Talk:Liao dynasty

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Good article Liao dynasty has been listed as one of the History good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
March 24, 2013 Good article nominee Listed
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re: Good Article nomination[edit]

I contributed some material, mostly on culture, to help round it out a bit. Other than that I think that it might include a bit more in the scope of the history of musical instruments (which could always be added later), as far as I can tell, this should be a pretty complete and stable article. Dcattell (talk) 21:41, 19 March 2013 (UTC)

also infobox display needs to be fixed (previous and succeeding) Dcattell (talk) 21:56, 19 March 2013 (UTC)
The infobox is fine, technically. The issue is that there are no flags for the preceding and following entities, and just throwing something in there just to make the boxes not-empty would be way, way past the acceptable level for WP:OR. As for your additions, I tweaked them a little bit and I'm going to head over to your talk page to ask you to fix one of the sources. Thanks for the help. Sven Manguard Wha? 03:11, 20 March 2013 (UTC)

Storage for the source... 中国戏曲研究院 (Chinese Academy of Opera) (1959). 中国古典戏曲论著集成 (Collection of Reviews of Classic Chinese Drama). Beijing: 中国戏剧出版社 (China Drama Publishing House). 

OK, the Former Countries infobox issue is a general problem shared by many articles, and not particular to this article. I looked at "Tang Dynasty", "Srivijaya", and some others. It's not very helpful for someone reading an article not to see the link destinations simply and obviously displayed, and to rather be served up the sin escudo image. I thought of various work arounds, but they seem problematic, given the complicated nature of this template's functionality: this is indeed an issue for template design, rather than one in regard to this particular article. Dcattell (talk) 19:22, 20 March 2013 (UTC)
Actually, sin escudo image better than rectangular border, in infobox (Image missing)?
Aside from that I really hate those filler images, this also isn't the correct usage for them. These filler images' primary purpose is to encourage people to find replacement images and replace out the filler. In this case, there isn't a replacement. I also think that a question mark over a shield is misleading. First, shield identification isn't a concept that existed in China at that time as far as I'm aware. Secondly, the question mark implies unknown, where in this case, it's not unknown but instead never existed. All in all, I just think using that image isn't a good idea. Sven Manguard Wha? 03:27, 23 March 2013 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Liao Dynasty/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Khazar2 (talk · contribs) 03:21, 20 March 2013 (UTC)

Hi Sven, I'll be glad to take this review. Initial comments to follow in the next 1-3 days. Thanks in advance for your work on this one! -- Khazar2 (talk) 03:21, 20 March 2013 (UTC)

Initial comments[edit]

This looks very strong on the first pass--well written, well sourced, and seemingly comprehensive. I particularly appreciate your having added some social history along with the political and military history, which I think too many Wikipedia history articles lack. Thanks for all the work you, Dcattell, and others have put into this. I think it's really paid off, and while I still have some checks to do (source spotchecks, "broad aspects" check, images, etc.) this appears ripe for promotion from what I've seen so far.

I made some copyedits as I went. Please feel free to revert anything you disagree with, and check to make sure I haven't inadvertently added any error. A few small points I couldn't immediately resolve are below:

  • " The Tang emperor bestowed with the Chinese surname Li on the Dahe" -- should the "with" in this sentence be cut? I'm not quite sure what this means.
  • " Khitan rulers were expected to hand over power a paternal" -- the "a paternal" is confusing me here-- are there missing words?
  • "normally within the preview of the emperor" -- should this be "purview"?
  • "Gernet claims that" -- "claims" should probably be rewritten here per WP:WTA

On another note, I removed this link that was added by a single-purpose spam account that mass-adds IAS links across the wiki. On one or two occasions editors have told me in the past that they've found these to be useful, though, so if you'd like it to stay in the article, please feel free to re-add--it's entirely your call. -- Khazar2 (talk) 17:13, 23 March 2013 (UTC)

Main aspects[edit]

Comparing the article to some sources like this [1] and this, it seems clear that the article covers the main aspects of the topic. One suggestion I might offer for future expansion is that a cursory Google search reveals a fair amount of discussion of the economy of the Liao dynasty--major industries, trading partners, etc. (This and this (under "social economy") show what I'm talking about, though I realize neither is likely to be a reliable source.) I don't think that this quite rises to a "main aspect" that would block GA status, though; Encyclopedia Britannica (above), for example, doesn't even touch on the subject. So don't worry about it for now. -- Khazar2 (talk) 17:35, 23 March 2013 (UTC)


