Fei Zi


Fei Zi (?-858 BC), commonly known as Qin Feizi , was a descendant of Bo Yi, the fifth-generation grandson of the important Shang dynasty minister Xilai, and the founder of the state of Qin in the Zhou dynasty. Fei Zi reigned from about 900 BC to 858 BC. Fei Zi was rewarded by King Xiao of Zhou for his skill in raising horses and was granted the title of the first ruler of Qin, known as Qin Ying. In 858 BC, Feizi died and was succeeded by his son, Qin Hou.


Fei Zi’s ancestor was a granddaughter of Zhuan Xu, called Niu Xiu, who assisted Yu in healing water and Shun in training birds and animals. In the time of Goulian, he had sons, Xilai and Jisheng. Zuofu, the fourth grandson of Jisheng, drove for King Mu of the Zhou Dynasty and drove thousands of miles to help him put down the rebellion of King Xu Yan, and was granted the title of Zhao Cheng (now Zhao Cheng County, Hongdong County, Shanxi Province). The descendants of Zuorai were all honoured to live in the city of Zhao because of the favour shown to them by the king of Zhou, and took Zhao as their clan name.


Fei Zi lived in Western Inuqiu (in present day Lixian County, Gansu Province) and was good at raising horses. King Xiao of Zhou summoned Fei Zi and asked him to manage the horses between the Shaanxi and Wei rivers. Under Feizi’s careful care, the horses were multiplied. The king was so pleased that he wanted to abolish Cheng, the first son of Da Luo, and appoint Feizi as his successor. Cheng’s maternal grandfather, Hou Shen, pointed out to King Xiao of Zhou that Zhong bubble was the son of Xi Shen’s ancestor, the daughter of Li Shan and Rong Xuxuan, who had been attached to the Western Zhou due to kinship and kept Xi Chui (i.e. Western Dog Hill). Now that Xishen had intermarried with Da Luo, the Western Rong could be subordinated and the rule of the Western Zhou could be stabilised. King Xiao of Zhou then made Fei Zi a vassal in Qin Yi (north-east of Qing Shui County in Gansu Province) and continued the rituals of the Ying surname, which was called Qin Ying. King Xiaoxiao also did not abolish the succession of Cheng as a way of making friends with the Western Rong.

In 858 BC, Feizi died and his son, the Marquis of Qin, succeeded him.


Because of his skill in raising horses, Fei Zi was rewarded by King Xiao of Zhou with a title to the land of Qin, and became the first ruler of Qin, known as Qin Ying. However, Feizi was only a vassal with a fief of less than 50 miles and was neither a vassal, nor a minister nor a great official.

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