Chu (state)

Chu (state)
State of Chu


~1030 BC–223 BC

Capital Danyang(丹阳/丹陽)[1] from ~1030-~680 BC
Ying (郢) from ~680-278 BC
Chen (陈/陳) from 278-241 BC
Shouchun (寿春/壽春) from 241-224 BC
Religion Chinese folk religion, ancestor worship, Taoism
Government Viscountcy / Monarchy, Feudalism
Hereditary viscounts, Viscounts and later kings of the Xiong clan of House of Mi (芈姓熊氏)
Chancellor Various prime ministers including Cheng Dechen (died 632BC)
 - Founded by Xiong Yi during the reign of King Cheng of Zhou ~1030 BC
 - Conquered by Qin during the reign of King Ying Zheng of Qin 223 BC
Currency Chinese coin, gold coins

The State of Chu (simplified Chinese: 楚国; traditional Chinese: 楚國; pinyin: Chǔ Gúo) was a Zhou Dynasty vassal state in present-day central and southern China during the Spring and Autumn period (722-481 BC) and Warring States Period (481-221 BC). Its ruling house had the surname Nai (Zhou Chinese: 嬭), and clan name Yan (酓), later evolved to surname Mi (芈), and clan name Xiong (熊).[2] Originally Chu's rulers were of the noble rank of Zi (子), roughly comparable to a viscount.

Originally known as Jing (荆) and then as Jingchu (荆楚), at the height of its power the Chu state occupied vast areas of land, including the present-day provinces of Hunan, Hubei, Chongqing, Henan, Anhui and parts of Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Zhejiang, and Shanghai. For more than 400 years the Chu capital Danyang was located at the junction region of Dan River and Xi River,[3][4] near present-day Xichuan, Henan Province, but later moved to Ying.




According to legend, the ancestors of the founders of the State of Chu were a clan descended from Zhuanxu also known as Gaoyang (高阳/高陽), grandson of the Yellow Emperor.[5] Zhuanxu’s fifth generation descendant was put in charge of fire by Emperor Ku and given the name Zhurong, otherwise known as the God of Fire.[6][7][8] Zhurong had six sons, the youngest of who was called Jilian (季连).[9] One of Jilian’s later descendants Yu Xiong (鬻熊) was a well known teacher who taught both King Wen of Zhou and his son King Wu of Zhou.[10]
King Cheng of Zhou (Reigned 1042–1021) did not forget Yu Xiong’s valuable service to his father and grandfather such that when Xiong Yi, Yu Xiong’s grandson, became leader of Chu he was given the hereditary title of (子), roughly equivalent to a Viscount. He also received a grant of land around Danyang (丹阳) (modern day Xichuan County, Henan Province) where he built the first capital of Chu.

Early expansion

In 977 BCE, after an expedition into the State of Chu King Zhao of Zhou's boat sank and he drowned in the Han River. Due to the death of their king, Zhou did not expand further in the south thus allowing the southern tribes and Chu to cement their own autonomy and independence much earlier than the states to the north. Chu ruler Xiong Qu (熊渠) overthrew the State of E[11] in 863 BCE, later making its successor city Ezhou the alternate Chu capital. In either 703[12] or 706[13] Xiong Tong (熊通), Viscount of Chu assumed the title King Wu of Chu, implying an equality with the Zhou king and the independence of Chu.

Chu during the Spring and Autumn period

In its early years, Chu was a successful expansionist and militaristic state that developed a reputation for coercing and absorbing its allies. Chu grew from a small state into a large kingdom. King Zhuang of Chu even attained the traditional title of one of the Five Hegemons. After a number of battles with neighbouring states, sometime between 695 and 689 BC, the Chu capital moved southeast from Danyang to Ying. Chu first consolidated its power by absorbing the lesser states within its immediate vicinity in today's Hubei Province; then, it expanded into the north towards the North China Plain. The threat from Chu resulted in multiple northern alliances under the leadership of the Jin state against Chu and its allies; these alliances successfully kept Chu in check, with their first major victory at the Battle of Chengpu in 632 BC.

