The Tirukkural, or shortly the Kural, is a classic Tamil text consisting of 1,330 couplets or Kurals, dealing with the everyday virtues of an individual. It is one of the two oldest works now extant in Tamil literature in their entirety, the other being the Tolkappiyam. Considered one of the greatest works written on ethics and morality, chiefly secular ethics, it is known for its universality and non-denominational nature, it was authored by Valluvar known in full as Thiruvalluvar. The text has been dated variously from 300 BCE to 5th century CE; the traditional accounts describe it as the last work of the third Sangam, but linguistic analysis suggests a date of 450 to 500 CE. Traditionally praised as "the Universal Veda" and "the Universal Code of Conduct," the Kural emphasizes on the vital principles of non-violence, moral vegetarianism or veganism, human brotherhood, absence of desires, path of righteousness and truth, so forth, besides covering a wide range of subjects such as moral codes of rulers, agriculture and wisdom, sobriety and domestic life.
The work is quoted in vegetarian conferences, both in India and abroad. Considered as chef d'oeuvre of both Indian and world literature, the Kural is one of the most important works in the Tamil language and is called the masterpiece of Tamil Literature, both in its philosophical and literary caliber; this is reflected in some of the other names by which the text is given by, such as the Work of Three Books, Modern Veda, Divine Work, Faultless Word, Tamil Veda. The Kural has influenced several scholars across the ethical, political, religious and spiritual spheres. Authors influenced by the Kural include Ilango Adigal, Leo Tolstoy, Mahatma Gandhi, Albert Schweitzer, Constantius Joseph Beschi, Karl Graul, George Uglow Pope, Alexander Piatigorsky, Yu Hsi, many of whom have translated the work into their languages. Translated into at least 40 languages as of 2014, the Kural is one of the most translated works in the world; because the life and ethics of the Tamils are considered to be defined in terms of the values set by the Kural, the government and the people of Tamil Nadu alike uphold the text with utmost reverence.
Along with the Gita, the Kural is a prime candidate nominated to be the national book of India, for which a declaration was passed at the Tamil Nadu Assembly in 2006. The term Tirukkural is a compound word made of two individual terms and kural. Tiru is an honorific Tamil term that corresponds to the universally Indian, Sanskrit term sri meaning "holy, excellent and beautiful." The term tiru has as many as 19 different meanings. Kural means something, "short and abridged." Etymologically, kural is the shortened form of kural paattu, derived from kuruvenpaattu, one of the two Tamil poetic forms explained by Tolkappiyam, the other one being neduvenpaattu. According to Winslow, kural is used as a literary term to indicate "a metrical line of 2 feet, or a distich or couplet of short lines, the first of 4 and the second of 3 feet." Thus, Tirukkural comes to mean "sacred couplets."The Kural is unique among ancient works that it did not have a name nor did it have any mention of the author's name in it at the time of its release at the ruler's court at the city of Madurai, the seat of the Third Tamil Sangam.
The author used the title Muppāl, meaning "three divisions," to present it to the King, since the work was written about the first three of the four ancient Indian aims in life, known as purushaarthas, viz. virtue and love, with the fourth aim, salvation, implicitly said in the last five chapters of Book I. Remaining nameless for several years after its writing, the work came to be referred to by various names in the centuries that followed. Nine traditional names had been in use to refer to the book during the time of writing of the Tiruvalluva Maalai, a eulogy written on the Kural by various poets between the 1st and 11th centuries CE; the title Muppāl remained the work's primary name until the 13th century CE. It is estimated that the Kural has been known by as many as 44 names given at various periods over the millennia, making it one of the numerously titled works; the Kural is structured into 133 chapters, each containing 10 couplets, for a total of 1,330 couplets. The 133 chapters are grouped into three parts, or "books": Book I – Aṟam: Book of Virtue, dealing with virtues independent of the surroundings Book II – Poruḷ: Book of Polity, dealing with virtues with respect to the surroundings Book III – Inbam: Book of Love, dealing with virtues involved in conjugal human love Aṟam refers to ethical values for the holistic pursuit of life, poruḷ refers to wealth obtained in ethical manner guided by aṟam, inbam or kāmam refers to pleasure and fulfilment of one's desires in an aṟam-driven manner.
