The Analects, or Lunyu (simplified Chinese: 论语; traditional Chinese: 論語; pinyin: Lún Yǔ; literally "Classified/Ordered Sayings"), also known as the Analects of Confucius, is the collection of sayings and ideas attributed to the Chinese philosopher Confucius and his contemporaries, traditionally believed to have been written by Confucius' followers. It is believed to have been written during the Warring States period (475 BC - 221 BC), and achieved its final form during the mid-Han dynasty (206 BC-220 AD). At first considered merely a "commentary" on the Five Classics during the early Han dynasty, the status of the Analects grew as one of the central texts of Confucianism. Near the end of the Song dynasty (960-1279) the book was raised to the level of the Four Books. The Analects has been one of the most widely read and studied books in China for the last 2,000 years, and continues to have a substantial influence on Chinese and East Asian thought and values today.
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