Treaty of Five Kings

The Treaty of Five Kings (五王之盟, nga′-gwjang-tje-mrang) was a long-standing political treaty between five states, Tsjinh, Sjing, Tengh, Pjang, and Dem, recognizing the primacy of the king of Tsjinh, concluded in 256. It brought a historiographical end to the Hexarchy that was characterized by warfare, though structures that existed prior to the treaty were not totally interrupted thereby. In canonical histories, the treaty was regarded as a founding moment for Themiclesia, though this representation has numerous shortcomings and is not accepted in all circles. Notably, some historians believe that the role of warfare was replaced by marriage and economic politics, but the competitive, unstable, and multifocal nature of the Hexarchy-era interstate system remained in progress.

Provisions

  1. The five kings agree not to make war on each other or support another state to make war on each other.
  2. The five kings agree to defend each other when another state attacks them.
  3. The kings of Sjing, Tengh, Pjang, and Dem agree to do homage to Tsjinh.

Effects

  1. Since there is a tradition of intermarriage between states, the female consort becomes a power figure at court, acting as a bridge between two states.
    1. Since the consort is powerful, her offspring are preferred by her home state to ascend the throne, creating a sub-alliance of two states amongst the five.
    2. But Themiclesians were monogamous, and a succssor can represent at most two states (his home state through his father and the mother's state), the three states uninvolved form an opposition to him.

Text of the treaty

甘公、辛公、方公、屰公、晉公朝于洛大廷,牢五十牢用,卜吉,告上=帝=四=方=下=上=徹=示=,受又,卜吉,襲卜吉,延吉,盟曰四公服晉公事,世世勿背。晉王盟曰世=毋或又興兵于四邦,晉公子=孫=惟其世=勿灋茲盟。北則棄于上下,絕于羣姓。

kem-klong, sjing-klong, pjang-klong, ngak-klong, tsjinh-klong ntrjaw gwrja rak ladh lêng, raw nga-gjep raw longs, bok-kjit. kugh djang'-têgh pljih-pjang gra'-djang' r'jêt-gji', djus-gwrjegh, bok-kjit, mljap-bok-kjit, ljan-kjit. mrang gwjat pljih klong bjek tsjinh-klong dzrje', l'jabh-l'jabh mjet pegh. tsjinh-klong mrang gwjat l'jabh-l'jabh mja gwjek gwrjeh hjeng prjang gwrja pljih prong, tsjinh-klong tsje'-tsje' sun-sun kljui gje l'jabh-l'jabh mjet pjabh tsje mrang. pegh dzek krjih gwrja djang'-gra', dzjot gwrja gjun-sjêngh

The Duke of Kem, Duke of Sjing, Duke of Pjang, Duke of Ngak, and Duke of Tsjinh have met each other at the great court yard of Rak. Fifty pens of cattle were used, that an auspicious oracle was taken. It was announced to the High God, the Four Quarters, and all the gods low and high, and the High God, the Four Quarters, and all the gods low and high grant their blessings. The oracle was auspicious. The repeat-oracle was auspicious. They were long-lastingly auspicious. And it was sworn that the four dukes shall undertake the affairs of the Duke of Tsjinh, for generations and generations, never to betray. And it was sworn that the Duke of Tsjinh shall never attempt to raise arms on the four states in generations and generations, and his sons and grandsons in generations and generations shall never abandon this oath. Those that betray oaths shall be abandoned by all the gods and severed from all the bloodlines.

See also