Confucius quote: “The ancients who wished…

Confucius quote: 

“The ancients who wished to illustrate illustrious virtue throughout the Kingdom, first ordered well their own states. Wishing to order well their states, they first regulated their families. Wishing to regulate their families, they first cultivated their persons. Wishing to cultivate their persons, they first rectified their hearts. Wishing to rectify their hearts, they first sought to be sincere in their thoughts. Wishing to be sincere in their thoughts, they first extended to the utmost their knowledge. Such extension of knowledge lay in the investigation of things.

Things being investigated, knowledge became complete. Their knowledge being complete, their thoughts were sincere. Their thoughts being sincere, their hearts were then rectified. Their hearts being rectified, their persons were cultivated. Their persons being cultivated, their families were regulated. Their families being regulated, their states were rightly governed. Their states being rightly governed, the whole kingdom was made tranquil and happy.

From the Son of Heaven down to the mass of the people, all must consider the cultivation of the person the root of everything besides.”

– Confucius

14th century painting depicting Confucius
14th century painting depicting Confucius


Quote – The Great Learning by Confucius / Wikiquote 

Painting – Portrait of Confucius (, late 14th century. Published by Minneapolis Institute of Art. Accessed on Jan 23rd, 2023.


Click here for another wisdom quote.

Please consider supporting Historical Snapshots with a donation if you enjoyed this Confucius quote. Visit our Patreon page to donate. Your support is much appreciated.