Emperor Lizong

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Emperor Lizong of Song
宋理宗.jpg
Emperor of the Song dynasty
Reign 17 September 1224 – 16 November 1264
Coronation 17 September 1224
Predecessor Emperor Ningzong
Successor Emperor Duzong
Born Zhao Yuju (1205–1222)
Zhao Guicheng (1222–1224)
Zhao Yun (1224–1264)
26 January 1205
Died 16 November 1264(1264-11-16) (aged 59)
Era dates
Baoqing (寶慶; 1225–1227)
Shaoding (紹定; 1228–1233)
Duanping (端平; 1234–1236)
Jiaxi (嘉熙; 1237–1240)
Chunyou (淳祐; 1241–1252)
Baoyou (寶祐; 1253–1258)
Kaiqing (開慶; 1259)
Jingding (景定; 1260–1264)
Posthumous name
Jiandao Beide Dagong Fuxing Liewen Renwu Shengming Anxiao Huangdi
(建道備德大功復興烈文仁武聖明安孝皇帝)
Temple name
Lizong (理宗)
House House of Zhao
Father Zhao Xilu
Mother Lady Cixian
Emperor Lizong of Song
Chinese 宋理宗
Literal meaning "Reasonable Ancestor of the Song"
Zhao Yun
Traditional Chinese 趙昀
Simplified Chinese 赵昀
Zhao Yuju
Traditional Chinese 趙與莒
Simplified Chinese 赵与莒
Zhao Guicheng
Traditional Chinese 趙貴誠
Simplified Chinese 赵贵诚

Emperor Lizong of Song (26 January 1205 – 16 November 1264), personal name Zhao Yun, was the 14th emperor of the Song dynasty in China and the fifth emperor of the Southern Song dynasty. He reigned from 1224 to 1264. Although he was a descendant of the Song dynasty's founder Zhao Kuangyin (Emperor Taizu) through his son Zhao Dezhao and hence a member of the imperial clan, Zhao Yun was not in line to succeed to the throne as his family had no political status. Shi Miyuan (史彌遠), who was the chancellor for many years, collaborated with Empress Dowager Yang and brought Zhao Yun to the throne.

Early life[edit]

Although related to the Song imperial family, Emperor Lizong was only distantly related as he was the 10th generation descendant of the founding Song Emperor, Emperor Taizu more than 250 years before. His original name was Zhao Yuju. Zhao Yuju spent his childhood in obscurity living away from the imperial court in Shaoxing, Zhejiang as a minor official. One rainy day in his early teens, along with his younger brother Zhao Yurui, Zhao Yuju stood huddling under a bridge along with an official, Yu Tianxi who was sent by Chancellor Shi Miyuan tasked to locate a suitable successor to the Song throne as the incumbent crown prince Zhao Xu has recently passed away at aged 29. After discovering the true identity of this teenager, Yu quickly informed Shi Miyuan who agreed to groom Zhao Yuju to be replaced as the crown prince. Zhao Yuju changed his name to Zhao Guicheng after becoming crown prince. After Emperor Ningzong died in 1224, Shi, along with Empress Dowager Yang, supplanted the reigning crown prince Zhao Hong and replaced Zhao Yun as emperor, reigning as Song Lizong. He later changed his name to Zhao Yun after becoming emperor.

Reign[edit]

Lizong's long reign of 40 years did little to improve the predicament of the Song Empire in his time. The court of Emperor Lizong was dominated by consort clans, Yan and Jia, and the eunuchs Dong Songchen and Lu Yunsheng. The Emperor was uninterested in governmental affairs, and for the first decade of his rule he delegated matters into the hands of his ministers, notably Shi Miyuan, who was the de facto ruler in his absence.

From the winter of 1230 to the autumn of 1231, the Mongols forcibly passed through the Song Dynasty. In the region centered on the three passes of Shukou, they entered into a series of battles with the Song army. This was the second and largest armed conflict between them before the Mongol conquest of Song officially began.[1] This forced Lizong to ally with the Mongols as they might conquer the Song.

After Shi Miyuan's death in 1233, Emperor Lizong assumed full authority briefly but again quickly abandoned the responsibility of ruling and delegated matters to his chancellor Ding Daquan in order to pursue personal enjoyment. It was said that the emperor often drank wine a lot, frequented brothels and invited prostitutes into the palace in his late years, which was vehemently opposed by his ministers.

Notable events during Emperor Lizong's reign included the demise of the Jurchen-led Jin dynasty in 1234, which was obliterated by the joint forces of the Mongol Empire and the Song Dynasty. The Jurchens had fought multiple wars with the Song Empire decades before it was conquered by the Mongols and although their ruler Emperor Aizong tried to make peace with the Song Dynasty to warn them that if the Mongols conquered the Jin Dynasty and they would attack the Song next, Lizong ignored the warning. Another notable event was Dali fell to the Mongols.

In 1259, the Mongols turned against the Song Empire. The Song government was forced to capitulate and cede all territories north of the Yangtze River to the Mongols. In 1279, the Mongols would eventually conquer the rest of the Song Empire.

In 1260, Jia Sidao became chancellor who would eventually soon take control over the new emperor Zhao Qi after Lizong’s death and expel his opponents like Wen Tianxiang and Li Fu.

In 1264, he used rockets to celebrate an anniversary for his mother. Also in 1264, Emperor Lizong died sonless (his sons died prematurely) from a illness and was succeeded by his nephew, Zhao Qi.

One of his daughters married a descendant of Zhu Xi.

Posthumous Humiliation[edit]

After Kublai Khan established the Yuan Dynasty, Lizong’s tomb was dug up. His corpse was well perserved and monks hung Lizong’s corpse for three days before cutting his head then cutting a portion of Lizong’s skull to make a wine cup before giving it to Kublai Khan. It was only after Zhu Yuanzhang defeated the Yuan Dynasty that Lizong was buried again.[2]

Family[edit]

  • Parents:
    • Zhao Xilu (榮文恭王 趙希瓐), 7th great-grandson of Zhao Dezhao, the son of Zhao Kuangyin
    • Lady Quan (慈憲夫人 全氏)
  • Consorts and Issue:
  1. Empress Xie (壽和皇后 謝氏; 1210 – 1283), personal name Daoqing (道清)
    1. Zhao Wei (祁衝昭王 趙維; 1238)
  2. Second rank consort Jia (惠順貴妃 賈氏; 1213 – 1246)
    1. Princess Zhou Han Duanxiao (周漢端孝公主; 1241 – 1262)
  3. Second rank consort Yan (惠昭貴妃 閻氏; d. 1260)
  4. Unknown
    1. Zhao Ji (永衝安王 趙緝)
    2. Zhao Yi (昭衝純王 趙繹)
    3. Princess Zhenzhu (珍珠公主)
    4. Lady Zhao

See also[edit]

  1. Chinese emperors family tree (middle)
  2. List of emperors of the Song dynasty
  3. Architecture of the Song dynasty
  4. Culture of the Song dynasty
  5. Economy of the Song dynasty
  6. History of the Song dynasty
  7. Society of the Song dynasty
  8. Technology of the Song dynasty
  9. Wuzhun Shifan
  10. Jin–Song Wars

References[edit]

  1. ^ 陈世松等,第22页
  2. ^ "Song Lizong". Chinese Wikipedia.
Emperor Lizong
Born: 1205 Died: 1264
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Emperor Ningzong
Emperor of the Song Dynasty
1224–1264
Succeeded by
Emperor Duzong