An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

The Regional State of Zhu 邾

Nov 1, 2018 © Ulrich Theobald

The rulers of the small regional state of Zhu 邾 (also called Zou 鄒, 陬 or Zhulou 邾婁) located near modern Zouxian 鄒縣, Shandong, were descendants Lu Zhong 陸終, a great-grandson of the mythological emperor Zhuan Xu 顓頊. Lu Zhong's fifth son was called Yan'an 晏安. There is virtually nothing known about the history of this regional state, except a list of its rulers. They bore the family name Cao 曹 and the nobility title of "viscount" (zi 子). Around 350 BCE, Zhu was conquered by Chu.

King Wu 周武王 of the Zhou dynasty reconfirmed the hold of the territory by Cao Xia 曹挾 (Zhu Xia 邾挾). One of his descendants, Yi Fu Yan 夷父顔 (Duke Wu 邾武公), earned merits, so that the king of Zhou appointed Yan's son Cao You 曹友 ruler of the regional state of Ni 郳, later known as Lesser Zhu (Xiaozhu 小邾, located in the district of Tengxian 滕縣, Shandong). Another story says that Yi Fu Yan was executed because he participated in a usurpatorious plot in the state of Lu 魯.

Cao Xiafu Cao Xiafu 曹夏父 (r. 781-678) supported Duke Yin of Lu 魯隱公 (r. 723-712), whose rule was instable because his right of succession was disputed. The two lords met at Mie 蔑 or Gumie 姑蔑 (near Sishui 泗水, Shandong) to conclude a political alliance (meng 盟). Zhu also helped the state of Lu, when Duke Zhuang of Zheng 鄭莊公 attacked (r. 743-701). The three states finally concluded peace at Yi 翼 (today's Feixian 費縣, Shandong). In 695, Zhu reconfirmed its alliance with Lu in the village of Cui 趡, yet in the same year, Duke Huan of Lu 魯桓公 (r. 712-694) broke is oath and attacked Zhu, supported by troops of Song 宋.

Duke Wen 邾文公 (r. 666-614) participated in the meeting of the regional rulers in Cao 曹, where Duke Xiang of Song 宋襄公 (r. 650-637) was made hegemonial lord. At that occasion, Duke Wen of Zhu pronounced the oath also for the lord of Zeng 鄫, who appeared late. In 614, Duke Wen desired to move his residence to Yi 繹, and had made a divination which said that this move would profit the people, but not its lord, but Duke Wen took serious his duty to serve the people and moved from Zhu to Yi. He died shortly later.

His son Prince Quju 玃且, known as Duke Ding 邾定公 (r. 614-574), attacked the state of Lu because Duke Wen of Lu 魯文公 (r. 627-609) did not express his condolences. Yet Lu fought back. Duke Ding's half-brother Prince Jiezi 捷菑 at that occasion fled to the state of Jin 晉, where he found support and the promise to enthrone him as ruler of Zhu. Arrived with 800 chariots, the Prince met to a discourse with the righteous ruler of Zhu, and was convinced to refrain from his plan of usurpation.

Prince Keng 牼 ruled as Duke Xuan 邾宣公 (r. 573-556). He expressed his subservience to the state of Lum but supported the hegemonial lord for an attack on Pengcheng 彭城, a city of Lu, on behalf of the state of Song, and also helped the state of Qi 齊 in a quarrel against Lu. In 557, Duke Xuan participate in an interstate meeting in Xiuliang 溴梁, and again, Zhu took part in a war against Lu. The quarrels between Zhu and Lu continued during the reign of Prince Hua 華, known as Duke Dao 邾悼公 (r. 556-541). In 554 finally, the border between the two states was fixed.

The relation between Zhu and Lu was further pacified by an alliance between Duke Zhuang 邾莊公 (r. 541-507) and one of the powerful grand masters of Lu, Meng Xizi 孟僖子 in 531. In 524, Zhu conquered the statelet of Yu 鄅, but the latter was allied with Song, which attacked Zhu a year later and took the village of Chong 蟲. Song, Ni (Lesser Zhu), and Xu 徐 thereupon reconfirmed their alliance. Duke Zhuang was buried with 5 chariots and five persons accompanying him (see renxun 人殉).

