Yellow Emperor, Mandarin Huangdi, legendary Chinese ruler and culture hero; tradition holds that he reigned from 2697 B.C. to 2597 B.C. He is one of the mythical prehistoric emperors who supposedly created the basic elements of Chinese civilization. His wife is said to have developed silk production. Along with the semimythical Lao Tzu, he was associated in the traditional Chinese folk culture with the founding of Taoism.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.