A statue of a man, dating from the State of Yue era
The name "Yue" was applied indiscriminately to many southern Chinese peoples throughout classical Chinese texts. A specific kingdom under their name in modern Zhejiang is not mentioned until it began a series of wars against its northern neighbor Wu in the late 6th century BC.
With help from Wu's enemy Chu, Yue was able to be victorious after several decades of conflict. KingGoujian destroyed and annexed Wu in 473 BC. Competing against the fewer, more powerful Warring States, Yue did not fare as well. During the reign of Wujiang (無彊), six generations after Goujian, Yue was destroyed and annexed by Chu in 334 BC.
During its existence, Yue was famous for the quality of its metalworking, particularly its swords. Examples include the extremely well-preserved Swords of Goujian and Zhougou.
The Yue state appears to have been a largely indigenous political development in the lower Yangtze. This region corresponds with that of the old corded-ware Neolithic, and it continued to be one that shared a number of practices, such as tooth extraction, pile building, and cliff burial, practices that continued until relatively recent times in places such as Taiwan. Austronesian speakers also still lived in the region down to its conquest and sinification beginning about 240 B.C.
After the fall of Yue, the ruling family moved south to what is now northern Fujian and set up the Minyue kingdom. This successor state lasted until around 150 BC, when it miscalculated an alliance with the Han dynasty.
Mingdi, Wujiang's second son, was appointed minister of Wucheng (present-day Huzhou's Wuxing District) by the king of Chu. He was titled Marquis of Ouyang Ting, from a pavilion on the south side of Ouyu Mountain. The first Qin dynasty emperor Qin Shi Huang abolished the title after his conquest of Chu in 223 BC, but descendants and subjects of its former rulers took up the surnames Ou, Ouyang, and Ouhou (歐侯) in remembrance.