Shun known as Emperor Shun and Chonghua, was a legendary leader of ancient China, regarded by some sources as one of the Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors being the last of the Five Emperors. Oral tradition holds that he lived sometime between 2294 and 2184 BC. Shun's ancestral clan name is Yao, his lineage name is Youyu, his given name was Zhonghua. Shun is sometimes referred to as Yu Shun; the "Yu" in "Yu Shun" was the name of the fiefdom. According to traditional sources, Shun received the mantle of leadership from Emperor Yao at the age of 53, died at the age of 100 years. Before his death Shun is recorded as relinquishing his seat of power to Yu, the founder of the Xia Dynasty. Shun's capital was located in Puban, presently located in Shanxi). Under Emperor Yao, Shun was appointed successively Minister of Instruction, General Regulator and chief of the Four Peaks, put all affairs in proper order within three years. Yao was so impressed. Shun wished to decline in favour of someone more virtuous, but assumed Yao's duties.
It was said that "those who had to try a lawsuit did not go to Danzhu, but to Shun." Danzhu was the son of Yao. After ascending to the throne, Shun offered sacrifices to the god Shang Di, as well as to the hills and the host of spirits, he toured the eastern, the southern, the western, the northern parts of the country. Shun divided the land into twelve provinces, raising altars upon twelve hills, deepening the rivers. Shun dealt with four criminals: banishing Gonggong, the Minister of Works to You island, confining Huan-dou on Mount Chong, executing or imprisoning Gun a prisoner till his death on Mount Yu, driving the San-Miao into San-Wei. Gun's son, Yu, was subsequently appointed Minister of Works to govern the land. Shun appointed Yu to be General Regulator. Yu wished to decline in favour of the Minister of Agriculture, or Xie, or Gao Yao, but accepted upon Shun's insistence. Shun appointed Chui as the new Minister of Works. Shun appointed Yi as Minister of Animal Husbandry to govern the beasts and trees of the land, Bo-yi as Priest of the Ancestral Temple to perform religious ceremonies, Hui as Director of Music, Long as Minister of Communications to counter deceptions and false reports.
According to the Canon of Shun, Shun began to reign at the age of 30, reigned with Yao for 30 years, reigned 50 more years after Yao's abdication Shun died. The Bamboo Annals state that Yao chose Shun as his heir three years before abdicating the throne to him. Both sources agree that after abdicating, Yao lived for another 28 years in retirement during Shun's reign. In centuries and Shun were glorified for their virtue by Confucian philosophers. Shun was renowned for his modesty and filial piety. Sima Qian claimed in Annals of the Five Emperors that Shun descended from Yellow Emperor through the latter's grandson Emperor Zhuanxu; the Bamboo Annals recorded the name of Shun's mother as Wodeng, Shun's birthplace as Yaoxu. Wodeng died when Shun was young. Shun's blind father Gusou remarried soon after Shun's mother's death. Shun's stepmother gave birth to Shun's half brother Xiang and a half-sister Jì. Shun's stepmother and half brother treated Shun often forcing Shun to do all the hard work in the family and only giving him the worst food and clothing.
Shun's father, being blind and elderly, was ignorant of Shun's good deeds and always blamed Shun for everything. Yet, despite these conditions, Shun never complained and always treated his father, his stepmother, his half brother with kindness and respect; when he was an adult, his stepmother threw him out of the house. Shun was forced to live on his own. Yet, because of his compassionate nature and his natural leadership skills, everywhere he went, people followed him, he was able to organize the people to be kind to each other and do the best they could; when Shun first went to a village that produced pottery, after less than one year, the pottery became more beautiful than they had been. When Shun went to a fishing village, the people there were at first fighting amongst themselves over the fishing grounds, many people were injured or killed in the fights. Shun taught them how to share and allocate the fishing resources, soon the village was prospering and all hostilities ceased; when Emperor Yao became old, he became distressed over the fact that his 9 sons were all useless, only knew how to spend their days enjoying themselves with wine and song.
