An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

Dilie 敵烈

Aug 19, 2012 © Ulrich Theobald

The Dilie 敵烈, also called Dilie 遞烈, Dila 敵拉, Dielie 迭烈, Dili 迪里, Diliede 敵烈得, Diliede 迪烈得, Dalidi 達里底, Dieliede 迭烈德, or Delüele 德哷勒, were a nomad people living in the eastern part of the Mongolian plateau during the 10th and 11th centuries. They were relatives to the Wugu 烏古 and were divided into eight tribes. In 930 they submitted to the Khitan 契丹 empire of Liao 遼 (907-1125) but often rose in rebellion against the control by the sedentary empire of the Khitans that controled northern China.

Emperor Shengzong 遼聖宗 (r. 982-1030) of the Liao divided the Dilie into the Northern Dilie 北敵烈 and the Dielu Dilie 迭魯敵烈. In 994 he appointed his consort and her kinsman Xiao Talin 蕭撻凜 regulatory commissioners (jinglüeshi 經略使) over the Dilie tribes. In 1004 the Empress had founded the prefectural garrisons Zhenzhou 鎮州, Fangzhou 防州 and Weizhou 維州 to oversee the activities of the Dilie and the Tatars 韃靼 (the later Mongols 蒙古). In 1068 an army command (dutong junsi 都統軍司) was founded for the purpose of controling the Wugu and Dilie. A lot of Dilie and Wugu people were in 1096 forcibly transferred to the region of River Wuna 烏納.

When the central government of the Liao empire broke apart under the pressure of the Jurchens 女真, part of the Dilie followed Prince Yelü Dashi 耶律大石 to the west, where he founded the Western Liao empire 西遼 (1124-1218), while the rest of the Dilie submitted to the Jurchen Jin empire 金 (1115-1234). The Jurchens resettled the Dilie and Wugu to different areas, most of them to Pangge 龐葛城 (modern Qiqihar 齊齊哈爾/Heilongjiang), where they merged with other peoples.

The ethnic affiliation of the Dilie is not clear. Most Chinese sources call them a division of the Dingling 丁零, the Gaoche 高車, or the Tiele 鐵勒), which means that they were a Türkic-speaking people. Their ancient name was, as part of the Gaoche federation, Bayegu 拔野古.

Gao Wende 高文德, ed. (1995). Zhongguo shaoshu minzu shi da cidian 中國少數民族史大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin jiaoyu chubanshe), 1882.
Zhang Zhengming 張正明 (1992). "Dilie 敵烈", in Zhongguo da baike quanshu 中國大百科全書, Zhongguo lishi 中國歷史 (Beijing/Shanghai: Zhongguo da baike quanshu chubanshe), Vol. 1, 164.