Wei was one of the seven major states during the Warring States period of ancient China. It was created from the three-way Partition of Jin, together with Zhao, its territory lay between the states of Qin and Qi and included parts of modern-day Henan, Hebei and Shandong. After its capital was moved from Anyi to Daliang during the reign of King Hui, Wei was called Liang. Surviving sources trace the ruling house of Wei to the Zhou royalty: Gao, Duke of Bi, was a son of King Wen of Zhou, his descendants took their surname from his fief. After the destruction of Bi by the Xionites, Bi Wan escaped to Jin, where he became a courtier of Duke Xian's, accompanying his personal carriage. After a successful military expedition, Bi Wan was granted Wei, from which his own descendants founded the house of Wei. Jin's political structure was drastically changed after the slaughter of its ruling dynasty during and after the Li Ji Unrest. Afterwards, "Jin ha no princely house" and its political power diffused into extended relations of the ruling family, including the Wei.
In the last years of the Spring and Autumn period, the founders of Wei and Han joined to attack and kill the dominant house of Zhi in 453 BCE, resulting in the partition of Jin. King Weilie of Zhou legitimized the situation in 403 BCE, when he elevated the three houses' heads to the rank of marquess; the state reached its apogee during the reigns of its first two rulers, Marquess Wen of Wei and Marquess Wu of Wei. The third ruler, King Hui of Wei, declared himself an independent sovereign and concentrated on economic developments, including irrigation projects at the Yellow River. Hui felt that their land a barren waste, he focused on conquering the well-settled eastern lands. However, a series of battles including the battle of Maling in 341 BCE checked Wei's ambitions while Qin's expansion went unimpeded, boosting its economy and military strength. Early strengthening of the state of Wei resulted from adoption of Legalist reforms proposed by Li Kui. Wei lost the western Hexi region, a strategic area of pastoral land on the west bank of the Yellow River between the border of modern-day Shanxi and Shaanxi, to Qin.
Thereafter, it remained continuously at war with Qin, requiring the capital to be moved from Anyi to Daliang. Wei surrendered to Qin in 225 BCE, after the Qin general Wang Ben diverted the Yellow River into Daliang, destroying the capital in a flood. Marquess Wen of Wei, personal name Si or Du, Marquess Wu of Wei, personal name Ji, son of Marquess Wen, King Hui of Wei, personal name Ying, son of Marquess Wu, King Xiang of Wei, personal name Si or He, son of King Hui, King Zhao of Wei, personal name Chi, son of King Xiang, King Anxi of Wei,personal name Yu, son of King Zhao, King Jingmin of Wei, personal name Zeng or Wu, son of King Anxi, King Jia, personal name Jia, son of King Jingmin, According to Sima Qian's Records of the Grand Historian written in the 1st century BCE, the list of rulers is 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, 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 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. Li Kui, a Legalist philosopher and chancellor Yue Yang, ancestor of Yue Yi and prime minister of Zhongshan Pang Juan, a successful general, defeated by Lord Mengchang of Qi and Sun Bin at the battle of Maling According to the Han Feizi, King Anxi had a lover named Lord Long Yang, with whom he enjoyed fishing. One day, Long began to weep; when questioned, Long said. 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 a previously-caught fish! I will 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".
In traditional Chinese astronomy, Wei is represented by one star in the "Twelve States" asterism of the "Girl" lunar mansion of the "Black Turtle" symbol and other star in the "Left Wall" of the "Heavenly Market" enclosure. Sources differ, however, in whether those two stars are 33 Capricorni and Delta Herculis or whether they are Chi Capricorni and Phi Capricorni. Liang, the earlier state of that name Liang, the continuation of the title in dynasties
Legalism (Chinese philosophy)
Fajia or Legalism is one of Sima Tan's six classical schools of thought in Chinese philosophy. Meaning "house of Fa", the "school" represents some several branches of realistic statesmen or "men of methods" foundational for the traditional Chinese bureaucratic empire. Compared with Machiavelli, they have been considered in the Western world as akin to the Realpolitikal thought of ancient China, emphasizing a realistic consolidation of the wealth and power of autocrat and state, with the goal of achieving increased order and stability. Having close ties with the other schools, some would be a major influence on Taoism and Confucianism, the current remains influential in administration and legal practice in China today. Though Chinese administration cannot be traced to any one person, emphasizing a merit system administrator Shen Buhai may have had more influence than any other, might be considered its founder, if not valuable as a rare pre-modern example of abstract theory of administration.