Yao asked the Four Mountains, to propose a suitable successor. Yao heard of Shun's tales. Wise Yao did not want to believe in the tales about Shun, so he decided to test Shun. Yao gave a district to Shun to govern and married his two daughters to him, with a small dowry of a new house and some money. Though given an office and money, Shun still lived humbly, he continued to work in the fields every day. Shun managed to convince his two brides, the two princesses, Yao's daughters, named Ehuang and Nüying, who
The Western Zhou was the first half of the Zhou dynasty of ancient China. It began when King Wu of Zhou overthrew the Shang dynasty at the Battle of Muye and ended when the Quanrong nomads sacked its capital Haojing and killed King You of Zhou in 771 BC; the Western Zhou early state was successful for about seventy-five years and slowly lost power. The former Shang lands were divided into hereditary fiefs which became independent of the king. In 771 BC, the Zhou were driven out of the Wei River valley. Few records survive from this early period and accounts from the Western Zhou period cover little beyond a list of kings with uncertain dates. King Wu died three years after the conquest; because his son, King Cheng of Zhou was young, his brother, the Duke of Zhou assisted the young and inexperienced king as regent. Wu's other brothers, concerned about the Duke of Zhou's growing power, formed an alliance with other regional rulers and Shang remnants in a rebellion; the Duke of Zhou stamped out this rebellion and conquered more territory to bring other people under Zhou rule.
The Duke formulated the Mandate of Heaven doctrine to counter Shang claims to a divine right of rule and founded Luoyang as an eastern capital. With a feudal fengjian system, royal relatives and generals were given fiefs in the east, including Luoyang, Ying, Lu, Qi and Yan. While this was designed to maintain Zhou authority as it expanded its rule over a larger amount of territory, many of these became major states when the dynasty weakened; when the Duke of Zhou stepped down as regent, the remainder of Cheng's reign and that of his son King Kang of Zhou seem to have been peaceful and prosperous. The fourth king, King Zhao of Zhou led an army south against Chu and was killed along with a large part of the Zhou army; the fifth king, King Mu of Zhou is remembered for his legendary visit to the Queen Mother of the West. Territory was lost to the Xu Rong in the southeast; the kingdom seems to have weakened during Mu's long reign because the familial relationship between Zhou Kings and regional rulers thinned over generations so that fiefs that were held by royal brothers were now held by third and fourth cousins.
The reigns of the next four kings are poorly documented. The ninth king is said to have boiled the Duke of Qi in a cauldron, implying that the vassals were no longer obedient; the tenth king, King Li of Zhou was forced into exile and power was held for fourteen years by the Gonghe Regency. Li's overthrow may have been accompanied by China's first recorded peasant rebellion; when Li died in exile, Gonghe retired and power passed to Li's son King Xuan of Zhou. King Xuan worked to restore royal authority, though regional lords became less obedient in his reign; the twelfth and last king of the Western Zhou period was King You of Zhou. When You replaced his wife with a concubine, the former queen's powerful father, the Marquess of Shen, joined forces with Quanrong barbarians to sack the western capital of Haojing and kill King You in 771 BC, his killing resulted to beginning wars between local states which continued until Qin unification of China. Some scholars have surmised that the sack of Haojing might have been connected to a Scythian raid from the Altai before their westward expansion.
