CHP-091-Xiang Yu

We’re back in ancient days again, this time the short period in between the Qin and Han Dynasties when two great leaders, Xiang Yu and Liu Bang, contended for the throne left vacant by the deceased first emperor of China, Qin Shihuang.  Xiang Yu has gone down in the annals of Chinese history as one of the most ferocious and greatest of generals and strategists.  Between 206 and 202 BC Xiang Yu of Chu and Liu Bang, the King of Han, fought all over Jiangsu, Anhui, Hebei and Shaanxi. To the victor of this Chu-Han Contention would go the future destiny of China.

TERMS FROM THIS EPISODE  (There’s a lot this time!!!)

  • Ouyang Xiu 欧阳修  Song dynasty statesman and man of letters covered in CHP episode #71
  • Xiang Yu 项羽 Great warrior of the Chu State who fought Liu Bang for supremacy after the fall of the Qin
  • Liu Bang刘邦  Governor or Pei and King of Han, Xiang Yu’s historic rival who went on to found the Han Dynasty
  • Han Gaozu 汉高祖  The regnal name of Liu Bang after he became emperor of China
  • Qin Shihuang 秦始皇 The first emperor from whose name we get the word China.
  • Ying Zheng 嬴政 Qin Shihuang’s name (from the family of Ying)
  • Chu Guo 楚国 The Chu State (Kingdom)
  • Henan 河南 province in the central part of China
  • Jiangsu 江苏 province in the east of China
  • Hubei 湖北  province in the central part of China
  • Hunan 湖南  province in the central part of China
  • Zhejiang 浙江 province in the east of China
  • Yan 燕国  ancient kingdom near the area in present day Beijing
  • Qi  齐国  ancient kingdom in Shandong
  • Chuci  楚辞  The Songs of Chu, the ancient work that contains many poems by Qu Yuan
  • Qu Yuan  屈原  Poet and statesman from Chu who warned King Huai in vain to prepare against the Qin
  • Dongting Lake 洞庭湖 Lake in northeast Hunan that is also a flood basin for the Yangzi River
  • Miluo Jiang  汨罗江 River that empties into Dongting Lake.  Here is where Qu Yuan committed suicide in 278BC
  • Sima Qian  司马迁 China’s most famous historian who wrote the Shiji (史记)Records of the Grand Historian
  • Sichuan  四川  province in the southwest-central part of China
  • Zhang Qian 张骞 The great Han Dynasty adventurer who helped to build relations between China and the lands to the west
  • Chen She  陈涉  Also knoewn as Chen Sheng, he led the Daze Village uprising that led to the fall of the Qin
  • Wu Guang  吴广 Military partner of Chen She
  • Dazexiang Qiyi 大泽乡起义  The uprising inJuly-December 209 BC that spelled the end of the Qin Dynasty
  • Wang Jian 王翦 Qin general during the Warring States period who helped Ying Zheng become the Qin emperor
  • Xiang Liang 项梁  Uncle of Xiang Yu who looked after him in his early years
  • Sunzi Bingfa孙子兵法 The Art of War by Sun Tzu
  • Qin Ershi 秦二世 Son of Qin Shihuang. He became the 2nd Qin emperor
  • Zhang Han  章邯 Qin general who later came over to the side of Xiang Yu
  • Dingtao 定陶  Battle where Xiang Liang was killed
  • Guanzhong 关中  The central plain of the Qin State located near the capital of Xianyang in Shaanxi
  • Xianyang 咸阳  Near present day Xian, the capital of the Qin Dynasty
  • Zhao Gao  赵高  Eunuch during the Qin dynasty and one of the most notorious rogues of Chinese history
  • Xiang Bo项伯  Uncle of Xiang Yu who tried to bring about an alliance between Han and Chu
  • Zhang Liang 张良 Liu Bang’s great general who went on to become a great statesman during the early Han dynasty
  • Nanzheng 南郑  Capital of the Kingdom of Han, in southernmost Shaanxi
  • Shaanxi  陕西 province in central China, not to be confused with its neighbor Shanxi (山西)
  • Chu Han Xiangzheng  楚汉相争 The Chu-Han Contention
  • Chu He Han Jie  楚河汉界  “Chu River, Han Border”, the dividing line in Chinese chess (象棋)
  • Pengcheng  彭城 Capital of the Chu State located in present day Xuzhou
  • Xuzhou 徐州 City in northwest Jiangsu province
  • Suqian  宿迁  City just south of Xuzhou in Jiangsu province
  • Fan Zeng 范增  One of Xiang Yu’s closest advisors and generals
  • Gaixia 垓下  Xiang Yu’s Waterloo…located in northern Anhui
  • Yu Ji 虞姬  Lady Yu, Xiang Yu’s loyal and most favorite concubine
  • Tang Xuanzong 唐玄宗  Tang Dynasty emperor who loved his concubine Yang Guifei
  • Yang Guifei  杨贵妃  Concubine to Tang Xuanzong who was blamed for the An Lushan Rebellion
  • Huai River  淮江 One of China’s great rivers, runs west to east south of the Yellow and north of the Yangzi.
  • Gucheng  古城 City in Hebei near the Shandong border
  • Lu  鲁国  One of China’s most illustrious and greatest states of ancient times, located around Shandong
Xiang Yu 项羽 232 to 202 BC


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