Emperor Shizong of Later Zhou

Shizong of the later zhou dynasty (後周世宗) (died 959), born Chai Rong (柴榮) and later renamed Guo Rong (郭榮), was the second emperor of the later zhou dynasty and ruled from 954 to 959.


Chai Rong was born as the son of Guo Wei's (posthumously known as Emperor Taizu of later zhou dynasty) wife's elder brother. Guo adopted him as a young boy and renamed him Guo Rong. His adoptive father became the founding emperor of the later zhou dynasty in 951, but died a little more than three years later in 954 from an illness.

Emperor of Later Zhou

Guo Rong (posthumously known as Shizong of later zhou dynasty) became emperor in 954 upon his adoptive father's death. Like his father, he was considered an able ruler. He continued reforms introduced by his father. More importantly, he began putting pressure on the northern han and even the Liao Dynasty, though nothing substantial came of it. More success was met in the south as some minor successes were made against the southern tang and later shu, paving the way to eventual unification by the song dynasty.

He suffered an early death at the age of 38 when he died from illness while out on the field in 959. He left behind him a six-year-old heir to succeed him. This led to the fall of the dynasty and the rise of the song dynasty, which eventually succeeded in reunifying China.

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