Western Zhou Dynasty

Zhou Dynasty
about 800 years
The Zhou dynasty
1045 BC–256 BC
Western Zhou
1046-771 B.C.
Eastern Zhou
Spring & Autumn
770-403 B.C
Eastern Zhou
Warring States
403-256 B.C.
King Wu of Zhou Attacked/Punished
King Zhou of Shang
King Wǔ of Zhōu (Chinese: 周武王; pinyin:
zhōu wǔ wáng) or King Wu of Chou was the
first sovereign, or ruler of the Chinese Zhōu
Dynasty. The dates of his reign are 10461043 BCE or 1049/45-1043 (Cambridge
History of Ancient China).
讨伐【tǎofá】 send a punitive expedition
against (associated with justice,口诛笔伐
【kǒuzhūbǐfá】 condemn both in speech and
in writing.)
Battle of Muye
Victor Huang Weide as King Wu
The Battle of Muye
(or Mu) (牧野之戰)
was fought in China
perhaps 1046 BC.
The battle led to the
end of the Shang
dynasty, and the
beginning of the
Zhou dynasty.
Portrait of the Duke of Zhou
Idol for Confucius
the brother of King Wu of
Zhou, the first king of the
ancient Chinese Zhou
he annotated the 64
hexagrams and completed
the classic of I Ching (The
Book of Changes or the
Classic of Changes),
established the Rites of
Zhou, and created the
Yayue 雅乐 of Chinese
classical music.
Elegant/Refined Music
Court Music
The basic conventions of yayue 雅乐 were
established in the Western Zhou. Together with law
and rites, it formed the formal representation of
aristocratic political power. Its entertaining function
is secondary. [雅【yǎ】 standard; proper; correct]
According to tradition, yayue was created by the
Duke of Zhou under commission from King Wu of
Zhou, shortly after the latter's conquest of Shang.
Incorporated within yayue were elements of
shamanistic or religious traditions, as well as early
Chinese folk music.
“Metal Bound Box”
Patricia Ebrey’s Sourcebook 6-7
Partial knowledge leads to
隔阂【géhé】 estrangement; misunderstanding;
Gestalt 1920–25; < German: figure, form, structure,
unified whole
Mandate of Heaven
天命【tiānmìng】 God's will; the
mandate of heaven; destiny; fate.
In order to counter the Shang's claims to divine right
of rule due to their descent from the god Ti, the Duke
of Zhou formulated the doctrine of the Mandate of
Heaven. According to this doctrine, the Shang had
grossly offended Heaven: thus Heaven had
commanded the reluctant Zhou to replace them and
restore order. He is also credited with the creation of
the fengjian (feudalistic) enfeoffment system, a
political ideology that used ranking methods and
regional governors to keep control of the expanding
Zhou Dynasty.
Consult Ebrey’s East Asia 17;
Divine right of kings
君权神授【jūnquánshénshòu】 moꞌnarchical
power granted by heaven; divine power
The divine right of kings, or divine-right
theory of kingship, is a political and
religious doctrine of royal and political
legitimacy. It asserts that a monarch is
subject to no earthly authority, deriving his
right to rule directly from the will of God.
the system of enfeoffment
分封制【fēnfēngzhì】 the system of
enfeoffment (of the Western Zhou
Dynasty, c.11th. century-771 B.C.,
investing the nobility with hereditary
titles, territories and slaves).
in the Zhou Dynasty
the 'nine squares'
system with one large
square divided into 9
small ones (like the
Chinese character 井),
the 8 outer ones being
allocated to serfs who
had to cultivate the
central one for the serf
Principles on Enfeoffment
1. who shared the same family name
(嫡系【díxì】 direct line of descent; one's own
clique; 庶出【shùchū】 <old> of or by the concubine
(as distinguished from the legal wife);
2. founding generals;
3. descendants of the ancient kings
The system of enfeoffment was one of the major
measures adopted by the Western Zhou dynasty to
consolidate its power.
King You of Zhou
周幽王 r. 781 to 771 BCE.
beacon tower on the
Great Wall for the
military purpose;
The Wolf is
褒姒 baosi, his
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