Duke Kang of Qin

Duke Kang of Qin (Chinese: 秦康公; pinyin: Qín Kāng Gōng, died 609 BC) was from 620 to 609 BC the fifteenth ruler of the Zhou Dynasty state of Qin that eventually united China to become the Qin Dynasty. His ancestral name was Ying (), personal name Ying (罃), and Duke Kang was his posthumous title.[1][2]

Duke Kang of Qin
Ruler of Qin
Reign620–609 BC
PredecessorDuke Mu of Qin
SuccessorDuke Gong of Qin
Died609 BC
HouseHouse of Ying
FatherDuke Mu of Qin
MotherMu Ji (daughter of Duke Xian of Jin)


Duke Kang was one of the 40 sons of Duke Mu of Qin, and succeeded Duke Mu as ruler of Qin when he died in 621 BC.[1] In the same year Duke Xiang of Jin also died, starting a succession crisis in Qin's neighbouring state Jin. Zhao Dun, the powerful minister of Jin, initially wanted to install Duke Xiang's younger brother Prince Yong on the Jin throne. Prince Yong was at the time exiled in Qin, and in 620 BC Qin sent an army to escort Yong back to Jin. However, Zhao Dun soon changed his mind and instead made Duke Xiang's young son Yigao the ruler, later known as Duke Ling of Jin. Jin then dispatched an army to stop Prince Yong, and defeated the Qin escort force at Linghu.[1][2]

The Jin succession dispute began a series of conflicts between Qin and Jin. A year after the battle at Linghu, Qin invaded Jin and took the city of Wucheng (武城, in present-day Hua County, Shaanxi) in revenge. Two years later, in 617 BC Jin attacked Qin in return, taking Shaoliang (少梁, in present-day Hancheng, Shaanxi). Then in 615 BC Qin counterattacked again, taking Jima (羈馬). Jin dispatched an army to repel Qin, and the two forces met at nearby Hequ (河曲, present-day Fenglingdu, Ruicheng County), but both retreated without engaging in battle.[2]

Duke Kang reigned for 12 years and died in 609 BC. He was succeeded by his son Duke Gong of Qin.[1][2] He is credited with having written the song Wei-yang in honor of his mother Mu Ji (穆姬).[3]


  1. ^ a b c d Sima Qian. 秦本纪 [Annals of Qin]. Records of the Grand Historian (in Chinese). guoxue.com. Retrieved 1 May 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d Han, Zhaoqi (2010). "Annals of Qin". Annotated Shiji (in Chinese). Zhonghua Book Company. pp. 396–399. ISBN 978-7-101-07272-3.
  3. ^ Liu Yiqing. Richard Mather, trans. Shih-shuo hsin-yü, A New Account of Tales of the World, p. 37. University of Michigan, 2002.
Duke Kang of Qin
 Died: 609 BC
Regnal titles
Preceded by Duke of Qin
620–609 BC
Succeeded by