At the beginning of the sixth century BC, the Wu state grew in power with the support of the Jin state to counter Chu. Wu defeated the Qi state, invaded Chu in 506 BC and, following the Battle of Boju, occupied the Chu capital Ying, forcing King Zhao of Chu (楚昭王) to flee to his allies, first to the State of Yun (郧/鄖) then to the State of Sui (随/隨) in northern Hubei. Prominent historian Shi Quan (石泉) links the Sui state to the State of Zeng.[14] King Zhao eventually returned to Ying but after a further Wu attack in 504 BC temporarily moved the capital into territory annexed from the former State of Ruo. At this time, the Yue state also grew in power with the support of Chu to counter Wu's dominance in the east. However, Yue was subjugated by King Fuchai of Wu until he released the hostage King Goujian of Yue who took revenge and conquered Wu. The Yue state was one of the strongest states of the late Spring and Autumn Period.

Chu during the Warring States period

Bronze from the Tomb of Chu in Xichuan.

The kingdom's power continued even after the end of the Spring and Autumn period in 481 BC. Chu overran Cai to the north in 447 BC. However, by the end of the 5th century BC, the Chu government had become very corrupt and inefficient with much of the state's treasury to pay for a large official retinue. Many officials had no meaningful task except taking money. Thus, Chu's large army was of low quality due to the corrupt and cumbersome bureaucracy.

In the late 390s BC, King Dao of Chu made Wu Qi his chancellor. Wu's reforms began in 389 BC to transform Chu into an efficient and powerful state, lowering the salaries of officials and removing useless ones. He also enacted building codes to make the capital, Ying seem less barbaric. Despite Wu Qi's massive unpopularity with the Chu government (except the king), his reforms made Chu very powerful until the late 4th century BC, when Zhao and Qin were ascendant. Chu's powerful army annexed Chen state, defeating the states of Wei and Yue. However, Wu Qi was assassinated by the Chu officials at the funeral of King Dao in 381 BC.

During the late Warring States Period, Chu was increasingly pressured by Qin to its west, especially after Qin enacted and preserved the legalistic reforms of Shang Yang. Chu's size and power made it the key state in alliances against Qin. As Qin expanded into Chu territory, Chu was forced to expand southwards and eastwards, absorbing local cultural influences along the way. In 333 BC, Chu and Qi partitioned and annexed the coastal state of Yue.

By the late Warring States Period (about the late 4th century BC), however, Chu's prominent status had fallen into decay. As a result of several invasions headed by Zhao and Qin, Chu was eventually subjugated by Qin.

According to the Records of the Warring States, a debate between School of Diplomacy strategist Zhang Yi and the Qin general Sima Cuo on unifying China led to two conclusions. Zhang Yi believed conquering the Han state and seizing the Mandate of Heaven from the figurehead resident Zhou king would be wise. Sima Cuo considered Chu as its main rival in the struggle to unite the Warring States. Sima Cuo decided it was essential to control the fertile Sichuan Basin to increase agricultural output and most importantly, to control the upper reaches of the Yangzi River that led to the Chu heartland.

According to the Records of the Warring States, Sima Cuo remarked, "To conquer Shu is to conquer Chu. Once Chu is eliminated, the country will be united."

King Huiwen of Qin decided to support Sima Cuo. In 316 BC, the Qin army conquered the Shu (state) and Ba (state) and successively expanded to the east in the following decades. In 278 BC, Qin general Bai Qi conquered Chu's capital city of Ying. Following the fall of Ying, the Chu government moved to various locations in the east until settling in Shouchun (in present-day Anhui province) in 241 BC.

At this critical moment when Chu was nearing annihilation, Qin set its strategic aims to central China, especially the powerful Zhao state. After a massive two year struggle, Bai Qi lured out, surrounded, isolated, forced the surrender of and massacred the main Zhao force of 400,000 men at the Battle of Changping. After 260 BC, all major obstacles to Qin dominance ended and it was a matter of time until China's unification.

Qin's conquest of Chu 225-223 BC

Bronze bells from the Tomb of Marquis Yi of Zeng, dated 433 BC, State of Chu.

In 225 BC, only three kingdoms (states) remained independent: Chu, Yan and Qi. Chu had recovered significantly enough to mount serious resistance after their disastrous defeats to Qin in 278 BC and losing their centuries-old capital of Ying. Despite its territorial size, resources and manpower, Chu's fatal flaw was its largely corrupt government that mostly overturned the legalistic-style reforms of Wu Qi 150 years earlier, when Wu transformed Chu into the most powerful state with an area of almost half of all the states combined. Ironically, Wu Qi was from the same state (Wei) as Shang Yang, whose legalistic reforms turned Qin into an invincible war machine at this stage.

