Emperor Wu of Zhou Dynasty – Part 3/4

Historical records shows that the Zhou people introduced what would become Chinese social codes—some followed to this day.

Duke Zhou, a younger brother to Emperor Wu, became an important figure after his older brother’s death.

According to tradition, the oldest son would succeed to his father’s position. Due to this, King Wu’s son, Jisong, became emperor after his father’s death.

Jisong became King Cheng but was too young to rule, so his uncle, the Duke of Zhou, became regent.

Some of the vassal states didn’t like this and revolted. Duke Zhou led a military expedition to suppress the revolt.

Video: Chinese with English subtitles

Duke Zhou then wrote China’s first laws known as the Ritual of Zhou—more than 3,000 rules that covered behavior and manners.

The rules also formulated wedding rituals and required ancestral temples in each vassal state, which encouraged loyalty to the king. The Zhou Dynasty attached great important to ritual and music.

The Kings of Zhou proclaimed that they were “the sons of Heaven.”  There were rituals for burials.

Worship for ancestors and Heaven were of prime importance and were practiced into the 20th century, which explains the Temple of Heaven in Beijing.

The Zhou tomb of the Marquis of Jin was discovered in 1992 in Shanxi province. Many jade articles were found.

Return to Emperor Wu of Zhou Dynasty – Part 2 or continue to Part 4


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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