The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






Emperor Yao

Emperor Yao (Traditional Chinese:堯, Simplified Chinese:尧) (2337 - 2258 BC) was a semi-mythical Chinese ruler, one of the Three August Ones and the Five Emperors. Also known as Yaotang-shi (陶唐氏), he was born Yi Fangxun (伊放勳) or Yi Qi (伊祈) as the second son to Emperor Ku and Qingdu (慶都). He is also known as Tang Yao (唐堯).

Often extolled as the morally perfect sage-king, Yao's benevolence and diligence serve as a model to future Chinese monarchs and emperors. Early Chinese often speak of Yao, Shun and Yu as historical figures, and contemporary historians believe they may represent leader-chiefs of allied tribes who established a unified and hierarchical system of government in a transition period to the patriachal feudal society.

According to legend, Yao became the ruler at 20 and died at 119 when he passed his throne in favor of the Great Shun, whom he gave his two daughters in marriage to.

Of his many contributions, Yao is said to have invented the game of weiqi (go).

See also: Chinese mythology

Last updated: 10-29-2005 02:13:46