Emperor Zhezong

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Emperor Zhezong of Song
Emperor of the Song dynasty
Reign 1 April 1085 – 23 February 1100
Coronation 1 April 1085
Predecessor Emperor Shenzong
Successor Emperor Huizong
Born Zhao Yong (1077–1085)
Zhao Xu (1085–1100)[a]
4 January 1077
Died 23 February 1100(1100-02-23) (aged 23)
Era dates
Yuanyou (元祐; 1086–1094)
Shaosheng (紹聖; 1094–1098)
Yuanfu (元符; 1098–1100)
Posthumous name
Xianyuan Jidao Shide Yanggong Qinwen Ruiwu Qisheng Zhaoxiao Huangdi
(憲元繼道世德揚功欽文睿武齊聖昭孝皇帝) (awarded in 1113)
Temple name
Zhezong (哲宗)
House House of Zhao
Father Emperor Shenzong
Mother Empress Qinsheng
Emperor Zhezong of Song
Chinese 宋哲宗
Literal meaning "Wise Ancestor of the Song"
Zhao Xu
Traditional Chinese 趙煦
Simplified Chinese 赵煦
Zhao Yong
Traditional Chinese 趙傭
Simplified Chinese 赵傭

Emperor Zhezong of Song (4 January 1077 – 23 February 1100), personal name Zhao Xu, was the seventh emperor of the Song dynasty in China. His original personal name was Zhao Yong but he changed it to "Zhao Xu" after his coronation. He reigned from 1085 until his death in 1100, and was succeeded by his younger half-brother, Emperor Huizong, because his son died prematurely.

Emperor Zhezong was the sixth son of Emperor Shenzong. He ascended the throne at the age of nine under the supervision of his grandmother, Grand Empress Dowager Gao. As the young emperor's regent, Grand Empress Dowager Gao appointed conservatives such as Sima Guang as Chancellor, who halted the New Policies set forth by Wang Anshi before dying in 1086. Emperor Zhezong was powerless and it was not until Grand Empress Dowager Gao's death in 1093 that the emperor was able to reinstate Wang Anshi's reforms and reduce the late Sima Guang's influence.

Emperor Zhezong lowered taxes, stopped negotiations with the Tangut-led Western Xia state, and resumed armed conflict which eventually forced Western Xia to enter a more peaceful stance with the Song Empire. However, Emperor Zhezong was unable to stop fighting between conservative members of his government and the more liberal members who supported Wang Anshi's reforms and in fact, the fighting intensified during Emperor Zhezong’s reign.[1] This split would eventually contribute to the Northern Song dynasty's demise in the 12th century.

Emperor Zhezong died in 1100 in Kaifeng at the age of 24 and was succeeded by his younger brother, Emperor Huizong.


  • Parents:
    • Zhao Xu (神宗 趙頊; 1048 – 1085)
    • Empress dowager Zhu (欽成皇后 朱氏; 1052 – 1102)
  • Consorts and issue:
  1. Empress Meng (昭慈皇后 孟氏; 1073 – 1131)
    1. Princess Xunmei (洵美帝姬; 1094 – 1096)
  2. Empress Liu (昭懷皇后 劉氏; 1078 – 1113), personal name Qingjing (清菁)
    1. Princess Shushen (淑慎帝姬; 1096 – 1164)
    2. Princess Chunmei (純美帝姬; 1097 – 1099)
    3. Zhao Mao (獻愍皇太子 趙茂; 1099)
  3. Unknown
    1. Princess Shuhe (淑和帝姬; d. 1117)

See also

  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. Wang Anshi
  10. Sima Guang


  1. ^ "Song Zhezong". Baike Baidu.
  1. ^ Had his name changed to "Zhao Xu" in March 1085 when he was officially designated as the Crown Prince. This name became his official personal name when he ascended the throne five days later.
Emperor Zhezong
Born: 4 January 1077 Died: 23 February 1100[aged 23]
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Emperor Shenzong
Emperor of the Song Dynasty
Succeeded by
Emperor Huizong
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