The Birth of Xiè ,
Ancestor of the Shāng Dynasty

Dramatis Personae

Dìkù 帝喾 = a legendary emperor

JIǍN Dì 简狄 = his second wife

Xiè = their son

Dìkù 帝喾 (reign01a-6) was one of the great legendary emperors of China, who lived and reigned in the mists of time when the world was still quite young.

Once upon a time his second wife, a lady named JIǍN Dì 简狄, was in the garden minding her own business when a large, dark, slightly careless bird chanced to drop an egg on the ground before her. Being slightly hungry, she ate it. Immediately she became pregnant. The child she bore was named Xiè (written with a character that in other contexts is pronounced qì).

Xiè was the ancestor of the Zǐ clan, which became the ruling house of the Shāng dynasty (period 03).