The king of Qin, Ying Zheng, decided to finally defeat the remnants of the Chu state located in Huaiyang. According to Records of the Grand Historian, Ying Zheng had first asked his great general Wang Jian how many men he needed, and Wang requested 600,000 men. Another Qin general, Li Xin, said 200,000 men would suffice. The first invasion was a disaster when 200,000 Qin troops were defeated by a counterattack and ambush of 500,000 Chu troops under Xiang Yan. Xiang lured the Qin troops into a trap by allowing them a few initial victories. During the counterattack, Chu troops burned two large Qin camps, defeating the Qin generals Li Xin and Meng Wu. In 224 BC, Wang Jian was recalled and finally accepted leadership of the second invasion force, requesting and receiving a force of 600,000 men. Wang Jian even asked for a lake, house and land for his descendants, responding to the Qin king's laughter that his extra requests will eventually pale once the empire is secured. The general continued to request luxury items and other commodities during the campaign. Wang Jian said to his dumbfounded officers that only by requesting more from the king, will the king have confidence in his general.

The Chu forces were confident in resisting a Qin invasion. However, Wang decided to dissipate Chu's morale by appearing inactive in his fortifications but secretly training his troops to fight in Chu territory. After a year, Chu decided to disband the bulk of its force levy due to inaction. Wang Jian then invaded and overran Huaiyang and the remaining Chu forces. Chu was finally conquered in 223 BC. During their peak sizes, both armies of Chu and Qin combined numbered over 1,000,000 troops, more than the massive Battle of Changping between Qin and Zhao 35 years before. The excavated personal letters of two Qin regular soldiers, Hei Fu (黑夫) and Jing (惊), tell of a protracted campaign in Huaiyang under general Wang Jian. Both soldiers wrote letters requesting supplies of clothing and money from home to sustain the long waiting campaign.[15]

Chu under Qin rule and the Western Han period

The Chu realm at its most powerful was vast with many ethnicities and various customs. Despite their diversity, the Chu people were united by a common respect for nature, the supernatural, their heritage and loyalty to their ruling house and nobility, epitomized by the famed Chu statesman-poet Qu Yuan and the Songs of Chu. The Chu populace in areas conquered by Qin openly ignored the stringent Qin laws and governance, which was recorded in the excavated bamboo slips of a Qin administrator in Hubei. Chu was one of the last states to fall, only 11 years before the death of Qin Shi Huang, and its people aspired of overthrowing the painful yoke of Qin rule and reestablishing the Chu state.

There was a famous saying that "Even if Chu has only three clans (or "families") left, it will still eventually destroy Qin." (楚雖三戶, 亡秦必楚).[16] Historians believed that the "three clans" referred to the three biggest clans in Chu; Qu, Jing and Zhao (屈、景、昭). Hence, the quote was commonly interpreted as: "The people of Chu hate Qin so much such that even if there are only three clans left in Chu, their hatred is powerful enough to destroy Qin." (楚人怨秦, 雖三戶足以亡秦也).[17]

After Qin Shi Huang's very short reign, peasants, soldiers and relatives of nobles and the ruling house of Chu quickly organized into violent insurrections against the repressive Qin governance, initializing the anti-Qin rebellion that spread to the rest of China. The people of Chu, whose culture was a naturalistic and Taoist one, were resentful of the forced labor under Qin, and folk poems recorded the mournful sadness of the Chu families of men who worked in the frigid north to construct the Great Wall of China.

