First of the WU-DI, the legendary Five Kings of China.
Although in the 23rd Century B.C. empires hadn’t yet been invented, he is popularly called the Yellow Emperor because ‘huang’ means yellow and ‘huangdi’ means emperor. The Chinese can never resist a pun.
HUANG-DI was a skilled tactician and inventive inventor who created many useful things, including the wheel, bricks, and astronomy.
He was fascinated to discover mysterious black rocks that seemed to have amazing properties. When you moved them close to each other, they would stick together or jump out of the way. Surely, he thought, these things must have some practical use apart from keeping the royal palace amused on long winter evenings. And so he invented magnets.
Some tales suggest that he also invented tea after a leaf fell into his mug of hot water; his wife LEI-ZU invented silk but we don’t think a silkworm fell into hers.
His sons and grandsons were not nearly as clever but ended up on the throne anyway.