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Sanhuangwudi

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Sanhuangwudi (三皇五帝 in pinyin: san1 huang2 wu3 di4) (2500 BC - 2205 BC[?]) were mythological rulers of China during the period preceding Xia Dynasty in Chinese mythology.

It was said that san (three) huang (godkings) had used their magical powers to improve the living of humans and that wu (five) di (emperors/sage kings) are morally prefect.

The "three godkings" are Heavenly King, Earthly King and Human King. Few Chinese, except the religious Taoists, believe their existence. The "five emperor/sage king" are Huang Di[?] (Yellow Emperor) (黄帝 huang2 di4), Zhuan Xu[?] (颛顼 zhuan1 xu1), Di Ku[?] (帝喾 di4 ku4), Yao[?] (尧 yao2), and Shun[?] (舜 shun4). It is not well understood how these five kings had become the symbol of morality.

Huang Di is said to be the common ancestor of all the Chinese and Shun was the founder of Xia Dynasty.

(Note: Huang Di 黄帝 is different from huangdi 皇帝 which means "emperor", a term first used by Qin Shi Huangdi (the First Emperor of Qin)).



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