Historical Geography Research ›› 2020, Vol. 40 ›› Issue (1): 63-82.

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On Huairui and Yuzhang: Reconstructing the Geography of the Battle of Wu Conquest of Ying

Lei Chinhau   

  1. Department of Literature and Cultural Studies, Education University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
  • Received:2019-11-17 Online:2020-02-20 Published:2020-05-07


Three contradictory theories have been proposed so far about the geography of the Battle of Wu Conquest of Ying in 506 BC. Combining paleographical sources, transmitted classics, and data collected from field trips, this article argues for a reinvestigation of this issue. Firstly, it probes into Huairei and Yuzhang, two controversial place names recorded in classical texts crucial for locating the war. Based on a precise understanding of place names, it reconstructs the geography of the battle by contextualizing it into the land and water transportation network in Central China. The result is explicit. The Wu State maneuvered its troops through the waterway of the Huai River during advancement and retreat, while land combats took place back and forth in the Suizao Corridor. As opposed to previous theories, this reconstruction of the war is not only textually solid but also topographically interconnected.

Key words: The Wu Conquest of Ying, Rui, Yuzhang, water transport, military geography

CLC Number: 

  • K928