world history education resources
Research numerous resources on the world history topics!

Song Dynasty (China)

Song Dynasty (China)

C O N T E N T S:

KEY TOPICS
  • Although the Song dynasty had lost control of the traditional "birthplace of Chinese civilization" along the Yellow River, the Song economy was still strong, as the Southern Song Empire contained a large population and productive agricultural land.(More...)
  • After usurping the throne of the Later Zhou dynasty, Emperor Taizu of Song (r. 960-976) spent sixteen years conquering the rest of China, reuniting much of the territory that had once belonged to the Han and Tang empires and ending the upheaval of the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period.(More...)
  • The early Northern Song dynasty was noted for their magnificent paintings of landscapes.(More...)
  • Although the institution of the civil service examinations had existed since the Sui dynasty, it became much more prominent in the Song period.(More...)
  • The Song (aka Sung) dynasty ruled China from 960 to 1279 CE with the reign split into two periods: the Northern Song (960-1125 CE) and Southern Song (1125-1279 CE).(More...)
  • One of the other major developments in the Song Dynasty was the rapid expansion of the canal and of the waterway system, which was particularly true in the southeast and southern parts of China.(More...)
  • The philosophical efforts by many thinkers during the Northern Song dynasty in the 11th century had continued and culminated during the Southern Song dynasty in the emergence of Neo-Confucianism (in China known as: Daoxue - the Learning of the Way, daoway, xuestudy or learning), which soon after became the dominant ideology of the Chinese empire.(More...)
  • By the mid-Tang Dynasty, the majority of the hereditary aristocracy were threatened their political positions, and by late Tang/early Song, the scholar/gentry had firmly established his social/political/intellectual control of China.(More...)
  • When this alliance collapses, the Mongols begin to attack Song China, but the Chinese are able to withstand many battles with their military power and advanced weaponry.(More...)
  • The Jurchens set up a new dynasty, the Jin, in northern China while the Song remnant fled to the south, creating the Southern Song.(More...)

POSSIBLY USEFUL
  • The Jurchen conquest of North China and shift of capitals from Kaifeng to Lin'an was the dividing line between the Northern and Southern Song dynasties.(More...)
  • The Northern Song ruled a largely united China from their capital at Kaifeng, but when the northern part of the state was invaded by the Jin state in the first quarter of the 12th century CE, the Song moved their capital south to Hangzhou.(More...)
  • Once the Mongols had conquered the Jin, they turned on the Southern Song and captured all of China.(More...)
  • Although reunited for well over a century by the first five Song emperors, China failed to recover the northern provinces from the barbarian tribes.(More...)



RANKED SELECTED SOURCES

KEY TOPICS
Although the Song dynasty had lost control of the traditional "birthplace of Chinese civilization" along the Yellow River, the Song economy was still strong, as the Southern Song Empire contained a large population and productive agricultural land. [1] This defeat not only marked the eventual submission of the Southern Han to the Song dynasty, but also the last instance where a war elephant corps was employed as a regular division within a Chinese army. [1] Although gazetteers had existed since 52 CE during the Han dynasty and gazetteers accompanied by illustrative maps (Chinese: tujing ) since the Sui dynasty, the illustrated gazetteer became much more common in the Song dynasty, when the foremost concern was for illustrative gazetteers to serve political, administrative, and military purposes. [1] Song dynasty artists such as Li Cheng, Fan Kuan, Guo Xi, Zhang Zeduan, Emperor Huizong of Song, and Ma Lin painted close-up depictions of buildings as well as large expanses of cityscapes featuring arched bridges, halls and pavilions, pagoda towers, and distinct Chinese city walls. [1] The Song dynasty ( / s ɔː ŋ / ; Chinese : 宋朝 ; pinyin : Sòng cháo ; 960-1279) was an era of Chinese history that began in 960 and continued until 1279. [1]

The Southern Song ( Chinese : 南宋 ; 1127-1279) refers to the period after the Song lost control of its northern half to the Jurchen Jin dynasty in the Jin-Song Wars. [1] The Song judicial system retained most of the legal code of the earlier Tang dynasty, the basis of traditional Chinese law up until the modern era. [1] During the Northern Song ( Chinese : 北宋 ; 960-1127), the Song capital was in the northern city of Bianjing (now Kaifeng ) and the dynasty controlled most of what is now Eastern China. [1]

The Song dynasty is divided into two distinct periods, Northern and Southern. [1] The Song dynasty used military force in an attempt to quell the Liao dynasty and to recapture the Sixteen Prefectures, a territory under Khitan control since 938 that was traditionally considered to be part of China proper (Most parts of today's Beijing and Tianjin ). [1] Although an early form of the local geographic gazetteer existed in China since the 1st century, the matured form known as "treatise on a place", or fangzhi, replaced the old "map guide", or tujing, during the Song dynasty. [1] The Song dynasty managed to win several military victories over the Tanguts in the early 11th century, culminating in a campaign led by the polymath scientist, general, and statesman Shen Kuo (1031-1095). [1] In a battle on January 23, 971, massive arrow fire from Song dynasty crossbowmen decimated the war elephant corps of the Southern Han army. [1] Conquests of the Song dynasty from 960 to 979, which ended the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period. [1] Although the Jin forces commanded by Wanyan Liang (the Prince of Hailing) boasted 70,000 men on 600 warships, and the Song forces only 3,000 men on 120 warships, the Song dynasty forces were victorious in both battles due to the destructive power of the bombs and the rapid assaults by paddle wheel ships. [1] The Song dynasty supported a widespread postal service that was modeled on the earlier Han dynasty (202 BCE - CE 220) postal system to provide swift communication throughout the empire. [1] Although the Song dynasty was able to hold back the Jin, a new foe came to power over the steppe, deserts, and plains north of the Jin dynasty. [1] From its inception under Taizu, the Song dynasty alternated between warfare and diplomacy with the ethnic Khitans of the Liao dynasty in the northeast and with the Tanguts of the Western Xia in the northwest. [1]