Although poruḷ and inbam are desirable pursuits in human life, they both need to be regulated by aṟam. One must remain unattached to wealth and possessions, which can either be transcended or sought with detachment and awareness. Pleasure needs to be fulfilled consciously and without harming anyone, it is said that there exists an inherent tension between inbam. Thus and pleasure must be pursued with an "action with renunciation", nothing but an aṟam-driven action, craving-free, in order to resolve this tension; each kural or couplet contains seven words, known as cirs, with four cirs on the first line and three on the second, following the kur
Moses ben Maimon known as Maimonides and referred to by the acronym Rambam, was a medieval Sephardic Jewish philosopher who became one of the most prolific and influential Torah scholars of the Middle Ages. In his time, he was a preeminent astronomer and physician. Born in Córdoba, Almoravid Empire on Passover Eve, 1135 or 1138, he worked as a rabbi and philosopher in Morocco and Egypt, he died in Egypt on December 12, 1204, whence his body was taken to the lower Galilee and buried in Tiberias. During his lifetime, most Jews greeted Maimonides' writings on Jewish law and ethics with acclaim and gratitude as far away as Iraq and Yemen. Yet, while Maimonides rose to become the revered head of the Jewish community in Egypt, his writings had vociferous critics in Spain. Nonetheless, he was posthumously acknowledged as among the foremost rabbinical decisors and philosophers in Jewish history, his copious work comprises a cornerstone of Jewish scholarship, his fourteen-volume Mishneh Torah still carries significant canonical authority as a codification of Talmudic law.
He is sometimes known as "ha Nesher ha Gadol" in recognition of his outstanding status as a bona fide exponent of the Oral Torah. Aside from being revered by Jewish historians, Maimonides figures prominently in the history of Islamic and Arab sciences and is mentioned extensively in studies. Influenced by Al-Farabi and his contemporary Averroes, he in his turn influenced other prominent Arab and Muslim philosophers and scientists, he became a prominent polymath in both the Jewish and Islamic worlds. His full Hebrew name is Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon, whose acronym forms "Rambam", his full Arabic name is Abū ʿImrān Mūsā bin Maimūn bin ʿUbaidallāh al-Qurtabī, or Mūsā bin Maymūn for short. In Latin, the Hebrew ben becomes the Greek-style patronymic suffix -ides, forming "Moses Maimonides". Maimonides was born in Córdoba during what some scholars consider to be the end of the golden age of Jewish culture in the Iberian Peninsula, after the first centuries of the Moorish rule. At an early age, he developed an interest in sciences and philosophy.
He read those Greek philosophers accessible in Arabic translations, was immersed in the sciences and learning of Islamic culture. Though the Gaonic tradition in its North African version, formed the basis of his legal thought, some scholars have argued in the 21st century that Muslim law, including Almohad legal thought had a substantial influence. Maimonides was not known as a supporter of mysticism, although a strong intellectual type of mysticism has been discerned in his philosophy, he expressed disapproval of poetry, the best of which he declared to be false, since it was founded on pure invention. This sage, revered for his personality as well as for his writings, led a busy life, wrote many of his works while travelling or in temporary accommodation. Maimonides studied Torah under his father Maimon, who had in turn studied under Rabbi Joseph ibn Migash, a student of Isaac Alfasi. A Berber dynasty, the Almohads, conquered Córdoba in 1148, abolished dhimmi status in some of their territories.
The loss of this status left the Jewish and Christian communities with conversion to Islam, death, or exile. Many Jews were forced to convert, but due to suspicion by the authorities of fake conversions, the new converts had to wear identifying clothing that set them apart and made them subject to public scrutiny. Maimonides's family, along with most other Jews, chose exile; some say, that it is that Maimonides feigned a conversion to Islam before escaping. This forced conversion was ruled invalid under Islamic law when brought up by a rival in Egypt. For the next ten years, Maimonides moved about in southern Spain settling in Fez in Morocco. During this time, he composed his acclaimed commentary on the Mishnah, during the years 1166–1168. Following this sojourn in Morocco, together with two sons, he sojourned in the Holy Land, before settling in Fustat, Egypt around 1168. While in Cairo, he studied in a yeshiva attached to a small synagogue. In the Holy Land, he prayed at the Temple Mount, he wrote that this day of visiting the Temple Mount was a day of holiness for him and his descendants.
