The Yaryul clan (or Yelü clan; Chinese: 耶律; pinyin: Yēlǜ; Khitan small script: ) of the Khitan people assumed leadership of the Khitan state in 907 when Abaoji became khan of the Khitan people. The clan, written "ei.ra.ú.ud" in the Khitan language, maintained that leadership through the fall of the Liao dynasty in the 1120s. Even following this fall, members of the clan appear in history, most notably during the Mongols era of conquest in the thirteenth century.
|Country||Liao dynasty, Northern Liao, Western Liao, Eastern Liao, Later Liao|
|Final ruler||Yelü Zhilugu|
|Titles||Emperor of the Liao Empire|
|Estate(s)||Palaces in Linhuang and Balasagun|
The Yelü clan is notable for establishing numerous dynastic regimes in Chinese history: the Liao dynasty (遼朝), Northern Liao (北遼), Western Liao (西遼), Eastern Liao (東遼), and Later Liao (後遼). In particular, the Liao dynasty and Western Liao were powerful empires that had significant impact on regional history.
Rise to powerEdit
Abaoji, born in 872, was the son of the chieftain of the Yila tribe. At this time, the Yaolian clan had led the Khitan people since the mid-eighth century, and were the only Khitan family to have adopted a surname at this point as this was seen as a mark of Chinese culture and not befitting of peoples of the steppe.
In 901, Abaoji was elected chieftain of the Yila tribe and in 905 forged relations with Li Keyong of the Shatuo Turks. In 907, he was chosen leader of the Khitan, the first outside the Yaolian lineage to be chosen in more than a century and a half. From this, Abaoji and his successors developed the Liao dynasty, which would conquer all of Manchuria, the northern fringe of China known as the Sixteen Prefectures and adjacent areas of northern Korea, eastern Mongolia and parts of far-eastern Russia.
Every monarch of the Liao dynasty was from the Yelü clan, which adopted the surname sometime in the 930s, after the death of Abaoji. The clan directly governed the southern half of the empire while the Xiao consort clan governed the north. The Southern Chancellory was charged with governing the sedentary population of the empire, mostly ethnic Han and residents of the conquered kingdom of Balhae. As such, there is evidence of at least limited Sinicization on the part of the Yelü clan.
Even as late as 1074, a proposal was brought before the Liao emperors to adopt surnames throughout the empire. This was rejected as an idea that would disrupt the Khitan order.
The Liao dynasty fell to the Jurchen Jin dynasty in 1125, but a branch of the Yelü imperial clan survived and established another empire in the Western Regions known as the Western Liao, also called the Qara Khitai.
|Temple Names ( Miao Hao 廟號 miàohào)||Posthumous Names ( Shi Hao 諡號 shìhào)||Birth Names||Period of Reigns||Era Names (Nian Hao 年號 niánhào) and their according range of years|
|Convention: "Liao" + temple name except Liao Tianzuodi who is referred using "Liao" + posthumous name|
|Too tedious thus not used when referring to this sovereign||Nieli (涅里 Nièlǐ)|
|Too tedious thus not used when referring to this sovereign||Pidie (毗牒 Pídié)|
|Too tedious thus not used when referring to this sovereign||Keling (頦領 Kélǐng)|
|Suzu (Posthumously honored) (肅祖 Sùzŭ)||Too tedious thus not used when referring to this sovereign||Noulisi (耨里思 Nòulǐsī)|
|Yizu (Posthumously honored) (懿祖 Yìzŭ)||Too tedious thus not used when referring to this sovereign||Salade (薩剌德 Sàládé)|
