Ziying (Chinese: 子嬰; pinyin: Zǐyīng; died end of January 206 BC) was the last ruler of the qin dynasty of China, ruling as King of Qin (秦王) from mid-October to the beginning of December 207 BC, and being known posthumously as Qin San Shi (秦三世, in full Qin San Shi Huangdi 秦三世皇帝, literally "the Third Emperor of Qin"). Ziying was the only person within the Qin court to defend and try to presuade Qin Er Shi against the wrongful killings of Meng Tian and Meng Yi, brothers who loyally and faithfully served the Qin Empire as a general (Meng Tian) and official (Meng Yi).

He is traditionally reckoned to have been the son of Fusu, the eldest son of Qin Shi Huangdi. According to historian Wang Liqun, however, he was probably one of Shihuangdi's brothers. He lured and killed the powerful chief eunuch Zhao Gao, who was Prime Minister to the previous emperor Qin Er Shi, and had murdered him. He then surrendered to Liu Bang -- the first rebel leader to enter the capital Xianyang and then later founder of han dynasty. He was only on the throne for 46 days. He was soon killed after Liu Bang handed him over to the most powerful rebel of the time, Xiang Yu.

The identity of Ziying

The Shiji does not specify his age. It implies that he has at least two sons, when it says that Ziying consulted with them. This suggests that Ziying can't be the son of Fusu (as some people have suggested). In Wang Liqun's analysis, he reasoned that the maximum possible age so that Ziying could have been both the son of Fusu and have two fully grown sons is 19. Therefore, his two sons would have been around 1-2 years old. Therefore, he couldn't have consulted with his sons, and by this logic, he can only be the uncle of Ershi, and not the son of Fusu.

There are also some historians suggest that Ziying was son of Chengjiao younger brother of Qin Shihuang.

Last update 15-06-2012

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