大禹治水和中國歷史上第一個王朝Yu the Great Harnesses the Flood, and the First Dynasty Is Founded
大禹(yu)是傳說中夏后氏部落的首領，原稱“禹”，也稱“夏禹”。傳說堯的時候，黃河發大水，洪水沖毀了村莊和房屋，人們只能住到樹上和山頂上。洪水給人民帶來了極大的災害。那時，炎黃部落聯盟的首領堯任用鯀(gun)治理洪水，鯀采用筑堤堵水的辦法治水，遭到了失敗。堯之后，擔任部落聯盟首領的舜(shun)殺死了鯀，然后命令鯀的兒子禹繼續治水。禹吸取了鯀的教訓，改用疏導的方法治水，讓洪水順？河道流向大海。禹辛勤地工作，傳說他在外治水13年，三次經過家門都沒有抽時間進去看看。最后，禹終于制服了水患。人們感謝禹，尊稱他為“大禹”。 由于禹治水成功，得到舜的“禪(shan)讓”，舜征得各部落首領的同意，推舉禹為自己的繼承人。舜死后，禹便成為部落聯盟的首領。 那時洪水剛剛平定，草木茂盛，野獸危害人民，禹派人教百姓開辟耕地；還派人教導人民耕種田地，收獲糧食。于是人民的生活漸漸安定下來。禹又對苗族發動戰爭，阻止他們進入黃河流域，鞏固了華夏族在中原地區的地位。禹之后，部落聯盟首領的權力大大加強了。 約公元前2070年，禹建立夏朝，是中國歷史上第一個王朝。后來禹死了，他的兒子啟繼承了禹的位置，引起有扈(hu)氏部落的反抗。啟打敗了有扈氏以后，他的地位得到了各部落的承認。從此世襲制代替了禪讓制。夏朝歷經400多年，最后一個王叫桀，他是個暴君，政權非常腐朽。那時黃河下游的商國強大起來，起兵滅夏，大約在公元前1600年建立了商朝。
Yu the Great Harnesses the Flood, and the First Dynasty Is Founded
Yu the Great was the chieftain of the legendary Xiahou clan. He was originally called Yu or Xiayu. According to legend, the Yellow River flooded during the reign of Emperor Yao, and the people were forced to abandon their villages, and go to live in trees or on mountaintops. The flood brought great misery to the people. Emperor Yao, the chieftain of the Yan-Huang tribal alliance, appointed Gun to harness the flood. Gun built dikes to keep back the water, but failed. Shun, who succeeded Yao, killed Gun, and appointed Gun's son Yu to continue with the flood-harnessing work. Yu adopted the dredging method to lead the flood waters to flow along river courses into the sea. Yu worked very hard. It was said that during the 13 years he spent taming the floods, he passed his home three times, but did not enter until his task was completed. As a result of his successful efforts, the people bestowed on him the title "Yu the Great" and Shun chose Yu as his successor, with the approval of the tribal chieftains. Following the taming of the floods, vegetation and wild beasts grew rampant, threatening the survival of the people. Yu taught his subjects the art of agriculture, and thus how to dominate the land and feed themselves in a regular and organized way. He also repelled invasions by the Miao tribe, and consolidated the Huaxia people's supremacy in the Central Plains. Around 2070 BC, Yu established the Xia Dynasty, the first dynasty in Chinese history. After Yu's death, his son Qi succeeded to the throne. Crushing an attempt to overthrow him by the Youhu clan, Qi established the system of hereditary rulers. The Xia Dynasty lasted over 400 years. Its last king, Jie, vilified in the ancient records as a tyrant, was overthrown by the leader of the kingdom of Shang on the lower reaches of the Yellow River in 1,600 BC.