An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

Zhou Muwang 周穆王, King Mu of Zhou

Dec 19, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald

Zhou Muwang 周穆王 (10th cent. BCE), King Mu of Zhou, was a ruler of the Western Zhou period 西周 (11th cent.-770 BCE). His personal name was Ji Man 姬滿, and he was the son of King Zhao 周昭王.

King Mu is famous for his campaigns against the Quanrong barbarians 犬戎 in the northwest, during which he captured five chieftains and was thus able to resettle the Quanrong to the region of Taiyuan 太原 (in the region of modern Gansu, not modern Taiyuan, Shanxi). He also campaigned successfully against the southern Yue 越. The Yi tribes of Xu 徐夷 attacked the territory of Zhou under the command of King Yan 偃王.

After his victory over the barbarian tribes, King Mu convoked the feudal lords at Tushan 涂山 where Marquis Lü Fu 呂甫侯 made a proclamation on punishments, which is recorded in the Shangshu 尚書 as Lüxing 呂刑 "Marquis Lü on Punishments".

There is a popular tale that King Mu once left the territory of Zhou to travel westward in search for the Queen Mother of the West 西王母, a Daoist deity. The story is told in the Mu Tianzi zhuan 穆天子傳.

Cang Xiuliang 倉修良, ed. (1991). Shiji cidian 史記辭典 (Jinan: Shandong jiaoyu chubanshe), 297.