Maimonides shortly thereafter was instrumental in helping rescue Jews taken captive during the Christian King Amalric's siege of the Egyptian town of Bilbays. He sent five letters to the Jewish communities of Lower Egypt asking them to pool money together to pay the ransom; the money was collected and given to two judges sent to Palestine to negotiate with the Crusaders. The captives were released. Following this triumph, the Maimonides family, hoping to increase their wealth, gave their savings to his brother, the youngest son David ben Maimon, a merchant. Maimonides directed his brother to procure goods only at the Sudanese port of ‘Aydhab. After a long arduous trip through the desert, David was unimpressed by the goods on offer there. Against his brother's wishes, David boarded a ship for India, since great wealth was to be found in the East. Before he could reach his destination, David drowned at sea sometime between 1169 and 1177; the death of his brother caused Maimonides to become sick with grief.
In a letter, he wrote: The greatest misfortune that has befallen me during my entire life—worse than anything else—was the demise of the saint, may his memory be blessed, who drowned in the Indian sea
Beauty is the ascription of a property or characteristic to an animal, object, person or place that provides a perceptual experience of pleasure or satisfaction. Beauty is studied as part of aesthetics, social psychology and sociology. An "ideal beauty" is an entity, admired, or possesses features attributed to beauty in a particular culture, for perfection. Ugliness is the opposite of beauty; the experience of "beauty" involves an interpretation of some entity as being in balance and harmony with nature, which may lead to feelings of attraction and emotional well-being. Because this can be a subjective experience, it is said that "beauty is in the eye of the beholder." However, given the empirical observations of things that are considered beautiful aligning with the aforementioned nature and health thereof, beauty has been stated to have levels of objectivity as well. The classical Greek noun that best translates to the English-language words "beauty" or "beautiful" was κάλλος, the adjective was καλός, kalos.
However, kalos may and is translated as ″good″ or ″of fine quality″ and thus has a broader meaning than mere physical or material beauty. Kallos was used differently from the English word beauty in that it first and foremost applied to humans and bears an erotic connotation; the Koine Greek word for beautiful was ὡραῖος, hōraios, an adjective etymologically coming from the word ὥρα, hōra, meaning "hour". In Koine Greek, beauty was thus associated with "being of one's hour". Thus, a ripe fruit was considered beautiful, whereas a young woman trying to appear older or an older woman trying to appear younger would not be considered beautiful. In Attic Greek, hōraios had many meanings, including "youthful" and "ripe old age"; the earliest Western theory of beauty can be found in the works of early Greek philosophers from the pre-Socratic period, such as Pythagoras. The Pythagorean school saw a strong connection between beauty. In particular, they noted that objects proportioned according to the golden ratio seemed more attractive.
Ancient Greek architecture is based on this view of proportion. Plato considered beauty to be the Idea above all other Ideas. Aristotle saw a relationship between the beautiful and virtue, arguing that "Virtue aims at the beautiful."Classical philosophy and sculptures of men and women produced according to the Greek philosophers' tenets of ideal human beauty were rediscovered in Renaissance Europe, leading to a re-adoption of what became known as a "classical ideal". In terms of female human beauty, a woman whose appearance conforms to these tenets is still called a "classical beauty" or said to possess a "classical beauty", whilst the foundations laid by Greek and Roman artists have supplied the standard for male beauty in western civilization. During the Gothic era, the classical aesthetical canon of beauty was rejected as sinful. Renaissance and Humanist thinkers rejected this view, considered beauty to be the product of rational order and harmonious proportions. Renaissance artists and architects criticised the Gothic period as barbarian.
