Hartill 18.04 Rare Ki-tan Tartar Liao Dynasty Ying Li Tong Bao, 951 Bronze Cash
Ki-tan Tartar Liao Dynasty
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Reference: Hartill 18.04
Weight: 4.7 grams; Size: 24 mm; Bronze
Emperor Muzong of Liao
The Emperor Muzong of Liao (Chinese: 辽穆宗; pinyin: Liáo Mùzōng) (September 19, 931 – March 12, 969); born as Yelü Jing (Chinese: 耶律璟), was an emperor of the Liao Dynasty and reigned from October 11, 951 to March 12, 969. He was the son of Emperor Taizong of Liao, and succeeded Emperor Shizong, who was murdered in 951.
Emperor Muzong, like Shizong, was an alcoholic and had many vices. His alcoholism earned him the nickname “The Dozing Emperor.” He had a violent temper and frequently killed people without reason. He also liked to hunt. Muzong's reign was one of the darkest in Liao Dynasty's history, and his government was a shambles.
LIAO DYNASTY, AD 907-1125
The Liao were a Tartar Dynasty known as the Ch'i-tan or Ki-tan Tartars, first established by T'ai Tsu in AD 907 during the period of the 5 dynasties. The dynasty lasted for 218 years until AD 1125, ruling from their capital at Beijing. For most of their existence they existed along side the Northern Sung Dynasty, in what appears to be somewhat less than peaceful co-existance.
The first Emperor of Liao did not issue any coins. There were five Emperors between AD 907 and 1031 who issued coins, but only a handful of each type is known to exist and it is unlikely any genuine examples will come on the market. We have not listed them here as it is unlikely anyone viewing this site to identify a coin will have one, but you will find information on them on page 216 of David Hartill's book CAST CHINESE COINS. Schjoth (page 41) notes a record of the Liang Dynasty Emperor Mo, using the reign title Lung-te, issuing large numbers of coins during this period, which are likely what circulated in the Liao region for what little need the Liao people had of coins at that time.
The earliest readily available coins of Liao begin with the Emperor Hsing Tsung during his second reign title of Ch'ung Hsi after he established the first Liao central mint in Manchuria in AD 1053. The mint was not particularly skilled and most Liao coins are fairly crude, poor quality castings.
There are some differences in the dating of the Liao reign titles by Schjoth and Hartill, and we have chosen to use those given by Hartill as it is much more recent and almost certainly more reliable research.
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