Emperor Duzong

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Emperor Duzong of Song
Emperor of the Song dynasty
Reign 16 November 1264 – 12 August 1274
Coronation 16 November 1264
Predecessor Emperor Lizong
Successor Emperor Gong
Born Zhao Mengqi (1240–1251)
Zhao Zi (1251–1253)
Zhao Qi (1253–1274)
(1240-05-02)2 May 1240
Died 12 August 1274(1274-08-12) (aged 34)
Empress Empress Quan
  • Consort Yang
  • Consort Hu
  • Consort Yu
Era dates
Xianchun (咸淳; 1265–1274)
Posthumous name
Duanwen Mingwu Jingxiao Huangdi
Temple name
Duzong (度宗)
House House of Zhao
Father Zhao Yurui
Mother Lady of Qi (Huang Ding Xi)
Emperor Duzong of Song
Chinese 宋度宗
Literal meaning "Measured Ancestor of the Song"
Zhao Qi
Traditional Chinese 趙禥
Simplified Chinese 赵禥
Zhao Mengqi
Traditional Chinese 趙孟啟
Simplified Chinese 赵孟启
Zhao Zi
Traditional Chinese 趙孜
Simplified Chinese 赵孜

Emperor Duzong of Song (2 May 1240 – 12 August 1274), personal name Zhao Qi, was the 15th emperor of the Song dynasty in China and the sixth emperor of the Southern Song dynasty. He was a nephew of his predecessor, Emperor Lizong, and reigned from 1264 until his death in 1274. His birth name was Zhao Mengqi but his name was changed to Zhao Zi in 1251 and finally to Zhao Qi in 1253 after he was designated as Emperor Lizong's heir apparent.

Emperor Duzong's reign was plagued with rebellions, warfare and upheaval. The Mongols had spent decades harassing the Song Empire's borders and were on the verge of conquering the whole of China. Emperor Duzong ignored his duties and instead delegated all state and military affairs to the hands of Jia Sidao; the emperor instead indulged in drinking and women and lived in opulence. At first, he told the officials to be straightforward and tell him the problems in the countries, but this was all an act. Soon, he completely neglected his duties. Furthermore, he had a very high sexual appetite. Under Song laws, any woman who had sexual relations with the emperor had to pay respects to the emperor every morning. At one point, there were as many as 30 women paying their respects to Emperor Duzong in one morning.

The decisive Battle of Xiangyang was fought in 1274 when the Mongols succeeded in capturing and destroying the last Song stronghold. The loss of Xiangyang sealed the fate of the Song dynasty and the news of its capture was deliberately hidden from Emperor Duzong by Jia Sidao.

Emperor Duzong died shortly thereafter and was succeeded by his sixth son, Zhao Xian (Emperor Gong), who was then only four years old. Although Emperor Duzong was technically not the last emperor of the Song dynasty, historians see him as the last Song emperor who could have made decisions that would've significantly halted or even prevented the fall of the dynasty.

See also[edit]


Emperor Duzong
Born: 1240 Died: 1274
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Emperor Lizong
Emperor of China
Succeeded by
Emperor Gong