During the Song dynasty, many groups threatened China's northern borders, namely by the Khitans of the Liao dynasty, the Tanguts of the Western Xia dynasty, and the Jurchens of the Jin dynasty. [2] The early Northern Song dynasty witnessed the flowering of one of the supreme artistic expressions of Chinese civilization: monumental landscape painting. [3] The practical reality was that while more people than ever had the opportunity to join the scholar-bureaucrat class which ran the Chinese state at national and local level, and even if the lower aristocracy significantly widened its base, the vast majority of the population during the Song dynasty remained, as ever, overworked and overtaxed farmers. [4] The Song dynasty (960-1279) was culturally the most brilliant era in later imperial Chinese history. [3] The Song dynasty was the most brilliant cultural era in the later part of Chinese history. [2]

Taizu was succeeded by his younger brother, Emperor Taizong ('Grand Ancestor'), who reigned from 976 to 997 CE. The stability provided by the long reigns of the first two emperors (at least compared to the chaotic previous centuries) gave the Song dynasty the start it needed to become one of the most successful in China's history. [4]

The Bei Song (also known simply as the Song) was the last major Chinese dynasty to be founded by a coup d’état. [5] The Southern Song (Chinese: 南宋, 1127-1279) refers to the time after the Song lost control of northern China to the Jurchen Jin dynasty. [2] The Northern Song (Chinese: 北宋, 960-1127) signifies the time when the Song capital was in the northern city of Kaifeng and the dynasty controlled most of inner China. [2]


After usurping the throne of the Later Zhou dynasty, Emperor Taizu of Song (r. 960-976) spent sixteen years conquering the rest of China, reuniting much of the territory that had once belonged to the Han and Tang empires and ending the upheaval of the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period. [1] It is estimated that the Northern Song had a population of some 120 million people, and 200 million by the time of the Ming dynasty. [1]

The invading Mongols employed northern Chinese soldiers and used these same types of gunpowder weapons against the Song. [1] Advancements in weapons technology enhanced by gunpowder, including the evolution of the early flamethrower, explosive grenade, firearm, cannon, and land mine, enabled the Song Chinese to ward off their militant enemies until the Song's ultimate collapse in the late 13th century. [1] The Song government was the first in world history to issue banknotes or true paper money nationally and the first Chinese government to establish a permanent standing navy. [1] The Chinese, we know, are "Confucians"; but the kind of Confucianism that served as government orthodoxy throughout late-imperial times was a Song reinvention. [6] Song Chinese invested their funds in joint stock companies and in multiple sailing vessels at a time when monetary gain was assured from the vigorous overseas trade and domestic trade along the Grand Canal and Yangtze River. [1] The Chinese, we know, are rice eaters and tea drinkers; but most Chinese in the Tang and before ate wheat and millet and drank wine, in that respect looking perhaps more "Western" than "Eastern"; rice and tea became dominant food and drink in the Song. [6] Both private and government-controlled industries met the needs of a growing Chinese population in the Song. [1]

China's population is large, and tends to "explode" in certain periods; its first explosion occurred in the Song. [6]

In 1234, the Jin dynasty was conquered by the Mongols, who took control of northern China, maintaining uneasy relations with the Southern Song. [1] The Mongols were allied with the Song, but this alliance was broken when the Song recaptured the former imperial capitals of Kaifeng, Luoyang, and Chang'an at the collapse of the Jin dynasty. [1] Although weakened and pushed south beyond the Huai River, the Southern Song found new ways to bolster its strong economy and defend itself against the Jin dynasty. [1] Tansen Sen asserts that more Buddhist monks from India travelled to China during the Song than in the previous Tang dynasty (618-907). [1] The Song official Tong Guan (1054-1126) advised Emperor Huizong (1100-1125) to form an alliance with the Jurchens, and the joint military campaign under this Alliance Conducted at Sea toppled and completely conquered the Liao dynasty by 1125. [1] The Song often came into conflict with the contemporary Liao and Western Xia dynasties in the north and was conquered by the Mongol-led Yuan dynasty. [1] Other members of the Song Imperial Family continued to live in the Yuan dynasty, including Zhao Mengfu and Zhao Yong. [1] During the 11th century, Song scholars discovered the ancient shrine of Wu Liang (78-151 CE), a scholar of the Han dynasty (202 BCE - 220 CE); they produced rubbings of the carvings and bas-reliefs decorating the walls of his tomb so that they could be analyzed elsewhere. [1]

Song Dynasty - Ancient History Encyclopedia Song Dynasty Mark Cartwright The Song (aka Sung) dynasty ruled China from 960 to 1279 CE with the reign split into two periods: the Northern Song (960-1125 CE) and Southern Song (1125-1279 CE). [4] The Song dynasty itself can be divided into two distinct periods: the Northern Song and Southern Song. [2]

In 1125, when the Jurchen, a seminomadic people from northeast Asia, invaded Song China and captured the capital at Bianliang (modern Kaifeng), founding their own Jin dynasty in the north, the Song court reestablished itself in the south in Hangzhou, where it continued to rule for another 150 years as the Southern Song dynasty. [7] The Jurchen Jin state invades Song China necessitating the latter to move south and form the Southern Song dynasty. [4] A peace treaty is signed betwwen the (southern) Song Dynasty and Jin state. [4]

