His clan name was Kung, and Confucius is merely the latinized form of Kung Fu-tze, meaning " the philosopher or master K`ung."
The adjoining city is still the home of the Kung family; and there are said to be in it some 40,000 or 50,000 of the descendants of the sage.
The harbour is formed by an island named Liu-kung-tao running east and west across the mouth of a small bay, leaving an entrance at each end.
Khri lde gtsug-brtan-mesag-ts'oms, the grandson of Mang-srong and second in succession from him, promoted the spread of Buddhism and obtained for his son, Jangts'a Lhapon, who was famous for the beauty of his person, the hand of the accomplished princess Kyimshang, daughter, otherwise kung-chu, of the Chinese emperor Juy- (?
The sage was born, according to the historian Sze-ma Chien, in the year 550 B.C.; according to Kung-yang and Kuh-liang, two earlier commentators on his Annals of Lu, in 551; but all three agree in the month and day assigned to his birth, which took place in winter.
There, in the Tze line, towards the end of the 8th century B.C., we find a Kung Kia, whose posterity, according to the rules for the dropping of surnames, became the Kung clan.
Hwa Tuh, another high officer of the duchy, that he might get this lady into his possession, brought about the death of Kung Kia, and was carrying his prize in a carriage to his own palace, when she strangled herself on the way.
The Kung family, however, became reduced, and by-and-by its chief representative moved from Sung to Lu, where in the early part of the 6th century we meet with Shuh-liang Heih, the father of Confucius, as commandant of the district of Tsow, and an officer renowned for his feats of strength and daring.
Tze-kung heard the words, and hastened to him.
When their master thus died, his disciples buried him with great pomp. A multitude of them built huts near his grave, and remained there, mourning as for a father, for nearly three years; and when all the rest were gone, Tze-kung, the last of his favourite three, continued alone by the grave for another period of the same duration.
The grave of Confucius is in a large rectangle separated from the rest of the Kung cemetery, outside the city of K`iuh-fow.
All over the place are imperial tablets of different dynasties, with glowing tributes to the one man whom China delights to honour; and on the right of the grandson's mound is a small house said to mark the place of the hut where Tze-kung passed his nearly five years of loving vigil.
In or near Iioo B.C., Chou Kung, an able mathematician, determined with surprising accuracy the obliquity of the ecliptic; but his attempts to estimate the sun's distance failed hopelessly as being grounded on belief in the flatness of the earth.