Lu (Chinese: 魯, c. 1042–249 BC) was a vassal state during the Zhou dynasty of ancient China. Founded in the 11th century BC, its rulers were from a cadet branch of the House of Ji (姬) that ruled the Zhou dynasty. The first duke was Boqin, a son of the Duke of Zhou, who was brother of King Wu of Zhou and regent to King Cheng of Zhou.
Lu was the home state of Confucius as well as Mozi, and as such has an outsized cultural influence among the states of the Eastern Zhou and in history. The Annals of Spring and Autumn, for instance, was written with the Lu rulers' years as their basis. Another great work of Chinese history, Zuo Zhuan was also written in Lu.
The state's capital was in Qufu and its territory mainly covered the central and southwest regions of what is now Shandong Province. It was bordered to the north by the powerful state of Qi and to the south by the powerful state of Chu. The position of Lu on the eastern frontiers of the Western Zhou state, facing the non-Zhou peoples in states such as Lai and Xu, was an important consideration in its foundation.
Lu was one of several states founded in eastern China at the very beginning of the Zhou dynasty, in order to extend Zhou rule far from its capital at Zongzhou and power base in the Guanzhong region. Throughout Western Zhou times, it played an important role in stabilising Zhou control in modern-day Shandong.
During the early Spring and Autumn period, Lu was one of the strongest states and a rival of Qi to its north. Under Duke Yin and Duke Huan of Lu, Lu defeated both Qi and Song on several occasions. At the same time, it undertook expeditions against other minor states.
This changed by the middle of the period, as Lu's main rival, Qi, grew increasingly dominant. Although a Qi invasion was defeated in the Battle of Changshao in 684 BC, Lu would never regain the upper hand against its neighbour. Meanwhile, the power of the dukes of Lu was eventually undermined by the powerful feudal clans of Jisun 季孫, Mengsun 孟孫, and Shusun 叔孫 (called the Three Huan because they were descendants of Duke Huan of Lu). The domination of the Three Huan was such that Duke Zhao of Lu, in attempting to regain power, was exiled by them and never returned. It would not be until Duke Mu of Lu's reign, in the early Warring States period, that power eventually returned to the dukes again.
The main line of the Duke of Zhou's descendants came from his firstborn son, the State of Lu ruler Bo Qin's third son Yu (魚) whose descendants adopted the surname Dongye (東野). The Duke of Zhou's offspring held the title of Wujing Boshi (五经博士; 五經博士; Wǔjīng Bóshì).
|Boqin||c. 1042–997 BC||son of Duke of Zhou|
|Duke Kao||You||998–995 BC||son of Boqin|
|Duke Yang||Xi or Yi||994–989 BC||brother of Duke Kao|
|Duke You||Zai or Yu||988–975 BC||son of Duke Yang|
|Duke Wei||Fei||974–925 BC||brother of Duke You|
|Duke Li||Zhuo or Di||924–888 BC||son of Duke Wei|
|Duke Xian||Ju||887–856 BC||brother of Duke Li|
|Duke Shen||Bi or Zhi||855–826 BC||son of Duke Xian|
|Duke Wu||Ao||825–816 BC||brother of Duke Shen|
|Duke Yi||Xi||815–807 BC||son of Duke Wu|
|none||Boyu||806–796 BC||nephew of Duke Yi|
|Duke Xiao||Cheng||795–769 BC||brother of Duke Yi|
|Duke Hui||Fuhuang or Fusheng||768–723 BC||son of Duke Xiao|
|Duke Yin||Xigu||722–712 BC||son of Duke Hui|
|Duke Huan||Yun||711–694 BC||brother of Duke Yin|
|Duke Zhuang||Tong||693–662 BC||son of Duke Huan|
|Ziban||Ban||662 BC||son of Duke Zhuang|
|Duke Min||Qi||661–660 BC||son of Duke Zhuang|
|Duke Xi||Shen||659–627 BC||son of Duke Zhuang|
|Duke Wen I||626–609 BC||son of Duke Xi|
|Duke Xuan||Wo||608–591 BC||son of Duke Wen I|
|Duke Cheng||Heigong||590–573 BC||son of Duke Xuan|
|Duke Xiang||Wu||572–542 BC||son of Duke Cheng|
|Ziye||Ye||542 BC||son of Duke Xiang|
|Duke Zhao||Chou||541–510 BC||son of Duke Xiang|
|Duke Ding||Song||509–495 BC||brother of Duke Zhao|
|Duke Ai||Jiang||494–467 BC||son of Duke Ding|
|Duke Dao||Ning||466–429 BC||son of Duke Ai|
|Duke Yuan||Jia||428–408 BC||son of Duke Dao|
|Duke Mu||Xian||407–377 BC||son of Duke Yuan|
|Duke Gong||Fen||376–353 BC||son of Duke Mu|
|Duke Kang||Tun||352–344 BC||son of Duke Gong|
|Duke Jing||Yan||343–323 BC||son of Duke Kang|
|Duke Ping||Shu||322–303 BC||son of Duke Jing|
|Duke Wen II||Jia||302–278 BC||son of Duke Ping|
|Duke Qing||Chou||277–249 BC||son of Duke Wen II|