Kong Jia
King of the Xia dynasty
Reign1789–1758 BC
PredecessorJin of Xia
SuccessorGao
IssueKing Fa
FatherBu Jiang

Kǒng Jiǎ (孔甲) was a king of ancient China,[1] family name Sì (姒), the 14th ruler of the semi-legendary Xia dynasty. He possibly ruled for 31 years.[2]

Family

Kong Jia was a son of King Bù Jiàng[3] and an unknown woman and grandson of King Xie of Xia.

His uncle was King Jiong of Xia and his cousin was King Jǐn.[4]

He had many beautiful concubines. He fathered Gāo and was a grandfather of King Houjin.[5]

Biography

In the Grand Historian, King Kong Jia didn't get the throne from his father, the 13th king of Xia Dynasty, because of him being superstitious and absurd. After his father died, his uncle and cousin became the 14th and 15th king of Xia kingdom. When they all died, Kong Jia finally ascended to the throne and became the 16th king of his country. He loved the supernatural, and, following his example, there were soon many so-called witches. The entire population turned to prayers and oracles instead of working.

Some years later, a celestial gave King Kong Jia two dragons; but they were torpid and ill looking. Kong Jia, in an effort to please them, had a pagoda and lake built for them, but sick they remained. At length there came a man who said he knew what to do. He had 28 men stand in the shapes of the constellations, and wave huge white flags to imitate the clouds. He set gun powder in place of thunder, and firecrackers for lightning. He also had men churn the water of the lake, so the waves leapt high.

When he gave his signal, the thunder rumbled, lightning flashed, clouds waved, and water foamed. The dragons, fancying themselves in the heavens again, jumped into the water.

However, he accidentally killed one dragon; and didn't know how to deal with the dragon's body, so he made it a delicious meal and provided to Kong Jia. After this horrible behavior was found out, this person ran away with his whole family.

The second dragon keeper was very straight-forward and displeased Kong Jia many times; so he was sentenced to death and poorly buried outside of the capital city. After this there were terrible storms and fires, which Kong Jia believed to be caused by the spirit of the dead keeper. He and his witches made many magics and prayers; but on the way home Kong Jia was so scared he actually died of fear.

After King Kong Jia departed, his son King Gao ascended to the throne.[6]

According to the Bamboo Annals, Kong Jia lived in the Xia capital of Xi River (西河).[7]

In the third year of his reign, he hunted at the Fu Mountains (萯山) in Dongyang (东阳).

He composed a song called Eastern Sound (东音), which is also called Song of Broken Axe (破斧之歌).

Kong Jia was very superstitious and all he cared about was alcohol. From his time on, the power of Xia started to decline, and the vassal kings (诸侯) of Xia grew more powerful. During his reign, he stripped power from one of the nobles, Shiwei (豕韦).[8]

See also

Sources

  1. ^ China at War: An Encyclopedia by Xiaobing Li
  2. ^ Milton Walter Meyer: China: A Concise History, p. 126.
  3. ^ Xia Dynasty
  4. ^ Chinese archaeological abstracts: prehistoric to Western Zhou by Albert E. Dien, Jeffrey K. Riegel, Nancy Thompson Price. Online version.
  5. ^ Records of the Grand Historian, vol. Han Dynasty I, translated by Burton Watson (Columbia University, Revised Edition, 1993)
  6. ^ "King Kong Jia of Xia Dynasty".
  7. ^ James Legge (1865), The Chinese Classics, Volume 3, part 1.
  8. ^ Franke, Herbert and Rolf Trauzettel, Das chinesische Kaiserreich, Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag, 1968, ISBN 3-596-60019-7
Kong Jia Xia dynasty Regnal titles Preceded byJin King of China 1789 BC – 1758 BC Succeeded byGao