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Join for free today to meet local singles. Reviews Review Policy. Bug fixed and optimized the app for Android View details. Flag as inappropriate. He also appears as Xuanyuan. There were also other colored emperors, such as Black, Green, Red, and White.
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Huang Di's mother was said to be Fubao. Huand Di's wife Leizu is supposed to have invented sericulture. In some version Cangjie invented writing during the reign of Huang Di. The Yellow Emperor is said to have fought a great battle against Chiyou. Huangdi had various wives and many descendants, including Shaohao leader of the Dongyi. Diku is sometimes considered to descend from Huangdi and to be ancestral to the ruling family of the Shang dynasty of the second millennium BCE.
Diku is credited with the invention of various musical instruments along with musical pieces for them to accompany. The Great Flood began during the reign of Yao and continued through the time of Shun the successor of Yao, who had passed over his own son and made Shun his successor because of Shun's ability and morality. Historically, when Qin Shi Huang united China in BCE, he used propaganda to acclaim his achievements as surpassing those of mythological rulers who had gone before him. This reflected what was to become a longstanding belief that all civilized people should have one government, and that it should be Chinese Latourette , p.
The Yellow River, prone to flooding, erupted in a huge flood in the time of Yao. The flood disrupted society and endangered human existence, as agricultural fields drowned, hunting game disappeared, and the people were dislocated to hills and mountains. Yu's father, Gun, was put in charge of flood control by Yao, but failed to alleviate the problem after nine years.
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In some versions Gun was executed by Shun's minister Zhurong for this failure, but according to others Gun was merely exiled for opposing the elevation of Shun as co-emperor. In more purely mythological versions, the story is more along the lines that Gun transformed into an animal shape to escape the wrath of Heaven for having dared to go to Heaven and steal the flood-fighting expanding earth xirang. He fled to Feather Mountain and was struck dead by the fire god Zhurong on behalf of Heaven. After three years, his son Yu appeared out of his belly, usually said to be in the form of some fantastic animal.
Yu took his father's place fighting the flood, leading the people to build canals and levees, often said to be with the help of Xirang. After thirteen years of toil, Yu abated the flood. Why the Xirang failed to work when Gun used it and he was punished by Heaven, but when Yu used it he was able to stop the flood and was rewarded by Heaven, is a question frequently made in the myths.
The mythology of Yu and his associates during their work in controlling the flood and simultaneously saving the people can be seen in various ways to symbolize different societal and cultural developments, such as innovations in hunting, agriculture, well-digging, astronomy, social and political organizing, and other cultural innovations that occur during the course of the mythology around the flood stories.
For example, a historicized version of xirang explains this soil may represent an innovative type of raised garden, made up of soil, brushwood, and similar materials. Thus, Yu and his work in controlling the flood with xirang would symbolize a societal development allowing a large scale approach to transforming wetlands into arable fields Hawkes , pp. Yu was said to be the founder of the Xia dynasty.
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First dynastiesThe first three dynasties have especial significance in mythology. Xia dynastyFurther information: Xia dynastyThe Xia dynasty is a real, historical dynasty known through archeology and literary accounts.
However, many of these accounts contain elements of a clearly semi-mythological, and in some versions completely mythological or fanciful. The founding mythology of the early dynasties tends to have certain common general features, including the divine assistance obtained in the founding and the reasons for it. Wu , p. The question was who would succeed Yu upon his death.
It could be his son, Qi of Xia, also known as Kai, or the deputy that competently and diligently helped in the work against the great flood, a mighty hunter who helped feed the people during a time when agriculture had been rendered impossible, Bo Yi. The mythological variants are much concerned with the relative merits between the two.
Qi's succession broke the previous convention of meritorious succession in favor of hereditary succession, thus initiating a dynastic tradition Wu , pp. The new dynasty was called 'Xia' after Yu's centre of power. Shang dynastyFurther information: Shang dynastyAgain, as in common with the founding of Xia, there is mythological material regarding how the previous dynasty turned to evil and unworthy ways, and the founder of miraculous birth or ancestry overthrew it. The mythology of the Shang dynasty is distinct from philosophical and historical accounts. After several generations, Xie or Qi 's descendant Tang became king of Shang by overthrowing Jie, the last king of the Xia dynasty, said to be a very drunken and bloodthirsty tyrant.
The fifth book of the philosopher Mozi describes the end of the Xia dynasty and the beginning of the Shang:During the reign of King Jie of Xia, there was a great climatic change. Legends hold that the paths of the sun and moon changed, the seasons became confused, and the five grains dried up. Ghouls cried in the country and cranes shrieked for ten nights.
Heaven ordered Shang Tang to receive the heavenly commission from the Xia dynasty, which had failed morally and which Heaven was determined to end. Shang Tang was commanded to destroy Xia with the promise of Heaven's help.
It rained mud for ten days and nights, the nine cauldrons shifted positions, supernatural prodigies appeared, and ghosts cried at night. There were women who became men while it rained flesh and thorny brambles, covering the national highways. A red bird brought a message: 'Heaven decrees King Wen of Zhou to punish Yin and possess its empire'.
