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The Song dynasty (; ; 960–1279) was an imperial dynasty of China that began in 960 and lasted until 1279. The dynasty was founded by
Emperor Taizu of Song Emperor Taizu of Song (21 March 927 – 14 November 976), personal name Zhao Kuangyin, courtesy name Yuanlang, was the founder and first emperor of the Song dynasty in China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a ...
following his usurpation of the throne of the
Later Zhou The Later Zhou (; ) was the last in a succession of five dynasties that controlled most of northern China during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period, which lasted from 907 to 960 and bridged the gap between the Tang Dynasty The T ...

Later Zhou
, ending the
Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period The Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period (), from 907 to 979 was an era of political upheaval and division in 10th-century Imperial China The earliest known written records of the history of China date from as early as 1250 BC, from t ...
. The Song often came into conflict with the contemporaneous Liao,
Western Xia The Western Xia or the Xi Xia (), officially the Great Xia (), also known as the Tangut Empire, and known as ''Mi-nyak''Stein (1972), pp. 70–71. to Tanguts and Tibetans, was a Tangut people, Tangut-ruled empire and a Dynasties in Ch ...

Western Xia
and Jin dynasties in
northern China Northern China () and Southern China () are two approximate regions within China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, world's most ...

northern China
. After decades of armed resistance defending
southern China Northern China () and Southern China () are two approximate regions within China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, world's most ...
, it was eventually conquered by the
Mongol The Mongols ( mn, Монголчууд, , ''Mongolchuud'', ; russian: Монголы, ) are an ethnic group to the , and the of Russia. The Mongols are the principal member of the large family of . The in Western Mongolia as well as the ...

Mongol
-led
Yuan dynasty The Yuan dynasty (), officially the Great Yuan (; xng, , , literally "Great Yuan State"), was a successor state Successor is someone who, or something which succeeds or comes after (see success and succession) Film and TV * ''The Succe ...
. The dynasty is divided into two periods: Northern Song and Southern Song. During the
Northern Song The Northern Song (北宋; 4 February 960 – 20 March 1127) is an era during the Song dynasty, Song Dynasty. It came to an end when its capital city, the city of Kaifeng, was conquered by enemies from the north. Later, the provisional capital of ...
(; 960–1127), the capital was in the northern city of
Bianjing Kaifeng () is a prefecture-level city Image:Yangxin-renmin-huanyin-ni-0022.jpg, A road sign shows distance to the "Huangshi urban area" () rather than simply "Huangshi" (). This is a useful distinction, because the sign is located ''already'' wit ...

Bianjing
(now
Kaifeng Kaifeng () is a prefecture-level city in east-central Henan province, China. It is one of the Historical capitals of China, Eight Ancient Capitals of China, having been the capital seven times in history, and is best known for being the Chinese ...

Kaifeng
) and the dynasty controlled most of what is now Eastern China. The
Southern Song The Song dynasty (; ; 960–1279) was an imperial dynasty of China that began in 960 and lasted until 1279. The dynasty was founded by Emperor Taizu of Song Emperor Taizu of Song (21 March 927 – 14 November 976), personal name Zhao Kua ...
(; 1127–1279) refers to the period after the Song lost control of its northern half to the
JurchenJurchen may refer to: * Jurchen people, Tungusic people who inhabited the region of Manchuria until the 17th century ** Haixi Jurchens, a grouping of the Jurchens as identified by the Chinese of the Ming Dynasty ** Jianzhou Jurchens, a grouping of t ...
-led Jin dynasty in the
Jin–Song Wars The Jin–Song Wars were a series of conflicts between the Jurchen people, Jurchen-led Jin dynasty (1115–1234) and the Han Chinese, Han-led Song dynasty (960–1279). In 1115, Jurchen tribes rebelled against their overlords, the Khitan peo ...
. At that time time, the Song court retreated south of the
Yangtze The Yangtze or Yangzi ( or ) is the longest , the in the world and the longest in the world to flow entirely within one country. It rises at Jari Hill in the (Tibetan Plateau) and flows in a generally easterly direction to the . It is ...
and established its capital at Lin'an (now
Hangzhou Hangzhou (, , Standard Mandarin Standard Chinese, in linguistics known as Standard Northern Mandarin, Standard Beijing Mandarin or simply Mandarin, is a Mandarin Chinese#Subgrouping, dialect of Mandarin that emerged as the lingua franc ...

Hangzhou
). Although the Song dynasty had lost control of the traditional Chinese heartlands around the
Yellow River The Yellow River (Chinese: , Jin Chinese, Jin: uə xɔ Standard Beijing Mandarin, Mandarin: ''Huáng hé'' ) is the second-longest river in China, after the Yangtze River, and the List of rivers by length, sixth-longest river system in ...
, the Southern Song Empire contained a large population and productive agricultural land, sustaining a robust economy. In 1234, the Jin dynasty was
conquered by the Mongols
conquered by the Mongols
, who took control of northern China, maintaining uneasy relations with the Southern Song.
Möngke Khan Möngke ( mn, ' / Мөнх '; ; 11 January 1209 – 11 August 1259) was the fourth khagan Khagan or Qaghan ( otk, 𐰴𐰍𐰣, Kaɣan, mn, Xаан or ᠬᠠᠭᠠᠨ, Khaan, ota, خواقين, Ḫākan, or خان ''Ḫān'', tr, K ...
, the fourth
Great Khan Khagan or Qaghan ( otk, 𐰴𐰍𐰣, Kaɣan, mn, Xаан or ᠬᠠᠭᠠᠨ, Khaan, ota, خواقين, Ḫākan, or خان ''Ḫān'', tr, Kağan or ''Hakan'', ug, قاغان, Qaghan) ''Khāqān'', alternatively spelled Kağan, Kagan, Kh ...
of the
Mongol Empire The Mongol Empire of the 13th and 14th centuries was the List of largest empires, largest contiguous land empire in history and the second largest empire by landmass, second only to the British Empire. Originating in Mongolia in East Asia, the ...
, died in 1259 while besieging the mountain castle Diaoyucheng,
Chongqing Chongqing ( ; ; Sichuanese dialects, Sichuanese pronunciation: , Standard Mandarin pronunciation: ), Postal Romanization, alternately romanized as Chungking, is a Direct-administered municipalities of China, municipality in southwest China. ...

Chongqing
. His younger brother
Kublai Khan Kublai (; also spelled Qubilai or Kübilai; mn, Хубилай, Khubilai ; ; 23 September  1215 – 18 February 1294), also known by his temple name as Emperor Shizu of Yuan, was the fifth khagan-Emperor of China, emperor of the Mongol Empir ...

Kublai Khan
was proclaimed the new Great Khan and in 1271 proclaimed himself
Emperor of China Emperor of China, or ''Huángdì'' (), was the Chinese sovereign, monarch of China during the History of China#Imperial China, imperial period of Chinese history. In traditional Chinese political theory, the emperor was considered the Son of He ...
, establishing the Yuan dynasty. After two decades of sporadic warfare, Kublai Khan's armies conquered the Song dynasty in 1279 after defeating the Southern Song in the
Battle of Yamen A battle is an occurrence of combat in warfare between opposing military units of any number or size. A war usually consists of multiple battles. In general, a battle is a military engagement that is well defined in duration, area, and force ...
, and reunited China under the Yuan dynasty.
Technology Technology ("science of craft", from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. I ...
, science, philosophy, mathematics, and
engineering Engineering is the use of scientific principles to design and build machines, structures, and other items, including bridges, tunnels, roads, vehicles, and buildings. The discipline of engineering encompasses a broad range of more specializ ...
flourished during the Song era. The Song dynasty was the first in world history to issue
banknote A banknote (often known as a bill (in the US and Canada), paper money, or simply a note) is a type of negotiable promissory note A promissory note, sometimes referred to as a note payable, is a legal instrument ''Legal instrument'' is a ...
s or true paper money and the first Chinese government to establish
a permanent standing navy
a permanent standing navy
. This dynasty saw the first recorded
chemical formula A chemical formula is a way of presenting information about the chemical proportions of s that constitute a particular or molecule, using symbols, numbers, and sometimes also other symbols, such as parentheses, dashes, brackets, commas and ...
of
gunpowder Gunpowder, also commonly known as black powder to distinguish it from modern smokeless powder Finnish smokeless powder Smokeless powder is a type of propellant used in firearms and artillery that produces less smoke and less fouling when fir ...
, the invention of gunpowder weapons such as
fire arrow#REDIRECT Fire arrow Fire arrows were one of the earliest forms of weaponized gunpowder, being used from the 9th century onward. Not to be confused with earlier incendiary arrow projectiles, the fire arrow was a gunpowder weapon which receives its ...
s,
bomb A bomb is an explosive weaponAn explosive weapon generally uses high explosive to project blast wave, blast and/or fragmentation (weaponry), fragmentation from a point of detonation. Explosive weapons may be subdivided by their method of manu ...

bomb
s, and the
fire lance Fire is the rapid oxidation of a material (the fuel) in the exothermic chemical process of combustion, releasing heat, light, and various reaction Product (chemistry), products. Fire is hot because the conversion of the weak double bond in m ...

