An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

Zhong Hui 仲虺

Feb 5, 2012 © Ulrich Theobald

Zhong Hui 仲虺, also called Zhong Lei 中𤳹 (according to some sources, his courtesy name was Zhong 仲, his personal name Hui 虺), was a high minister of Tang the Perfect 成湯, founder of the Shang dynasty 商 (17th-11th cent. BCE).

He was a descendant of Xi Zhong 奚仲 (or Lai Zhu 莱朱) the "rectifier of carts" (chezheng 車正), who lived during the Xia period 夏 (17th-15th cent. BCE). Zhong Hui first dwelled in Xue 薛 (modern Tengxian 滕县, Shangong) and later moved to Dajiong 大坰. Zhong Hui was left counsellor-in-chief (zuoxiang 左相), while Yi Yin 伊尹 was the right counsellor-in-chief (youxiang 右相).

When he became a servant of Tang the Perfect, he made a famous announcement (Zhong Hui zhi gao 仲虺之誥), in which he stressed his support for Tang in the conquest of the Xia. Unfortunately the original text of his announcement, that was a text in the Classic Shangshu 尚書 "Book of Documents", is lost, and was replaced later by a reconstrution in the so-called Old-Text Shangshu 古文尚書.

Xiong Tieji 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), 365.