This point of view of Gothic art lasted in the 19th century. In the Middle Ages, Catholic philosophers like Thomas Aquinas included beauty among the transcendental attributes of being. In his Summa Theologica, Aquinas described the three conditions of beauty as: integritas, claritas In the Gothic Architecture of the High and Late Middle Ages, light was considered the most beautiful revelation of God, heralded in design. Examples are the stained glass of Gothic Cathedrals including Notre-Dame de Paris and Chartes Cathedral; the Age of Reason saw a rise in an interest in beauty as a philosophical subject. For example, Scottish philosopher Francis Hutcheson argued that beauty is "unity in variety and variety in unity"; the Romantic poets, became concerned with the nature of beauty, with John Keats arguing in "Ode on a Grecian Urn" that Beauty is truth, truth beauty, —that is all. Ye know on earth, all ye need to know. In the Romantic period, Edmund Burke postulated a difference between beauty in its classical meaning and the sublime.
The concept of the sublime, as explicated by Burke and Kant, suggested viewing Gothic art and architecture, though not in accordance with the classical standard of beauty, as sublime. The 20th century saw an increasing rejection of beauty by artists and philosophers alike, culminating in postmodernism's anti-aesthetics; this is despite beauty being a central concern of one of postmodernism's main influences, Friedrich Nietzsche, who argued that the Will to Power was the Will to Beauty. In the aftermath of postmodernism's rejection of beauty, thinkers have returned to beauty as an important value. American analytic philosopher Guy Sircello proposed his New Theory of Beauty as an effort to reaffirm the status of beauty as an important philosophical concept. Elaine Scarry argues that beauty is related to justice. Beauty is studied by psychologists and neuroscientists in the field of experimental aesthetics and neuroesthetics respectively. Psychological theories see beauty as a form of pleasure. Correlational findings support the view that more beautiful objects are more pleasing.
Some studies suggest that higher experienced beauty is associated with activity in the medial orbitofrontal cortex. This approach of localizing the processing of beauty in one brain region has received criticism within the field; the characterization of a person as “beautiful”, whether on an individual basis or by community consensus, is based on some combination of inner beauty
Tamilakam or Ancient Tamil country refers to the geographical region inhabited by the ancient Tamil people. Tamilakam covered today's Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and southern parts of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. Traditional accounts and Tholkāppiyam referred these territories as a single cultural area, where Tamil was the natural language and culture of all people; the ancient Tamil country was divided into kingdoms. The best known among them were the Cheras, Cholas and Pallavas. During the Sangam period, Tamil culture began to spread outside Tamilakam. Ancient Tamil settlements were found in Sri Lanka and the Maldives. "Tamiḻakam" is a portmanteau of a word and suffix from the Tamil language, namely - akam. It can be translated as the "homeland of the Tamils". According to Kamil Zvelebil, the term seems to be the most ancient term used to designate Tamil territory in the Indian subcontinent; the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, as well as Ptolemy's writings, mention the term "Limyrike" which corresponds to the Malabar Coast of south-western India.
Based on a misinterpretation of the Roman map Tabula Peutingeriana and the possible phonetic connection between the words "Damir-" and "Tamil", some modern scholars have wrongly mentioned Limyrike as "Damirica", considering it as a synonym of "Tamilakam". The "Damirice" mentioned in the Tabula Peutingeriana refers to an area between the Himalayas and the Ganges; the term "Tamilakam" appears to be the most ancient term used for designating the Tamil territory. The earliest sources to mention it include Purananuru 168.18 and Patiṟṟuppattu Patikam 2.5. The Specific Preface of the more ancient text Tolkāppiyam mentions the terms tamil-kuru nal-lulakam and centamil... nilam. However, this preface, of uncertain date, is a addition to the original Tolkāppiyam. According to the Tolkāppiyam preface, "the virtuous land in which Tamil is spoken as the mother tongue lies between the northern Venkata hill and the southern Kumari."The Silappadikaram defines the Tamilakam as follows: While these ancient texts do not define the eastern and western boundaries of the Tamilakam, scholars assume that these boundaries were the seas, which may explain their omission from the ancient definition.
