Kara-Khitan Khanate

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(Redirected from Western Liao)

The Kara-Khitan Khanate (1124 or 1125-1218) was established by Yel Dashi (耶律大石) who led around 100,000 Khitan remnants after escaping Jurchen conquest of their native country, the Khitan dynasty.

This regime survived until the arrival of Genghis Khan's Mongolian horsemen and was referred to in Chinese sources as Kara-Kitai, Kara-Khitai, Kara-Khitay, Kara-Khitan, Western Liao, Xi Liao or similar variants. The Kitai or Khitai suffixes were quoted from Russian sources.

Its capital, Balasagun (in today's Kyrgyzstan) flourished to a cultural and economic centre.

The Islamized Qarluk princely clan, the Balasaghunlu Ashinalar (the Karakhanids) gravitated toward the Persian Islamic cultural zone after their political autonomy and suzereignty over Central Asia was secured during the 9-10th century.

As they became increasingly Persianized (to the point of adopting "Afrasiab", a Shahnameh mythical figure as the ancestor of their lineage), they settled in the more Indo-Iranian sedentary centers such as Qashgari, and became detached from the nomadic traditions of fellow Qarluqs, many of whom retained the Nestorian-Mahayana-Manichaean religious mixture of the former Uyghur Khanate.

When the Khitays came, along with Nestorian Naiman recruits, they solicited support among Qarluks from Semirechye to the Irtysh region.

Though largely Mahayana and Confucian in organizing principles, the nucleus of Khitay elites were wise to adopt elements of Nestorian identity, as reflected in the Christian names of the Kara-Khitay Gur-Khans.

The Khitay conquest of Central Asia, can thus be seen as internecine struggle within the Qarluk nomadic tribe, only played out as dynastic conflict between the conquering Khitay elites and the defending Kara-Khanid princes, resulting in the subjugation of the latter by the former, and in the subjugation of the Muslim Qarluks by their Nestorian kins and the Nestorian Naimans.

Sovereigns of Kara-Khitan Khanate 1124 or 1125-1221
Temple Names ( Miao Hao 廟號 mioho) Posthumous Names ( Shi Hao 諡號 shho) Born Names Convention Period of Reigns Era Names (Nian Hao 年號 ninho) and their according range of years
Convention: check each sovereign
Dezong (德宗 Dzōng) Tianyouwuliedi (天祐武烈帝 Tiānyuwǔlid) Yel Dashi (耶律大石 Yēlǜ Dsh or 耶律達實 Yēlǜ Dsh) 1 use born name 1124-1144 Yanqing (延慶 Ynqng) 1124 or 1125-1134
   Kangguo (康國 Kānggu) 1134-1144
Did not exist Gantianhou (感天后 Gǎntiānhu) Tabuyan|塔不煙 Tǎbyān "Xi Liao" + posthumous name 1144-1150 Xianqing (咸清 Xinqīng) 1144-1150
Emperor Renzong of Western Liao (仁宗 Rnzōng) Too tedious thus not used when referring to this sovereign Yel Yilie|耶律夷列 Yēlǜ Yli "Xi Liao" + temple name 1150-1164 Shaoxing (紹興 Shoxīng) 1150-1164
Did not exist Chengtianhou (承天后 Chngtiānhu) Yel Pusuwan|耶律普速完 Yēlǜ Pǔswn "Xi Liao" + posthumous name 1164-1178 Chongfu (崇福 Chngf) 1164-1178
Did not exist Mozhu (末主 Mzhǔ) or Modi (末帝 Md) Yel Zhilugu|耶律直魯古 Yēlǜ Zhlǔgǔ use born name 1178-1211 Tianxi (天禧 Tiānxǐ) 1178-1211
Did not exist Did not exist Kuchlug (Ch. 屈出律 Qūchūlǜ) use born name 1211-1218 Did not exist
1 "Dashi" might be the Chinese title "Taishi", meaning "vizier"; Or it could mean "Stone" in Turkish, as the Chinese transliteration suggests

See also: Kara-Khanid Khanatede:Kara Kitai ja:西遼 ky:Кара Хитан-Канате ru:Ханство Кара-Хитан zh-cn:西辽


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