Three Huan

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The Three Huan (Chinese :三桓; pinyin :Sān Huán) refers to three aristocratic clans, all descendants of Duke Huan of Lu, in the State of Lu, which dominated the government affairs, displacing the power of the dukes, for nearly three centuries during the Spring and Autumn period. They are the Jisun (季孫) or Ji, Mengsun (孟孫) or Meng, and Shusun (叔孫) clans.

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.

Pinyin Acento chino

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.

Duke Huan of Lu was from 711 to 694 BC the 15th ruler of the State of Lu during the Spring and Autumn period of ancient China. His ancestral name was Ji (姬), given name Yun (允) or Gui (軌), and Duke Huan was his posthumous title.


The characters Bo, Meng, Zhong, Shu and Ji are originally ordinals used in courtesy names to indicate a person's rank among his or her siblings of the same gender who survived to adulthood. The eldest brother's courtesy name would be prefixed with the word "Bo" (or "Meng" if he was born to a secondary wife), the second with "Zhong", the youngest with "Shu", and the rest with "Ji". For instance, Confucius' courtesy name was Zhongni.

Courtesy name name bestowed in adulthood in East Asian cultures

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 Sinosphere, including China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam.

As the power of the Three Huan became hereditary, the descendants of Duke Zhuang's brothers used the ordinal numbers as family names to distinguish their branches of the House of Ji.


The three houses are cadet houses of the Lu ducal house, which is itself a branch of the ruling house of the Zhou Dynasty. Duke Huan of Lu (r. 711 - 694 BC) had four sons. While the oldest son by his main wife Wen Jiang became the heir, and subsequently Duke Zhuang of Lu, his other three sons - respectively Qingfu (慶父), Shuya (叔牙) and Jiyou (季友) all became important officials during the reign of Duke Zhuang, and gained substantial power in the state.

Wen Jiang was a princess of the State of Qi and duchess of the State of Lu during the Spring and Autumn period of ancient China. She was a daughter of Duke Xi of Qi and sister of Duke Xiang and Duke Huan of Qi. She was the main wife of Duke Huan of Lu and mother of Duke Zhuang of Lu. She is best known for having an incestuous relationship with her brother Duke Xiang, who had her husband murdered. Her clan name was Jiang (姜) and Wen was her posthumous title.

Their influence would come to undermine the power of the ducal house owing to the succession issue of Duke Zhuang. The duke, who was seriously ill, wanted his son Ziban (子般) to succeed; Shuya advocated the succession of Qingfu, but was then poisoned by Jiyou. Under Jiyou's protection, Ziban became the Duke, but was shortly murdered by Qingfu in collaboration with Duke Zhuang's wife. Jiyou was exiled from Lu, and Duke Min of Lu took the throne.

In 660 BC, Qingfu murdered Duke Min as well and sought to rule himself as the Duke of Lu; in the face of public outcry, however, he was forced to flee to the state of Ju. Jiyou then returned from his exile in the state of Qi with the younger brother of Duke Min, who then ruled as Duke Xi of Lu; while Qingfu was forced to commit suicide, Jiyou became the chief minister of Lu, a post he held for 16 years and which was secured with the backing of the powerful state of Qi.

Ju (state) ancient Chinese state

Ju was a Dongyi state in modern Shandong province during the Zhou dynasty of ancient China. The rulers of Ju had the surname of Ji 己. According to the Shuowen Jiezi, "Ju" means taro or a wooden tool. It was weakened by wars with the states of Chu and Qi. Eventually the state was annexed by Qi, and the City of Ju became a major stronghold of Qi.

Duke Xi of Lu was the ruler of Lu from 659 BC to 627 BC in Spring and Autumn period. His name is Ji Shen (姬申). Xi, literally means "happy", is his posthumous name. The posthumous name "Xi" means that he was mediocre and behaved cautiously. His father is Duke Zhuang of Lu. After Duke Xi of Lu died in 627BC, His son, Duke Wen of Lu succeeded him.

Competition between the three families became the reason of a major skirmish during the time of Confucius. Ran Yong, Ran Qiu, and Zilu, three of his disciples, were ministers of Jisun, and Confucius himself was a subordinate of Ji Huanzi, the chancellor of Duke Ding of Lu. Lu was almost annihilated by rebels, and Confucius allegedly took part in weakening of the three families and strengthening of the ruler's position.

Confucius Chinese teacher, editor, politician and philosopher

Confucius was a Chinese philosopher and politician of the Spring and Autumn period.

Ran Yong Disciple of Confucius

Ran Yong, also known by his courtesy name Zhonggong, was one of the prominent disciples of Confucius. Confucius thought highly of his excellent moral conduct, and considered him fit to be the ruler of a state. After completing school, he served as chief officer of Jisun, the noble clan that dominated the politics of Lu.

Ran Qiu Disciple of Confucius

Ran Qiu, also known by his courtesy name Ziyou and as Ran You, was a leading disciple of Confucius. Among Confucius's disciples, he was the foremost in terms of ability and accomplishment in statesmanship. As a military commander of the State of Lu, he repelled an invasion from the neighbouring State of Qi. His influence in Lu facilitated the return of Confucius to his native state after fourteen years of exile.

At the end of the Spring and Autumn period, Duke Ai of Lu -who had no control of Lu's own army- secretly negotiated with Yue for the powerful neighbour to invade Lu and depose the Three Huan, restoring power to the duke. However the plot was discovered and Duke Ai forced to flee abroad. He was succeeded by his son Duke Dao, who continued to be a puppet of the Three Huan.