In 488, Lu attacked Zhu and took Duke Yin 邾隱公 (r. 507-487) captive. The grand masters of Zhu thereupon asked the southern state of Wu 吳 for help, and Wu attacked Lu, yet without success. Duke Yin, still in captivity, asked his grand masters to enthrone his son, Prince Ge 革. In 485, Duke Yin escaped and went to Qi, and in 473 he changed his exile, travelling to Yue 越. This state finally helped him back to the throne, and Prince Ge, who had ruled until then, went to Yue, yet in 471, Yue decided to bring back Prince Ge to the throne. He is known as Duke Huan 邾桓公 (r. 487-473). Duke Huan took part in a joint campaign of Wu, Lu, and Tan 郯 against Qi in 485, and in the alliance between Lu and Qi of 474, sworn in Gu 顧.

Duke Huan's younger brother Prince He 何 has no posthumous title. He was involved in the internal quarrels of the state of Lu and fled to Yue. Further details of the house of Zhu are unknown.

Table 1. Rulers of the regional state of Zhu 邾
Capital: Zhu 邾 (modern Zouxian 鄒縣, Shandong), Yi 繹 or Zou 鄒 (closeby)
dynastic title personal name time
Zhu Zi Jia 邾子挾 Cao Xia 曹挾
Zhu Zi Fei 邾子非 Cao Fei 曹非
Zhu Zi Cheng 邾子成 Cao Cheng 曹成
Zhu Zi Chefu 邾子車輔 Cao Chefu 曹車輔
Zhu Zi Jiangxin 邾子將新 Cao Jiangxin 曹將新
Zhu Zi Zifu 邾子訾父 Cao Zifu 曹訾父
Zhu Wugong 邾武公 Cao Yifu 曹夷甫, Cao Fu 曹夷, Cao Yan 曹顏, Cao Boyan 曹伯顏 ?-796
Zhu Zi Shushu 邾子叔術 Cao Shushu 曹叔術 796-781
Zhu Zi Xiafu 邾子夏父 Cao Xiafu 曹夏父 781-678
Zhu Angong 邾安公, Zhu Zi Ke 邾子克 Cao Ke 曹克,Yi Fu 儀父 ?-678
Zhu Xiangong 邾憲公, Zhu Zi Suo 邾子瑣 Cao Suo 曹瑣 678-666
Zhu Wengong 邾文公, Zhu Zi Quchu 邾子蘧蒢 Cao Quchu 曹蘧蒢 666-614
Zhu Dinggong 邾定公, Zhu Zi Juejie 邾子貜且 Cao Jueqie 曹貜且 614-574
Zhu Xuangong 邾宣公, Zhu Zi Keng 邾子牼 Cao Keng 曹牼 574-556
Zhu Daogong 邾悼公, Zhu Zi Hua 邾子華 Cao Hua 曹華 556-541
Zhu Zhuanggong 邾莊公, Zhu Zi Chuan 邾子穿 Cao Chuan 曹穿 541-507
Zhu Yingong 邾隱公, Zhu Zi Yi 邾子益 Cao Yi 曹益 507-487
Zhu Huangong 邾桓公, Taizi Ge 太子革 Cao Ge 曹革 487-473
Zhu Yingong (again) 473-471
Zhu Zi He 邾子何, Gongzi He 公子何 Cao 曹何 471-?
Zhulou Kaogong 邾婁考公 ?-?
Zhu Mugong 鄒穆公
Zhu Bo Yurong 邾伯御戎 Cao Yurong 曹御戎, Cao Tao 曹討
c. 350 Zhu destroyed by Chu
Chen Houyao 陳厚耀 (1800). Chunqiu shizu pu 春秋世族譜 (Lianghu Shuyuan Zhengxuetang edition 兩湖書院正學堂本, 1899).
Xiong Tiejin 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), 131-134.
Fu Qingsheng 傅慶升 (1996). "Zhu Wengong 邾文公", in Feng Kesheng 馮克正, Fu Qingsheng 傅慶升, ed. Zhuzi baijia da cidian 諸子百家大辭典 (Shenyang: Liaoning renmin chubanshe), 7.
Wang Wenyuan 王文源 (1845). Chunqiu shizu jilüe 春秋世族輯略 (Xuxiu siku quanshu 續修四庫全書. 124).