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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.
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.
|Temple Names ( Miao Hao 廟號 miàohào)||Posthumous Names ( Shi Hao 諡號 shìhào)||Born Names||Convention||Period of Reigns||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 born name||1124-1144||Yanqing (延慶 Yánqìng) 1124 or 1125-1134
|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
|Emperor Renzong of Western Liao (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)||Yelü Pusuwan|耶律普速完 Yēlǜ 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 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 Khanate
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