Under the names of Yenking, which it received from the Khitan, and of Chung-tu, which it had from the Kin, it holds a conspicuous place in the wars of Jenghiz Khan against the latter dynasty.
In 986 it was taken by an invading force of Khitan Tatars, who adopted it as their headquarters and named it Nanking, or the "southern capital."
It is derived from Khitai, or Khitat, the name which was properly that of the kingdom established by the Khitan conquerors in the northern provinces of China about A.D.
3 Thus under the Chow dynasty (1122-225 B.C.) they were known as Sewshin, and at subsequent periods as Yih-low, Wuh-keih, Moh-hoh, Pohai, Niichih and according to the Chinese historians also as Khitan.