Chinese history is part of the broadest aspects of our past because it is filled with many missing pieces and is often always up for interpretation. Many of the things we learn about have been changed and ended up very different from its original form. Derk Bodde, the author of “Myths of Ancient China” states that these gods are “commonly described so vaguely or briefly in the texts that their personality, and sometimes even their sex, remains uncertain.” (Bodde 370). Interpretations by ancient philosophers, such as Confucius, are even difficult to fully believe. The anecdotes Bodde tells of Huangdi and K’uei are both stories that have been interpreted very differently throughout history.
The first concept Bodde talks about is that of euhemerization. This theory of euhemerization states that “the origin of myth is to be found in actual history, and that the gods and demigods of mythology were, to start with, actual human beings” (Bodde 372). What Bodde defines as “euhemerism”, we in the class call “reverse euhermerism”, so it is important to first distinguish the two to interpret Chinese mythology and the Yellow Emporer, one of the most important mythical figures of Chinese history.
Reverse euhemerization is a concept that describes when gods become accepted as actual people over time. It is the belief that these people were significant in Chinese history. This concept is mentioned a lot when talking about Chinese myths because, for example, the Chinese term “Di”, meaning “God”, was changed and eventually meant “emporer”. Because of reverse euhemerization, the authors or story tellers are able to create a relationship that isn’t real by making the story seem factual. They do this because most evidence thousands of years ago have become lost. In early texts, Huangdi is portrayed as a warrior god in battles against other gods for supremacy. He is later seen as the principal founder of the Chinese...