|Xuanzu (Posthumously honored) (玄祖 Xuánzŭ)||Too tedious thus not used when referring to this sovereign||Yundeshi (勻德實 Yúndéshí)|
|Dezu (Posthumously honored) (德祖 Dézŭ)||Too tedious thus not used when referring to this sovereign||Saladi (撒剌的 Sālàdī)|
|Taizu (太祖 Tàizǔ)||Too tedious thus not used when referring to this sovereign||Yi (億 Yì)||916-926||Shence (神冊 Shéncè) 916-922|
Tianzan (天贊 Tiānzàn) 922-926
|Yizong (義宗 Yìzōng)||Too tedious thus not used when referring to this sovereign||Bei (倍 Bèi)|
|Taizong (太宗 Tàizōng)||Too tedious thus not used when referring to this sovereign||Deguang (德光 Déguāng)||926-947||Tianxian (天顯 Tiānxiǎn) 927-938|
Huitong (會同 Huìtóng) 938-947
|Shizong (世宗 Shìzōng)||Too tedious thus not used when referring to this sovereign||Ruan (阮 Ruǎn)||947-951||Tianlu (天祿 Tiānlù) 947-951|
|Muzong (穆宗 Mùzōng)||Too tedious thus not used when referring to this sovereign||Jing (璟 Jǐng)||951-969||Yingli (應曆 Yìnglì) 951-969|
|Jingzong (景宗 Jǐngzōng)||Too tedious thus not used when referring to this sovereign||Xian (賢 Xián)||969-982||Baoning (保寧 Bǎoníng) 969-979|
Qianheng (乾亨 Qiánhēng) 979-982
|Shengzong (聖宗 Shèngzōng)||Too tedious thus not used when referring to this sovereign||Longxu (隆緒 Lóngxù)||982-1031||Qianheng (乾亨 Qiánhēng) 982|
Tonghe (統和 Tǒnghé) 983-1012
|Xingzong (興宗 Xīngzōng)||Too tedious thus not used when referring to this sovereign||Zongzhen (宗眞 Zōngzhēn)||1031-1055||Jingfu (景福 Jǐngfú) 1031-1032|
Chongxi (重熙 Chóngxī) 1032-1055
|Daozong (道宗 Dàozōng)||Too tedious thus not used when referring to this sovereign||Hongji (洪基 Hóngjī)||1055-1101||Qingning (清寧 Qīngníng) 1055-1064|
Xianyong (咸雍 Xiányōng) 1065-1074
|Shunzong (順宗 Shùnzōng)||Too tedious thus not used when referring to this sovereign||Jun (濬 Jùn)|
|Gongzong (恭宗 Gōngzōng)||Tianzuodi (天祚帝 Tiānzuòdì)||Yanxi (延禧 Yánxǐ)||1101-1125||Qiantong (乾統 Qiántǒng) 1101-1110|
Tianqing (天慶 Tiānqìng) 1111-1120
Western Liao dynastyEdit
|Temple Names ( Miao Hao 廟號 miàohào)||Posthumous Names ( Shi Hao 諡號 shìhào)||Birth Names||Convention||Period of Reign||Era Names (Nian Hao 年號 niánhào) and their according range of years|
|Convention: check each sovereign|
|Dezong (德宗 Dézōng)||Tianyouwuliedi (天祐武烈帝 Tiānyòuwǔlièdì)||Yelü Dashi (耶律大石 Yēlǜ Dàshí or 耶律達實 Yēlǜ Dáshí) 1||use birth name||1124-1144||Yanqing (延慶 Yánqìng) 1124 or 1125-1134|
Kangguo (康國 Kāngguó) 1134-1144
|Did not exist||Gantianhou (感天后 Gǎntiānhòu)||Tabuyan (塔不煙 Tǎbùyān)||"Xi Liao" + posthumous name||1144-1150||Xianqing (咸清 Xiánqīng) 1144-1150|
|Renzong (仁宗 Rénzōng)||Too tedious thus not used when referring to this sovereign||Yelü Yilie (耶律夷列 Yēlǜ Yíliè)||"Xi Liao" + temple name||1150-1164||Shaoxing (紹興 Shàoxīng) 1150-1164|
|Did not exist||Chengtianhou (承天后 Chéngtiānhòu)||Pusuwan (普速完 Pǔsùwán)||"Xi Liao" + posthumous name||1164-1178||Chongfu (崇福 Chóngfú) 1164-1178|
|Did not exist||Mozhu (末主 Mòzhǔ) or Modi (末帝 Mòdì)||Yelü Zhilugu (耶律直魯古 Yēlǜ Zhílǔgǔ)||use birth name||1178-1211||Tianxi (天禧 Tiānxī) 1178-1211|
|Did not exist||Did not exist||Kuchlug (Ch. 屈出律 Qūchūlǜ) 2||use birth 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.|
2 Kuchlug was not a member of the Yelü clan by birth, but he later became the son-in-law of Yelü Zhilugu and usurped the Western Liao throne.
— Royal house —
House of Yaryul
| Ruling House of Mongolia
| Ruling House of (North) China
| Ruling House of Central Asia