fire lance
. It also saw the first discernment of
true north True north (also called geodetic north or geographic north) is the direction Direction may refer to: *Relative direction, for instance left, right, forward, backwards, up, and down ** Anatomical terms of location for those used in anatomy *Car ...
using a
compass A compass is a device that shows the cardinal direction The four cardinal directions, or cardinal points, are the directions north, east, south, and west, commonly denoted by their initials N, E, S, and W. East and west are perpendicular ( ...

compass
, first recorded description of the
pound lock A lock is a device used for raising and lowering boats, ships and other watercraft between stretches of water of different levels on river and canal waterways. The distinguishing feature of a lock is a fixed chamber in which the water level ...
, and improved designs of
astronomical clock An astronomical clock, horologium, or orloj is a clock A clock is a device used to measure, verify, keep, and indicate time. The clock is one of the oldest human inventions, meeting the need to measure intervals of time shorter than the ...
s. Economically, the Song dynasty was unparalleled with a
gross domestic product Gross domestic product (GDP) is a monetary Image:National-Debt-Gillray.jpeg, In a 1786 James Gillray caricature, the plentiful money bags handed to King George III are contrasted with the beggar whose legs and arms were amputated, in the ...
three times larger than that of Europe during the 12th century. China's population doubled in size between the 10th and 11th centuries. This growth was made possible by expanded
rice cultivation Rice is the seed A seed is an embryonic plant enclosed in a protective outer covering. The formation of the seed is part of the process of reproduction Reproduction (or procreation or breeding) is the biological process by which n ...

rice cultivation
, use of early-ripening rice from Southeast and South Asia, and production of widespread food surpluses. The Northern Song census recorded 20 million households, double of the
Han Han may refer to: Ethnic groups * Han Chinese The Han Chinese,
. Huayuqiao.org. Retrieved on ...

Han
and Tang dynasties. It is estimated that the Northern Song had a population of 90 million people, and 200 million by the time of the
Ming dynasty The Ming dynasty (), officially the Great Ming, was the ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644 following the collapse of the Mongol The Mongols ( mn, Монголчууд, , ''Mongolchuud'', ; russian: Монголы, ) are an eth ...

Ming dynasty
. This dramatic increase of population fomented an economic revolution in pre-modern China. The expansion of the population, growth of cities, and emergence of a national economy led to the gradual withdrawal of the central government from direct involvement in economic affairs. The lower gentry assumed a larger role in local administration and affairs. Social life during the Song was vibrant. Citizens gathered to view and trade precious artworks, the populace intermingled at public festivals and private clubs, and cities had lively entertainment quarters. The spread of literature and knowledge was enhanced by the rapid expansion of
woodblock printing Woodblock printing or block printing is a technique for printing Printing is a process for mass reproducing text and images An Synthetic aperture radar, SAR radar imaging, radar image acquired by the SIR-C/X-SAR radar on board the S ...
and the 11th-century invention of movable-type printing. Philosophers such as Cheng Yi and
Zhu Xi Zhu Xi (; ; October 18, 1130 – April 23, 1200), W-G Chu Hsi, also known by his courtesy name Yuanhui (or Zhonghui), and self-titled Hui'an, was a Chinese Confucian , Shanxi Shanxi (; Postal romanization, formerly romanised as Sh ...

Zhu Xi
reinvigorated
Confucianism Confucianism, also known as Ruism, is a system of thought and behavior originating in ancient China The earliest known written records of the history of China date from as early as 1250 BC, from the Shang dynasty (c. 1600–1046 BC ...
with new commentary, infused with
Buddhist Buddhism (, ) is the world's fourth-largest religion Religion is a - of designated and practices, , s, s, , , , , or , that relates humanity to , , and elements; however, there is no scholarly consensus over what precisely constitu ...

Buddhist
ideals, and emphasized a new organization of classic texts that established the doctrine of
Neo-Confucianism Neo-Confucianism (, often shortened to ''lixue'' 理學, literally "School of Principle") is a morality, moral, ethics, ethical, and metaphysics, metaphysical Chinese philosophy influenced by Confucianism, and originated with Han Yu and Li Ao (p ...
. Although civil service examinations had existed since the
Sui dynasty The Sui dynasty (, ) was a short-lived Dynasties in Chinese history, imperial dynasty of China of pivotal significance. The Sui unified the Northern and Southern dynasties and reinstalled the rule of ethnic Han Chinese, Han in the entirety of ...

Sui dynasty
, they became much more prominent in the Song period. Officials gaining power through
imperial examination The Chinese imperial examinations, or ''keju'' (lit. "subject recommendation"), was a civil service examination system in History of China#Imperial era, Imperial China for selecting candidates for the state Civil service#China, bureaucracy. T ...
led to a shift from a military-aristocratic elite to a scholar-bureaucratic elite.


History


Northern Song, 960–1127

After usurping the throne of the
Later Zhou dynasty The Later Zhou (; ) was the last in a succession of five Dynasties in Chinese history, dynasties that controlled most of northern China during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period, which lasted from 907 to 960 and bridged the gap between t ...
,
Emperor Taizu of Song Emperor Taizu of Song (21 March 927 – 14 November 976), personal name Zhao Kuangyin, courtesy name Yuanlang, was the founder and first emperor of the Song dynasty in China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a ...
( 960–976) spent sixteen years conquering the rest of China, reuniting much of the territory that had once belonged to the
Han Han may refer to: Ethnic groups * Han Chinese The Han Chinese,
. Huayuqiao.org. Retrieved on ...

Han
and Tang empires and ending the upheaval of the
Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period The Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period (), from 907 to 979 was an era of political upheaval and division in 10th-century Imperial China The earliest known written records of the history of China date from as early as 1250 BC, from t ...
. In
Kaifeng Kaifeng () is a prefecture-level city in east-central Henan province, China. It is one of the Historical capitals of China, Eight Ancient Capitals of China, having been the capital seven times in history, and is best known for being the Chinese ...

Kaifeng
, he established a strong central government over the empire. The establishment of this capital marked the start of the Northern Song period. He ensured administrative stability by promoting the
civil service examination Civil service examinations (also public tendering) are examinations implemented in various countries for recruitment and admission to the civil service The civil service is a collective term for a sector of government composed mainly of career ci ...
system of drafting state
bureaucrat A bureaucrat is a member of a bureaucracy The term bureaucracy () may refer both to a body of non-elected governing officials (bureaucrats A bureaucrat is a member of a bureaucracy and can compose the administration of any organization of ...

bureaucrat
s by skill and merit (instead of
aristocrat The aristocracy is a social class that a particular society considers its highest order. In many states, the aristocracy included the upper class of people (aristocrats) with hereditary rank and titles. In some, such as ancient Greece, Rome, ...
ic or military position) and promoted projects that ensured efficiency in communication throughout the empire. In one such project,
cartographers Cartography (; from Greek language, Greek χάρτης ''chartēs'', "papyrus, sheet of paper, map"; and γράφειν ''graphein'', "write") is the study and practice of making and using maps. Combining science, aesthetics, and technique, ca ...
created detailed maps of each province and city that were then collected in a large
atlas Blaeu's world map, originally prepared by Joan Blaeu for his ''Atlas Maior">Joan_Blaeu.html" ;"title="world map, originally prepared by Joan Blaeu">world map, originally prepared by Joan Blaeu for his ''Atlas Maior'', published in the first b ...

atlas
. Emperor Taizu also promoted groundbreaking scientific and technological innovations by supporting works like the
astronomical Astronomy (from el, ἀστρονομία, literally meaning the science that studies the laws of the stars) is a natural science that studies celestial objects and phenomena. It uses mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Gr ...
clock towerA clock tower is an architectural structure housing a turret clock. Clock Tower may also refer to: Buildings * Clock Tower, Anantapur * Clock Tower of Ateca The Clock Tower of Ateca is a structure in Ateca, Spain. A leaning tower of Mudéjar ...

clock tower
designed and built by the engineer
Zhang Sixun Zhang Sixun (, fl. 10th century) was a Chinese astronomer An astronomer is a scientist in the field of astronomy who focuses their studies on a specific question or field outside the scope of Earth. They observe astronomical objects such as stars ...
. The Song court maintained diplomatic relations with
Chola India
Chola India
, the
Fatimid Caliphate The Fatimid Caliphate ( ar, ٱلْخِلَافَة ٱلْفَاطِمِيَّة , al-Ḫilāfa al-Fāṭimiyya) was an Ismaili Shia Ismāʿīlism ( ar, الإسماعيلية, ''al-ʾIsmāʿīlīyah''; fa, اسماعیلیان, ''E ...

Fatimid Caliphate
of Egypt,
Srivijaya Srivijaya (, ; , ) was a Malay Malay may refer to: Languages * Malay language or Bahasa Melayu, a major Austronesian language spoken in Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore ** History of the Malay language#Old Malay, the Malay langua ...
, the
Kara-Khanid Khanate The Kara-Khanid Khanate (), also known as the Karakhanids, Qarakhanids, Ilek Khanids or the Afrasiabids (), was a Turkic khanate that ruled Central Asia Central Asia is a region in Asia which stretches from the Caspian Sea in the west to C ...

