Zhao (state)
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Zhao () was one of the seven major
states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, Un ...
during the
Warring States period The Warring States period () was an era in ancient Chinese history characterized by warfare, as well as bureaucratic and military reforms and consolidation. It followed the Spring and Autumn period#REDIRECT Spring and Autumn period The Spri ...
of ancient China. It was created from the three-way
Partition of Jin The Partition of Jin (), the watershed between the Spring and Autumn and Warring States The Warring States period () was an era in ancient Chinese history characterized by warfare, as well as bureaucratic and military reforms and consolida ...
, together with
Han Han may refer to: Ethnic groups * Han Chinese The Han Chinese,
. Huayuqiao.org. Retrieved on ...
and Wei, in the 5th century BC. Zhao gained significant strength from the military reforms initiated during King Wuling's reign, but suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of
QinQin may refer to: Dynasties and states * Qin (state) (秦), a major state during the Zhou Dynasty of ancient China * Qin dynasty (秦), founded by the Qin state in 221 BC and ended in 206 BC * Daqin (大秦), ancient Chinese name for the Roman Empi ...
at the
Battle of Changping A battle is an occurrence of combat in warfare between opposing military units of any number or size. A war usually consists of multiple battles. In general, a battle is a military engagement that is well defined in duration, area, and force c ...

Battle of Changping
. Its territory included areas now in modern
Inner Mongolia Inner Mongolia, officially the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, is a landlocked autonomous region An autonomous administrative division (also referred to as an autonomous area, entity, unit, region, subdivision, or territory) is a subnati ...

Inner Mongolia
,
Hebei Hebei (; alternately Hopeh) is a coastal province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, f ...
,
Shanxi Shanxi (; ; Chinese postal romanization, formerly romanised as Shansi) is a landlocked Provinces of China, province of the China, People's Republic of China and is part of the North China region. The capital and largest city of the province is ...

Shanxi
and
Shaanxi Shaanxi (; , ; Chinese postal romanization, alternately Shensi) is a landlocked Provinces of China, province of the China, People's Republic of China. Officially part of Northwest China, it borders the province-level divisions of Shanxi (NE, ...

Shaanxi
provinces. It bordered the
Xiongnu The Xiongnu (, ) were a tribal confederation A confederation (also known as a confederacy or league) is a union of sovereign groups or states united for purposes of common action. Usually created by a treaty A treaty is a formal ...

Xiongnu
, the states of Qin, Wei and
Yan Yan may refer to: Chinese states * Yan (state) Yan (; Old Chinese Old Chinese, also called Archaic Chinese in older works, is the oldest attested stage of Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, official ...
. Its capital was
Handan Handan is a prefecture-level city A prefectural-level municipality (), prefectural-level city or prefectural city is an administrative division of the People's Republic of China China (), officially the People's Republic of China ...
, in modern Hebei Province. Zhao was home to administrative philosopher
Shen Dao Shen Dao (; c. 350c. 275BC) was a Chinese philosopher and writer. He was a " Chinese Legalist" theoretician most remembered for his influence on Han Fei Han Fei (; ; 233 BC), also known as Han Fei Zi, was a Chinese philosopher or statesman ...
,
sophist A sophist ( el, σοφιστής, ''sophistes'') was a teacher in ancient Greece Ancient Greece ( el, Ἑλλάς, Hellás) was a civilization belonging to a period of History of Greece, Greek history from the Greek Dark Ages of the 12th ...
Gongsun Long Gongsun Long (, BCLiu 2004, p. 336), courtesy name Zibing (子秉), was a Chinese philosopher and writer who was a member of the School of Names The School of Names (), sometimes called the School of Forms and Names (), was a school of Chinese ...
and the
Confucian Confucianism, also known as Ruism, is a system of thought and behavior originating in ancient China The earliest known written records of the history of China date from as early as 1250 BC, from the Shang dynasty (c. 1600–1046 BC ...

