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Shun Mausoleum

Shun Mausoleum was built in memory of Shun, a chief of the tribal alliance of the late primitive society of China. He was also called Yu, going by the name Yu Shun. It is said he was made successor to Yao at a meeting of tribal leaders. He brought his people safety and stability by eliminating the influences of four evil characters Gun, Gong Gong, Huan Dou and San Miao. Later, in consultation with his people, he chose a sagacious successor to administer the country in the manner of Yao.


He chose Yu, who had done well in preventing floods through water control projects, as his successor. People under Shun's reign lived and worked in peace and contentment, bringing praise and complimentary reference to "the time of Yao and Shun." Later people built numerous temples to memorialize him. There are many different stories about his death and burial site, but the most common is in the Records of the Historian by Sima Qian: "During his inspection tour to the south Shun died on Mount Cangwu and was buried in Mount Jiuyi. That is the mausoleum."


Mount Jiuyi, also known as Mount Cangwu, is located in south Ningyuan County, Hunan Province. The name Jiuyi (Nine Peaks) derives from its nine similar peaks. There is still an inscribed tablet on the mountain, erected in the Song Dynasty (960-1279), about the burial of Shun in the words of the great calligrapher Cai Yi of the Easten Han Dynasty (25-220).


A temple in front of the mausoleum was built in the fourth year of the Hong Wu period of the Ming Dynasty (1371). Buildings in the complex were renovated many times in the Ming and Qing dynasties and most of the existing structures were built in the Qing Dynasty. Behind the temple is a tablet pavilion in which stands a stone tablet inscribed with "Mausoleum of Emperor Shun."

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