chapter  2
2 Pages

Emperor Shengzong of the Liao Dynasty (971–1031, reigned 983–1031)

Emperor Shengzong, or Liao Shengzong 遼聖宗, personal name Yelü Longxu 耶律隆緒, was the sixth emperor of the Liao Dynasty, which is also known as the Khitan Empire. He ascended the throne at the age of twelve, and his mother, Empress Ruizhi 睿智太后 (953-1009), held real power as regent. He had a great love of literature and could write poetry in Chinese when he was only ten. He grew up to be one of the Liao rulers well versed in Chinese culture. Because of him, many members of the Liao nobility developed an affinity for Chinese culture, especially Chinese poetry. Yelü Longxu had a great admiration for the Tang poet Bai Juyi 白居易 (772-846) and regarded Bai as his teacher. He translated part of Bai’s poetry into Khitan, and was recognized as a translator of poetry into the Khitan language.5