An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

Gong Shu Duan 共叔段

Mar 15, 2019 © Ulrich Theobald

Gong Shu Duan 共叔段 was a brother of Duke Zhuang 鄭莊公 (r. 744-701) of Zheng 鄭 and a son of Duke Wu 鄭武公 (r. 771-744) and Wu Jiang 武姜. They lived during the early Spring and Autumn period 春秋 (770-5th cent. BCE).

The duchess loved Duan more than his brother Wushueng 寤生 (Duke Zhuang) and tried to convince her husband to make Duan heir apparent, but she failed. At least, Duan was given an appanage around the city of Jing 京 (between Zhengzhou 鄭州 and Xinmi 新密, Henan), the revenues of which made him so rich that his residence was richer and larger than that of his brother, the Duke. Duan also made preparation for military action, and his mother promised to open the gates of the capital city of Zheng. Having learnt from the planned rebellion or usurpation, Duke Zhuang gave military command of the ducal troops in the hands of Prince Feng 公子封, who attacked Jing and forced Duan to flee to Yan 鄢 and then to the statelet of Gong 共. Duke Zhuang first banished his mother from the court, but called her back after some time.

Han Zhaoqi 韓兆琦, ed. (2000). Zhongguo gudai wenxue mingzhu renming xingshi cidian 中國古代文學名著人物形象辭典 (Zhengzhou: Zhongzhou guji chubanshe), 1060.