Chinese civilization dates back as early as three thousand years before the Christian era, when the Three Eulers1 and the Five, Kings2 began to govern well-settled communities along theY ellow River. The Shu Ching, 3one of the oldest books extant inC hina, contains among others some important documents issued by Yao andS hun whose imperial reigns flourished presumably in the twenty-fourth century before Christ. Those documents furnish us with some interesting religious material, shedding light on the early Chinese conception of Nature, which, with only slight modifications, is still prevalent at the present day. But the real awakening of philosophical inquiry inC hina must be said to be in the time when the Chou dynasty (1122-255 B.C.
(Typographical errors above are due to OCR software and don't occur in the book.)
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