Emperor Jingzong of Liao

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Emperor Jingzong of Liao
5th Emperor of 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
Emperor Xiaocheng Kangjing (孝成康靖皇帝)
Temple name
Jingzong (景宗)
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 of China.


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 ruling elites.

Emperor Jingzong made several important contributions to the Liao dynasty. He employed ethnic Han 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.


  • Xiao Yanyan, Empress Ruizhi of the Xiao clan (953–1009) (萧绰 睿智皇后 萧氏); Jingzong's second cousin
    • Yelü Guanyinnü, the Princess of Qi (969–1045) (耶律观音女 齐国公主)
      • Married Xiao Jixian (箫继先) and had issue (1 son and 2 daughters)
    • Yelü Longxu, Emperor Shengzong of Liao (972–1031) (耶律隆绪 辽圣宗)
    • Yelü Longqing, the Prince of Liang (973–1016) (耶律隆庆 梁王), honoured as Imperial Uncle Xiaozhen (孝贞皇太叔)
    • Yelü Changshounü, the Princess of Wei (975–1017) (耶律长寿女 卫国公主)
      • Married Xiao Paiya (箫排押) and had issue (2 daughters: Noble Consort Xiao and Princess Consort of Qin and Jin
    • Yelü Yanshounü, the Princess of Yue (976–996) (耶律延寿女 越国公主)
      • Married Xiao Hengde (箫恒德) and had issue (1 son , Xiao Pidi)
    • Yelü Longyou, Prince Xiaojing of Chu (979–1012) (耶律隆佑 楚孝靖王)
    • Yelü Zhengge (耶律郑哥) – disputed.
  • Consort, of Bohai (渤海妃)
  • Lady Mou (某氏)
    • Yelü Yaoshinu (耶律药师奴) – died early after birth
  • Hunian (胡辇) – disputed, became the concubine of his son, Yelu Longxu; No issue.


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)

In popular culture[edit]


  • 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 of the Liao Dynasty
Succeeded by