Duke Ling of Qi (Chinese: 齊靈公; pinyin: Qí Líng Gōng; died 554 BC) 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 (), 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.[1][2]

Duke Ling of Qi
Ruler of Qi
Reign581–554 BC
PredecessorDuke Qing of Qi
SuccessorDuke Zhuang II of Qi
Died554 BC
SpouseYan Yi Ji
IssueDuke Zhuang II of Qi
Crown Prince Ya
Duke Jing of Qi
Full name
Ancestral name: Jiang (姜)
Clan name: Lü (呂)
Given name: Huan (環)
HouseHouse of Jiang
FatherDuke Qing of Qi
MotherSheng Meng Zi

Attack from JinEdit

In 572 BC, Duke Dao of the State of Jin attacked Qi. Duke Ling made peace with Jin by sending his son Prince Guang (later Duke Zhuang II of Qi) to Jin as a hostage. Nine years later Prince Guang was made the crown prince of Qi.[1][2]

Annexing the State of LaiEdit

In 567 BC, the fifteenth year of Duke Ling's reign, the State of Lai attacked Qi but was decisively defeated. The Qi army counterattacked, killed the Lai ruler Duke Gong, and conquered the entire state.[2][3] Lai was a large Dongyi state to the east of Qi, and the state of Qi more than doubled the size of its territory after annexing Lai.[2]

Battle of PingyinEdit

In 555 BC, Duke Ling switched his alliance from Jin to its enemy State of Chu. To punish Qi, Duke Ping of Jin invaded and inflicted a crushing defeat on Qi. The Jin army, led by general Zhonghang Yan, occupied large swathes of Qi territory, besieged the Qi capital Linzi, and burned down the outer portion of the city. This was the worst defeat that Qi had suffered during the Spring and Autumn period.[1][2][4]


Duke Ling's main wife was Yan Yi Ji, a princess of the State of Lu, who had no son. His original heir, Crown Prince Guang, was the son of Sheng Ji, niece of Yan Yi Ji. Duke Ling also had at least two other concubines, Zhong Zi and Rong Zi, who were both princesses of the State of Song. Zhong Zi bore a son named Ya, while Rong Zi had no son but took Prince Ya under her wing. Duke Ling favoured Rong Zi, who asked him to make Prince Ya the new crown prince. Although Zhong Zi objected, Duke Ling still deposed Prince Guang and made Prince Ya his heir.[1][2]

In 554 BC, the 28th year of his reign, Duke Ling fell ill and died in the fifth month. The powerful minister Cui Zhu installed Guang, the original crown prince, on the throne, to be known as Duke Zhuang II of Qi. Cui Zhu and Duke Zhuang killed Rong Zi, Prince Ya, and rival minister Gao Hou, who supported Prince Ya.[1][2]

Duke Ling also had another son named Chujiu, born to another of Duke Ling's concubines, who was the daughter of Shusun Xuanbo, leader of the Shusun clan of Lu. Cui Zhu would later kill Duke Zhuang and install Chujiu on the throne, to be known as Duke Jing of Qi.[1][2]


  • Parents:
    • Prince Wuye (公子無野; d. 582 BC), ruled as Duke Qing of Qi from 598–582 BC
    • Sheng Meng Zi, of the Zi clan (聲孟子 子姓)
  • Wives:
    • Yan Yi Ji, of the Ji clan of Lu (顏懿姬 姬姓)
  • Concubines:
    • Zong Sheng Ji, of the Ji clan of Lu (鬷聲姬 姬姓), Yan Yi Ji's niece; the mother of Crown Prince Guang
    • Zhong Zi, of the Zi clan of Song (仲子 子姓), the mother of Crown Prince Ya
    • Rong Zi, of the Zi clan of Song (戎子 子姓; d. 554 BC), Zhong Ji's dowry younger sister
    • Mu Meng Ji, of the Shusun lineage of the Ji clan of Lu (穆孟姬 姬姓 叔孫氏), a daughter of Shusun Qiaoru (叔孫僑如); the mother of Prince Chujiu
  • Sons:
    • Crown Prince Guang (太子光; d. 548 BC), ruled as Duke Zhuang II of Qi from 553–548 BC
    • Crown Prince Ya (太子牙; d. 554 BC)
    • Prince Chujiu (公子杵臼; d. 490 BC), ruled as Duke Jing of Qi from 547–490 BC


  1. ^ a b c d e f Sima Qian. 齐太公世家 [House of Duke Tai of Qi]. Records of the Grand Historian (in Chinese). Guoxue.com. Retrieved 14 May 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Han Zhaoqi (韩兆琦) (2010). "House of Duke Tai of Qi". Shiji (史记) (in Chinese). Beijing: Zhonghua Book Company. pp. 2564–2568. ISBN 978-7-101-07272-3.
  3. ^ Zuo Qiuming (translated by James Legge). "Book IX. Duke Xiang". Zuo Zhuan (in Chinese and English). University of Virginia. Retrieved 23 May 2012. Chapter VI.
  4. ^ Han Zhaoqi (韩兆琦) (2010). "House of Jin". Shiji (史记) (in Chinese). Beijing: Zhonghua Book Company. pp. 3075–3080. ISBN 978-7-101-07272-3.
Duke Ling of Qi
 Died: 554 BC
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Duke Qing of Qi
Duke of Qi
581–554 BC
Succeeded by
Duke Zhuang II of Qi