Sinologist Herrlee G. Creel sees in Shen Buhai the "seeds of the civil service examination", and, if one wished to exaggerate, the first political scientist; the correlation between Shen's conception of the inactive ruler responsible for examination into performance and titles also informed the Taoist conception of the formless Tao that "gives rise to the ten thousand things."Concerned with administrative and sociopolitical innovation, Shang Yang was a leading reformer of his time. His numerous reforms transformed the peripheral Qin state into a militarily powerful and centralized kingdom. Much of Legalism was "principally the development of certain ideas" that lay behind his reforms, it was these that helped lead to Qin's ultimate conquest of the other states of China in 221 BC. Shen's most famous successor Han Fei synthesized the thought of the other "Fa-Jia" in his eponymous text, the Han Feizi. Written around 240 BC, the Han Feizi is thought of as the greatest of all Legalist texts, is believed to contain the first commentaries on the Tao te Ching in history.
The grouping together of thinkers that would be dubbed "Fa-Jia" or "Legalists" can be traced to him, The Art of War would seem to incorporate Taoist philosophy of inaction and impartiality, Legalist punishment and rewards as systematic measures of organization, recalling Han Fei's concepts of power and tactics. Attracting the attention of the First Emperor, It is said that succeeding emperors followed the template set by Han Fei. Calling them the "theorists of the state", sinologist Jacques Gernet considered the Legalists/Fa-Jia to be the most important tradition of the fourth and third centuries BC, the entire period from the Qin dynasty to Tang being characterized by its centralizing tendencies and economic organization of the population by the state; the Han dynasty took over the governmental institutions of the Qin dynasty unchanged. Endorsement for the "school" of thought peaked under Mao Zedong, hailed as a "progressive" intellectual current; the Zhou dynasty was divided between the hereditary noblemen.
The latter were placed to obtain office and political power, owing allegiance to the local prince, who owed allegiance to the Son of Heaven. The dynasty operated according to the principles of punishment; the former was applied only to aristocrats, the latter only to commoners. The earliest Zhou kings kept a firm personal hand on the government, depending on their personal capacities, personal relations between ruler and minister, upon military might; the technique of centralized government being so little developed, they deputed authority to feudal lords. When the Zhou kings could no longer grant new fiefs, their power began to decline, vassals began to identify with their own regions, schismatic hostility occurred between the Chinese states. Aristocratic families became important, by virtue of their ancestral prestige wielding great power and proving a divisive force. In the Spring and Autumn period, rulers began to directly appoint state officials to provide advice and management, leading to the decline of inherited privileges and bringing fundamental structural transformations as a result of what may be termed "social engineering from above."
Most Warring States period thinkers tried to accommodate a "changing with the times" paradigm, each of the schools of thought sought to provide an answer for the attainment of sociopolitical stability. Confucianism considered to be China's ruling ethos, was articulated in opposition to the establishment of legal codes, the earliest of which were inscribed on bronze vessels in the sixth century BC. For the Confucians, the Classics provided the preconditions for knowledge. Orthodox Confucians tended to consider organizational details beneath both minister and ruler, leaving such matters to underlings, furthermore wanted ministers to control the ruler. Concerned with "goodness", the Confucians became the most prominent, followed by the proto-Taoists and the administrative thought that Sima Tan termed the Fa-Jia, but the Taoists focused on the development of inner powers, both the Taoists and Confucians held a regressive view of history, the age being a decline from the era of the Zhou kings. A new type of ruler emerged intent on breaking the power of the aristocrats and reforming their state's bureaucracies.