Yue Fei in particular had been preparing to recapture Kaifeng (or Bianjing, as the city was known during the Song period), the former capital of the Song Dynasty and the then southern capital of the Jin dynasty, after a streak of uninterrupted military victories. [2] Four years later in 1157, he razed Beijing, including the nobles’ residences and moved the Jurchen "southern" capital from Beijing to Kaifeng, former seat of the Song dynasty and began to reconstruct it (since its sack in 1127). [2] This balance of power disrupted, the Jurchens then turned on the Song Dynasty, resulting in the fall of the Northern Song and the subsequent establishment of the Southern Song. [2] The Song Dynasty included two equal-length eras: the Northern Song and the Southern Song. [8] A map of Song dynasty China, showing the approximate borders of the Northern Song in 1100 and indicating the area lost to the non-Han Jin dynasty in 1127. [9] The Song dynasty, also known as the Sung dynasty, was a ruling dynasty in China from 960-1279 C.E. Its founding marked the reunification of China for the first time since the fall of the Tang dynasty in 907. [2] Treaty of Shanyuan which brings peace between the Liao dynasty and Song dynasty of China with the latter compelled to pay annual tribute. [4] Reign of Emperor Taizu, founder of the Song dynasty in China. [4] Starting in 960 and ending in 1279, the Song Dynasty consisted of the Northern Song (960-1127) and the Southern Song (1127-1279). [10] Hangzhou (aka Linan) is made the capital of the Song Dynasty, now known as the Southern Song. [4] The Jurchen Jin dynasty and Southern Song dynasty sign a formal peace treaty. [4]

After the Jins captured the Northern Song capital of Kaifeng, they went on to conquer the rest of northern China, while the Song Chinese court fled south and founded the Southern Song dynasty. [11] The Song dynasty ruled southern China between 1126 and 1279, and is called the "Southern Song" dynasty by Chinese historians. [12] The old Han Dynasty examinations became more and more important to Chinese government, and from the Song Dynasty on, these examinations were really the only way to get political power in China. [13] Although the Song dynasty had lost control of the traditional "birthplace of Chinese civilization" along the Yellow River, the Song economy was still strong, as the Southern Song empire contained a large population and productive agricultural land. [11] When Emperor Taizu reunified the country after the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period, establishing the Song dynasty, it looked like nothing could stop the Chinese. [14] The Song dynasty would later be thought of by Chinese historians as time of good government. [12] Jin dynasty : This dynasty lasted from 1115-1234 as one of the last dynasties in Chinese history to predate the Mongol invasion of China; they warred with the Song dynasty. [11] This new display explores the golden era of Chinese culture, and features some of the MFA’s greatest treasures, including masterpieces of ceramics, paintings, calligraphy, and sculpture of the Song dynasty (960 -1279). [15] Chinese painting during the Song dynasty reached a new level of sophistication with further development of landscape painting. [11] It was during the Song dynasty that rice became such an important crop for the Chinese. [16] The Song dynasty was an era of Chinese history that began in 960 and continued until 1279; it succeeded the tumultuous Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period and saw many technological and cultural innovations. [11] The Song dynasty provided some of the most significant technological advances in Chinese history, many of which came from talented statesmen drafted by the government through imperial examinations. [11]


The early Northern Song dynasty was noted for their magnificent paintings of landscapes. [2] Following the death of Gaozong and the emergence of the Mongols, the Song dynasty formed a military alliance with the Mongols in the hope of finally defeating the Jin dynasty. [2] This balance was disrupted when the Song Dynasty developed a military alliance with the Jurchens with the purpose of annihilating the Liao dynasty. [2] Before the arrival of the Jurchens the Song dynasty was for centuries engaged in a stand-off against the Western Xia and the Khitan Liao dynasty. [2] The Song Dynasty thought that if they could regain the land of the Western Xia, they could perhaps reestablish the lucrative Silk Road trade that benefited the Han and Tang dynasties. [8] The Song Dynasty (960–1279) was a period of technological advances and prosperity, preceded by the fractured Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period (906–960) and succeeded by the Mongol-led Yuan Dynasty (1279–1368). [8] The Song dynasty was, thus, founded by the Later Zhou general Zhao Kuangyin (927-976 CE) who was endorsed as emperor by the army in 960 CE. His reign title would be Taizu ('Grand Progenitor'). [4] In the South, the climate and the beautiful surroundings were the setting for the Nan Song dynasty established (1127) by the emperor Gaozong. [5] His successor, Kublai Khan, unified the throne, recalled the Mongol armies from the Middle East, and finally conquered the Song dynasty in 1279. [2] In 1004, the Song Dynasty managed to win several military victories over the Liao, and then the Liao sought peace. [8] During the Song Dynasty, the religions of Daoism and Buddhism became less popular among the ruling class than in previous eras. [8] Flower and wildlife painting, especially of birds, also became very popular with Song dynasty artists. [4]


Although the institution of the civil service examinations had existed since the Sui dynasty, it became much more prominent in the Song period. [1] Scholar-officials of the Song period claimed to have discovered ancient bronze vessels that were created as far back as the Shang dynasty (1600-1046 BCE), which bore the written characters of the Shang era. [1]

Chinese boats from Zhang Zeduan's (1085-1145) painting Along the River During Qingming Festival ; Chinese ships of the Song period featured hulls with watertight compartments. [1] As early as the Han dynasty, when the state needed to accurately measure distances traveled throughout the empire, the Chinese relied on a mechanical odometer. [1] A true revival of Buddhism in Chinese society would not occur until the Mongol rule of the Yuan dynasty, with Kublai Khan's sponsorship of Tibetan Buddhism and Drogön Chögyal Phagpa as the leading lama. [1]