Rate Attribute Review Comment
1. Well-written:
1a. the prose is clear and concise, it respects copyright laws, and the spelling and grammar are correct. Some minor points need clarity (see above). Prose is very good. Will doublecheck one last time for copyediting purposes, and do spotchecks for copyright.
1b. it complies with the manual of style guidelines for lead sections, layout, words to watch, fiction, and list incorporation. Very small point: "claims" should be tweaked per WP:WTA.
2. Verifiable with no original research:
2a. it contains a list of all references (sources of information), presented in accordance with the layout style guideline.
2b. it provides in-line citations from reliable sources for direct quotations, statistics, published opinion, counter-intuitive or controversial statements that are challenged or likely to be challenged, and contentious material relating to living persons—science-based articles should follow the scientific citation guidelines.
2c. it contains no original research.
3. Broad in its coverage:
3a. it addresses the main aspects of the topic.
3b. it stays focused on the topic without going into unnecessary detail (see summary style).
4. Neutral: it represents viewpoints fairly and without bias, giving due weight to each.
5. Stable: it does not change significantly from day to day because of an ongoing edit war or content dispute.
6. Illustrated, if possible, by images:
6a. images are tagged with their copyright status, and valid fair use rationales are provided for non-free content. File:Departure Herald-Detail.jpg, File:騎射圖.jpg, File:Song Taizu.jpg, File:Wanggiyan Aguda.jpg appear to need tags for why they're PD in the US, though I don't think any of these images will actually be a problem.
6b. images are relevant to the topic, and have suitable captions.
7. Overall assessment. Pass

Thank you for doing this review. I have reviewed the changes you made, and while I tend to be less aggressive than you are at removing duplicate links, I don't see a problem with any of your edits. I have addressed the four bullet pointed items above, restored the lecture link (which I might even incorporate into a source at a later date, and fixed the images.

I do wish that I could add some content on the economy. Unfortunately, I have found very limited success in finding reliable source coverage on the economy. There is some decent coverage in Wittfogel and Feng, but as a scholar I have serious reservations about basing a section entirely on a single source, especially a source that is, at this point, sixty years old. If I can track down a second source that confirms and updates Wittfogel and Feng on economic aspects of the dynasty, I'll put it in.

I hope I've satisfied your concerns. Sven Manguard Wha? 21:39, 23 March 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for checking back. This is the fix to the one point in 1a. that you didn't scratch, and as far as I know, I fixed 6 too. Sven Manguard Wha? 02:52, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
(edit conflict)Thanks for your quick responses! That does just about cover it. I may be misreading, but there appears to still be one more word missing in the sentence "Khitan rulers were expected to hand over power a paternal relative after serving a single three-year term"-- should this be "to a paternal relative", I'm guessing? I think that's all that's left here. -- Khazar2 (talk) 02:55, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
Yep. Facepalm3.svg Facepalm. Sven Manguard Wha? 03:00, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
Thanks! I'll give this one a second readthrough tomorrow (when I don't have beer in me, as I do now) to make sure nothing else is missing on the copyediting front, but barring unforeseen catastrophe, this will be promoted in the next 24-48 hours. I really appreciate your work on this. So much of what comes through GA is on useful but very minor topics (I've written some of these myself), and it's always great to see an article like this that takes a major historical topic and covers it thoroughly. It certainly puts the Encyclopedia Britannica version I linked above to shame. -- Khazar2 (talk) 03:08, 24 March 2013 (UTC)

Issues, impressions[edit]

This article does not read as neutral to me.

