Tai Kang

Tai Kang (Chinese: 太康) was the third king of the Xia Dynasty. He was the son of the king Qi of Xia and paternal grandson of Yu the Great and queen Nu Jiao.[1]

Tai Kang
Parent(s)Qi of Xia
RelativesZhong Kang (brother)
Yu the Great (grandfather)
Xiang of Xia (nephew)


Tai Kang loved to hunt and did not rule well.

According to the Bamboo Annals,[2] Tai Kang took the throne in the year of Guiwei. His capital was in Zhenxun (斟鄩). In his first year, while he went hunting beyond the Luo river, Houyi came and occupied Zhenxin. Tai Kang died 4 years later, or according to the book Lushi, 10 years later.

According to Records of the Grand Historian, he ruled about 19 years and lost his regime. "Taiping Yulan"[3] claims he was a tyrant who ruled for 29 years, then lost his regime and vanished.

He was succeeded by his brother Zhong Kang and nephew Xiang of Xia.

In some sources, Tai Kang was drowned in a lake.[4]

In literatureEdit

The Book of Documents features Songs of the Five Sons (五子之歌) among the documents of Xia (Chapter 8). According to the introductory note, the document contains the pieces composed by Tai Kang's five younger brothers when he lost the country.[5]Yongbieocheonga mentions the king as a person that should not be imitated.[6]


  1. ^ Bamboo Annals
  2. ^ 《竹書紀年》,article 帝太康
  3. ^ 《太平御覽》, volume 皇王部七, article 帝太康
  4. ^ The Shape of the Turtle: Myth, Art, and Cosmos in Early China by Sarah Allan
  5. ^ Book of Documents
  6. ^ Chapter 125,"Your highness,you should know. Would you just rely on the care of your ancestors following the footsteps of tai kang who went on a picnic at the luo river because he believed his ancestors will take care of him?" (님금하, 아ᄅᆞ쇼셔. 낙수(洛水)예 산행(山行) 가 이셔 하나빌 미드니ᅌᅵᆺ가.)
Tai Kang
Regnal titles
Preceded by
King of China
2117 BC – 2088 BC
Succeeded by
Zhong Kang