The ancient Tamilakam thus included the present-day Kerala. However, it excluded the present-day Tamil-inhabited territory in the Jaffna Peninsula of Sri Lanka. During the period between 600 BCE to 300 CE, Tamiḻakam was ruled by the three Tamil dynasties: the Chola dynasty, the Pandyan dynasty, Satyaputra dynasty and the Chera dynasty. There were a few independent chieftains, the Velirs; the earliest datable references to the Tamil kingdoms are in inscriptions from the 3rd century BCE during the time of the Maurya Empire. The Pandyan dynasty ruled parts of South India until the late 17th century; the heartland of the Pandyas was the fertile valley of the Vaigai River. They ruled their country from Korkai, a seaport on the southernmost tip of the Indian Peninsula, in times moved to Madurai; the Chola dynasty ruled from before the Sangam period until the 13th century in central Tamil Nadu. The heartland of the Cholas was the fertile valley of the Kaveri; the Chera dynasty ruled from before the Sangam period until the 12th century over an area corresponding to modern-day western Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
The Vealirs were minor dynastic kings and aristocratic chieftains in Tamiḻakam in the early historic period of South India. Tamiḻakam was divided into political regions called Perunadu or "Great country", "nadu" means country. There were three important political regions which were Chola Nadu and Pandya Nadu. Along these three there were two more political regions of Athiyaman Nadu and Thamirabharani Nadu which were on absorbed into Chera resp. Pandya Nadu by 3rd century BCE. Thondai Nadu, under Chola Nadu emerged as independent Pallava Nadu by 6th century CE. Again Tamilakam were divided into 12 socio-geographical regions called Nadu or "country"; each of this Nadu had their own dialect of Tamil. Some other Nadus were mentioned in Tamil literatures which weren't part of Tamilakam, but the countries traded with Tamils in ancient times. Although the area covered by the term "Tamilakam" was divided among multiple kingdoms, its occurrence in the ancient literature implies that the region's inhabitants shared a cultural or ethnic identity, or at least regarded themselves as distinct from their neighbours.
The ancient Tamil inscriptions, ranging from 5th century BCE to 3rd century CE, are conisdered as linguistic evidence for distinguishing Tamilakam from the rest of South India. The ancient non-Tamil inscriptions, such as those of the northern kings Ashoka and Kharavela allude to the distinct identity of the region. For example, Ashoka's inscriptions refer to the independent states lying beyond the southern boundary of his kingdom, Kharavdela's Hathigumpha inscription refers to the destruction of a "confederacy of Tamil powers". However, the archaeological evidence does not support the existence of "Tamilakam" as a distinct cultural region: the material culture and habitations discovered in present-day Tamil Nadu and Kerala are found elsewhere in peninsular India and Sri Lanka. With the advent of the early historical period in South India and the ascent of the three Tamil kingdoms in South India in the 6th century BCE, Tamil culture began to spread outside Tamiḻakam. Prior to 3rd century BCE, more Tamil settlers arrived in Sri Lanka.
The Annaicoddai seal, dated
In Greek mythology, Minos was the first King of Crete, son of Zeus and Europa. Every nine years, he made King Aegeus pick seven young boys and seven young girls to be sent to Daedalus's creation, the labyrinth, to be eaten by the Minotaur. After his death, Minos became a judge of the dead in the underworld; the Minoan civilization of Crete has been named after him by the archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans. "Minos" is interpreted as the Cretan word for "king", or, by a euhemerist interpretation, the name of a particular king, subsequently used as a title. There is a name in Minoan Linear A mi-nu-te. According to La Marle's reading of Linear A, criticised as arbitrary, we should read mwi-nu ro-ja on a Linear A tablet; the royal title ro-ja is read on several documents, including on stone libation tables from the sanctuaries, where it follows the name of the main god, Asirai. La Marle suggests that the name mwi-nu is expected to mean'ascetic' as Sanskrit muni, fits this explanation to the legend about Minos sometimes living in caves on Crete.
