Robert Oxnam :: This period of political unrest in China was also one of great intellectual activity; it is often referred to as the period of "100 Schools of Thought."
Curiously enough, this kind of philosophical speculation was occurring at this time not only in China but also in other civilizations around the world. Many of the religions and philosophies still dominant today were first articulated during this era.
The period in which Confucius lived has therefore been called by some scholars the "Axial Age," indicating a turning point in world history.
Karl Jasper's called this period the "Axial Age," which he said turned on a historical axis of the year 500 BCE.
Figures who lived between 800-200 BCE
- Israel » Isaiah (770-700 BCE), followed by the "Age of Prophets," (650-500 BCE)
- Greece » Socrates (469-399 BCE), Plato (427-347 BCE), Aristotle (384-322 BCE)
- Iran » Zoroaster (ca. 600 BCE)
- India » Buddha (563-483 BCE), the Hindu Upanishad texts written (ca. 550 BCE)
- China » Confucius (551-479 BCE), Laozi (605-530 BCE)