Confucius was born on 28 Septemeber 551 BCE in Lu, China, a province of the Zhou dynasty – near modern day Qufu. He was born in a period of religious and cultural turmoil, with the great Zhou dynasty in decline and being replaced by petty fiefdoms fighting for supremacy. His family may have had aristocratic roots, but were relatively poor at the time of his birth. His father was a soldier who died when Confucius was just three years old. As a result, he was brought up by his mother, who kindled his love of learning and seeking wisdom. Confucius was an influential Chinese philosopher – who taught a philosophy of correct behaviour, social interaction and kindness towards others. During his lifetime, he sought to educate his fellow citizens on principles of justice, service and personal integrity. After his death, his precepts and philosophy became the cornerstone of Chinese culture and philosophy – widely known as Confucianism.