King Ji of Zhou

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Jili (simplified Chinese: 季历; traditional Chinese: 季歷; pinyin: Jìlì) was a leader of the Predynastic Zhou during the Shang dynasty of ancient China. His son King Wen and grandson King Wu would defeat the Shang to establish the Zhou dynasty. He was posthumously granted the title of King, and often referred to as King Ji of Zhou (Chinese: 王季; pinyin: Wáng Jì).

Jili was the youngest son of King Tai. Sima Qian recorded that he and his son were both renowned for their wisdom and this reputation caused his elder brothers Taibo and Zhongyong to voluntarily renounce their claims on the throne and leave in exile to Wu.[1]

Surviving historical records portray him travelling to the Shang capital to submit to Wu Yi and being rewarded with land, jade, and horses in 1118 BC.[2] In 1117, he captured 20 "kings" of the Guirong tribes. During the reign of the Shang king Wen Ding, he was defeated by the Yanjing Rong but managed to subdue the Yuwu (余无), Hu (), and Xitu (翳徒) Rong. After the defeat of the Xitu tribe, Wen Ding became nervous and betrayed him, rewarding him richly before dispatching him to a place called Saiku (塞库), where he was killed by Shang forces.

His wife was Tai Ren (太任), who along with Jiang Yuan was credited by Sima Qian with being responsible for the rise and success of Zhou. She came from a place called Zhi () and represented some connection to the Shang royalty.[1]

Jili had at least three sons. One was King Wen whose son King Wu established the Zhou dynasty of China upon defeating the Shang at the Battle of Muye. Another was enfeoffed by King Wu in Western Guo and known as Guo Shu.

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