Pan Geng

Pán Gēng (Chinese: 盤庚), given name Xun (Chinese: 旬), was a shang dynasty King of China. He is best known for having moved the capital of the shang dynasty to Yīn.

In the Records of the Grand Historian he was listed by Sima Qian as the nineteenth Shang king, succeeding his older brother Yang Jia (Chinese: 陽甲). He was enthroned in the year of Bingyin (Chinese: 丙寅) with Yan (Chinese: 奄) as his capital and in the seventh year of his regime, the Ying vassal (Chinese: 应侯) came to Yan to pay homage to him.

In the fourteenth year of his reign he moved his capital to Beimeng (Chinese: 北蒙) renaming it Yin (Chinese: 殷); henceforth the shang dynasty was also called the Yin Dynasty.

In the fifteenth year of his reign he reviewed his army at the new capital and in the nineteenth year of his reign he assigned his minister Fen (Chinese: 邠侯) in Yayu (Chinese: 亚圉).

He ruled about 28 years according to both the Bamboo Annals and the Records of the Grand Historian, was given the posthumous name Pán Gēng and was succeeded by his younger brother Xiao Xin (Chinese: 小辛).

Oracle script inscriptions on bones unearthed at Yinxu alternatively record that he was the eighteenth Shang king.

In the Classic of History, there exists a chapter entitled "Pán Gēng", which tradition holds to have been a speech by this king; however, the language in it is so different from that of Pán Gēng's time that it is most likely not a product of his era.

Historical message

The example of Pan Geng is remembered by Wang Anshi in his response to Sima Guang's accusatory letter.

Last update 18-06-2012

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