Duke Ai of Qin

Duke Ai of Qin
Ruler of Qin
Reign 536–501 BC
Predecessor Duke Jing of Qin
Successor Duke Hui I of Qin
Died 501 BC
Issue Duke Yi of Qin (秦夷公)
House House of Ying
Father Duke Jing of Qin

Duke Ai of Qin (Chinese: 秦哀公; pinyin: Qín Āi Gōng, died 501 BC) was from 536 to 501 BC the nineteenth ruler of the Zhou Dynasty state of Qin that eventually united China to become the Qin Dynasty. His ancestral name was Ying (), and Duke Ai was his posthumous title. Duke Ai succeeded his father Duke Jing of Qin, who died in 537 BC, as ruler of Qin.[1][2]

Marriage with Chu

In 523 BC, Duke Ai betrothed a Qin princess, possibly his daughter, to Crown Prince Jian of the State of Chu, Qin's ally. Prince Jian's father, King Ping of Chu, sent the minister Fei Wuji to escort the princess to Chu. However, Fei Wuji saw that the princess was beautiful and persuaded King Ping to take her as his own wife. Prince Jian fled abroad and was later killed. The Qin princess later bore King Ping a son, who in 515 BC ascended the Chu throne, to be known as King Zhao of Chu.[2][3]

Fighting Wu to help Chu

In 506 BC, King Helü of the State of Wu invaded Chu, decisively defeated the Chu army at the Battle of Boju, and captured the Chu capital Ying. King Zhao of Chu escaped to the State of Sui.[3] Chu minister Shen Baoxu went to Qin to plead for assistance. It is said that Duke Ai originally rejected the request, but finally agreed to help after Shen Baoxu wailed for seven days outside the Qin palace without eating.[1][2]

Duke Ai sent generals Zipu (子蒲) and Zihu (子虎) with 500 chariots to Chu. In 505 BC the joint Qin-Chu forces defeated Wu in a series of battles, and King Helü was forced to retreat to Wu, and King Zhao returned to Chu.[4]

Death and succession

In 501 BC Duke Ai died after 36 years of reign. His son predeceased him and was given the posthumous title Duke Yi (秦夷公). Duke Ai was succeeded by Duke Yi's son, his grandson Duke Hui I of Qin.[1][2]


  1. 1 2 3 Sima Qian. 秦本纪 [Annals of Qin]. Records of the Grand Historian (in Chinese). guoxue.com. Retrieved 1 May 2012.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Han, Zhaoqi (2010). "Annals of Qin". Annotated Shiji (in Chinese). Zhonghua Book Company. pp. 403–408. ISBN 978-7-101-07272-3.
  3. 1 2 Sima Qian. 楚世家 [House of Chu]. Records of the Grand Historian (in Chinese). guoxue.com. Retrieved 1 May 2012.
  4. Zuo Qiuming (translated by James Legge). "BOOK XI. DUKE DING". Zuo Zhuan (in Chinese and English). University of Virginia. Retrieved 3 May 2012.
Duke Ai of Qin
Died: 501 BC
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Duke Jing of Qin
Duke of Qin
536–501 BC
Succeeded by
Duke Hui I of Qin
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