Confucian
Xun Kuang Xun Kuang ( ; BCE, alt. BCE), also widely known as Xunzi (, "Master Xun"), was a Chinese Confucian , Shanxi Shanxi (; ; Chinese postal romanization, formerly romanised as Shansi) is a landlocked Provinces of China, province of the ...
.


Origins and ascendancy

The Zhao clan within Jin had accumulated power for centuries, including annexing the Baidi
state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine ''State Magazine'' is a digital magazine published by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Global Talent Management. Its mission is to acquaint Department o ...
of Dai for themselves during the mid-5th centuryBC. At the end of the Spring and Autumn Period, Jin was divided up between three powerful ministers; Xiangzi, the Zhao family patriarch being one of them. In 403 BC, the king of Zhou formally recognized the existence of the State of Zhao along with two other States, Han and Wei, marking the start of the Warring States Period. At the onset of the Warring States period, Zhao was one of the weaker states. Despite its extensive territory, its northern border was frequently subject to harassment by the
Xiongnu The Xiongnu (, ) were a tribal confederation A confederation (also known as a confederacy or league) is a union of sovereign groups or states united for purposes of common action. Usually created by a treaty A treaty is a formal ...

Xiongnu
and by other northern nomadic peoples. At the same time, Zhao was surrounded by strong states and lacked the military strength of Wei or the prosperity of Qi. Zhao became a pawn in the struggle between the states of Wei and Qi, and this struggle came to a climax in 354 BC when Wei invaded Zhao, and Zhao had to seek aid from Qi. The resulting
Battle of Guiling The Battle of Guìlíng (桂陵之戰) was fought between the states of Qí and Wei in the Warring States period The Warring States period () was an era in ancient Chinese history characterized by warfare, as well as bureaucratic and milita ...

Battle of Guiling
was a major victory for Qi, and it consequently lessened the threat to Zhao's southern border. Zhao remained relatively weak until the military reforms of
King Wuling of Zhao King Wuling of Zhao () (died 295 BCE, reigned 325 BCE – 299 BCE) reigned in the State of Zhao Zhao () was one of the seven major states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine ...
(325-299 BC). The soldiers of Zhao were ordered to dress like their
Xiongnu The Xiongnu (, ) were a tribal confederation A confederation (also known as a confederacy or league) is a union of sovereign groups or states united for purposes of common action. Usually created by a treaty A treaty is a formal ...

Xiongnu
neighbours and to replace war
chariots A chariot is a type of carriage A carriage is a private four-wheeled vehicle for people and is most commonly horse-drawn A horse-drawn vehicle is a mechanized piece of equipment pulled by one horse or by a team of horses. These vehicles ...
with cavalry archers. This reform proved to be a brilliant strategy. With the advanced technology of the Chinese states and nomadic tactics, the cavalry of Zhao became a powerful force. The result was that the newly strengthened Zhao was evenly matched against its greatest enemy, the state of Qi. Zhao demonstrated its enhanced military prowess by conquering the State of
Zhongshan Zhongshan (; ) is a prefecture-level city in the south of the Pearl River Delta in Guangdong Provinces of China, province, China. As of the 2020 census, the whole city with 4,418,060 inhabitants is now part of the Guangzhou–Shenzhen conurbati ...
in 295 BC after a prolonged war, and annexing territory from its neighbouring states of Wei, Yan, and Qin. During this time, the cavalry of Zhao also occasionally intruded into the
state of Qi Qi, or Ch'i in Wade–Giles Wade–Giles () is a romanization Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by hum ...
in campaigns against the
state of Chu Chu, or Ch'u in Wade–Giles Wade–Giles () is a romanization Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by hu ...
. Several brilliant military commanders of the period appeared concurrently, including
Lian Po Lian Po (; – 243 BC), was a prominent general of the Zhao state in the Warring States period The Warring States period () was an era in ancient Chinese history characterized by warfare, as well as bureaucratic and military reforms and co ...
,
Zhao She Zhao She ( 3rd century BC; zh, 趙奢) was a China, Chinese bureaucrat and general for the State of Zhao during the Warring States period. Biography Zhao She was one of the sons of Zhao He (趙何), King Huiwen of Zhao, King Huiwen of the Stat ...
and
Li Mu Li Mu (; died 229 BC), personal name Zuo (繓), courtesy name A courtesy name (), also known as a style name, is a name bestowed upon one at adulthood in addition to one's given name. This practice is a tradition in the East Asian cultural ...
. Lian Po proved instrumental in defending Zhao against the Qin. Zhao She was most active in the east; leading the invasion of the
Yan state Yan (; Old Chinese pronunciation: ''*'') was an ancient Chinese state during the Zhou dynasty. Its capital was Jicheng (Beijing), Ji (later known as Yanjing and now Beijing). During the Warring States period, the court was also moved to another ...
. Li Mu defended Zhao from the
Xiongnu The Xiongnu (, ) were a tribal confederation A confederation (also known as a confederacy or league) is a union of sovereign groups or states united for purposes of common action. Usually created by a treaty A treaty is a formal ...

