King Xiaowen of Qin

King Xiaowen of Qin (302–250 BC) was a Chinese king, who had a very brief reign. He is also known as Lord Anguo (安國君). His grandson was Emperor Qin Shi Huang.

King Xiaowen of Qin
Reign12 November – 14 November 250 BC[1]
PredecessorKing Zhaoxiang
SuccessorKing Zhuangxiang
Born302 BC
Died14 November 250 BC (aged 51–52)
SpouseQueen Dowager Huayang
Queen Dowager Xia
IssueKing Zhuangxiang of Qin
Ancestral name: Ying (嬴)
Given name: Zhu (柱)
FatherKing Zhaoxiang of Qin
MotherQueen Dowager Tang


Xiaowen was the second son of the King Zhaoxiang of Qin and Queen Tang, and grandson of Queen Dowager Xuan.

He was a king of the Qin for less than one year, and died three days after his coronation.

Various theories about his short reign have been proposed. The most accepted theory is that he was very old when he ascended to the throne (his father ruled for over 50 years).[2]

However, a conspiracy theory that Lü Buwei poisoned the king, or at least hastened his death, to put the next king, King Zhuangxiang of Qin onto the throne, has been proposed. This is supported in a way by the fact that Zhuangxiang reigned for only 3 years.[3]



  • Queen Dowager Huayang, of the Xiong lineage of the Mi clan of Chu (華陽太后 羋姓 熊氏; 296–230 BC), a royal of Chu by birth
  • Queen Dowager Xia, of the Xia lineage (夏太后 夏氏; 300–240 BC), the mother of Crown Prince Yiren


  • Crown Prince Yiren (太子異人; 281–247 BC), renamed Zichu (子楚); ruled as King Zhuangxiang of Qin from 250–247 BC



  1. ^ Volume 05 of Records of the Grand Historian indicated that King Xiaowen was crowned on the jihai day of the 10th month of the 1st year of his reign and died on the 3rd day after his coronation, on the xinchou day of the same month. Using the Zhuanxu calendar, the dates correspond to 12 Nov and 14 Nov 250 BCE on the proleptic Julian calendar. (孝文王除丧,十月己亥即位,三日辛丑卒...)
  2. ^ Nicola Di Cosmo, The Northern Frontier in Pre-Imperial China//The Cambridge History of Ancient China, p. 961
  3. ^ Sellman, James D. "The Spring and Autumn Annals of Master Lu", in Great Thinkers of the Eastern World, Ian McGreal, ed. New York: Harper Collins, 1995:39.
King Xiaowen of Qin
 Died: 250 BC
Regnal titles
Preceded by King of Qin
250 BC
Succeeded by