An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

Zhuang Qiao 莊蹻

Mar 6, 2019 © Ulrich Theobald

There might have been two persons with the name Zhuang Qiao 莊蹻, Zhuang Hao 莊豪, or Quan Zu 企足, one being a rebel leader, another one a general, both in the state of Chu 楚 during the Warring States period 戰國 (5th cent.-221 BCE).

The rebellion of Zhuang Qiao broke out after the disastrous defeat of Chu in the battle of Chuisha 垂沙 (today's Tanghe 唐河, Henan) in 301 against three alled states and brought the state into such a turmoil that the central government lost grip over large parts of the country, as the books Xunzi 荀子 (ch. Yibing 議兵) and Shangjunshu 商君書 (ch. Ruomin 弱民) report. The rebels threatened Ying 郢 (Jiangling 江陵, Hubei) the capital of Chu, an incident sometimes compared with the siege of Changping 長平 in 260, where Qin 秦 beleaguered the army of Zhao 趙.

After his defeat, Zhuang Qiao's army moved to the southwest, where they brought turmoil to the region of Dian 滇 (Yunnan). It might have been that this story refers to a veritable general who fought against Qin, and not the rebel leader. Another possibility is that the rebel leader Zhuang Qiao marched to the west, the region of Ba 巴 and Shu 蜀 in the Sichuan Basin, and had nothing to do with the Dian expedition.

When Qin occupied the western parts of Chu in 277 and founded the commandery of Qianzhong 黔中 (Yuanling 沅陵, Hunan), Zhuang was cut off from the rest of Chu and assumed the title of King Zhuang 莊王, perhaps because he was an offspring of King Zhuang of Chu 楚莊王 (r. 614-591).

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Lei Jinfang 雷近芳 (1992). "Zhuang Qiao fa Dian 莊蹻伐滇", in Chen Xiansi 陳顯泗, ed. Zhong-wai zhanzheng zhanyi da cidian 中外戰爭戰役大辭典 (Changsha: Hunan chubanshe), 13.
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Zhang Ke 張克, Huang Kangbo 黃康白, Huang Fandong 黃方東, ed. (1991). Shiji renwu cidian 史記人物辭典 (Nanning: Guangxi renmin chubanshe), 177.