King Xiaowen of Qin

King Xiaowen of Qin (reigned 250 BC) was a Chinese king, who had a very brief reign. He is also known as Lord Anguo (安國君). His grandson was Emperor Qin Shi Huang.

King Xiaowen of Qin
Reign 13 September 250 BC – 15 September 250 BC
Predecessor King Zhaoxiang
Successor King Zhuangxiang
Born 302 BC
Died 250 BC (aged 51–52)
Spouse Queen Dowager Huayang
Queen Dowager Xia
Issue King Zhuangxiang of Qin
Full name
Ancestral name: Ying (嬴)
Given name: Zhu (柱)
Father King Zhaoxiang of Qin
Mother Queen Dowager Tang


Xiaowen was a son of the King Zhaoxiang of Qin and Queen Tang and grandson of Queen Dowager Xuan.

He was a king of the Qin for less than one year, and died three days after his coronation.

This gave rise to many theories as to his short reign. The most accepted one is that he was very old when he ascended to the throne (his father ruled for over 50 years).[1]

However, there is a conspiracy theory: that Lü Buwei poisoned the king or at least hastened his death, to put the next king, King Zhuangxiang of Qin onto the throne. This is supported in a way by the fact that Zhuangxiang reigned for only 3 years.[2]


Wives of Xiaowen were Ladies Huayang and Xia.

His son by Lady Xia was King Zhuangxiang of Qin.[3]

Lady Huayang was the favourite wife of Xiaowen and had great influence on him.


  1. ^ Nicola Di Cosmo, The Northern Frontier in Pre-Imperial China//The Cambridge History of Ancient China, p. 961
  2. ^ Sellman, James D. "The Spring and Autumn Annals of Master Lu", in Great Thinkers of the Eastern World, Ian McGreal, ed. New York: Harper Collins, 1995:39.
  3. ^ ‘‘Records of the Grand Historian: Qin Dynasty (English translation). (1996). Ssu-Ma, Ch'ien. Sima, Qian. Burton Watson as translator. Edition: 3, reissue, revised. Columbia. University Press. ISBN 0231081693, 9780231081696. pg 35. pg 59.
King Xiaowen of Qin
 Died: 250 BC
Regnal titles
Preceded by
King Zhaoxiang
King of Qin
250 BC
Succeeded by
King Zhuangxiang

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