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Wednesday, January 16, 2019
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Ancient Mythology

Ancient Mythology

Chinese ancient mythology, a remote and mystic world, was created with the wildest imagination in primitive ages, when faced with the unknown.

Chinese ancient mythologies were created collectively by people of the primitive society, and underwent the far-flung years of oral circulation until the Chinese characters were invented to provide a more permanent way of recording. The content of most mythologies reflected the rich and colorful life style of ancient society, including: Pangu Sepearates the Sky from the Earth, Nu Wa Makes Men, Nu Wa Mends the Sky, etc. which interpret how the world came from; Hou Yi Shoots Down Suns, Kua Fu Chases the Sun, Jing Wei the Bird Determines to Fill Up the Sea reflecting mankind's incessant struggle against nature; Sheng Shi Tastes Medicine, Gun and Yu Harness Water written in praise of their selffless devotion, and so on.

Nu Wa Mends the Sky tells a story that at the ealiest time, half of the sky suddenly collapsed and a huge hole appeared. Flood ravaged the land and beasts ran amok, so that the human race was in great danger. When, a woman named Nu Wa came out to mend the sky with five-colored rocks that the world regained peace and people had a happy life like before.

Gun and Yu Harness Water narrates a story about Gun and his son Yu who harnessed floods and saved mankind. Long, long ago, the land was flooded. An immortal called Gun stole from Heavenly Emperor one of his treasures, "xirang", a kind of earth that could grow by itself to stop floods. However, he failed and later was executed by heavenly emperor. Three years later, Yu jumped out of Gun's belly and succeeded his father's cause and continued to harness the water. He showed such devotion to his work that legends said that he had never stepped into his home for 8 years in succession, even three times when he passed by his house. The floods were finally subdued.

Such fascination mythologies not noly reflect ancient people's understanding of nature and their wish to harness nature, but also represent their dauntless, hard-bitten spirit in the struggle against natural disasters.

The ancient mythical stories, endowed with a deep sense of romanticism, had a great impact upon the development of Chinese literature. They were widely regarded as the origin of Chinese literature, where writers of later generations continusly looked for their subjects, drew their inspiration, found their resources.

 
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