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What were the ancient 9 provinces?

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#1 Prince of the South

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Posted 01 October 2006 - 07:24 PM

During the Zhou Dynasty, the Zhou King possessed 9 bronze cauldrons, said to be representative of the 9 ancient prefectures of China. When Qin exterminated Zhou in BC 256, The Qin Lord Ying Zheng (Shi Huangdi) had the 9 cauldrons shipped to Xianyang, but one of the vessels alleged fell into the river and never seen again.

Does anyone know the the origins of the 9 ancient prefectures (and their chinese characters) which I believed was dated during Xia-Shang times. One of the prefectures is Jizhou, said to be in around Shanxi province, also known as "Zhongguo"? Any idea? thanks

#2 Yun



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Posted 02 October 2006 - 12:45 AM

The Nine Provinces (Jiu Zhou) concept originates from the Tribute of Yu (Yu Gong) chapter of the Classic of Documents (Shangshu/Shujing), which allegedly (but apocryphally) describes the extent of Yu's domain that was inherited by the Xia dynasty.

The Nine are:
1) Jizhou 冀州
2) Yuzhou 豫州
3) Xuzhou 徐州
4) Yangzhou 扬州
5) Jingzhou 荆州
6) Qingzhou 青州
7) Yongzhou 雍州
8) Yanzhou 兖州
9) Liangzhou 梁州

However, there were two other versions of the Nine Provinces that included Youzhou (幽州) and Yingzhou (营州) instead of Qingzhou and Liangzhou, or Youzhou and Bingzhou (并州) but not Xuzhou and Liangzhou.

These 12 province names were later used by the Eastern Han dynasty as actual administrative regions, and also by the Three Kingdoms, Western Jin, and various Age of Fragmentation dynasties, although the period from Eastern Han to AOF saw a gradual proliferation of other new province names.

The general regions associated with the province names were -
1) Jizhou 冀州: Central Hebei and/or Shanxi
2) Yuzhou 豫州: Henan
3) Xuzhou 徐州: the Huai and Si River basins
4) Yangzhou 扬州: the Lower Yangzi River basin
5) Jingzhou 荆州: the Middle Yangzi River basin
6) Qingzhou 青州: the Shandong Peninsula
7) Yongzhou 雍州: the Wei River basin (i.e. Guanzhong)
8) Yanzhou 兖州: southern Hebei
9) Liangzhou 梁州: the upper Han River basin
10) Youzhou 幽州: northern Hebei. stretching into Inner Mongolia
11) Yingzhou 营州: the Liaodong Peninsula
12) Bingzhou 并州: Shanxi and/or the Ordos Loop

See: http://www.answers.com/topic/jiuzhou
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#3 Prince of the South

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Posted 02 October 2006 - 07:46 PM

thanks for the reply, Yun.

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