Most of the Zhou nobles withdrew from the Wei River valley and the capital was reestablished downriver at the old eastern capital of Chengzhou near modern-day Luoyang. This was the start of the Eastern Zhou period, customarily divided into the Spring and Autumn period and the Warring States period, it is possible. This would explain the sudden loss of royal power when the Zhou were driven east, but the matter is hard to prove. In recent decades, archaeologists have found a significant number of treasure hoards that were buried in the Wei valley about the time the Zhou were expelled; this implies that the Zhou nobles were driven from their homes and hoped to return, but never did. Shaughnessy, Edward L. "Western Zhou history", in Michael. The Cambridge History of Ancient China, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 292–351, ISBN 978-0-521-47030-8. Li, Feng, "'Feudalism' and Western Zhou China: a criticism", Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies, 63: 115–144, JSTOR 25066693. ——, Landscape and Power in Early China: The Crisis and Fall of the Western Zhou 1045–771 BC, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0-521-85272-2
Oracle bones are pieces of ox scapula or turtle plastron, which were used for pyromancy – a form of divination – in ancient China during the late Shang dynasty. Scapulimancy is the correct term. Diviners would submit questions to deities regarding future weather, crop planting, the fortunes of members of the royal family, military endeavors, other similar topics; these questions were carved onto the shell in oracle bone script using a sharp tool. Intense heat was applied with a metal rod until the bone or shell cracked due to thermal expansion; the diviner would interpret the pattern of cracks and write the prognostication upon the piece as well. Pyromancy with bones continued in China into the Zhou dynasty, but the questions and prognostications were written with brushes and cinnabar ink, which degraded over time; the oracle bones bear the earliest known significant corpus of ancient Chinese writing and contain important historical information such as the complete royal genealogy of the Shang dynasty.
When they were discovered and deciphered in the early twentieth century, these records confirmed the existence of the Shang, which some scholars had until doubted. The Shang-dynasty oracle bones are thought to have been unearthed periodically by local farmers since as early as the Sui and Tang dynasties and starting as early as the Han dynasty, but local inhabitants did not realize what the bones were and reburied them. During the 19th century, villagers in the area digging in the fields discovered a number of bones and used them as "dragon bones", a reference to the traditional Chinese medicine practice of grinding up Pleistocene fossils into tonics or poultices; the turtle shell fragments were prescribed for malaria, while the other animal bones were used in powdered form to treat knife wounds. In 1899, an antiques dealer from Shandong Province searching for Chinese bronzes in the area acquired a number of oracle bones from locals, several of which he sold to Wang Yirong, the chancellor of the Imperial Academy in Beijing.
Wang was a knowledgeable collector of Chinese bronzes and is believed to be the first person in modern times to recognize the oracle bones' markings as ancient Chinese writing similar to that on Zhou dynasty bronzes. A legendary tale relates that Wang was sick with malaria, his scholar friend Liu E was visiting him and helped examine his medicine, they discovered, before it was ground into powder, that it bore strange glyphs, which they, having studied the ancient bronze inscriptions, recognized as ancient writing. As Xu Yahui states: "No one can know how many oracle bones, prior to 1899, were ground up by traditional Chinese pharmacies and disappeared into peoples' stomachs."It is not known how Wang and Liu came across these "dragon bones", but Wang is credited with being the first to recognize their significance. Wang committed suicide in 1900 in connection with his involvement in the Boxer Rebellion, his son sold the bones to friend Liu E, who published the first book of rubbings of the oracle bone inscriptions in 1903.
News of the discovery of the oracle bones spread throughout China and among foreign collectors and scholars, the market for oracle bones exploded, though many collectors sought to keep the location of the bones' source a secret. Although scholars tried to find their source, antique dealers falsely claimed that the bones came from Tangyin in Henan. In 1908, scholar Luo Zhenyu discovered the source of the bones near Anyang and realized that the area was the site of the last Shang dynasty capital. Decades of uncontrolled digs followed to fuel the antiques trade, many of these pieces entered collections in Europe, the US, Canada and Japan; the first Western collector was the American missionary Frank H. Chalfant. Chalfant first coined the term "oracle bone" in his 1906 book Early Chinese Writing, borrowed into Chinese as "jiǎgǔ 甲骨" in the 1930s. Only a small number of dealers and collectors knew the location of the source of the oracle bones or visited it until they were found by Canadian missionary James Menzies, the first person to scientifically excavate and decipher them.