Those that failed were deposed. As disenfranchised or opportunist aristocrats were attracted by the reform-oriented rulers, they brought with them philosophy concerned foremost with organi
Jin (Chinese state)
Jin known as Tang, was a major state during the middle part of the Zhou dynasty, based near the centre of what was China, on the lands attributed to the legendary Xia dynasty: the southern part of modern Shanxi. Although it grew in power during the Spring and Autumn period, its aristocratic structure saw it break apart when the duke lost power to his nobles. In 453 BC, Jin was split into three successor states: Han and Wei; the Partition of Jin marks the end of the Spring and Autumn Period and the beginning of the Warring States period. Jin was located in the lower Fen River drainage basin on the Shanxi plateau. To the north were the Xirong and Beidi peoples. To the west were the Lüliang Mountains and the Loess Plateau of northern Shaanxi. To the southwest the Fen River turns west to join the south-flowing part of the Yellow River which soon leads to the Guanzhong, an area of the Wei River Valley, the heartland of the Western Zhou and of the Qin. To the south are the Zhongtiao Mountains and the east-west valley of the Yellow River, the main route to the Wei Valley to the west.
To the east were the Taihang Mountains and the North China Plain. This location gave ambitious Jin dukes the opportunity to move north to conquer and absorb the Xirong tribes, move southwest and fight Qin, move southeast to absorb the many smaller Zhou states. Important to the region were the large states of Chu to the south in the Yangtze and Huai River regions and Qi to the east in Shandong. Jin had multiple capitals; the first capital of Jin was Tang. The capital was moved to È Jiàng Xintian. From 746 to 677, Quwo was the capital of a fragment of Jin; when the Zhou Dynasty was founded, the conquered lands were given to Zhou relatives and ministers as hereditary fiefs. King Cheng of Zhou, the second Zhou king, gave the land called Tang, west of modern Yicheng County in Shanxi, to his younger brother, Tang Shuyu with the rank of a marquis. Tang Shuyu's son and successor, Marquis Xie of Jin, changed the name of Tang to Jin. There is little information about Jin for this period beyond a list of rulers.
In 771 BC the Quanrong nomads killed the king. Marquis Wen of Jin, the eleventh marquis of Jin, supported King Ping of Zhou by killing his rival, King Xie of Zhou, an act that King Ping rewarded him for; when Marquis Zhao of Jin acceded to the throne, he gave the land of Quwo to his uncle Chengshi who became Huan Shu of Quwo. In 739 BC, an official invited Huan Shu to take the throne. Huan Shu entered Jin but retreated to Quwo. All three Quwo rulers, Huan Shu, Zhuang Bo and Duke Wu made attempts to take over Jin. In 678 BC, Duke Wu of Quwo killed Marquis Min of Jin. One year after receiving gifts from Duke Wu, King Xi of Zhou made Duke Wu the legal ruler of Jin, who became known as Duke Wu of Jin. With the establishment of the Quwo line, Jin became the most powerful state for three generations and remained powerful for a century or more after that. Duke Wu died soon after gaining control of Jin, he was followed by Duke Xian of Jin. Xian broke with Zhou feudalism by killing or exiling his cousins and ruling with appointees of various social backgrounds.
He annexed 16 or 17 small states in Shanxi, dominated 38 others, absorbed a number of Rong tribes. Some of the states conquered were Geng, old Wei, Yu and Western Guo, his death led to a succession struggle. In 646 BC, Duke Hui was restored as a vassal. Another son of Duke Xian was Duke Wen of Jin, he came to the throne in 636 escorted by the troops of Duke Mu of Qin. Duke Wen established himself as an independent ruler by driving the Di barbarians west of the Yellow River. In 635 BC he supported King Xiang of Zhou against a rival and was rewarded with lands near the royal capital. In 633 BC, he confronted the rising power of the southern state of Chu, besieging Song. Instead of directly assisting Song, he attacked two vassals of Chu and Wei; the following year, he formed a military alliance with Qin, Qi and Song that defeated Chu at the Battle of Chengpu the largest battle in the Spring and Autumn period. Shortly after the battle, he held an interstate conference at Jitu with King Xiang of Zhou and the rulers of six other states.
