Song Dynasty

Song Dynasty

Overview
The Song Dynasty was a ruling dynasty
Dynasties in Chinese history
The following is a chronology of the dynasties in Chinese history.Chinese history is not as neat as is often described and it was rare for one dynasty to change peacefully into the next. Dynasties were often established before the overthrow of an existing regime, or continued for a time after they...

 in China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 between 960 and 1279; it succeeded the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period
Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period
Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms was between 907–960/979 AD and an era of political upheaval in China, between the fall of the Tang Dynasty and the founding of the Song Dynasty. During this period, five dynasties quickly succeeded one another in the north, and more than 12 independent states were...

, and was followed by the Yuan Dynasty
Yuan Dynasty
The Yuan Dynasty , or Great Yuan Empire was a ruling dynasty founded by the Mongol leader Kublai Khan, who ruled most of present-day China, all of modern Mongolia and its surrounding areas, lasting officially from 1271 to 1368. It is considered both as a division of the Mongol Empire and as an...

. It was the first government in world history to issue banknote
Banknote
A banknote is a kind of negotiable instrument, a promissory note made by a bank payable to the bearer on demand, used as money, and in many jurisdictions is legal tender. In addition to coins, banknotes make up the cash or bearer forms of all modern fiat money...

s or paper money, and the first Chinese government to establish a permanent standing navy
Naval history of China
The naval history of China dates back thousands of years, with archives existing since the late Spring and Autumn Period about the ancient navy of China and the various ship types used in war. China was leading maritime power in the years 1405-1433, when Chinese shipbuilders began to build massive...

. This dynasty also saw the first known use of gunpowder
Gunpowder
Gunpowder, also known since in the late 19th century as black powder, was the first chemical explosive and the only one known until the mid 1800s. It is a mixture of sulfur, charcoal, and potassium nitrate - with the sulfur and charcoal acting as fuels, while the saltpeter works as an oxidizer...

, as well as first discernment of true north
True north
True north is the direction along the earth's surface towards the geographic North Pole.True geodetic north usually differs from magnetic north , and from grid north...

 using a compass
Compass
A compass is a navigational instrument that shows directions in a frame of reference that is stationary relative to the surface of the earth. The frame of reference defines the four cardinal directions – north, south, east, and west. Intermediate directions are also defined...

.

The Song Dynasty is divided into two distinct periods: the Northern Song and Southern Song.
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Timeline

960   The coronation of Zhao Kuangyin as Emperor Taizu of Song, initiating the Song Dynasty period of China that would last more than three centuries.

971   In China, the war elephant corps of the Southern Han are soundly defeated at Shao by crossbow fire from Song Dynasty troops.

1054   A supernova is observed by the Chinese, the Arabs and possibly Amerindians near the star Tauri. For several months it remains bright enough to be seen during the day. Its remnants form the Crab Nebula.

1142   Execution, believed wrongful, of noted Song Dynasty General Yue Fei.

1276   While taking exile in Fuzhou in southern China, away from the advancing Mongol invaders, the remnants of the Song Dynasty court hold the coronation ceremony for the young prince Zhao Shi, making him Emperor Duanzong of Song.

1279   A Mongolian victory in the Battle of Yamen ends the Song Dynasty in China.

 
Encyclopedia
The Song Dynasty was a ruling dynasty
Dynasties in Chinese history
The following is a chronology of the dynasties in Chinese history.Chinese history is not as neat as is often described and it was rare for one dynasty to change peacefully into the next. Dynasties were often established before the overthrow of an existing regime, or continued for a time after they...

 in China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 between 960 and 1279; it succeeded the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period
Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period
Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms was between 907–960/979 AD and an era of political upheaval in China, between the fall of the Tang Dynasty and the founding of the Song Dynasty. During this period, five dynasties quickly succeeded one another in the north, and more than 12 independent states were...

, and was followed by the Yuan Dynasty
Yuan Dynasty
The Yuan Dynasty , or Great Yuan Empire was a ruling dynasty founded by the Mongol leader Kublai Khan, who ruled most of present-day China, all of modern Mongolia and its surrounding areas, lasting officially from 1271 to 1368. It is considered both as a division of the Mongol Empire and as an...

. It was the first government in world history to issue banknote
Banknote
A banknote is a kind of negotiable instrument, a promissory note made by a bank payable to the bearer on demand, used as money, and in many jurisdictions is legal tender. In addition to coins, banknotes make up the cash or bearer forms of all modern fiat money...

s or paper money, and the first Chinese government to establish a permanent standing navy
Naval history of China
The naval history of China dates back thousands of years, with archives existing since the late Spring and Autumn Period about the ancient navy of China and the various ship types used in war. China was leading maritime power in the years 1405-1433, when Chinese shipbuilders began to build massive...

. This dynasty also saw the first known use of gunpowder
Gunpowder
Gunpowder, also known since in the late 19th century as black powder, was the first chemical explosive and the only one known until the mid 1800s. It is a mixture of sulfur, charcoal, and potassium nitrate - with the sulfur and charcoal acting as fuels, while the saltpeter works as an oxidizer...

, as well as first discernment of true north
True north
True north is the direction along the earth's surface towards the geographic North Pole.True geodetic north usually differs from magnetic north , and from grid north...

 using a compass
Compass
A compass is a navigational instrument that shows directions in a frame of reference that is stationary relative to the surface of the earth. The frame of reference defines the four cardinal directions – north, south, east, and west. Intermediate directions are also defined...

.

The Song Dynasty is divided into two distinct periods: the Northern Song and Southern Song. During the Northern Song , the Song capital was in the northern city of Bianjing (now Kaifeng
Kaifeng
Kaifeng , known previously by several names , is a prefecture-level city in east-central Henan province, Central China. Nearly 5 million people live in the metropolitan area...

) and the dynasty controlled most of inner China
China proper
China proper or Eighteen Provinces was a term used by Western writers on the Qing Dynasty to express a distinction between the core and frontier regions of China. There is no fixed extent for China proper, as many administrative, cultural, and linguistic shifts have occurred in Chinese history...

. The Southern Song refers to the period after the Song lost control of northern China
Northern and southern China
Northern China and southern China are two approximate regions within China. The exact boundary between these two regions has never been precisely defined...

 to the Jin Dynasty. During this time, the Song court retreated south of the Yangtze River
Yangtze River
The Yangtze, Yangzi or Cháng Jiāng is the longest river in Asia, and the third-longest in the world. It flows for from the glaciers on the Tibetan Plateau in Qinghai eastward across southwest, central and eastern China before emptying into the East China Sea at Shanghai. It is also one of the...

 and established their capital at Lin'an (now Hangzhou
Hangzhou
Hangzhou , formerly transliterated as Hangchow, is the capital and largest city of Zhejiang Province in Eastern China. Governed as a sub-provincial city, and as of 2010, its entire administrative division or prefecture had a registered population of 8.7 million people...

). Although the Song Dynasty had lost control of the traditional birthplace of Chinese civilization along the Yellow River
Yellow River
The Yellow River or Huang He, formerly known as the Hwang Ho, is the second-longest river in China and the sixth-longest in the world at the estimated length of . Originating in the Bayan Har Mountains in Qinghai Province in western China, it flows through nine provinces of China and empties into...

, the Song economy was not in ruins, as the Southern Song Empire contained 60 percent of China's population and a majority of the most productive agricultural land. The Southern Song Dynasty considerably bolstered its naval
Navy
A navy is the branch of a nation's armed forces principally designated for naval and amphibious warfare; namely, lake- or ocean-borne combat operations and related functions...

 strength to defend its waters and land borders and to conduct maritime missions abroad.

To repel the Jin, and later the Mongols
Mongols
Mongols ) are a Central-East Asian ethnic group that lives mainly in the countries of Mongolia, China, and Russia. In China, ethnic Mongols can be found mainly in the central north region of China such as Inner Mongolia...

, the Song developed revolutionary new military technology augmented by the use of gunpowder. In 1234, the Jin Dynasty was conquered by the Mongols, who took control of northern China, maintaining uneasy relations with the Southern Song. Möngke Khan
Möngke Khan
Möngke Khan , born Möngke, , was the fourth Great Khan of the Mongol Empire from July 1, 1251 – August 11, 1259. He was the first Great Khan from the Toluid line, and made significant reforms to improve the administration of the Empire during his reign...

, the fourth Great Khan
Khagan
Khagan or qagan , alternatively spelled kagan, khaghan, qaghan, or chagan, is a title of imperial rank in the Mongolian and Turkic languages equal to the status of emperor and someone who rules a khaganate...

 of the Mongol Empire, died in 1259 while besieging a city in Chongqing
Chongqing
Chongqing is a major city in Southwest China and one of the five national central cities of China. Administratively, it is one of the PRC's four direct-controlled municipalities , and the only such municipality in inland China.The municipality was created on 14 March 1997, succeeding the...

. His younger brother Kublai Khan
Kublai Khan
Kublai Khan , born Kublai and also known by the temple name Shizu , was the fifth Great Khan of the Mongol Empire from 1260 to 1294 and the founder of the Yuan Dynasty in China...

 was proclaimed the new Great Khan, though his claim was only partially recognized by the Mongols in the west. In 1271, Kublai Khan was proclaimed the Emperor of China
Emperor of China
The Emperor of China refers to any sovereign of Imperial China reigning between the founding of Qin Dynasty of China, united by the King of Qin in 221 BCE, and the fall of Yuan Shikai's Empire of China in 1916. When referred to as the Son of Heaven , a title that predates the Qin unification, the...

. After two decades of sporadic warfare, Kublai Khan's armies conquered the Song Dynasty
Mongol conquest of the Song Dynasty
The conquest of South China's Song Dynasty under Kublai Khan was the final step for the Mongols to rule the whole of China. It is also considered the Mongol Empire's last great military achievement.- Background :...

 in 1279. China was once again unified
Mongol invasion of China
The Mongol invasion of China lasted over 6 decades and particularly involved the defeat of the Jin Dynasty, Western Xia, the Dali Kingdom, and the Southern Song, which finally fell in year 1276. The Mongols under Kublai Khan established the Yuan Dynasty in China and crushed the last Song resistance...

, under the Mongol Yuan Dynasty
Yuan Dynasty
The Yuan Dynasty , or Great Yuan Empire was a ruling dynasty founded by the Mongol leader Kublai Khan, who ruled most of present-day China, all of modern Mongolia and its surrounding areas, lasting officially from 1271 to 1368. It is considered both as a division of the Mongol Empire and as an...

 (1271–1368).

The population of China doubled in size during the 10th and 11th centuries. This growth came through expanded rice cultivation in central and southern China, the use of early-ripening rice from southeast and southern Asia, and the production of abundant food surpluses. The Northern Song census recorded a population of roughly 50 million, much like the Han
Han Dynasty
The Han Dynasty was the second imperial dynasty of China, preceded by the Qin Dynasty and succeeded by the Three Kingdoms . It was founded by the rebel leader Liu Bang, known posthumously as Emperor Gaozu of Han. It was briefly interrupted by the Xin Dynasty of the former regent Wang Mang...

 and Tang
Tang Dynasty
The Tang Dynasty was an imperial dynasty of China preceded by the Sui Dynasty and followed by the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period. It was founded by the Li family, who seized power during the decline and collapse of the Sui Empire...

 dynasties. This data is found in the Standard Histories
Twenty-Four Histories
The Twenty-Four Histories is a collection of Chinese historical books covering a period from 3000 BC to the Ming Dynasty in the 17th century. The whole set contains 3213 volumes and about 40 million words...

. However, it is estimated that the Northern Song had a population of some 100 million people, and 200 million by the time of the Ming Dynasty
Ming Dynasty
The Ming Dynasty, also Empire of the Great Ming, was the ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644, following the collapse of the Mongol-led Yuan Dynasty. The Ming, "one of the greatest eras of orderly government and social stability in human history", was the last dynasty in China ruled by ethnic...

. This dramatic increase of population fomented an economic revolution in premodern China
Economy of the Song Dynasty
The economy of China under the Song Dynasty of China was marked by commercial expansion, financial prosperity, increased international trade-contacts, and a revolution in agricultural productivity. Private finance grew, stimulating the development of a country-wide market network which linked the...

. The expansion of the population was partially the cause for the gradual withdrawal of the central government from heavily regulating the market economy. A much larger populace also increased the importance of the lower gentry's role in grassroots administration and local affairs. Appointed officials in county and provincial centers relied upon the scholarly gentry for their services, sponsorship, and local supervision.

Social life during the Song was vibrant; social elites 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 earlier invention of woodblock printing
Woodblock printing
Woodblock printing is a technique for printing text, images or patterns used widely throughout East Asia and originating in China in antiquity as a method of printing on textiles and later paper....

 and the 11th-century invention of movable type
Movable type
Movable type is the system of printing and typography that uses movable components to reproduce the elements of a document ....

 printing. Pre-modern technology, science, philosophy, mathematics, engineering, and other intellectual pursuits flourished over the course of the Song. Philosophers such as Cheng Yi
Cheng Yi (philosopher)
Cheng Yi , courtesy name Zhengshu , also known as Mr. Yichuan , was a Chinese philosopher born in Luoyang during the Song Dynasty. He worked with his older brother Cheng Hao . Like his brother, he was a student of Zhou Dunyi, a friend of Shao Yong, and a nephew of Zhang Zai...

 and Zhu Xi
Zhu Xi
Zhū​ Xī​ or Chu Hsi was a Song Dynasty Confucian scholar who became the leading figure of the School of Principle and the most influential rationalist Neo-Confucian in China...

 reinvigorated Confucianism
Confucianism
Confucianism is a Chinese ethical and philosophical system developed from the teachings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius . Confucianism originated as an "ethical-sociopolitical teaching" during the Spring and Autumn Period, but later developed metaphysical and cosmological elements in the Han...

 with new commentary, infused with Buddhist
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

 ideals, and emphasized a new organization of classic texts that brought out the core doctrine of Neo-Confucianism
Neo-Confucianism
Neo-Confucianism is an ethical and metaphysical Chinese philosophy influenced by Confucianism, that was primarily developed during the Song Dynasty and Ming Dynasty, but which can be traced back to Han Yu and Li Ao in the Tang Dynasty....

. Although the institution of the civil service examinations
Imperial examination
The Imperial examination was an examination system in Imperial China designed to select the best administrative officials for the state's bureaucracy. This system had a huge influence on both society and culture in Imperial China and was directly responsible for the creation of a class of...

 had existed since the Sui Dynasty
Sui Dynasty
The Sui Dynasty was a powerful, but short-lived Imperial Chinese dynasty. Preceded by the Southern and Northern Dynasties, it ended nearly four centuries of division between rival regimes. It was followed by the Tang Dynasty....