He was the first to conclude that the bones were records of divination from the Shang dynasty, was the first to come up with a method of dating them. In 1917 he published the first scientific study of the bones, including 2,369 drawings and inscriptions and thousands of ink rubbings. Through the donation of local people and his own archaeological excavations, he acquired the largest private collection in the world, over 35,000 pieces, he insisted that his collection remain in China, though some were sent to Canada by colleagues who were worried that they would be either destroyed or stolen during the Japanese invasion of China in 1937. The Chinese still acknowledge the pioneering contribution of Menzies as "the foremost western scholar of Yin-Shang culture and oracle bone inscriptions." His former residence in Anyang was declared a "Protected Treasure" in 2004, the James Mellon Menzies Memorial Museum for Oracle Bone Studies was established. By the time of the establishment of the Institute of History and Philology headed by Fu Sinian at the Academia Sinica in 1928, the source of the oracle bones had been traced back to modern Xiǎotún village at Anyang in Henan Province.
Official archaeological excavations in 1928–1937 led by Li Ji, the father of Chinese archaeology, discovered 20,000 oracle bone pieces, which now form the bulk of the Academia Sinica's collection in Taiwan and constitute about 1/5 of the total discovered. When dec
Anhui is a province of the People's Republic of China located in the eastern region of the country. The province is located across the basins of the Yangtze River and the Huai River, bordering Jiangsu to the east, Zhejiang to the southeast, Jiangxi to the south, Hubei to the southwest, Henan to the northwest, Shandong for a short section in the north. Anhui is the 22nd largest Chinese province based on area, the 8th most populous, the 12th most densely-populated region of all 34 Chinese provincial regions. Hefei is second largest city; the name "Anhui" derives from the names of two cities: Anqing and Huizhou. The abbreviation for Anhui is "Chinese: 皖; the administration of Anhui is composed of the provincial administrative system, led by the Governor, Provincial Congress, The People's Political Consultative Conference, Provincial Higher people's Court. Anhui is known as a province with political tradition in China's government system. Aside from managing provincial government departments, the provincial government manages 16 cities, 62 counties, 43 county-level districts and 1,522 townships.
By the end of 2016, the population registered in Anhui was 70.27 million. The total GDP of Anhui Province is listed as 12th of all 31 provincial regions in 2017. Anhui Province was established in the sixth year of the reign of the Kangxi Emperor of the Qing dynasty; the province has another name, "Wan", during the Spring and Autumn Period, a small country named "Wan" was here and a mountain called "Wanshan" is in the province. Before Anhui was established, this land had a long history. Two million years ago, human beings inhabited this area, proven by some findings in Fanchang County. Archaeologists have identified the cultural domains of Yangshao and Longshan, dated to the Neolithic Age. In relation to these cultures, archeologists have discovered through excavation a 4500-year-old city called the Nanchengzi Ruins in Guzhen County, after they discovered a Neolithic city wall and a moat, part of a much larger and integrated city in the region during their 2013 disinterment. There are many historic sites found in the province from the period of the Xia dynasty to the Warring Kingdoms.
After the Qin dynasty unified China, this area belonged to different prefectures such as the Jiujiang, Zhang and Sishui Prefectures. Anhui became parts of Yang, Yu, Xu prefectures during Han dynasties. In the period of the Three Kingdoms, Anhui was separately dominated by the Wu Wei State. During the Jin dynasty and Southern dynasties and the Sui dynasty, Anhui was part of Yang, Xu and Yu prefectures, respectively. On, the Hui area flourished and the economy and culture of Hui Prefecture created great influence during Song Dynasty. During the Yuan dynasty, ruled by the Mongolian emperor, Anhui area was a part of Henan province. During the Ming dynasty, the area was directly managed by the administration of the Capital of Nanjing. Shortly after the Qing dynasty was established, this area and Jiangsu province were merged as one province until the sixth year of the Kangxi Emperor's reign in the Qing dynasty. During the Qing dynasty, Anhui played an important role in the Self-Strengthening Movement led by Li Hongzhang, an important Prime Minister during the Qing Dynasty.