Kara-Khanid Khanate
of
Central Asia Central Asia is a region in Asia Asia () is 's largest and most populous , located primarily in the and . It shares the continental of with the continent of and the continental landmass of with both Europe and . Asia covers an area ...

Central Asia
, the
Goryeo Goryeo (; ) was a Korean dynastic kingdom founded in 918, during a time of national division called the Later Three Kingdoms period, that unified and ruled the Korean Peninsula until 1392. Goryeo achieved what has been called a "true national ...
kingdom in Korea, and other countries that were also trade partners with
Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally ) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an in ...
. Chinese records even mention an embassy from the ruler of "Fu lin" (拂菻, i.e. the
Byzantine Empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn ...

Byzantine Empire
),
Michael VII Doukas Michael VII Doukas or Dukas/Ducas ( gr, Μιχαήλ Ζ΄ Δούκας, ''Mikhaēl VII Doukas''), nicknamed Parapinakes ( gr, Παραπινάκης, lit. "minus a quarter", with reference to the devaluation of the Byzantine currency unde ...
, and its arrival in 1081. However, China's closest neighbouring states had the greatest impact on its domestic and foreign policy. From its inception under Taizu, the Song dynasty alternated between warfare and diplomacy with the ethnic
Khitans The Khitan people (Khitan small script The Khitan small script () was one of two writing systems used for the now-extinct Khitan language Khitan or Kitan ( in large script or in small, ''Khitai''; , ''Qìdānyǔ''), also known as Liao, is a n ...
of the
Liao dynasty The Liao dynasty (; Khitan language, Khitan: ''Mos Jælud''; ), also known as the Khitan Empire (Khitan: ''Mos diau-d kitai huldʒi gur''), officially the Great Liao (), was an Dynasties in Chinese history, imperial dynasty of China that ex ...
in the northeast and with the
Tanguts The Tangut people (Tangut language, Tangut: , ''mjɨ nja̱'' or , ''mji dzjwo''; Chinese: 党項, dǎngxiàng) were a Tibeto-Burman languages, Tibeto-Burman tribal union that inhabited Western Xia. The group lived under Tuyuhun authority and moved ...
of the
Western Xia The Western Xia or the Xi Xia (), officially the Great Xia (), also known as the Tangut Empire, and known as ''Mi-nyak''Stein (1972), pp. 70–71. to Tanguts and Tibetans, was a Tangut people, Tangut-ruled empire and a Dynasties in Ch ...

Western Xia
in the northwest. The Song dynasty used military force in an attempt to quell the Liao dynasty and to recapture the
Sixteen Prefectures The Sixteen Prefectures () comprise a historical region in northern China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, world's most populous co ...

Sixteen Prefectures
, a territory under Khitan control since 938 that was traditionally considered to be part of
China proper China proper, Inner China or the Eighteen Provinces was a term used by Western writers on the -led to express a distinction between the core and frontier regions of . There is no fixed extent for China proper, as many administrative, cultura ...

China proper
(Most parts of today's
Beijing Beijing ( ), as Peking ( ), is the of the . It is the world's , with over 21 million residents within an of 16,410.5 km2 (6336 sq. mi.). It is located in , and is governed as a under the direct administration of the with .Figures ...

Beijing
and
Tianjin Tianjin (; ; Mandarin: ), Postal Map Romanization, alternately romanized as Tientsin, is a Direct-administered municipalities of China, municipality and a coastal metropolis in North China, Northern China on the shore of the Bohai Sea. It is ...

Tianjin
). Song forces were repulsed by the Liao forces, who engaged in aggressive yearly campaigns into Northern Song territory until 1005, when the signing of the Shanyuan Treaty ended these northern border clashes. The Song were forced to provide tribute to the Khitans, although this did little damage to the Song economy since the Khitans were economically dependent upon importing massive amounts of goods from the Song. More significantly, the Song state recognized the Liao state as its diplomatic equal. The Song created an extensive defensive forest along the Song-Liao border to thwart potential Khitan cavalry attacks. 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 Shen Kuo (; 1031–1095) or Shen Gua, courtesy name A courtesy name (), also known as a style name, is a name bestowed upon one at adulthood in addition to one's given name. This practice is a tradition in the East Asian cultural sphere ...
(1031–1095). However, this campaign was ultimately a failure due to a rival military officer of Shen disobeying direct orders, and the territory gained from the Western Xia was eventually lost. The Song fought against the Vietnamese kingdom of
Đại Việt Đại Việt (, ; literally Great Việt), often known as Annam, was a Vietnamese Vietnamese may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Vietnam, a country in Southeast Asia ** A citizen of Vietnam. See Demographics of Vietnam. * Viet ...
twice, the first conflict in 981 and later a Lý–Song War, significant war from 1075 to 1077 over a border dispute and the Song's severing of commercial relations with
Đại Việt Đại Việt (, ; literally Great Việt), often known as Annam, was a Vietnamese Vietnamese may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Vietnam, a country in Southeast Asia ** A citizen of Vietnam. See Demographics of Vietnam. * Viet ...
. After the Vietnamese forces inflicted heavy damages in a raid on Guangxi, the Song commander Guo Kui (1022–1088) penetrated as far as Thăng Long (modern Hanoi). Heavy losses on both sides prompted the Vietnamese commander Thường Kiệt (1019–1105) to make peace overtures, allowing both sides to withdraw from the war effort; captured territories held by both Song and Vietnamese were mutually exchanged in 1082, along with prisoners of war. During the 11th century, political rivalries divided members of the court due to the ministers' differing approaches, opinions, and policies regarding the handling of the Song's complex society and thriving economy. The idealist Chancellor (China), Chancellor, Fan Zhongyan (989–1052), was the first to receive a heated political backlash when he attempted to institute the Qingli Reforms, which included measures such as improving the recruitment system of officials, increasing the salaries for minor officials, and establishing sponsorship programs to allow a wider range of people to be well educated and eligible for state service. After Fan was forced to step down from his office, Wang Anshi (1021–1086) became Chancellor of the imperial court. With the backing of Emperor Shenzong of Song, Emperor Shenzong (1067–1085), Wang Anshi severely criticized the educational system and state bureaucracy. Seeking to resolve what he saw as state corruption and negligence, Wang implemented a series of reforms called the New Policies (Song dynasty), New Policies. These involved land value tax reform, the establishment of several government monopoly, monopolies, the support of local militias, and the creation of higher standards for the Imperial examination to make it more practical for men skilled in statecraft to pass. The reforms created political factions in the court. Wang Anshi's "New Policies Group" (''Xin Fa''), also known as the "Reformers", were opposed by the ministers in the "Conservative" faction led by the historian and Chancellor Sima Guang (1019–1086). As one faction supplanted another in the majority position of the court ministers, it would demote rival officials and exile them to govern remote frontier regions of the empire. One of the prominent victims of the political rivalry, the famous poet and statesman Su Shi (1037–1101), was jailed and eventually exiled for criticizing Wang's reforms. While the central Song court remained politically divided and focused upon its internal affairs, alarming new events to the north in the Liao state finally came to its attention. The
JurchenJurchen may refer to: * Jurchen people, Tungusic people who inhabited the region of Manchuria until the 17th century ** Haixi Jurchens, a grouping of the Jurchens as identified by the Chinese of the Ming Dynasty ** Jianzhou Jurchens, a grouping of t ...
, a subject tribe of the Liao, rebelled against them and formed their own state, the Jin dynasty (1115–1234). The Song official Tong Guan (1054–1126) advised Emperor Huizong of Song, 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. During the joint attack, the Song's northern expedition army removed the defensive forest along the Song-Liao border. However, 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 The Jin–Song Wars were a series of conflicts between the Jurchen people, Jurchen-led Jin dynasty (1115–1234) and the Han Chinese, Han-led Song dynasty (960–1279). In 1115, Jurchen tribes rebelled against their overlords, the Khitan peo ...
of 1125 and 1127. Because of the removal of the previous defensive forest, the Jin army marched quickly across the North China Plain to Kaifeng. In the Jingkang Incident during the latter invasion, the Jurchens captured not only the capital, but the retired Emperor Huizong of Song, Emperor Huizong, his successor Emperor Qinzong of Song, Emperor Qinzong, and most of the Imperial court. The remaining Song forces regrouped under the self-proclaimed Emperor Gaozong of Song (1127–1162) and withdrew south of the
Yangtze The Yangtze or Yangzi ( or ) is the longest , the in the world and the longest in the world to flow entirely within one country. It rises at Jari Hill in the (Tibetan Plateau) and flows in a generally easterly direction to the . It is ...
to establish a new capital at Lin'an (modern
Hangzhou Hangzhou (, , Standard Mandarin Standard Chinese, in linguistics known as Standard Northern Mandarin, Standard Beijing Mandarin or simply Mandarin, is a Mandarin Chinese#Subgrouping, dialect of Mandarin that emerged as the lingua franc ...