The Song (aka Sung) dynasty ruled China from 960 to 1279 CE with the reign split into two periods: the Northern Song (960-1125 CE) and Southern Song (1125-1279 CE). [4] When the second Jin Dynasty (1115–1234) supplanted the Liao, they drove the Song south, dividing the dynasty into the Northern Song (960–1127) and the Southern Song (1127–1279) eras. [8]

The Bei Song was founded by Zhao Kuangyin, the military inspector general of the Hou (Later) Zhou dynasty (last of the Five Dynasties ), who usurped control of the empire in a coup. [5] Although the Song were able to govern over a united China after a significant period of division, their reign was beset by the problems of a new political and intellectual climate which questioned imperial authority and sought to explain where it had gone wrong in the final years of the Tang dynasty. [4]

Over time, the quality of the bureaucracy deteriorated, and when the Juchen (Chinese: Nüzhen, or Ruzhen)--tribes from the North who overthrew the Liao--burst into the northern Song state, it was easy prey. [5] Like so many of his contemporaries, although he started writing in the Northern Song Dynasty, it was in the Southern Song Dynasty, when the Chinese capital moved south to give up the northern territories to the new state established by the Tartars in the north, that he began to talk more in terms of a systematic reorganization of Confucian learning. [17] The northern Vietnamese state of Annam had also become independent from China during the "Five Dynasty" period (934) and, despite one brief attempt, the Song empire was unable to bring it back under Chinese rule. [12] The Mongol Khaganate didn't take kindly to this affront, and Mongol leader Möngke Khan began a campaign against the Song that ended with the infamous Kublai Khan declaring the beginning of China's first foreign dynasty: the Yuan. [14]

After the Jurchen conquest of North China and a shift of capitals from Kaifeng to Lin'an, the Northern Song transitioned into the Southern Song dynasty. [11] Another son of the Song emperor ran away to southern China and in 1126 he started a new Song Dynasty with its capital at Hangzhou. [13] Then those loyal to the original Song dynasty moved south and started the Southern Song dynasty, with Hangzhou as its capital, and Zhao Gou as its first emperor. [18]

In the 1120s they conquered the Liao state of northern frontier region of China, and then drove the Song dynasty to the south. [12] The Song dynasty era is divided into two time periods of almost equal length, referred to as the Northern Song era (960-1126 AD) and the Southern Song era (1127-1279 AD). [18] The history of the Song dynasty is usually divided up between the Northern Song and the Southern Song. [16] Southern Song in 1142: The extent of the land holdings of the Southern Song dynasty, significantly reduced from Northern Song's holdings by the Jin dynasty. [11]

The reason was that Qinzong, the last emperor of the Northern Song, was living in Jin-imposed exile in Manchuria and had a good chance of being recalled to the throne should the Jin dynasty be destroyed. [2] It is commonly divided into Bei (Northern) and Nan (Southern) Song periods, as the dynasty ruled only in South China after 1127. [5] In 1279, the army of the Yuan Dynasty captured Lin'an, putting the Southern Song to an end. [10]

Considered the third Chinese golden age, this complex dynasty was divided almost evenly into Northern (960 - 1126) and Southern (1127 - 1279) halves. [19] The Juchen took over the North and established a dynasty with a Chinese name, the Jin. [5]

The Song Dynasty (960-1279 C.E.) may be the most brilliant period in the history of Chinese culture comparable to the Renaissance in the West. [20] During the Song Dynasty, physicians incorporated the use of herbal medicine into the standard training and practice of Chinese medical doctors licensed to practice medicine as a profession, rather than an avocation. [20] The Song Dynasty was a period of intellectual development unparalleled in Chinese history. [20] The Song Dynasty (960-1279), after the Han Dynasty (202 BC-220 AD) and the Tang Dynasty (618-906), was one of the greatest dynasties in Chinese history that saw great cultural flourishing. [17]


One of the other major developments in the Song Dynasty was the rapid expansion of the canal and of the waterway system, which was particularly true in the southeast and southern parts of China. [21] Though the Song dynasty was able to hold back the Jin from their southern territory, a new foe came to power over the steppe, deserts, and plains north of the Jin dynasty--the Mongols led by Genghis Khan. [11] D uring the Song dynasty, China became the most advanced country in the world -- attaining a level of development that Europeans found hard to believe at the time (as described by Marco Polo who only saw late remnant of the Song glory). [22] Emperor Taizu: A court painting of Emperor Taizu of Song (r. 960-976), who founded the Song dynasty and unified China. [11] Emperor Taizu : Personal name Zhao Kuangyin; he was the founder and first emperor of the Song dynasty in China. [11] Although an early form of the local geographic gazetteer had existed in China since the 1st century, the matured form known as "treatise on a place," or fangzhi, replaced the old "map guide," or tujing, during the Song dynasty. [11] During the Song Dynasty, the population of China grew to about 100 million people, which made it a very large country. [21] Many of the things people today associate with China originated in the Song dynasty. [14]

New Policies : A series of reforms initiated by the Northern Song dynasty reformer Wang Anshi when he served as minister under Emperor Shenzong from 1069-1076. [11] The first part of the Song Dynasty is called the Northern Song. [13] Zhao Kuangyin, later known as Emperor Taizu (r. 960-976), usurped the throne from the Zhou dynasty with the support of military commanders in 960, initiating the Song dynasty and ending the Five Dynasties period. [11] Emperor Taizu of Song unified the empire by conquering other lands during his reign, ending the upheaval of the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period and beginning the Song dynasty. [11]

