|State of Wei|
|Capital||Anyi (安邑), north west of modern day Xia County, Shanxi Province|
|Languages||various Chinese languages|
|Government||Marquessate (侯), Monarchy (王) after 344 BCE|
The State of Wei (simplified Chinese: 魏国; traditional Chinese: 魏國; pinyin: Wèi), sometimes romanized Ngwei to distinguish it from Wey,[[|]] was a Zhou Dynasty vassal state during the Warring States Period (475–221 BCE) of Chinese history. Its territory lay between the states of Qin and Qi and included parts of modern day Henan, Hebei, Shanxi and Shandong. After its capital was moved from Anyi to Daliang (today Kaifeng) during the reign of King Hui of Wei, Wei was also called the state of Liang (梁国).
[[]hide] *1 History
[[[Wei (state)|edit]]] HistoryEdit
[[[Wei (state)|edit]]] OriginsEdit
The origins of the Wei ruling house can be traced back to the Zhou royalty; Bigong Gao (毕公高), a son of King Wen of Zhou, was enfeoffed in the land of Bi, from which his descendants took their surname. After the destruction of the State of Bi by the Xi Rong people, Bi Wan (毕万), a scion of the ruling house, escaped to the State of Jin, where he became a courtier of Duke Xian of Jin, accompanying his personal carriage. After military successes in an expedition, Bi Wan was then enfeoffed in the land of Wei, from which his own descendants founded the house of Wei.
The unique structure of the Jin polity, which arose from the slaughter of the princely house during and after the Li Ji Rebellion, meant that 'Jin had no princely house' (晋无公卿), and political power in the court was instead concentrated in the hands of other noble houses, of which the Wei house was one. In the last years of the Spring and Autumn Period, three of these houses - the founders of the states of Wei, Zhao and Han respectively, first attacked and killed the dominant house of Zhi (知) in 453 BC, and gradually divided the lands of Jin between themselves. This situation finally gained official acceptance in 403 BC, when King Weilie of Zhou elevated the three houses to Marquess rank and accepted their rule over most of the Jin state's territories as independent states.
[[[Wei (state)|edit]]] Independent StateEdit
The state reached its apogee during the reigns of its first two rulers, Marquess Wen of Wei and Marquess Wu of Wei. King Hui of Wei, the third ruler, concentrated on economic developments including irrigation projects at the Yellow River. Nevertheless, its slow decline began with King Hui. King Hui felt that Qin in the west was a nonthreatening weak state and their land was just wasteland, and hence he focused on conquering land in the east that was rich in resources. However, Wei's advancement in the east was checked several times in a series of battles including the Battle of Maling in 341 BCE. On the other hand, Qin's reformation at the same period boosted Qin's economy and military might to unprecedented levels. Eventually Wei lost the western Hexi region (a pastoral and strategic area on the west bank of the Yellow River at the border of today's Shanxi and Shaanxi provinces) to Qin, and remained continuously under invasion from Qin until the end. This eventually forced Wei to move its capital from Anyi to Daliang.
Wei produced some able generals and politicians, including Li Kui, a reformer and Prime Minister of Wei, Yue Yang, ancestor of Yue Yi and conqueror of the State of Zhongshan, and Pang Juan, who conquered many places but lost to Lord Mengchang of Qi and Sun Bin at the Battle of Maling.
[[[Wei (state)|edit]]] List of rulersEdit
- Marquess Wen of Wei, personal name Si (斯) or Du (都), (445–396 BCE)
- Marquess Wu of Wei, personal name Ji (擊), son of Marquess Wen, (396–370 BCE)
- King Hui of Wei, personal name Ying (罃), son of Marquess Wu, (370–319)
- King Xiang of Wei (魏襄王), personal name Si (嗣) or He (赫), son of King Hui, (319–296)
- King Zhao of Wei (魏昭王), personal name Chi (遫), son of King Xiang, (296–277 BCE)
- King Anxi of Wei (魏安釐王),personal name Yu (圉), son of King Zhao, (277–243 BCE)
- King Jingmin of Wei (魏景湣王), personal name Zeng (增) or Wu (午), son of King Anxi, (243–228 BCE)
- King Jia, (魏王假), personal name Jia (假), son of King Jingmin, (228–225 BCE)
According to Sima Qian's Records of the Grand Historian written in the 1st century BCE, the list of rulers is slightly different: King Hui died in 335 BCE and was succeeded by his son King Xiang in 334 BCE. King Xiang died in 319 BCE and was succeeded by his son King Ai (哀王), who died in 296 BCE and was succeeded by his son King Zhao. However, the majority of scholars and commentators believe that King Ai, whose personal name is not recorded, never existed. It seems that Sima Qian assigned the second part of the reign of King Hui (starting in 334 BCE, on which date the hitherto Marquess Hui probably proclaimed himself King) to his son King Xiang, and added King Ai to fill in the gap between 319 and 296 BCE. On the other hand, a minority of scholars believe King Ai did indeed exist.
[[[Wei (state)|edit]]] The King of Wei in legendEdit
An unnamed King of Wei is featured in one of the canonical tales of homosexual love in China. This king had a favorite named Lord Long Yang, with whom he enjoyed fishing. One day, Long Yang began to weep. When questioned, Long Yang said he saw his own future in how he had treated a fish. Happy to have the catch at first, Long Yang had wanted to throw it back when he caught a better fish. He wept, "I am also a previously caught fish! I will also be thrown back!" To show his fidelity to Long Yang, the King declared that, "Anyone who dares to speak of other beauties will be executed along with his entire family."[[|]]
[[[Wei (state)|edit]]] Wei in astronomyEdit
There is two opinions about the representing star of Wei in Chinese astronomy. The opinions are :
- Wei is represented with the star Delta Herculis in asterism Left Wall, Heavenly Market enclosure.[[|]] and also represented with the star 33 Capricorni in asterism Twelve States, Girl mansion (see Chinese constellation).
- Wei is represented with two stars, Phi Capricorni and Chi Capricorni.[[|]]