He received from the King the title of "ba" or hegemon. At some point there was a war with Qin. Duke Wen erected monuments to the fallen on both sides; the Chinese proverb "The Friendship of Qin and Jin", meaning an unbreakable bond, dates from this period. Over the next century, a four-way balance of power developed between Qin, Chu and Qi, with a number of smaller states between Jin and Qi. In 627 BC, Jin defeated Qin. Jin was driven back the following year. In 598 BC, Chu defeated Jin at the Battle of Mi. In 589 BC, Jin defeated Qi, which had invaded Wei. About this time Jin began to support the southeastern state of Wu as a means of weakening Chu. Duke Li of Jin allied with Qin and Qi to make an east-west front against the threat of Chu from the south. In 579 BC, a minister of the state of Song arranged a four-power conference in which the states agreed to limit their military strength. Four years fighting broke out again.
Chao was a minor state of the Chinese Bronze Age, whose people belonged to the Shu tribes that lived south of the Huai River. Chao's exact location is unknown. According to the Book of Documents, Chao was a satellite of the Shang dynasty until the latter was overthrown by the Zhou dynasty, whereupon Chao voluntarily submitted to King Wu of Zhou around 1040 BCE. A few decades during the reign of King Kang of Zhou, Chao rebelled and attacked Zhou territory; as result, the Zhou king sent the Six Armies of the West under Tung Kung to defeat Chao, though in the end it was the regional lord of E who defeated and captured Chao's rebellious ruler. Despite this, Chao remained restive, when a massive war broke out between Xu and the Zhou dynasty in the 940s BCE, the people of Chao sided with Xu against their overlords; this rebellion, proved unsuccessful for Chao, was crushed when the Duke of Mao captured Chao's capital. After the Zhou dynasty had collapsed in the 8th century BCE, Chao became independent, but soon came to be threatened by the expansionist state of Chu.
Around 600 BCE, Chao and the other Shu states were forced to submit to Chu in order to avoid destruction. The Shu states continued to maintain their desire for independence, supported and stirred by Chu's rival, Wu. In response, Chu began to conquer them one by one, beginning with Chao, whose fall is dated between 583-575 BCE by He Hao and sometime earlier by Blakeley. After the end of its independence, Chao's former capital continued to be a bone of contention between Chu and Wu: King Zhufan of Wu launched an attack on the city in 548 BCE, was killed during the fighting by a sniper. Blakeley, Barry B.. "The Geography of Chu". In Constance A. Cook. Defining Chu: Image And Reality In Ancient China. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. Pp. 9–20. ISBN 0-8248-2905-0. Sawyer, Ralph D.. Conquest and Domination in early China. Rise and Demise of the Western Chou. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. ISBN 978-1484912485. Milburn, Olivia; the Spring and Autumn Annals of Master Yan. Leiden: Brill Publishers.
Reconstructions of Old Chinese
Although Old Chinese is known from written records beginning around 1200 BC, the logographic script provides much more indirect and partial information about the pronunciation of the language than alphabetic systems used elsewhere. Several authors have produced reconstructions of Old Chinese phonology, beginning with the Swedish sinologist Bernard Karlgren in the 1940s and continuing to the present day; the method introduced by Karlgren is unique, comparing categories implied by ancient rhyming practice and the structure of Chinese characters with descriptions in medieval rhyme dictionaries, though more recent approaches have incorporated other kinds of evidence. Although the various notations appear to be different, they correspond with each other on most points. By the 1970s, it was agreed that Old Chinese had fewer points of articulation than Middle Chinese, a set of voiceless sonorants, labiovelar and labio-laryngeal initials. Since the 1990s, most authors have agreed on a six-vowel system and a re-organized system of liquids.