Hangzhou
). 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 The Song dynasty (; ; 960–1279) was an imperial dynasty of China that began in 960 and lasted until 1279. The dynasty was founded by Emperor Taizu of Song Emperor Taizu of Song (21 March 927 – 14 November 976), personal name Zhao Kua ...
dynasties. After their fall to the Jin, the Song lost control of North China. Now occupying what has been traditionally known as "China Proper," the Jin regarded themselves the rightful rulers of China. The Jin later chose earth as their dynastic element and yellow as their royal color. According to the theory of the Wuxing (Chinese philosophy), Five Elements (wuxing), the earth element follows the fire, the dynastic element of the Song, in the sequence of elemental creation. Therefore, their ideological move showed that the Jin considered Song reign in China complete, with the Jin replacing the Song as the rightful rulers of China Proper.


Southern Song, 1127–1279

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. It had able military officers such as Yue Fei and Han Shizhong. The government sponsored massive shipbuilding and harbor improvement projects, and the construction of beacons and seaport warehouses to support maritime trade abroad, including at the major international seaports, such as Quanzhou, Guangzhou, and Xiamen, that were sustaining China's commerce. To protect and support the multitude of ships sailing for maritime interests into the waters of the East China Sea and Yellow Sea (to Korea and Japan), Southeast Asia, the Indian Ocean, and the Red Sea, it was necessary to establish an official standing navy. The Song dynasty therefore established China's first permanent navy in 1132, with a headquarters at Dinghai. 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. During these battles the Song navy employed swift Paddle wheel ship#East Asia, paddle wheel driven naval vessels armed with trebuchet, traction trebuchet catapults aboard the decks that launched gunpowder
bomb A bomb is an explosive weaponAn explosive weapon generally uses high explosive to project blast wave, blast and/or fragmentation (weaponry), fragmentation from a point of detonation. Explosive weapons may be subdivided by their method of manu ...

bomb
s. Although the Jin forces commanded by Wanyan Liang, 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 Qianli chuan, paddlewheel ships. The strength of the navy was heavily emphasized after that. A century after the navy was founded it had grown in size to 52,000 fighting marines. The Song government confiscated portions of land owned by the landed gentry in order to raise revenue for these projects, an act which caused dissension and loss of loyalty amongst leading members of Song society but did not stop the Song's defensive preparations. Financial matters were made worse by the fact that many wealthy, land-owning families—some of which had officials working for the government—used their social connections with those in office in order to obtain tax-exempt status. 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. The Mongols, led by Genghis Khan (r. 1206–1227), initially invaded the Jin dynasty in 1205 and 1209, engaging in large raids across its borders, and in 1211 an enormous Mongol army was assembled to invade the Jin. The Jin dynasty was forced to submit and pay tribute to the Mongols as vassals; when the Jin suddenly moved their capital city from
Beijing Beijing ( ), as Peking ( ), is the of the . It is the world's , with over 21 million residents within an of 16,410.5 km2 (6336 sq. mi.). It is located in , and is governed as a under the direct administration of the with .Figures ...

Beijing
to Kaifeng, the Mongols saw this as a revolt. Under the leadership of Ögedei Khan (r.1229–1241), both the Jin dynasty and Western Xia dynasty were conquered by Mongol forces in 1233/34. 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. After the Mongol invasions of Vietnam, first Mongol invasion of Vietnam in 1258, Mongol general Uriyangkhadai attacked Guangxi from Hanoi as part of a coordinated Mongol attack in 1259 with armies attacking in Sichuan under Mongol leader
Möngke Khan Möngke ( mn, ' / Мөнх '; ; 11 January 1209 – 11 August 1259) was the fourth khagan Khagan or Qaghan ( otk, 𐰴𐰍𐰣, Kaɣan, mn, Xаан or ᠬᠠᠭᠠᠨ, Khaan, ota, خواقين, Ḫākan, or خان ''Ḫān'', tr, K ...
and other Mongol armies attacking in modern-day Shandong and Henan. On August 11, 1259, Möngke Khan died during the siege of Diaoyu Castle in
Chongqing Chongqing ( ; ; Sichuanese dialects, Sichuanese pronunciation: , Standard Mandarin pronunciation: ), Postal Romanization, alternately romanized as Chungking, is a Direct-administered municipalities of China, municipality in southwest China. ...

Chongqing
. Möngke's death and the ensuing succession crisis prompted Hulagu Khan to pull the bulk of the Mongol forces out of the Middle East where they were poised to fight the Bahri dynasty, Egyptian Mamluks (who defeated the remaining Mongols at Battle of Ain Jalut, Ain Jalut). Although Hulagu was allied with
Kublai Khan Kublai (; also spelled Qubilai or Kübilai; mn, Хубилай, Khubilai ; ; 23 September  1215 – 18 February 1294), also known by his temple name as Emperor Shizu of Yuan, was the fifth khagan-Emperor of China, emperor of the Mongol Empir ...

Kublai Khan
, his forces were unable to help in the assault against the Song, due to Hulagu's war with the Golden Horde. Kublai continued the assault against the Song, gaining a temporary foothold on the southern banks of the Yangtze. By the winter of 1259, Uriyangkhadai's army fought its way north to meet
Kublai Khan Kublai (; also spelled Qubilai or Kübilai; mn, Хубилай, Khubilai ; ; 23 September  1215 – 18 February 1294), also known by his temple name as Emperor Shizu of Yuan, was the fifth khagan-Emperor of China, emperor of the Mongol Empir ...

Kublai Khan
's army, which was besieging Ezhou in Hubei. Kublai made preparations to take Ezhou, but a pending civil war with his brother Ariq Böke—a rival claimant to the Mongol Khaganate—forced Kublai to move back north with the bulk of his forces. In Kublai's absence, the Song forces were ordered by Chancellor Jia Sidao to make an immediate assault and succeeded in pushing the Mongol forces back to the northern banks of the Yangtze. There were minor border skirmishes until 1265, when Kublai won a significant battle in Sichuan. From 1268 to 1273, Kublai blockaded the Yangtze River with his navy and Battle of Xiangyang, besieged Xiangyang, the last obstacle in his way to invading the rich Yangtze River basin. Kublai officially declared the creation of the
Yuan dynasty The Yuan dynasty (), officially the Great Yuan (; xng, , , literally "Great Yuan State"), was a successor state Successor is someone who, or something which succeeds or comes after (see success and succession) Film and TV * ''The Succe ...
in 1271. In 1275, a Song force of 130,000 troops under Chancellor Jia Sidao was defeated by Kublai's newly appointed commander-in-chief, general Bayan of the Baarin, Bayan. By 1276, most of the Song territory had been captured by Yuan forces, including the capital Lin'an. In the
Battle of Yamen A battle is an occurrence of combat in warfare between opposing military units of any number or size. A war usually consists of multiple battles. In general, a battle is a military engagement that is well defined in duration, area, and force ...
on the Pearl River Delta in 1279, the Yuan army, led by the general Zhang Hongfan, finally crushed the Song resistance. The last remaining ruler, the 13-year-old emperor Emperor Bing of Song, Emperor Huaizong of Song, committed suicide, along with Prime Minister Lu Xiufu and 1300 members of the royal clan. 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 of Song, Emperor Gong was demoted, being given the title 'Duke of Ying', but was eventually exiled to Tibet where he took up a monastic life. The former emperor would eventually be forced to commit suicide under the orders of Kublai's great-great grandson, Gegeen Khan, Emperor Yingzong of Yuan, Gegeen Khan, out of fear that Emperor Gong would stage a coup to restore his reign. Other members of the Song Imperial Family continued to live in the Yuan dynasty, including Zhao Mengfu and Zhao Yong.


Culture and society

The Song dynasty was an era of administrative sophistication and complex social organization. Some of the largest cities in the world were found in China during this period (Kaifeng and Hangzhou had populations of over a million). People enjoyed various social clubs and entertainment in the cities, and there were many schools and temples to provide the people with education and religious services. The Song government supported social welfare programs including the establishment of retirement homes, public clinics, and paupers' graveyards. The Song dynasty supported a widespread Postal administration, postal service that was modeled on the earlier Han dynasty (202 BCE – CE 220) postal system to provide swift communication throughout the empire. The central government employed thousands of postal workers of various ranks to provide service for post offices and larger postal stations. In rural areas, farming peasants either landowner, owned their own plots of land, paid rents as tenant farmers, or were serfs on large estates. Although women were on a lower social tier than men (according to Confucianism, Confucian ethics), they enjoyed many social and legal privileges and wielded considerable power at home and in their own small businesses. As Song society became more and more prosperous and parents on the bride's side of the family provided larger dowry, dowries for her marriage, women naturally gained many new legal rights in ownership of property. Under certain circumstances, an unmarried daughter without brothers, or a surviving mother without sons, could inherit one-half of her father's share of undivided family property. There were many notable and well-educated women, and it was a common practice for women to educate their sons during their earliest youth. The mother of the scientist, general, diplomat, and statesman Shen Kuo taught him essentials of military strategy. There were also exceptional women writers and poets, such as Li Qingzhao (1084–1151), who became famous even in her lifetime. 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. The major deities of Daoism and Buddhism, ancestor worship, ancestral spirits, and the many deities of Chinese folk religion were worshipped with sacrificial offerings. Tansen Sen asserts that more Bhikkhu, Buddhist monks from India traveled to China during the Song than in the previous Tang dynasty (618–907). With many ethnic foreigners travelling to China to conduct trade or live permanently, there came many foreign religions; religious minorities in China included Islam during the Song dynasty, Middle Eastern Muslims, the Kaifeng Jews, and Manichaeism, Persian Manichaeans. The populace engaged in a vibrant social and domestic life, enjoying such public festivals as the Lantern Festival and the Qingming Festival. There were entertainment quarters in the cities providing a constant array of amusements. There were puppeteers, acrobats, theatre actors, sword swallowers, snake charmers, Chinese folklore, storytellers, singers and musicians, prostitutes, and places to relax, including tea houses, restaurants, and organized banquets. People attended social clubs in large numbers; there were tea clubs, exotic food clubs, antiquarian and art collectors' clubs, horse-loving clubs, poetry clubs, and music clubs. Like regional cooking and cuisines in the Song, the era was known for its regional varieties of performing arts styles as well. Chinese opera, Theatrical drama was very popular amongst the elite and general populace, although Classical Chinese—not Vernacular Chinese, the vernacular language—was spoken by actors on stage. The four largest drama theatres in Kaifeng could hold audiences of several thousand each. There were also notable domestic pastimes, as people at home enjoyed activities such as the go board game, go and xiangqi board games.


