Emperor Xiaozong of Song

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Emperor Xiaozong of Song
Emperor of the Song dynasty
Reign 24 July 1162[a] – 18 February 1189[b]
Coronation 24 July 1162
Predecessor Emperor Gaozong
Successor Emperor Guangzong
Retired Emperor of the Song dynasty
Reign 18 February 1189 – 28 June 1194
Born Zhao Bocong (1127–1133)
Zhao Yuan (1133–1160)
Zhao Wei (1160–1162)
Zhao Shen (1162–1194)
(1127-11-27)27 November 1127
Died 28 June 1194(1194-06-28) (aged 66)
Empress Empress Chengmu
Empress Chenggong
Empress Chengsu
Concubines Consort Cai
Consort Li
  • Zhao Qi
  • Zhao Kai
  • Zhao Dun
  • Zhao Ke
  • Princess of Jia
  • Second Princess
Era dates
Longxing (隆興; 1163–1164)
Qiandao (乾道; 1165–1173)
Chunxi (淳熙; 1174–1189)
Posthumous name
Shaotong Tongdao Guande Zhaogong Zhewen Shenwu Mingsheng Chengxiao Huangdi
(awarded in 1197)
Temple name
Xiaozong (孝宗)
House House of Zhao
Father Zhao Zicheng
Mother Lady Zhang
Emperor Xiaozong of Song
Chinese 宋孝宗
Literal meaning "Filial Ancestor of the Song"
Zhao Shen
Traditional Chinese 趙眘
Simplified Chinese 赵眘
(courtesy name)
Chinese 元永

Emperor Xiaozong of Song (27 November 1127 – 28 June 1194), personal name Zhao Shen, courtesy name Yuanyong, was the 11th emperor of the Song dynasty in China and the second emperor of the Southern Song dynasty. He started his reign in 1162 when his adoptive father and predecessor, Emperor Gaozong, abdicated and passed the throne to him. Even though Emperor Gaozong became a Taishang Huang ("Retired Emperor") after his abdication, he remained the de facto ruler, so Emperor Xiaozong only fully took over the reins of power in 1187 after Emperor Gaozong's death. After ruling for about a year, Emperor Xiaozong followed in his predecessor's footsteps and abdicated in favour of his third son Zhao Dun (Emperor Guangzong), while he became Taishang Huang and still remained in power until his death in 1194.


Zhao Shen's birth name was Zhao Bocong (趙伯琮). In March 1133, after he entered the imperial palace, his name was changed to Zhao Yuan (趙瑗). In April 1160, after he was adopted by Emperor Gaozong, his name was changed to Zhao Wei (趙瑋). In July 1162, when Zhao Shen became crown prince, his name was changed again to Zhao Shen (趙眘).

Zhao Shen was given the courtesy name Yuangui (元瑰) in May 1160. In July 1162, when he became crown prince, his courtesy name was changed to Yuanyong (元永).


Zhao Shen was a seventh-generation descendant of Emperor Taizu, the founder and first emperor of the Song dynasty. He was the second son of Zhao Zicheng (趙子偁; died 1143), a sixth cousin of Emperor Gaozong, the 10th Song emperor. After the Jingkang Incident in 1127, Emperor Gaozong's father, eldest brother and most of his close relatives were taken prisoner by the Jurchen-led Jin Empire. As Emperor Gaozong's only son, Zhao Fu (趙旉), died prematurely around the age of two, the emperor ordered his officials to start searching for other living descendants of the imperial family. Zhao Shen was discovered and adopted by Emperor Gaozong in April 1160 as a son. In July 1162, Emperor Gaozong officially designated Zhao Shen as his crown prince and heir apparent.

Archery and equestrianism were required for non-military officials at the Military College in 1162 during Emperor Xiaozong's reign.[1]


  • Great-great-great-great-great-grandfather: Zhao Kuangyin, better known as Emperor Taizu of the Song dynasty
  • Great-great-great-great-grandfather: Zhao Defang (959–981), also known by his posthumous title "Prince Kanghui of Qin" (秦康惠王)
  • Great-great-great-grandfather: Zhao Weixian (趙惟憲; 979–1016), also known by his posthumous title "Duke of Ying" (英國公)
  • Great-great-grandfather: Zhao Congyu (趙從郁), also known by his posthumous title "Marquis of Xinxing" (新興侯)
  • Great-grandfather: Zhao Shijiang (趙世將), also known by his posthumous title "Marquis of Huayin" (華陰侯)
  • Grandfather: Zhao Linghua (趙令譮), also known by his posthumous title "Duke of Qing" (慶國公)
  • Father: Zhao Zicheng (趙子偁; died 1143), also known by his posthumous title "Prince Anxi of Xiu" (秀安僖王)
  • Mother: Lady Zhang (張氏; died 1167), also known as the "Princess Consort of Xiu" (秀王夫人)


  1. ^ Emperor Xiaozong succeeded Emperor Gaozong, who abdicated on 24 July 1162. However, even after his retirement, Emperor Gaozong remained the de facto ruler until his death in November 1187.
  2. ^ Emperor Xiaozong abdicated in favour of his son, Zhao Dun (Emperor Guangzong). He then granted himself the title Taishang Huang ("Retired Emperor") and remained as the de facto ruler until his death.



  1. ^ Lo, Jung-pang (1 January 2012). China as a Sea Power, 1127-1368: A Preliminary Survey of the Maritime Expansion and Naval Exploits of the Chinese People During the Southern Song and Yuan Periods. NUS Press. pp. 103–. ISBN 978-9971-69-505-7. 


  • Toqto'a, et al., eds. (1343). History of Song. Volumes 33–35: Biography of Emperor Xiaozong. 

See also[edit]

Emperor Xiaozong of Song
Born: 1127 Died: 1194
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Emperor Gaozong
Emperor of the Song Dynasty
Succeeded by
Emperor Guangzong