Open main menu

Duke Jing of Qin (Chinese: 秦景公; pinyin: Qín Jǐng Gōng, died 537 BC) was from 576 to 537 BC the eighteenth ruler of the Zhou Dynasty state of Qin that eventually united China to become the Qin Dynasty. His ancestral name was Ying (), and Duke Jing was his posthumous title. Duke Jing succeeded his father Duke Huan of Qin, who died in 577 BC, as ruler of Qin.[1][2]

Duke Jing of Qin
Ruler of Qin
Reign576–537 BC
PredecessorDuke Huan of Qin
SuccessorDuke Ai of Qin
Died537 BC
HouseHouse of Ying
FatherDuke Huan of Qin


"Qin Gong" Bronze Gui. Unearthed at Tianshui, Gansu in 1921. The inscription inside records that Duke Jing was determined to continue the work of his predecessors and guard their land.

In 562 BC, the State of Jin attacked the State of Zheng, which was then an ally of Qin and Chu. In order to help Zheng, Qin attacked and defeated Jin at the Battle of Li (栎, in present-day Yongji, Shanxi).[1][2]

Three years later, during the reign of Duke Dao of Jin, Jin led an alliance of 13 states to attack Qin. The allied army set up camp after crossing the Jing River. Qin poisoned the river from upstream, killing many soldiers of Jin and its allies, who were forced to retreat. This event is known as the Battle of Qianyan (迁延之役).[1][2]

In 537 BC Duke Jing died after 40 years of reign. He was succeeded by his son, Duke Ai of Qin.[1][2]


In 1976, Duke Jing's tomb was discovered in Fengxiang County in Baoji, Shaanxi Province.[3] Yong, the long-time capital of Qin, was located in Fengxiang.[2] Archaeologists spent the next ten years excavating the tomb, the largest of the 43 Qin tombs discovered in Fengxiang.[4] Shaped like an inverted pyramid, the tomb is as deep as an eight-story building and is the size of a palace. It is the largest tomb ever excavated in China.[3][4]

More than 180 coffins containing 186 human remains were found in the tomb, victims of funeral human sacrifice,[3][4] a practice that was started in the state of Qin by Duke Wu in 678 BC and subsequently abolished by Duke Xian in 384 BC.[2] This is the largest number of human sacrifice victims discovered in a Chinese tomb dating from after the Western Zhou Dynasty.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d Sima Qian. 秦本纪 [Annals of Qin]. Records of the Grand Historian (in Chinese). Retrieved 1 May 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Han, Zhaoqi (2010). "Annals of Qin". Annotated Shiji (in Chinese). Zhonghua Book Company. pp. 401–406. ISBN 978-7-101-07272-3.
  3. ^ a b c Burns, John F. (4 May 1986). "China Hails Finds at Ancient Tomb". New York Times. Retrieved 8 May 2012.
  4. ^ a b c d "Archived copy" 秦公一号大墓 [No. 1 tomb of Duke of Qin] (in Chinese). Baoji city government. 7 June 2011. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 7 May 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
Duke Jing of Qin
 Died: 537 BC
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Duke Huan of Qin
Duke of Qin
576–537 BC
Succeeded by
Duke Ai of Qin