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Spring and Autumn period period of ancient Chinese history

The Spring and Autumn period was a period in Chinese history from approximately 771 to 476 BC which corresponds roughly to the first half of the Eastern Zhou period. The period's name derives from the Spring and Autumn Annals, a chronicle of the state of Lu between 722 and 479 BC, which tradition associates with Confucius.

According to Sima Qian, Confucius said: "The disciples who received my instructions, and could themselves comprehend them, were seventy-seven individuals. They were all scholars of extraordinary ability." It was traditionally believed that Confucius had three thousand students, but that only 72 mastered what he taught. The following is a list of students who have been identified as Confucius's followers. Very little is known of most of Confucius's students, but some of them are mentioned in the Analects of Confucius. Many of their biographies are recorded in the Sima Qian's Shiji. The Six Arts were practiced by the 72 disciples.

Duke Huan of Qi Monarch of Qi

Duke Huan of Qi, personal name Xiǎobái (小白), was the ruler of the State of Qi from 685 to 643 BC. Living during the chaotic Spring and Autumn period, as the Zhou dynasty's former vassal states fought each other for supremacy, Duke Huan and his long-time advisor Guan Zhong managed to transform Qi into China's most powerful polity. Duke Huan was eventually recognized by most of the Zhou states as well as the Zhou royal family as Hegemon of China. In this position, he fought off invasions of China by non-Zhou peoples and attempted to restore order throughout the lands. Toward the end of his more than forty-year-long reign, however, Duke Huan's power began to decline as he grew ill and Qi came to be embroiled in factional strife. Following his death in 643 BC, Qi completely lost its predominance.

Lu (state) vassal state during the Zhou Dynasty of ancient China

Lu was a vassal state during the Zhou dynasty of ancient China located around modern Shandong province. Founded in the 11th century BC, its rulers were from a cadet branch of the House of Ji (姬) that ruled the Zhou dynasty. The first duke was Boqin, a son of the Duke of Zhou, who was brother of King Wu of Zhou and regent to King Cheng of Zhou.

Guan Zhong Chinese chancellor and reformer

Guan Zhong was a Chinese philosopher and politician. He served as chancellor and was a reformer of the State of Qi during the Spring and Autumn period of Chinese history. His given name was Yiwu. Zhong was his courtesy name. He is mainly remembered for his reforms as chancellor under Duke Huan of Qi, as well as his friendship with his colleague Bao Shuya, though his reputation remained controversial among the Confucians, as detailed in the Philosophy and appraisal section.

Bao Shuya was a famous official of the State of Qi under Duke Huan of Qi during the Spring and Autumn period in China. He was a contemporary and friend of Guan Zhong.

Duke Xiang of Qi was from 697 to 686 BC the fourteenth recorded ruler of the State of Qi, a major power during the Spring and Autumn period of ancient China. His personal name was Lü Zhu'er (呂諸兒), ancestral name Jiang (姜), and Duke Xiang was his posthumous title.

Wuzhi, also called Gongsun Wuzhi, was for a few months in early 685 BC ruler of the State of Qi during the Spring and Autumn period of ancient China. His personal name was Lü Wuzhi (呂無知), ancestral name Jiang (姜). Unlike most rulers, he was not given a posthumous title because he killed the monarch and usurped the throne.

Duke Zhao of Qi was from 632 to 613 BC ruler of the State of Qi, a major power during the Spring and Autumn period of ancient China. His personal name was Lü Pan (呂潘), ancestral name Jiang (姜), and Duke Zhao was his posthumous title. He was known as Prince Pan before his accession to the throne.

She was for two months in 613 BC ruler of the State of Qi during the Spring and Autumn period of ancient China. His personal name was Lü She (呂舍), ancestral name Jiang (姜), and he was not given a posthumous title due to his short reign.

Duke Qing of Qi was from 598 to 582 BC ruler of the State of Qi, a major power during the Spring and Autumn period of ancient China. His personal name was Lü Wuye (呂無野), ancestral name Jiang (姜), and Duke Qing was his posthumous title.

Duke Ling of Qi was from 581 to 554 BC ruler of the State of Qi, a major power during the Spring and Autumn period of ancient China. His personal name was Lü Huan (呂環), ancestral name Jiang (姜), and Duke Ling was his posthumous title. Duke Ling succeeded his father Duke Qing of Qi, who died in 582 BC after 17 years of reign.

Duke Jing of Qi was ruler of the State of Qi from 547 to 490 BC. Qi was a major power during the Spring and Autumn period of ancient China. His personal name was Lü Chujiu (呂杵臼), ancestral name Jiang (姜), and Duke Jing was his posthumous title. After the years of unrest as two powerful ministers, Cui Zhu and Qing Feng, sought to control the state of Qi, Duke Jing appointed Yan Ying as his prime minister, and Qi entered a period of relative peace and prosperity.

Duke Dao of Qi was from 488 to 485 BC ruler of the State of Qi, a major power during the Spring and Autumn period of ancient China. His personal name was Lü Yangsheng (呂陽生), ancestral name Jiang (姜), and Duke Dao was his posthumous title. Before ascending the throne he was known as Prince Yangsheng.

Ji (surname 季) Chinese surname 季

is the Mandarin pinyin romanization of the Chinese surname written 季 in Chinese character. It is romanized as Chi in Wade–Giles, and Gwai in Cantonese. Ji is the 142nd most common surname in China, with a population of 960,000. It is listed the 134th in the Song dynasty classic text Hundred Family Surnames.

Eastern Zhou geographic region

The Eastern Zhou was the second half of the Zhou dynasty of ancient China. It is divided into two periods: the Spring and Autumn and the Warring States.