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The Yellow River formed charts and the earth brought forth mythical horses. On the way back from victory, the heavens gave him the emblem of a yellow bird. The mythological events surrounding the end of the Shang dynasty and the establishment of the Zhou greatly influenced the subject and story told in the popular novel Investiture of the Gods.
Myths about Houji include those of his mythical origins, of which there are two main myths. However, it was not long before much historical material appeared, of a rational, rationalized, philosophical, or otherwise non-mythological nature. BaguaMain article: BaguaOne of the main legacies of the rise of Zhou was the insemination of the classic book I Ching, however the eight trigrams must be from a far earlier period than Wengong, and even more than the editing and commentary by Confucius — mythology references the culture hero sometimes named Fuxi Legge , Introduction harvnb error: no target: CITEREFLegge help ; Siu , 'Preface' and 'Introduction to the I Ching'; see also Helmutt, Wilhelm.
Subsequent dynastiesDynasties succeeding Zhou had notable mythological material, such as the accumulation of legend around the Jian'an transition between Han dynasty and the Three Kingdoms contention, reflected in the Romance of the Three Kingdoms. From the Tang dynasty on, legends occur around the monk Xuanzang's quest for Buddhist scriptures sutras from the area more-or-less corresponding to modern India, which influenced the Ming dynasty novel Journey to the West.
Important deities, spirits, and mythological people Wen Chang, Chinese God of literature, carved in ivory, c. Main article: Chinese gods and immortalsFurther information: List of Chinese mythology and Category:Chinese legendary creaturesThere are various important deities, spirits, and mythological people in Chinese mythology and folk religion.
Some are clearly divine, such as the Jade Emperor and even he is sometimes said to have begun life as a mortal. However, in Chinese language many beings are referred to as shen. Due to the ambiguity of this word when translated into English, it is not always clear how to classify in English the entities described shen not to be confused with the mythological clam.
The category shen is rather comprehensive and generic in Chinese myth and religion, shen may be spirits, goddesses or gods, ghosts, or other. Another important concept is the classification of immortals xian. Immortals are more a category of quality than a description of an actual type. Immortals are defined by living for a long time maybe forever. However, this is not a static quality, since Daoist adepts, shamans, or others are said to become immortals through right effort and various practices. Another example is the immortality sometimes obtained by the lohans, Bodhisattvas, and Buddhas of Buddhist religion and mythology this contrasts with indefinitely prolonged series of unenlightened re-births.
Chinese mythology often tends to not make a clear differentiation between Buddhist and Daoist types. Various deities, spirits, and immortals xian are encountered in various myths. Some of these are particularly associated with Daoism. Some immortals or others became incorporated into Daoism as it developed as a phenomenon, deriving from ancient shamanic cults or other sources. The line between Daoism and folk religion is not clear. Other mythological beings are clearly derived through the process of the introduction of Buddhism into China.
Major deitiesThe concept of a principal or presiding deity has fluctuated over time in Chinese mythology. Jade EmperorMain articles: Jade Emperor and Yu DiChinese mythology holds that the Jade Emperor was charged with running of the three realms: heaven, hell, and the realm of the living. When proposed judgments were objected to, usually by other saints, the administration would occasionally resort to the counsels of advisory elders.
Tian appeared in literature c. There are no creation-oriented narratives for Tian. The extent of the distinction between Tian and Shangdi is debated. The sinologist Herrlee Creel claims that an analysis of the Shang oracle bones reveals Shangdi to have preceded Tian as a deity, and that Zhou dynasty authors replaced the term 'Shangdi' with 'Tian' to cement the claims of their influence. Daoism and Chinese mythologyFurther information: DaoismOver time certain aspects of folk religion and belief coalesced and were refined into a group of formal religious beliefs, practices, and philosophy known as Daoism.
One of the founders of Daoism was Old Man Laozi, who himself entered into legend or mythology. There is much overlap between religion and mythology, and between Chinese folk religion and Daoism. However, certain beings or concepts of Chinese mythology have a particularly strong association with religious or philosophical Daoism. In Daoist-related mythology there is often a strong presence of sorcery and magic, such as spells, charms, magical abilities, and elixirs. The development of Daoism as it came to be called was a lengthy one, with various strands including both rationalist ethical philosophy and a magico-religious stand informed by mythology.
As Daoism developed as a concept from its traditional roots in Chinese folk religion and mythology, its legitimacy was bolstered by claims of originating with Huangdi, the Yellow Emperor Ferguson , p. For example, the some of the Huangdi Sijing material, the Huangdi Yinfujing, and the Huangdi Neijing are Daoist classics with claims to a scriptural legacy going back to Huangdi. Eight ImmortalsMain article: Eight ImmortalsThe Eight Immortals have an existence in mythology as well as developed a presence in religious Daoism, and art and literature.
Collectively or individual the eight immortals walk, ride, fly, or congregate in many myths. New Buddhist material continued to enter China, with a big spike in the Tang dynasty, when the monk Xuanzang brought over texts from India Schafer , pp.