Duke Xiao of Qin

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Duke Xiao of Qin (秦孝公)
Reign361–338 BC
Issue King Huiwen of Qin
Ji, Lord Yan
Full name
Father Duke Xian of Qin

Duke Xiao of Qin (Chinese :秦孝公; pinyin :Qín Xiào Gōng, 381–338 BC), given name Quliang (Chinese :渠梁; pinyin :Qúliáng), was the ruler of the Qin state from 361 to 338 BC during the Warring States period of Chinese history. Duke Xiao is best known for employing the Legalist statesman Shang Yang [1] from the State of Wey (衛), [2] and authorizing him to conduct a series of ground breaking political, military and economic reforms in Qin. Although the reforms were controversial and drew violent opposition from many Qin politicians, Duke Xiao supported Shang Yang fully and the reforms did help to transform Qin into a dominant superpower among the Seven Warring States.

Chinese language family of languages

Chinese is a group of related, but in many cases not mutually intelligible, language varieties, forming the Sinitic branch of the Sino-Tibetan language family. Chinese is spoken by the ethnic Chinese majority and many minority ethnic groups in China. About 1.2 billion people speak some form of Chinese as their first language.

Hanyu Pinyin, often abbreviated to pinyin, is the official romanization system for Standard Chinese in mainland China and to some extent in Taiwan. It is often used to teach Standard Mandarin Chinese, which is normally written using Chinese characters. The system includes four diacritics denoting tones. Pinyin without tone marks is used to spell Chinese names and words in languages written with the Latin alphabet, and also in certain computer input methods to enter Chinese characters.

Qin (state) Chinese feudal state

Qin was an ancient Chinese state during the Zhou dynasty. Traditionally dated to 897 B.C., it took its origin in a reconquest of western lands previously lost to the Rong; its position at the western edge of Chinese civilization permitted expansion and development that was unavailable to its rivals in the North China Plain. Following extensive "Legalist" reform in the 3rd century BC, Qin emerged as one of the dominant powers of the Seven Warring States and unified China in 221 BC under Shi Huangdi. The empire it established was short-lived but greatly influential on later Chinese history.

Contents

Biography

Duke Xiao ascended to the throne of the Qin state in 361 BC at the age of 21, succeeding his father, Duke Xian. Duke Xiao was determined to restore the Qin state to its former glory as one of the Five Hegemons during the reign of his ancestor, Duke Mu. Hence, the duke sent out an announcement, calling for men of talent to aid him in strengthening Qin, promising them rewards of high offices and lands in return for their service. Wei Yang (later known as Shang Yang), a scholar from the Legalist School, responded to the duke's call as he had been unsuccessful in attempting to start his career in other states.

Five Hegemons group of humans

The Five Hegemons refers to several especially powerful rulers of Chinese states of the Spring and Autumn period of Chinese history, sometimes alternatively referred to as the "Age of Hegemons". There are various lists of five hegemon rulers of those certain states which rose to power over the other states of this time period, states which were also formed during the period of dissolution of a once real and strong central state, namely the empire of the Zhou dynasty. The Hegemons mobilized the remnants of the Zhou empire, according to shared mutual political and martial interests. An especially prominent Hegemon was Duke Huan of Qi.

Duke Mu of Qin, born Renhao, was a duke of Qin in the western reaches of the Zhou Kingdom during the Spring and Autumn Period of Chinese history. Sometimes considered one of China's Five Hegemons, he greatly expanded the territory of Qin during the reign of King Xiang. He was also known for his many talented advisors, such as Baili Xi, Jian Shu (蹇叔), Pi Bao (丕豹), and Gong Sun (公孫).

Shang Yang statesman of the Qin state

Shang Yang, also known as Wei Yang and originally surnamed Gongsun, was a Chinese philosopher and politician. He was a prominent legalist scholar. Born in Wey, Zhou Kingdom, he was a statesman and reformer of the State of Qin during the Warring States period of ancient China. His policies laid the administrative and political foundations that would enable Qin to conquer all of China, uniting the country for the first time and ushering in the Qin dynasty. He and his followers contributed to the Book of Lord Shang, a foundational work of what has modernly been termed Chinese Legalism.

Wei Yang was introduced to Duke Xiao by Jing Jian and had two audiences with the duke, during which he proposed ideas on governance based on the principles of Confucianism, Taoism and other schools of thought, but the duke was not impressed. During the third meeting, Wei proposed his ideas on strict governance, based on ideas from Legalism, and captured the duke's attention. Duke Xiao and Wei Yang had a discussion that lasted for three days and three nights, after which they drafted plans for reform. The plans were put into effect in 363 BC, but several Qin politicians objected strongly to the reforms. [3] However, Duke Xiao supported Wei Yang fully and ensured that the reforms were implemented as planned.

Confucianism Chinese ethical and philosophical system

Confucianism, also known as Ruism, is described as tradition, a philosophy, a religion, a humanistic or rationalistic religion, a way of governing, or simply a way of life. Confucianism developed from what was later called the Hundred Schools of Thought from the teachings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius, who considered himself a recodifier and retransmitter of the theology and values inherited from the Shang and Zhou dynasties. In the Han dynasty, Confucian approaches edged out the "proto-Taoist" Huang–Lao as the official ideology, while the emperors mixed both with the realist techniques of Legalism.