, it became much more prominent in the Song period. This became a leading factor in the shift of an aristocratic
Chinese nobility
Chinese sovereignty and peerage, the nobility of China, were an important feature of traditional social and political organization of Imperial China. While the concepts of hereditary sovereign and peerage titles and noble families were featured as early as the semi-mythical, early historical...

 elite to a bureaucratic elite.

Northern Song, 960–1127



Emperor Taizu of Song
Emperor Taizu of Song
Emperor Tàizǔ , born Zhao Kuangyin , was the founder of the Song Dynasty of China, reigning from 960 to 976.-Ancestry and early life:...

 (r. 960–976) unified China through conquering other lands during his reign, ending the upheaval of the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period
Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period
Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms was between 907–960/979 AD and an era of political upheaval in China, between the fall of the Tang Dynasty and the founding of the Song Dynasty. During this period, five dynasties quickly succeeded one another in the north, and more than 12 independent states were...

. In Kaifeng
Kaifeng
Kaifeng , known previously by several names , is a prefecture-level city in east-central Henan province, Central China. Nearly 5 million people live in the metropolitan area...

, he established a strong central government over the empire. He ensured administrative stability by promoting the civil service examination
Imperial examination
The Imperial examination was an examination system in Imperial China designed to select the best administrative officials for the state's bureaucracy. This system had a huge influence on both society and culture in Imperial China and was directly responsible for the creation of a class of...

 system of drafting state bureaucrat
Bureaucrat
A bureaucrat is a member of a bureaucracy and can comprise the administration of any organization of any size, though the term usually connotes someone within an institution of a government or corporation...

s by skill and merit (instead of aristocrat
Aristocracy (class)
The aristocracy are people considered to be in the highest social class in a society which has or once had a political system of Aristocracy. Aristocrats possess hereditary titles granted by a monarch, which once granted them feudal or legal privileges, or deriving, as in Ancient Greece and India,...

ic or military position) and promoted projects that ensured efficiency in communication throughout the empire. One such project was the creation by cartographers of detailed maps of each province and city which were then collected in a large atlas
Atlas
An atlas is a collection of maps; it is typically a map of Earth or a region of Earth, but there are atlases of the other planets in the Solar System. Atlases have traditionally been bound into book form, but today many atlases are in multimedia formats...

. He also promoted groundbreaking science and technological innovations by supporting such works as the astronomical
Astronomical clock
An astronomical clock is a clock with special mechanisms and dials to display astronomical information, such as the relative positions of the sun, moon, zodiacal constellations, and sometimes major planets.-Definition:...

 clock tower
Clock tower
A clock tower is a tower specifically built with one or more clock faces. Clock towers can be either freestanding or part of a church or municipal building such as a town hall. Some clock towers are not true clock towers having had their clock faces added to an already existing building...

 designed and built by the engineer Zhang Sixun
Zhang Sixun
Zhang Sixun was a Chinese astronomer and military engineer from Bazhong, Sichuan during the early Song Dynasty . He is credited with creating an armillary sphere for his astronomical clock tower that employed the use of liquid mercury...

.


The Song court maintained diplomatic relations with Chola India
Chola Dynasty
The Chola dynasty was a Tamil dynasty which was one of the longest-ruling in some parts of southern India. The earliest datable references to this Tamil dynasty are in inscriptions from the 3rd century BC left by Asoka, of Maurya Empire; the dynasty continued to govern over varying territory until...

, Fatimid Egypt
Fatimid
The Fatimid Islamic Caliphate or al-Fāṭimiyyūn was a Berber Shia Muslim caliphate first centered in Tunisia and later in Egypt that ruled over varying areas of the Maghreb, Sudan, Sicily, the Levant, and Hijaz from 5 January 909 to 1171.The caliphate was ruled by the Fatimids, who established the...

, Srivijaya
Srivijaya
Srivijaya was a powerful ancient thalassocratic Malay empire based on the island of Sumatra, modern day Indonesia, which influenced much of Southeast Asia. The earliest solid proof of its existence dates from the 7th century; a Chinese monk, I-Tsing, wrote that he visited Srivijaya in 671 for 6...

, the Kara-Khanid Khanate
Kara-Khanid Khanate
The Kara-Khanid Khanate was a confederation of Turkic tribes ruled by a dynasty known in literature as the Karakhanids or Ilek Khanids, . Both dynastic names represent titles with Kara Kağan being the most important Turkish title up till the end of the dynasty.The Khanate ruled Transoxania in...

 of Central Asia
Central Asia
Central Asia is a core region of the Asian continent from the Caspian Sea in the west, China in the east, Afghanistan in the south, and Russia in the north...

, and other countries that were also trade partners. However, it was China's closest neighboring states which would have 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
Khitan people
thumb|250px|Khitans [[Eagle hunting|using eagles to hunt]], painted during the Chinese [[Song Dynasty]].The Khitan people , or Khitai, Kitan, or Kidan, were a nomadic Mongolic people, originally located at Mongolia and Manchuria from the 4th century...

 of the Liao Dynasty
Liao Dynasty
The Liao Dynasty , also known as the Khitan Empire was an empire in East Asia that ruled over the regions of Manchuria, Mongolia, and parts of northern China proper between 9071125...

 in the northeast and with the Tanguts of the Western Xia Dynasty in the northwest. The Song Dynasty used military force in an attempt to quell the Liao Dynasty and recapture the Sixteen Prefectures
Sixteen Prefectures
The Sixteen Prefectures are a region in northern China stretching from present-day Beijing westward to Datong. In most areas, it is approximately seventy to one hundred miles in width...

, a territory under Khitan control that was traditionally considered to be part of China proper
China proper
China proper or Eighteen Provinces was a term used by Western writers on the Qing Dynasty to express a distinction between the core and frontier regions of China. There is no fixed extent for China proper, as many administrative, cultural, and linguistic shifts have occurred in Chinese history...

. However, 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
Shanyuan Treaty
The Shanyuan Treaty in 1004/05 was the pivotal point in the relations between the Northern Song and the Liao Dynasties . The ruling class of the Liao were a people of nomadic origin known as the Khitan who rose in the northeast around present-day Heilongjiang Province...

 ended these northern border clashes. The Song were forced to provide tribute to the Khitans, although paying this tribute did little damage to the overall Song economy since the Khitans were heavily dependent upon importing massive amounts of goods from the Song Dynasty. More significantly, the Song state recognized the Liao state as its diplomatic equal. 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
Shen Kuo or Shen Gua , style name Cunzhong and pseudonym Mengqi Weng , was a polymathic Chinese scientist and statesman of the Song Dynasty...

 (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. There was also a significant war fought against the Lý Dynasty
Lý Dynasty
The Lý Dynasty , sometimes known as the Later Lý Dynasty , was a Vietnamese dynasty that began in 1009 when Lý Thái Tổ overthrew the Prior Lê Dynasty and ended in 1225 when the queen Lý Chiêu Hoàng was forced to abdicate the throne in favor of her husband, Trần Cảnh. They ruled Vietnam for a...

 of Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam – sometimes spelled Viet Nam , officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam – is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea –...

 from 1075 to 1077 over a border dispute and the Song's severing of commercial relations with the Đại Việt kingdom. After Lý forces inflicted heavy damages in a raid on Guangxi
Guangxi
Guangxi, formerly romanized Kwangsi, is a province of southern China along its border with Vietnam. In 1958, it became the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China, a region with special privileges created specifically for the Zhuang people.Guangxi's location, in...

, the Song commander Guo Kui (1022–1088) penetrated as far as Thăng Long (modern Hanoi
Hanoi
Hanoi , is the capital of Vietnam and the country's second largest city. Its population in 2009 was estimated at 2.6 million for urban districts, 6.5 million for the metropolitan jurisdiction. From 1010 until 1802, it was the most important political centre of Vietnam...

). However, heavy losses on both sides prompted the Lý 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 Lý were mutually exchanged in 1082, along with prisoners of war.
During the 11th century, political rivalries thoroughly 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
Chancellor of China
The Chancellor , variously translated as Prime Minister, Chancellor of State, Premier or Chief Councillor, was a generic name given to the highest-ranking official in the imperial government in ancient China...

, Fan Zhongyan
Fan Zhongyan
Fan Zhongyan , born in Wuxian , Suzhou , was a prominent politician and literary figure in Song dynasty China. He was also a strategist and educator...

 (989–1052), was the first to receive a heated political backlash when he attempted to make such reforms 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
Wang Anshi
Wang Anshi was a Chinese economist, statesman, chancellor and poet of the Song Dynasty who attempted controversial, major socioeconomic reforms...

 (1021–1086) became Chancellor of the imperial court. With the backing of Emperor Shenzong
Emperor Shenzong of Song
Emperor Shenzong of Song was the sixth emperor of the Chinese Song Dynasty. His personal name was Zhao Xu...

 (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. These involved land tax reform, the establishment of several government monopolies, the support of local militia
Militia
The term militia is commonly used today to refer to a military force composed of ordinary citizens to provide defense, emergency law enforcement, or paramilitary service, in times of emergency without being paid a regular salary or committed to a fixed term of service. It is a polyseme with...

s, 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
Sima Guang
Sīmǎ Guāng was a Chinese historian, scholar, and high chancellor of the Song Dynasty, jinshi 1038.-Life, profession, and works:...

 (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
Su Shi
Su Shi , was a writer, poet, artist, calligrapher, pharmacologist, gastronome, and statesman of the Song Dynasty, and one of the major poets of the Song era. His courtesy name was Zizhan and his pseudonym was Dongpo Jushi , and he is often referred to as Su Dongpo...

 (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 Jurchen
Jurchens
The Jurchens were a Tungusic people who inhabited the region of Manchuria until the 17th century, when they adopted the name Manchu...

, a subject tribe within the Liao empire, rebelled against the Liao and formed their own state, the Jin Dynasty (1115–1234). The Song official Tong Guan
Tong Guan
Tong Guan , style name Daofu , was a court eunuch, military general, political adviser, and Council of State to Emperor Huizong of the Song Dynasty. In the Water Margin, one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature, Tong Guan is featured as an antagonist and enemy of the 108...

 (1054–1126) advised Emperor Huizong (1100–1125) to form an alliance with the Jurchens
Alliance on the Sea
The Alliance on the Sea was a political alliance in Chinese history between the Song and Jin Dynasties in the early 12th century against the Liao Dynasty. The alliance was negotiated from 1115 to 1123 by envoys who crossed the Bohai Sea, and is also called the Alliance Conducted at Sea...

, and their joint military campaign toppled and completely conquered the Liao Dynasty by 1125. However, the poor performance and military weakness of the Song army was observed by the Jurchens who immediately broke the alliance with the Song, launching an invasion into Song territory in 1125 and another in 1127; in this latter invasion, the Jurchens captured not only the Song capital at Kaifeng, but the retired emperor Huizong, his successor Qinzong
Emperor Qinzong of Song
Emperor Qinzong was the ninth emperor of the Song Dynasty of China, and the last emperor of the Northern Song. His personal name was Zhao Huan. He reigned from January 1126 to January 1127....

, and most of the Imperial court. This took place in the year of Jingkang (Chinese
Chinese language
The Chinese language is a language or language family consisting of varieties which are mutually intelligible to varying degrees. Originally the indigenous languages spoken by the Han Chinese in China, it forms one of the branches of Sino-Tibetan family of languages...

 靖康) and it is known as the Humiliation of Jingkang (Chinese
Chinese language
The Chinese language is a language or language family consisting of varieties which are mutually intelligible to varying degrees. Originally the indigenous languages spoken by the Han Chinese in China, it forms one of the branches of Sino-Tibetan family of languages...

 靖康之恥). The remaining Song forces regrouped under the self-proclaimed. Emperor Gaozong
Emperor Gaozong of Song
Emperor Gaozong , born Zhao Gou, was the tenth emperor of the Song Dynasty of China, and the first emperor of the Southern Song. He reigned from 1127 to 1162. He fled south after the Jurchens overran Kaifeng in the Jingkang Incident, hence the beginning of the Southern Song dynasty 1127–1279...

 (1127–1162), and withdrew south of the Yangtze River
Yangtze River
The Yangtze, Yangzi or Cháng Jiāng is the longest river in Asia, and the third-longest in the world. It flows for from the glaciers on the Tibetan Plateau in Qinghai eastward across southwest, central and eastern China before emptying into the East China Sea at Shanghai. It is also one of the...

 to establish the Song Dynasty's new capital at Lin'an (in modern Hangzhou
Hangzhou
Hangzhou , formerly transliterated as Hangchow, is the capital and largest city of Zhejiang Province in Eastern China. Governed as a sub-provincial city, and as of 2010, its entire administrative division or prefecture had a registered population of 8.7 million people...

). The Jurchen conquest of northern China and shift of capitals from Kaifeng to Lin'an was the dividing line between the Northern Song Dynasty and Southern Song Dynasty.

Southern Song, 1127–1279



Although weakened and pushed south along the Huai River
Huai River
The Huai River is a major river in China. The Huai River is located about mid-way between the Yellow River and Yangtze River, the two largest rivers in China, and like them runs from west to east...

, the Southern Song found new ways to bolster its strong economy and defend its own state against the Jin Dynasty. They had able military officers such as Yue Fei
Yue Fei
Yue Fei , style name Pengju, was a military general of the Southern Song Dynasty. His ancestral home was in Xiaoti, Yonghe Village, Tangyin, Xiangzhou, Henan...

 and Han Shizhong
Han Shizhong
Han Shizhong was a Chinese general of the late Northern Song Dynasty and the early Southern Song Dynasty. He dedicated his whole life to serving the Song Dynasty, and performed many legendary deeds. It is said that he had scars all over his body and, by the time he retired, there were only four...

. The government sponsored massive shipbuilding
Shipbuilding
Shipbuilding is the construction of ships and floating vessels. It normally takes place in a specialized facility known as a shipyard. Shipbuilders, also called shipwrights, follow a specialized occupation that traces its roots to before recorded history.Shipbuilding and ship repairs, both...

 and harbor
Harbor
A harbor or harbour , or haven, is a place where ships, boats, and barges can seek shelter from stormy weather, or else are stored for future use. Harbors can be natural or artificial...

 improvement projects, and the construction of beacon
Beacon
A beacon is an intentionally conspicuous device designed to attract attention to a specific location.Beacons can also be combined with semaphoric or other indicators to provide important information, such as the status of an airport, by the colour and rotational pattern of its airport beacon, or of...

s and seaport warehouse
Warehouse
A warehouse is a commercial building for storage of goods. Warehouses are used by manufacturers, importers, exporters, wholesalers, transport businesses, customs, etc. They are usually large plain buildings in industrial areas of cities and towns. They usually have loading docks to load and unload...

s in order to support maritime trade abroad and the major international seaports, such as Quanzhou
Quanzhou
Quanzhou is a prefecture-level city in Fujian province, People's Republic of China. It borders all other prefecture-level cities in Fujian but two and faces the Taiwan Strait...

