c. 1600-1050 bce
Xia, Shang, Zhou
Three Ancient Dynasties, in order
legendary "founder": 1) domesticated animals, 2) invented family
legendary "founder": invented 1) plough; 2) hoe
First of the legendary "Five August Rulers" of Ancient China:
1) bow and arrow (hunting and defense)
2) boats (sailing)
3) carts (wheeled transport)
4) ceramics (pots, toys, etc)
Fought barbarian tribes, secured the Yellow River (Huang He) for Chinese "race"
Huang Di, the "Yellow Emperor" (or "Yellow Lord")
4th of the legendary "Five August Rulers" of Ancient China.
3) rewarded SHUN for FILIAL PIETY by handing the crown NOT to his spoiled, disrespectful son (dynastic succession), but to the PEASANT Shun. MORAL-ETHICAL MERIT, NOT BLOOD or WEALTH, respected in Chinese pre-history in this legend.
5th of the legendary "Five August Rulers."
PEASANT, with "evil" parents whom _he still honored anyway_.
Appointed Yu to tackle the Great Flood.
FIRST RULER OF (so-far legendary) XIA DYNASTY.
Tamed the Yellow River by irrigating, re-directing, dredging (deepening), diking, and other MASSIVE ENGINEERING WORKS. Did it 10 straight years without stopping to see his family (PUBLIC SERVICE A VIRTUE).
APPOINTED SUCCESSOR for merit, but the people wanted a DYNASTY, so they turned to Yu's son.
China's earliest history book, though much of it is clearly legendary. (Think of the Old Testament in the Bible, which is similarly a mixture of history and myth.)
One of the FIVE CONFUCIAN CLASSICS, written around 600 bce.
Confucius loved and praised it, so China "canonized" it as a great book, kind of like a book of the Bible to the West.
Tells Xia, Shang, and Zhou history.
The Shujing (Book of History)