Emperor Wu of Zhou Dynasty – Part 2/4

To defeat the Shang Dynasty, King Wu crossed the Yellow River and immediately marched his army toward the capital.

At the Battle of Muye, the Zhou army was outnumbered more than three to one with less than fifty thousand troops against one hundred and seventy thousand.

However, during the battle, many slaves and conscripted prisoners of war from other tribes in the Shang army changed sides to fight with the Zhou army.

Video: Chinese with English subtitles

The remaining Shang army offered little resistance after that.  The Shang king fled to his capital leaving what was left of his army behind. Once he arrived at his capital, he set himself on fire.

To honor his father, King Wu named him the founder of the Zhou Dynasty (1126 – 222 B.C.). Now an Emperor, Wu established a feudal kingdom built on a patriarchal clan system.

The agricultural system of the time required peasants to not only farm the land they owned but also a plot of state land—this was called the “jing-fields” system.

Return to Emperor Wu of Zhou Dynasty – Part 1 or continue with Part 3


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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