, Guangzhou
Guangzhou
Guangzhou , known historically as Canton or Kwangchow, is the capital and largest city of the Guangdong province in the People's Republic of China. Located in southern China on the Pearl River, about north-northwest of Hong Kong, Guangzhou is a key national transportation hub and trading port...

, and Xiamen
Xiamen
Xiamen , also known as Amoy , is a major city on the southeast coast of the People's Republic of China. It is administered as a sub-provincial city of Fujian province with an area of and population of 3.53 million...

, that were sustaining China's commerce. To protect and support the multitudes of ships sailing for maritime interests into the waters of the East China Sea
East China Sea
The East China Sea is a marginal sea east of China. It is a part of the Pacific Ocean and covers an area of 1,249,000 km² or 750,000 square miles.-Geography:...

 and Yellow Sea
Yellow Sea
The Yellow Sea is the name given to the northern part of the East China Sea, which is a marginal sea of the Pacific Ocean. It is located between mainland China and the Korean Peninsula. Its name comes from the sand particles from Gobi Desert sand storms that turn the surface of the water golden...

 (to Korea
Korea
Korea ) is an East Asian geographic region that is currently divided into two separate sovereign states — North Korea and South Korea. Located on the Korean Peninsula, Korea is bordered by the People's Republic of China to the northwest, Russia to the northeast, and is separated from Japan to the...

 and Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

), Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia, South-East Asia, South East Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China, east of India, west of New Guinea and north of Australia. The region lies on the intersection of geological plates, with heavy seismic...

, the Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
The Indian Ocean is the third largest of the world's oceanic divisions, covering approximately 20% of the water on the Earth's surface. It is bounded on the north by the Indian Subcontinent and Arabian Peninsula ; on the west by eastern Africa; on the east by Indochina, the Sunda Islands, and...

, and the Red Sea
Red Sea
The Red Sea is a seawater inlet of the Indian Ocean, lying between Africa and Asia. The connection to the ocean is in the south through the Bab el Mandeb strait and the Gulf of Aden. In the north, there is the Sinai Peninsula, the Gulf of Aqaba, and the Gulf of Suez...

, it was a necessity to establish an official standing navy
Navy
A navy is the branch of a nation's armed forces principally designated for naval and amphibious warfare; namely, lake- or ocean-borne combat operations and related functions...

. 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
Battle of Tangdao
The naval Battle of Tangdao took place in 1161 between the Jurchen Jin and the Southern Song Dynasty of China on the East China Sea. It was an attempt by the Jin to invade and conquer the Southern Song Dynasty, yet resulted in failure and defeat for the Jurchens. The Jin Dynasty navy was set on...

 and the Battle of Caishi
Battle of Caishi
The naval Battle of Caishi took place in 1161 and was the result of an attempt by forces of the Jurchen Jin to cross the Yangtze River, thus beginning an invasion of Southern Song China...

. During these battles the Song navy employed swift paddle wheel driven
Paddle steamer
A paddle steamer is a steamship or riverboat, powered by a steam engine, using paddle wheels to propel it through the water. In antiquity, Paddle wheelers followed the development of poles, oars and sails, where the first uses were wheelers driven by animals or humans...

 naval vessels armed with trebuchet catapults
Trebuchet
A trebuchet is a siege engine that was employed in the Middle Ages. It is sometimes called a "counterweight trebuchet" or "counterpoise trebuchet" in order to distinguish it from an earlier weapon that has come to be called the "traction trebuchet", the original version with pulling men instead of...

 aboard the decks that launched gunpowder bomb
Bomb
A bomb is any of a range of explosive weapons that only rely on the exothermic reaction of an explosive material to provide an extremely sudden and violent release of energy...

s. Although the Jin forces 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. 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 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 considerable foe came to power over the steppe, deserts, and plains north of the Jin Dynasty. The Mongols
Mongols
Mongols ) are a Central-East Asian ethnic group that lives mainly in the countries of Mongolia, China, and Russia. In China, ethnic Mongols can be found mainly in the central north region of China such as Inner Mongolia...

, led by Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan , born Temujin and occasionally known by his temple name Taizu , was the founder and Great Khan of the Mongol Empire, which became the largest contiguous empire in history after his death....

 (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 vassal
Vassal
A vassal or feudatory is a person who has entered into a mutual obligation to a lord or monarch in the context of the feudal system in medieval Europe. The obligations often included military support and mutual protection, in exchange for certain privileges, usually including the grant of land held...

s; when the Jin suddenly moved their capital city from Beijing
Beijing
Beijing , also known as Peking , is the capital of the People's Republic of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of 19,612,368 as of 2010. The city is the country's political, cultural, and educational center, and home to the headquarters for most of China's...

 to Kaifeng, the Mongols saw this as a revolt. Under the leadership of Ögedei Khan
Ögedei Khan
Ögedei Khan, born Ögedei was the third son of Genghis Khan and second Great Khan of the Mongol Empire by succeeding his father...

 (r.1229–1241), both the Jin Dynasty and Western Xia Dynasty were conquered by Mongol forces. The Mongols also invaded Korea
Mongol invasions of Korea
The Mongol invasions of Korea consisted of a series of campaigns by the Mongol Empire against Korea, then known as Goryeo, from 1231 to 1270...

, the Abbasid Caliphate
Battle of Baghdad (1258)
The Siege of Baghdad, which occurred in 1258, was an invasion, siege and sacking of the city of Baghdad, the capital of the Abbasid Caliphate at the time and the modern-day capital of Iraq, by the Ilkhanate Mongol forces along with other allied troops under Hulagu Khan.The invasion left Baghdad in...

 of the Middle East, and Kievan Rus'
Mongol invasion of Rus
The Mongol invasion of Russia was resumed on 21 December 1237 marking the resumption of the Mongol invasion of Europe, during which the Mongols attacked the medieval powers of Poland, Kiev, Hungary, and miscellaneous tribes of less organized peoples...

. 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
Luoyang
Luoyang is a prefecture-level city in western Henan province of Central China. It borders the provincial capital of Zhengzhou to the east, Pingdingshan to the southeast, Nanyang to the south, Sanmenxia to the west, Jiyuan to the north, and Jiaozuo to the northeast.Situated on the central plain of...

 and Chang'an
Chang'an
Chang'an is an ancient capital of more than ten dynasties in Chinese history, today known as Xi'an. Chang'an literally means "Perpetual Peace" in Classical Chinese. During the short-lived Xin Dynasty, the city was renamed "Constant Peace" ; yet after its fall in AD 23, the old name was restored...

 at the collapse of the Jin Dynasty. The Mongol leader Möngke Khan
Möngke Khan
Möngke Khan , born Möngke, , was the fourth Great Khan of the Mongol Empire from July 1, 1251 – August 11, 1259. He was the first Great Khan from the Toluid line, and made significant reforms to improve the administration of the Empire during his reign...

 led a campaign against the Song in 1259, but died on August 11 during the Battle of Fishing Town
Fishing town
Fishing Town or Fishing City , is one of the three great ancient battlefields of China. It is famous for its resistance to the Mongol armies in the latter half of the Song Dynasty...

 in Chongqing
Chongqing
Chongqing is a major city in Southwest China and one of the five national central cities of China. Administratively, it is one of the PRC's four direct-controlled municipalities , and the only such municipality in inland China.The municipality was created on 14 March 1997, succeeding the...

. Möngke's death and the ensuing succession crisis prompted Hulagu Khan
Hulagu Khan
Hulagu Khan, also known as Hülegü, Hulegu , was a Mongol ruler who conquered much of Southwest Asia...

 to pull the bulk of the Mongol forces out of the Middle East where they were poised to fight the Egyptian Mamluks
Bahri dynasty
The Bahri dynasty or Bahriyya Mamluks was a Mamluk dynasty of mostly Kipchak Turkic origin that ruled Egypt from 1250 to 1382 when they were succeeded by the Burji dynasty, another group of Mamluks...

 (who defeated the Mongols at Ain Jalut
Battle of Ain Jalut
The Battle of Ain Jalut took place on 3 September 1260 between Mamluks and the Mongols in eastern Galilee, in the Jezreel Valley, not far from Ein Harod....

). Although Hulagu was allied with Kublai Khan
Kublai Khan
Kublai Khan , born Kublai and also known by the temple name Shizu , was the fifth Great Khan of the Mongol Empire from 1260 to 1294 and the founder of the Yuan Dynasty in China...

, his forces were unable to help in the assault against the Song, due to Hulagu's war with the Golden Horde
Golden Horde
The Golden Horde was a Mongol and later Turkicized khanate that formed the north-western sector of the Mongol Empire...

.

Kublai continued the assault against the Song, gaining a temporary foothold on the southern banks of the Yangtze. Kublai made preparations to take Ezhou
Ezhou
-Geography and climate:Ezhou is located in southeastern Hubei province, on the southern bank of the Yangtze River east of Wuchang , and across the river from the city of Huanggang, to which it is connected by the Ehuang Bridge...

, but a pending civil war with his brother Ariq Böke
Ariq Boke
Ariq Böke , the components of his name also spelled Arigh, Arik, Bukha, Buka , was the youngest son of Tolui , a son of Genghis Khan. After the death of his brother the Great Khan Mongke, Ariq Boke briefly took power while his brothers Kublai and Hulagu were absent...

—a rival claimant to the Mongol Khaganate—forced Kublai to move with the bulk of his forces back north. In Kublai's absence, the Song forces were ordered by Chancellor Jia Sidao to make an opportune assault, and succeeded in pushing the Mongol forces back to the northern banks of the Yangzi. There were minor border skirmishes until 1265, when Kublai won a significant battle in Sichuan. From 1268 to 1273, Kublai blockaded the Yangzi River with his navy and besieged Xiangyang
Battle of Xiangyang
The Battle of Xiangyang also known as the Battle of Xiangfan was a six-year battle between invading Yuan Dynasty armies founded by the Mongols and Southern Song forces between AD 1267 and 1273. After the battle, the victorious Yuan forces pushed farther into the Song heartland...

, the last obstacle in his way to invading the rich Yangzi River basin. Kublai officially declared the creation of the Yuan Dynasty
Yuan Dynasty
The Yuan Dynasty , or Great Yuan Empire was a ruling dynasty founded by the Mongol leader Kublai Khan, who ruled most of present-day China, all of modern Mongolia and its surrounding areas, lasting officially from 1271 to 1368. It is considered both as a division of the Mongol Empire and as an...

 in 1271. In 1275, a Song force of 130,000 troops under Chancellor Jia Sidao
Jia Sidao
Jia Sidao was a chancellor during the late Song Dynasty of China. He dominated the Song court from 1260 to 1273, after rising to the rank of chancellor due to his sister being a concubine of the Emperor Lizong...

 was defeated by Kublai's newly appointed commander-in-chief, general Bayan
Bayan of the Baarin
Bayan of the Baarin , also known as "Bayan chingsang" or, to Marco Polo, as "Bayan Hundred Eyes" , was a Mongol general...

. By 1276, most of the Song territory had been captured by Yuan forces. In the Battle of Yamen
Battle of Yamen
The naval Battle of Yamen took place on 19 March 1279 and is considered to be the last stand of the Song Dynasty against the invading Mongol-controlled Yuan Dynasty...

 on the Pearl River Delta
Pearl River Delta
The Pearl River Delta , Zhujiang Delta or Zhusanjiao in Guangdong province, People's Republic of China is the low-lying area surrounding the Pearl River estuary where the Pearl River flows into the South China Sea...

 in 1279, the Yuan army, led by the general Zhang Hongfan
Zhang Hongfan
Zhang Hongfan was a Han Chinese general of the Mongol Empire in China. As commander of the Mongol army and navy, he annihilated the Southern Song by crushing the last Song resistance at the Battle of Yamen in 1279, where he is said to have captured 8000 enemy vessels...

, finally crushed the Song resistance. The last remaining ruler, the 8-year-old emperor Emperor Huaizong of Song
Emperor Bing of Song
Emperor Bing of Song was the last emperor of the Southern Song Dynasty of China. He was also known as Lord Perpetual-Nation ....

 committed suicide, along with Prime Minister Lu Xiufu
Lu Xiufu
Lù Xiùfū , courtesy title Junshi , was a statesman and military commander during the final years of the Chinese Song Dynasty...

  and 800 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
Emperor Gong of Song
Emperor Gong of Song Emperor Gong of Song Emperor Gong of Song (1271- unknown (possibly 1323), born Zhào Xiǎn (趙顯), was the 7th Emperor of the Chinese Southern Song Dynasty. He reigned from 1274 until his abdication in 1276 CE when he was succeeded by his elder brother, Emperor Duanzong of Song....

 was demoted, being given the title 'Duke of Ying', but was eventually exiled to Tibet
Tibet
Tibet is a plateau region in Asia, north-east of the Himalayas. It is the traditional homeland of the Tibetan people as well as some other ethnic groups such as Monpas, Qiang, and Lhobas, and is now also inhabited by considerable numbers of Han and Hui people...

 where he took up a monastic life.

Society and culture




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 multiple forms of social welfare programs, including the establishment of retirement home
Retirement home
A retirement home is a multi-residence housing facility intended for senior citizens. Typically each person or couple in the home has an apartment-style room or suite of rooms. Additional facilities are provided within the building, including facilities for meals, gathering, recreation, and some...

s, public clinic
Clinic
A clinic is a health care facility that is primarily devoted to the care of outpatients...

s, and pauper's graveyard
Graveyard
A graveyard is any place set aside for long-term burial of the dead, with or without monuments such as headstones...

s. The Song Dynasty supported a widespread postal service that was modeled on the earlier Han Dynasty
Han Dynasty
The Han Dynasty was the second imperial dynasty of China, preceded by the Qin Dynasty and succeeded by the Three Kingdoms . It was founded by the rebel leader Liu Bang, known posthumously as Emperor Gaozu of Han. It was briefly interrupted by the Xin Dynasty of the former regent Wang Mang...

 (202 BC – AD 220) postal system to provide swift communication throughout the empire. The central government employed thousands of postal workers of various ranks and responsibilities to provide service for post offices and larger postal stations. In rural areas, farming peasants either owned their own plots of land, paid rents as tenant farmer
Tenant farmer
A tenant farmer is one who resides on and farms land owned by a landlord. Tenant farming is an agricultural production system in which landowners contribute their land and often a measure of operating capital and management; while tenant farmers contribute their labor along with at times varying...

s, or were serf
SERF
A spin exchange relaxation-free magnetometer is a type of magnetometer developed at Princeton University in the early 2000s. SERF magnetometers measure magnetic fields by using lasers to detect the interaction between alkali metal atoms in a vapor and the magnetic field.The name for the technique...

s on large estates.

