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King Ping of Zhou (Chinese: 周平王; pinyin: Zhōu Píng Wáng; died 720 BC), formerly romanized as King P’ing of Chou,[2] was the thirteenth king of the Chinese Zhou dynasty and the first of the Eastern Zhou dynasty.[3] He was the son of King You of Zhou and Queen Shen, and was known as Crown Prince Yijiu before ascending the throne.[4]

King Ping of Zhou
King of China
Reign770–720 BC
PredecessorKing You of Zhou
SuccessorKing Huan of Zhou
Died720 BC
IssueCrown Prince Xiefu
Prince Hu
Ruizu of Zhou 周睿祖
Full name
Ancestral name: (姬)
Given name: Yíjiù (宜臼)
HouseZhou Dynasty
FatherKing You of Zhou[1]
MotherQueen Shen

King You had exiled Queen Shen and Yijiu after the king became enamoured with his concubine Bao Si and made her queen.[5] As a result, Queen Shen’s father, the Marquess of Shen, teamed with the Quanrong nomads and local satellite states to overthrow King You.[6][7] You was killed, and Bao Si captured. Yijiu ascended the throne and was posthumously known as King Ping of Zhou. At about the same time, Jī Hàn (姬翰), Duke of Guó (虢), elevated Jī Yúchén (姬余臣) to the throne as King Xie of Zhou, and the Zhou Dynasty saw a period of two parallel kings until King Xie of Zhou was killed by Marquis Wen of Jin in 750 BCE.

King Ping moved the Zhou dynasty east from Haojing to Luoyang,[8] thus ending the Western Zhou[9] and beginning the Eastern Zhou dynasty and the Spring and Autumn period. He is the first Zhou king to be mentioned in the chronological account of the Zuo Zhuan.

Over 14 centuries after King Ping’s death, Tang dynasty Empress regnant Wu Zetian claimed ancestry from King Ping through his son Prince Wu, and changed the dynastic name to Zhou, which was reverted to Tang after her death.[10]


  • Parents:
    • Crown Prince Gongsheng (太子宮涅; d. 771 BC), ruled as King You of Zhou from 781–771 BC
    • Queen Shen, of the Jiang clan of Shen (申后 姜姓), a daughter of the Marquis of Shen
  • Sons:
    • First son, Crown Prince Xiefu (太子洩父), the father of King Huan of Zhou
    • Second son, Prince Hu (王子狐)
    • Youngest son, Prince Wu (王子武)

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Chinese Text Project, Rulers of the Zhou states – with links to their occurrences in pre-Qin and Han texts.
  2. ^ Phương Thi Danh (2001), Niên biểu lịch sử Trung Quốc
  3. ^ Records of the Grand Historian by Sima Qian
  4. ^ The Cambridge history of ancient China: from the origins of civilization to 221 B.C. Written by Michael Loewe.
  5. ^ Giles, Herbert A. (1912). The Civilization of China. Tutis Digital Publishing. ISBN 81-320-0448-5. Chapter 1
  6. ^ Sima Qian. Records of the Grand Historian, "Zhou Dynasty Annals".
  7. ^ Bamboo Annals
  8. ^ Zheng Zhu (郑注), "Classic of Rites · Unified Sacrifices (礼记·祭统》)
  9. ^ Shaughnessy (1990:350)
  10. ^ Paludan, 101

King Ping of Zhou
 Died: 720 BC
Regnal titles
Preceded by
King You of Zhou
King of China
770–720 BC
Succeeded by
King Huan of Zhou