Emperor Bing of Song

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Zhao Bing
Song Modi.jpg
Emperor of the Song dynasty
Reign 10 May 1278 – 19 March 1279
Predecessor Emperor Duanzong
Born Zhao Bing
(1272-02-12)12 February 1272
Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China
Died 19 March 1279(1279-03-19) (aged 7)
Yamen, Guangdong Province, China
Burial Shekou, Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, China
Era dates
Xiangxing (祥興; 1278–1279)
Temple name
Huaizong (懷宗)
House House of Zhao
Father Emperor Duzong
Mother Consort Yu
Zhao Bing
Traditional Chinese 趙昺
Simplified Chinese 赵昺
Literal meaning "Glorious Zhao"
Emperor Bing of Song
Chinese 宋帝昺
Emperor Huaizong of Song
Traditional Chinese 宋懷宗
Simplified Chinese 宋怀宗
This is a Chinese name; the family name is Zhao.

Zhao Bing (12 February 1272 – 19 March 1279), also known as Emperor Bing of Song[notes 1] or sometimes as Emperor Huaizong of Song,[citation needed] was the 18th and last emperor of the Song dynasty in China. He was also the ninth and last emperor of the Southern Song dynasty. He reigned for about 313 days from 1278 to 1279 until his death.


Zhao Bing was the seventh son of Zhao Qi (Emperor Duzong). His mother was Lady Yu (俞氏), a concubine of Emperor Duzong who held the rank of xiurong (修容). He was a younger half-brother of his predecessors, Zhao Xian (Emperor Gong) (r. 1275–1276) and Zhao Shi (Emperor Duanzong) (r. 1276–1278). He was enfeoffed as the "Prince of Xin" (信王) in 1274. His title was later changed to "Prince of Guang" (廣王).

On 4 February 1276, the Song capital, Lin'an (臨安; present-day Hangzhou), was conquered by forces of the Mongol Empire led by the general Bayan. Emperor Gong was taken captive by the Mongols, but his two brothers, Zhao Shi and Zhao Bing, managed to escape to southern China with the help of officials such as Yang Liangjie (楊亮節), Lu Xiufu, Zhang Shijie, Chen Yizhong and Wen Tianxiang. They arrived in Jinhua, where Zhao Shi was appointed as Grand Marshal (天下兵馬都元帥) and Zhao Bing was appointed as Vice Grand Marshal (副元帥). Zhao Bing's title was also changed to "Prince of Wei" (衛王). On 14 June 1276, a seven-year-old Zhao Shi was enthroned in Fuzhou as the new emperor; he is historically known as Emperor Duanzong.

The Mongol general Bayan was bent on eliminating the threat posed by Song remnants, so he led his troops in pursuit and attacked southern China. After Emperor Duanzong died of illness in 1278, the Song forces' morale started to dwindle and soldiers began to desert the army. Lu Xiufu brought Zhao Bing to Meiwei (梅蔚), Gangzhou (碙州), which is in present-day Mui Wo, Lantau Island, Hong Kong. There, Zhao Bing was enthroned as the new emperor under the era name "Xiangxing" (祥興); Gangzhou was also renamed "Xianglong County" (祥龍縣). They moved to Yamen (in present-day Xinhui District, Jiangmen, Guangdong Province) to evade the Mongols.

The Mongols sent the general Zhang Hongfan to lead troops to attack Zhao Bing and the Song remnants, leading to the Battle of Yamen. The Song forces, led by Zhang Shijie, put up fierce resistance against the Mongols in a naval battle but were eventually all wiped out by the enemy. On 19 March 1279, after realising all was lost, Lu Xiufu carried the seven-year-old Emperor Zhao Bing to a cliff, where they committed suicide by throwing themselves into the sea.[1] Zhao Bing's death marked the end of the Song dynasty.

Zhao Bing's tomb is located in present-day Chiwan, Nanshan District, Shenzhen.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Note that the "Bing" refers to the emperor's personal given name. It is not a temple name (usually ending with -zu or -zong) unlike other Song emperors such as Emperor Duanzong, Emperor Duzong, Emperor Taizu, etc.


  1. ^ David C. Wright (2012). David Andrew Graff; Robin D. S. Higham, eds. A Military History of China. University Press of Kentucky. p. 73. ISBN 978-0-8131-3584-7. 
Emperor Bing of Song
House of Zhao (960–1279)
Born: 1271 Died: 1279
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Emperor Duanzong
Emperor of the Song Dynasty
Succeeded by
Dynasty dissolved
Emperor of China
Succeeded by
Kublai Khan, Emperor Shizu of Yuan