  1. It vaguely places the Liao within "East Asia", and by the sidebars equally within the Chinese and Mongolian historical traditions (not to mention Korean and Russia, the only connections which would be by modern boundaries), rather than with China, as China-focused sources - which are the ones most consulted for this article - do.
  2. In many places, elevates foreign titles over Chinese ones; i.e. "Great Khan" rather than "Emperor"
  3. Unproblematically treats "Mongolia" and "Russian Far East" although Russian incursion didn't come until centuries later. Yet somehow northern China must be qualified as "proper", as if those nearby parts are more integral to Russia or Mongolia than they were to China.
  4. Endlessly, anachronistically, and without context hammering home the point that the Khitan were more feminist or gender egalitarian than "the Chinese", despite describing institutionalized abduction and rape of Han and Khitan women by Khitan men.
  5. Implying that the Khitan were not Chinese; using Chinese instead of Han Chinese or southern Chinese.
  6. Claims that the Northern Liao administration had a "Uighur" population, but links to our article which describes an ethnic category that was created no earlier than 1921.
  7. Unproblematically places Khitan within "the Altaic language family", despite the current linguistic consensus rejecting Altaic as a genetic category.
  8. Too much emphasis on revisionist F.W. Mote's opinion that the Khitans were not acculturated, without giving evidence of longstanding sinicization thesis

Shrigley (talk) 22:47, 24 March 2013 (UTC)

Interesting points, and I appreciate your raising them. I'll leave it to Sven, who has easier access to the sources, to respond in detail. But for quick comparison, the Encyclopedia Britannica appears to use similar language to what you object to here, including distinguishing between "Khitan" and "Chinese" and using the term "China proper" [2]; the British Museum also distinguishes between Khitan and Chinese.[3] Obviously neither is the final word, but that suggests to me that this language at least isn't prima facie non-neutral. Perhaps you could note some major works or sources that use your preferred terminology so that their views could be included?
I agree that it's worth adding a "what is now" in front of the Russian Far East in the lead; it does appear sufficiently clarified in the other two uses in the article, though. Ditto Mongolia.
Anyway, I won't pretend my depth goes beyond a quick assessment of readily available sources, but this article does seem in keeping with those. If you think the problems run deeper in the article than can readily be fixed, you might consider appealing at Good Article reassessment. Hope this helps, and thanks again for the comments... -- Khazar2 (talk) 23:34, 24 March 2013 (UTC)