Xiongnu
in the Zhao–Xiongnu War and later from Qin.


Fall of Zhao

By the end of the Warring States Period, Zhao was the only state strong enough to oppose the powerful
Qin state Qin () was an ancient Chinese state during the Zhou dynasty. Traditionally dated to 897 BC, it took its origin in a reconquest of western lands previously lost to the Xirong (people), Rong; its position at the western edge of Huaxia, Chinese civi ...
. An alliance with Wei against Qin commenced in 287 BC but ended in defeat at Huayang in 273 BC. The struggle then culminated in the bloodiest battle of the whole period, the
Battle of Changping A battle is an occurrence of combat in warfare between opposing military units of any number or size. A war usually consists of multiple battles. In general, a battle is a military engagement that is well defined in duration, area, and force c ...

Battle of Changping
in 260 BC. The troops of Zhao were completely defeated by Qin. Although the forces of Wei and Chu saved Handan from a follow-up siege by the victorious Qin, Zhao would never recover from the enormous loss of men in the battle. In 229 BC, invasions led by the Qin general Wang Jian were opposed by
Li Mu Li Mu (; died 229 BC), personal name Zuo (繓), courtesy name A courtesy name (), also known as a style name, is a name bestowed upon one at adulthood in addition to one's given name. This practice is a tradition in the East Asian cultural ...
and his subordinate officer Sima Shang () until 228 BC. Li Mu was one of the best generals of the Warring States era, and although he was unable to defeat Wang Jian (also one of the best generals of the period), Wang Jian was unable to make headway either. The invasion developed into a stalemate. Realizing that he had to get rid of Li Mu to conquer Zhao, the emperor of Qin,
Qin Shihuang Qin Shi Huang (, ; 259–210 BCE), or Shihuangdi, was the founder of the Qin dynasty, and first Emperor of China, emperor of a unified China. Rather than maintain the title of "Chinese king, king" ( ''wáng'') borne by the previous Shang dyna ...
, attempted to sow discord among the Zhao leadership. Zhao King Youmiu fell for the scheme: acting on faulty advice from disloyal court officials and Qin infiltrators, he ordered the
execution Capital punishment, also known as the death penalty, is the state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ' ...
of Li Mu and relieved Sima Shang from his duties. Li Mu's replacement, Zhao Cong, was promptly defeated by Wang Jian. Qin captured King Youmiu and conquered Zhao in 228 BC. Prince Jia, the half-brother of King Qian, was proclaimed King Jia at Dai and led the last Zhao forces against the Qin. The regime lasted until 222 BC, when the Qin army captured him and defeated his forces at Dai. A rebel named Wu Chen, following
Chen Sheng Chen Sheng (died 208 BC), also known as Chen She, was the leader of the Dazexiang Uprising The Chen Sheng and Wu Guang Uprising (), July–December 209 B.C., was the first uprising against QinQin may refer to: Dynasties and states * Qin ( ...
and
Wu Guang Wu Guang (, died 208 BC) was a leader of the first rebellion against the Qin Dynasty The Qin dynasty, or Ch'in dynasty in Wade–Giles Wade–Giles () is a Romanization of Chinese, romanization system for Standard Chinese, Mandarin ...
's suits at
Chu Chu or CHU may refer to: Chinese history * Chu (state) (c. 1030 BC–223 BC), a state during the Zhou dynasty * Western Chu (206 BC–202 BC), a state founded and ruled by Xiang Yu * Chu Kingdom (Han dynasty) (201 BC–70 AD), a kingdom of the Han ...
, proclaimed himself King of Zhao. Wu was later killed by his subordinate
Li Liang Li, li, or LI may refer to: Businesses and organizations * Landscape Institute The Landscape Institute (LI) is a UK based professional body for the landscape profession. Its membership includes landscape architecture, landscape architects, urban ...
().
Zhang Er Zhang Er (, born 1960) is the pen name of Chinese and American poet, translator Translation is the communication of the Meaning (linguistic), meaning of a #Source and target languages, source-language text by means of an Dynamic and formal ...
() and Chen Yu (), former officials of Zhao, created a Zhao royal,
Zhao Xie Zhao may refer to: * Zhao (surname) Zhao (; ) is a Chinese surname, ranking as the 7th most common surname in China and carried mainly by people of Mandarin-speaking regions. Zhao is the 1st surname in the famous Hundred Family Surnames – t ...
(), as king of Zhao. In 206 BC, the rebel lord of Chu,
Xiang Yu Xiang Yu (, –202 BC), born Xiang Ji (), was the Hegemon-King (Chinese: 霸王, ''Bà Wáng'') of Western Chu Chu (, Hanyu Pinyin: Chǔ, Old Chinese: ''*s-r̥aʔ'') was a Zhou dynasty ancient Chinese states, vassal state. Their fir ...