Earlier systems proposed voiced final stops to account for contacts between stop-final syllables and other tones, but many investigators now believe that Old Chinese lacked tonal distinctions, with Middle Chinese tones derived from consonant clusters at the end of the syllable. The major sources for the sounds of Old Chinese, covering most of the lexicon, are the sound system of Middle Chinese, the structure of Chinese characters, the rhyming patterns of the Classic of Poetry, dating from the early part of the 1st millennium BC. Several other kinds of evidence provide valuable clues; these include Min dialects, early Chinese transcriptions of foreign names, early loans between Chinese and neighbouring languages, families of Chinese words that appear to be related. Middle Chinese, or more Early Middle Chinese, is the phonological system of the Qieyun, a rhyme dictionary published in 601, with many revisions and expansions over the following centuries; these dictionaries set out to codify the pronunciations of characters to be used when reading the classics.
They indicated pronunciation using the fanqie method, dividing a syllable into an initial consonant and the rest, called the final. In his Qièyùn kǎo, the Cantonese scholar Chen Li performed a systematic analysis of a redaction of the Qieyun, identifying its initial and final categories, though not the sounds they represented. Scholars have attempted to determine the phonetic content of the various distinctions by comparing them with rhyme tables from the Song dynasty, pronunciations in modern varieties and loans in Korean and Vietnamese, but many details regarding the finals are still disputed. According to its preface, the Qieyun did not reflect a single contemporary dialect, but incorporated distinctions made in different parts of China at the time; the fact that the Qieyun system contains more distinctions than any single contemporary form of speech means that it retains additional information about the history of the language. The large number of initials and finals are unevenly distributed, suggesting hypotheses about earlier forms of Chinese.
For example, it includes 37 initials, but in the early 20th century Huang Kan observed that only 19 of them occurred with a wide range of finals, implying that the others were in some sense secondary developments. The logographic Chinese writing system does not use symbols for individual sounds as is done an alphabetic system. However, the vast majority of characters are phono-semantic compounds, in which a word is written by combining a character for a sounding word with a semantic indicator. Characters sharing a phonetic element are still pronounced alike, as in the character 中, adapted to write the words chōng and zhōng. In other cases the words in a phonetic series have different sounds both in Middle Chinese and in modern varieties. Since the sounds are assumed to have been similar at the time the characters were chosen, such relationships give clues to the lost sounds; the first systematic study of the structure of Chinese characters was Xu Shen's Shuowen Jiezi. The Shuowen was based on the small seal script standardized in the Qin dynasty.
Earlier characters from oracle bones and Zhou bronze inscriptions reveal relationships that were obscured in forms. Rhyme has been a consistent feature of Chinese poetry. While much old poetry still rhymes in modern varieties of Chinese, Chinese scholars have long noted exceptions; this was attributed to lax rhyming practice of early poets until the late-Ming dynasty scholar Chen Di argued that a former consistency had been obscured by sound change. This implied that the rhyming practice of ancient poets recorded information about their pronunciation. Scholars have studied various bodies of poetry to identify classes of rhyming words at different periods; the oldest such collection is the Shijing, containing songs ranging from the 10th to 7th centuries BC. The systematic study of Old Chinese rhymes began in the 17th century, when Gu Yanwu divided the rhyming words of the Shijing into ten groups. Gu's analysis was refined by Qing dynasty philologists increasing the number of rhyme groups. One of these scholars, Duan Yucai, stated the important principle that characters in the same phonetic series would be in the same rhyme group, making it possible to assign all words to rhyme groups.
A final revision by Wang Li in the 1930s produced the standard set of 31 rhyme groups. The Min dialects are believed to have split off before the Middle Chinese stage, because they contain distinctions that cannot be derived from th
Ancient Chinese coinage
Ancient Chinese coinage includes some of the earliest known coins. These coins, used as early as the Spring and Autumn period, took the form of imitations of the cowrie shells that were used in ceremonial exchanges; the Spring and Autumn period saw the introduction of the first metal coins. Round metal coins with a round, later square hole in the center were first introduced around 350 BCE; the beginning of the Qin Dynasty, the first dynasty to unify China, saw the introduction of a standardised coinage for the whole Empire. Subsequent dynasties produced variations on these round coins throughout the imperial period. At first the distribution of the coinage was limited to use around the capital city district, but by the beginning of the Han Dynasty, coins were used for such things as paying taxes and fines. Ancient Chinese coins are markedly different from their European counterparts. Chinese coins were manufactured by being cast in molds, whereas European coins were cut and hammered or, in times, milled.