(edit conflict) Your comments provide an interesting read. I am a student of East Asian history and culture, and my studies tend to be heavily concentrated in dynastic era China, however I am not a credentialed scholar in the field. When I started working on this article a year ago, it was almost entirely a close paraphrase of Mote, to the point where I felt that nothing short of a complete re-write would bring the article into 'safe' territory. I didn't choose the article because I knew a lot about the Liao before hand, I chose it because it was extraordinarily needy. As for the source selection: I used everything I could find, and tried to balance diverging views as best as I could. With all that in mind, let me try to respond to your comments:
1. I don't see a problem with placing the Liao within East Asia. Most of the Liao territory wasn't located in what is now China or what was historically controlled by the Han Chinese dynasties. The Khitans don't trace their origins to China, the Song didn't consider them Chinese, and while one faction within the Liao leadership wanted to be Chinese, that faction was constantly struggling with a faction that wanted to retain a fundamentally Khitan identity.
2. Considering the above, I don't see an issue with that.
3. If you want to remove the word "proper", go ahead. I was using China proper as a stand in for "modern geographically defined China", since during the dynastic period borders tended to change dramatically from dynasty to dynasty.
4. I do not want to get into an argument over whether Khitan abductions leading to rape are any better or worse than Han Chinese arranged marriages leading to rape, but I would argue rather strongly that the role of women in Khitan society was significantly more egalitarian than the role of women in Han society.
5. Umm... yeah, the Khitan were not Chinese. They trace their origins to a different region, trace their language and culture to groups not associated with China, and were, up until they conquered the Song, referred to by the Han Chinese as barbarians (read: not Chinese). If you want to replace instances of Chinese with Han Chinese, go ahead. If you want to argue that the Khitans were Chinese, you're going to need to show me some scholarship that backs that up, because I'm not seeing it anywhere.
6. The sources called them Uighur. A better link might be Uyghur Khaganate, because the Khitans were a tributary/client group to the Uyghur Khaganate for some time, but that article really doesn't deal with the people from the Khaganate. That being said, the article on Uyghur people does mention the Uyghur Khaganate before it even mentions 1921.
7. That's very much out of my area of expertise. If you have sources that indicate a different linguistic origin, you're free to add it in. As for your claim that there is a consensus rejecting Altaic, the article Altaic languages doesn't paint it as nearly as settled as you do.
8. Based on the sources that I have access too, I would say that Mote is not an outlier.
Suffice to say that I disagree with a lot of the points you make, and especially disagree with the assertion that the article is not neutral. I would be willing to work with you on incorporating some of your views into the article if you have the sources to back up your assertions, however. History has multiple perspectives, and with something with as many knowledge gaps as the Liao Dynasty, there is room for multiple POVs. It's also worth noting that throughout my response, I tried really, really hard not to take offense to your wording choices, because you came dangerously close to accusing me of trying to push a POV. If we're going to work together in the future, those kind of assertions are going to have to stop.Redacted, per below. Sven Manguard Wha? 01:48, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
Hey, sorry if you were offended by my comments. I don't think you're intentionally pushing a POV, and I have a lot of respect for you as an editor. Sometimes we just reflect the viewpoints of the sources that we have access to, which might themselves use careless language or stereotypes. The issue of whether dynasties founded by families whose mother tongue was not Sinitic is complex and not unique to Liao, and I think I will do a rewrite of Conquest Dynasties (CDs) to elucidate some of the issues. We know how certain ethnic separatists like to claim that the Qing was "non-Chinese", for example, because such labels have non-trivial implications. But, there's a powerful idea that has been endorsed by many governments throughout Chinese history - mostly the CDs, but including the current one - that to "be Chinese" is something that transcends blood lineage, and that one could "become Chinese" through certain rituals. Again, some of our articles on these subjects are bad or unclear: Altaic can be accepted as a sprachbund - which few people would contest - but that it is a genetic language family is at the very least, a minority opinion. Similarly, there is already a proposal on the talk page of removing the pre-20th century stuff from the "Uyghur people" article. Consider my comments a to-do list. I will bring sources, but you can look for them too, especially if you're unsure or even if you want to fortify your position on controversies like the "X ethnicity was more misogynist" front. Shrigley (talk) 04:58, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
It's good to hear that it was just a misunderstanding, and that I was apparently just reading too much into "This article does not read as neutral to me". Sorry about that. As for the different opinions on the content, I understand where you're coming from, but having not seen the sources you're basing your assertions off of, I'm not sure what conclusions to draw. Unfortunately, while I would like to bring this article up to FA status one day, that would take more time and resources than I can devote to the project at the moment. I am planning on revisiting the article over the summer. You should feel free to to work on it before then though, if you'd like. Sven Manguard Wha? 08:14, 25 March 2013 (UTC)


The Liao state did indeed have a Uighur population, but they were not related to modern uyghurs/uighurs. The modern day descendants of the Old Uighurs are the Yugur people of Gansu. Keep this in mind, whenever you see an interwiki link that says "Uyghur" and its about old uyghurs, make sure it redirects to Uyghur Khaganate and not the modern uyghur people. I have used a source which explicitly uses "Old Uyghur" to refer to the ancient people to differentiate them from modern Uyghurs. the source notes that they are of different origins, ascribing karluk ancestry to modern uyghurs. Eventually an article will be created for Old Uyghurs and the Old Uyghur language. Nvm the old uyghurs just spoke a dialect of old turkic.Rajmaan (talk) 14:43, 26 March 2013 (UTC)

More sources[edit],%20Turks,%20And%20Others%20-Eurasian%20Nomads%20And%20The%20Sedentary%20World%20(Reuven%20Amitai%20And%20Michal%20Biran)%20(Brill-2005).pdf

Rajmaan (talk) 03:22, 17 April 2013 (UTC)

Liao had more Han Chinese people than Khitan people[edit]

"The peak population is estimated at 750,000 Khitans and two to three million ethnic Chinese." From that I infer, and even before seeing this sentence suspected, that the Chinese population outnumbered the Khitans multiple times throughout the empire years, at least since the annexation of Sixteen Prefectures. I have no way of investigating this claim, but even if it weren't completely true, it is still very wrong to use "Liao culture" and "Khitan culture" interchangeably. For example, stuff like "The sexual freedoms of Liao also stood in stark contrast from those of the Han Chinese" are problematic. In fact the entire "Society and culture" section is biased towards the Khitan culture, probably a minority of the population. While all the information is good, we need to add more about that of the majority ethnicity - the Chinese; and if there is lack of information, need to address it, and correct all instances where "Liao" is equated with "Khitan". Timmyshin (talk) 18:57, 18 June 2013 (UTC)

