Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors
Get Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors essential facts below. View Videos or join the Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors discussion. Add Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors to your PopFlock.com topic list for future reference or share this resource on social media.
Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors
Era of the Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors

?
c. 2852 BCE-c. 2070 BCE
Map of tribes and tribal unions in Ancient China, including the tribes led by Huang Di, Yan Di and Chiyou.
Map of tribes and tribal unions in Ancient China, including the tribes led by Huang Di, Yan Di and Chiyou.
StatusLegendary Kingdom
CapitalQufu
Common languagesOld Chinese, Sinitic Languages
GovernmentTribal kingship, Chiefdom
Di 
o 2698-2598 BCE
Huangdi
o 2514-2436 BCE
Zhuanxu
o 2436-2366 BCE
o 2366-2358 BCE
Zhì
o 2356-2255 BCE
Yáo
o 2255-2208 BCE
Shùn
History 
o Established
c. 2852 BCE
o Disestablished
c. 2070 BCE
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors
Chinese????
History of China
History of China
ANCIENT
Neolithic c. 8500 - c. 2070 BC
Xia c. 2070 - c. 1600 BC
Shang c. 1600 - c. 1046 BC
Zhou c. 1046 - 256 BC
 Western Zhou
 Eastern Zhou
   Spring and Autumn
   Warring States
IMPERIAL
Qin 221-207 BC
Han 202 BC - 220 AD
  Western Han
  Xin
  Eastern Han
Three Kingdoms 220-280
  Wei, Shu and Wu
Jin 266-420
  Western Jin
  Eastern Jin Sixteen Kingdoms
Northern and Southern dynasties
420-589
Sui 581-618
Tang 618-907
  (Wu Zhou 690-705)
Five Dynasties and
Ten Kingdoms

907-979
Liao 916-1125
Song 960-1279
  Northern Song Western Xia
  Southern Song Jin Western Liao
Yuan 1271-1368
Ming 1368-1644
Qing 1636-1912
MODERN
Republic of China on mainland 1912-1949
People's Republic of China 1949-present
Republic of China on Taiwan 1949-present

The Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors were two groups of mythological rulers or deities in ancient northern China. The Three Sovereigns lived before The Five Emperors, who have been assigned dates in a period from circa 2852 BCE to 2070 BCE. Today they may be considered culture heroes.[1]

The dates of these mythological figures may be fictitious, but according to some accounts and reconstructions, they preceded the Xia Dynasty.[2]

Description

The Three Sovereigns, sometimes known as the Three August Ones, were said to be god-kings, demigods or god emperors[3] who used their abilities to improve the lives of their people and impart to them essential skills and knowledge. The Five Emperors are portrayed as exemplary sages who possessed great moral character and lived to a great age and ruled over a period of great peace. The Three Sovereigns are ascribed various identities in different Chinese historical texts.

These kings are said to have helped introduce the use of fire, taught people how to build houses and invented farming. The Yellow Emperor's wife is credited with the invention of silk culture. The discovery of medicine, the invention of the calendar and Chinese script are also credited to the kings. After their era, Yu the Great founded the Xia Dynasty.[2]

According to a modern theory with roots in the late 19th century, the Yellow Emperor is supposedly the ancestor of the Huaxia people.[4] The Mausoleum of the Yellow Emperor was established in Shaanxi Province to commemorate the ancestry legend.[4]

The Chinese word for emperor, huángdì (), derives from this, as the first user of this title Qin Shi Huang considered his reunion of all of the lands of the former Kingdom of Zhou to be greater than even the Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors.

Shi

A related concept appears in the legend of the Four shi () who took part in creating the world. The four members are Youchao-shi (), Suiren-shi (), Fuxi-shi (), and Shennong-shi (). The list sometimes extends to one more member being Nüwa-shi (), making Five shi ().[5] Four of these five names appear in different lists of the Three Sovereigns. Shi (?) means clan or family, so none of them are a single person in prehistoric times.

There is a saying that the Three Sovereigns are Suiren-shi (), Youchao-shi (), Shennong-shi (). The Suiren taught people to drill wood for fire so people could easily migrate. The Youchao taught people to build houses out of wood, so that people could leave caves to expand into the plains. After the number of people grew, Shennong tried a variety of grasses to find suitable cereals to solve people's food problems. The tribes also used the sovereigns' respective contributions as the name of the tribes.

Variations

Depending on the source, there are many variations of who classifies as the Three Sovereigns or the Five Emperors. There are at least six to seven known variations.[6] Many of the sources listed below were written in much later periods, centuries and even millennia after the supposed existence of these figures, and instead of historical fact, they may reflect a desire in later time periods to create a fictitious ancestry traceable to ancient culture heroes. The Emperors were asserted as ancestors of the Xia, Shang, and Zhou dynasties.[7] The following appear in different groupings of the Three Sovereigns: Fuxi (), Nüwa (), Shennong (), Suiren (), Zhurong (), Gong Gong (), Heavenly Sovereign (), Earthly Sovereign (), Tai Sovereign (), Human Sovereign (), and even the Yellow Emperor ().

The following appear in different groupings of the Five Emperors: Yellow Emperor (), Zhuanxu (), Emperor Ku (?), Emperor Yao (?), Emperor Shun (?), Shaohao (), Taihao (), and Yan Emperor ().

