3 Sovereigns and 5 Emperors
Xia Dynasty 2070-1600 BCE
Shang Dynasty 1600-1046 BCE
Zhou Dynasty 1122-256 BCE
Qin Dynasty 221 BCE-206 BCE
Han Dynasty 206 BCE-220 CE
Three Kingdoms 220-280
Jin Dynasty 265-420
16 Kingdoms 304-439
Southern & Northern Dynasties 420-589
Sui Dynasty 581-619
Tang Dynasty 618-907
10 Kingdoms 907-960
Liao Dynasty 907-1125
Song Dynasty 960-1279
Yuan Dynasty 1271-1368
Ming Dynasty 1368-1644
Qing Dynasty 1644-1911
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 Chinese historical texts. The Records of the Grand
Historian by Sima Qian states that they were:
The Yundou shu and Yuanming bao identify them as:
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 (Xian Tian Ba Gua) 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 looks upwards, and researched the earth when he looks downwards, and watched the birds and beasts to see how they live 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 rises. He made Plow and teach people how to raise crops and fishing. He invented money and market for the exchange of goods."
The Shangshu dazhuan and Baihu tongyi replace Nüwa with Suire, the inventor of fire. The Diwang shiji replaces Nüwa with the Yellow Emperor, the supposed ancestor of all Han Chinese people.
The Pure One, the Supreme God-King and Creator
The Yellow Emperor, the Earthly