King Gong of Chu
1 Battle of Yanling 2 Conflicts with Wu 3 Posthumous title 4 Succession
4.1 Family tree
Battle of Yanling
Main article: Battle of Yanling
When King Gong ascended the throne in 590 BC Chu was the strongest
power in China. In 597 BC his father King Zhuang defeated Chu's
archrival Jin in the
Battle of Bi
While Chu was preoccupied with its rivalry with Jin, the formerly insignificant state of Wu began to rise to its east. In 598 BC, during King Zhuang's reign, Chu minister Wuchen (Duke of Shen) defected to Jin after a personal dispute with general Zifan. In 584 BC Wuchen went on a mission to Wu on behalf of Jin to establish an alliance between the two states. He brought along 100 charioteers who taught the Wu army to use chariots, and successfully incited Wu to revolt against Chu. The Wu king Shoumeng invaded Chu, annexed the Chu city of Zhoulai, and took over many tribes that had been loyal to Chu. In 570 BC Chu general Zichong attacked Wu, reaching Mount Heng (in present-day Dangtu County) in Wu territory. However, Wu counterattacked and took the important Chu city of Jia. Zichong was blamed for the loss and died from an illness. For the ensuing seven decades Chu would be consumed by a series of at least ten wars or battles with Wu, culminating in the 506 BC Battle of Boju, when the Wu army would capture and destroy the Chu capital Ying. Posthumous title In 560 BC, when King Gong was dying from illness, he summoned his ministers and requested to be given the pejorative posthumous title of Ling (靈) or Li (厲), expressing shame for losing the Battle of Yanling and causing disgrace to the nation. The ministers agreed at his insistence, but after his death they instead gave him the title Gong, meaning "humbly reverent". The pejorative title King Ling was later given to King Gong's second son Xiong Wei, who would in 541 BC murder his nephew Jia'ao and usurp the throne. Succession King Gong had at least five sons, four of whom became king. When King Gong died in 560 BC, he was succeeded by his eldest son King Kang of Chu, who died in 545 BC after 15 years of reign and was succeeded by his son Xiong Yuan (posthumous title Jia'ao). Four years later King Gong's second son Prince Wei murdered Jia'ao and his two sons when he was ill, and usurped the throne. Prince Wei was later given the pejorative posthumous title King Ling of Chu. In 529 BC when King Ling was on an expedition against the State of Xu, his three younger brothers staged a coup d'etat and killed his son Crown Prince Lu. Prince Bi, the third brother, ascended the throne (posthumous title Zi'ao), and the fourth brother Prince Zixi became the prime minister. When news of the coup reached King Ling's troops they abandoned him en masse, and in desperation King Ling killed himself. However, Prince Qiji, the fifth brother, concealed the truth about King Ling's death from Zi'ao and Zixi. Instead, he pretended to be defeated by King Ling and said the king would soon return to the capital. Zi'ao and Zixi were so fearful that they both committed suicide; Zi'ao had been king for less than twenty days. Prince Qiji then ascended the throne and would come to be known as King Ping of Chu. Family tree
King Gong (r. 590–560 BC)
King Kang (r. 559–545 BC)
King Ling (r. 540–529 BC)
Zi'ao (r. 529 BC)
King Ping (r. 528–516 BC)
Jia'ao (r. 544–541 BC)
Crown Prince Lu
King Zhao (r. 515–489 BC)
^ Major, John S. (2004). Defining Chu: image and reality in ancient
China. University of Hawaii Press. p. 71.
^ a b c d e f Sima Qian. "楚世家 (House of Chu)". Records of the
Grand Historian (in Chinese). Archived from the original on 10 March
2012. Retrieved 21 February 2012.
^ a b "Battle of Yanling" (in Chinese). Henan Museum. 21 April 2006.
Archived from the original on 1 January 2012. Retrieved 22 February
^ "Battle of Yanling" (in Chinese). People.com.cn. 13 June 2010.
Retrieved 22 February 2012.
^ a b Zuo Qiuming. "Book VIII. Duke Cheng".
King Gong of Chu House of Mi Born: 600 BC Died: 560 BC
Preceded by King Zhuang of Chu King of Chu 590–560 BC Succeeded by King Kang of Chu
v t e
Monarchs of Chu
Jilian Yingbo Yuxiong Xiong Li Xiong Kuang
Xiong Yi Xiong Ai Xiong Dan Xiong Sheng Xiong Yang Xiong Qu Xiong Kang Xiong Zhi Xiong Yan (elder) Xiong Yong Xiong Yan (younger) Xiong Shuang Xiong Xun Xiong E Ruo'ao Xiao'ao Fenmao
King Wu King Wen Du'ao King Cheng King Mu King Zhuang King Gong King Kang Jia'ao King Ling Zi'ao King Ping King Zhao King Hui King Jian King Sheng King Dao King Su King Xuan King Wei King Huai King Qingxiang King Kaolie King You King Ai Fu