Zheng (state)

State of Zheng
806 BC–375 BC
Capital Zheng (鄭)
Xinzheng (新鄭)
Languages Old Chinese
Religion Taoism, Animism, ancestor worship
Government Monarchy
   806 BC – 771 BC Duke Huan of Zheng
  703 BC – 701 BC Duke Zhuang of Zheng
  395 BC – 375 BC Duke Kang of Zheng
   King Xuan of Zhou granting land to Prince You 806 BC
   Conquest of the State of Han 375 BC
Currency Chinese coin; Spade coin
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Zhou Dynasty
Han (state)

"Zheng" in seal script (top), Traditional (middle), and Simplified (bottom) Chinese characters
Traditional Chinese
Simplified Chinese

Zheng (Chinese: ; Old Chinese: *[d]reng-s) was a vassal state in China during the Zhou Dynasty (1046–221 BCE) located in the centre of ancient China in modern-day Henan Province on the North China Plain about 75 miles (121 km) east of the royal capital at Luoyang. It was the most powerful of the vassal states at the beginning of the Eastern Zhou (771–701 BCE), and was the first state to clearly establish a code of law in its late period of 543 BCE. Its ruling house had the surname Ji (姬), making them a branch of the Zhou royal house, who were given the rank of Bo (伯), corresponding roughly to being a Count.


Chinese states, 5th century BCE

Zheng was founded in 806 BC when King Xuan of Zhou, the penultimate king of the Western Zhou, made his younger brother Prince You (王子友) Duke of Zheng and granted him lands within the royal domain in the eponymous Zheng in modern-day Hua County, Shaanxi on the Wei River east of Xi'an. Prince You, known posthumously as Duke Huan of Zheng, established what would be the last bastion of Western Zhou. He went on to serve as Situ under King You of Zhou. When the Quanrong tribes sacked the Zhou capital Haojing in 771 BC, Duke Huan was killed along with his nephew King You of Zhou.

Duke Huan was succeeded by his son Duke Wu (鄭武公). Along with Marquis Wen of Jin, Duke Wu supported King Ping of Zhou against a rival, thereby helping to establish the Eastern Zhou. He re-established the state of Zheng in modern-day Xinzheng (meaning New Zheng), Henan, and annexed the states of Eastern Guo and Kuai. The Zheng rulers served as high ministers of the Zhou kings for several generations.

Spring and Autumn period

Early dominance

The state of Zheng was one of the strongest at the beginning of the Spring and Autumn period. Zheng was the first Zhou state to annex another state, Xi, sometime between 684 and 680 BC. Throughout the Spring and Autumn period, Zheng was one of the wealthiest states, relying on its central location for inter-state commerce and having the largest number of merchants of any state. Zheng often used its wealth to bribe itself out of difficult situations.

Duke Zhuang of Zheng (743–701 BC) was arguably a forerunner of the Five Hegemons, though Zheng derived its dominance by dramatically different means compared to those of the later hegemons by defeating an alliance of feudal states led by Zhou itself and wounding King Huan of Zhou. When Duke Zhuang died there was a civil war between his sons and Zheng ceased to be a powerful state.

Later Period

By the later stages of the period, Zheng had no room to expand. Due to its central location, Zheng was hemmed in on all sides by larger states. During the later stages of the Spring and Autumn period, Zheng frequently switched its diplomatic alliances. Zheng was the center of diplomatic contention between Chu and Qi, then later Chu and Jin. Although Zheng was forced to become a minor player in the later stages of the Spring and Autumn period, it was still quite strong, defeating a combined alliance of Jin, Song, Chen and Wei in 607 BCE.

Under the statesman Zichan, Zheng was the first state to clearly establish a code of law in 543 BCE. Zheng later declined until it was annexed by the state of Han in 375 BCE.[1][2][3][4]

The Zheng family of Xingyang 荥阳郑氏 claim descent from the Zhou dynasty kings through the rulers of the State of Zheng.

