An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

Zhou Kangwang 周康王, King Kang of Zhou

Feb 23, 2011 © Ulrich Theobald

King Kang of Zhou 周康王 (r. 1079-1053), King Kang of Zhou, personal name Ji Zhao 姬釗, was a son of King Cheng 周成王 and the third ruler of the Zhou dynasty 周 (11th cent.-221 BCE).

He is important for his efforts for the further consolidation of the dynasty. Admonishing the regional rulers (zhuhou 諸侯) to obey the instructions of the dynastic founders, King Wen 周文王 and King Wu 周武王, he proclaimed the "Announcement of Prince Kang" (Kang gao 康誥, now a chapter of the Confucian Classic Shangshu 尚書).

King Kang proclaimed an edict to Duke of Bi 畢 (known as the Biming 畢命) to take over the administration of the eastern capital Chengzhou 成周 (or Luoyi 雒邑, modern Luoyang 洛陽, Henan).

From the inscriptions in bronze vessels, much be learned about further investitures not mentioned in historiographic sources: The marquis of Jin 晉 was ordered to take over responsibility for the royal residence in Gongmei 宮美. Yu 盂 was to oversee four domains, and nobleman called Ze 夨 was made regional ruler of the territory of Yi 宜 in the southeast. Yu later commanded the royal army on a successful campaign against the Guifang 鬼方 barbarians in the north. King Kang and his father are famous for their peaceful government during which it was not necessary to make use of the penal law at all.

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Xiong Tieji 熊鐵基, Yang Youli 楊有禮, ed. (1994). Zhongguo diwang zaixiang cidian 中國帝王宰相辭典 (Wuhan: Hubei jiaoyu chubanshe), 26.
Xue Hong 薛虹 et al., ed. (1998). Zhongguo huangshi gongting cidian 中國皇室宮廷辭典 (Changchun: Jilin wenshi chubanshe), 714.