Qi of Xia

Qi (Chinese: ) was a Chinese Emperor, the son of Yu the Great and the second sovereign of the Xia Dynasty. He ruled for approximately nine or ten years.[1][2]

Qi the Chinese Emperor
Died2117 BC
ChildrenTai Kang
Zhong Kang
Parent(s)Yu the Great
Nu Jiao



Qi's father, Yu the Great, also the founder of the Xia dynasty, married Nu Jiao and had Qi. Qi was not to be the next Emperor but due to public pressure Qi was chosen as Yu's successor, starting the dynastic tradition. Later Qi had a son named Tài Kāng who also became the next Emperor.


Yu died 45 years into his reign. After Qi's rule, Qi's son Tai Kang succeeded him as Emperor.

According to the historian Sima Qian, Yu did not want his son to become Emperor and intended to give the throne to Gao Yao, his Minister of Justice, but when Gao died Yu designated as his heir Yi (also known as Boyi), his former companion for thirteen years fighting the flood and his current Minister of Animal Husbandry.[3] But due to Yu's great influence, all the leaders of the Xia states came to admire Qi instead of Yi, so Yi had no choice but to pass up the throne to Qi at the end of three years of mourning for Yu.

The Bamboo Annals also mention that Yu appointed Yi as his successor, but mention nothing of Yi's reigning, stating only that Yu's son Qi took the throne of Xia after the 3 years of mourning for Yu. It relates that Boyi (Yi or Yih) died in Qi's 6th year and that Qi "appointed a sacrifice for him". However, in a footnote, translator James Legge observes: "This account does not agree with the account of the death of Yih, which is often attributed to the Annals, and which was no doubt in some of the Bamboo Books; viz. that 'Yih was aiming at the throne, and K'e [Qi] put him to death'."

Qi got his throne in the year of Guihai, and he celebrated his inauguration with all his vassals at Juntai. He died sixteen years after he got the throne (some source say 10 years or 29 years).

Events during his reignEdit

The Bamboo Annals record the following events for Qi's reign:

  • In his first year, he held great feasts in both the former capital, and his new one.
  • In the second year, Boyi "left the court and went to his state". Qi led his army to fight the rebellious prince of Hu County at the Battle of Gan (background of the "Speech at Gan" chapter in the Shang shu).
  • In the sixth year, Boyi died, and Qi "appointed a sacrifice" to memorialize him.
  • In the eighth year of his reign, Qi sent Mengtu, one of his ministers to Ba 'to preside over litigations'.
  • In the tenth year, he "made a tour of inspection, and celebrated a complete service of Shun's music" in Damu. Some sources may add that he created a dance named Nine Shao (see Jiu Ge).
  • In his 11th year, Qi banished his youngest son Wuguan 'beyond the western Ho', i.e., to Xihe.
  • In the 15th year, Wuguan led a rebellion on the western Ho. Qi sent one of his ministers, Shou to lead an army to punish Wuguan, when Wuguan surrendered.


  1. ^ Mungello, David E. The Great Encounter of China and the West, 1500–1800. Rowman & Littlefield; 3 edition (28 Mar 2009) ISBN 978-0-7425-5798-7 p.97 [1]
  2. ^ 戴逸, 龔書鐸. [2002] (2003) 中國通史. 史前 夏 商 西周. Intelligence press. ISBN 962-8792-80-6. p 40.
  3. ^ Wu, 116


Qi of Xia
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Yu the Great
Emperor of China
ca. 2146–2117 BC
Succeeded by
Tai Kang