The Marquis of Xingyang rank was created for Zheng Xi.[5] The Xingyang Zheng descendants included Zheng Daozhao and Zheng Xi.[6] Zheng Wanjun was a member of the Xingyang Zheng.[7] Other Xingyang Zheng descendants were Zheng Yuzhong (Zheng Qiao)[8] and Zheng Jiong.[9]

The Zheng of Xingyang may have been miswritten in the records as the Zheng of Xingyang 荥阳郑氏.[10][11][12]

List of rulers

Title Given name Reign
Duke Huan of Zheng
806-771 BC
Duke Wu of Zheng
770-744 BC
Duke Zhuang of Zheng
743-701 BC
Duke Zhao of Zheng

701 BC
Duke Li of Zheng

700-697 BC
Duke Zhao of Zheng (second reign)

696-695 BC
Prince Ziwei of Zheng
694 BC
Zheng Ziying
693–680 BC
Duke Li of Zheng (second reign)

679–673 BC
Duke Wen of Zheng
672–628 BC
Duke Mu of Zheng
627–606 BC
Duke Ling of Zheng

605 BC
Duke Xiang of Zheng
604–587 BC
Duke Dao of Zheng
586–585 BC
Duke Cheng of Zheng
584–581 BC
Prince Xu of Zheng

581 BC
Duke Xi of Zheng
581 BC
Duke Cheng of Zheng (second reign)
581–571 BC
Duke Xi of Zheng (second reign)
570–566 BC
Duke Jian of Zheng
565–530 BC
Duke Ding of Zheng
529–514 BC
Duke Xian of Zheng
513–501 BC
Duke Sheng of Zheng
500–463 BC
Duke Ai of Zheng

462–455 BC
Duke Gong of Zheng
455–424 BC
Duke You of Zheng

423 BC
Duke Xu of Zheng
422–396 BC
Duke Kang of Zheng

395–375 BC

Other people from Zheng

Sources, references, external links, quotes

  1. Bai, Shouyi (2002). An Outline History of China. Beijing: Foreign Language Press. ISBN 7-119-02347-0.
  2. Creel, Herrlee G. The Origins of Statecraft in China. ISBN 0-226-12043-0.
  3. Walker, Richard Lewis. The Multi-state System of Ancient China. Beijing.
  4. "The Zheng Feudal Lords". China Knowledge. Retrieved August 28, 2007.
  5. Ancient and Early Medieval Chinese Literature (vol.3 & 4): A Reference Guide, Part Three & Four. BRILL. 22 September 2014. pp. 2233–. ISBN 978-90-04-27185-2.
  6. Robert E. Harrist (2008). The landscape of words: stone inscriptions from early and medieval China. University of Washington Press. pp. 103, 117–118.
  7. Jinhua Chen (11 May 2007). Philosopher, Practitioner, Politician: the Many Lives of Fazang (643-712). BRILL. pp. 146–. ISBN 978-90-474-2000-2.
  8. Han Si (2008). A Chinese word on image: Zheng Qiao (1104-1162) and his thought on images. Acta Universitatis Gothoburgensis. pp. 31, 266. ISBN 978-91-7346-607-3.
  9. The Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies. International Association of Buddhist Studies. 1999. pp. 42, 39, 90.
  10. Bryan J. Cuevas; Jacqueline Ilyse Stone (2007). The Buddhist Dead: Practices, Discourses, Representations. University of Hawaii Press. pp. 264–. ISBN 978-0-8248-3031-1.
  11. James A. Benn (2007). Burning for the Buddha: Self-Immolation in Chinese Buddhism. University of Hawaii Press. pp. 304–. ISBN 978-0-8248-2992-6.
  12. Zheng Xingyang Zong Tang Jin Xi Ji Nian Te Kan. Wah Cheong Advertising & Printing Company. 1978.
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 12/2/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.