What to make of this? Shun is traditionally known as the last of the five emperors of antiquity. By calling him an “Eastern barbarian” Mencius indicates that he came from the eastern borderlands that in those remote days were not yet a part of the central “proto-China.” Elsewhere Mencius relates that Shun grew up in extremely humble circumstances: “In the depth of the mountains, he lived amongst trees and stones, and had as friends deer and pigs.” But in a coarse body lived a good heart: “When he heard a single good word, witnessed a single good deed, it was like water causing a breach in the dykes of the Yangtze or the Yellow River. Nothing could withstand it.” It appears, then, that a profusion of virtue can emerge from a “barbarian” commoner who has not much going for him except his good heart. The other “barbarian,” King Wen, presents an even more intriguing case. Wen is one of the great exemplary figures of Chinese history.