Civil service examinations and the gentry

During this period greater emphasis was laid upon the civil service system of recruiting officials; this was based upon degrees acquired through competitive Imperial examination, examinations, in an effort to select the most capable individuals for governance. Selecting men for office through proven merit Xiaolian, was an ancient idea in China. The civil service system became institutionalized on a small scale during the Sui dynasty, Sui and Tang dynasties, but by the Song period, it became virtually the only means for drafting officials into the government. The advent of widespread printing helped to widely circulate Confucian teachings and to educate more and more eligible candidates for the exams. This can be seen in the number of exam takers for the low-level prefectural exams rising from 30,000 annual candidates in the early 11th century to 400,000 candidates by the late 13th century. The civil service and examination system allowed for greater meritocracy, social mobility, and equality in competition for those wishing to attain an official seat in government. 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. Robert Hartwell and Robert P. Hymes criticized this model, stating that it places too much emphasis on the role of the nuclear family and considers only three paternal ascendants of exam candidates while ignoring the demographic reality of Song China, the significant proportion of males in each generation that had no surviving sons, and the role of the extended family. Many felt disenfranchised by what they saw as a bureaucratic system that favored the land-holding class able to afford the best education. One of the greatest literary critics of this was the official and famous poet Su Shi. Yet Su was a product of his times, as the identity, habits, and attitudes of the Scholar-bureaucrats, scholar-official had become less
aristocrat The aristocracy is a social class that a particular society considers its highest order. In many states, the aristocracy included the upper class of people (aristocrats) with hereditary rank and titles. In some, such as ancient Greece, Rome, ...
ic and more
bureaucrat A bureaucrat is a member of a bureaucracy The term bureaucracy () may refer both to a body of non-elected governing officials (bureaucrats A bureaucrat is a member of a bureaucracy and can compose the administration of any organization of ...

bureaucrat
ic with the transition of the periods from Tang to Song. 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, Chinese kinship, family connections, and marriage alliances to secure appointments. By the late 11th century, the founding elite became obsolete, while political partisanship and factionalism at court undermined the marriage strategies of the professional elite, which dissolved as a distinguishable social group and was replaced by a multitude of gentry families. Due to Song's enormous population growth and the body of its appointed scholar-officials being accepted in limited numbers (about 20,000 active officials during the Song period), the larger scholarly Gentry (China), gentry class would now take over grassroots affairs on the vast local level. Excluding the scholar-officials in office, this elite social class consisted of exam candidates, examination degree-holders not yet assigned to an official post, local tutors, and retired officials. These learned men, degree-holders, and local elites supervised local affairs and sponsored necessary facilities of local communities; any local magistrate appointed to his office by the government relied upon the cooperation of the few or many local gentry in the area. For example, the Song government—excluding the educational-reformist government under Emperor Huizong—spared little amount of state revenue to maintain Zhou (country subdivision), prefectural and County (People's Republic of China), county schools; instead, the bulk of the funds for schools was drawn from private financing. This limited role of government officials was a departure from the earlier Tang dynasty (618–907), when the government strictly regulated commercial markets and local affairs; now the government withdrew heavily from regulating commerce and relied upon a mass of local gentry to perform necessary duties in their communities. The gentry distinguished themselves in society through their intellectual and antiquarian pursuits, while the homes of prominent landholders attracted a variety of courtiers, including artisans, artists, educational tutors, and entertainers. Despite the disdain for trade, commerce, and the merchant class exhibited by the highly cultured and elite exam-drafted scholar-officials, commercialism played a prominent role in Song culture and society. A scholar-official would be frowned upon by his peers if he pursued means of profiteering outside of his official salary; however, this did not stop many scholar-officials from managing business relations through the use of intermediary agents.


Law, justice, and forensic science

The Song Judiciary, judicial system retained most of the legal code of the earlier Tang dynasty, the basis of traditional Chinese law up until the modern era. Roving sheriffs maintained law and order in the municipal jurisdictions and occasionally ventured into the countryside. Official magistrates overseeing court cases were not only expected to be well-versed in written law but also to promote morality in society. Magistrates such as the famed Bao Zheng (999–1062) embodied the upright, moral judge who upheld justice and never failed to live up to his principles. Song judges specified the guilty person or party in a criminal act and meted out punishments accordingly, often in the form of caning. A guilty individual or parties brought to court for a criminal or civil offense were not viewed as wholly innocent until proven otherwise, while even accusers were viewed with a high level of suspicion by the judge. Due to costly court expenses and immediate jailing of those accused of criminal offenses, people in the Song preferred to settle disputes and quarrels privately, without the court's interference. 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 autopsy, autopsies in China during the 12th century. The physician and judge known as Song Ci (1186–1249) wrote Collected Cases of Injustice Rectified, a pioneering work of forensic science on the examination of corpses in order to determine cause of death (strangulation, poisoning, drowning, blows, etc.) and to prove whether death resulted from murder, suicide, or accidental death. Song Ci stressed the importance of proper coroner's conduct during autopsies and the accurate recording of the inquest of each autopsy by official clerks.


Military and methods of warfare

The Song military was chiefly organized to ensure that the army could not threaten Imperial control, often at the expense of effectiveness in war. Northern Song's Military Council operated under a Chancellor, who had no control over the imperial army. The imperial army was divided among three marshals, each independently responsible to the Emperor. Since the Emperor rarely led campaigns personally, Song forces lacked unity of command. The imperial court often believed that successful generals endangered royal authority, and relieved or even executed them (notably Li Gang, Yue Fei, and Han Shizhong). Although the scholar-officials viewed Military history of China (pre-1911), military soldiers as lower members in the hierarchic social order, a person could gain status and prestige in society by becoming a high-ranking military officer with a record of victorious battles. At its height, the Song military had one million soldiers divided into platoons of 50 troops, companies made of two platoons, battalions composed of 500 soldiers. Crossbowmen were separated from the regular infantry and placed in their own units as they were prized combatants, providing effective missile fire against cavalry charges. The government was eager to sponsor new crossbow designs that could shoot at longer ranges, while crossbowmen were also valuable when employed as long-range snipers. Song cavalry employed a slew of different weapons, including halberds, swords, bows, spears, and '
fire lance Fire is the rapid oxidation of a material (the fuel) in the exothermic chemical process of combustion, releasing heat, light, and various reaction Product (chemistry), products. Fire is hot because the conversion of the weak double bond in m ...

fire lance
s' that discharged a gunpowder blast of flame and Fragmentation (weaponry), shrapnel. Military strategy and military training were treated as sciences that could be studied and perfected; soldiers were tested in their skills of using weaponry and in their athletic ability. The troops were trained to follow signal standards to advance at the waving of banners and to halt at the sound of bells and drums. 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. There were large ships in the Song navy that could carry 1,000 soldiers aboard their decks, while the swift-moving Paddle steamer, paddle-wheel craft were viewed as essential fighting ships in any successful naval battle. In a battle on January 23, 971, massive arrow fire from Song dynasty crossbowmen decimated the war elephant corps of the Southern Han army. 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. There was a total of 347 military treatises written during the Song period, as listed by the history text of the ''Song Shi'' (compiled in 1345). However, only a handful of these military treatises have survived, which includes the ''Wujing Zongyao'' written in 1044. It was the first known book to have listed formulas for gunpowder; it gave appropriate formulas for use in several different kinds of gunpowder bombs. It also provided detailed descriptions and illustrations of double-piston pump flamethrowers, as well as instructions for the maintenance and repair of the components and equipment used in the device.


