Maybe many people have seen science fiction movies. In some of these movies, man-made robots look like real humans and can even have feelings as humans. These kinds of movies are from high-tech imaginations, but the ideas of humanistic robots from these modern movie makers might seem antiquated. If you have the opportunity to read a book entitled Liezi (列子), you will find that the ancient Chinese already had such ideas very early in time.
Age of Myths
In the 10th century B.C., Zhou Mu-King (周穆王), the fifth king of the Western Zhou Dynasty, ascended the throne. At that time, the Zhou Kingdom was very eventful. Some states rebelled, and other nations often invaded states of Zhou. The young king decided to revive his kingdom.
Ancient China was famed for fine silk. The silk was from the threads which were spun by silkworms. Silkworms were originally the special native animals of China. For the most profit, ancient Chinese government prohibited exporting silkworms. In the Silk Road, the Persian monopolized the silk selling to the Western world, so silk was very expensive in the markets of the Europe. Justinian I, the great emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire, fought against Persia, but didn’t achieve his goal.
In the remote ancient times, there was the supreme God Di Jun (帝俊) who existed in the Heaven much the same as the Greek God Zeus. Xihe (羲和), the sun-goddess, bore ten suns for Di Jun. Changxi (常羲), the moon-goddess, bore twelve moons for Di Jun. Xihe and her sons lived in the east. Her sons rested in a divine tree Fusang (扶桑). Every morning, Xihe took one son to Gan Pool (甘泉) and bathed him. Then she drove a sun-chariot and carried her son from the east to the west in the sky in the day, and returned to the east through the underground in the night.
In the mysterious geographic book “Shanhaijing” (山海经), there was a tragic myth.
In the Western myth, a god made people. This god made the male, “Adam” by clay, and made the female, “Eve” by a rib of Adam. In the Oriental myth, there was a story that a goddess made people. The goddess was called Nvwa (女娲). When the sky and the land were separated, a goddess named Nvwa appeared. She walked in the desolate earth, and felt lonely. So she used yellow clay to knead into humans according to her figures. Nvwa and FuxiSoon she got tired of making humans one by one, and she thought out a better method for making many humans.
Chiyou (蚩尤) was the chief of the Jiuli (九黎) tribal confederacy. The Jiuli tribal confederacy, along with the Sanmiao (三苗) tribal confederacy were strong enemies against the Yan-Huang (炎黄) Tribal Confederacy. The Yan-Huang Tribal Confederacy was formed by a tribal confederacy whose chief was Yan-Di (炎帝) and another tribal confederacy whose chief was Huang-Di (黄帝). Though the two confederacies always conflicted for the authority of Tribal Confederacy, they still united as one to fight against Jiuli and Sanmiao.