King Ping of Zhou

Not to be confused with King Ping of Chu.
King Ping of Zhou
King of China
Reign 770–720 BC
Predecessor King You of Zhou
Successor King Huan of Zhou
Died 720 BC
Issue Prince Wu
Crown Prince Xiefu
Full name
Ancestral name: (姬)
Given name: Yíjiù (宜臼)
House Zhou Dynasty
Father King You of Zhou[1]
Mother Queen Shen (daughter of the Marquess of Shen)

King Ping of Zhou (died 720 BC) (Chinese: 周平王; pinyin: Zhōu Píng Wáng), formerly romanized as King P’ing of Chou,[2] was the thirteenth king of the Chinese Zhou Dynasty and the first of 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 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), elevate 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]


  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

See also

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
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