Duke Huan of Lu
Ruler of Lu
Reign711–694 BC
PredecessorDuke Yin of Lu
SuccessorDuke Zhuang of Lu
Died694 BC
SpouseWen Jiang (daughter of Duke Xi of Qi)
IssueDuke Zhuang of Lu
Qingfu (慶父)
Shu Ya (叔牙)
Ji You (季友)
Ancestral name: Ji (姬)
Given name: Yun (允) or Gui (軌)
HouseHouse of Ji
FatherDuke Hui of Lu
MotherZhong Zi (仲子, daughter of Duke Wu of Song)

Duke Huan of Lu (Chinese: 魯桓公; pinyin: Lǔ Huán Gōng, died 694 BC) was from 711 to 694 BC the 15th ruler of the State of Lu during the Spring and Autumn period of ancient China. His ancestral name was Ji (), given name Yun (允) or Gui (軌), and Duke Huan was his posthumous title.[1][2]

Early life

Duke Huan was the son of Duke Hui of Lu and his main wife Zhong Zi (仲子), daughter of Duke Wu of the State of Song. Duke Hui also had another son, Xigu (later Duke Yin of Lu), whose mother was a concubine. Although Xigu was the older son, Duke Huan was made the crown prince owing to the higher status of his mother.[2][3]

Accession to the throne

In 723 BC Duke Hui died after 46 years of reign. Although Duke Huan was the crown prince, he was then a little boy and his older half-brother Duke Yin ascended the throne with the understanding that he would rule as a regent until Duke Huan grew up.[1][2]

In 712 BC, Duke Yin's brother Prince Hui suggested that Duke Yin kill Duke Huan and permanently take the throne, but Duke Yin refused. Afraid that he would be killed if the word leaked out, Prince Hui went to Duke Huan and falsely accused Duke Yin of planning to kill him, offering to kill Duke Yin first. Duke Huan agreed. In the eleventh month of that year Prince Hui had Duke Yin assassinated when he was making sacrificial offerings, and Duke Huan ascended the throne as planned.[1][2]


In 709 BC, Duke Huan married Wen Jiang, daughter of Duke Xi of Qi, one of the most powerful states during the Spring and Autumn period. Three years later, Wen Jiang gave birth to a boy. The boy had the same birthday as his father, therefore he was given the name Tong, meaning "the same". Tong was made Crown Prince of Lu.[1][2]

In 696 BC, the State of Zheng was in turmoil. After trying unsuccessfully to kill the powerful minister Zhai Zhong, Duke Li of Zheng fled and Zhai installed Duke Li's half-brother Duke Zhao of Zheng on the throne. Duke Huan of Lu and Duke Zhuang of Song attacked Zheng in an attempt to restore Duke Li, but were defeated.[1][2]

Death and succession

In 698 BC Wen Jiang's father Duke Xi of Qi died and was succeeded by his son Duke Xiang of Qi. Before her marriage to Duke Huan of Lu, Wen Jiang and her older half-brother Duke Xiang had had an incestuous relationship.[1][2][4]

In 694 BC, the eighteenth year of his reign, Duke Huan visited the State of Qi with his wife, and Duke Xiang and Wen Jiang renewed their sexual liaison. When Duke Huan found out about their relationship, Duke Xiang ordered his half brother Prince Pengsheng to murder Duke Huan when he was drunk.[1][2][4]

The people of Lu were incensed at Duke Xiang's crime, but could not do anything because Qi was a stronger state. To appease Lu, Duke Xiang had Pengsheng executed as a scapegoat. Crown Prince Tong, the son of Duke Huan and Wen Jiang, subsequently succeeded his father as ruler of Lu, to be known as Duke Zhuang of Lu.[1][2][4]

Other children

Besides Duke Zhuang, Duke Huan and Wen Jiang had two other sons named Shu Ya and Ji You. Duke Huan also had an older son named Qingfu with a concubine. Qingfu, Shu Ya, and Ji You were founders of three powerful clans that later controlled the power of Lu. Together they were called the Three Huan for all being descendants of Duke Huan. Ji You's lineage, called Jisun or Ji, eventually formed the splinter state of Fei.[1][2][5]

Duke Huan of Lu's son through Qingfu (慶父) was the ancestor of Mencius. He was descended from Duke Yang of the State of Lu 魯煬公 Duke Yang was the son of Bo Qin, who was the son of the Duke of Zhou of the Zhou dynasty royal family. The genealogy is found in the Mencius family tree (孟子世家大宗世系).[6][7][8]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Sima Qian. 鲁周公世家 [House of Duke of Zhou of Lu]. Records of the Grand Historian (in Chinese). Guoxue.com. Retrieved 14 May 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Han Zhaoqi (韩兆琦), ed. (2010). Shiji (史记) (in Chinese). Beijing: Zhonghua Book Company. pp. 2639–2646. ISBN 978-7-101-07272-3.
  3. ^ Zuo Qiuming (translated by James Legge). "Book I. Duke Yin". Zuo Zhuan (in Chinese and English). University of Virginia. Retrieved 16 May 2012. Chapter I.
  4. ^ a b c Zuo Qiuming (translated by James Legge). "Book II. Duke Huan". Zuo Zhuan (in Chinese and English). University of Virginia. Retrieved 16 May 2012. Chapter XII.
  5. ^ Zuo Qiuming (translated by James Legge). "Book III. Duke Zhuang". Zuo Zhuan (in Chinese and English). University of Virginia. Retrieved 16 May 2012.
  6. ^ 《三遷志》,(清)孟衍泰續修
  7. ^ 《孟子世家譜》,(清)孟廣均主編,1824年
  8. ^ 《孟子與孟氏家族》,孟祥居編,2005年
Duke Huan of Lu
Cadet branch of the House of Ji
 Died: 694 BC
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Duke Yin of Lu
Duke of Lu
711–694 BC
Succeeded by
Duke Zhuang of Lu