Xiang Yu
, defeated the
Qin dynasty The Qin dynasty, or Ch'in dynasty in Wade–Giles Wade–Giles () is a romanization Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of ever ...

Qin dynasty
and created himself and other seventeen lords as
kings Kings or King's may refer to: *Monarch A monarch is a head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona A persona (plural personae or personas), depending on the context, can refer to either the public image of ...

kings
, making Zhao Xie the king of Dai. Chen Yu helped Zhao Xie taking back the land of Zhao from Zhang Er, so Zhao Xie created Chen Yu prince of Dai. In 205 BC, Chen Yu's subordinate at Dai,
Xia Yue Xia (Hsia in Wade–Giles) may refer to: Chinese history * Xia dynasty #REDIRECT Xia dynasty #REDIRECT Xia dynasty The Xia dynasty is the first dynasty in traditional Chinese historiography. According to tradition, the Xia dynasty was establ ...
(), was defeated by
Liu Bang Emperor Gaozu of Han (256 – 1 June 195 BC), born Liu Bang () with courtesy name A courtesy name (), also known as a style name, is a name bestowed upon one at adulthood in addition to one's given name. This practice is a tradition in ...

Liu Bang
's generals
Han Xin Han Xin (; died 196 BC) was a Chinese military general and politician who served Liu Bang Emperor Gaozu of Han (256 – 1 June 195 BC), born Liu Bang () with courtesy name Ji (季), was the founder and first emperor of the Han dynasty ...
and Zhang Er. Chen Yu was defeated by Han Xin in 204 BC and later, Zhao Xie was killed by Han forces. Liu Bang gifted the state of Zhao to Zhang Er. In 154 BC, an unrelated Zhao (), headed by Liu Sui (), the Prince of Zhao kingdom, participated in the unsuccessful
Rebellion of the Seven States The Rebellion of the Seven States or Revolt of the Seven Kingdoms () took place in 154 BC against the Han dynasty of China by its Kings of the Han dynasty, regional semi-autonomous kings, to resist the emperor's attempt to centralize the governm ...

Rebellion of the Seven States
() against the newly installed second emperor of the
Han dynasty#REDIRECT Han dynasty The Han dynasty () was the second Dynasties in Chinese history, imperial dynasty of China (202 BC – 220 AD), established by the rebel leader Liu Bang and ruled by the House of Liu. Preceded by the short-lived Qin dynas ...

