Shang oracular script graphs for 帝 Dì
, the supreme God as the celestial pole
"Shang Di" is the pinyin romanization of two Chinese characters. The first – 上, Shàng – means "high", "highest", "first", "primordial"; the second – 帝, Dì – is typically considered as shorthand for huangdi （皇帝）in modern Chinese, the title of the emperors of China first employed by Qin Shi Huang, and is usually translated as "emperor". The word itself is derived from Three "Huang" and Five "Di", including Yellow Emperor (Huangdi 黃帝), the mythological originator of the Chinese civilization and the ancestor of the Chinese race. However, 帝 refers to the High God of Shang, thus means "deity" (manifested god), . Thus, the name Shangdi should be translated as "Highest Deity", but also has the implied meaning of "Primordial Deity" or "First Deity" in Classical Chinese. The deity preceded the title and the emperors of China were named after him in their role as Tianzi, the sons of Heaven. In the classical texts the highest conception of the heavens is frequently identified with Shang Di, who is described somewhat anthropomorphically. He is also associated with the pole star. The conceptions of the Supreme Ruler (Shang Di) and of the Sublime Heavens (Huang-t'ien) afterward coalesce or absorb each other.