An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

Xin, King of Han 韓王信

Mar 8, 2011 © Ulrich Theobald

Xin, King of Han 韓王信 (died 196 BCE) was one of the regional rulers invested by Xiang Yu 項羽 after the end of the Qin dynasty 秦 (221-206 BCE). He was a descendant of King Xiang of the Warring States-period 戰國 (5th cent-221 BCE) state of Han 韓襄王.

When the rebellions broke out against the Qin dynasty, Xin joined Zhang Liang 張良 and Liu Bang 劉邦. After Liu Bang had conquered the metropolitan area around the capital of Qin, Xianyang 咸陽 (modern Xianyang, Shaanxi), Xin was made Defender-in-chief (taiwei 太尉) of Han 韓, a kingdom that first had to be established. Han Xin succeeded in the occupation of the territory of the former state of Han was was subsequently made as King of Han (Dai 代).

He participated in Liu Bang's war against the hegemonial king Xiang Yu, and after the latter's defeat in 202, was affirmed his royal position by Liu Bang who then proclaimed the Han dynasty 漢 (206 BCE-220 CE). His capital was first Yingchuan 潁川 (modern Yuxian 禹縣, Henan), and later Jinyang 晉陽 (modern Linfen 臨汾, Shanxi).

He had to defend the northern border of his kingdom against the invasions of the steppe federation of the Xiongnu 匈奴 and, for reasons of safety, again transferred his residence to Mayi 馬邑 (modern Shuoxian 朔縣, Shanxi). This was of no help, and Xin had to negotiate with Modu (sic!) 冒頓, the khan (chanyu [sic!] 單于) of the Xiongnu.

Liu Bang took these negotiations for conspiracy and sent him a warning letter. Xin was deeply threatened and took refuge at the khan's court. In 196 he was attacked by Liu Bang's general Chai Wu 柴武 and was killed.

Cang Xiuliang 倉修良, ed. (1991). Shiji cidian 史記辭典 (Jinan: Shandong jiaoyu chubanshe), 765.