An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

Zhao Jianzi 趙簡子 Zhao Yang 趙鞅

Nov 6, 2012 © Ulrich Theobald

Zhao Yang 趙鞅 (d. 475), personal name Ying Yang 嬴鞅, posthumous title Zhao Jianzi 趙簡子 or Zhi Fu 志父 or Zhao Meng 趙孟, was a nobleman in the state of Jin 晉 and a member of the house of Zhao 趙 during the Spring and Autumn period 春秋 (770-5th cent. BCE).

He was a grandson of Zhao Wu 趙武 and served Duke Ding 晉定公 (r. 512-475) as chief minister.

In 513, he was ordered to construct a city wall for the town of Rubin 汝濱, the former Luhun 陸渾, where the Di tribes 狄 dwelled. Together with Xun Yin 荀寅 (Zhonghang Wenzi 中行文子) he collected iron from among the people and had cast an iron tripod inscribed with the new penal code.

In 500, he commanded the army of Jin besieging the state of Wei 衛. Three years later he succeeded Shi Yang 士鞅 (Fan Xianzi 范獻子) in the office of chief minister.

At that time, the two noblemen Xun Ying 荀罃 from the house of Zhonghang 中行 and Fan Jiyi 范吉射 from the house of Fan 范 undertook a personal attack on Zhao Yang and he was forced to retreat the fortified town in Jinyang 晉陽 (near modern Taiyuan 太原, Shanxi). Yet the duke of Jin did not support the houses of Fan and Zhonghang, had the siege lifted and enabled Zhao Yang to attack his enemies who had fled to Chaoge 朝歌 (modern Qixian 淇縣, Henan).

As the highest commander of the army of Jin, Zhao Yang promised his troops highest rewards and successfully forced Xun Ying and Fan Jiyi to flee to Bairen 柏人 and then on to the state of Qi 齊. Their territory fell to Zhao Yang and his supporters, the viscounts of Wei 魏, Han and Zhi 智 (or 知).

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), 405.