Although women were on a lower social tier than men (according to Confucian ethics
Confucianism
Confucianism is a Chinese ethical and philosophical system developed from the teachings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius . Confucianism originated as an "ethical-sociopolitical teaching" during the Spring and Autumn Period, but later developed metaphysical and cosmological elements in the Han...

), 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 dowries
Dowry
A dowry is the money, goods, or estate that a woman brings forth to the marriage. It contrasts with bride price, which is paid to the bride's parents, and dower, which is property settled on the bride herself by the groom at the time of marriage. The same culture may simultaneously practice both...

 for her marriage, women naturally gained many new legal rights in ownership of property. They were also equal in status to men in inheriting family property
Inheritance
Inheritance is the practice of passing on property, titles, debts, rights and obligations upon the death of an individual. It has long played an important role in human societies...

. 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
Li Qingzhao
Li Qingzhao was a Chinese writer and poet of the Song Dynasty, regarded by many as the premier female poet in the Chinese language.-Biography:She was born Li Qingzhao (Traditional Chinese: 李清照; Simplified Chinese: 李清照, pinyin: Lǐ Qīngzhào; Wade-Giles: Li Ch'ing-chao, pseudonym Yi'an Jushi (易安居士...

 (1084–1151), who became famous even in her lifetime.
Religion in China
Religion in China
Religion in China has been characterized by pluralism since the beginning of Chinese history. The Chinese religions are family-oriented and do not demand the exclusive adherence of members. Some scholars doubt the use of the term "religion" in reference to Buddhism and Taoism, and suggest "cultural...

 during this period had a great effect on people's lives, beliefs and daily activities, and Chinese literature
Chinese literature
Chinese literature extends thousands of years, from the earliest recorded dynastic court archives to the mature fictional novels that arose during the Ming Dynasty to entertain the masses of literate Chinese...

 on spirituality was popular. The major deities of Daoism and Buddhism
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

, ancestral spirits and the many deities of Chinese folk religion
Chinese folk religion
Chinese folk religion or Shenism , which is a term of considerable debate, are labels used to describe the collection of ethnic religious traditions which have been a main belief system in China and among Han Chinese ethnic groups for most of the civilization's history until today...

 were worshiped with sacrificial offerings. Tansen Sen asserts that more Buddhist monks
Bhikkhu
A Bhikkhu or Bhikṣu is an ordained male Buddhist monastic. A female monastic is called a Bhikkhuni Nepali: ). The life of Bhikkhus and Bhikkhunis is governed by a set of rules called the patimokkha within the vinaya's framework of monastic discipline...

 from India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 traveled to China during the Song than in the previous Tang Dynasty
Tang Dynasty
The Tang Dynasty was an imperial dynasty of China preceded by the Sui Dynasty and followed by the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period. It was founded by the Li family, who seized power during the decline and collapse of the Sui Empire...

 (618–907). With many ethnic foreigners traveling to China to conduct trade or live permanently, there came many foreign religions; religious minorities in China included Middle Eastern Muslims
Islam during the Song Dynasty
The change in dynasty in China from the Tang to the dynasties that included the Song Dynasty did not greatly interrupt the trends of Muslims established during the Tang.-Islam continues to increase its influence:...

, the Kaifeng Jews
Kaifeng Jews
The Kaifeng Jews are members of a small Jewish community that has existed in Kaifeng, in the Henan province of China, for hundreds of years. Jews in modern China have traditionally called themselves Youtai in Mandarin Chinese which is also the predominant contemporary Chinese language term for...

, and Persian Manichaeans
Manichaeism
Manichaeism in Modern Persian Āyin e Māni; ) was one of the major Iranian Gnostic religions, originating in Sassanid Persia.Although most of the original writings of the founding prophet Mani have been lost, numerous translations and fragmentary texts have survived...

.

The populace engaged in a vibrant social and domestic life, enjoying such public festivals as the Lantern Festival
Lantern Festival
The Lantern Festival ; is a festival celebrated on the fifteenth day of the first month in the lunisolar year in the Chinese calendar, the last day...

 or the Qingming Festival
Qingming Festival
The Qingming Festival , Pure Brightness Festival or Clear Bright Festival, Ancestors Day or Tomb Sweeping Day is a traditional Chinese festival on the 104th day after the winter solstice , usually occurring around April 5 of the Gregorian calendar...

. There were entertainment quarters in the cities provided a constant array of amusements. There were puppeteers, acrobats, theater actors, sword swallowers, snake charmers, storytellers
Chinese folklore
Chinese folklore includes songs, dances, puppetry, and tales. It often tells stories of human nature, historical or legendary events, love, and the supernatural, or stories explaining natural phenomena and distinctive landmarks.-Folktales:...

, 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
Antiquarian
An antiquarian or antiquary is an aficionado or student of antiquities or things of the past. More specifically, the term is used for those who study history with particular attention to ancient objects of art or science, archaeological and historic sites, or historic archives and manuscripts...

 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. Theatrical drama
Chinese opera
Chinese opera is a popular form of drama and musical theatre in China with roots going back as far as the third century CE...

 was very popular amongst the elite and general populace, although Classical Chinese
Classical Chinese
Classical Chinese or Literary Chinese is a traditional style of written Chinese based on the grammar and vocabulary of ancient Chinese, making it different from any modern spoken form of Chinese...

—not the vernacular language
Vernacular Chinese
Written Vernacular Chinese refers to forms of written Chinese based on the vernacular language, in contrast to Classical Chinese, the written standard used from the Spring and Autumn Period to the early twentieth century...

—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 and xiangqi
Xiangqi
Xiangqi is a two-player Chinese board game in the same family as Western chess, chaturanga, shogi, Indian chess and janggi. The present-day form of Xiangqi originated in China and is therefore commonly called Chinese chess in English. Xiangqi is one of the most popular board games in China...

 board games.

Civil service examinations and the gentry




During this period greater emphasis was laid upon the civil service
Civil service
The term civil service has two distinct meanings:* A branch of governmental service in which individuals are employed on the basis of professional merit as proven by competitive examinations....

 system of recruiting officials; this was based upon degrees acquired through competitive examinations
Imperial examination
The Imperial examination was an examination system in Imperial China designed to select the best administrative officials for the state's bureaucracy. This system had a huge influence on both society and culture in Imperial China and was directly responsible for the creation of a class of...

, in an effort to select the most capable individuals for governance. Selecting men for office through proven merit was an ancient idea in China
Xiaolian
Xiaolian , was the standard of nominating civil officers started by Emperor Wu of Han in 134 BC. It lasted until its replacement by the imperial examination system during the Sui Dynasty....

. The civil service system became institutionalized on a small scale during the Sui
Sui Dynasty
The Sui Dynasty was a powerful, but short-lived Imperial Chinese dynasty. Preceded by the Southern and Northern Dynasties, it ended nearly four centuries of division between rival regimes. It was followed by the Tang Dynasty....

 and Tang
Tang Dynasty
The Tang Dynasty was an imperial dynasty of China preceded by the Sui Dynasty and followed by the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period. It was founded by the Li family, who seized power during the decline and collapse of the Sui Empire...

 dynasties, but by the Song period it became virtually the only means for drafting officials into the government. The advent of widespread printing
Printing
Printing is a process for reproducing text and image, typically with ink on paper using a printing press. It is often carried out as a large-scale industrial process, and is an essential part of publishing and transaction 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
Meritocracy
Meritocracy, in the first, most administrative sense, is a system of government or other administration wherein appointments and responsibilities are objectively assigned to individuals based upon their "merits", namely intelligence, credentials, and education, determined through evaluations or...

, social mobility
Social mobility
Social mobility refers to the movement of people in a population from one social class or economic level to another. It typically refers to vertical mobility -- movement of individuals or groups up from one socio-economic level to another, often by changing jobs or marrying; but can also refer to...

, and equality in competition for those wishing to attain an official seat in government. By using Song state-gathered statistics, Edward A. Kracke, Sudō Yoshiyuki, and Ho Ping-ti supported the hypothesis that simply because one had a father, grandfather, or great-grandfather who had served as an official of state, it did not guarantee that 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
Nuclear family
Nuclear family is a term used to define a family group consisting of a father and mother and their children. This is in contrast to the smaller single-parent family, and to the larger extended family. Nuclear families typically center on a married couple, but not always; the nuclear family may have...

 and demonstrates 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
Extended family
The term extended family has several distinct meanings. In modern Western cultures dominated by nuclear family constructs, it has come to be used generically to refer to grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins, whether they live together within the same household or not. However, it may also refer...

. 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
Su Shi
Su Shi , was a writer, poet, artist, calligrapher, pharmacologist, gastronome, and statesman of the Song Dynasty, and one of the major poets of the Song era. His courtesy name was Zizhan and his pseudonym was Dongpo Jushi , and he is often referred to as Su Dongpo...

. Yet Su was a product of his times, as the identity, habits, and attitudes of the scholar-official
Scholar-bureaucrats
Scholar-officials or Scholar-bureaucrats were civil servants appointed by the emperor of China to perform day-to-day governance from the Sui Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty in 1912, China's last imperial dynasty. These officials mostly came from the well-educated men known as the...

 had become less aristocrat
Aristocracy (class)
The aristocracy are people considered to be in the highest social class in a society which has or once had a political system of Aristocracy. Aristocrats possess hereditary titles granted by a monarch, which once granted them feudal or legal privileges, or deriving, as in Ancient Greece and India,...

ic and more bureaucrat
Bureaucrat
A bureaucrat is a member of a bureaucracy and can comprise the administration of any organization of any size, though the term usually connotes someone within an institution of a government or corporation...

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, family connections
Chinese kinship
The Chinese kinship system is classified as a Sudanese kinship system used to define family. Identified by Lewis Henry Morgan in his 1871 work Systems of Consanguinity and Affinity of the Human Family, the Sudanese system is one of the six major kinship systems together with Eskimo, Hawaiian,...

 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 China's enormous population growth and the body of its appointed scholar-officials being accepted in limited size (about 20,000 active officials during the Song period), the larger scholarly gentry class
Gentry (China)
As used for imperial China, landed gentry does not correspond to any term in Chinese. One standard work remarks that under the Ming dynasty, called shenshi or shenjin, meaning variously degree-holders, literati, scholar-bureaucrats or officials, they are loosely known in English as the Chinese...

 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 elites in the area. For example, 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. 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 local communities.

The gentry distinguished themselves in society through their intellectual and antiquarian pursuits, while the homes of prominent landholders attracted a variety of courtier
Courtier
A courtier is a person who is often in attendance at the court of a king or other royal personage. Historically the court was the centre of government as well as the residence of the monarch, and social and political life were often completely mixed together...

s 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
Commercialism
Commercialism, in its original meaning, is the practices, methods, aims, and spirit of commerce or business. Today, however, it primarily refers to the tendency within open-market capitalism to turn everything into objects, images, and services sold for the purpose of generating profit...

 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 judicial system
Judiciary
The judiciary is the system of courts that interprets and applies the law in the name of the state. The judiciary also provides a mechanism for the resolution of disputes...

 retained most of the legal code
Legal code
A legal code is a body of law written by a governmental body, such as a U.S. state, a Canadian Province or German Bundesland or a municipality...

 of the earlier Tang Dynasty, the basis of traditional Chinese law
Traditional Chinese law
Traditional Chinese law refers to the laws, regulations and rules used in China up to 1911, when the last imperial dynasty fell. It has undergone continuous development since at least the 11th century BC...

 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 Qingtian
Bao Qingtian
Bao Zheng was a much-praised official who served during the reign of Emperor Renzong of Northern Song Dynasty in ancient China. Culturally, Bao Zheng today is respected as the symbol of justice in China...

 (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
Caning
Caning is a form of corporal punishment consisting of a number of hits with a single cane usually made of rattan, generally applied to the offender's bare or clothed buttocks or hand . Application of a cane to the knuckles or the shoulders has been much less common...

. 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
Dream Pool Essays
The Dream Pool Essays was an extensive book written by the polymath Chinese scientist and statesman Shen Kuo by 1088 AD, during the Song Dynasty of China...

argued against traditional Chinese beliefs in anatomy
Anatomy
Anatomy is a branch of biology and medicine that is the consideration of the structure of living things. It is a general term that includes human anatomy, animal anatomy , and plant anatomy...

 (such as his argument for two throat valves instead of three); this perhaps spurred the interest in the performance of post-mortem autopsies
Autopsy
An autopsy—also known as a post-mortem examination, necropsy , autopsia cadaverum, or obduction—is a highly specialized surgical procedure that consists of a thorough examination of a corpse to determine the cause and manner of death and to evaluate any disease or injury that may be present...

 in China during the 12th century. The physician and judge known as Song Ci
Song Ci
Song Ci was a forensic medical expert active during the Southern Song Dynasty who wrote a groundbreaking book titled Collected Cases of Injustice Rectified ....

 (1186–1249) wrote 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
Coroner
A coroner is a government official who* Investigates human deaths* Determines cause of death* Issues death certificates* Maintains death records* Responds to deaths in mass disasters* Identifies unknown dead* Other functions depending on local laws...

's conduct during autopsies and the accurate recording of the inquest
Inquest
Inquests in England and Wales are held into sudden and unexplained deaths and also into the circumstances of discovery of a certain class of valuable artefacts known as "treasure trove"...

 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
Yue Fei
Yue Fei , style name Pengju, was a military general of the Southern Song Dynasty. His ancestral home was in Xiaoti, Yonghe Village, Tangyin, Xiangzhou, Henan...

, and Han Shizhong
Han Shizhong
Han Shizhong was a Chinese general of the late Northern Song Dynasty and the early Southern Song Dynasty. He dedicated his whole life to serving the Song Dynasty, and performed many legendary deeds. It is said that he had scars all over his body and, by the time he retired, there were only four...

.)

Although the scholar-officials viewed 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 platoon
Platoon
A platoon is a military unit typically composed of two to four sections or squads and containing 16 to 50 soldiers. Platoons are organized into a company, which typically consists of three, four or five platoons. A platoon is typically the smallest military unit led by a commissioned officer—the...

s of 50 troops, companies made of two platoons, and one battalion composed of 500 soldiers. Crossbow
Crossbow
A crossbow is a weapon consisting of a bow mounted on a stock that shoots projectiles, often called bolts or quarrels. The medieval crossbow was called by many names, most of which derived from the word ballista, a torsion engine resembling a crossbow in appearance.Historically, crossbows played a...

men 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 sniper
Sniper
A sniper is a marksman who shoots targets from concealed positions or distances exceeding the capabilities of regular personnel. Snipers typically have specialized training and distinct high-precision rifles....

s. Song cavalry employed a slew of different weapons, including halberds, swords, bows, spears, and 'fire lance
Fire lance
The fire lance or fire spear is one of the first gunpowder weapons in the world.- Description :The earliest fire lances were spear-like weapons combining a bamboo tube containing gunpowder and projectiles tied to a Chinese spear. Upon firing, the charge ejected a small projectile or poison dart...

s' that discharged a gunpowder blast of flame and shrapnel
Fragmentation (weaponry)
Fragmentation is the process by which the casing of an artillery shell, bomb, grenade, etc. is shattered by the detonating high explosive filling. The correct technical terminology for these casing pieces is fragments , although shards or splinters can be used for non-preformed fragments...