Taoism Religious or philosophical tradition of Chinese origin

Taoism, or Daoism, is a religious or philosophical tradition of Chinese origin which emphasizes living in harmony with the Tao. The Tao is a fundamental idea in most Chinese philosophical schools; in Taoism, however, it denotes the principle that is the source, pattern and substance of everything that exists. Taoism differs from Confucianism by not emphasizing rigid rituals and social order, but is similar in the sense that it is a teaching about the various disciplines for achieving "perfection" by becoming one with the unplanned rhythms of the universe called "the way" or "dao". Taoist ethics vary depending on the particular school, but in general tend to emphasize wu wei, "naturalness", simplicity, spontaneity, and the Three Treasures: 慈 "compassion", 儉 "frugality", and 不敢為天下先 "humility".

Hundred Schools of Thought philosophies and schools that flourished from the 6th century to 221 BCE, during the Spring and Autumn period and the Warring States period of ancient China

The Hundred Schools of Thought were philosophies and schools that flourished from the 6th century to 221 B.C. during the Spring and Autumn period and the Warring States period of ancient China.

The reforms caused ground breaking changes in the Qin state and transformed it into a strict, controlling, [4] militaristic state, which governed by using tough and oppressive laws. Agriculture was expanded through forced migration to new regions, [5] and citizens were rewarded or punished based on their military or agricultural achievements. [6]

In 366 BC, the Qin armies defeated the allied forces from the states of Han and Wei at the Battle of Shimen. [7] The Qin soldiers and officers were promoted to higher ranks based on the number of enemy heads they collected during battle. [8] The Qin state pushed on to seize lands from the Wei state, which managed to survive only with the help of the Zhao state, and Wei was drastically weakened by its losses and defeats.

Han (state) ancient Chinese state

Han was an ancient Chinese state during the Warring States period of ancient China. It is conventionally romanized by scholars as Hann to distinguish it from the later Han Dynasty (漢).

Wei (state) ancient Chinese state during the Warring States period

Wei was one of the seven major states during the Warring States period of ancient China. It was created from the three-way Partition of Jin, together with Han and Zhao. Its territory lay between the states of Qin and Qi and included parts of modern-day Henan, Hebei, Shanxi, and Shandong. After its capital was moved from Anyi to Daliang during the reign of King Hui, Wei was also called Liang.

Zhao (state) one of the states in ancient Chinas Warring States period

Zhao was one of the seven major states during the Warring States period of ancient China. It was created from the three-way Partition of Jin, together with Han 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 Qin at the Battle of Changping. Its territory included areas now in modern Inner Mongolia, Hebei, Shanxi and Shaanxi provinces. It bordered the Xiongnu, the states of Qin, Wei and Yan. Its capital was Handan, in modern Hebei Province.

Legacy

Duke Xiao ruled Qin for 24 years and died at the age of 44 in 338 BC. He was succeeded by his son King Huiwen of Qin. Duke Xiao was given the posthumous name of "Xiao", which means "filial". The reforms that took place during his reign helped to lay a strong foundation for Qin's eventual unification of China under the Qin Dynasty, under the leadership of Duke Xiao's descendant, Zheng, who became Qin Shi Huang (First Emperor of Qin). [9]

King Huiwen of Qin, also known as Lord Huiwen of Qin or King Hui of Qin, given name Si (駟), was the ruler of the Qin state from 338 to 311 BC during the Warring States period of Chinese history and likely an ancestor of Emperor Qin Shi Huang. He was the first ruler of Qin to style himself "King" (王) instead of "Duke" (公).

A posthumous name is an honorary name given to royalty, nobles, and sometimes others, in East Asia after the person's death, and is used almost exclusively instead of one's personal name or other official titles during their life. The posthumous name is commonly used when naming royalty of China, Korea, Vietnam, and Japan.

Filial piety Virtue and practice in Confucian and Chinese Buddhist ethics

In Confucian and Chinese Buddhist ethics, filial piety is a virtue of respect for one's parents, elders, and ancestors. The Confucian Classic of Filial Piety, thought to be written around the Qin-Han period, has historically been the authoritative source on the Confucian tenet of filial piety. The book, a purported dialogue between Confucius and his student Tseng Tzu, is about how to set up a good society using the principle of filial piety. Filial piety is central to Confucian role ethics.

Duke Xiao was also the last ruler of Qin to be addressed as "duke" (Chinese :; pinyin :gōng), as his successors titled themselves "kings" (Chinese :; pinyin :wáng). The change was an indication of the loss of authority of the central government (Zhou Dynasty), as rulers of several other feudal states had begun to call themselves "kings" instead of "dukes".

Family

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References

  1. Harvard University reference page for a 2006 class called Moral Reasoning; includes a useful map
  2. Not to be confused with the similarly named State of Wei (魏)
  3. Records of the Grand Historian, by Sima Qian, translated by Burton Watson, chapter "Basic Annals of Qin." Pub. Chinese University of Hong Kong (1993), pp. 23-24
  4. Herbert Giles, Chinese Biographical Dictionary on Shang Yang (Wei Yang)
  5. National Institute of Informatics (Japan) English-language abstract of Japanese article by Ochi Shigeaki
  6. Encyclopædia Britannica article on Shang Yang
  7. The Cambridge History of Ancient China (1999/2007), v. 1, p. 618 (ch. "Warring States Political History" by Mark Edward Lewis)
  8. The Cambridge History of Ancient China (1999/2007), v. 1, p. 612 (ch. "Warring States Political History" by Mark Edward Lewis)
  9. University of Cumbria article
Duke Xiao of Qin
Born: 381 BC Died: 338 BC
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Duke Xian of Qin
Duke of Qin
361–338 BC
Succeeded by
King Huiwen of Qin
as King of Qin