King Wǔ of Zhōu, 周武王, Jī Fā, 姬發, 41

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About King Wǔ of Zhōu, 周武王, Jī Fā, 姬發, 41

Family name: Ji (姬 jī) Given name: Fa (發 fā) Dates of reign: 1046 BC–1043 BC Dynasty: Zhou Dynasty Era name: none Posthumous name (short): Wu (武 wŭ), literal meaning: "martial" Posthumous name: (full) Xiao Wu literal meaning: "filial and martial"

King Wen of Zhou (Chinese: 周文王; pinyin: Zhōu Wén Wáng; Wade–Giles: Chou Wen-wang) family name (姓): Ji (姬), Clan name (氏): Zhou (周)Personal name (名): Chang, known as Zhou Chang(周昌)[1] or Xibo Chang (西伯昌) (1099–1050 BC) was the founder of the Zhou Dynasty. He was the son of King Ji of Zhou (周季王), third son of King Tai of Zhou (周太王), and the favored grandson of his grandfather. He was the nephew of Wu Taibo and Zhongyong, both rulers of the State of Wu at one time.


The Zhou state was located in the Wei River valley in present day Shaanxi Province. At one point, King Zhou of Shang, fearing Wen's growing power, imprisoned him in Youli (羑里 - present day Tangyin in Henan Province).[2] However, many officials respected Wen for his honourable governing. They gave King Zhou many gifts including gold horses and women, and requested Wen's release. Zhou agreed and freed Wen.

King Wen planned to overthrow the dynasty in power, the Shang Dynasty, but he died before he could accomplish this.

He married Taisi (Chinese: 太姒; pinyin: Tàisì) and had at least ten sons, two of who were Zhou Gong Wu (Chinese: 周公武; pinyin: Zhōu Gōng Wǔ) and Zhou Gong Dan. His second son became King Wu of Zhou and completed his father's wishes by defeating the Shang army at their capital. He eventually became the first king of the new Zhou dynasty with his capital at Zhouyuan (Chinese: 周原; pinyin: Zhōuyuán) in present day Qishan County, Shaanxi Province. This he later relocated to Haojing (沣京/灃京) near present day Xi'an, Shaanxi Province.

King Wen is also known for his contributions to the Yi Jing, a manual of divination. King Wen is attributed with having stacked the eight trigrams in their various permutations, to create the sixty-four hexagrams. He is also said to have written the judgements which are appended to each hexagram (the line statements are attributed to his son, the Duke of Zhou. The most commonly used sequence of the sixty four hexagrams is attributed to King Wen and is usually referred to as the King Wen sequence.

King Wu of Zhou was the first king of the Chinese Zhou dynasty. He was the second son of King Wen of Zhou, but his older brother Boyi Kao predeceased his father. Upon his succession, Wu worked with Jiang Ziya to accomplish his father's unfinished task: overthrowing the Shang dynasty.

King Wu followed his victory by establishing many feudal states under his 16 younger brothers and numerous allies, but his death three years later provoked several rebellions against his young heir King Cheng and the regent Duke of Zhou, even from three of his brothers.

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