Eighteen Kingdoms

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Approximate location of the Eighteen Kingdoms.

The historiographical term "Eighteen Kingdoms" (Chinese: 十八國), also translated to as "Eighteen States", refers to the eighteen fengjian states in China created by military leader Xiang Yu in 206 BCE, after the collapse of the Qin dynasty.[1] The establishment and abolishment of the Eighteen Kingdoms marked the beginning and end of a turbulent interregnum known as the Chu-Han Contention.

The details of the feudal division are as follows:

Name Name (Chinese) Ruler Areas covered (in present-day China)
Western Chu 西楚 Xiang Yu Jiangsu, northern Anhui, northern Zhejiang, eastern and southern Henan
Hàn 漢/汉 Liu Bang Sichuan, Chongqing, southern Shaanxi
Yong[a] Zhang Han (Qin general) central Shaanxi, and eastern Gansu
Sai[a] Sima Xin (Qin general) northeastern Shaanxi
Di[a] Dong Yi (Qin general) northern Shaanxi
Hengshan 衡山 Wu Rui (Qin official supported by Yue tribes) eastern Hubei, Jiangxi
Hán Han Cheng (Hán royalty) southwestern Henan
Dai Zhao Xie (Zhao royalty) northern Shanxi, northwestern Hebei
Henan 河南 Shen Yang (Zhao official) northwestern Henan
Changshan 常山 Zhang Er (Zhao vice chancellor) central Hebei
Yin Sima Ang (Zhao general) northern Henan, southern Hebei
Western Wei 西魏 Wei Bao (Wei royalty) southern Shanxi
Jiujiang 九江 Ying Bu (Chu general) central and southern Anhui
Linjiang 臨江 Gong Ao (Chu general) western Hubei, northern Hunan
Yan Zang Tu (Yan general) northern Hebei, Beijing, Tianjin
Liaodong 遼東 Han Guang (Yan royalty) southern Liaoning
Qi[b] 齊 or 齐 Tian Du (Qi general) western and central Shandong
Jiaodong[b] 膠東 Tian Fu (Qi royalty) eastern Shandong
Jibei[b] 濟北 Tian An (Qi rebel leader) northern Shandong

The Eighteen Kingdoms were short-lived: almost immediately rebellion broke out in Qi, after which Tian Rong conquered Jiaodong and Jibei, reuniting the old Qi state. Meanwhile, Xiang Yu had Emperor Yi of Chu and King Han Cheng of Hán killed. Thereafter, Liu Bang of Hàn conquered the lands of the Three Qins, thereby formally starting the Chu–Han Contention. Following many battles and changing alliances, Hàn defeated Chu and subdued all other kingdoms, where Liu Bang appointed vassal kings while making himself the first Emperor of the Han dynasty in 202 BCE.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Yong, Sai and Di were collectively known as the Three Qins because they occupied the area of the former Qin state, better known as Guanzhong.
  2. ^ a b c Jiaodong, Qi and Jibei were collectively known as the Three Qis because they occupied the area of the former Qi state.


  1. ^ 林达礼,中华五千年大事记, 台南大孚书局, 1982, p. 56