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King Wu of Zhou


King Wu of Zhou.jpg
King of China
Reign 1046 – 1043 BC
Predecessor King Zhou of Shang
Successor King Cheng of Zhou
Spouse Yi Jiang (邑姜), daughter of Jiang Ziya
King Cheng of Zhou
Full name
Ancestral name: Jī (姬)

Given name: Fā (發)

House Zhou Dynasty
Father King Wen of Zhou
Mother Tai Si
Died 1043 BC

King Wu of Zhou (Chinese: , pinyin Zhōu Wǔ Wáng, Wade Chou Wu-wang) was the first king of the Chinese Zhou dynasty. The chronology of his reign is disputed but is generally thought to have begun around 1046 BC and ended three years later in 1043 BC.[[|[1]]]

King Wu's ancestral name was Ji () and given name Fa (). He was the second son of Chang, Lord of the West. In most accounts, his older brother Bo Yikao was said to have predeceased his father, typically at the hands of King Zhou, the last king of the Shang dynasty; in the Book of Rites, however, it is assumed that his inheritance represented an older tradition among the Zhou of passing over the eldest son.[[|[2]]] (Fa's grandfather Jili had likewise inherited Zhou despite two older brothers.)

Upon his succession, Fa worked with his father-in-law Jiang Ziya to accomplish his father's unfinished task: overthrowing the Shang dynasty. In 1048 BC, Fa marched down the Yellow River to the Mengjin ford and met with more than 800 dukes.[citation needed] He constructed an ancestral tablet naming his father Chang King Wen and placed it on a chariot in the middle of the host; considering the timing unpropitious, though, he did not yet attack Shang. In 1046 BC, King Wu took advantage of Shang disunity to launch an attack along with many neighboring dukes. The Battle of Muye destroyed Shang's forces and King Zhou of Shang set his palace on fire, dying within.

King Wu – the name means "Martial" – followed his victory by establishing many feudal states under his 16 younger brothers and clans allied by marriage, 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.

[[[King Wu of Zhou|edit]]] Family[]

  • Father: King Wen of Zhou
  • Mother: Tai Si
  • Spouses:
    • Yi Jiang (邑姜), daughter of Jiang Ziya
  • Children:
    • Sons:
      • King Cheng of Zhou
      • Shu of Yu (邘叔)
      • Shu Yu of Tang (唐叔虞)
      • Marquis of Ying (應侯)
      • Marquis of Han (韓侯)


King Wu of ZhouZhao DynastyDied: 1043 BC
Regnal titles
Preceded by

King Zhou of Shang

King of China

1046–1043 BC

Succeeded by

King Cheng of Zhou

Chinese nobility
Preceded by

King Wen of Zhou

Duke of Zhou

c. 1050–1046 BC

Merged in the crown