If royal succession in Minoan Crete descended matrilinearly— from the queen to her firstborn daughter— the queen's husband would have become the Minos, or war chief. Some scholars see a connection between Minos and the names of other ancient founder-kings, such as Menes of Egypt, Mannus of Germany, Manu of India, with Meon of Phrygia and Lydia, Mizraim of Egypt in the Book of Genesis and the Canaanite deity Baal. Minos appears in Greek literature as the king of Knossos as early as Homer's Odyssey. Thucydides tells, he reigned over the islands of the Aegean Sea three generations before the Trojan War. He lived at Knossos for periods of nine years, where he received instruction from Zeus in the legislation which he gave to the island, he was the founder of its naval supremacy. On the Athenian stage Minos is a cruel tyrant, the heartless exactor of the tribute of Athenian youths to feed to the Minotaur. To reconcile the contradictory aspects of his character, as well as to explain how Minos governed Crete over a period spanning so many generations, two kings of the name of Minos were assumed by poets and rationalizing mythologists, such as Diodorus Siculus and Plutarch— "putting aside the mythological element", as he claims— in his life of Theseus.
According to this view, the first King Minos was the son of Zeus and Europa and brother of Rhadamanthys and Sarpedon. This was the'good' king Minos, he was held in such esteem by the Olympian gods that, after he died, he was made one of the three'Judges of the Dead', alongside his brother Rhadamanthys and half-brother Aeacus; the wife of this'Minos I' was said to be Itone or Crete, he had a single son named Lycastus, his successor as King of Crete. Lycastus had a son named Minos, after his grandfather, born by Lycastus' wife, daughter of Corybas. This'Minos II'— the'bad' king Minos— is the son of this Lycastus, was a far more colorful character than his father and grandfather, it would be to this Minos that we owe the myths of Theseus, Pasiphaë, the Minotaur, Daedalus and Nisus. Unlike Minos I, Minos II fathered numerous children, including Androgeus, Deucalion, Ariadne and Glaucus — all born to him by his wife Pasiphaë. Through Deucalion, he was the grandfather of King Idomeneus. Doubtless there is a considerable historical element in the legend in the Phoenician origin of Europa.
Minos himself is said to have died at Camicus in Sicily, whither he had gone in pursuit of Daedalus, who had given Ariadne the clue by which she guided Theseus through the labyrinth. He was killed by the daughter of Cocalus, king of Agrigentum, who poured boiling water over him while he was taking a bath. Subsequently his remains were sent back to the Cretans, who placed them in a sarcophagus, on, inscribed: "The tomb of Minos, the son of Zeus." The earlier legend knows Minos as a beneficent ruler and suppressor of piracy. His constitution was said to have formed the basis of that of Lycurgus for Sparta. In accordance with this, after his death he became judge of the shades in the underworld. In versions and Rhadamanthus were made judges as well, with Minos leading as the "appeals court" judge. By his wife, Pasiphaë, he fathered Ariadne, Deucalion, Glaucus, Catreus and Xenodice. By a nymph, Pareia, he had four sons, Nephalion and Philolaus, who were killed by Heracles in revenge for the murder of the latter's two companions.
By Dexithea, one of the Telchines, he had a son called Euxanthius. By Androgeneia of Phaestus he had Asterion, who commanded the Cretan contingent in the war between Dionysus and the Indians. Given as his children are Euryale the mother of Orion with Poseidon, Pholegander, eponym of the island Pholegandros. Minos, along with his brothers and Sarpedon, were raised by King Asterion of Crete; when Asterion died, his throne was claimed by Minos who banished Sarpedon and, according to some sources, Rhadamanthys too. Asterion, king of Crete, adopted the three sons of Zeus and Europa, Minos and Rhadamanthus. According to the Odyssey
Confucius was a Chinese teacher, editor and philosopher of the Spring and Autumn period of Chinese history. The philosophy of Confucius known as Confucianism, emphasized personal and governmental morality, correctness of social relationships and sincerity, his followers competed 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 in the West as Neo-Confucianism, New Confucianism. Confucius is traditionally credited with having authored or edited many of the Chinese classic texts including all of the Five Classics, but modern scholars are cautious of attributing specific assertions to Confucius himself. Aphorisms concerning his teachings were compiled in the Analects, but only many years after his death. Confucius's principles have commonality with Chinese belief.
