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People of the later Tang dynasty favored

stone lions with wavy manes, usually set in pairs, to
guard their tombs, or heavenly horses riding on the
Torch D ragon (Chu Lung, Zhu Long)
The dragon said in Chinese myth to bring light
to the northern lands not reached by the Sun. The
dragon had a human head and a serpent’s tail. Light
flowed from the dragon’s eyes; when he closed his
eyes, the world became dark.
The Torch Dragon may be an older or foreign
god barely remembered from the early historic
period of China.
tortoise The tortoise (often written as “turtle”
in translation) is a symbol of stability in
idea that individual souls have a
certain fate that cannot be escaped. Buddhists believe
that actions, good and bad, can affect the soul’s fate,
but karma is unalterable and unavoidable.
A soul must pay for its sins, if not in this life, then
in the next—or the next after that or the next after
that. The only way for a Buddhist to escape the endless
cycle of rebirth and reincarnation is through
enlightenment, though Buddhist sects disagree on
how enlightenment may be achieved.
King C heng See Shi Huang Di.
King C hieh The last ruler of the mythic Xia
dynasty. He appears in Chinese myths and legends
as a very evil man, one who by all rights should have
been overthrown. He inflicted cruel punishments on
his people, wasted money and treasure, and had many
It is common in Chinese accounts of dynasties
for the last ruler of the line to be shown as a great
sinner or person of many faults. This showed that
the overthrow of the old dynasty by a new dynasty
was justified.
According to myth, King Chieh was overthrown
by Tang the Conqueror.
King H ai (king gai, king kai) According to
Chinese legend, Hai was the seventh Shang king. His