Chinese coins were made from mixtures of metals such copper and lead, from bronze, brass or iron: precious metals like gold and silver were uncommonly used. The ratios and purity of the coin metals varied considerably. Most Chinese coins were produced with a square hole in the middle; this was used to allow collections of coins to be threaded on a square rod so that the rough edges could be filed smooth, threaded on strings for ease of handling. Official coin production was not always centralised, but could be spread over many mint locations throughout the country. Aside from produced coins, private coining was common during many stages of history. Various steps were taken over time to try to combat the private coining and limit its effects and making it illegal. At other times private coining was tolerated; the coins varied in value throughout the history. Some coins were produced in large numbers – during the Western Han, an average of 220 million coins a year were produced. Other coins were of limited circulation and are today rare – only six examples of Da Quan Wu Qian from the Eastern Wu Dynasty are known to exist.
Large hoards of coins have been uncovered. For example, a hoard was discovered in Jiangsu containing 4,000 Tai Qing Feng Le coins and at Zhangpu in Shaanxi, a sealed jar containing 1,000 Ban Liang coins of various weights and sizes, was discovered; the earliest coinage of China was described by Sima Qian, the great historian of c. 100 BCE: "With the opening of exchange between farmers and merchants, there came into use money of tortoise shells, cowrie shells, coins, spades This has been so from remote antiquity." While nothing is known about the use of tortoise shells as money and cowries were used to the south of the Yellow River. Although there is no doubt that the well-known spade and knife money were used as coins, it has not been demonstrated that other items offered by dealers as coins such as fish and metal chimes were used as coins, they are not found in coin hoards, the probability is that all these are in fact funerary items. Archaeological evidence shows that the earliest use of the spade and knife money was in the Spring and Autumn period.
As in ancient Greece, socio-economic conditions at the time were favourable to the adoption of coinage. Inscriptions and archaeological evidence shows that cowrie shells were regarded as important objects of value in the Shang Dynasty. In the Zhou period, they are referred to as gifts or rewards from kings and nobles to their subjects. Imitations in bone, stone or bronze were used as money in some instances; some think the first Chinese metallic coins were bronze imitations of cowrie shells found in a tomb near Anyang dating from around 900 BC, but these items lack inscriptions. Similar bronze pieces with inscriptions, known as Ant Nose Money or Ghost Face Money were used as money, they have been found in areas to the south of the Yellow River corresponding to the State of Chu in the Warring States period. One hoard was of some 16,000 pieces, their weight is variable, their alloy contains a high proportion of lead. The name Ant Nose refers to the appearance of the inscriptions, is nothing to do with keeping ants out of the noses of corpses.
The only minted gold of this period known is Chu Gold Block Money, which consists of sheets of gold 3–5 mm thick, of various sizes, with inscriptions consisting of square or round stamps in which there are one or two characters. They have been unearthed in various locations south of the Yellow River indicating that they were products of the State of Chu. One of the characters in their inscription is a monetary unit or weight, read as yuan. Pieces are of a variable size and thickness, the stamps appear to be a device to validate the whole block, rather than a guide to enable it to be broken up into unit pieces; some specimens have been reported in lead, or clay. It is probable that these were funeral money, not circulating coinage, as they are found in tombs, but the gold coins are not, it has been suggested. Metal money brands were used in the state of Chu, they were used again in the Song dynasty. Hollow handled spades (Chinese
Han was an ancient Chinese state during the Warring States period of ancient China. It is conventionally romanized by scholars as Hann to distinguish it from the Han Dynasty, it was located in central China in a region south and east of Luoyang, the capital of the Eastern Zhou. It was ruled by a royal family who were former ministers in the state of Jin that had gained power from the Jin royal family until they were able to divide Jin into the three new states of Han and Zhao with the assistance of two other ministerial families; the state of Han was small and located in a unprofitable region. Its territory directly blocked the passage of the state of Qin into the North China Plain.. Although Han had attempted to reform its governance these reforms were not enough to defend itself and it was the first of the seven warring states to be conquered by Qin in 230 BC. Qin invasion of Han's Shangdang Commandery in 260 BC was the bloodiest battle of the Warring States period with the supposed death of 400 000 soldiers.
