An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

The Regional State of Xue 薛

Nov 1, 2018 © Ulrich Theobald

The small state of Xue 薛, also written 辥, was a regional state of the Zhou period 周 (11th cent.-221 BCE). It was located in the western parts of the Shandong peninsula, close to the modern city of Tengzhou 滕州. The state was ruled by a family called Ren 任 who saw themselves as descendants of the Yellow Emperor 黃帝. The foundner of the house was called Yu Yang 禺陽 (or Yu Hao 禺䝞) and dwelled in Ren 任 (today's Jining 濟寧, Shandong, or Renqiu 任丘, Hebei). His descendant Xi Zhong 奚仲 lived during the Xia period 夏 (21th-17th cent. BCE) and served as "rectifier of carts" (chezheng 車正). He first lived in Xue (Zaozhuang 棗莊,Shandong ), then in Pi 邳 (Weishan 微山, Shandong). His seventh-generation offspring Zu Ji 祖己 ruled in the state of Zhi 摯 (Pingyu 平輿, Henan). The mother of Ji Chang 姬昌, the Viscount of the West 西伯 and eventual King Wen of Zhou 周文王, was a daughter of Zhi. For this reason, Zhi was appointed lord of Xue, when King Wu founded the Zhou dynasty.

The history of Xue during the Western Zhou 西周 (11th cent.-770 BCE) and Spring and Autumn 春秋 (770-5th cent. BCE) periods is not well known, and the value of the transmitted lists of rulers is doubtful.

In 418, the settlement of Xue was devastated by the state of Qi 齊, and their lords moved to Xiapi 下邳 (today's Pixian 邳縣, Jiangsu). During the Warring States period 戰國 (5th cent.-221 BCE), Prince Gongzi Deng 公子登 served King Huai of Chu 楚懷王 (r. 329-299). He was given the territory of Pei 沛 and granted the surname Xue. In 351, the ancient place of Xue was given into the hands of Tian Ying 田嬰, Lord Jingguo 靖郭君, who was called Duke of Xue 薛公. Tian Ying's son was Lord Mengchang 孟嘗君, one of the famous nobles of the late Warring States period.

Table 1. Rulers of the regional state of Xue 薛
Capital: Xue 薛 (today's Tengzhou 滕州, Shandong), Xiapi 下邳 (Pixian 邳縣, Jiangsu)
dynastic title personal name time
Yu Hao 禺䝞
Fan Yu 番禺
Xi Zhong 奚仲
Ji Guang 吉光
Zhong Hui 仲虺
Chen Hu 臣扈
Zu Ji 祖巳
Cheng 成 11th cent.
Xue Hou Qi 薛侯戚 Ren Qi 任戚 10th cent.
The Viscount of Xue 薛伯 ?-663
Xue Xiangong 薛獻公, Xue Bo Gu 薛伯穀 Ren Gu 任穀 578-511
Xue Xianggong 薛襄公, Xue Bo Ding 薛伯定, Xue Dinggong 薛侯定 Ren Ding 任定 510-498
Lord Bi 君比 Ren Bi 任比 497-496
Xue Huigong 薛惠公, Xue Bo Yi 薛伯夷 Ren Yi 任夷 495-482
418 Xue destroyed by Qi
Chen Houyao 陳厚耀 (1800). Chunqiu shizu pu 春秋世族譜 (Lianghu Shuyuan Zhengxuetang edition 兩湖書院正學堂本, 1899).
Xiong Tiejin 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), 146.
Wang Wenyuan 王文源 (1845). Chunqiu shizu jilüe 春秋世族輯略 (Xuxiu siku quanshu 續修四庫全書. 124).