RfC: Bohai or Balhae[edit]

There is a rough consensus to use the word "Bohai" in this article, but the term "Balhae" should also mentioned at the first use of the other term. Armbrust The Homunculus 10:50, 21 December 2013 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

So when I rewrote the article (it was poorly written in some parts and close paraphrasing in the rest; none of the original prose remains), I used "Bohai" instead of "Balhae" when describing the kingdom in this article. While the article might be called Balhae, both Balhae and Bohai are correct, with Balhae being the transliteration from Korean and Bohai being the transliteration from Chinese. While it is true that the Liao Dynasty had influence in both what is now North Korea and what is now the PRC, the Khitans are associated much more closely with Chinese history (as that was their primary military, cultural, and political focus, and they made far greater inroads there), rather than Korean history. As such, contemporary English language sources use the Chinese transliteration, Bohai, in the context of Liao-Bohai/Balhae relations. That's why I used Bohai, not Balhae. Historiographer disagrees, and since we're unable to edit back and forth any further without getting into an edit war, and neither of us seem liable to drop the issue, I'd like to put it up for broader discussion. Sven Manguard Wha? 06:40, 10 November 2013 (UTC)

That's are another matter. Both Balhae and Bohai are correct I agree to Sven Manguard's opinion. But, I'm not tell you about Liao is partially Korean history by the territory of present-day, and, Balhae was more close to Korean history rather than Chinese history. That was just pronouncing problem from transliteration, not historical continuity.--Historiographer (talk) 06:48, 10 November 2013 (UTC)
plus, I think we need to make an adaptation for Wikipedia by its title, not a follow source to the letter.--Historiographer (talk) 06:51, 10 November 2013 (UTC)
Peruse Wikipedia:Naming_conventions_(geographic_names) for which one ought to be used. For the sake of consistency, I think Balhae is currently what's used on WP:English. Proposals towards changing that to Bohai ought to happen on the Balhae article itself and not here. Lathdrinor (talk) 01:14, 12 November 2013 (UTC)
  • The page on Balhae already lists "Bohai" as a Chinese alias of the same state, so it is no need of changes. The matter is how to refer to the state in this article. How about stating this with a parenthesis, "Bohai (Balhae)" or "Balhae (Bohai)", when that state is first mentioned and then consistently use one form for the rest of the article? Dimadick (talk) 17:08, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Google books returns 748 results for "Bohai Kingdom" and 110 results for "Balhae Kingdom". So Bohai seems to be the WP:COMMONNAME for the kingdom. But I agree with Dimadick that Balhae should be mentioned in parentheses when the state first appears in the article. -Zanhe (talk) 04:35, 16 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Bohai ; per Common Name convention, appears to be the "correct" name in this circumstance. Both, however, should be mentioned in the article, such as Bohai (Balhae). I also agree with Lathdrinor that the Balhae article should undergo a name change—to be discussed at that article. GenQuest "Talk to Me" 03:42, 29 November 2013 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.


A PUA character(s) somewhere on this page is preventing maintenance bots from cleaning it up. I can't find it/them. — kwami (talk) 08:41, 9 December 2013 (UTC)

I've replaced the two occurrences of two Khitan characters in the title of an article by Aisin-Gioro Ulhicun with question marks as nobody can correctly see the characters, even if they have the appropriate fonts installed. I removed these PUA characters once before, but I guess someone must have put them back, which I think is very unhelpful to our readers and editors. BabelStone (talk) 09:15, 9 December 2013 (UTC)
I've now replaced the question marks with glyph images of the two Khitan characters, which is the best solution at present. BabelStone (talk) 13:43, 9 December 2013 (UTC)

Move request to decapitalize all Chinese dynasty articles[edit]

There's a move request to decapitalize "dynasty" in the Chinese dynasty articles, as in Han Dynasty → Han dynasty. For more information and to give your input, see [4]. --Cold Season (talk) 18:25, 15 March 2014 (UTC)