First a look at the outfit of this era’s average soldier… quite a change from the Shang Dynasty’s tiger-skin armor:
Next, here are three sequential maps showing the progression of the major states of Zhou during the time period discussed in this episode. Of especial note are Qin (red), Wei (dark green), and Han (yellow). The labelled grey states of Yue, Zhongshan, Ba, and Shu are not states within the Zhou Empire, but neighbor states that will ultimately all be swallowed up by one state or another.
361 BCE: Wei has absorbed large regions along Qin’s side of the Luo River, Qin is weak and sparsely populated, and Wei is the most powerful military entity in China at this point… but that won’t last long:
350: Qin undergoes a series of massive social and political reforms, and beging expanding it military and territories, both to the unknown lands to the West, as well as crushing the wei and Hand invaders and taking back control of the Luo River:
316: War with Wei (momentarily) concluded, the now Kingdom of Qin turned its newfound military might on the outlying independent kingdoms of Shu and Ba, utterly annihilating them for use as agricultural lands and a fantastic military staging point. Meanwhile in the East, the Chu Kingdom has swallowed up the State of Yue, which had served its purpose of crushing Wu a generation prior: