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date: 18 June 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Shun was thought to be one of the three “Sage Kings” who ruled China between 2852 and 2205 BCE, after the reign of the “Yellow Emperor.” The achievements of these kings are recorded—though the exact dating of each strand of material is controversial—in the Shujing, or Book of History. The material in the compilation purportedly dates from 2357 to 631 BCE, but, regardless of its precise chronology, the “Canon” attributed to Shun reveals increased sophistication in determining the role and proper behavior of a leader.

James Legge, trans., The Sacred Books of China: The Texts of Confucianism, vol. 3 (Oxford: Clarendon, 1879), 38, 40–41, and 44–45.

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