Duke Huan of Chen

Duke Huan of Chen (Chinese: 陳桓公; pinyin: Chén Huán Gōng; reigned 744 BC – died 707 BC) was the twelfth ruler of the Ancient Chinese state of Chen during the early Spring and Autumn period. His ancestral surname was Gui, given name Bao (鮑), and Huan (桓) was his posthumous name.[1]

Duke Huan of Chen
12th ruler of Chen
Reign744–707 BC
PredecessorDuke Wen of Chen
SuccessorChen Tuo
Died707 BC
SpousePrincess of Cai
IssueCrown Prince Mian
Duke Li of Chen
Duke Zhuang of Chen
Duke Xuan of Chen
FatherDuke Wen of Chen

Life and deathEdit

Duke Huan succeeded his father Duke Wen of Chen, who died in 745 BC. After a reign of 38 years, he died in 707 BC under strange circumstances. He was believed to have become demented and behaved erratically. He went missing on the jia-xu day in the first month of 707 BC. His body was found sixteen days later, on the ji-chou day.[2] The exact date of his death was unknown.

Chen Tuo's usurpationEdit

The uncertainty of Duke Huan's death threw the state into turmoil, and his younger brother Chen Tuo took the opportunity to murder Duke Huan's son Crown Prince Mian and usurp the throne.[2][1]

Before his death, Duke Huan had married a princess of the neighbouring state of Cai, who gave birth to a son named Yue. After Chen Tuo's usurpation, the Cai army attacked Chen and killed Chen Tuo in 706 BC. The marquis of Cai then installed Yue on the Chen throne, posthumously known as Duke Li of Chen.[1][3] Duke Li died after a reign of seven years, and he was succeeded by two younger sons of Duke Huan: Lin, Duke Zhuang of Chen, and Chujiu, Duke Xuan of Chen.[4]

Family and legacyEdit

Duke Zhuang of the state of Wey married two princesses of Chen, Li Gui and Dai Gui, who were likely sisters of Duke Huan. Dai Gui was the mother of Duke Huan of Wey.[5]

Duke Huan was the grandfather of Chen Wan, who was the son of Duke Li. Chen Wan later fled to Qi, a major state to the northeast of Chen, and established the Chen (Tian) clan there. The Chen clan of Qi grew increasingly powerful over the centuries, and eventually usurped the Qi throne.[4]


  1. ^ a b c Han 2010, pp. 2780–1.
  2. ^ a b Yang 2009, p. 104.
  3. ^ Yang 2009, p. 109.
  4. ^ a b Han 2010, pp. 2782–4.
  5. ^ Yang 2009, p. 31.


  • Han, Zhaoqi, ed. (2010). "Houses of Chen and Qi". Shiji 史记 (in Chinese). Beijing: Zhonghua Book Company. ISBN 978-7-101-07272-3.
  • Yang, Bojun, ed. (2009). 春秋左传注 [Annotated Chunqiu Zuozhuan] (in Chinese) (3rd revised ed.). Beijing: Zhonghua Book Company. ISBN 978-7-101-07074-3.