He championed strong family loyalty, ancestor veneration, respect of elders by their children and of husbands by their wives, recommending family as a basis for ideal government. He espoused the well-known principle "Do not do unto others what you do not want done to yourself", the Golden Rule, he is a traditional deity in Daoism. Confucius is considered as one of the most important and influential individuals in shaping human history, his teaching and philosophy impacted people around the world and remains influential today. The name "Confucius" is a Latinized form of the Mandarin Chinese "Kǒng Fūzǐ", was coined in the late 16th century by the early Jesuit missionaries to China. Confucius's clan name was "Kǒng", his given name was "Qiū", his "capping name", given upon reaching adulthood and by which he would have been known to all but his older family members, was "Zhòngní", the "Zhòng" indicating that he was the second son in his family. It is thought that Confucius was born on September 28, 551 BC, in the district of Zou near present-day Qufu, China.
The area was notionally controlled by the kings of Zhou but independent under the local lords of Lu. His father Kong He was an elderly commandant of the local Lu garrison, his ancestry traced back through the dukes of Song to the Shang dynasty. Traditional accounts of Confucius's life relate that Kong He's grandfather had migrated the family from Song to Lu. Kong He died when Confucius was three years old, Confucius was raised by his mother Yan Zhengzai in poverty, his mother would die at less than 40 years of age. At age 19 he married Qiguan, a year the couple had their first child, Kong Li. Qiguan and Confucius would have two daughters together, one of whom is thought to have died as a child. Confucius was educated at schools for commoners, where he learned the Six Arts. Confucius was born into the class between the aristocracy and the common people, he is said to have worked in various government jobs during his early 20s, as a bookkeeper and a caretaker of sheep and horses, using the proceeds to give his mother a proper burial.
When his mother died, Confucius is said to have mourned for three years. In Confucius's time, the state of Lu was headed by a ruling ducal house. Under the duke were three aristocratic families, whose heads bore the title of viscount and held hereditary positions in the Lu bureaucracy; the Ji family held the position "Minister over the Masses", the "Prime Minister". In the winter of 505 BC, Yang Hu—a retainer of the Ji family—rose up in rebellion and seized power from the Ji family. However, by the summer of 501 BC, the three hereditary families had succeeded in expelling Yang Hu from Lu. By Confucius had built up a considerable reputation through his teachings, while the families came to see the value of proper conduct and righteousness, so they could achieve loyalty to a legitimate government. Thus, that year, Confucius came to be appointed to the minor position of governor of a town, he rose to the position of Minister of Crime. Confucius desired to return the authority of the state to the duke by dismantling the fortifications of the city—strongholds belonging to the three families.
This way, he could establish a centralized government. However, Confucius relied on diplomacy as he had no military authority himself. In 500 BC, Hou Fan—the governor of Hou—revolted against his lord of the Shu family. Although the Meng and Shu families unsuccessfully besieged Hou, a loyalist official rose up with the people of Hou and forced Hou Fan to flee to the Qi state; the situation may have been in favor for Confucius as this made it possible for Confucius and his disciples to convince the aristocratic families to dismantle the fortifications of their cities. After a year and a half and his disciples succeeded in convincing the Shu family to raze the walls of Hou, the Ji family in razing the walls of Bi, the Meng family in razing the walls of Cheng. First, the Shu family led an army towards their city Hou and tore down its walls in 498 BC. Soon thereafter, Gongshan Furao or Buniu, a retainer of the Ji family and took control of the forces at Bi, he launched an attack and entered the capital Lu.
Earlier, Gongshan had approached Confucius to join him. Though he disapproved
The Mishneh Torah, subtitled Sefer Yad ha-Hazaka, is a code of Jewish religious law authored by Maimonides. The Mishneh Torah was compiled between 1170 and 1180 CE, while Maimonides was living in Egypt, is regarded as Maimonides' magnum opus. Accordingly sources refer to the work as "Maimon", "Maimonides", or "RaMBaM", although Maimonides composed other works. Mishneh Torah consists of fourteen books, subdivided into sections and paragraphs, it is the only Medieval-era work that details all of Jewish observance, including those laws that are only applicable when the Holy Temple is in existence, remains an important work in Judaism. Its title is an appellation used for the Biblical book of Deuteronomy, its subtitle, "Book of the Strong Hand", derives from its subdivision into fourteen books: the numerical value fourteen, when represented as the Hebrew letters Yod Dalet, forms the word yad. Maimonides intended to provide a complete statement of the Oral Law, so that a person who mastered first the Written Torah and the Mishneh Torah would be in no need of any other book.