Arts, literature, and philosophy

The visual arts during the Song dynasty were heightened by new developments such as advances in landscape and portrait painting. The gentry elite engaged in the arts as accepted pastimes of the cultured scholar-official, including Chinese painting, painting, composing Chinese poetry, poetry, and writing Chinese calligraphy, calligraphy. The poet and statesman Su Shi and his associate Mi Fu (1051–1107) enjoyed antiquarian affairs, often borrowing or buying art pieces to study and copy. Poetry and Chinese literature, literature profited from the rising popularity and development of the ci (poetry), ci poetry form. Enormous encyclopedic volumes were compiled, such as works of Chinese historiography, historiography and dozens of treatises on technical subjects. This included the universal history text of the ''Zizhi Tongjian'', compiled into 1000 volumes of 9.4 million written Chinese characters. The genre of Chinese travel literature also became popular with the writings of the geographer Fan Chengda (1126–1193) and Su Shi, the latter of whom wrote the 'daytrip essay' known as ''Su Shi#Travel record literature, Record of Stone Bell Mountain'' that used persuasive writing to argue for a philosophical point. 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 , during the Song dynasty. The imperial courts of the emperor's palace were filled with his entourage of court painters, calligraphers, poets, and storytellers. Emperor Huizong of Song, Emperor Huizong was the eighth emperor of the Song dynasty and he was a renowned artist as well as a patron of the art and the catalogue of his collection listed over 6,000 known paintings.Ebrey, Cambridge, 149. A prime example of a highly venerated court painter was Zhang Zeduan (1085–1145) who painted an enormous panoramic painting, ''Along the River During the Qingming Festival''. 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). This art project was a diplomatic gesture to the Jin dynasty while he negotiated for the release of his mother from Jurchen captivity in the north. In Chinese philosophy, philosophy, Chinese Buddhism had waned in influence but it retained its hold on the arts and on the charities of monasteries. Buddhism had a profound influence upon the budding movement of
Neo-Confucianism Neo-Confucianism (, often shortened to ''lixue'' 理學, literally "School of Principle") is a morality, moral, ethics, ethical, and metaphysics, metaphysical Chinese philosophy influenced by Confucianism, and originated with Han Yu and Li Ao (p ...
, led by Cheng Yi (1033–1107) and
Zhu Xi Zhu Xi (; ; October 18, 1130 – April 23, 1200), W-G Chu Hsi, also known by his courtesy name Yuanhui (or Zhonghui), and self-titled Hui'an, was a Chinese Confucian , Shanxi Shanxi (; Postal romanization, formerly romanised as Sh ...

Zhu Xi
(1130–1200). Mahayana Buddhism influenced Fan Zhongyan and Wang Anshi through its concept of ethical universalism, while Buddhist metaphysics deeply affected the pre–Neo-Confucian doctrine of Cheng Yi. The philosophical work of Cheng Yi in turn influenced Zhu Xi. Although his writings were not accepted by his contemporary peers, Zhu's commentary and emphasis upon the Confucian classics of the Four Books as an introductory corpus to Confucian learning formed the basis of the Neo-Confucian doctrine. By the year 1241, under the sponsorship of Emperor Lizong of Song, Emperor Lizong, Zhu Xi's Four Books and his commentary on them became standard requirements of study for students attempting to pass the civil service examinations. The neighbouring East Asian countries of Japan and Korea also adopted Zhu Xi's teaching, known as the Shushigaku (朱子學, School of Zhu Xi) of Japan, and in Korea the Jujahak (주자학). Buddhism's continuing influence can be seen in painted artwork such as Lin Tinggui's ''Arhat, Luohan Laundering''. However, the ideology was highly criticized and even scorned by some. The statesman and historian Ouyang Xiu (1007–1072) called the religion a "curse" that could only be remedied by uprooting it from Culture of China, Chinese culture and replacing it with Confucian discourse. The Chan Buddhism, Chan sect experienced a literary flourishing in the Song period, which saw the publication of several major classical koan, koan collections which remain influential in Zen philosophy and practice to the present day. 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. The Christianity, Christian sect of Nestorianism, which had entered China in the Tang era, would also be revived in China under Mongol rule.


Cuisine and clothing

Sumptuary law#China, Sumptuary laws regulated the food that one consumed and the clothes that one wore according to status and social class. Clothing was made of hemp or cotton cloths, restricted to a color standard of black and white. Trousers were the acceptable attire for peasants, soldiers, artisans, and merchants, although wealthy merchants might choose to wear more ornate clothing and male blouses that came down below the waist. Acceptable apparel for scholar-officials was rigidly defined by the social ranking system. However, as time went on this rule of rank-graded apparel for officials was not as strictly enforced. Each official was able to display his awarded status by wearing different-colored traditional Han Chinese clothing, silken robes that hung to the ground around his feet, specific types of headgear, and even specific styles of girdles that displayed his graded-rank of officialdom. Women wore long dresses, blouses that came down to the knee, skirts, and jackets with long or short sleeves, while women from wealthy families could wear purple scarves around their shoulders. The main difference in women's apparel from that of men was that it was fastened on the left, not on the right. The main food staples in the diet of the lower classes remained rice, pork, and salted fish. In 1011, Emperor Zhenzong of Song introduced Champa rice to China from Vietnam's Champa, Kingdom of Champa, which sent 30,000 bushels as a tribute to Song. Champa rice was drought-resistant and able to grow fast enough to offer two harvests a year instead of one. Song restaurant and tavern menus are recorded. They list entrees for feasts, banquets, festivals, and carnivals. They reveal a diverse and lavish diet for those of the upper class. They could choose from a wide variety of meats and seafood, including shrimp, geese, duck, mussel, shellfish, fallow deer, hare, partridge, pheasant, francolin, quail, fox, badger, clam, crab, and many others. Dairy products were rare in Chinese cuisine at this time. Beef was rarely consumed since the bull was a valuable draft animal, and dog meat was absent from the diet of the wealthy, although the poor could choose to eat dog meat if necessary (yet it was not part of their regular diet). People also consumed Date palm, dates, raisins, jujubes, pears, plums, apricots, pear juice, lychee-fruit juice, honey and ginger drinks, spices and seasonings of Sichuan pepper, ginger, soy sauce, Vegetable oil, oil, sesame oil, salt, and vinegar.


Economy

The Song dynasty had one of the most prosperous and advanced economies in the medieval world. Song Chinese invested their funds in joint stock company, 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 (China), Grand Canal and Yangtze River. Prominent merchant families and private businesses were allowed to occupy industries that were not already government-operated monopoly, monopolies. Both private and government-controlled industries met the needs of a growing Chinese population in the Song. Artisans and merchants formed guilds that the state had to deal with when assessing taxes, requisitioning goods, and setting standard workers' wages and prices on goods. The iron industry was pursued by both private entrepreneurs who owned their own smelters as well as government-supervised smelting facilities. The Song economy was stable enough to produce over a hundred million kilograms (over two hundred million Pound (mass), pounds) of iron product a year. Large-scale Deforestation in China would have continued if not for the 11th-century innovation of the use of coal instead of charcoal in blast furnaces for smelting cast iron. Much of this iron was reserved for military use in crafting weapons and armouring troops, but some was used to fashion the many iron products needed to fill the demands of the growing domestic market. The iron trade within China was advanced by the construction of new canals, facilitating the flow of iron products from production centres to the large market in the capital city. The annual output of minted copper currency in 1085 reached roughly six billion coins. The most notable advancement in the Song economy was the establishment of the world's first government issued paper-printed money, known as Jiaozi (currency), Jiaozi (see also ''Huizi (currency), Huizi''). For the printing of banknote, paper money, the Song court established several government-run factories in the cities of Huizhou, Chengdu,
Hangzhou Hangzhou (, , Standard Mandarin Standard Chinese, in linguistics known as Standard Northern Mandarin, Standard Beijing Mandarin or simply Mandarin, is a Mandarin Chinese#Subgrouping, dialect of Mandarin that emerged as the lingua franc ...

Hangzhou
, and Anqi. The size of the workforce employed in paper money factories was large; it was recorded in 1175 that the factory at Hangzhou employed more than a thousand workers a day. The economic power of Song China heavily influenced foreign economies abroad. The Moroccan people, Moroccan geographer al-Idrisi wrote in 1154 of the prowess of Chinese merchant ships in the Indian Ocean and of their annual voyages that brought iron, swords, silk, velvet, porcelain, and various textiles to places such as Aden (Yemen), the Indus River, and the Euphrates in modern-day Iraq. Foreigners, in turn, affected the Chinese economy. For example, many West Asian and Central Asian Muslims went to China to trade, becoming a preeminent force in the import and export industry, while some were even appointed as officers supervising economic affairs. Sea trade with the South-west Pacific, the Hindu world, the Islamic world, and East Africa brought merchants great fortune and spurred an enormous growth in the shipbuilding industry of Song-era Fujian province. However, there was risk involved in such long overseas ventures. In order to reduce the risk of losing money on maritime trade missions abroad, wrote historians Ebrey, Walthall, and Palais:
[Song era] investors usually divided their investment among many ships, and each ship had many investors behind it. One observer thought eagerness to invest in overseas trade was leading to an outflow of copper cash. He wrote, 'People along the coast are on intimate terms with the merchants who engage in overseas trade, either because they are fellow-countrymen or personal acquaintances....[They give the merchants] money to take with them on their ships for purchase and return conveyance of foreign goods. They invest from ten to a hundred strings of cash, and regularly make profits of several hundred percent'.


