An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

Prince Zhi 公子縶 of Qin

Oct 26, 2012 © Ulrich Theobald

"Ducal Son" Gongzi Zhi 縶, courtesy name Zixian 子顯, was a grand master (dafu 大夫) in the state of Qin 秦 during the late Spring and Autumn period 春秋 (770-5th cent. BCE). He was a son of Duke Mu 秦穆公 (r. 659-621) and served as his father's advisor.

In 651 a throne succession broke out in the state of Jin 晉. Prince Chong'er 重耳 of Jin lived in exile in the land of the nomad tribes of the Di 狄. Gongsun Zhi visited Prince Chong'er as well as Prince Yiwu 夷吾, who also lived in exile, in Liang 梁. Prince Yiwu was suggested by the nobles Lü Sheng 呂甥 and Xi Rui 郤芮 to offer Duke Mu of Qin the territory of Hexi 河西 (Hedong 河東?) in case that Qin would support his enthronement. The Duke accepted and helped Prince Yiwu on the throne of Jin (Duke Hui 晉惠公, r. 651-637).

Duke Hui was captured by Qin in the battle of Hanyuan 韓原 (between modern Hejin 河津 and Ji 稷, Shanxi). Gongsun Zhi suggested killing the war captive duke because Duke Jin was an incompetent and cruel lord. Yet Duke Mu of Qin preferred the suggestion of Prince Zhi 公孫枝 (also written 公孫支) to retain the crown prince as a hostage, concluded peace with Jin and had Duke Hui of Jin returned to his country.

He died in 637, and this time Gongsun Zhi managed to have Prince Chong'er enthroned in Jin (he is known as Duke Wen 晉文公, r. 637-628). Qin and Jin concluded a alliance (meng 盟) in a conference at Xun 郇.

Lu Xiaoyan 陸曉延 (2000). "Gongzi Zhi 公子縶", in Zhonghua Qin wenhua cidian bianweihui 《中華秦文化辭典》編委會, ed. Zhonghua Qin wenhua cidian 中華秦文化辭典 (Xi'an: Xibei daxue chubanshe), 137.
Xiong Tieji 熊鐵基, Yang Youli 楊有禮, ed. (1994). Zhongguo diwang zaixiang cidian 中國帝王宰相辭典 (Wuhan: Hubei jiaoyu chubanshe), 407.