Han dynasty
.


Culture and society

Before the state of Qin unified China in 221 BC, each region had their own unique customs and culture, although they were all dominated by an upper class that shared a largely common culture. In the ''
Yu Gong The ''Yu Gong'' () or ''Tribute of Yu'' is a chapter of the ''Book of Xia'' (夏書/夏书) section of the ''Book of Documents The ''Book of Documents'' (''Shūjīng'', earlier ''Shu King'') or ''Classic of History'', also known as the ''Sh ...
'' (Tribute of Yu), a section of the
Book of Documents The ''Book of Documents'' (''Shūjīng'', earlier ''Shu King'') or ''Classic of History'', also known as the ''Shangshu'' ("Esteemed Documents"), is one of the Five Classics The Four Books and Five Classics () are the authoritative books of ...
which was most likely composed in the 4th century BC, the author describes a China that is divided into nine regions, each with its own distinctive peoples and products. The core theme of this section is that these nine regions are unified into one state by the travels of the eponymous sage,
Yu the Great Yu the Great (大禹) was a legendary king in ancient China The earliest known written records of the history of China date from as early as 1250 BC, from the Shang dynasty (c. 1600–1046 BC), during the king Wu Ding's reign, who was me ...
and by sending each region's unique goods to the capital as tribute. Other texts also discussed these regional variations in culture and physical environments. One of these texts was ''
Wuzi The ''Wuzi'' () is a classic Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, world ...

Wuzi
(The Book of Master Wu'') which was a Warring States military treatise written in response to a query by Marquis Wu of Wei on how to cope with the other states.
Wu Qi Wu Qi (, 440–381 BC) was a Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, world ...

Wu Qi
, the author of the work, declared that the government and nature of the people were linked to the physical environment and territory they live in. Of Zhao, he said:


List of Zhao rulers


Before the partition of Jin

* Chengzi of Zhao * Xuanzi of Zhao * Zhuangzi of Zhao * Wenzi of Zhao * Jingzi of Zhao () *
Jianzi of Zhao Jianzi (), tī jianzi (踢毽子), tī jian (踢毽) or jianqiú (毽球), is a traditional Chinese national sport in which players aim to keep a heavily weighted shuttlecock in the air by using their bodies, apart from the hands, unlike in si ...
() * Xiangzi of Zhao () * Huanzi of Zhao ()


After the partition of Jin

* Marquess Xian (), personal name Huan (), ruled 424 BC–409 BC * Marquess Lie (), personal name Ji (), son of previous, ruled 409 BC–387 BC, noted for several reforms * Marquess Jing (), personal name Zhang (), son of previous, ruled 387 BC–375 BC * Marquess Cheng (), personal name Zhong (), son of previous, ruled 375 BC–350 BC * Marquess Su (), personal name Yu (), son of previous, ruled 350 BC–326 BC * King Wuling (), personal name Yong (), son of previous, ruled 326 BC–Spring 299 BC * King Huiwen (), personal name He (), son of previous, ruled Spring 299 BC–266 BC *
King Xiaocheng King Xiaocheng of Zhao (; reigned 265 BCE – 245 BCE) was a king of the State of Zhao during the Warring States period The Warring States period () was an era in ancient Chinese history characterized by warfare, as well as bureaucratic and ...
(), personal name Dan (), son of previous, ruled 266 BC–245 BC * King Daoxiang (), personal name Yan (), son of previous, ruled 245 BC–236 BC * King Youmiu (), personal name Qian (), son of previous, ruled 236 BC–228 BC *
King Jia of Dai Jia, King of Zhao (赵王嘉, reigned 227–223 BCE), also known as Jia, King of Dai (代王嘉), Zhao Jia (赵嘉), was the last ruler of the ancient Chinese states, state of Zhao (state), Zhao during the waning days of the Warring States Period ...
(), personal name Jia (), half-brother of previous, ruled 228 BC–222 BC * Xie, King of Zhao (), ruled 209 BC–205 BC. Also known as Zhao Xie. A reinstalled king of Zhao by rioting peasants during the reign of
Qin Er Shi Qin Er Shi (; 231/222 – October 207 BCE) was the second emperor of the Qin dynasty The Qin dynasty, or Ch'in dynasty in Wade–Giles Wade–Giles () is a Romanization of Chinese, romanization system for Standard Chinese, Man ...
. Defeated and Killed by
Liu Bang Emperor Gaozu of Han (256 – 1 June 195 BC), born Liu Bang () with courtesy name A courtesy name (), also known as a style name, is a name bestowed upon one at adulthood in addition to one's given name. This practice is a tradition in ...