.

Military strategy and military training were treated as science 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
Southern Tang
Southern Tang was one of the Ten Kingdoms in south-central China created following the Tang Dynasty from 937-975. Southern Tang replaced the Wu Kingdom when Li Bian deposed the emperor Yang Pu....

 state the Song navy employed tactics such as defending large floating pontoon bridge
Pontoon bridge
A pontoon bridge or floating bridge is a bridge that floats on water and in which barge- or boat-like pontoons support the bridge deck and its dynamic loads. While pontoon bridges are usually temporary structures, some are used for long periods of time...

s across the Yangzi River
Yangtze River
The Yangtze, Yangzi or Cháng Jiāng is the longest river in Asia, and the third-longest in the world. It flows for from the glaciers on the Tibetan Plateau in Qinghai eastward across southwest, central and eastern China before emptying into the East China Sea at Shanghai. It is also one of the...

 in order to secure movements of troops and supplies. There were large naval ships in the Song that could carry 1,000 soldiers aboard their decks, while the swift-moving paddle-wheel crafts
Paddle steamer
A paddle steamer is a steamship or riverboat, powered by a steam engine, using paddle wheels to propel it through the water. In antiquity, Paddle wheelers followed the development of poles, oars and sails, where the first uses were wheelers driven by animals or humans...

 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
War elephant
A war elephant was an elephant trained and guided by humans for combat. Their main use was to charge the enemy, trampling them and breaking their ranks. A division of war elephants is known as elephantry....

 corps of the Southern Han
Southern Han
Southern Han was a kingdom that existed during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period along China’s southern coast from 917 to 971. The Kingdom greatly expanded her capital city Hing Wong Fu , namely present-day Guangzhou...

 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
Wujing Zongyao
The Wujing Zongyao was a Chinese military compendium written in 1044 AD, during the Northern Song Dynasty. Its authors were the prominent scholars Zeng Gongliang , Ding Du , and Yang Weide , whose writing influenced many later Chinese military writers. The book covered a wide range of subjects,...

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 description and illustrations of double-piston pump flamethrower
Flamethrower
A flamethrower is a mechanical device designed to project a long controllable stream of fire.Some flamethrowers project a stream of ignited flammable liquid; some project a long gas flame. Most military flamethrowers use liquids, but commercial flamethrowers tend to use high-pressure propane and...

s, 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 painting
Chinese painting
Chinese painting is one of the oldest continuous artistic traditions in the world. The earliest paintings were not representational but ornamental; they consisted of patterns or designs rather than pictures. Early pottery was painted with spirals, zigzags, dots, or animals...

, composing poetry
Chinese poetry
Chinese poetry is poetry written, spoken, or chanted in the Chinese language, which includes various versions of Chinese language, including Classical Chinese, Standard Chinese, Mandarin Chinese, Cantonese, Yue Chinese, as well as many other historical and vernacular varieties of the Chinese language...

, and writing calligraphy. The poet and statesman Su Shi and his associate Mi Fu
Mi Fu
Mi Fu , also known as Mi Fei , was a Chinese painter, poet, and calligrapher born in Taiyuan, Shanxi during the Song Dynasty. In painting he gained renown for his style of painting misty landscapes. This style would be deemed the "Mi Fu" style and involved the use of large wet dots of ink applied...

 (1051–1107) enjoyed antiquarian affairs, often borrowing or buying art pieces to study and copy. Poetry and literature
Chinese literature
Chinese literature extends thousands of years, from the earliest recorded dynastic court archives to the mature fictional novels that arose during the Ming Dynasty to entertain the masses of literate Chinese...

 profited from the rising popularity and development of the ci poetry form
Ci (poetry)
Ci is a kind of lyric Classical Chinese poetry using a poetic meter based upon certain patterns of fixed-rhythm formal types. For speakers of English, the word "ci" is pronounced somewhat like "tsuh"...

. Enormous encyclopedic volumes were compiled, such as works of historiography
Chinese historiography
Chinese historiography refers to the study of methods and assumptions made in studying Chinese history.-History of Chinese Historians:Record of Chinese history dated back to the Shang Dynasty. The Classic of History, one of the Five Classics of Chinese classic texts is one of the earliest...

 and dozens of treatises on technical subjects. This included the universal history
Universal history
Universal history is basic to the Western tradition of historiography, especially the Abrahamic wellspring of that tradition. Simply stated, universal history is the presentation of the history of humankind as a whole, as a coherent unit.-Ancient authors:...

 text of the Zizhi Tongjian
Zizhi Tongjian
The Zizhi Tongjian was a pioneering reference work in Chinese historiography, published in 1084, under the form of a chronicles. In 1065 CE, Emperor Yingzong of Song ordered the great historian Sima Guang to lead with other scholars such as his chief assistants Liu Shu, Liu Ban and Fan Zuyu, the...

, compiled into 1000 volumes of 9.4 million written Chinese character
Chinese character
Chinese characters are logograms used in the writing of Chinese and Japanese , less frequently Korean , formerly Vietnamese , or other languages...

s. The genre of Chinese travel literature
Travel literature
Travel literature is travel writing of literary value. Travel literature typically records the experiences of an author touring a place for the pleasure of travel. An individual work is sometimes called a travelogue or itinerary. Travel literature may be cross-cultural or transnational in focus, or...

 also became popular with the writings of the geographer Fan Chengda
Fan Chengda
Fan Chengda , courtesy name Zhineng , was one of the best-known Chinese poets of the Song Dynasty , a government official, and an academic authority in geography , especially the southern provinces of China...

 (1126–1193) and Su Shi, the latter of whom wrote the 'daytrip essay' known as Record of Stone Bell Mountain that used persuasive writing
Persuasive writing
Persuasive writing, could be referred to as a creative writing or an argument, in which the speaker uses words to convince the reader of a writer’s view regarding an issue. Persuasive writing involves convincing the reader to perform an action, or it may simply consist of an argument convincing the...

 to argue for a philosophical point. Although an early form of the local geographic gazetteer
Gazetteer
A gazetteer is a geographical dictionary or directory, an important reference for information about places and place names , used in conjunction with a map or a full atlas. It typically contains information concerning the geographical makeup of a country, region, or continent as well as the social...

 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.

The imperial courts of the emperor's palace were filled with his entourage of court painters, calligraphers, poets, and storytellers. Emperor Huizong was a renowned artist as well as a patron of the arts. A prime example of a highly venerated court painter was Zhang Zeduan
Zhang Zeduan
Zhang Zeduan , alias Zheng Dao, also sometimes translated as Zhang Zerui, was a famous Chinese painter during the twelfth century, during the transitional period from the Northern Song to the Southern Song Dynasty, and was instrumental in the early history of the Chinese art style known as shan...

 (1085–1145) who painted an enormous panoramic painting
Panoramic painting
Panoramic paintings are massive artworks that reveal a wide, all-encompassing view of a particular subject, often a landscape, military battle, or historical event. They became especially popular in the 19th Century in Europe and the United States, inciting opposition from writers of Romantic poetry...

, Along the River During the Qingming Festival. Emperor Gaozong of Song
Emperor Gaozong of Song
Emperor Gaozong , born Zhao Gou, was the tenth emperor of the Song Dynasty of China, and the first emperor of the Southern Song. He reigned from 1127 to 1162. He fled south after the Jurchens overran Kaifeng in the Jingkang Incident, hence the beginning of the Southern Song dynasty 1127–1279...

 initiated a massive art project during his reign, known as the Eighteen Songs of a Nomad Flute
Eighteen Songs of a Nomad Flute
Eighteen Songs of a Nomad Flute are a series of Chinese songs and poems about the life of Han Dynasty poet Cai Wenji, the songs were composed by Liu Shang, a poet of the middle Tang Dynasty...

from the life story of Cai Wenji
Cai Wenji
Cai Wenji , also known as Cai Yan, was a Han Dynasty poet and composer. She was the daughter of Cai Yong, also a musician. Her style name was originally Zhaoji, but it was changed to Wenji during the Jin Dynasty to avoid a naming conflict with Sima Zhao.She spent part of her life as a prisoner of...

 (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 philosophy
Chinese philosophy
Chinese philosophy is philosophy written in the Chinese tradition of thought. The majority of traditional Chinese philosophy originates in the Spring and Autumn and Warring States era, during a period known as the "Hundred Schools of Thought", which was characterized by significant intellectual and...

, 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
Neo-Confucianism is an ethical and metaphysical Chinese philosophy influenced by Confucianism, that was primarily developed during the Song Dynasty and Ming Dynasty, but which can be traced back to Han Yu and Li Ao in the Tang Dynasty....

, led by Cheng Yi
Cheng Yi (philosopher)
Cheng Yi , courtesy name Zhengshu , also known as Mr. Yichuan , was a Chinese philosopher born in Luoyang during the Song Dynasty. He worked with his older brother Cheng Hao . Like his brother, he was a student of Zhou Dunyi, a friend of Shao Yong, and a nephew of Zhang Zai...

 (1033–1107) and Zhu Xi
Zhu Xi
Zhū​ Xī​ or Chu Hsi was a Song Dynasty Confucian scholar who became the leading figure of the School of Principle and the most influential rationalist Neo-Confucian in China...

 (1130–1200). Mahayana
Mahayana
Mahāyāna is one of the two main existing branches of Buddhism and a term for classification of Buddhist philosophies and practice...

 Buddhism influenced Fan Zhongyan and Wang Anshi through its concept of ethical universalism
Universalism
Universalism in its primary meaning refers to religious, theological, and philosophical concepts with universal application or applicability...

, while Buddhist metaphysics
Metaphysics
Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the fundamental nature of being and the world, although the term is not easily defined. Traditionally, metaphysics attempts to answer two basic questions in the broadest possible terms:...

 had a deep impact upon 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
Emperor Lizong of Song
Emperor Lizong 理宗 was the 14th emperor of the Song Dynasty of China, and the fifth emperor of the Southern Song. His personal name was Zhao Yun . He reigned from 1224 to 1264. His temple name means "Reasonable Ancestor"...

, 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 East Asian countries of Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 and Korea
Korea
Korea ) is an East Asian geographic region that is currently divided into two separate sovereign states — North Korea and South Korea. Located on the Korean Peninsula, Korea is bordered by the People's Republic of China to the northwest, Russia to the northeast, and is separated from Japan to the...

 also adopted Zhu Xi's teaching, known as the Shushigaku (朱子学, 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
Lin Tinggui
Lin Tinggui was a Chinese painter of the Southern Song Dynasty...

's Luohan Laundering. However, the ideology was highly criticized and even scorned by some. The statesman and historian Ouyang Xiu
Ouyang Xiu
Ouyang Xiu was a Chinese statesman, historian, essayist and poet of the Song Dynasty. He is also known by his courtesy name of Yongshu, and was also self nicknamed The Old Drunkard 醉翁, or Householder of the One of Six 六一居士 in his old age...

 (1007–1072) called the religion a "curse" that could only be remedied by uprooting it from Chinese culture
Culture of China
Chinese culture is one of the world's oldest and most complex. The area in which the culture is dominant covers a large geographical region in eastern Asia with customs and traditions varying greatly between towns, cities and provinces...

 and replacing it with Confucian discourse. Buddhism would not see a true revival in Chinese society until the Mongol rule of the Yuan Dynasty, with Kublai Khan's sponsorship of Tibetan Buddhism
Tibetan Buddhism
Tibetan Buddhism is the body of Buddhist religious doctrine and institutions characteristic of Tibet and certain regions of the Himalayas, including northern Nepal, Bhutan, and India . It is the state religion of Bhutan...

 and Drogön Chögyal Phagpa
Drogön Chögyal Phagpa
Zhogön Qögyä Pagba, Zhogoin Qoigyai Phagspa or Drogön Chögyal Phagpa , born Lochö Gyäcän or Lochoi Gyaicain , was the fifth leader of the Sakya school of Tibetan Buddhism. He became the first vice-king of Tibet and played an important political role...

 as the leading lama
Lama
Lama is a title for a Tibetan teacher of the Dharma. The name is similar to the Sanskrit term guru .Historically, the term was used for venerated spiritual masters or heads of monasteries...

. The Christian
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 sect of Nestorianism
Nestorianism
Nestorianism is a Christological doctrine advanced by Nestorius, Patriarch of Constantinople from 428–431. The doctrine, which was informed by Nestorius's studies under Theodore of Mopsuestia at the School of Antioch, emphasizes the disunion between the human and divine natures of Jesus...

—which had entered China in the Tang era—would also be revived in China under Mongol rule.

Cuisine and apparel




The food that one consumed and the clothes that one wore in Song China were largely dictated by one's status and social class. The main food staples in the diet of the lower classes remained rice, pork, and salted fish; their clothing materials were made of hemp
Hemp
Hemp is mostly used as a name for low tetrahydrocannabinol strains of the plant Cannabis sativa, of fiber and/or oilseed varieties. In modern times, hemp has been used for industrial purposes including paper, textiles, biodegradable plastics, construction, health food and fuel with modest...

en or cotton
Cotton
Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective capsule, around the seeds of cotton plants of the genus Gossypium. The fiber is almost pure cellulose. The botanical purpose of cotton fiber is to aid in seed dispersal....

 cloths, restricted to a color standard of black and white. Trousers
Trousers
Trousers are an item of clothing worn on the lower part of the body from the waist to the ankles, covering both legs separately...

 were the acceptable form of attire for farming peasants, soldiers, artisans, and merchants, although wealthy merchants might choose to wear more ornate clothing and male blouse
Blouse
A blouse is a loose-fitting upper garment that was formerly worn by workmen, peasants, artists, women and children. It is typically gathered at the waist so that it hangs loosely over the wearer's body. Today, the word most commonly refers to a woman's shirt but can also refer to a man's shirt if...

s that came down below the waist. Acceptable apparel for scholar-officials was rigidly confined to a social hierarchic ranking system. However, as time went on this rule of rank-graded apparel for officials was not as strictly enforced as it was in the beginning of the dynasty. Each official was able to display his awarded status by wearing different-colored traditional silken robes
Han Chinese clothing
Hanfu or Han Chinese Clothing, also sometimes known as Hanzhuang , Huafu , and sometimes referred in English sources simply as Silk Robe or Chinese Silk Robe refers to the historical dress of the Han Chinese people, which was worn for millennia before the conquest by the Manchus and the...

 that hung to the ground around his feet, specific types of headgear, and even specific styles of girdle
Girdle
A girdle is a garment that encircles the lower torso, perhaps extending below the hips, and worn often for support. The word girdle originally meant a belt. In modern English, the term girdle is most commonly used for a form of women's foundation wear that replaced the corset in popularity...

s that displayed his graded-rank of officialdom.

