Ruins of Youli City
Ruins of Youli City are located about 4 kilometers north of Tangyin County, which cover an area of 10,918 square meters. The ruins of Youli City are 106 meters long from south to north and 103 meters wide from east to west, with the height of 5 meters. Youli City used to be the cradle of the Book of Changes (about the balance of yin and yang) written by King Wen who had been imprisoned here for 7 years about 3,000 years ago. Youli City ranks as the first national prison after the appearance of literary inscription in history. As early as the Neolithic Age, there were human footprints in Youli City.
Youli City, or what remains of it, can be found about 2 kilometers from the modern city of An'yang, between the You and Tang Rivers. It is said to be the place where Xibo Marquis Ji Chang, better known as King Wen of Zhou (the state, not the dynasty), founder of the Zhou Dynasty (1027-221 BC), was imprisoned for a number of years. It is typically said that he was there for 7 years. King Wen was put there by King Zhou of the Shang Dynasty (1700-1027 BC) who was jealous of his power and popularity. He was eventually released, partially on popular demand and partially in exchange for a number of handsome gifts including fine horses and women. King Wen's second son went on to become King Wu of Zhou (still the state), before toppling the Shang Dynasty and becoming the first king, King Zhou Wuwang, of the Zhou Dynasty, who ruled from 1046-1043 BC.
At present, there are well-preserved cultural relics of Longshan as well as the Shang and Zhou dynasties with the thickness of 7 meters. The main architecture is Temple of King Wen (Zhouyi Museum) that was built in memory of King Wen. Besides, there are ruins of ancient palaces, audience halls, worshipping halls and stone and tablet inscriptions, which are of important value to the research of Zhouyi (balance of yin and yang), history and calligraphy.
According to historical records, at the terminal stage of the Shang Dynasty, the ruler King Zhou at that time was debauched and tyrannical, and the masses lived in dire poverty. Meanwhile, the people in the vassal states of the west lived and worked in peace and contentment in the governance of Jichang (the King Wen afterwards) that had more power increasingly, which caused the doubt and dissatisfaction of King Zhou. Then, due to an intentional incident, Jichang was put in prison in Youli City. During the seven years in prison, Jichang devoted himself to the studies of the Eight Diagrams and put forward the new and dialectic point of view. The Book of Changes was created by him and it tops the list of China’s Five Classics at present.
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