The Daze Village Uprising against the Qin Dynasty erupted in 209 BC, under the leadership of a peasant leader from the former Chu state, Chen Sheng, who proclaimed himself "King of Zhangchu" (King of Rising Chu). The uprising was crushed by Qin forces but other rebellions started as well. One of the rebel leaders, Jing Ju, a native of Chu, proclaimed himself king of Chu. Jing Ju was defeated by Xiang Liang's rebel force and Xiang installed Xiong Xin, a descendant of the Chu royal family, on the throne of Chu, with the title of "King Huai II of Chu". In 206 BC, after the fall of the Qin Dynasty, Xiang Yu, nephew of Xiang Liang, proclaimed himself "Hegemon-King of Western Chu" and promoted King Huai II to the more honorific title of "Emperor Yi of Chu", but he had the emperor assassinated later. Xiang Yu engaged Liu Bang, another prominent rebel leader native to Chu, in a long power struggle for supremacy over China, known as the Chu-Han Contention. The conflict ended with victory for Liu Bang, who proceeded to found the Han Dynasty, while Xiang Yu committed suicide after his defeat.

The Chu people and customs were major influences in the new era of the Western Han Dynasty. Liu Bang immediately initialized the Taoist Wu wei governance, made peace with the Xiongnu through Heqin intermarriages, quickly rewarding his allies and giving them pseudo-fiefdoms, and allowing the population to rest from centuries of warfare. Eventually, by the time of Emperor Wu of Han, Chu folk culture in everyday lifestyles and Chu aesthetics were gradually amalgamated with state-sponsored Confucian ideals and Qin-styled centralized governance to create a distinct and unified "Chinese" culture, visible during the Eastern Han Dynasty.


Based on archaeological finds, Chu's culture was initially quite similar to that of other Zhou states. Later on, Chu culture absorbed indigenous elements as the state expanded to the south and east, developing a distinct culture from the traditional Northern Zhou states.

Early Chu burial offerings consisted primarily of bronze vessels in the Zhou style. Later Chu burials, especially during the Warring States Period, featured distinct Chu burial objects, such as colorful lacquerware, iron and silk, accompanied by a reduction in bronze vessel offerings.

A common Chu motif was the vivid depiction of wildlife, mystical animals and natural imagery, such as snakes, mystical dragons, phoenixes, tigers and free-flowing clouds and serpent-like beings. Some archaeologists speculate that Chu may have had cultural connections to the vanished Shang dynasty, since many motifs used by Chu appeared earlier at Shang sites, such as motifs depicting serpent-tailed gods.

In terms of philosophy, the Chu culture and government strongly supported Taoism and native shaman folk beliefs supplemented with some Confucian ideals. The naturalistic and flowing art, the Songs of Chu, historical records (Records of the Grand Historian), excavated bamboo documents (Guodian bamboo slips) and other artifacts reveal heavy Daoist and native folk influence in Chu culture. The disposition to a spiritual, often pleasurable and decadent lifestyle and the confidence in the size of the Chu realm led to the inefficiency and eventual destruction of the Chu state to the ruthless Legalist state of Qin. Even though the Qin realm lacked the vast natural resources and waterways of Chu, the Qin government maximized its output and created a system of ruthless efficiency under the minister Shang Yang, installing a meritocracy focused solely on agricultural and military might.

Later Chu culture was known for its affinity for employing shamanistic rituals. Chu was also known for its distinct music; archaeological evidence shows that Chu music was annotated differently from Zhou music; Chu music also showed an inclination for using different performance ensembles, as well as unique instruments; In Chu, the se was preferred over the qin, while both instruments were equally preferred in the northern Zhou states.

Chu came into frequent contact with other peoples in the south, most notably the Ba, Yue and the Baiyue. Numerous burials and burial objects in the Ba and Yue styles were discovered throughout the territory of Chu, co-existing with Chu-style burials and burial objects.

The early rulers of the Han Dynasty romanticized the culture of Chu, sparking a renewed interest in Chu cultural elements such as the Songs of Chu. Evidence of heavy Chu cultural influence during the early years of Han Dynasty appears in Mawangdui. After the Han dynasty, some Confucian scholars considered Chu culture with distaste, criticizing the "lewd" music and shamanistic rituals associated with Chu culture.

Chu artisanship shows a mastery of form and color, especially the lacquer woodworks. Red and black pigmented lacquer were most used. Silk-weaving also attained a high level of craftsmanship, creating lightweight robes with flowing designs. These examples were preserved in waterlogged tombs (this preserved lacquerware, which is vulnerable to peel off in dry conditions) and coal/white clay sealed tombs (this preserved everything extremely well, since fine white clay is highly compressible and forms a tight seal). One such tomb at Mawangdui is a perfect example of a well-sealed tomb.