Women in the Song period 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
Scarf
A scarf is a piece of fabric worn around the neck, or near the head or around the waist for warmth, cleanliness, fashion or for religious reasons. They can come in a variety of different colours.-History:...

 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.

There is a multitude of existing restaurant
Restaurant
A restaurant is an establishment which prepares and serves food and drink to customers in return for money. Meals are generally served and eaten on premises, but many restaurants also offer take-out and food delivery services...

 and tavern
Tavern
A tavern is a place of business where people gather to drink alcoholic beverages and be served food, and in some cases, where travelers receive lodging....

 menu
Menu
In a restaurant, a menu is a presentation of food and beverage offerings. A menu may be a la carte – which guests use to choose from a list of options – or table d'hôte, in which case a pre-established sequence of courses is served....

s and listed entrée
Entrée
An entrée is a dish served before the main course, or between two principal courses of a meal.The disappearance in the early 20th century of a large communal main course such as a roast as a standard part of the meal in the English-speaking world has led to the term being used to describe the main...

s for feasts, banquets, festivals, and carnival
Carnival
Carnaval is a festive season which occurs immediately before Lent; the main events are usually during February. Carnaval typically involves a public celebration or parade combining some elements of a circus, mask and public street party...

s during the Song period, all of which reveal a very diverse and lavish diet for those of the upper class. In their meals they could choose from a wide variety of meats, including shrimp
Shrimp
Shrimp are swimming, decapod crustaceans classified in the infraorder Caridea, found widely around the world in both fresh and salt water. Adult shrimp are filter feeding benthic animals living close to the bottom. They can live in schools and can swim rapidly backwards. Shrimp are an important...

, geese, duck
Duck
Duck is the common name for a large number of species in the Anatidae family of birds, which also includes swans and geese. The ducks are divided among several subfamilies in the Anatidae family; they do not represent a monophyletic group but a form taxon, since swans and geese are not considered...

, mussel
Mussel
The common name mussel is used for members of several families of clams or bivalvia mollusca, from saltwater and freshwater habitats. These groups have in common a shell whose outline is elongated and asymmetrical compared with other edible clams, which are often more or less rounded or oval.The...

, shellfish
Shellfish
Shellfish is a culinary and fisheries term for exoskeleton-bearing aquatic invertebrates used as food, including various species of molluscs, crustaceans, and echinoderms. Although most kinds of shellfish are harvested from saltwater environments, some kinds are found only in freshwater...

, fallow deer
Fallow Deer
The Fallow Deer is a ruminant mammal belonging to the family Cervidae. This common species is native to western Eurasia, but has been introduced widely elsewhere. It often includes the rarer Persian Fallow Deer as a subspecies , while others treat it as an entirely different species The Fallow...

, hare
Hare
Hares and jackrabbits are leporids belonging to the genus Lepus. Hares less than one year old are called leverets. Four species commonly known as types of hare are classified outside of Lepus: the hispid hare , and three species known as red rock hares .Hares are very fast-moving...

, partridge
Partridge
Partridges are birds in the pheasant family, Phasianidae. They are a non-migratory Old World group.These are medium-sized birds, intermediate between the larger pheasants and the smaller quails. Partridges are native to Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East...

, pheasant
Pheasant
Pheasants refer to some members of the Phasianinae subfamily of Phasianidae in the order Galliformes.Pheasants are characterised by strong sexual dimorphism, males being highly ornate with bright colours and adornments such as wattles and long tails. Males are usually larger than females and have...

, francolin
Francolin
Francolins are birds that traditionally have been placed in the genus Francolinus, but now commonly are divided into multiple genera , although some of the major taxonomic listing sources have yet to divide them. They are members of the pheasant family, Phasianidae...

, quail
Quail
Quail is a collective name for several genera of mid-sized birds generally considered in the order Galliformes. Old World quail are found in the family Phasianidae, while New World quail are found in the family Odontophoridae...

, fox
Fox
Fox is a common name for many species of omnivorous mammals belonging to the Canidae family. Foxes are small to medium-sized canids , characterized by possessing a long narrow snout, and a bushy tail .Members of about 37 species are referred to as foxes, of which only 12 species actually belong to...

, badger
Badger
Badgers are short-legged omnivores in the weasel family, Mustelidae. There are nine species of badger, in three subfamilies : Melinae , Mellivorinae , and Taxideinae...

, clam
Clam
The word "clam" can be applied to freshwater mussels, and other freshwater bivalves, as well as marine bivalves.In the United States, "clam" can be used in several different ways: one, as a general term covering all bivalve molluscs...

, crab
Crab
True crabs are decapod crustaceans of the infraorder Brachyura, which typically have a very short projecting "tail" , or where the reduced abdomen is entirely hidden under the thorax...

, and many others. Dairy
Dairy
A dairy is a business enterprise established for the harvesting of animal milk—mostly from cows or goats, but also from buffalo, sheep, horses or camels —for human consumption. A dairy is typically located on a dedicated dairy farm or section of a multi-purpose farm that is concerned...

 products were absent from Chinese cuisine and culture altogether, beef
Beef
Beef is the culinary name for meat from bovines, especially domestic cattle. Beef can be harvested from cows, bulls, heifers or steers. It is one of the principal meats used in the cuisine of the Middle East , Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Europe and the United States, and is also important in...

 was rarely consumed since the bull
Bull
Bull usually refers to an uncastrated adult male bovine.Bull may also refer to:-Entertainment:* Bull , an original show on the TNT Network* "Bull" , an episode of television series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation...

 was a valuable draft animal, and dog
Dog
The domestic dog is a domesticated form of the gray wolf, a member of the Canidae family of the order Carnivora. The term is used for both feral and pet varieties. The dog may have been the first animal to be domesticated, and has been the most widely kept working, hunting, and companion animal in...

 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 dates
Date Palm
The date palm is a palm in the genus Phoenix, cultivated for its edible sweet fruit. Although its place of origin is unknown because of long cultivation, it probably originated from lands around the Persian Gulf. It is a medium-sized plant, 15–25 m tall, growing singly or forming a clump with...

, raisin
Raisin
Raisins are dried grapes. They are produced in many regions of the world. Raisins may be eaten raw or used in cooking, baking and brewing...

s, jujube
Jujube
Ziziphus zizyphus , commonly called jujube , red date, Chinese date, Korean date, or Indian date is a species of Ziziphus in the buckthorn family Rhamnaceae, used primarily as a fruiting shade tree.-Distribution:Its precise natural distribution is uncertain due to extensive cultivation,...

s, pear
Pear
The pear is any of several tree species of genus Pyrus and also the name of the pomaceous fruit of these trees. Several species of pear are valued by humans for their edible fruit, but the fruit of other species is small, hard, and astringent....

s, plum
Plum
A plum or gage is a stone fruit tree in the genus Prunus, subgenus Prunus. The subgenus is distinguished from other subgenera in the shoots having a terminal bud and solitary side buds , the flowers in groups of one to five together on short stems, and the fruit having a groove running down one...

s, apricot
Apricot
The apricot, Prunus armeniaca, is a species of Prunus, classified with the plum in the subgenus Prunus. The native range is somewhat uncertain due to its extensive prehistoric cultivation.- Description :...

s, pear juice, lychee
Lychee
The lychee is the sole member of the genus Litchi in the soapberry family, Sapindaceae. It is a tropical and subtropical fruit tree native to Southern China and Southeast Asia, and now cultivated in many parts of the world...

-fruit juice, honey
Honey
Honey is a sweet food made by bees using nectar from flowers. The variety produced by honey bees is the one most commonly referred to and is the type of honey collected by beekeepers and consumed by humans...

 and ginger drinks, pawpaw
Papaya
The papaya , papaw, or pawpaw is the fruit of the plant Carica papaya, the sole species in the genus Carica of the plant family Caricaceae...

 juice, spices and seasonings of Sichuan pepper
Sichuan Pepper
Sichuan pepper is the outer pod of the tiny fruit of a number of species in the genus Zanthoxylum , widely grown and consumed in Asia as a spice. Despite the name, it is not related to black pepper or to chili peppers...

, ginger
Ginger
Ginger is the rhizome of the plant Zingiber officinale, consumed as a delicacy, medicine, or spice. It lends its name to its genus and family . Other notable members of this plant family are turmeric, cardamom, and galangal....

, pimento
Pimento
A pimento or cherry pepper is a variety of large, red, heart-shaped chili pepper that measures 3 to 4 inches long and 2 to 3 inches wide . The flesh of the pimento is sweet, succulent and more aromatic than that of the red bell pepper...

, soy sauce
Soy sauce
Soy sauce is a condiment produced by fermenting soybeans with Aspergillus oryzae or Aspergillus sojae molds, along with water and salt...

, oil
Vegetable fats and oils
Vegetable fats and oils are lipid materials derived from plants. Physically, oils are liquid at room temperature, and fats are solid. Chemically, both fats and oils are composed of triglycerides, as contrasted with waxes which lack glycerin in their structure...

, sesame oil
Sesame oil
Sesame oil is an edible vegetable oil derived from sesame seeds. Besides being used as a cooking oil in South India, it is often used as a flavor enhancer in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and to a lesser extent Southeast Asian cuisine.The oil from the nutrient rich seed is popular in alternative...

, salt
Salt
In chemistry, salts are ionic compounds that result from the neutralization reaction of an acid and a base. They are composed of cations and anions so that the product is electrically neutral...

, and vinegar
Vinegar
Vinegar is a liquid substance consisting mainly of acetic acid and water, the acetic acid being produced through the fermentation of ethanol by acetic acid bacteria. Commercial vinegar is produced either by fast or slow fermentation processes. Slow methods generally are used with traditional...

. The common diet of the poor was pork, salted fish, and rice.

Economy, industry, and trade




The economy of the Song Dynasty was one of the most prosperous and advanced economies in the medieval world. Song Chinese invested their funds in joint stock companies
Joint stock company
A joint-stock company is a type of corporation or partnership involving two or more individuals that own shares of stock in the company...

 and in multiple sailing vessels at a time when monetary gain was assured from the vigorous overseas trade and indigenous trade along the Grand Canal and Yangzi River. Prominent merchant families and private businesses were allowed to occupy industries that were not already government-operated monopolies
Monopoly
A monopoly exists when a specific person or enterprise is the only supplier of a particular commodity...

. Both private and government-controlled industries met the needs of a growing Chinese population in the Song. Both artisans and merchants formed guild
Guild
A guild is an association of craftsmen in a particular trade. The earliest types of guild were formed as confraternities of workers. They were organized in a manner something between a trade union, a cartel, and a secret society...

s which the state had to deal with when assessing taxes, requisitioning goods, and setting standard worker's wages and prices on goods.

The iron industry was pursued by both private entrepreneur
Entrepreneur
An entrepreneur is an owner or manager of a business enterprise who makes money through risk and initiative.The term was originally a loanword from French and was first defined by the Irish-French economist Richard Cantillon. Entrepreneur in English is a term applied to a person who is willing to...

s 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 pounds) of iron
Iron
Iron is a chemical element with the symbol Fe and atomic number 26. It is a metal in the first transition series. It is the most common element forming the planet Earth as a whole, forming much of Earth's outer and inner core. It is the fourth most common element in the Earth's crust...

 product a year. Large scale deforestation
Deforestation
Deforestation is the removal of a forest or stand of trees where the land is thereafter converted to a nonforest use. Examples of deforestation include conversion of forestland to farms, ranches, or urban use....

 in China would have continued if not for the 11th century innovation of the use of coal
Coal
Coal is a combustible black or brownish-black sedimentary rock usually occurring in rock strata in layers or veins called coal beds or coal seams. The harder forms, such as anthracite coal, can be regarded as metamorphic rock because of later exposure to elevated temperature and pressure...

 instead of charcoal
Charcoal
Charcoal is the dark grey residue consisting of carbon, and any remaining ash, obtained by removing water and other volatile constituents from animal and vegetation substances. Charcoal is usually produced by slow pyrolysis, the heating of wood or other substances in the absence of oxygen...

 in blast furnace
Blast furnace
A blast furnace is a type of metallurgical furnace used for smelting to produce industrial metals, generally iron.In a blast furnace, fuel and ore and flux are continuously supplied through the top of the furnace, while air is blown into the bottom of the chamber, so that the chemical reactions...

s for smelting cast iron
Cast iron
Cast iron is derived from pig iron, and while it usually refers to gray iron, it also identifies a large group of ferrous alloys which solidify with a eutectic. The color of a fractured surface can be used to identify an alloy. White cast iron is named after its white surface when fractured, due...

. Much of this iron was reserved for military use in crafting weapons and armoring troops, but some was used to fashion the many iron products needed to fill the demands of the growing indigenous market. The iron trade within China was furthered by the building of new canal
Canal
Canals are man-made channels for water. There are two types of canal:#Waterways: navigable transportation canals used for carrying ships and boats shipping goods and conveying people, further subdivided into two kinds:...

s which aided the flow of iron products from production centers to the large market found in the capital city.


The annual output of minted copper currency in 1085 alone 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
Jiaozi (currency)
Jiaozi is a form of banknote which appeared around 10th century in the Sichuan capital of Chengdu, China. Most numismatists generally regard it as the first paper money in history, a development of the Chinese Song Dynasty ....

 (see also Huizi
Huizi (currency)
The Huizi , issued in the year 1160, was the official banknote of the Chinese Southern Song Dynasty. It has the highest amount of issuance among various banknote types during the Song Dynasty.-See also:* Economy of Song Dynasty...

). For the printing of paper money
Banknote
A banknote is a kind of negotiable instrument, a promissory note made by a bank payable to the bearer on demand, used as money, and in many jurisdictions is legal tender. In addition to coins, banknotes make up the cash or bearer forms of all modern fiat money...

 alone, the Song court established several government-run factories in the cities of Huizhou
Huizhou
Huizhou , historically known as Waichow, is a city located in central Guangdong province of the People's Republic of China. Part of the Pearl River Delta, Huizhou borders the provincial capital of Guangzhou to the west, Shaoguan to the north, Heyuan to the northeast, Shanwei to the east, Shenzhen...

, Chengdu
Chengdu
Chengdu , formerly transliterated Chengtu, is the capital of Sichuan province in Southwest China. It holds sub-provincial administrative status...

, Hangzhou
Hangzhou
Hangzhou , formerly transliterated as Hangchow, is the capital and largest city of Zhejiang Province in Eastern China. Governed as a sub-provincial city, and as of 2010, its entire administrative division or prefecture had a registered population of 8.7 million people...

