King Zhuangxiang of Qin

King Zhuangxiang of Qin (281–247 BC), personal names Yiren and Zichu, was a ruler of the Qin state during the third century BC in the Warring States period of ancient China.[1]

King Zhuangxiang of Qin
King of Qin
Reign15 September 250 BC – 7 May 247 BC
PredecessorKing Xiaowen of Qin
SuccessorYing Zheng
Born281 BC
Died247 BC (aged 33–34)
SpouseQueen Dowager Zhao
IssueYing Zheng
Chengjiao, Lord Chang'an
Full name
FatherKing Xiaowen of Qin
MotherQueen Dowager Xia
King Zhuangxiang of Qin
Traditional Chinese秦莊襄王
Simplified Chinese秦庄襄王
Traditional Chinese異人
Simplified Chinese异人


Yiren was born to Lord Anguo, the second son and heir apparent of King Zhaoxiang, and Lord Anguo's concubine Lady Xia. He was chosen to serve as a political hostage in the Kingdom of Zhao. In Handan (the capital of Zhao) he met a merchant, Lü Buwei, who saw Yiren as extraordinary and detected in him the potential to become the king of Qin in the future. Lü Buwei treated Yiren well and presented his concubine Lady Zhao to Yiren. Lady Zhao later bore Yiren a son, Ying Zheng.

In the meantime, through rewards and machinations, Lü Buwei helped Yiren return to Qin. He also successfully conditioned Lord Anguo's primary spouse, the childless Lady Huayang, to adopt Yiren as her own son, thereby making Yiren become Lord Anguo's legitimate heir apparent. As Lady Huayang was a native of the Chu state, she renamed Yiren to "Zichu" (lit. "son of Chu"). Upon the death of King Zhaoxiang in 251 BC, Lord Anguo ascended the throne and became historically known as "King Xiaowen", but he died in the following year just three days after his coronation. Zichu succeeded his father as the king of Qin and became historically known as "King Zhuangxiang of Qin". He named Lü Buwei as his chancellor, Lady Zhao as his queen consort, and Ying Zheng as his crown prince.

Zhuangxiang died in 247 after reigning for three years and was succeeded by Ying Zheng. Ying Zheng unified China and founded the Qin Dynasty in 221 BC, becoming historically known as "Qin Shi Huang" (First Emperor of Qin).

He was posthumously declared as Taishang Huangdi by Ying Zheng.[2]



  • Empress Dowager, of Zhao (帝太后; 280–229 BC), married in 259 BC; the mother of Crown Prince Zheng


  • Crown Prince Zheng (太子政; 259–210 BC), ruled as Qin Shi Huang from 247–210 BC
  • Prince Chengjiao (公子成蟜; 256–239 BC)
    • Known by his title, Lord Chang'an (長安君)
  • (disputed) Prince Ying (公子婴; ?–206 BC), ruled as King of Qin from October – December 206 BC



  1. ^ ‘‘Records of the Grand Historian: Qin Dynasty (English translation). (1996). Ssu-Ma, Ch'ien. Sima, Qian. Burton Watson as translator. Edition: 3, reissue, revised. Columbia. University Press. ISBN 0231081693, 9780231081696. pg 35. pg 59.
  2. ^ Eisenberg, Andrew (2008). Kingship in Early Medieval China. Leiden: Brill. pp. 24–25. ISBN 9789004163812.
King Zhuangxiang of Qin
 Died: 247 BC
Regnal titles
Preceded by
King Xiaowen
King of Qin
250–247 BC
Succeeded by
Ying Zheng