King Wen of Zhou
(Chinese: 周文王; pinyin: Zhōu Wén Wáng
; Wade-Giles: Chou Wen-wang
) original name Ji Chang
(Chinese: 姬昌; pinyin: Jī Chāng
) (1099–1050 BC) was the founder of the Zhou Dynasty. He was the son of King Ji of Zhou, the third son of King Tai of Zhou, and the favored grandson of his grandfather. He was the nephew of Wu Taibo and Zhongyong, both rulers of the State of Wu at one time.
The Zhou state was located in the Wei River valley in present day Shaanxi Province. At one point, King Zhou of Shang, fearing Wen's growing power, imprisoned him in Youli (羑里 - present day Tangyin in Henan Province). However, many officials respected Wen for his honourable governing. So they gave King Zhou many gifts, and requested Wen's release. These gifts included gold, horses and women. Zhou agreed, and Wen was released.
King Wen planned the conquest of the current dynasty in power, the Shang Dynasty, but he died before he could accomplish this.
His family name was Ji (Chinese: 姬; pinyin: jī
). He married TaiSi (Chinese: 太姒; pinyin: Tàisì
) and had at least ten sons, two of who were Zhou Gong Wu (Chinese: 周公武; pinyin: Zhōu Gōng Wǔ
) and Zhou Gong Dan. His second son became King Wu of Zhou and completed his father's wishes by defeating the Shang army at their capital. He eventually became the first king of the new Zhou dynasty with his capital at Zhouyuan (Chinese: 周原; pinyin: Zhōuyuán
) in present day Qishan County, Shaanxi Province. This he later relocated to Haojing (沣京/灃京) near present day Xi'an, Shaanxi Province.
King Wen is also known for his contributions to the Yi Jing, a manual of divination. King Wen is attributed with having stacked the eight trigrams in their various permutations, to create the sixty-four hexagrams. He is also said to have written the judgements which are appended to each hexagram (the line statements are attributed to his son, the Duke of Zhou. The most commonly used sequence of the sixty four hexagrams is attributed to King Wen and is usually referred to as the King Wen sequence.