Yu (禹), also known as Yu the Great (大禹), was one of the five legendary sage kings of ancient China in the 23rd or 22nd century BC. After being handed the throne by his predecessor, Shun (舜), Yu went on to become renowned in Chinese history for building a system of irrigation canals that reduced flooding in the rich agricultural plains surrounding the Yellow River and brought unprecedented prosperity to the nation. Continue reading Yu

Duke Zhao of Lu

Duke Zhao (昭公) was the predecessor of Duke Ding (定公) as the ruler of Confucius’s home state of Lu. He spent much of his reign from 541–510 BC struggling to prevent his power being undermined by the Three Families, Jisun 季孫, Mengsun 孟孫, and Shusun 叔孫, that dominated the state. Ultimately, he failed in his attempts to control them and spent the last part of his life in exile in the states of Qi and Jin. Continue reading Duke Zhao of Lu