Shan Hai Jing is an important piece of Chinese literature. It is considered one of the treasures of Chinese culture. Its Chinese name literally translates to “Collection of the Mountain and the Seas”. The text is both a cultural and geographical account of China before the Qin dynasty. It also contains Chinese mythology. All in all, the book talks about more than 550 mountains and 300 seas. It is comprised of 31,000 words more or less. The entire collection is divided into 18 selections. This Chinese Classical Literature is said to be at least 2,200 years old.
The exact author of the text is not certain nor the exact date it was written. Originally, it was said to be written by mythical creatures. Yu the Great who is the legendary founder of Xia dynasty was said to have written the text. The Xia Dynasty is said to be the very first dynasty in china. Others give the credit to Boyi. Chinese scholars have proposed a theory that it was not written by a single author. They said it was more likely a compendium of works written from the period of Warring States to the period of the Han dynasty. Chinese scholars were able to successfully determine the first editors of the text.
The first editor is said to be Liu Xiang. He is a Confucian scholar from the Western Han dynasty. The second person the edit the text is said to be Guo Po. He is a Chinese scholar from the western Jin. Guo Po made further annotations to the Shan Hai Jing.
A lot of stories are included in the collection. Myths such as the Great Pangu, Nuwa, and Kua Fu are included in Shan Hai Jing. These are stories of creation and the beginning of mankind. These stories are now being spread from one generation to another in China.