Chu used the difficult to read[to whom?] script called "Birds and Worms" style, which was borrowed by the Wu and Yue states. It has an intricate design that embellishes the characters with motifs of animals, snakes, birds and insects. This is another representation of the Chu reverence of the natural world and its liveliness. Chu produced broad bronze swords that were similar to Wuyue swords, but not as intricate.

Chu was in the region of many rivers, so it created an efficient riverine boat transport system augmented by wagons. These are detailed in bronze tallies with gold inlay regarding trade regulations around the capital, Ying.

List of states annexed by Chu

This list is not complete.

863 E; 704 Quan; 688-680 Shen; 684-680 Xi; 678 Deng; after 643 Dao; 622 Liao; after 622 Ruo; after 506 Sui; 512 Xu; 479 Chen; 445 Qi (henan); 447 Cai; 431 Ju; after 418 Pi; 334 Yue; 256 Lu;


  1. Yu Xiong (鬻熊), teacher of King Wen of Zhou and King Wu of Zhou, surname: Mi 芈 (or Nai 嬭, Qian 芊, Xiong 熊, Yan 酓)
  2. Xiong Li (楚熊麗), son of Xiong Zao
  3. Xiong Kuang (楚熊狂), ruled during the reign of King Cheng of Zhou: son of Xiong Li
  4. Xiong Yi (楚熊繹), ruled 1042–1006, son of Xiong Kuang
  5. Xiong Ai (楚熊艾), ruled 1006–981 BC, son of Xiong Yi
  6. Xiong Dan (楚熊黵), ruled 981–970 BC
  7. Xiong Sheng (楚熊勝), possibly the Xiang Cheng referenced in Chinese legend, who lived at some point during the Zhou Dynasty, ruled 970–946 BC
  8. Xiong Yang (楚熊煬) (or Xiong Yang 熊楊), ruled 946–887 BC, son of Xiong Sheng
  9. Xiong Qu (楚熊渠), ruled 887–877, son of Xiong Yang
  10. Xiong Zhi (楚熊摯), ruled 877–876 BC, born Xiong Zhihong (熊摯紅), second son of Xiong Qu
  11. Xiong Yan (楚熊延), born Xiong Zhici (熊执疵) ruled 876–848 BC, youngest son of Xiong Qu, murdered his brother Xiong Zhi and usurped the throne
  12. Xiong Yong (楚熊勇), ruled 848–838 BC: son of Xiong Yan
  13. Xiong Yan (楚熊嚴), ruled 837–828 BC: brother of Xiong Yong
  14. Xiong Shuang (楚熊霜), ruled 827–822 BC: son of Xiong Yan
  15. Xiong Xun (楚熊徇 (or 熊狥), ruled 821–800 BC: third brother of Xiong Shuang
  16. Xiong E (楚熊鄂) (or 熊咢), ruled 799–791 BC: son of Xiong Xun
  17. Ruo'ao (楚若敖) (Xiong Yi 熊儀), ruled 790–764 BC: son of Xiong E
  18. Xiao'ao (楚霄敖) (Xiong Kan 熊坎), ruled 763–758 BC: son of Ruo'ao
  19. Fenmao (楚蚡冒) (Xiong Xuan 熊眴) ruled 757–741 BC: son of Xiao'ao. Either he or his son was murdered by his younger brother, the future King Wu
  20. King Wu of Chu (楚武王) (Xiong Tong 熊通), 740–690 BC: second son of Xiao'ao, brother of King Li. Declared himself first "king" of Chu sometime between 706 and 702 BC
  21. King Wen of Chu (楚文王) (Xiong Zi 熊貲), ruled 689–677 BC: son of King Wu. He moved the Chu capital to Ying
  22. Du'ao (楚堵敖) (Xiong Jian 熊艱), ruled 676–672 BC: son of King Wen. He was murdered by his younger brother, the future King Cheng
  23. King Cheng of Chu 楚成王 (Xiong Jun 熊頵), ruled 671–626 BC: brother of Du'ao. He invaded Central China and lost to the Jin state at the Battle of Chengpu. Husband to Zheng Mao. He was murdered by his heir and eldest son, the future King Mu
  24. King Mu of Chu 楚穆王 (Xiong Shangchen 熊商臣) ruled 625–614 BC: son of King Cheng