The period of rule under the Song dynasty was a time of great advancements and invention. [16] After refusing three times eventually he took the robe and became Emperor Taizu, establishing the Song dynasty. [16] Zhao Kuangyin, later known as Emperor Taizu (r. 960-976), usurped the throne from the Zhou with the support of military commanders in 960, initiating the Song dynasty. [11] The Song dynasty came to an end when they allied with the Mongols against their longtime enemies, the Jin. [16] The Mongols continued to war with the Song, eventually founding the Yuan dynasty under Kublai Khan, thus ending the Song dynasty. [11] Although scholars often consider the Song Dynasty to have been very weak, its use of gunpowder was the reason it was able to hold off the Mongols for many decades. [21] In the 1230s, the Song Dynasty made an alliance with the Mongols to get rid of the Jurchen. [13] This detail of a Song Dynasty painting called An Elegant Party shows a small banquet hosted by the emperor for scholar-officials. [21] The Song dynasty had the first standing navy in world history. [16] The Song dynasty was far less successful than the Tang had been in their dealings with foreign peoples. [12] Before the Song dynasty, people had explored methods of artificial magnetization and how to use magnetic needles. [18] Gunpowder One of the revolutionary contributions of the Song dynasty was gunpowder, for use in guns and explosives, rockets, bombs and chemical-warfare weapons. [18] The Song dynasty supported a widespread postal service, modeled on the earlier Han dynasty (202 BCE-CE 220) postal system, to provide swift communication throughout the empire. [11]

The Jin dynasty was conquered by the Mongol Empire in 1234, which subsequently took control of northern China and maintained uneasy relations with the Southern Song court. [2] The subsequent two years of war pushed the Song south and separated the dynasty into two distinct periods: the Northern Song (pre-Jurchen) and the Southern Song (post-Jurchen). [14] The Southern Song (1127-1279) was the period after the Song lost control of its northern half to the Jurchen Jin dynasty in the Jin-Song Wars and retreated south of the Yangtze, establishing a capital at Lin'an. [11] Although weakened and pushed south beyond the Huai River, the Southern Song found new ways to bolster its strong economy and defend itself against the Jin dynasty, especially through the creation of the first standing navy of China. [11]

The Song played a major role in creating iconic China, and many of the world's greatest inventions were brought about by the great innovators of this dynasty. [14] Bitter debates took place between senior officials as to whether to adopt an aggressive policy toward this powerful state, or to continue the defensive stance that the Song regime had mostly taken since the early days of the dynasty. [12] Although the Song state was evenly matched against the Liao dynasty, the Song gained significant military victories against the Western Xia (who would eventually fall to the Mongol conquest of Genghis Khan in 1227). [11] The Song official Tong Guan (1054-1126) advised Emperor Huizong (1100-1125) to form an alliance with the Jurchens (the Alliance Conducted at Sea), and the joint military campaign under this alliance toppled and completely conquered the Liao dynasty by 1125. [11]

The Mongols were at one time allied with the Song, but this alliance was broken when the Song recaptured the former imperial capitals of Kaifeng, Luoyang, and Chang'an at the collapse of the Jin dynasty. [11] The Song made a fatal mistake when it decided to retake the former capitals of Kaifeng, Luoyang, and Chang'an after the Mongols toppled the Jin dynasty. [14]

The invading Mongols employed northern Chinese soldiers and used this same type of gunpowder weapons against the Song. [11] After capturing Kaifeng, the Jurchens went on to conquer the rest of northern China, while the Song Chinese court fled south. [11] A Song prince who had fled to the south proclaimed himself emperor and Chinese forces rallied round him. [12] During Southern Song times, Neo-Confucianism strengthened its hold on the Chinese elite. [12] Both these states were ruled by non-Chinese dynasties, and the fact that the Song were forced to accept equality of status with them was a major source of humiliation to the Chinese. [12] If the Tang was the golden age of Chinese poetry, Song was China’s golden age of painting. [22] This reflects the fact that, in Song times, civilian and military careers had become entirely separate, which had not been the case earlier in Chinese history. [12]

Given the trouble that powerful frontier generals had caused the Tang dynasty, the Song naturally concentrated the bulk of their forces around the capital, under several different commanders who reported directly to the emperor and his ministers. [12] Though weakened and pushed south beyond the Huai River, the Southern Song found new ways to bolster its strong economy and defend itself against the Jin dynasty. [11] Further afield, whereas under the Tang dynasty the neighbouring countries had mostly adopted an attitude of respect, even subservience, to the huge empire, this was not the case under the Song. [12] Other members of the Song imperial family continued to live in the Yuan dynasty, including Zhao Mengfu and Zhao Yong. [11]


The philosophical efforts by many thinkers during the Northern Song dynasty in the 11th century had continued and culminated during the Southern Song dynasty in the emergence of Neo-Confucianism (in China known as: Daoxue - the Learning of the Way, daoway, xuestudy or learning), which soon after became the dominant ideology of the Chinese empire. [23] The Chinese Southern Song dynasty and the Jin dynasty of the Jurchen people henceforth coexisted with the line of demarcation halfway between the Yellow River in the North and the Yangtze River in the South. [23] The Southern Song dynasty holds a special place in Chinese history, because it developed economic and social characteristics that had never before existed in China. [23] Travelers who like Chinese tea and plan to visit the former Song dynasty capital of Hangzhou are recommended to visit the Longjing village, which is a short bus ride away from Hangzhou's West Lake. [23] The song Dynasty built patterns of Chinese life that lasted until the 20th century. [24] Since his death in 1142 CE, Yue Fei of the Song Dynasty (960-1279) has been revered by the Chinese as a national hero. [25]

