Han (state)

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Han
 or 
*Gar
Kingdom

403 BC–230 BC
Capital Yangzhai (before 375 BC)
Xinzheng (after 375 BC)
Religion Chinese folk religion
ancestor worship
Government Monarchy
Historical era Warring States period
 -  Partition of Jin 403 BC
 -  Conquered by Qin 230 BC
Currency spade money
other ancient Chinese coinage
This article is about the state of Han during China's Warring States period.
For the earlier Chinese state, see Han (Western Zhou); for the later Chinese dynasty, see Han dynasty.
For the modern state known by the same name in Chinese, see South Korea.
State of Han
(small seal script, 220 BC)

Han (Chinese, old *Gar,[1] mod. Hán; also 韓國 or 韩国, Hánguó) was an ancient Chinese state during the Warring States period of ancient China, located in modern-day Shanxi and Henan.

Its territory directly blocked the passage of the state of Qin into the North China Plain and thus it was a frequent target of Qin's military operations. Although Han had attempted several self-strengthening reforms (notably under the noted legalist Shen Buhai), it never overcame Qin and was instead the first of the warring states to be conquered by it.

The Qin invasion of Han's Shangdang Commandery ushered in the bloodiest battle of the whole period (at Changping) in 260 BC.

History[edit]

Founding[edit]

According to the Records of the Grand Historian, the royal family of Han were a cadet branch of the Zhou dynasty. Members of the family became ministers in the powerful state of Jin and were granted Hanyuan (modern Hancheng in Shaanxi).

Spring and Autumn Period[edit]

During the Spring and Autumn Period, the Han family gradually gained influence and importance within Jin. They were made (, "viscounts"). In 403 BC, Jing of Han, along with Wen of Wei and Lie of Zhao partitioned Jin among themselves. In Chinese history, this Partition of Jin is the event which marks the end of the Spring and Autumn period and the beginning of the Warring States. Subsequently, Han was an independent polity. King Lie eventually recognized the new states and elevated the rulers to (hou, "marquess").

Warring States Period[edit]

Han's highest point occurred under the rule of Marquess Xi. Xi appointed Shen Buhai as his chancellor and implemented his Legalist policies. These strengthened the state and the realm became a xiaokang society. Under Xuanhui (332–312 BC), Han declared itself an independent kingdom.

However, Han was disadvantaged in the competition of the Warring States because Jin's partition had left it surrounded on all sides by other strong states – Chu to the south, Qi to the east, Qin to the west, and Wei to the north. It was the smallest of the seven states and, without any easy way to expand its own territory and resources, it was bullied militarily by its more powerful neighbors.

Defeat[edit]

During its steady decline, Han eventually lost the power to defend its territory and had to request military assistance from other states. The contest between Wei and Qi over control of Han resulted in the Battle of Maling, which established Qi as the preëminent state in the east. In 260 BC, Qin's invasion of Han led to Zhao intervention and the Battle of Changping.

During the late years of the era, in an attempt to drain Qin's resources in an expensive public works project, the state of Han sent the civil engineer Zheng Guo to Qin to persuade them to build a canal. The scheme, while expensive, backfired spectacularly when it was eventually completed: the irrigation abilities of the new Zhengguo Canal far outweighed its cost and gave Qin the agricultural and economic means to dominate the other six states. Han was the first to fall, in 230 BC.

Rulers[edit]

Title Name Reign Alternative Title(s)
Pre-State sovereigns
Wuzi
韓武子
Hán Wàn
韓萬
Qiubo
韓赇伯
unknown
Dingbo
韓定伯
Hán Jiǎn
韓简
Ziyu
韓子輿
Hán Yú
韓輿
Xianzi
韓獻子
Hán Jué
韓厥
Xuanzi
韓宣子
Hán Qǐ
韓起
Zhenzi
韓貞子
Hán Xū
韓須
Jianzi
韓簡子
Hán Bùxìn
韓不信
Zhuangzi
韓莊子
Hán Gēng
韓庚
Kangzi
韓康子
Hán Hǔ
韓虎
Wuzi
韓武子
Hán Qǐzhāng
韓啓章
424 BC – 409 BC
State sovereigns
Marquess Jing
韓景侯
Hán Qián
韓虔
408 BC – 400 BC
Marquess Lie
韓烈侯
Hán Qǔ
韓取
399 BC – 387 BC Marquess Wu (韓武侯)
Marquess Wen
韓文侯
unknown 386 BC – 377 BC
Marquess Ai
韓哀侯
unknown 376 BC – 374 BC
Marquess Gong
韓共侯
Hán Ruòshān
韓若山
374 BC – 363 BC Marquess Zhuang (韓莊侯)
Marquess Yi (韓懿侯)
Marquess Xi
韓厘侯
Hán Wǔ
韓武
362 BC – 233 BC Marquess Zhao (韓昭侯)
King Xuanhui
韓宣惠王
unknown 332 BC – 312 BC King Xuan (韓宣王)
Marquess Wei (韓威侯), before 323 BC
King Xiang
韓襄王
unknown 311 BC – 296 BC King Xiang'ai (韓襄哀王)
King Daoxiang (韓悼襄王)
King Xi
韓釐王
Hán Jiù
韓咎
295 BC – 273 BC
King Huanhui
韓桓惠王
unknown 272 BC – 239 BC
King An
韓王安
Hán Ān
韓安
238 BC – 230 BC

Famous people[edit]

Han in astronomy[edit]

Han is represented by the star 35 Capricorni in the "Twelve States" asterism, part of the "Girl" lunar mansion in the "Black Turtle" symbol. Han is also represented by the star Zeta Ophiuchi in the "Right Wall" asterism, part of the "Heavenly Market" enclosure.[2]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Baxter, William & al. "Baxter–Sagart Old Chinese Reconstruction", p. 43. 2011. Accessed 26 Nov 2013.
  2. ^ Activities of Exhibition and Education in Astronomy. "天文教育資訊網". 24 Jun 2006. (Chinese)