King Zhuangxiang of Qin

King Zhuangxiang of Qin (Chinese: 秦莊襄王), personal name Yiren (Chinese: 異人), later renamed to Zichu (Chinese: 子楚), was the ruler of the Qin state during the 3rd century BC in the warring states period of Chinese history.


Yiren was born to Lord Anguo and his concubine Lady Xia. Yiren was sent by his father to the Zhao state as a hostage. In Zhao he met a businessman, Lü Buwei, who thought that Ying was an extraordinary person and had the potential to become the future ruler of Qin. Lü brought Yiren to his residence and treated him well, presenting him with luxuries and his concubine, Lady Zhao. Lady Zhao later bore Yiren a son named Zheng.

In the meantime, Lü Buwei helped Yiren win the favour of Lord Anguo's favourite concubine, Lady Huayang, and Lady Huayang managed to persuade Lord Anguo to name Yiren as his successor. Lady Huayang was a native of the Chu state and Yiren changed his name to "Zichu" (子楚), meaning "son of Chu". After the death of King Zhaoxiang of Qin, Lord Anguo ascended the throne as King Xiaowen of Qin, but died after reigning for a year. Yiren succeeded King Xiaowen and became King Zhuangxiang of Qin. He appointed Lü Buwei as his chancellor and Zheng as the crown prince.

King Zhuangxiang ruled Qin for three years and died in 247 BC at the age of 35. Historians have suspected that King Zhuangxiang's death was caused by Lü Buwei, as the king discovered Lü's adulterous affairs with Lady Zhao. Another popular belief is that Zheng was not the biological son of King Zhuangxiang, as Lady Zhao was already pregnant with Lü Buwei's child when Lü presented her to Yiren. Zheng succeeded King Zhuangxiang as the ruler of Qin and unified China under the qin dynasty in 221 BC, and proclaimed himself "Qin Shi Huang" (First Emperor of Qin).

Last update 19-06-2012

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