Sat, Apr 21, 2012 - Page 2 News List

‘Time’ lists Confucius as all-time influential person

Staff writer, with CNA, NEW YORK

Confucius (孔子), the great teacher and social philosopher of the Spring and Autumn Period of Chinese history, has been selected by Time magazine as one of the most influential people in world history.

After unveiling the “Time 100” list of the most influential people in the world on Wednesday, the weekly released a list of the most influential people of all time that included household names such as Jesus Christ, Buddha, Homer, Sir Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin and Confucius.

Dubbed the Time 100 of All Time, the list tells the story of the human race, Time columnist Joel Stein said in a humorous introductory article.

“It is a list, I assume, that will be carved in stone, put in every time capsule and projected by lasers into space. Also, please tweet it and post it on your Facebook walls,” Stein wrote.

The list includes controversial bad guys such as Adolf Hitler and Cuban Communist leader Fidel Castro.

Introducing Hitler, Stein wrote: “Nearly 70 years after his death, the meanest thing you can do is compare someone to Hitler.”

Besides Confucius, the list includes five other important Chinese historical figures — Lao Tzu (老子), Qin Shi Huang (秦始皇), Liu Bang (劉邦), Genghis Khan and Zheng He (鄭和).

Stein said Confucius was selected because he wrote books like the Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother long before Amy Chua. Confucius is credited with having authored or edited many of the Chinese classic texts that champion family loyalty and respect for elders.

Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of a unified China who ruled the state of Qin from 246 BC to 221 BC, was chosen because he “instituted legalism, without which the Chinese would not have been so ready for communism,” Stein said. “Also, he built a lot of the Great Wall and those terracotta soldiers, without which China would not have tourism.”

Zheng He, an early 15th-century explorer, was propelled to fame because his “voyages were so legendary that an epic about them was written in 1597 called The Romance of the Three-Jeweled Eunuch,” Stein wrote in the article.

Facebook co-founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg is the only person from the 21st century on the list.

“Steve Jobs just made things pretty. Zuckerberg ushered in an age where it’s totally acceptable to take near-naked photos of yourself in the bathroom mirror, post them publicly and then refer to it as part of your self-branding,” the article said.

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