孔門十哲 The Ten Disciples of Confucius
冉雍 Ran Yong
Ran Yong (522 BC – ?), also known as Zhonggong, was born in the State of Lu during the late Spring and Autumn period of China, in the 20th year of the reign of Lu Zhao Gong. He was one of Confucius’ disciples and one of the Ten Disciples of Confucius, being 29 years younger than Confucius. He was awarded the title of Xue Hou by the Tang Dynasty and Xia Pi Gong by the Song Dynasty, later renamed to Xue Gong. Some scholars suggest that Zhonggong may be the Confucian scholar Zigong who was highly regarded by Xunzi.
Zhonggong, together with Ranyou and Ran Boniu, belonged to the same clan and was born to a father of low character. He was renowned for his sincerity and magnanimity, and was highly regarded for his moral virtues among the disciples of Confucius. In his youth, he studied under Confucius and was praised by him as worthy of being a “southern-facing king”. The Analects mentions his name 11 times, and Confucius esteemed Ran Yong as one of the Ten Disciples of Confucius in terms of moral excellence.