桓四分公室。八年,于紅(今山東泰安東北)閱軍,有革車千乘。二十五年,聯氏 ,襲季平子,為叔孫氏、孟孫氏援師戰敗而奔齊。後齊攻魯,他隨齊軍返鄆(今山東鄆城東),齊軍旋不進。他以不堪齊侯卑視赴晉求助,晉使居乾侯(今河北成安 東南),召季平子來,欲使同歸魯。他不從。終卒于乾侯。

【大紀元4月3日訊】孔子師徒回到魯國的時間大致是在魯昭公二十七年(公元前515年),孔子37歲。在此後的十余年間,孔子再未參與大的政治活動,致力 於授業傳道。

魯國自昭公出奔後,國君之位一直虛懸著。公元前510年,客居晉國的昭公死了,他的弟弟公子宋繼承了君位,是為魯定公。魯定公雖然被立為國君,但按時宗法 制度,應立為魯君的是魯昭公的長子,他走上君位,是季平子將昭公的兒子全部廢黜後被扶持上台的。這樣,魯定公即國君位既不合於宗法制度,又未得先君昭公的 遺命,實際上是名不正、言不順。再加上定公本人昏弱無能,對國政採取不聞不問的態度,,這位名義上的魯君不過是季孫氏手中的一個傀儡而已。這時,不僅國君 之權旁落於三桓之手,魯國之政皆出於季孫氏之手。但是,三桓在把持國政以及與其它世家大族爭權奪利的同時,無暇顧及家庭內部的事務,這樣,三桓的一些家臣 也積極擴展私人勢力,從而形成對三桓本身的威脅。

五年後,也就是公元前505年,季孫氏家族中的嬖臣仲梁懷與陽虎發生矛盾。陽虎是季孫氏家中的老臣,當年孔子要參加季孫氏的饗士大宴時,對孔子橫加斥退的 就是此人,在許多年中,季孫氏的實際勢力就操縱在他的手中。後起的仲梁懷依仗自己得到季平子的寵信,多次與陽虎爭執。陽虎曾想將他逐出季氏家門,被季氏家 宰公山不狃制止了。這一年秋天,仲梁懷日益驕橫,陽虎果斷地將他關了起來。同一年,季平子去世,其子季桓子(季孫斯)繼任執政,羽翅未硬,這也是陽虎敢於 獨立行事、處置同僚的一個原因。季恆子對陽虎的行為大為不滿,要求他將仲梁懷放出來,但陽虎一不做二不休,與公山不狃相勾結,干脆把季恆子也囚禁起來。季 恆子在陽虎的逼使下,與他達成協議後才被放了出來。


這時的陽虎雖然操縱了季孫氏的實權,甚或把持了魯國的國政,但由於其本身地位所限,他亟需社會的承認和支持。當然,他的手下並不缺乏心腹效力之人,一些貴 族庶孽也暗地裡支持他,但他真正缺乏的是在社會上德高望重、富有影響力的人物來幫他提高聲望。鑒於孔子名望已高,在諸侯國間也很有影響,同時孔門弟子中人 材濟濟,如能為執政者所用,當是一股不小的社會勢力。所以,陽虎很想將孔子拉入自己的集團,借孔子的聲望來鞏固和提高自己的地位。


《論語》一書中詳細地記錄了兩人見面的情況。陽虎派人求見孔子遭拒後,便利用了當時的一個禮俗:凡大夫送禮物給士,如果因為士不在家中而不能親受,這個士 人便必須趕到大夫家登門致謝。陽虎知道孔子是恪守禮儀之人,他趁孔子不在家時派人送給孔子一頭蒸熟的小乳豬。孔子得到了陽虎的禮物後,不得不親自往陽虎府 上拜會,但他卻伺著陽虎不在時前去拜訪。然而不巧得很,孔子心裡不想見到陽虎,卻偏偏在歸途中碰上了陽虎。陽虎堵住孔子的去路,不客氣地對他說:來,我 告訴您:一個人,懷著一番雄心壯志和一身本領,卻聽任國家政局一味混亂下去,這樣能算是仁愛嗎?不能算是。一個人希望參預政治,卻多次錯失良機,這能算是 明智嗎?不能算是。要知道,時光易逝,歲月是不會等待我們的!孔子聽了陽虎的一番說辭,一時無言以對,只好回答說:好吧,我將出仕從政了。

事實上,孔子盡管答應出仕,卻沒有真的去做。在孔子眼中,魯國政治已到了無法接受的程度,陽虎以季氏陪臣身分而執掌國政,實在是大逆不道之舉,孔子絕不會 與這樣的人同流合污。

魯定公八年(公元前502年),陽虎開始了更為果敢的行動。他糾集同黨詐稱在蒲圃設宴款待季桓子,准備乘機除掉季桓子。也是季桓子一時精明,在途中感覺事 情有些不對頭,說服了叫林楚的趕車人,在路口處林楚將馬打驚,車子飛速向孟孫氏處趕去。陽虎的弟弟陽越在後面窮追不舍,被孟孫氏部下射死。見陰謀敗露,陽虎便劫持了魯定公和叔孫武孫,前往攻打孟孫氏。結果,陽虎被趕來救助孟孫氏的成邑宰公斂處父打敗,率領徒眾逃往陽關(今山東泰安東南)等地,公開叛亂。



九夷是散居於淮河、泗水流域的氏族,那裡生活環境之簡陋惡劣在當時是出了名的。由此可以看出孔子矛盾、困苦的情狀,他心裡其實是要尋求一方精神的淨土啊, 生活條件的簡陋、惡劣又算得了什麼呢?

這時,盤踞在費邑的季氏家臣公山不狃又派人來請孔子前往輔助。孔子知道公山不狃是怎樣的一個亂臣賊子,但是他由於長期懷志難酬,不准備計較對方的叛臣行為 ,也不介意費邑地處偏狹,而寄希望於在那裡成就文武之業。孔子這個想法剛剛成形,就遭到了弟子子路的強烈反對。子路說:沒有地方去就算了,為什麼一定去 公山不狃那兒呢?孔子對他解釋自己的想法,說:那個叫我去的人,難道會是白白召我嗎?假若有人用我,我將使周文王、武王之道在東方復興。考慮再三, 孔子終未成行。


陽虎和公山不狃一再拉攏孔子,都被孔子拒絕,魯定公和季桓子由此對孔子的政治態度有了較多的了解和信任。魯定公九年(公元前501年),孔子被任命為中都 宰,即中都(今山東汶上縣西)的地方長官。這一年,孔子51歲。從定公九年到定公十二年孔子再次離開魯國,他的從政時間不足四年。這短暫的幾年中,孔子確實有過出色的政績。


司馬遷在《史記孔子世家》中寫道:定公以孔子為中都宰,一年,四方皆則之。由中都宰為司空,由司空為大司寇。司空是主管建筑與道路等事務的長官,大司 寇是掌管司法的長官,兼理外交事務,與司徒、司馬、司空三卿並列,屬於上卿。關於孔子由中都宰升任司空,錢穆所著《孔子傳》中認為:孔子自中都宰遷司空 ,亦見《孔子家語》,應為小司空,屬下大夫之職。(



4/3/2002 9:15:37 PM
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