State of Yan

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YanZhuan.jpg
State of Yan
(small seal script, 220 BC)

Yan (pinyin: yan1, simplified Chinese/traditional Chinese: 燕) was a state during the Western Zhou, Spring and Autumn and Warring States Periods in China. Its capital was Ji (nowadays Beijing). As the most northeastern of all the Chinese states during this time period, it suffered several invasions from the north. The states of Zhao and Qi were its main enemies, and Zhao in particular launched several invasions.

However, the strongest opposition came from the Qi instead. In 314 Bc, taking advantage of a succession crisis within the Yan, Qi invaded and in a little over several months practically conquered the country. However, due to the misconduct of Qi troops during the conquest of Yan a revolt eventually drove them away.

Yan's new king, King Zhao of Yan then plotted with the states of Zhao, Qin, Han and Wei for a joint expedition against the Qi. Led by the brilliant tactician Yue Yi, it was highly successful and within a year most of the Qi's seventy walled cities had fallen, with the exception of Zimu and Lu. However with the death of King Zhao and the expulsion of Yue Yi to Zhao by the new king, King Wei of the Yan, Tian Shan managed to recapture all of the cities from the 5 kingdoms.

Still, it survived through most of the Warring States period. In 227 BC, the Yan Prince Dan sent an assassin named Jing Ke to kill King Shi Huangdi of Qin, without success.

Enraged, Shi Huangdi called on Wang Zhan to destroy the Yan. Crushing them at Yishui, Ji fell the following year and the ruler, King Qi of Yan, fled to the Liaodong Penninsula.

In 222 BC Liaodong fell as well, and Yan was totally conquered by Qin.fr:Yan (tat) no:Yan (stat) zh:燕国

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