King Zhao of Zhou

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. The dates of his reign are 995-977 BC or 977/75-957.


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 were 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 thus marking the end of his reign.

Last update 19-06-2012

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