The warring states period: Historical background

Yuri Pines*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter starts with introducing major textual, archeological, and paleographical sources for the history of the Warring States period. It then focuses on the inter-state dynamics following the de facto dissolution of the state of Jin in 453 bce and up to the Qin unification of 221 bce. In particular, the chapter explores the rise and fall of the state of Wei as the major hegemonic power in the end of the fifth and the first half of the fourth centuries bce; the subsequent rise of Qin and attempts to block it through formation of anti-Qin alliances; and, finally, the collapse of these alliances and the acceleration of Qin’s territorial expansion in the third century bce.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Early China
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9780199328369
StatePublished - 10 Nov 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Oxford University Press 2020.


  • Alliances
  • Bai qi
  • Chu
  • Diplomacy
  • Historiography
  • Qi
  • Qin
  • Sources
  • Wei
  • Zhao


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