  25. King Zhuang of Chu (楚莊王) and Jing (荆莊王) (Xiong Lü 熊旅) ruled 613–591 BC: son of King Mu. He reformed the state and defeated the powerful Jin state at the Battle of Bi.
  26. King Gong of Chu (楚共王) (Xiong Shen 熊審) ruled 590–560 BC: son of King Zhuang
  27. King Kang of Chu (楚康王) (Xiong Zhao 熊招) ruled 559–545 BC: son of King Gong
  28. Jia'ao (楚郟敖) (Xiong Jun 熊麇) ruled 544–541 BC: son of King Kang. He and his sons were murdered by his uncle, the future King Ling
  29. King Ling of Chu (楚靈王) (Xiong Qian 熊虔) ruled 540–529 BC: uncle of Jia'ao. He was overthrown by his younger brothers and committed suicide in despair
  30. Zi'ao (楚訾敖) (Xiong Bi 熊比) ruled 529–529 BC: brother of King Ling. He was cheated into committing suicide by his younger brother the later King Ping, who said that King Ling was back (in fact King Ling had already died)
  31. King Ping of Chu 楚平王 (Xiong Ju 熊居) ruled 528–516 BC: brother of King Bi
  32. King Zhao of Chu (楚昭王) (Xiong Zhen 熊軫) ruled 515–489 BC: son of King Ping. The Wu state temporarily captured the capital Ying. For a time, the Sui state protected King Zhao.
  33. King Hui of Chu (楚惠王) (Xiong Zhang 熊章) ruled 488–432 BC: son of King Zhao. He conquered the Cai state and the Chen state. The year before he died, Marquis Yi of Zeng died, so he made a commemorative bell and attended the Marquis's funeral at Suizhou.
  34. King Jian of Chu (楚簡王) (Xiong Zhong 熊中) ruled 431–408 BC: son of King Hui
  35. King Sheng of Chu (楚聲王) (Xiong Dang 熊當) ruled 407–402 BC: son of King Jian
  36. King Dao of Chu (楚悼王) (Xiong Yi 熊疑) ruled 401–381 BC: son of King Sheng. He made Wu Qi chancellor and reformed the Chu government and army.
  37. King Su of Chu (楚肅王) (Xiong Zang 熊臧) ruled 380–370 BC: son of King Dao
  38. King Xuan of Chu (楚宣王) (Xiong Liangfu 熊良夫) ruled 369–340 BC: brother of King Su
  39. King Wei of Chu (楚威王) (Xiong Shang 熊商) ruled 339–329 BC: son of King Xuan. He defeated and partitioned the Yue state with Qi state.
  40. King Huai of Chu (楚懷王) (Xiong Huai 熊槐) ruled 328–299: son of King Wei. He lost to the Qin armies at the Battle of Danyang after Qin's invasion of Sichuan. Later, he was tricked and held hostage until his death by the Kingdom of Qin
  41. King Qingxiang of Chu (楚頃襄王) (Xiong Heng 熊橫) ruled 298–263 BC: son of King Huai. As a prince, one of his elderly tutors was buried at the site of the Guodian Chu Slips in Hubei. The Chu capital of Ying was captured and sacked by Qin.
  42. King Kaolie of Chu (楚考烈王) (Xiong Wan 熊完) ruled 262–238 BC: son of King Qingxiang. He made Shouchun the Chu capital.
  43. King You of Chu (楚幽王) (Xiong Yu 熊煜) ruled 237–228 BC: son of King Kaolie or illegitimate son of Lord Chunshen (春申君)
  44. King Ai of Chu (楚哀王) (Xiong You 熊猶 or Xiong Hao 熊郝) ruled 228–228 BC: brother of King You. He was killed by the later King Fuchu
  45. King Fuchu of Chu (楚王負芻) (熊負芻 Xiong Fuchu) ruled 227–223 BC: brother of King Ai. He was captured by Qin troops and deposed
  46. Lord Changping of Chu (昌平君) ruled 223–223 BC (Chu annexed to Qin): brother of King Fuchu. He was killed in the battles against Qin troops