Prior to the Song dynasty, the Tang Dynasty (618-907) was a militarily powerful dynasty that expanded China's geographic territory to roughly the same extent as the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 CE). [25]

Border uprisings not only led to the end of the Tang Dynasty, but again plunged China into many warring states, before they were reunified under the founding emperor of the Song Dynasty. [17] It's more plausible for a Matt Damon lookalike to have fought as a soldier during the Tang dynasty instead of the subsequent Song dynasty, when China was a less cosmo­politan and more insular state. [26] Between the fall of the Tang Dynasty and the founding of the Song Dynasty, there were years of disunity in China. [17] The Song Dynasty would fall to the invading Mongols, who, under Kublai Khan, would found the Yuan Dynasty in China. [17] After decades of attacks from the Mongols (who have named themselves the Yuan dynasty under Kublai Khan), the Song dynasty finally crumbles. [27]

The Song Dynasty was divided into two main periods: Northern Song (960-1127) and Southern Song (1127-1279). [28] The founders of the Song Dynasty reunified a China that had been in political turmoil since the fall of the Tang Dynasty. [28] In their quest to conquer much of Asia, the Mongols briefly ally with the Song dynasty to attack the Jin Empire. [27] Unfortunately, the military might of the empire was insufficient to withstand the Mongolian invasion that lasted for several decades, and the Song Dynasty finally fell in 1279. [20] According to scholar Nicholas Kiefer's article, although Paris is widely cited as the birthplace of the modern restaurant, eating areas were well established in Song Dynasty Kaifeng in Hebei and Hangzhou in Zhejiang, almost half a millennium prior to the so-called "French Restaurant Revolution" (at a time when your "cultured" Parisian likely gobbled rotting mutton off a trencher). [29] In contrast to the times of Confucius and Mencius, when the ru/ju (or Confucian), were just in the process of forming into a social/intellectual group, by the Song Dynasty, they had already formed into a social class called the scholar/gentry class, made possible by the imperial examinations based on the five Confucian classics. [17] A general in the powerful kingdom Northern Zhou rebels against his king and founds the Song dynasty, calling himself Emperor Taizu. [27]

During the Northern Song (960-1127), the Song capital was in the northern city of Bianjing (now Kaifeng), and the dynasty controlled most of what is now Eastern China. [11] In the early part of the Ming Dynasty, after the Mongols, the Chinese Admiral Zheng He led several significant expeditions around to India and even as far as Africa. [21] The Ming Dynasty, which fought the Manchus, employed Jesuit priests to cast cannons that were more advanced than the Chinese had at that time. [21] As early as the Han dynasty, when the state needed to effectively measure distances traveled throughout the empire, the Chinese relied on the mechanical odometer device. [11] Guanyin, Bodhisattva of Compassion (detail), Chinese, Jin dynasty, early 12th century. [15]

Southern Song era ship: A Song era junk ship, 13th century; Chinese ships of the Song period featured hulls with watertight compartments. [11] Using a mass of arrow fire from crossbowmen, Song forces were able to defeat the renowned war elephant corps of the Southern Han on January 23, 971, thus forcing the submission of Southern Han and terminating the first and last elephant corps to make up a regular division within a Chinese army. [11] The Jurchen had been long-standing allies of the Song empire, and were therefore familiar with Chinese ways. [12] The emphasis laid upon landscape painting in the Song period was grounded in Chinese philosophy; Taoism stressed that humans were but tiny specks among vast and greater cosmos, while Neo-Confucianist writers often pursued the discovery of patterns and principles that they believed caused all social and natural phenomena. [11] The Song era was known in later Chinese history as one of tremendous economic expansion. [12]


By the mid-Tang Dynasty, the majority of the hereditary aristocracy were threatened their political positions, and by late Tang/early Song, the scholar/gentry had firmly established his social/political/intellectual control of China. [17] At this time, the Khitan Empire (also knows as the Liao Dynasty) ruled a large area north of Song territory. [28]

Li Cheng (李成), a follower of Jing Hao who lived a few years into the Song, was a scholar who defined the soft, billowing earthen formations of the northeastern Chinese terrain with "cloudlike" texture, interior layers of graded ink wash bounded by firmly brushed, scallop-edged contours. [30] In 1126, the dynasty had to move its capital from Kaifeng in northern China to Hanzhou in southern China because the Chinese north fell to the Tartar invaders, some of them ancestors to the latter day Manchus, who eventually established their rule in China and the last Chinese imperial dynasty, the Manchu Dynasty (1644-1911). [17] A Khitan tribe, calling their dynasty Liao, held all of northeastern China until 1125, while the Western Xia held the northwest, cutting off Chinese contact with western and Central Asia. [30]

Unwilling to launch further military attacks of their own against the Khitan, the Chinese Song empire formed an alliance with the Jurchen people in 1121 AD. The Jurchen people, who lived north of the Khitan's Liao state, were the ancestors of the Manchu people, who much later founded the Qing dynasty. [23] The North - South division of China during the periods of the Jin and Southern Song dynasty had profound psychological implications as well. [23] From 651 to the end of the southern Song Dynasty, more than 600 years, was the early spread period of Islam in mainland China. [31]

He reigned as Emperor Gaozong of the Southern Song dynasty until 1162 AD. At first, the remainder of the Song imperial court had to flee from one temporary capital in the south to another by the advancing Jurchen army. [23] The seaside city of Lin'an (nowadays Hangzhou in Zhejiang province) became the new capital of the Southern Song dynasty since Bianjing (nowadays Kaifeng in Henan province) remained in the hands of the Jurchen. [23] Before the Jurchen invasion, the Song dynasty capital of Bianjing (nowadays Kaifeng in Henan province) had served as a kind of nationwide marriage market for literati families. [23]

