Emperor Jingzong of Liao

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Emperor Jingzong of Liao
Emperor of the Liao dynasty
Reign13 March 969 – 13 October 982
PredecessorEmperor Muzong
SuccessorEmperor Shengzong
BornYelü Xian
1 September 948
Died13 October 982(982-10-13) (aged 34)
EmpressXiao Yanyan
ConcubineConsort Bohai (渤海妃)
IssueYelü Longxu
Yelü Longqing
Yelü Longyou
Yelü Yaoshinu
Yelü Guanyinnü
Yelü Changshounü
Yelü Yanshounü
Yelü Shuge
Era dates
Baoning (保寧; 969–979)
Qianheng (乾亨; 979–982)
Posthumous name
Xiaocheng Kangjing Huangdi (孝成康靖皇帝)
Temple name
FatherEmperor Shizong
MotherXiao Sagezhi
Emperor Jingzong of Liao
Traditional Chinese遼景宗
Simplified Chinese辽景宗
Yelü Xian
Traditional Chinese耶律賢
Simplified Chinese耶律贤
Xianning (courtesy name)
Traditional Chinese賢寧
Simplified Chinese贤宁

Emperor Jingzong of Liao (1 September 948 – 13 October 982), personal name Yelü Xian, courtesy name Xianning, was the fifth emperor of the Khitan-led Liao dynasty.


Yelü Xian succeeded Emperor Muzong in 969 after the latter was murdered by his servants during a hunting trip. He had support from both the Khitan and Han Chinese ruling elites.

Emperor Jingzong made several important contributions to the Liao dynasty. He employed Han Chinese officials in his government, appointing one as the Minister of Southern Affairs and the Duke of Qin. This allowed the government to run more efficiently and sped up the transformation of Khitan society into a feudal society. He cracked down on corruption in the government, firing those who were bribed or incompetent. Emperor Jingzong also accepted criticisms willingly. He stopped hunting frequently after an official made a connection between hunting and Emperor Muzong's death, and Emperor Jingzong began to prepare war against his southern neighbours.

Emperor Jingzong's first conflict with the Northern Song dynasty came with the Song invasion of the Northern Han dynasty. However, the Liao reinforcements were destroyed by a Song army, and Song later destroyed Northern Han. The Song army followed up the victory with an attack on Beijing, the Liao dynasty's southern capital. However, the Liao army completely routed the Song army, with Emperor Taizong of Song fleeing the battlefield. Several battles followed, with a stalemate between the Liao and Song dynasties.

Emperor Jingzong's body is weak, many diseases, sometimes unable to stand up to the court, the great national story is mostly handled by his wife Xiao Yanyan.

On 13 October, 982, Emperor Jingzong died on his way back from a hunting trip. He was succeeded by his son Emperor Shengzong, and his wife Xiao Yanyan served as regent.


Consorts and Issue:

  • Empress Xiao Chuo (萧绰; 953–1009), Jingzong's second cousin, honoured as Empress Ruizhi (睿智皇后)
    • Eldest daughter Yelü Guanyinnü (耶律观音女; 969–1045), the Princess of Qi (齐国公主)
      • Married Xiao Jixian (萧继先), a cousin of Xiao Chuo, and had issue (one son, two daughters)
    • Eldest son Yelü Longxu (耶律隆绪; 972–1031), later Emperor Shengzong of Liao
    • Second son Yelü Longqing (耶律隆庆; 973–1016), honoured as Crown Prince Xiaozhen (孝贞皇太叔)
    • Second daughter Yelü Changshounü (耶律长寿女; 975–1017), the Princess of Wei (卫国公主)
      • Married Xiao Paiya (萧排押; d. 1023), and had issue (one daughter)
    • Third daughter Yelü Yanshounü (耶律延寿女; 976–996), the Princess of Yue (越国公主)
      • Married Xiao Hengde (萧恒德; d. 996) in 983, and had issue (one son)
    • Third son Yelü Longyou (耶律隆佑; 979–1012), honoured as Prince Xiaojing of Chu (楚孝靖王)
    • Fourth son Yelü Zhengge (耶律郑哥)
  • Consort, of Balhae
    • Fourth daughter Yelü Shuge (耶律淑哥)
      • Married Lu Jun (卢俊) in 980, divorced in 983
      • Married Xiao Shennu (萧神奴) in 983


Yelü Saladi
Yelü Abaoji (872–926)
Xiao Yanmujin (d. 933)
Yelü Bei (899–937)
Shulü Pogu
Shulü Ping (879–953)
Lady Yelü
Emperor Shizong of Liao (919–951)
Empress Rouzhen (d. 951)
Emperor Jingzong of Liao (948–982)
Shulü Shensi
Shulü Pogu
Xiao Aguzhi
Yelü Yundeshi
Lady Yelü
Xiao Sagezhi (d. 951)


  • Toqto'a; et al. (1344). Liao Shi (遼史) [History of Liao] (in Chinese).
  • Twitchett, Denis C.; Tietze, Klaus-Peter (1994). "The Liao". In Twitchett, Dennis; Franke, Herbert (eds.). The Cambridge History of China, Volume 6: Alien Regimes and Border States, 907–1368. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 43–153. ISBN 978-0-521-24331-5.
Emperor Jingzong of Liao
House of Yelü (916–1125)
Born: 948 Died: 982
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Emperor Muzong
Emperor of the Liao Dynasty
Succeeded by
Emperor Shengzong