Liu Bang
.


Zhao in astronomy

There are two opinions about the representing star of Zhao in
Chinese astronomy Astronomy in China has a long history stretching from the Shang Dynasty The Shang dynasty (), also historically known as the Yin dynasty (), was a Chinese dynasty Dynasties in Chinese history, or Chinese dynasties, were hereditary ...
. The opinions are : * Zhao is represented with the star
Lambda Herculis Lambda Herculis (λ Herculis. abbreviated Lambda Her, λ Her), formally named Maasym , is a star in the constellation of Hercules (constellation), Hercules. From stellar parallax, parallax measurements taken during the Hipparcos mission, it ...
in asterism ''Left Wall'',
Heavenly Market enclosure The Heavenly Market Enclosure (天市垣, ''Tian Shi Yuan''), is one of the ''San Yuan'' or Three enclosures. Stars and constellations of this group are visible during late summer and early autumn in the Northern Hemisphere (late winter and early ...
., and also represented with two stars
26 Capricorni 6 (six) is the natural number In mathematics, the natural numbers are those used for counting (as in "there are ''six'' coins on the table") and total order, ordering (as in "this is the ''third'' largest city in the country"). In common math ...
( , en, the First Star of Zhao) and
27 Capricorni 7 (seven) is the natural number In mathematics, the natural numbers are those used for counting (as in "there are ''six'' coins on the table") and total order, ordering (as in "this is the ''third'' largest city in the country"). In common m ...
( , en, the Second Star of Zhao) in asterism ''Twelve States'',
Girl A girl is a young female Female (symbol: ♀) is the sex Sex is either of two divisions, typically male Male (♂) is the sex of an organism that produces the gamete known as sperm. A male gamete can fuse with a larger female ...
mansion. (see
Chinese constellation Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in . It is the world's , with a of more than 1.4 billion. China spans five geographical and 14 different count ...
). * Zhao is represented with the star
Lambda Herculis Lambda Herculis (λ Herculis. abbreviated Lambda Her, λ Her), formally named Maasym , is a star in the constellation of Hercules (constellation), Hercules. From stellar parallax, parallax measurements taken during the Hipparcos mission, it ...
, and also represented with star "m Capricorni".Richard Hinckley Allen: Star Names – Their Lore and Meaning: Capricornus
/ref>


See also

*
Zhao (Han dynasty kingdom) Zhao Kingdom or Zhao Principality ( zh, 趙國) was a Government_of_the_Han_dynasty#Kingdoms,_marquisates,_and_fiefs_of_princesses, kingdom or principality in early Imperial China, located in present-day North China. The kingdom was created in ...
*
Han Zhao The Han Zhao (; 304–329 AD), or Former Zhao (), was a dynasty A dynasty (, ) is a sequence of rulers from the same family,''Oxford English Dictionary'', "dynasty, ''n''." Oxford University Press Oxford University Press (OUP) is ...
*
Later Zhao The Later Zhao (; 319–351) was a dynasty A dynasty (, ) is a sequence of rulers from the same family,''Oxford English Dictionary'', "dynasty, ''n''." Oxford University Press Oxford University Press (OUP) is the university press ...


References

{{DEFAULTSORT:Zhao (State) Ancient Chinese states 403 BC Jin (Chinese state) History of Hebei History of Shanxi 222 BC States and territories disestablished in the 3rd century BC 3rd-century BC disestablishments in China 5th-century BC establishments in China