理宗 (1205–1264) was the 14th emperor of the Song Dynasty
, and the fifth emperor of the Southern Song. His personal name was Zhao Yun
(趙昀). He reigned from 1224 to 1264. His temple name
means "Reasonable Ancestor". Although a descendant of Song founder Emperor Taizu and henceforth considered a part of the Zhao Song royal family
, Lizong was not in line to succeed to the throne as his family held no political status. Shi Miyuan
(史彌遠), who was a chancellor for many years collaborated with the Dowager Empress Yang and brought Zhao Yun to the throne.
Lizong's long reign of forty years did little to improve the predicament Song China was in at the time. Lizong was uninterested in governmental affairs and for the first decade of his rule he delegated matters into the hands of his ministers notably Shi Miyuan who acted as a de facto ruler in the absence of the Lizong Emperor. After Shi's death in 1233, Lizong assumed full authority briefly but again quickly abandoned the responsibility of ruling and delegated matters to his prime minister Ding Da Quan
in order to pursue personal enjoyment. It was said that Lizong frequented brothels as well as invited prostitutes into the palace which was vehemently opposed by his loyal ministers.
Notable events during Lizong's reign included the demise of the Jin dynasty
in 1234 that was obliterated by the joint forces of the Mongols
and the South Song Dynasty
. However in 1259, the Mongols turned against... Read More