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40 mm; 25 grams; Material: Bronze
Jing Fu Tong Bao, 1031-32 AD
Emperor Xingzong of Liao
Emperor Xingzong of Liao (3 April 1016 – 28 August 1055), personal name Zhigu, sinicised name Yelü Zongzhen, was the seventh emperor of the Khitan-led Liao dynasty.
Yelü Zongzhen was the eldest son of Emperor Shengzong. He was enfeoffed as a prince in 1021 at the age of six. When Emperor Shengzong died in 1031, Yelü Zongzhen succeeded his father as emperor.
The Sinified form of his personal name is usually given as the reason (via the Chinese naming taboo) for the variant forms of the Chinese name of the Jurchens around this time. More likely, however, the variants—which are also attested in other languages of the era lacking such a taboo—simply reflect dialectical differences among the Jurchens themselves.
Emperor Xingzong's reign was the beginning of the end for the Liao dynasty. The government was corrupt and the army started to fall apart. He attacked the Western Xia dynasty many times, and waged war against the Northern Song dynasty. However, the frequent wars were not looked kindly upon by his people, and there were much anger among them for the high taxes. Although Emperor Xingzong was successful in bullying Song into raising the annual indemnities, he was unsuccessful in his invasion of Western Xia due to sandstorms. Emperor Xingzong was interested in Buddhism and spent lavishly for his own pleasure. He died in 1055.
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