King Zhao of Zhou

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
King Zhao of Zhou
King Zhao of Zhou.jpg
King Zhao
King of China
Reign 977/75-957 BC
Predecessor King Kang of Zhou
Successor King Mu of Zhou
Issue King Mu of Zhou
Full name
Ancestral name: ()
Given name: Xiá (瑕)
House Zhou Dynasty
Father King Kang of Zhou
Died 957 BC

King Zhao of Zhou (Chinese: 周昭王; pinyin: Zhōu Zhāo Wáng) or King Chao of Chou was the fourth king of the Chinese Zhou Dynasty.[1] The dates of his reign are 977/75-957.[2]

Zhao’s reign occurred at a point when the Zhou Dynasty had expanded across the central plains of China and turned its attention to South China. Zhao was killed and his campaigning army was wiped out south of the Han River, establishing the limit of direct control of the south during the Western Zhou Dynasty.

According to the traditional, moralistic rendition of Zhao’s life, he loved pleasure and disregarded politics. As a result, the Zhou Dynasty began to falter under his inept rule. Zhao especially liked rare plants and animals, and decided to go on a trip to the State of Chu, after an emissary claimed that Chu had caught a rare bird. After crossing the Han River, King Zhao realized that this was a trick. After several inconclusive battles with Chu forces, he began to retreat, looting and raiding the countryside as he went. Whilst on a boat on the Han River, the boat sprung a leak and King Zhao drowned.

He was succeeded by his son, King Mu of Zhou.


  1. ^ Sources of Western Zhou History: Inscribed Bronze Vessels by Edward L. Shaughnessy
  2. ^ Cambridge History of Ancient China, pp. 322–323.
King Zhao of Zhou
Died: 977 BC
Regnal titles
Preceded by
King Kang of Zhou
King of China
977/75-957 BC
Succeeded by
King Mu of Zhou