At this time, many western weapons and modern government concepts were introduced into China. Over the next 50 years, Anhui became one of the most aggressive areas with liberal thought. Within this environment, many ideologists appeared in Anhui. Several of them impacted the future of China including, Hu Shih, a Chinese philosopher and diplomat, Chen Duxiu, founder of the Chinese Communist Party and the first General Secretary of the CCP. In 1938, the north and central areas of the province were damaged because Chiang Kai-shek, the then-President of the Republic of China, broke the dam of Yellow River, hoping this strategy could slow down the invasion by the Imperial Japanese Army. Within only ten days of the dam breaking, the water and sands drowned all of north and middle area of this province, 500,000 to 900,000 Chinese lives were lost, along with an unknown number of Japanese soldiers; the flood prevented the Japanese Army from taking Zhengzhou. With the establishment of People’s Republic of China in 1949, the capital city of Anhui province moved to what was a small town, Hefei.
At the same time, the provincial government spent a lot of energy and money to develop this new capital city which has become China Top 25 city in 2010s. After 1949, the government launched many Water Projects to solve the hurt during World War II. In addition, many other areas of China supported Anhui’s development. In the 1990s, the province has become one of the fastest growing provinces in China. In 2010s, the province became a part of China Yangtze River Delta Economic Area, the most developed area of China, and the capital city, Hefei, is set as the sub-central city of this Economic Area, only after Shanghai and Hangzhou. In terms of culture, Northern Anhui was a part of the North China Plain together with modern-day Henan province, northern Jiangsu and southern Shandong provinces. Central Anhui was densely populated and constituted of fertile land from the Huai River watershed. In contrast, the culture of Southern Anhui, bordered along the Yangtze, was closer to Jiangxi and southern Jiangsu provinces.
The hills of southeastern Anhui formed a
Chongqing romanized as Chungking, is a major city in southwest China. Administratively, it is one of China's four municipalities under the direct administration of central government, the only such municipality in China located far away from the coast. Chongqing was a municipality during the Republic of China administration, serving as its wartime capital during the Second Sino-Japanese War; the current municipality was recreated on 14 March 1997 to help develop the central and western parts of China. The Chongqing administrative municipality has a population of over 30 million, spread over an area the size of Austria; the city of Chongqing made of 9 urban districts has a much smaller population of 8,518,000 as of 2016 estimation. According to the 2010 census, Chongqing is the most populous Chinese municipality, the largest direct-controlled municipality in China, containing 26 districts, eight counties, four autonomous counties; the official abbreviation of the city, "Yu", was approved by the State Council on 18 April 1997.
This abbreviation is derived from the old name of a part of the Jialing River that runs through Chongqing and feeds into the Yangtze River. Chongqing has culture. Being one of China's National Central Cities, it serves as the economic centre of the upstream Yangtze basin, it is a major manufacturing transportation hub. Tradition associates Chongqing with the State of Ba; this new capital was first named Jiangzhou. Jiangzhou subsequently remained under Qin Shi Huang's rule during the Qin dynasty, the successor of the Qin State, under the control of Han dynasty emperors. Jiangzhou was subsequently renamed during the Northern and Southern dynasties to Chu Prefecture in 581 AD to Yu Prefecture, in 1102 during Northern Song to Gong Prefecture; the name Yu however survives to this day as an abbreviation for Chongqing, the city centre where the old town stood is called Yuzhong. It received its current name in 1189, after Prince Zhao Dun of the Southern Song dynasty described his crowning as king and Emperor Guangzong as a "double celebration".
