On the Legendary Sage Kings

In the document On the Legendary Sage Kings (Pomeranz, pages 29-31), Mencius describes how Yao, Shun, and Yu paved the way for China’s first dynasty, the Xia.

According to Mencius, how do the great rulers benefit the people? What qualities mark them as capable and virtuous? How and why are agriculture, state interests, and popular interests connected in this document? Do you find any broad similarities between this story of the legendary kings and other mythic or legendary stories we have studied in this class?

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