Today in the Middle Ages: September 28, 551 BCE

September 28, 551 BCE is the traditional date for the birthday of Confucius (K'ung-fu-tzu). Although not a medieval figure, Confucius exercised a profound influence over the subsequent development of Chinese culture in all periods.

Confucius' philosophy emphasized right behavior, filial piety, courtesy and generosity. His vision of the benevolent ruler who leads by example and inspiration rather than force became China's ideal.