In his honour, Yu Prefecture was therefore renamed Chongqing subprefecture marking the occasion of his enthronement. In 1362, Ming Yuzhen, a peasant rebel leader, established the Daxia Kingdom at Chongqing for a short time. In 1621, another short-lived kingdom of Daliang was established by She Chongming with Chongqing as its capital. In 1644, after the fall of the Ming dynasty to a rebel army, together with the rest of Sichuan, was captured by Zhang Xianzhong, said to have massacred a large number of people in Sichuan and depopulated the province, in part by causing many people to flee to safety elsewhere; the Manchus conquered the province, during the Qing dynasty, immigration to Chongqing and Sichuan took place with the support of the Qing emperor. In 1890, the British Consulate General was opened in Chongqing; the following year, the city became the first inland commerce port open to foreigners. The French, German, US and Japanese consulates were opened in Chongqing in 1896–1904. During and after the Second Sino-Japanese War, from Nov 1937 to May 1946, it was Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek's provisional capital.
After Britain, the United States, other Allies entered the war in Asia in December 1941, one of the Allies' deputy commanders of operations in South East Asia, Joseph Stilwell, was based in the city. The city was visited by Lord Louis Mountbatten, the Supreme Commander of SEAC, itself headquartered in Ceylon, modern day Sri Lanka. Chiang Kai Shek as Supreme Commander in China worked with Stilwell; the Japanese Air Force bombed it. Due to its mountainous environment, many people were saved from the bombing. Due to the bravery and sacrifices made by the local people during World War II, Chongqing became known as the City of Heroes. Many factories and universities were relocated from eastern China to Chongqing during the war, transforming this city from inland port to a industrialized city. In late November 1949 the Nationalist KMT government fled the city. On 14 March 1997, the Eighth National People's Congress decided to merge the Sub-provincial city with the neighbouring Fuling and Qianjiang prefectures that it had governed on behalf of the province since September 1996.
The resulting single division became Chongqing Municipality, containing 30,020,000 people in forty-three former counties. The municipality became the spearhead of China's effort to develop its western regions and to coordinate the resettlement of residents from the reservoir areas of the Three Gorges Dam project, its first official ceremony took place on 18 June 1997. On 8 February 2010, Chongqing became one of the four National Central/Core cities, the other three are Beijing and Tianjin. On 18 June 2010, Liangjiang New Area was established in Chongqing, the third State-level new areas at the time of its establishment. In the first decade of the 21st century, the city became notorious for organised crime and corruption. Gangsters oversaw businesses involving billions of yuan and the corruption reached into the law-en
The Wei River is a major river in west-central China's Gansu and Shaanxi provinces. It is the largest tributary of the Yellow River and important in the early development of Chinese civilization; the source of the Wei River is close to Weiyuan County – Wei yuan meaning "Wei's source" – in Gansu province, less than 200 kilometres from the Yellow River at Lanzhou. However, due to the sharp turn north the Yellow River takes in Lanzhou, the Wei and the Yellow River do not meet for more than 2,000 kilometres further along the Yellow River's course. In a direct line, the Wei's source lies 700 kilometres west of the main city along its course, Xi'an in Shaanxi province; the length of the river is 818 kilometres and the area drained covers 135,000 square kilometres. The Wei River's tributaries include the Luo River, Jing River, Niutou River, Feng River and the Chishui River. In Chinese mythology, the giant Kua Fu drained the Yellow River and the Wei River to quench his burning thirst as he pursued the Sun.
The valley of the Wei was one of the early cradles of Chinese civilization, along which the capitals of the Zhou, Qin and Tang Dynasties were situated. The area of Dingxi around its headwaters in Gansu has numerous stone age sites from various early cultures; the Wei Valley is the earliest center of Chinese civilization, the location of China's first major irrigation works. Some Chinese historians now believe the Wei is the ancient Jiang River that gave its name to the families of Shennong and the Yan emperor, two Chinese legendary heroes credited with the early development of agriculture there; the headwaters of the Wei River are notable in the development of the Northern Silk Road. The Chinese segment of the Northern Silk Road connected Xi'an to the west via Baoji, Tianshui at the Wei's headwaters, Lanzhou and the Wushao Ling Mountain, before looping north of the Takla Makan on its way to Kashgar and the routes into Parthia. In September 2003 extensive rainfall led to flooding that caused over 30 fatalities, temporarily displaced over 300,000 persons.