Science and technology


Gunpowder warfare

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. The ''Wujing Zongyao'' manuscript of 1044 was the first book in history to provide formulas for gunpowder and their specified use in different types of bombs. While engaged in a war with the Mongols, in 1259 the official Li Zengbo wrote in his ''Kezhai Zagao, Xugaohou'' that the city of Qingzhou was manufacturing one to two thousand strong iron-cased bombshells a month, dispatching to Xiangyang District, Xiangfan, Xiangyang and Yingzhou about ten to twenty thousand such bombs at a time. In turn, the invading Mongols employed northern Chinese soldiers and used these same types of gunpowder weapons against the Song. By the 14th century the firearm and cannon could also be found in Europe, India, and the Middle East, during the early age of gunpowder warfare.


Measuring distance and mechanical navigation

History of the Han dynasty, 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. The Chinese odometer was a wheeled carriage, its gearwork being driven by the rotation of the carriage's wheels; specific units of distance—the Chinese li (unit), li—were marked by the mechanical striking of a drum or bell as an auditory signal. The specifications for the 11th-century odometer were written by Chief Chamberlain Lu Daolong, who is quoted extensively in the historical text of the ''Song Shi'' (compiled by 1345). In the Song period, the odometer vehicle was also combined with another old complex mechanical device known as the south-pointing chariot. This device, originally crafted by Ma Jun (mechanical engineer), Ma Jun in the 3rd century, incorporated a differential (mechanical device), differential gear that allowed a figure mounted on the vehicle to always point in the southern direction, no matter how the vehicle's wheels turned about. The concept of the differential gear that was used in this navigational vehicle is now found in modern automobiles in order to apply an equal amount of torque to a car's wheels even when they are rotating at different speeds.


Polymaths, inventions, and astronomy

Polymath figures such as the scientists and statesmen
Shen Kuo Shen Kuo (; 1031–1095) or Shen Gua, courtesy name A courtesy name (), also known as a style name, is a name bestowed upon one at adulthood in addition to one's given name. This practice is a tradition in the East Asian cultural sphere ...
(1031–1095) and Su Song (1020–1101) embodied advancements in all fields of study, including botany, zoology, geology, mineralogy, metallurgy, mechanics, magnetics, meteorology, horology, astronomy, Traditional Chinese medicine, pharmaceutical medicine, archeology, mathematics, cartography, optics, art criticism, hydraulics, and many other fields. Shen Kuo was the first to discern magnetic declination of
true north True north (also called geodetic north or geographic north) is the direction Direction may refer to: *Relative direction, for instance left, right, forward, backwards, up, and down ** Anatomical terms of location for those used in anatomy *Car ...
while experimenting with a compass. Shen theorized that geographical Climate change (general concept), climates gradually shifted over time. He created a theory of land formation involving concepts accepted in modern geomorphology. He performed optical experiments with camera obscura just decades after Ibn al-Haytham was the first to do so. He also improved the designs of astronomical instruments such as the widened astronomical Dream Pool Essays#Astronomy, sighting tube, which allowed Shen Kuo to fix the position of the pole star (which had shifted over centuries of time). Shen Kuo was also known for hydraulic clockworks, as he invented a new overflow-tank Water clock, clepsydra which had more efficient higher-order interpolation instead of linear interpolation in calibrating the measure of time. Su Song was best known for his horology treatise written in 1092, which described and illustrated in great detail his hydraulic-powered, tall
astronomical Astronomy (from el, ἀστρονομία, literally meaning the science that studies the laws of the stars) is a natural science that studies celestial objects and phenomena. It uses mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Gr ...
clock towerA clock tower is an architectural structure housing a turret clock. Clock Tower may also refer to: Buildings * Clock Tower, Anantapur * Clock Tower of Ateca The Clock Tower of Ateca is a structure in Ateca, Spain. A leaning tower of Mudéjar ...

clock tower
built in Kaifeng. The clock tower featured large astronomical instruments of the armillary sphere and celestial globe, both driven by an early intermittently working escapement mechanism (similarly to the western verge escapement of true mechanical clocks appeared in Middle Ages, medieval clockworks, derived from ancient clockworks of classical times). Su's tower featured a rotating gear wheel with 133 clock jack mannequins who were timed to rotate past shuttered windows while Striking clock, ringing gongs and bells, banging drums, and presenting announcement plaques. In his printed book, Su published a celestial atlas of five star charts. These star charts feature a cylindrical projection similar to Mercator projection, the latter being a cartographic innovation of Gerardus Mercator in 1569. The Song Chinese observed supernovae, including SN 1054#Chinese astronomy, SN 1054, the remnants of which would form the Crab Nebula. Moreover, the ''Soochow Astronomical Chart'' on Chinese planispheres was prepared in 1193 for instructing the crown prince on astronomical findings. The planispheres were engraved in stone several decades later.


Mathematics and cartography

There were many notable improvements to Chinese mathematics during the Song era. Mathematician Yang Hui's 1261 book provided the earliest Chinese illustration of Pascal's triangle, although it had earlier been described by Jia Xian in around 1100. Yang Hui also provided rules for constructing combinatorial arrangements in magic squares, provided theoretical proof for Euclid's forty-third proposition about parallelograms, and was the first to use negative coefficients of 'x' in quadratic equations. Yang's contemporary Qin Jiushao (c. 1202–1261) was the first to introduce the 0 (number), zero symbol into Chinese mathematics; before this blank spaces were used instead of zeroes in the system of counting rods. He is also known for working with the Chinese remainder theorem, Heron's formula, and astronomical data used in determining the winter solstice. Qin's major work was the ''Mathematical Treatise in Nine Sections'' published in 1247. Geometry was essential to surveying and cartography. The Chinese cartography, earliest extant Chinese maps date to the 4th century BCE, yet it was not until the time of Pei Xiu (224–271) that topographical elevation, a formal Grid reference, rectangular grid system, and use of a standard graduated scale of distances was applied to terrain maps. List of Chinese inventions#R, Following a long tradition, Shen Kuo created a raised-relief map, while his other maps featured a uniform graduated scale of 1:900,000. A squared map of 1137—carved into a stone block—followed a uniform grid scale of 100 li for each gridded square, and accurately mapped the outline of the coasts and river systems of China, extending all the way to India. Furthermore, the world's oldest known terrain map in printed form comes from the edited encyclopedia of Yang Jia in 1155, which displayed western China without the formal grid system that was characteristic of more professionally made Chinese maps. Although gazetteers had existed since 52 CE during the Han dynasty and gazetteers accompanied by illustrative maps (Chinese: ) 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.


Movable type printing

The innovation of movable type printing was made by the artisan Bi Sheng (990–1051), first described by the scientist and statesman Shen Kuo in his ''Dream Pool Essays'' of 1088. The collection of Bi Sheng's original clay-fired typeface was passed on to one of Shen Kuo's nephews, and was carefully preserved. Movable type enhanced the already widespread use of woodblock printing, woodblock methods of printing thousands of documents and volumes of written literature, consumed eagerly by an increasingly literate public. The advancement of printing deeply affected education and the scholar-official class, since more books could be made faster while mass-produced, printed books were cheaper in comparison to laborious handwritten copies. The enhancement of widespread printing and print culture in the Song period was thus a direct catalyst in the rise of social mobility and expansion of the educated class of scholar elites, the latter which expanded dramatically in size from the 11th to 13th centuries. The movable type invented by Bi Sheng was ultimately trumped by the use of woodblock printing due to the limitations of the enormous Chinese character writing system, yet movable type printing continued to be used and was improved in later periods. The
Yuan dynasty The Yuan dynasty (), officially the Great Yuan (; xng, , , literally "Great Yuan State"), was a successor state Successor is someone who, or something which succeeds or comes after (see success and succession) Film and TV * ''The Succe ...
scholar-official Wang Zhen (official), Wang Zhen (floruit, fl. 1290–1333) implemented a faster typesetting process, improved Bi's baked-clay movable type character set with a wooden one, and experimented with tin-metal movable type. The wealthy printing patron Hua Sui (1439–1513) of the
Ming dynasty The Ming dynasty (), officially the Great Ming, was the ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644 following the collapse of the Mongol The Mongols ( mn, Монголчууд, , ''Mongolchuud'', ; russian: Монголы, ) are an eth ...

Ming dynasty
established China's first metal movable type (using bronze) in 1490. In 1638, the ''Peking Gazette'' switched their printing process from woodblock to movable type printing. Yet it was during the Qing dynasty that massive printing projects began to employ movable type printing. This includes the printing of sixty-six copies of a 5,020 volume long encyclopedia in 1725, the ''Gujin Tushu Jicheng'' (''Complete Collection of Illustrations and Writings from the Earliest to Current Times''), which necessitated the crafting of 250,000 movable type characters cast in bronze. By the 19th century the European style printing press replaced the old Chinese methods of movable type, while traditional woodblock printing in modern East Asia is used sparsely and for aesthetic reasons.


