Yu the Great (c. 2200-2100 BC), was a legendary ruler in ancient China famed for his introduction of flood control, inaugurating dynastic rule in China by founding the Xia Dynasty, and for his upright moral character.
The dates proposed for Yu's reign precede the oldest known written records in China, the oracle bones of the late Shang dynasty, by nearly a millennium. Stories about his life and reign were transmitted orally in various areas of China, and first recorded in texts from the Western Zhou period (c. 1045-771 BC). Many were collected in Sima Qian's famous Records of the Grand Historian. Yu and other "sage-kings" of Ancient China were lauded for their virtues and morals by Confucius and other Chinese teachers.
Yu is one of the few Chinese rulers posthumously honored with the epithet "the Great".