Emperor Zhenzong of the Song Dynasty
As the third son of Emperor Taizong of Song, Zhao Heng, Emperor Zhenzong (AD 968-1022), was successively titled as King of Han, King of Xiang, and King of Shou before he finally ascended the throne. In AD 997, he succeeded to the throne as the crown prince.
During the 25-year reign of Emperor Zhenzong, he ruled the country in an appropriate way. As a result, the regime of the Northern Song Dynasty was increasingly consolidated, the management of the country increasingly enhanced, and social economy thrived. The Northern Song Dynasty embraced a period of prosperity, which has been known as the "Golden Age of Xianping" in history.
In AD 1004, Liao Dynasty intruded on the Song Dynasty. Led by Kou Zhun, the Prime Minister, a minority of the officials insisted on fighting back, and eventually they persuaded Emperor Zhenzong to go to the battlefield in person. The armies from both sides confronted each other at Tanyuan. After Song armies achieved victory, the two dynasties arrived at Tanyuan Covenant. It was required that, every year, the Song Dynasty pay Liao a hundred thousand liang (1 liang is equal to 50 grams) of silver and two hundred thousand bolts of brocade so as to maintain peace between the two parties.
Later in his reign, Emperor Zhenzong believed in Taoism and Buddhism. He claimed to have received the divine instruction. Accordingly, he held sacrificial ceremonies on Mount Tai as well as in Fenyang, and built a great many temples as well.
In the meantime, as a poet, Emperor Zhenzong is famous for A Verse to Inspire Learning and A Poem to Encourage Learning.
Emperor Zhenzong was buried in Yongding Mausoleum after he passed away.