Contemporary reaction was mixed, with strong and immediate opposition focusing on the absence of sources and the belief that the work appeared to be intended to supersede study of the Talmud. Maimonides responded to these criticisms, the Mishneh Torah endures as an influential work in Jewish religious thought. According to several authorities, a decision may not be rendered in opposition to a view of Maimonides where he militated against the sense of a Talmudic passage, for in such cases the presumption was that the words of the Talmud were incorrectly interpreted. Likewise: "One must follow Maimonides when the latter opposed his teachers, since he knew their views, if he decided against them, he must have disapproved their interpretation." Maimonides sought brevity and clarity in his Mishneh Torah and, as in his Commentary on the Mishnah, he refrained from detailing his sources, considering it sufficient to name his sources in the preface. He drew upon the Torah and the rest of Tanakh, both Talmuds and the halachic Midrashim, principally Sifra and Sifre.
Sources include the responsa of the Geonim. The maxims and decisions of the Geonim are presented with the introductory phrase "The Geonim have decided" or "There is a regulation of the Geonim", while the opinions of Isaac Alfasi and Alfasi's pupil Joseph ibn Migash are prefaced by the words "my teachers have decided". According to Maimonides, the Geonim were considered "unintelligible in our days, there are but few who are able to comprehend them". There were times when Maimonides disagreed with what was being taught in the name of the Geonim. A number of laws appear to have no source in any of the works mentioned. Maimonides himself states a few times in his work that he possessed what he considered to be more accurate texts of the Talmud than what most people possessed at his time; the latter has been confirmed to a certain extent by versions of the Talmud preserved by the Yemenite Jews as to the reason for what were thought to be rulings without any source. The Mishneh Torah is written in Hebrew in the style of the Mishnah.
As he states in the preface, Maimonides was reluctant to write in Talmudic Aramaic, since it was not known. His previous works had been written in Arabic; the Mishneh Torah never cites sources or arguments, confines itself to stating the final decision on the law to be followed in each situation. There is no discussion of Talmudic interpretation or methodology, the sequence of chapters follows the factual subject matter of the laws rather than the intellectual principle involved. 1. HaMadda 1. Yesodei ha-Torah: belief in God, other Jewish principles of faith 2. De'ot: general proper behavior 3. Talmud Torah: Torah study 4. Avodah Zarah: the prohibition against idolatry and foreign worship 5. Teshuvah: the law and philosophy of repentance 2. Ahavah 1. Kri'at Shema: recitation of the Shema 2. Tefilah and Birkat Kohanim: prayer and the priestly blessing 3. Tefillin and Sefer Torah 4. Tzitzit 5. Berachot: blessings 6. Milah: circumcision 7. Seder Tefilot: order of prayers 3. Zemanim 1. Shabbat: Sabbath 2. Eruvin: a Rabbinic device that facilitates Sabbath observance 3.
Shevitat `Asor: laws of Yom Kippur, except for the Temple service 4. Yom Tov: prohibitions on major Jewish holidays that are different from the prohibitions of Sabbath 5. Hametz u-Matza: chametz and matzah 6. Shofar ve-Lulav ve-Sukkah: Shofar and palm frond and Sukkah 7. Shekalim: money collected for the Temple in Jerusalem when it stood 8. Kiddush HaChodesh: sanctification of the month 9. Taaniyot: fasts 10. Hanukah u-Megillah: Hanukkah and the Scroll of Esther 4. Nashim: 1. Ishut: laws of marriage, including kiddushin and the ketubah 2. Geirushin: laws of divorce 3. Yibum va-Chalitzah: laws of levirate marriage 4. Na'arah Betulah: the law of a man who seduces or rapes an unmarried woman 5. Sotah: laws concerning a woman suspected of infidelity 5. Kedushah 1. Issurei Biah: forbidden sexual relations, including niddah and adultery. Since intermarriage with no