In 1140 AD, a promising attempt to regain the North by the military general Yue Fei of the Southern Song dynasty was halted by Emperor Gaozong's order to return to the Song capital. [23] Map of the Song dynasty state during the Northern Song period in 1111 AD. The green areas north of the Song territory show the Western Xia (Xi Xia) dynasty and Liao dynasty states. [23] After the Song dynasty had stabilized its power, it launched a major military campaign in 1004 AD with the aim of trying to recapture the prosperous Sixteen Prefectures from the Liao dynasty state, its northern neighbour. [23]

The Song dynasty is divided into two distinct periods, the Northern Song and the Southern Song period. [23] That event marks the end of the Northern Song and the beginning of the Southern Song dynasty (1127 AD - 1279 AD). [23] During the early part of the Song dynasty (the Northern Song), the painting of natural scenes and landscapes supplanted the narrative and illustrative paintings of earlier periods in importance and popularity. [23] The Song dynasty didn't fight any major wars against their northern neighbour, the Liao dynasty, after their defeat in 1004 AD. And so it was mostly due to the Liao state's internal failures, that its power began to wane during the late 11th and early 12th century. [23] In Empresses, Art, and Agency in Song Dynasty China, Hui-shu Lee sets out to uncover the varied ways these women were connected to the art produced at court or with court funding. [32] The Song army was defeated by the Khitan forces and the Song dynasty was forced to sign a humiliating treaty with the Liao dynasty, which stipulated the annual payment of subsidies (that were mostly paid in silver, silk and cotton cloth) to the Khitan emperors. [23] Over the course of the Song dynasty the imperial palaces in Kaifeng and Hangzhou were home to tens of thousands of women, a dozen or more of whom gained substantial political power as empresses. [32] Zhao Kuangyin proclaimed the Song dynasty (960 AD - 1279 AD), which he ruled as its first emperor Taizu. [23]


When this alliance collapses, the Mongols begin to attack Song China, but the Chinese are able to withstand many battles with their military power and advanced weaponry. [27] During the early years of the Tang dynasty (618-907), non-Han Chinese soldiers were actually preferred by the government because they were perceived to be better fighters. [26]


The Jurchens set up a new dynasty, the Jin, in northern China while the Song remnant fled to the south, creating the Southern Song. [33] Whereas the economy of the northern Jin dynasty state remained agrarian based, the economy of the Southern Song state underwent significant changes, most notably a period of local economic specialization. [23]

Whereas most previous members of the literati elite saw themselves as Chinese first and residents of a certain area second, the educated elite's psychological focus on national unity now became increasingly secondary to regional affiliations, particularly in literati families in the Southern Song state. [23] About 60 percent of the entire Chinese population lived in the Southern Song state at that time. [23]

The subsequent Song emperors never managed to bring the former parts of the Tang empire in the North, Northeast, South and especially Northwest back under Chinese control. [23]

The Southern Song dynasty's last decades were spent trying to resist the increasing threat of Mongol invasion. [23] Yue Fei's military background, coupled with his insistence on conquering enemies and expanding the Song territory, was more akin to the preceding Tang dynasty. [25]

They were greatly outnumbered by the Chinese and it is estimated that there were only about 1 million Jurchen people within the 60 million or so population of the Jin dynasty state. [23] The Sixteen Prefectures, an agriculturally rich and densely populated area (by Chinese people), had been ceded to the Liao dynasty in 938 AD by the Later Jin dynasty, the 3rd of the five successive dynasties during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period. [23] The Khitan rulers of the Liao dynasty had over time adopted the luxurious lifestyle of the wealthy Chinese. [23] Therefore it is not surprising that the Jin dynasty became more and more Chinese within a generation or two, just like the Tuoba Wei dynasty centuries earlier. [23]

Just when the Jurchen started to launch military campaigns against the Khitan in the 1120's, the Chinese Song empire simultaneously stopped the payment of subsidies to the Khitan in an effort to weaken them further. [23] Just 5-6 years Chinese were boasting how rational their leaders were to those in the West. now you have people making song's to Xi Jinping turds. [34]

POSSIBLY USEFUL
The Jurchen conquest of North China and shift of capitals from Kaifeng to Lin'an was the dividing line between the Northern and Southern Song dynasties. [1] The Song navy was of great importance during the consolidation of the empire in the 10th century; during the war against the Southern Tang state the Song navy employed tactics such as defending large floating pontoon bridges across the Yangtze River in order to secure movements of troops and supplies. [1] Some of the most famous are the Iron Pagoda built in 1049 during the Northern Song and the Liuhe Pagoda built in 1165 during the Southern Song, although there were many others. [1] The Northern Song census recorded 20 million households, double of the Han and Tang dynasties. [1] Su was a product of his times, as the identity, habits, and attitudes of the scholar-official had become less aristocratic and more bureaucratic with the transition of the periods from Tang to Song. [1]

