What values do Plutarch and Confucius promote? What similarities and differences do you see in their moral and educational philosophies? How are those similarities and differences related to the history and structure of their respective societies and the problems of creating a common elite class culture to govern far-flung empires?

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Confucius, the great Chinese philosopher and teacher who was born in 551 BCE and died in 479 BCE, based his moral and ethical philosophy on the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. His teachings flowed from this basic tenet and encompassed personal relationships, relationships among various groups of people, and governmental policy. The society of which he was a part was heavily patriarchal, and this also influenced his teaching. Society was based on the family, and in particular the father, the head of the household, was to be obeyed and venerated. The emperor, as the head of government, was the father of all the country, and he, too, was to be obeyed and venerated. These father figures were to lead by example and be moral and just. These moral role models would lead to proper behavior by all. Under a virtuous king, the government would be orderly and unified, and the civil servants in charge of day-to-day operations would get their positions not because...

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