, 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
Moroccan people
The Moroccan people are a people that share a common Moroccan culture, ancestry and speak the Moroccan variant of the Arabic language or a Berber language as a mother tongue....

 geographer
Geographer
A geographer is a scholar whose area of study is geography, the study of Earth's natural environment and human society.Although geographers are historically known as people who make maps, map making is actually the field of study of cartography, a subset of geography...

 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
Aden
Aden is a seaport city in Yemen, located by the eastern approach to the Red Sea , some 170 kilometres east of Bab-el-Mandeb. Its population is approximately 800,000. Aden's ancient, natural harbour lies in the crater of an extinct volcano which now forms a peninsula, joined to the mainland by a...

 (Yemen
Yemen
The Republic of Yemen , commonly known as Yemen , is a country located in the Middle East, occupying the southwestern to southern end of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the north, the Red Sea to the west, and Oman to the east....

), the Indus River
Indus River
The Indus River is a major river which flows through Pakistan. It also has courses through China and India.Originating in the Tibetan plateau of western China in the vicinity of Lake Mansarovar in Tibet Autonomous Region, the river runs a course through the Ladakh district of Jammu and Kashmir and...

, and the Euphrates
Euphrates
The Euphrates is the longest and one of the most historically important rivers of Western Asia. Together with the Tigris, it is one of the two defining rivers of Mesopotamia...

 in modern-day Iraq. Foreigners, in turn, had an impact on the Chinese economy. For example, many West Asian and Central Asian Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

s went to China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 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 Southeast Pacific, the Hindu world, the Islamic world, and the East African world brought merchants great fortune and spurred an enormous growth in the shipbuilding
Shipbuilding
Shipbuilding is the construction of ships and floating vessels. It normally takes place in a specialized facility known as a shipyard. Shipbuilders, also called shipwrights, follow a specialized occupation that traces its roots to before recorded history.Shipbuilding and ship repairs, both...

 industry of Song-era Fujian
Fujian
' , formerly romanised as Fukien or Huguing or Foukien, is a province on the southeast coast of mainland China. Fujian is bordered by Zhejiang to the north, Jiangxi to the west, and Guangdong to the south. Taiwan lies to the east, across the Taiwan Strait...

 province. However, there was risk involved in such long overseas ventures. It was to reduce the risk of losing money on maritime trade missions abroad that, as the historians Ebrey, Walthall, and Palais write:

[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'.

Technology, science, and engineering



Gunpowder warfare



Advancements in weapons technology enhanced by gunpowder, including the evolution of the early flamethrower
Flamethrower
A flamethrower is a mechanical device designed to project a long controllable stream of fire.Some flamethrowers project a stream of ignited flammable liquid; some project a long gas flame. Most military flamethrowers use liquids, but commercial flamethrowers tend to use high-pressure propane and...

, explosive grenade
Grenade
A grenade is a small explosive device that is projected a safe distance away by its user. Soldiers called grenadiers specialize in the use of grenades. The term hand grenade refers any grenade designed to be hand thrown. Grenade Launchers are firearms designed to fire explosive projectile grenades...

, firearm
Firearm
A firearm is a weapon that launches one, or many, projectile at high velocity through confined burning of a propellant. This subsonic burning process is technically known as deflagration, as opposed to supersonic combustion known as a detonation. In older firearms, the propellant was typically...

, cannon
Cannon
A cannon is any piece of artillery that uses gunpowder or other usually explosive-based propellents to launch a projectile. Cannon vary in caliber, range, mobility, rate of fire, angle of fire, and firepower; different forms of cannon combine and balance these attributes in varying degrees,...

, and land mine
Land mine
A land mine is usually a weight-triggered explosive device which is intended to damage a target—either human or inanimate—by means of a blast and/or fragment impact....

, enabled the Song Chinese to ward off their militant enemies until the Song's ultimate collapse in the late 13th century. The Wujing Zongyao
Wujing Zongyao
The Wujing Zongyao was a Chinese military compendium written in 1044 AD, during the Northern Song Dynasty. Its authors were the prominent scholars Zeng Gongliang , Ding Du , and Yang Weide , whose writing influenced many later Chinese military writers. The book covered a wide range of subjects,...

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
Mongols
Mongols ) are a Central-East Asian ethnic group that lives mainly in the countries of Mongolia, China, and Russia. In China, ethnic Mongols can be found mainly in the central north region of China such as Inner Mongolia...

, in the year 1259 the official Li Zengbo wrote in his Kezhai Zagao, Xugaohou that the city of Qingzhou
Qingzhou
Qingzhou , formerly Yidu County , is a county-level city, which is located in the west of Weifang City, Shandong Province, China. Qingzhou is a dynamic industry city, and also grows a great number of farm products...

 was manufacturing one to two thousand strong iron-cased bomb shells a month, dispatching to 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 type of gunpowder weapons against the Song. By the 14th century the firearm and cannon could also be found in Europe, India, and the Islamic Middle East, during the early age of gunpowder warfare
Gunpowder warfare
Early modern warfare is associated with the start of the widespread use of gunpowder and the development of suitable weapons to use the explosive, including artillery and handguns such as the arquebus and later the musket, and for this reason the era is also summarized as the age of gunpowder...

.

Measuring distance and mechanical navigation


As early as the Han Dynasty
History of the Han Dynasty
The Han Dynasty , founded by the peasant rebel leader Liu Bang ,From the Shang to the Sui dynasties, Chinese rulers were referred to in later records by their posthumous names, while emperors of the Tang to Yuan dynasties were referred to by their temple names, and emperors of the Ming and Qing...

, when the state needed to effectively measure distances traveled throughout the empire, the Chinese relied on the mechanical odometer
Odometer
An odometer or odograph is an instrument that indicates distance traveled by a vehicle, such as a bicycle or automobile. The device may be electronic, mechanical, or a combination of the two. The word derives from the Greek words hodós and métron...

 device. The Chinese odometer came in the form of a wheeled-carriage, its inner gears functioning off the rotated motion of the wheels, and specific units of distance—the Chinese li
Li (unit)
The li is a traditional Chinese unit of distance, which has varied considerably over time but now has a standardized length of 500 meters or half a kilometer...

—marked by the mechanical striking of a drum or bell for auditory alarm. 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
South Pointing Chariot
The south-pointing chariot was an ancient Chinese two-wheeled vehicle that carried a movable pointer to indicate the south, no matter how the chariot turned. Usually, the pointer took the form of a doll or figure with an outstretched arm...

. This device, originally crafted by Ma Jun
Ma Jun
Ma Jun , style name Deheng , was a Chinese mechanical engineer and government official during the Three Kingdoms era of China...

 in the 3rd century, incorporated a 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 device concept of the differential gear for this navigational vehicle is now found in all modern automobile
Automobile
An automobile, autocar, motor car or car is a wheeled motor vehicle used for transporting passengers, which also carries its own engine or motor...

s in order to apply the equal amount of torque
Torque
Torque, moment or moment of force , is the tendency of a force to rotate an object about an axis, fulcrum, or pivot. Just as a force is a push or a pull, a torque can be thought of as a twist....

 to wheels rotating at different speeds.

Polymaths, inventions, and astronomy




Polymath
Polymath
A polymath is a person whose expertise spans a significant number of different subject areas. In less formal terms, a polymath may simply be someone who is very knowledgeable...

 figures such as the statesmen Shen Kuo
Shen Kuo
Shen Kuo or Shen Gua , style name Cunzhong and pseudonym Mengqi Weng , was a polymathic Chinese scientist and statesman of the Song Dynasty...

 and Su Song
Su Song
Su Song was a renowned Chinese polymath who specialized himself as a statesman, astronomer, cartographer, horologist, pharmacologist, mineralogist, zoologist, botanist, mechanical and architectural engineer, poet, antiquarian, and ambassador of the Song Dynasty .Su Song was the engineer of a...

 (1020–1101) embodied advancements in all fields of study, including biology
Biology
Biology is a natural science concerned with the study of life and living organisms, including their structure, function, growth, origin, evolution, distribution, and taxonomy. Biology is a vast subject containing many subdivisions, topics, and disciplines...

, botany
Botany
Botany, plant science, or plant biology is a branch of biology that involves the scientific study of plant life. Traditionally, botany also included the study of fungi, algae and viruses...

, zoology
Zoology
Zoology |zoölogy]]), is the branch of biology that relates to the animal kingdom, including the structure, embryology, evolution, classification, habits, and distribution of all animals, both living and extinct...

, geology
Geology
Geology is the science comprising the study of solid Earth, the rocks of which it is composed, and the processes by which it evolves. Geology gives insight into the history of the Earth, as it provides the primary evidence for plate tectonics, the evolutionary history of life, and past climates...

, mineralogy
Mineralogy
Mineralogy is the study of chemistry, crystal structure, and physical properties of minerals. Specific studies within mineralogy include the processes of mineral origin and formation, classification of minerals, their geographical distribution, as well as their utilization.-History:Early writing...

, mechanics
Mechanics
Mechanics is the branch of physics concerned with the behavior of physical bodies when subjected to forces or displacements, and the subsequent effects of the bodies on their environment....

, horology
Horology
Horology is the art or science of measuring time. Clocks, watches, clockwork, sundials, clepsydras, timers, time recorders and marine chronometers are all examples of instruments used to measure time.People interested in horology are called horologists...

, astronomy
Astronomy
Astronomy is a natural science that deals with the study of celestial objects and phenomena that originate outside the atmosphere of Earth...

, pharmaceutical medicine
Traditional Chinese medicine
Traditional Chinese Medicine refers to a broad range of medicine practices sharing common theoretical concepts which have been developed in China and are based on a tradition of more than 2,000 years, including various forms of herbal medicine, acupuncture, massage , exercise , and dietary therapy...

, archeology, mathematics
Mathematics
Mathematics is the study of quantity, space, structure, and change. Mathematicians seek out patterns and formulate new conjectures. Mathematicians resolve the truth or falsity of conjectures by mathematical proofs, which are arguments sufficient to convince other mathematicians of their validity...

, cartography
Cartography
Cartography is the study and practice of making maps. Combining science, aesthetics, and technique, cartography builds on the premise that reality can be modeled in ways that communicate spatial information effectively.The fundamental problems of traditional cartography are to:*Set the map's...

, optics
Optics
Optics is the branch of physics which involves the behavior and properties of light, including its interactions with matter and the construction of instruments that use or detect it. Optics usually describes the behavior of visible, ultraviolet, and infrared light...

, art criticism
Art criticism
Art criticism is the discussion or evaluation of visual art.Art critics usually criticize art in the context of aesthetics or the theory of beauty...

, and more.

Shen Kuo was the first to discern magnetic declination
Magnetic declination
Magnetic declination is the angle between magnetic north and true north. The declination is positive when the magnetic north is east of true north. The term magnetic variation is a synonym, and is more often used in navigation...

 of true north
True north
True north is the direction along the earth's surface towards the geographic North Pole.True geodetic north usually differs from magnetic north , and from grid north...

 while experimenting with a compass. Shen theorized that geographical climates gradually shifted
Climate change
Climate change is a significant and lasting change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns over periods ranging from decades to millions of years. It may be a change in average weather conditions or the distribution of events around that average...

 over time. He created a theory of land formation involving concepts accepted in modern geomorphology
Geomorphology
Geomorphology is the scientific study of landforms and the processes that shape them...

. He performed optical experiments with camera obscura
Camera obscura
The camera obscura is an optical device that projects an image of its surroundings on a screen. It is used in drawing and for entertainment, and was one of the inventions that led to photography. The device consists of a box or room with a hole in one side...

 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 sighting tube, which allowed Shen Kuo to fix the position of the pole star
Pole star
The term "Pole Star" usually refers to Polaris, which is the current northern pole star, also known as the North Star.In general, however, a pole star is a visible star, especially a prominent one, that is approximately aligned with the Earth's axis of rotation; that is, a star whose apparent...

 (which had shifted over centuries of time). Shen Kuo was also known for hydraulic clockworks, as he invented a new overflow-tank clepsydra
Water clock
A water clock or clepsydra is any timepiece in which time is measured by the regulated flow of liquid into or out from a vessel where the amount is then measured.Water clocks, along with sundials, are likely to be the oldest time-measuring instruments, with the only exceptions...

 which had more efficient higher-order interpolation
Interpolation
In the mathematical field of numerical analysis, interpolation is a method of constructing new data points within the range of a discrete set of known data points....

 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, 12 metres (39.4 ft) tall astronomical
Astronomical clock
An astronomical clock is a clock with special mechanisms and dials to display astronomical information, such as the relative positions of the sun, moon, zodiacal constellations, and sometimes major planets.-Definition:...

 clock tower
Clock tower
A clock tower is a tower specifically built with one or more clock faces. Clock towers can be either freestanding or part of a church or municipal building such as a town hall. Some clock towers are not true clock towers having had their clock faces added to an already existing building...

 built in Kaifeng. The clock tower featured large astronomical instruments of the armillary sphere
Armillary sphere
An armillary sphere is a model of objects in the sky , consisting of a spherical framework of rings, centred on Earth, that represent lines of celestial longitude and latitude and other astronomically important features such as the ecliptic...

 and celestial globe, both driven by an early intermittently working escapement
Escapement
In mechanical watches and clocks, an escapement is a device that transfers energy to the timekeeping element and enables counting the number of oscillations of the timekeeping element...

 mechanism (roughly two centuries before the discrete verge escapement
Verge escapement
The verge escapement is the earliest known type of mechanical escapement, the mechanism in a mechanical clock that controls its rate by advancing the gear train at regular intervals or 'ticks'. Its origin is unknown. Verge escapements were used from the 14th century until about 1800 in clocks...

 of true mechanical clocks appeared in medieval
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

 clock
Clock
A clock is an instrument used to indicate, keep, and co-ordinate time. The word clock is derived ultimately from the Celtic words clagan and clocca meaning "bell". A silent instrument missing such a mechanism has traditionally been known as a timepiece...

works). In addition, Su Song's clock tower featured the world's first endless power-transmitting chain drive
Chain drive
Chain drive is a way of transmitting mechanical power from one place to another. It is often used to convey power to the wheels of a vehicle, particularly bicycles and motorcycles...

, an essential mechanical device found in many practical uses throughout the ages, such as the bicycle
Bicycle
A bicycle, also known as a bike, pushbike or cycle, is a human-powered, pedal-driven, single-track vehicle, having two wheels attached to a frame, one behind the other. A person who rides a bicycle is called a cyclist, or bicyclist....

. Su's tower featured a rotating gear wheel with 133 clock jack manikin
Manikin
A manikin is a life-sized anatomical human model used in education. The most famous of these, the Transparent Anatomical Manikin is a three-dimensional, transparent model of a human being, created for medical instructional purposes. The first TAM was created by designer Richard Rush in 1968...

s who were timed to rotate past shuttered windows while ringing gongs and bells, banging drums
Striking clock
A striking clock is a clock that sounds the hours audibly on a bell or gong. In 12 hour striking, used most commonly in striking clocks today, the clock strikes once at 1 AM, twice at 2 AM, continuing in this way up to twelve times at 12 noon, then starts over, striking once at 1 PM, twice at 2...