Hydraulic and nautical engineering

The most important nautical innovation of the Song period seems to have been the introduction of the magnetism, magnetic mariner's
compass A compass is a device that shows the cardinal direction The four cardinal directions, or cardinal points, are the directions north, east, south, and west, commonly denoted by their initials N, E, S, and W. East and west are perpendicular ( ...

compass
, which permitted accurate navigation on the open sea regardless of the weather. The magnetized compass needle known in Chinese as the "south-pointing needle" was first described by
Shen Kuo Shen Kuo (; 1031–1095) or Shen Gua, courtesy name A courtesy name (), also known as a style name, is a name bestowed upon one at adulthood in addition to one's given name. This practice is a tradition in the East Asian cultural sphere ...
in his 1088 ''Dream Pool Essays'' and first mentioned in active use by sailors in Zhu Yu (author), Zhu Yu's 1119 ''Pingzhou Table Talks''. There were other considerable advancements in hydraulic engineering and nautical technology during the Song dynasty. The 10th-century invention of the
pound lock A lock is a device used for raising and lowering boats, ships and other watercraft between stretches of water of different levels on river and canal waterways. The distinguishing feature of a lock is a fixed chamber in which the water level ...
for canal systems allowed different water levels to be raised and lowered for separated segments of a canal, which significantly aided the safety of canal traffic and allowed for larger barges. There was the Song-era innovation of Bulkhead (partition), watertight bulkhead compartments that allowed damage to Hull (watercraft), hulls without sinking the ships. If ships were damaged, the Chinese of the 11th century employed drydocks to repair them while suspended out of the water. The Song used crossbeams to brace the ribs of ships in order to strengthen them in a skeletal-like structure. Stern-mounted rudders had been mounted on Chinese ships since the 1st century, as evidenced with a preserved Han tomb model of a ship. In the Song period, the Chinese devised a way to mechanically raise and lower rudders in order for ships to travel in a wider range of water depths. The Song arranged the protruding teeth of anchors in a circular pattern instead of in one direction. David Graff and Robin Higham state that this arrangement "[made] them more reliable" for anchoring ships.


Structural engineering and architecture

Architecture during the Song period reached new heights of sophistication. Authors such as Yu Hao and
Shen Kuo Shen Kuo (; 1031–1095) or Shen Gua, courtesy name A courtesy name (), also known as a style name, is a name bestowed upon one at adulthood in addition to one's given name. This practice is a tradition in the East Asian cultural sphere ...
wrote books outlining the field of architectural layouts, craftsmanship, and structural engineering in the 10th and 11th centuries, respectively. Shen Kuo preserved the written dialogues of Yu Hao when describing technical issues such as slanting struts built into pagoda towers for diagonal wind bracing. Shen Kuo also preserved Yu's specified dimensions and units of measurement for various building types. The architect Architecture of the Song dynasty#Treatise of Li Jie, Li Jie (1065–1110), who published the ''Yingzao Fashi'' ('Treatise on Architectural Methods') in 1103, greatly expanded upon the works of Yu Hao and compiled the standard building codes used by the central government agencies and by craftsmen throughout the empire. He addressed the standard methods of construction, design, and applications of moats and fortifications, stonework, greater woodwork, lesser woodwork, wood-carving, turning and drilling, sawing, bamboo work, tiling, wall building, painting and decoration, brickwork, glazed tile making, and provided proportions for mortar (masonry), mortar formulas in masonry. In his book, Li provided detailed and vivid illustrations of architectural components and cross-sections of buildings. These illustrations displayed various applications of corbel brackets, cantilever arms, mortise and tenon work of tie beams and cross beams, and diagrams showing the various building types of halls in graded sizes. He also outlined the standard units of measurement and standard dimensional measurements of all building components described and illustrated in his book. Grandiose building projects were supported by the government, including the erection of towering Buddhist Chinese pagodas and the construction of enormous bridges (wood or stone, Trestle bridge, trestle or segmental arch bridge). Many of the pagoda towers built during the Song period were erected at heights that exceeded ten stories. 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 :Pagodas in China, there were many others. The tallest is the Liaodi Pagoda of Hebei built in 1055, towering in total height. Some of the bridges reached lengths of , with many being wide enough to allow two lanes of cart traffic simultaneously over a waterway or ravine. The government also oversaw construction of their own administrative offices, palace apartments, city fortifications, ancestral temples, and Buddhist temples. The professions of the architect, craftsman, carpenter, and structural engineer were not seen as professionally equal to that of a Confucian scholar-official. Architectural knowledge had been passed down orally for thousands of years in China, in many cases from a father craftsman to his son. Structural engineering and architecture schools were known to have existed during the Song period; one prestigious engineering school was headed by the renowned bridge-builder Cai Xiang (1012–1067) in medieval Fujian province. Besides existing buildings and technical literature of building manuals, Architecture of the Song dynasty#Architecture in Song artwork, Song dynasty artwork portraying cityscapes and other buildings aid modern-day scholars in their attempts to reconstruct and realize the nuances of Song architecture. Song dynasty artists such as Li Cheng (painter), 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 Arch bridge, arched bridges, halls and Chinese pavilion, pavilions, Pagoda, pagoda towers, and distinct Chinese city walls. The scientist and statesman Shen Kuo was known for his Art criticism, criticism of artwork relating to architecture, saying that it was more important for an artist to capture a holistic view of a landscape than it was to focus on the angles and corners of buildings. For example, Shen criticized the work of the painter Li Cheng for failing to observe the principle of "seeing the small from the viewpoint of the large" in portraying buildings. There were also pyramidal tomb structures in the Song era, such as the Song imperial tombs located in Gongxian, Henan province. About from Gongxian is another Song dynasty tomb at Baisha, which features "elaborate facsimiles in brick of Chinese timber frame construction, from door lintels to pillars and pedestals to bracket sets, that adorn interior walls." The two large chambers of the Baisha tomb also feature conical-shaped roofs. Flanking the avenues leading to these tombs :File:Songling2.jpg, are lines of Song dynasty stone statues of officials, tomb guardians, animals, and legendary creatures.


Archaeology

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 Archaeology, archaeological sites, in order to revive the use of ancient vessels in ceremonies of state ritual. 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 Oracle bone script, written characters of the Shang era. Some attempted to recreate these bronze vessels by using imagination alone, not by observing tangible evidence of relics; this practice was criticized by Shen Kuo in his work of 1088. Yet Shen Kuo had much more to criticize than this practice alone. Shen objected to the idea of his peers that ancient relics were products created by famous "sages" in lore or the Four occupations, ancient aristocratic class; Shen rightfully attributed the discovered handicrafts and vessels from ancient times as the work of artisans and commoners from previous eras. He also disapproved of his peers' pursuit of archaeology simply to enhance state ritual, since Shen not only took an Interdisciplinarity, interdisciplinary approach with the study of archaeology, but he also emphasized the study of functionality and investigating what was the ancient relics' original processes of manufacture. Shen used ancient texts and existing models of armillary spheres to create one based on ancient standards; Shen described ancient weaponry such as the use of a Sight (device), scaled sighting device on crossbows; while experimenting with Bar (music), ancient musical measures, Shen suggested hanging Bianzhong, an ancient bell by using a hollow handle. Despite the gentry's overriding interest in archaeology simply for reviving ancient state rituals, some of Shen's peers took a similar approach to the study of archaeology. His contemporary Ouyang Xiu (1007–1072) compiled an analytical catalogue of ancient rubbings on stone and bronze which pioneered ideas in early epigraphy and archaeology. 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. On the unreliability of historical works written after the fact, the epigrapher and poet Zhao Mingcheng (1081–1129) stated "... the inscriptions on stone and bronze are made at the time the events took place and can be trusted without reservation, and thus discrepancies may be discovered." Historian R.C. Rudolph states that Zhao's emphasis on consulting contemporary sources for accurate dating is parallel with the concern of the German historian Leopold von Ranke (1795–1886), and was in fact emphasized by many Song scholars. The Song scholar Hong Mai (1123–1202) heavily criticized what he called the court's "ridiculous" archaeological catalogue ''Bogutu'' compiled during the Huizong reign periods of Zheng He and Xuan He (1111–1125). Hong Mai obtained old vessels from the Han dynasty and compared them with the descriptions offered in the catalogue, which he found so inaccurate he stated he had to "hold my sides with laughter." Hong Mai pointed out that the erroneous material was the fault of Chancellor Cai Jing (1047–1126), who prohibited scholars from reading and consulting Chinese historiography, written histories.


See also


References


Citations


Sources

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Further reading

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External links


Song Dynasty at China Heritage Quarterly





Song dynasty art with video commentary

The Newly Compiled Overall Geographical Survey
{{Featured article Song dynasty, 10th-century establishments in China 11th century in China, . 12th century in China, . 1279 disestablishments in Asia 13th-century disestablishments in China 960 establishments Dynasties in Chinese history Former countries in Chinese history Medieval Asia States and territories disestablished in 1279 States and territories established in the 960s