  • Chen Sheng (陳勝) as King Yin of Chu (楚隠王) ruled 210–209 BC
  • Jing Ju (景駒) as King Jia of Chu 楚假王 (Jia for fake) ruled 209–208 BC
  • Xiongxin (熊心) as Emperor Yi of Chu (楚義帝) (originally King Huai II 楚後懷王) ruled 208–206 BC: grandson or great-grandson of King Huai I of Chu
  • Xiang Yu (项羽) as Hegemon-King of Western Chu (西楚霸王) ruled 206–202 BC

Famous people

  • Poet Qu Yuan hailed from Chu. A government minister and a patriot, he had advocated uniting with the other states to combat the rising hegemon Qin, yet to no avail; he was banished by the king of Chu. According to tradition, such was his grief upon learning of the Qin invasion, he committed suicide in the Miluo River. The Duanwu Festival honors his death for his country.
  • Xiang Yu, also known as "Hegemon-King of Western Chu"; he defeated the Qin armies at the Battle of Julu and was also a rival to Liu Bang. He was fearsome in the battlefield but his arrogance lead to his downfall.
  • Han Dynasty founder Liu Bang. He was born in Pei County, in present-day Xuzhou, which is in northern Jiangsu. An intelligent statesman and ruler, he defeated Xiang Yu through his ability to attract and command talented generals and allies. After the formation of Western Han Dynasty, a blossoming of interest in Chu culture arose under Liu Bang's patronage.

Chu in astronomy

There is two opinions about the representing star of Chu in Chinese astronomy. The opinions are :

See also


  1. ^ "楚都丹阳". 
  2. ^ 关于黄帝和楚国的姓氏问题
  3. ^ "河南库区发掘工作圆满结束,出土文物已通过验收". 合肥晚报. 2011年1月25日. 
  4. ^ "科大考古队觅宝千余件". 凤凰网. 2011年01月25日. 
  5. ^ 新蔡楚簡所見的“顓頊”和“雎漳”
  6. ^ 楚帛书的四季神像及其创世神话
  7. ^ 《離騷》“三后”即新蔡楚簡“三楚先”說——兼論穴熊不屬於“三楚先”
  8. ^ 再谈新蔡楚简中的“穴熊”
  9. ^ 《世本》记彭
  10. ^ Sima Qian, Records of the Grand Historian – The Chu Family (史记•楚世家)
  11. ^ "Yu Ding: Evidence of the Extermination of the State of E during the Western Zhou Dynasty (禹鼎:西周灭鄂国的见证)" (in Chinese). Retrieved October 23, 2010. 
  12. ^ Lothar von Falkenahausen in Cambridge History of Ancient China, 1999, page 516
  13. ^ Cho-Yun Hsu in Cambridge History of Ancient China, 1999, page 556
  14. ^ Shi (石), Quan (泉) (1988) (in Chinese). New Research on Ancient Chu Geography (古代荆楚地理新探). Wuhan University Press. ISBN 7307003317. 
  15. ^ "The Warring States" (in Chinese). Retrieved October 4, 2010. 
  16. ^ Sima, Qian. Records of the Grand Historian (史記), Biography of Xiang Yu (項羽本紀).
  17. ^ ""What does "only three clans are enough to destroy Qin" mean? (楚虽三户亡秦必楚是什么意思?)" (in Chinese). Retrieved October 4, 2010. 
  18. ^ (Chinese) AEEA (Activities of Exhibition and Education in Astronomy) 天文教育資訊網 2006 年 7 月 4 日
  19. ^ (Chinese) AEEA (Activities of Exhibition and Education in Astronomy) 天文教育資訊網 2006 年 6 月 24 日
  20. ^ Richard Hinckley Allen: Star Names – Their Lore and Meaning: Capricornus
  21. ^ Richard Hinckley Allen: Star Names – Their Lore and Meaning: Ophiuchus
  • Sima, Qian. Records of the Grand Historian (史記).
  • Zuo Qiuming,Zuo Zhuan (左传)
  • 张淑一 《先秦姓氏制度考察》
  • Defining Chu: Image And Reality In Ancient China, Edited by Constance A. Cook and John S. Major, ISBN 0-8248-2905-0
  • So, Jenny F., Music in the Age of Confucius, ISBN 0-295-97953-4

Further reading

  • Cook, Constance. Death in Ancient China: The Tale of One Man's Journey. Leiden: Brill, 2006 ISBN 90-04-15312-8

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