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Zhou Dynasty (1122 BC - 256 BC)

Zhou Dynasty (周 1122 BC - 256 BC) (Wade-Giles Chou Dynasty) followed the Shang Dynasty and preceded the Qin Dynasty in China. In the Chinese historical tradition, the rulers of the Zhou displaced the Shang and legitimized their rule by invoking the mandate of heaven.

Initially the Ji family was able to control the country firmly. After You Wang had replaced his queen with the concubine, he was then overflown by the joint force of the queen's father, who was a powerful noble, and the barbarians. The queen's son Ping Wang became the puppet king and the capital of Zhou was moved to a city in the east. It was the beginning of Eastern Zhou. From Ping Wang onwards, the kings could no longer protect himself, they were just the symbolic ruler of China but the true powers were in the hand of powerful nobles. This period is coined as the Spring and Autumn Period by Chinese historians.

Towards the end of Zhou Dynasty, the nobles did not bother to obey the Ji family, even symbolically. They declared themselves to be kings. They wanted to be the king of the kings. Advances in iron casting and military technology were the landmarks of this era, which is referred as the Period of the Warring States. This period was much like Europe before the world wars. The Period of Warring States ended when Qin Shi Huang Di conquerred the whole China.

Sovereigns of Zhou dynasty 1122 B.C.-256 B.C.
Posthumous Names ( Shi Hao 諡號) Born Names Period of Reigns
Convention: "Zhou" + posthumous name
Note: all dates are approximate until the Duo when first accurate dating of Chinese history began.
Xi (Western) Zhou dynasty 1122 B.C.-771 B.C.
武王 wu3 wang2[?] Ji Fa|姬發 ji1 fa1 1122 B.C.-1116 B.C.
成王 cheng2 wang2[?] Ji Song|姬誦 ji1 song4 1115 B.C.-1079 B.C.
康王 kang1 wang2[?] Ji Zhao|姬釗 ji1 zhao1 1078 B.C.-1053 B.C.
昭王 zhao1 wang2[?] Ji Xia|姬瑕 ji1 xia2 1052 B.C.-1002 B.C.
穆王 mo4 wang2[?] Ji Man|姬滿 ji1 man3 1001 B.C.-947 B.C.
共王 gong1 wang2[?] Ji Yi-Hu|姬繄扈 ji1 yi1 hu4 946 B.C.-935 B.C.
懿王 yi4 wang2[?] Ji Jian|姬(喜replaces隹in 難) ji1 jian1 934 B.C.-910 B.C.
孝王 xiao4 wang2[?] Ji Man|姬辟方 ji1 pi4 fang1 909 B.C.-895 B.C.
夷王 yi2 wang2[?] Ji Xie|姬燮 ji1 xie4 894 B.C.-879 B.C.
厲王 li4 wang2[?] Ji Hu|姬胡 ji1 hu2 878 B.C.-841 B.C.
The Duumvirate[?] 841 B.C.-828 B.C.[?]
宣王 xuan1 wang2[?] Ji Jing|姬靜 ji1 jing4 827 B.C.-782 B.C.
幽王 you1 wang2[?] Ji Gong Sheng|姬宮湦 ji1 gong1 sheng1 781 B.C.-771 B.C.
Dong (Eastern) Zhou dynasty 770 B.C.-256 B.C.
平王 ping2 wang2[?] Ji Yi Jiu|姬宜臼 ji1 yi2 jiu4 770 B.C.-720 B.C.
桓王 huan2 wang2[?] Ji Lin|姬林 ji1 lin2 719 B.C.-697 B.C.
春秋時代 (chun1 qiu1 shi2 dai4) Spring and Autumn Period 722 B.C.-481 B.C.
莊王 zhuang1 wang2[?] Ji Tuo|姬佗 ji1 tuo2 696 B.C.-682 B.C.
Li Wang|釐王 li2 wang2 or Xi Wang|(僖 or 禧) 王 (xi1 or xi3) wang2 Ji Hu Qi|姬胡齊 ji1 hu2 qi2 681 B.C.-677 B.C.
惠王 hui4 wang2[?] Ji Lang|姬閬 ji1 ( Guoyu: lang3 or Putonghua: lang4) 676 B.C.-652 B.C.
襄王 xiang1 wang2[?] Ji Zheng|姬鄭 ji1 zheng4 651 B.C.-619 B.C.
頃王 qing3 wang2[?] Ji Ren Chen|姬壬臣 ji1 ren2 chen2 618 B.C.-613 B.C.
匡王 kuang1 wang2[?] Ji Ban|姬班 ji1 ban1 612 B.C.-607 B.C.
定王 ding4 wang2[?] Ji Yu|姬瑜 ji1 yu2 606 B.C.-586 B.C.
簡王 jian3 wang2[?] Ji Yi|姬夷 ji1 yi2 585 B.C.-572 B.C.
靈王 ling2 wang2[?] Ji Xie Xin|姬泄心 ji1 xie4 xin1 571 B.C.-545 B.C.
景王 jing3 wang2[?] Ji Gui|姬貴 ji1 gui4 544 B.C.-521 B.C.
悼王 dao4 wang2[?] Ji Meng|姬猛 ji1 meng3 520 B.C.
敬王 jing4 wang2[?] Ji Gai|姬丐 ji1 gai4 519 B.C.-476 B.C.
元王 yuan2 wang2[?] Ji Ren|姬仁 ji1 ren2 475 B.C.-469 B.C.
貞定王 zhen1 ding4 wang2[?] Ji Jie|姬介 ji1 jie4 468 B.C.-442 B.C.
哀王 ai1 wang2[?] Ji Qu Ji|姬去疾 ji1 qu4 ji2 441 B.C.
思王 xi1 wang2[?] Ji Shu|姬叔 ji1 shu2 441 B.C.
考王 kao3 wang2[?] Ji Wei|姬嵬 ji1 wei2 440 B.C.-426 B.C.
威烈王 wei1 lie4 wang2[?] Ji Wu|姬午 ji1 wu3 425 B.C.-402 B.C.
戰國時代(zhan4 guo2 shi2 dai4) Period of the Warring States 403 B.C.-221 B.C.
安王 an1 wang2[?] Ji Jiao|姬驕 ji1 jiao1 401 B.C.-376 B.C.
烈王 lie4 wang2[?] Ji Xi|姬喜 ji1 xi3 375 B.C.-369 B.C.
顯王 xian3 wang2[?] Ji Bian|姬扁 ji1 bian3 368 B.C.-321 B.C.
慎靚王 shen4 jing4 wang2[?] Ji Ding|姬定 ji1 ding4 320 B.C.-315 B.C.
赧王 nan3 wang2[?] Ji Yan|姬延 ji1 yan2 314 B.C.-256 B.C.
惠王 hui4 wang2[?] ? 255 B.C.-249 B.C.
Note: nobles of the Ji family proclaim Hui Wang as the succesor to the dynasty after Luoyang fell to Qin. However the resistance did not last long when Qin army advanced southwards. So Zhou Nan Wang is conventionally considered as the last emperor of Zhou.

External link

  • Map of Zhou (http://pub16.bravenet.com/photocenter/view.php?img=34128&usernum=1312371940)

See also

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