According to chapter 45 of the Records of the Grand Historian, the royal family of Han was a cadet branch of the royal family of the state of Jin. The founder of the Han clan Wuzi of Han was the uncle of Duke Wu of Jin. Members of the family were granted Hanyuan. During the Spring and Autumn period, members of the Han family gained more and more influence and power within Jin. In 403 BC, Jing of Han, along with Wen of Wei and Lie of Zhao partitioned Jin among themselves. In Chinese history, this Partition of Jin is the event which marks the end of the Spring and Autumn period and the beginning of the Warring States. Subsequently, Han was an independent polity. King Lie recognized the new states in 403 BC and elevated the rulers to 侯. Han's highest point occurred under the rule of Marquess Xi. Xi implemented his Legalist policies; these reforms strengthened its military capability. Under King Xuanhui, Han declared itself an independent kingdom. However, Han was disadvantaged in the competition of the Warring States because Jin's partition had left it surrounded on all sides by other strong states – Chu to the south, Qi to the east, Qin to the west, Wei to the north.
It was the smallest of the seven states and, without any easy way to expand its own territory and resources, it was bullied militarily by its more powerful neighbors. During its steady decline, Han lost the power to defend its territory and had to request military assistance from other states; the contest between Wei and Qi over control of Han resulted in the Battle of Maling, which established Qi as the pre-eminent state in the east. In 260 BC, Qin's invasion of Han led to Zhao the Battle of Changping. During the late years of the era, in an attempt to drain Qin's resources in an expensive public works project, the state of Han sent the civil engineer Zheng Guo to Qin to persuade them to build a canal; the scheme, while expensive, backfired spectacularly when it was completed: the irrigation abilities of the new Zhengguo Canal far outweighed its cost and gave Qin the agricultural and economic means to dominate the other six states. Han was the first to fall, in 230 BC. In 226 BC, former nobility of the Han launched a failed rebellion in former capital Xinzheng, King An, the last king of Han, was put to death the same year.
Han Xin was made "King of Han" by Liu Bang after the establishment of the Han dynasty. He was removed to Taiyuan Commandery and the territory of the kingdom of Dai, where he defected to the Xiongnu and led raids against the Han Dynasty until his death. Before the state of Qin unified China in 221 BC, each region had their own unique customs and culture, although they were all dominated by an upper class that shared a common culture. In the Yu Gong, a section of the Book of Documents, most composed in the 4th century BC, the author describes a China, divided into nine regions, each with its own distinctive peoples and products; the core theme of this section is that these nine regions are unified into one state by the travels of the eponymous sage, Yu the Great and by sending each region's unique goods to the capital as tribute. Other texts discussed these regional variations in culture and physical environments. One of these texts was Wuzi, a Warring States military treatise written in response to a query by Marquis Wu of Wei on how to cope with the other states.
Wu Qi, the author of the work, declared that the government and nature of the people were linked to the physical environment and territory they live in. Han Fei, a Legalist philosopher Zhang Liang, a major figure in the early Han dynasty Zheng Guo, the hydraulic engineer who designed the Zhengguo Canal for Qin Han is represented by the star 35 Capricorni in the "Twelve States" asterism, part of the "Girl" lunar mansion in the "Black Turtle" symbol. Han is represented by the star Zeta Ophiuchi in the "Right Wall" asterism, part of the "Heavenly Market" enclosure. Chinese nobility Sima Qian. Records of the Grand Historian, Ch. 45 Zizhi Tongjian Volumes 1-6