To repel the Jin, and later the Mongols, the Song developed revolutionary new military technology augmented by the use of gunpowder. [1] This growth was made possible by expanded rice cultivation in central and southern Song, the use of early-ripening rice from south-east and southern Asia, and the production of widespread food surpluses. [1] In addition to the Song gentry's antiquarian pursuits of art collecting, scholar-officials during the Song became highly interested in retrieving ancient relics from archaeological sites, in order to revive the use of ancient vessels in ceremonies of state ritual. [1] The Song government--excluding the educational-reformist government under Emperor Huizong--spared little amount of state revenue to maintain prefectural and county schools; instead, the bulk of the funds for schools was drawn from private financing. [1] Emperor Gaozong of Song initiated a massive art project during his reign, known as the Eighteen Songs of a Nomad Flute from the life story of Cai Wenji (b. 177). [1] On Kublai's orders, carried out by his commander Bayan, the rest of the former imperial family of Song were unharmed; the deposed Emperor Gong was demoted, being given the title 'Duke of Ying', but was eventually exiled to Tibet where he took up a monastic life. [1] The Song military was chiefly organized to ensure that the army could not threaten Imperial control, often at the expense of effectiveness in war. [1] The poor performance and military weakness of the Song army was observed by the Jurchens, who immediately broke the alliance, beginning the Jin-Song Wars of 1125 and 1127. [1]

It was founded by Emperor Taizu of Song following his usurpation of the throne of Later Zhou, ending the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period. [1] With a permanent navy, the Song were prepared to face the naval forces of the Jin on the Yangtze River in 1161, in the Battle of Tangdao and the Battle of Caishi. [1] Although Hulagu was allied with Kublai Khan, his forces were unable to help in the assault against the Song, due to Hulagu's war with the Golden Horde. [1] The Mongol leader Möngke Khan led a campaign against the Song in 1259 but died on August 11 during the Siege of Diaoyu Castle in Chongqing. [1]

The Song state recognized the Liao state as its diplomatic equal. [1] Using statistics gathered by the Song state, Edward A. Kracke, Sudō Yoshiyuki, and Ho Ping-ti supported the hypothesis that simply having a father, grandfather, or great-grandfather who had served as an official of state did not guarantee one would obtain the same level of authority. [1]

The Song system of government was also advanced for its time. [6] Like regional cooking and cuisines in the Song, the era was known for its regional varieties of performing arts styles as well. [1] Su Song was best known for his horology treatise written in 1092, which described and illustrated in great detail his hydraulic -powered, 12m (39ft) tall astronomical clock tower built in Kaifeng. [1]

Due to costly court expenses and immediate jailing of those accused of criminal offences, people in the Song preferred to settle disputes and quarrels privately, without the court's interference. [1]

This dynasty also saw the first known use of gunpowder, as well as the first discernment of true north using a compass. [1] At the beginning of the dynasty, government posts were disproportionately held by two elite social groups: a founding elite who had ties with the founding emperor and a semi-hereditary professional elite who used long-held clan status, family connections, and marriage alliances to secure appointments. [1]

A magnificent picture scroll painted by a Chinese artist in the 12th century provides us with a look at society and urban life in China during this time. [6] Shen Kuo's Dream Pool Essays argued against traditional Chinese beliefs in anatomy (such as his argument for two throat valves instead of three); this perhaps spurred the interest in the performance of post-mortem autopsies in China during the 12th century. [1] Religion in China during this period had a great effect on people's lives, beliefs, and daily activities, and Chinese literature on spirituality was popular. [1]

RANKED SELECTED SOURCES(35 source documents arranged by frequency of occurrence in the above report)

1. (85) Song dynasty - Wikipedia

2. (63) The Song Dynasty | Boundless World History

3. (56) Song Dynasty China - TimeMaps

4. (36) Song Dynasty - Ancient History Encyclopedia

5. (28) Song Dynasty (960-1279 AD) - Chinese History Digest

6. (27) Song Dynasty - New World Encyclopedia

7. (21) Song Dynasty | Chinese Painting History | China Online Museum

8. (17) Song Dynasty, History and Facts of Song Dynasty

9. (14) Kids History: The Song Dynasty of Ancient China

10. (13) NOVA - Official Website | China's Age of Invention

11. (13) Song dynasty | Chinese history | Britannica.com

12. (11) China in the Song Dynasty

13. (11) Song Dynasty Timeline

14. (10) A Brief History of China: Song Dynasty

15. (9) Song Dynasty China - Medieval China - Quatr.us Study Guides

16. (8) China Song Dynasty (960-1279): Emperors, Achievements

17. (8) Song Dynasty: Chinas Renaissance | RealClearHistory

18. (7) Song Dynasty, Rise And Decline Of Song Dynasty

19. (6) Traditional Chinese Medicine during the Song Dynasty (960-1279 C.E.)

20. (6) Chinese History for Dummies | Part 7: The Song Dynasty [ 960-1279 ]

21. (6) The Song Dynasty in China

22. (4) Chinese Song Dynasty Gallery | Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

23. (4) Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127) | Essay | Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History | The Metropolitan Museum of Art

24. (3) Yue Fei's Different Goals and Ideals in the Chinese Song Dynasty, 960-1279 - Inquiries Journal

25. (3) A Matt Damon lookalike in Song-dynasty China? | Post Magazine | South China Morning Post

26. (3) Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279) | Essay | Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History | The Metropolitan Museum of Art

27. (2) Sung Dynasty - The Art of Asia - Chinese Dynasty Guide

28. (2) Project MUSE - Empresses, Art, and Agency in Song Dynasty China (review)

29. (2) The Digital Gazetteer of the Song Dynasty

30. (1) AP World Chapter 9 W's Flashcards | Quizlet

31. (1) The restaurant may have originated in Song Dynasty China: Shanghaiist

32. (1) Islam in China Tang & Song Dynasty, Muslim History in Tang & Song Dynasty

33. (1) Song Dynasty falls as Mongols complete conquest of China | OUPblog

34. (1) Comments on The song dynasty | The Economist

35. (1) Song Dynasty China


Privacy Policy  | Terms & Conditions  | Note: Footnotes & Links provided to all original resources.

© Copyright 2017, Power Text Solutions, All Rights Reserved.