Mencius, who lived in the 4th century B.C., is second only to Confucius in importance in the Confucian tradition. The Mencius consists of sayings of Mencius and conversations he had with his contemporaries. When read side by side with the Analects, the Mencius throws a great deal of light on the teachings of Confucius
Mencius developed many of the ideas of Confucius and at the same time discussed problems not touched upon by Confucius. He drew out the implications of Confucius' moral principles and reinterpreted them for the conditions of his time. As the fullest of the four great Confucian texts, the Mencius has been the required reading amongst Chinese scholars for two thousand years, and it still throws considerable light on the character of the Chinese people.