Ecological aspects of the Wei River have been examined with respect to flow rates in the Wei River. The Wei River Bridge featured in the design of the 5000-yuan note of the first series of the renminbi, dated 1953, shows a train passing over the bridge
Great Flood (China)
The Great Flood of Gun-Yu known as the Gun-Yu myth, was a major flood event in ancient China that continued for at least two generations, which resulted in great population displacements among other disasters, such as storms and famine. People mounts, or nest on the trees. According to mythological and historical sources, it is traditionally dated to the third millennium BCE, during the reign of Emperor Yao. Archaeological evidence of an outburst flood on the Yellow River has been dated to about 1920 BCE, is suggested to have been the basis for the myth. Treated either or mythologically, the story of the Great Flood and the heroic attempts of the various human characters to control it and to abate the disaster is a narrative fundamental to Chinese culture. Among other things, the Great Flood of China is key to understanding the history of the founding of both the Xia dynasty and the Zhou dynasty, it is one of the main flood motifs in Chinese mythology, it is a major source of allusion in Classical Chinese poetry.
The story of the Great Flood plays a dramatic role in Chinese mythology, its various versions present a number of examples of the flood myth motif around the world. Flood narratives in Chinese mythology share certain common features, despite being somewhat lacking in internal consistency as well as incorporating various magical transformations and divine or semi-divine interventions like Nüwa. For example, the flood results from natural causes rather than "universal punishment for human sin". Another distinct motif of the myth of the Great Flood of China is an emphasis on the heroic and praiseworthy efforts to mitigate the disaster. Another key motif is the development of civilization and bettering the human situation despite the disaster of the deluge. During the course of fighting and getting the inundation problems under control, much progress was made in terms of land management, beast control, agricultural techniques; these and other developments are integral to the narrative, exemplify a wider approach to human health and societal well being than emergency management of the flood and its immediate effects.
According to legend, a comprehensive approach to societal development resulted not only in wide-scale cooperation and large-scale efforts to control the flood but led to the establishment of the first state of China, the Xia dynasty. It was during the reign of Emperor Yao that the Great Flood began, a flood so vast that no part of Yao's territory was spared, both the Yellow River and the Yangtze valleys flooded; the alleged nature of the flood is shown in the following quote: According to both historical and mythological sources, the flooding continued relentlessly. Yao sought to find someone who could control the flood, turned for advice to his special adviser, or advisers, the Four Mountains. Upon the insistence of Four Mountains, over Yao's initial hesitation, the person Yao consented to appoint in charge of controlling the flood was Gun, the Prince of Chong, a distant relative of Yao's through common descent from the Yellow Emperor. According to the main mythological tradition, Gun's plan of flood control was through the use of a miraculously continuously self-expanding soil, Xirang.
Gun chose to obtain the Xirang by stealing it from the Supreme Divinity. Year in and year out, many times, to great extents. However, Gun was never able to abate the problems of the Great Flood. Whether his failure to abate the flood was due to divine wrath or to engineering defects remains an unanswered question – although one pointed out over two thousand years ago by Qu Yuan, in his "Heavenly Questions". After nine years of the efforts of Gun, the flood continued to rage on, leading to the increase of all sorts of social disorders; the administration of the empire was becoming difficult. Yao proceeded to put Shun through a series of tests, beginning with marrying his two daughters to Shun and ending by sending him down from the mountains to the plains below where Shun had to face fierce winds and rain. After passing all of Yao's tests, not the least of which being establishing and continuing a state of marital harmony together with Yao's two daughters, Shun took on administrative responsibilities as co-emperor.
Among these responsibilities, Shun had to deal with the Great Flood and its associated disruptions in light of the fact that Yao's reluctant decision to appoint Gun to handle the problem had failed to fix the situation, despite having been working on it for the previous nine years. Shun took steps over the next four years to reorganize the empire, in such a way as to solve immediate pr