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State of Lu

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Title: State of Lu  
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State of Lu

Not to be confused with Lü (state).
Template:Infobox former country/autocat
State of Lu
c. 1042 BC–249 BC
Capital Qufu
Religion Chinese folk religion, ancestor worship, Taoism
Government Monarchy
Duke Hereditary dukes of the House of Ji (姬)
 -  Established c. 1042 BC
 -  Annexed by Chu 249 BC

Lu (Chinese: 魯國; pinyin: Lǔ Guó, circa 1042–249 BC) was a vassal state during the Zhou Dynasty of ancient China. Founded in the 11th century BC, its rulers were from a cadet branch of the House of Ji (姬) that ruled the Zhou Dynasty. The first duke was Boqin, a son of the Duke of Zhou, who was brother of King Wu of Zhou and regent to King Cheng of Zhou.[1]

Lu was the home state of Confucius as well as Mozi, and as such has an outsized cultural influence among the states of the Eastern Zhou and in history. The Annals of Spring and Autumn, for instance, was written with the Lu rulers' years as their basis. Another great work of Chinese history, Zuo Zhuan was also written in Lu.


The state's capital was in Qufu and its territory mainly covered the central and southwest regions of what is now Shandong Province. It was bordered to the north by the powerful state of Qi and to the south by the powerful state of Chu. The position of Lu on the eastern frontiers of the Western Zhou state, facing the non-Zhou peoples in states such as Lai and Xu, was an important consideration in its foundation.


Lu was one of several states founded in eastern China at the very beginning of the Zhou Dynasty, in order to extend Zhou rule far from its capital at Zongzhou and power base in the Guanzhong region. Throughout Western Zhou times, it played an important role in stabilising Zhou control in modern-day Shandong.

During the early Spring and Autumn Period, Lu was one of the strongest states and a rival of Qi to its north. Under Duke Yin and Duke Huan of Lu, Lu defeated both Qi and Song on several occasions. At the same time, it undertook expeditions against other minor states.

This changed by the middle of the period, as Lu's main rival, Qi, grew increasingly dominant. Although a Qi invasion was defeated in the Battle of Changshao in 684 BC, Lu would never regain the upper hand against its neighbour. Meanwhile, the power of the dukes of Lu was eventually undermined by the powerful feudal clans of Jisun 季孫, Mengsun 孟孫, and Shusun 叔孫 (called the Three Huans because they were descendants of Duke Huan of Lu). The domination of the Three Huans was such that Duke Zhao of Lu, in attempting to regain power, was exiled by them and never returned. It would not be until Duke Mu of Lu's reign, in the early Warring States Period, that power eventually returned to the dukes again.

In 249 BC King Kaolie of the state of Chu invaded and annexed Lu. Duke Qing, the last ruler of Lu, became a commoner.[1][2]


List of Lu rulers based on the Records of the Grand Historian by Sima Qian:[1][2]

Title Given name Reign Relationship
Boqin c. 1042–997 BC son of Duke of Zhou
Duke Kao You 998–995 BC son of Boqin
Duke Yang Xi or Yi 994–989 BC brother of Duke Kao
Duke You Zai or Yu 988–975 BC son of Duke Yang
Duke Wei Fei 974–925 BC brother of Duke You
Duke Li Zhuo or Di 924–888 BC son of Duke Wei
Duke Xian Ju 887–856 BC brother of Duke Li
Duke Shen Bi or Zhi 855–826 BC son of Duke Xian
Duke Wu Ao 825–816 BC brother of Duke Shen
Duke Yi Xi 815–807 BC son of Duke Wu
none Boyu 806–796 BC nephew of Duke Yi
Duke Xiao Cheng 795–769 BC brother of Duke Yi
Duke Hui Fuhuang or Fusheng 768–723 BC son of Duke Xiao
Duke Yin Xigu 722–712 BC son of Duke Hui
Duke Huan Yun 711–694 BC brother of Duke Yin
Duke Zhuang Tong 693–662 BC son of Duke Huan
Ziban Ban 662 BC son of Duke Zhuang
Duke Min Qi 661–660 BC son of Duke Zhuang
Duke Xi Shen 659–627 BC son of Duke Zhuang
Duke Wen I Xing 626–609 BC son of Duke Xi
Duke Xuan Wo 608–591 BC son of Duke Wen I
Duke Cheng Heigong 590–573 BC son of Duke Xuan
Duke Xiang Wu 572–542 BC son of Duke Cheng
Ziye Ye 542 BC son of Duke Xiang
Duke Zhao Chou 541–510 BC son of Duke Xiang
Duke Ding Song 509–495 BC brother of Duke Zhao
Duke Ai Jiang 494–467 BC son of Duke Ding
Duke Dao Ning 466–429 BC son of Duke Ai
Duke Yuan Jia 428–408 BC son of Duke Dao
Duke Mu Xian 407–377 BC son of Duke Yuan
Duke Gong Fen 376–353 BC son of Duke Mu
Duke Kang Tun 352–344 BC son of Duke Gong
Duke Jing Yan 343–323 BC son of Duke Kang
Duke Ping Shu 322–303 BC son of Duke Jing
Duke Wen II Jia 302–278 BC son of Duke Ping
Duke Qing Chou 277–249 BC son of Duke Wen II


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