- In the television series Stargate SG-1, Yu is portrayed as a Goa'uld System Lord. See Yu (Stargate).
Yu (禹, often called Da Yu 大禹 "Yu the Great") was the legendary first Chinese monarch of the Xia Dynasty, considered as the founder of the dynasty. Occasionally identified as one of The Three August Ones and the Five Emperors, he is best remembered for teaching the people flood control techniques to tame China's rivers and lakes.
Yu's father, Gun, was assigned by Yao to regulate the floods but was so unsuccessful in his attempt that he was executed by the later ruler Shun. Recruited as a successor to his father, Yu began dredging new river channels as outlets, spending a back-breaking thirteen years and some 20,000 workers in the task.
Yu is remembered as example of perseverance and determination. Stories abound about his work in flood techniques taking such importance to him that he bypassed his house thrice in thirteen years but never went in — reasoning that a family reunion would take his time and mind away from the flood control problem.
Shun was so impressed by Yu's efforts that he passed the throne to him instead of his own son.
According to historical texts, Yu died at Mount Kuaiji (south of present day Shaoxing) whilst on a hunting tour on the southern frontier of his empire, and was buried there, where a mausoleum was built in his honor. A number of emperors in imperial times have travelled there to perform ceremonies in his honour, notably Qin Shi Huang. A temple, Dayu Ling (大禹陵), has been built on the traditional site where the ceremonies are performed.
Before Yu's time, the title of emperor was passed to the next person considered by the community to have the highest virtue, instead from father to son. However, Yu's son, Qǐ (啟), proved very capable himself and was recommended to be the next ruler of the dynasty. This became the precedent of rulership based on heredity in China.