Thursday, September 4, 2008

Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors

The actual translation of 帝 ''dì''/''dei5'' is a problematic one in that it is most often translated using its modern sense, which did not arise until after the advent of an imperial state under Qin Shi Huang . Its original meaning, and the most likely translation thereof, is that of ''supreme being'', a kind of ''?bermensch'', rather than 'emperor'. The character 帝 originally represented a shaman wearing a liturgical mantle.



The Three Sovereigns



The Three Sovereigns, sometimes known as the ''Three August Ones'', were said to be god-kings or demigods who used their magical powers to improve the lives of their people. Because of their lofty virtue, they lived to a great age and ruled over a period of great peace.



The Three Sovereigns are ascribed various identities in different texts. The ''Records of the Grand Historian'' by Sima Qian, in a chapter added by Sima Zhen, states that they were:

* ;

* ;

* ,



The ''Chunqiu yundou shu'' and ''Chunqiu yuanming bao'' identify them as:

*Fuxi

*Nüwa

*Shennong



Fuxi and Nüwa are respectively the god and goddess, husband and wife credited with being the ancestors of humankind after a devastating flood. The invention of the Primal Arrangement of the Eight Trigrams is attributed to Fuxi. Shennong invented farming and was the first to use herbs for medical purposes.



The I Ching starts like this: “In the old times of King Fuxi’s regime, he observed sky and the stars when he looked upwards, and researched the earth when he looked downwards, and watched the birds and beasts to see how they lived in their environment. He took examples from nearby and far away, and then made 8 Yin Yang signs to simulate the rules of universe...After Fuxi died, Shennong rose. He made Plow and taught people how to grow crops and fish. He invented money and market for the exchange of goods."



The ''Shangshu dazhuan'' and ''Baihu tongyi'' replace Nüwa with Suiren , the inventor of fire. The ''Diwang shiji'' replaces Nüwa with the Yellow Emperor , the supposed ancestor of all Han Chinese people.



The Five Emperors





The Five Emperors were legendary, morally perfect sage-kings. According to the ''Records of the Grand Historian'' they were:

*The Yellow Emperor

* Zhuanxu

* Emperor Ku

*

*



Yao and Shun are also known as the ''Two Emperors'', and, along with Yu the Great , founder of the Xia dynasty, were considered to be model rulers and moral exemplars by Confucians in later Chinese history. The ''Shangshu Xu'' and ''Diwang shiji'' include Shaohao instead of the Yellow Emperor.



The ''Song of Chu'' identifies the Five Emperors as directional gods:

*Shaohao

*Zhuanxu

*Yellow Emperor

*Shennong

*Fuxi



The ''Book of Rites'' equates the Five Emperors with the Five Lineages , which comprise:

*Youchao-shi

*Suiren-shi

*Fuxi

*Nüwa

*Shennong



All these "emperors" were only people with great contributions or famous rulers of tribal unions. From the Bamboo Annals and Classic of History, their positions are known to have been attained by election by other chiefs in the tribal unions. When they die, their children may succeed the positions of the ruler of their own tribe, but not the position of the ruler of the tribal union. Their power is much less than the historical Chinese emperors, generally commencing with the first Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang , who coined a new term for "Emperor" by combining the titles of "sovereign" and "god-king" who had over the people.

39 comments:

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瓊慧 said...

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皇雅婷豪 said...

The shortest answer is doing. ............................................................

walsha said...

Necessity is the mother of invention.............................................................

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雅馨 said...

If the quantity is not a lot, I will hand carry..................................................

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貢慧 said...

生存乃是不斷地在內心與靈魂交戰;寫作是坐著審判自己。......................................................................

江婷 said...

您的blog蠻不錯的耶,祝你快樂哦!期待您的更新!.................................................................                           

凱文凱文 said...

幸福不是一切,人還有責任。............................................................

芸茂芸茂 said...

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潘凱花潘凱花 said...

Some people cannot see the wood for the trees.............................................................

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first catch your hare, then cook him. ..................................................

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生命就像騎單車一樣,除非你停止踩踏板,否則不會掉下去。.......................................................

淑惠張 said...

Make yourself necessary to someone.............................................................

熙又陽辰 said...

Lets cross the bridge when we come to it............................................................

周志v豪 said...

責人之心責己,恕己之心恕人。............................................................

彤彤 said...

心中醒,口中說,紙上作,不從身上習過,皆無用也。..................................................

文王廷 said...

Never put off till tomorrow what may be done today.......................................................................

昱陳陳陳意陳陳 said...

No pains, no gains.......................................................................

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生存乃是不斷地在內心與靈魂交戰;寫作是坐著審判自己。............................................................

玉韓韓韓婷韓韓韓韓 said...

所有的資產,在不被諒解時,都成了負債............................................................

孫邦柔 said...

財富並非永遠的朋友,但朋友卻是永遠的財富。......................................................................

王怡迪 said...

愛,拆開來是心和受兩個字。用心去接受對方的一切,用心去愛對方的所有。......................................................................