Jingzhou (ancient China)
Jingzhou, or Jing Province, was a location in ancient China. It was one of the Nine Provinces mentioned in Chinese historical texts. It became an administrative division during the reign of Emperor Wu (r. 141 BC - 87 BC) of the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 9).
Pre-Qin Dynasty 
In the late Warring States Period (475 BC-221 BC), the Qin state (9th century BC–221 BC) stopped referring to the Chu state (1030 BC–223 BC) as "Chu" and used "Jing" (荊) instead. This was done to avoid naming taboo because King Zhuangxiang of Qin's personal name was "Zichu" (子楚). The Chu state covered most of present-day Hubei and Hunan, the areas that would form Jingzhou in a later era.
Han Dynasty 
In 106 BC during the reign of Emperor Wu of the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 9), China was divided into thirteen administrative divisions (excluding the area under the central government's control), each governed by an Inspector (刺史). Jingzhou was one of the thirteen, and its land area was one of the largest, covering roughly the present-day provinces of Hubei and Hunan, with the city of Nanyang, Henan at its north frontier. However Jingzhou did not have a provincial capital and was only an administrative division in name.
From 188 during the reign of Emperor Ling of the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220) onwards, Jingzhou officially became an administrative division. The historical text Book of Han mentioned that Jingzhou had seven commanderies - Nanyang (南陽; present-day southwestern Henan), Nan Commandery (南郡; present-day western Hubei), Jiangxia (江夏; present-day eastern Hubei), Changsha (長沙; present-day northeastern Hunan), Guiyang (桂陽; present-day southeastern Hunan), Wuling (武陵; present-day northwestern Hunan), Lingling (零陵; present-day southwestern Hunan) - under its jurisdiction.
Before Liu Biao became Governor (州牧) of Jingzhou during the reign of Emperor Xian, Jingzhou's provincial capital was in Hanshou County (漢壽縣; present-day Hanshou County, Changde, Hunan). However as remnants of the Yellow Turban rebels were still active in southern Jingzhou, the capital was moved to Xiangyang (襄陽; present-day Xiangyang, Hubei).
Liu Biao died in 208 and was succeeded by his younger son Liu Cong as Governor of Jingzhou, but the latter surrendered and ceded the province to the warlord Cao Cao in the same year. After the Battle of Red Cliffs in the winter of 208/209, Cao Cao managed to retain only Nanyang and Nan commanderies in northern Jingzhou, while central and southern Jingzhou was divided between the warlords Sun Quan and Liu Bei. Cao Cao subsequently partitioned Xiangyang (襄陽) and Nanxiang (南鄉) commanderies from the two he controlled - Nanyang and Nan. The commanderies in Jingzhou were thus split between the three contending warlords: Nan, Lingling and Wuling to Liu Bei; Jiangxia, Guiyang and Changsha to Sun Quan; Nanyang, Xiangyang and Nanxiang to Cao Cao. It was believed that the term "Nine Commanderies of Jing and Xiang" (荊襄九郡) originated from the division of Jingzhou between the three powers, since each controlled three commanderies, making nine in total.
In 219 Sun Quan's general Lü Meng attacked and seized Liu Bei's lands in Jingzhou, which were defended by Guan Yu. This triggered the subsequent Battle of Xiaoting (or Battle of Yiling) in 221 / 222, which saw Liu Bei's defeat by Sun Quan. Since then the state of Shu (founded by Liu Bei) had never laid claims on Jingzhou, and Jingzhou was divided between the states of Wu (founded by Sun Quan) and Wei (founded by Cao Cao's successor Cao Pi).
Three Kingdoms period and Jin Dynasty (265–420) 
During the Three Kingdoms period (220-280), Jingzhou was split between the states of Wei (220–265) and Wu (229–280). The provincial capital of the Wei-controlled Jingzhou was in Xinye (新野), Nan Commandery, and it had seven commanderies - Nanyang (南陽); Jiangxia (江夏; north of the Yangtze River); Xiangyang (襄陽); Nanxiang (南鄉); Xincheng (新城); Shangyong (上庸); Weixing (魏興) - under its jurisdiction. On the other hand, the Wu-governed Jingzhou had its administrative centre in Jiangling (江陵), Nan Commandery, with 11 commanderies - Nan (南); Jiangxia (江夏; south of the Yangtze River); Changsha (長沙); Xiangdong (湘東); Guiyang (桂陽); Linhe (臨賀); Lingling (零陵); Hengyang (衡陽); Wuling (武陵); Jianping (建平); Yidu (宜都) - under its charge.
Southern and Northern Dynasties period 
During the Southern and Northern Dynasties period (420-589), China was further divided into many administrative divisions so the land area in each division was reduced. The Liu Song Dynasty (420-479) established Jingzhou's capital in Xiangyang (襄陽; present-day Xiangyang, Hubei). The Southern Qi (479–502) changed Jingzhou's capital to Nan Commandery and made Xiangyang (renamed to Ningman Prefecture 寧蠻府) the capital of another province, Yongzhou. In 497 the Northern Wei Dynasty (386–535) set up an administrative division called Jingzhou in Rang (穰; present-day Dengzhou, Henan) with eight commanderies under its charge. The capital was later moved to Shanbei (山北; present-day Lushan County, Henan). The Northern Wei also established an administrative division called East Jingzhou (東荊州), with its capital in Ciyang (泚陽; present-day Ciyang, Henan).
Sui Dynasty 
In 583 during the Sui Dynasty (589–618), Emperor Wen abolished the commandery system and replaced it with prefectures and counties as administrative divisions. However Emperor Wen's successor Emperor Yang restored commanderies and adopted the commandery and county system used during the Qin Dynasty (221 BC–206 BC). From then on, Jingzhou no longer referred to the large province that used to cover Hubei and Hunan, but rather, the present-day city of Jingzhou in Hubei. The city of Jingzhou was also known as Nan Commandery (南郡), Jiangling Commandery (江陵郡), Jiangling Prefecture (江陵府), and Jingzhou Prefecture (荊州府).
- (於是南郡、零陵、武陵以西為蜀，江夏、桂陽、長沙三郡為吳，南陽、襄陽、南鄉三郡為魏。) Fang Xuanling et al. Book of Jin, Volume 15, Treatises Five: Geography Part Two.