The Yan Emperor and Shennong are two figures in the age of Chinese mythology, whose relationship is very complicated in the ancient Chinese history. Before the Eastern Han Dynasty, Yan Emperor and Shennong were two unrelated people, and some sudden changes in the Eastern Han Dynasty lead to the appearance of the title of"Emperor Yan Shennong". The establishment of Dong Zhongshu’s new system of"circle of the Five Virtues"provides a theoretical basis for the integration of Yan Emperor and Shennong in Canon of the Ages(Shijing)by Liu Xin. The spread of the"five elements theory", along with the complex and multiple commonalities among the Yan Emperor, Lieshan and Shennong, helps people accept their integration psychologically. The historical and cultural background of great unification in the Han Dynasty constitutes an external factor that promotes their integration. In addition, the frequent sacrifices to the Yan Emperor Shennong by the government and the popular in the later dynasties after the Han Dynasty expand the folk recognition of their integration.
Humanities & Social Sciences Journal of Hainan University
Yan Emperor Shennong
circle of Five Virtues
five elements theory