Source Date of source Three Sovereigns Five Emperors
Records of the Grand Historian ()
edition by Sima Qian[N 1]
94 BCE Heavenly Sovereign () or Fu Xi ()
Earthly Sovereign () or Nüwa ()
Tai Sovereign () or Shennong ()
Yellow Emperor ()
Zhuanxu ()
Emperor Ku (?)
Emperor Yao (?)
Emperor Shun (?)
Sovereign series (?)[6] Fu Xi ()
Shennong ()
Yellow Emperor ()
Shaohao ()
Zhuanxu ()
Emperor Ku (?)
Emperor Yao (?)
Emperor Shun (?)
Shiben[6] 475-221 BCE (the Warring States period) according to the Book of Han (111 CE) Fu Xi ()
Shennong ()
Yellow Emperor ()
Baihu Tongyi (?)[6] Fu Xi ()
Shennong ()
Zhurong () or Suiren ()
Fengsu TongYi (?)[6] 195 CE Fu Xi ()
Nüwa ()
Shennong ()
Yiwen Leiju (?)[6] 624 CE Heavenly Sovereign ()
Earthly Sovereign ()
Human Sovereign ()
Tongjian Waiji (?) Fu Xi ()
Shennong ()
Gong Gong ()
Chunqiu yundou shu ()
Chunqiu yuanming bao ()
Fu Xi ()
Nüwa ()
Shennong ()
Shangshu dazhuan (?) Fu Xi ()
Shennong ()
Suiren ()
Diwang shiji (?)

Fu Xi ()
Shennong ()
Yellow Emperor ()

I Ching ()[6] 800s BCE Taihao ()
Yan Emperor ()
Yellow Emperor ()
Emperor Yao (?)
Emperor Shun (?)
Comments of a Recluse, Qianfulun ()[8] Taihao ()
Yan Emperor ()
Yellow Emperor ()
Shaohao ()
Zhuanxu ()
Zizhi tongjian waiji, ()[8] Yellow Emperor ()
Shaohao ()
Zhuanxu ()
Emperor Ku (?)
Emperor Yao (?)

Family tree of ancient Five Emperors

Family tree of ancient Five Emperors
(1)Yellow Emperor
[9]
(2)Shaohao
Changyi
Jiaoji (3)Zhuanxu
(4)Ku ?Qiongchan King of Gu Shu
?Cheng ?Taowu Wangliang
(5)Zhi ?Xie of
Shang
?
Houji Jingkang ?Lao Tong
Danzhu Juwang ?
Zhurong
Wuhui
Qiaoniu Gun ?
Gusou (8)Yu ?Luzhong
Ehuang (7)Emperor Shun ?Nuying Kunwu
Shen Hu
Peng Zu
Hui Ren
Ji Lian
?Cao ?
Shangjun

Gallery

See also

References

  1. ^ Sima Qian only lists the names of the Three Sovereigns fleetingly in the "Basic Annals of Qin Shihuang" (): "?,,". Details were supplied by the "Basic Annals of the Three Sovereigns" (?), written centuries later by Sima Zhen as a supplement to the Records ().
    The ? has sometimes been conflated with the Records proper (e.g., by the Gujin Tushu Jicheng), but the original Records begins with the Basic Annals of the Five Emperors (?), without mentioning the Three Sovereigns.
  1. ^ Hucker, Charles (1995). China's Imperial Past: An Introduction to Chinese History and Culture. Stanford University Press. p. 22. ISBN 9780804723534.
  2. ^ a b Morton, W. Scott; Lewis, Charlton M. (2005). China: its history and culture. McGraw-Hill. p. 14. ISBN 978-0-07-141279-7.
  3. ^ Eliade, Mircea; Adams, Charles J., eds. (1987). The Encyclopedia of religion. 9, Liu-Mith. Macmillan. p. 133. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. ^ a b (2005). Zhongguo li shi jiang tang #1 Yuan gu zhi Chun Qiu #1 [Chinese History Lectures #1: Ancient times to Spring and Autumn period]. ?. p. 13. ISBN 962-8885-24-3.
  5. ^ (2005). Zhongguo li shi jiang tang #1 Yuan gu zhi Chun Qiu #1 [Chinese History Lectures #1: Ancient times to Spring and Autumn period]. ?. pp. 4-7. ISBN 962-8885-24-3.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g (2002). Yuan shi she hui [Chinese civilization in a new light]. Commercial press publishing. p. 142. ISBN 962-07-5314-3.
  7. ^ Soothill, William Edward; Hosie, Dorothea Lady; Hudson, G. F. (2002). The Hall of Light: A Study of Early Chinese Kingship. James Clarke & Co. pp. 146-. ISBN 978-0-227-17123-3.
  8. ^ a b Ulrich Theobald. "Sanhuang wudi ?, the Three Augusts and Five Emperors". ChinaKnowledge.de.
  9. ^ Sima Qian, Records of the Grand Historian

Further reading

Preceded by
None known
Dynasties in Chinese history
2852-2205 BC
Succeeded by
Xia dynasty

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

Three_Sovereigns_and_Five_Emperors
 



 



 
Music Scenes