Analects | Study Guide


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Year Written

479–221 BCE





At a Glance

Confucius, often called simply "the Master," believed studying the best of past traditions could help people become their ideal selves and thus create an ideal society. His analects—short, philosophical writings—were recorded by his followers and later students of his tradition as a way to remember the Master they revered. His ideas shaped more than two millennia of Chinese society. They were adopted as the basis for civil service examinations in many Chinese dynasties and continued to be used to train and test civil servants until the early 20th century.

About the Title

Analects are short and varied pieces of writing by an author or authors, often philosophical in nature. The Analects of Confucius are short quotations or stories that demonstrate the Confucian philosophy.


This study guide and infographic for Confucius's Analects offer summary and analysis on themes, symbols, and other literary devices found in the text. Explore Course Hero's library of literature materials, including documents and Q&A pairs.

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