, and presenting announcement plaques. In his printed book, Su published a celestial atlas of five star chart
Star chart
A star chart is a map of the night sky. Astronomers divide these into grids to use them more easily. They are used to identify and locate astronomical objects such as stars, constellations and galaxies. They have been used for human navigation since time immemorial...

s. These star charts feature a cylindrical projection similar to Mercator projection
Mercator projection
The Mercator projection is a cylindrical map projection presented by the Belgian geographer and cartographer Gerardus Mercator, in 1569. It became the standard map projection for nautical purposes because of its ability to represent lines of constant course, known as rhumb lines or loxodromes, as...

, the latter being a cartographic innovation of Gerardus Mercator
Gerardus Mercator
thumb|right|200px|Gerardus MercatorGerardus Mercator was a cartographer, born in Rupelmonde in the Hapsburg County of Flanders, part of the Holy Roman Empire. He is remembered for the Mercator projection world map, which is named after him...

 in 1569.

Mathematics and cartography




There were many notable improvements to Chinese mathematics
Chinese mathematics
Mathematics in China emerged independently by the 11th century BC. The Chinese independently developed very large and negative numbers, decimals, a place value decimal system, a binary system, algebra, geometry, and trigonometry....

 during the Song era. The book published in 1261 by the mathematician Yang Hui
Yang Hui
Yang Hui , courtesy name Qianguang , was a Chinese mathematician from Qiantang , Zhejiang province during the late Song Dynasty . Yang worked on magic squares, magic circles and the binomial theorem, and is best known for his contribution of presenting 'Yang Hui's Triangle'...

 (c. 1238–1298) provided the earliest Chinese illustration of Pascal's triangle
Pascal's triangle
In mathematics, Pascal's triangle is a triangular array of the binomial coefficients in a triangle. It is named after the French mathematician, Blaise Pascal...

, although it was described earlier around 1100 by Jia Xian. Yang Hui also provided rules for constructing combinatorial arrangements in magic square
Magic square
In recreational mathematics, a magic square of order n is an arrangement of n2 numbers, usually distinct integers, in a square, such that the n numbers in all rows, all columns, and both diagonals sum to the same constant. A normal magic square contains the integers from 1 to n2...

s, provided theoretical proof for Euclid
Euclid
Euclid , fl. 300 BC, also known as Euclid of Alexandria, was a Greek mathematician, often referred to as the "Father of Geometry". He was active in Alexandria during the reign of Ptolemy I...

's forty-third proposition about parallelogram
Parallelogram
In Euclidean geometry, a parallelogram is a convex quadrilateral with two pairs of parallel sides. The opposite or facing sides of a parallelogram are of equal length and the opposite angles of a parallelogram are of equal measure...

s, and was the first to use negative coefficients of 'x' in quadratic equation
Quadratic equation
In mathematics, a quadratic equation is a univariate polynomial equation of the second degree. A general quadratic equation can be written in the formax^2+bx+c=0,\,...

s. Yang's contemporary Qin Jiushao (c. 1202–1261) was the first to introduce the zero symbol
0 (number)
0 is both a numberand the numerical digit used to represent that number in numerals.It fulfills a central role in mathematics as the additive identity of the integers, real numbers, and many other algebraic structures. As a digit, 0 is used as a placeholder in place value systems...

 into Chinese mathematics; before this blank spaces were used instead of zeros in the system of counting rods
Counting rods
Counting rods are small bars, typically 3–14 cm long, used by mathematicians for calculation in China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam. They are placed either horizontally or vertically to represent any number and any fraction....

. He is also known for working with the Chinese remainder theorem
Chinese remainder theorem
The Chinese remainder theorem is a result about congruences in number theory and its generalizations in abstract algebra.In its most basic form it concerned with determining n, given the remainders generated by division of n by several numbers...

, Heron's formula, and astronomical data used in determining the winter solstice
Winter solstice
Winter solstice may refer to:* Winter solstice, astronomical event* Winter Solstice , former band* Winter Solstice: North , seasonal songs* Winter Solstice , 2005 American film...

. Qin's major work was the Mathematical Treatise in Nine Sections
Mathematical Treatise in Nine Sections
The Mathematical Treatise in Nine Sections is a mathematical text written by Chinese Southern Song dynasty mathematician Qin Jiushao in the year 1247.This book contains nine chapters:#Da Yan type ;#Heaven phenomena...

published in 1247.

Geometry
Geometry
Geometry arose as the field of knowledge dealing with spatial relationships. Geometry was one of the two fields of pre-modern mathematics, the other being the study of numbers ....

 was essential to surveying
Surveying
See Also: Public Land Survey SystemSurveying or land surveying is the technique, profession, and science of accurately determining the terrestrial or three-dimensional position of points and the distances and angles between them...

 and cartography
Cartography
Cartography is the study and practice of making maps. Combining science, aesthetics, and technique, cartography builds on the premise that reality can be modeled in ways that communicate spatial information effectively.The fundamental problems of traditional cartography are to:*Set the map's...

. The earliest extant Chinese maps date to the 4th century BCE, yet it was not until the time of Pei Xiu
Pei Xiu
Pei Xiu , style name Jiyan , was a minister, geographer, and cartographer of the state of Cao Wei during the Three Kingdoms period of Chinese history, as well as the subsequent Jin Dynasty. Pei Xiu was very much trusted by Sima Zhao, and participated in the suppression of Zhuge Dan's coup...

 (224–271) that topographical elevation
Elevation
The elevation of a geographic location is its height above a fixed reference point, most commonly a reference geoid, a mathematical model of the Earth's sea level as an equipotential gravitational surface ....

, a formal rectangular grid
Grid reference
Grid references define locations on maps using Cartesian coordinates. Grid lines on maps define the coordinate system, and are numbered to provide a unique reference to features....

 system, and use of a standard graduated scale of distances was applied to terrain maps. Following a long tradition, Shen Kuo created a raised-relief map
Raised-relief map
A raised-relief map or terrain model is a three-dimensional representation, usually of terrain. When representing terrain, the elevation dimension is usually exaggerated by a factor between five and ten; this facilitates the visual recognition of terrain features.-History:In his 1665 paper for the...

, while his other maps featured a uniform graduated scale of 1:900,000. A 3 ft (0.9144 m) 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 gazetteer
Gazetteer
A gazetteer is a geographical dictionary or directory, an important reference for information about places and place names , used in conjunction with a map or a full atlas. It typically contains information concerning the geographical makeup of a country, region, or continent as well as the social...

s 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.

Movable type printing




The innovation of movable type
Movable type
Movable type is the system of printing and typography that uses movable components to reproduce the elements of a document ....

 printing was made by the artisan Bi Sheng
Bi Sheng
Bì Shēng was the inventor of the first known movable type technology. Bi Sheng's system was made of Chinese porcelain and was invented between 1041 and 1048 in China.-Movable type printing:...

 (990–1051), first described by the scientist and statesman Shen Kuo in his Dream Pool Essays
Dream Pool Essays
The Dream Pool Essays was an extensive book written by the polymath Chinese scientist and statesman Shen Kuo by 1088 AD, during the Song Dynasty of China...

of 1088. The collection of Bi Sheng's original clay-fired typeface
Typeface
In typography, a typeface is the artistic representation or interpretation of characters; it is the way the type looks. Each type is designed and there are thousands of different typefaces in existence, with new ones being developed constantly....

 was passed on to one of Shen Kuo's nephews, and was carefully preserved. Movable type enhanced the already widespread use of woodblock methods of printing
Woodblock printing
Woodblock printing is a technique for printing text, images or patterns used widely throughout East Asia and originating in China in antiquity as a method of printing on textiles and later paper....

 thousands of documents and volumes of written literature, consumed eagerly by an increasingly literate public. The advancement of printing had a deep impact on 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
Print culture
Print culture embodies all forms of printed text and other printed forms of visual communication. One prominent scholar in the field is Elizabeth Eisenstein, who contrasted print culture, which appeared in Europe in the centuries after the advent of the Western printing-press , to scribal culture...

 in the Song period was thus a direct catalyst in the rise of social mobility
Social mobility
Social mobility refers to the movement of people in a population from one social class or economic level to another. It typically refers to vertical mobility -- movement of individuals or groups up from one socio-economic level to another, often by changing jobs or marrying; but can also refer to...

 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
Chinese character
Chinese characters are logograms used in the writing of Chinese and Japanese , less frequently Korean , formerly Vietnamese , or other languages...

 writing system, yet movable type printing continued to be used and was improved in later periods. The Yuan Dynasty
Yuan Dynasty
The Yuan Dynasty , or Great Yuan Empire was a ruling dynasty founded by the Mongol leader Kublai Khan, who ruled most of present-day China, all of modern Mongolia and its surrounding areas, lasting officially from 1271 to 1368. It is considered both as a division of the Mongol Empire and as an...

 scholar-official Wang Zhen
Wang Zhen (official)
Wang Zhen was an official of the Yuan Dynasty of China. He is credited with the invention of the first wooden movable type printing in the world, while his predecessor of the Song Dynasty , Bi Sheng , invented the world's first earthenware movable type printing...

 (fl.
Floruit
Floruit , abbreviated fl. , is a Latin verb meaning "flourished", denoting the period of time during which something was active...

 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
Hua Sui
Hua Sui was a Chinese scholar and printer of Wuxi, Jiangsu province during the Ming Dynasty . He belonged to the wealthy Hua family that was renowned throughout the region. Hua Sui is best known for creating China's first metal movable type printing in 1490 AD...

 (1439–1513) of the Ming Dynasty
Ming Dynasty
The Ming Dynasty, also Empire of the Great Ming, was the ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644, following the collapse of the Mongol-led Yuan Dynasty. The Ming, "one of the greatest eras of orderly government and social stability in human history", was the last dynasty in China ruled by ethnic...

 established China's first metal movable type (using bronze) in 1490. In 1638 the Beijing
Beijing
Beijing , also known as Peking , is the capital of the People's Republic of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of 19,612,368 as of 2010. The city is the country's political, cultural, and educational center, and home to the headquarters for most of China's...

 Gazette
Gazette
A gazette is a public journal, a newspaper of record, or simply a newspaper.In English- and French-speaking countries, newspaper publishers have applied the name Gazette since the 17th century; today, numerous weekly and daily newspapers bear the name The Gazette.Gazette is a loanword from the...

 switched their printing process from woodblock to movable type printing. Yet it was during the Qing Dynasty
Qing Dynasty
The Qing Dynasty was the last dynasty of China, ruling from 1644 to 1912 with a brief, abortive restoration in 1917. It was preceded by the Ming Dynasty and followed by the Republic of China....

 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
Gujin Túshu Jíchéng
The Gujin Tushu Jicheng , is a vast encyclopaedic work written in China during the reigns of Qing emperors Kangxi and Yongzheng, completed in 1725. The work was headed initially by scholar Chen Menglei , and later by Jiang Tingxi. It contained 800,000 pages and over 100 million Chinese characters...

(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
Printing press
A printing press is a device for applying pressure to an inked surface resting upon a print medium , thereby transferring the ink...

 replaced the old Chinese methods of movable type, while traditional woodblock printing in modern East Asia is used sparsely and for aesthetic reasons.

Hydraulic engineering and nautics




There were considerable advancements in hydraulic engineering
Hydraulic engineering
This article is about civil engineering. For the mechanical engineering discipline see Hydraulic machineryHydraulic engineering as a sub-discipline of civil engineering is concerned with the flow and conveyance of fluids, principally water and sewage. One feature of these systems is the extensive...

 and nautical technology during the Song Dynasty. The 10th century invention of the pound lock 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 to pass through. There was the Song era innovation of watertight bulkhead compartments
Bulkhead (partition)
A bulkhead is an upright wall within the hull of a ship or within the fuselage of an airplane. Other kinds of partition elements within a ship are decks and deckheads.-Etymology:...

 for ships that allowed possible damage to the hull
Hull (watercraft)
A hull is the watertight body of a ship or boat. Above the hull is the superstructure and/or deckhouse, where present. The line where the hull meets the water surface is called the waterline.The structure of the hull varies depending on the vessel type...

 without sinking. If ships were damaged, the Chinese of the 11th century discovered how to employ a drydock to repair boats while suspended out of water. There Song Chinese used crossbeams to brace the ribs of ships in order to strengthen them in a skeletal like structure. Stern
Stern
The stern is the rear or aft-most part of a ship or boat, technically defined as the area built up over the sternpost, extending upwards from the counter rail to the taffrail. The stern lies opposite of the bow, the foremost part of a ship. Originally, the term only referred to the aft port section...

-mounted rudder
Rudder
A rudder is a device used to steer a ship, boat, submarine, hovercraft, aircraft or other conveyance that moves through a medium . On an aircraft the rudder is used primarily to counter adverse yaw and p-factor and is not the primary control used to turn the airplane...

s 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 Chinese 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. Arguably the most important nautical innovation of the Song period was the introduction of the magnetic
Magnetism
Magnetism is a property of materials that respond at an atomic or subatomic level to an applied magnetic field. Ferromagnetism is the strongest and most familiar type of magnetism. It is responsible for the behavior of permanent magnets, which produce their own persistent magnetic fields, as well...

 mariner's compass
Compass
A compass is a navigational instrument that shows directions in a frame of reference that is stationary relative to the surface of the earth. The frame of reference defines the four cardinal directions – north, south, east, and west. Intermediate directions are also defined...

 for navigation
Navigation
Navigation is the process of monitoring and controlling the movement of a craft or vehicle from one place to another. It is also the term of art used for the specialized knowledge used by navigators to perform navigation tasks...

 at sea. The magnetic compass was first written of by Shen Kuo in his Dream Pool Essays of 1088, as well as Zhu Yu
Zhu Yu (author)
Zhu Yu was an author of the Chinese Song Dynasty . He retired in Huang Gang of the Hubei province, bought a country house and named it "Pingzhou". He called himself "Expert Vegetable Grower of Pingzhou ". Between 1111 and 1117 AD, Zhu Yu wrote the book Pingzhou Ketan , published in 1119 AD...

 in his Pingzhou Table Talks published in 1119.

Structural engineering and architecture


Architecture during the Song period reached new heights of sophistication. Authors such as Yu Hao
Yu Hao
Yu Hao was an eminent Chinese structural engineer and architect during the Song Dynasty period .-Legacy:Yu Hao was given the title of Master-Carpenter , for his architectural skill...

 and Shen Kuo
Shen Kuo
Shen Kuo or Shen Gua , style name Cunzhong and pseudonym Mengqi Weng , was a polymathic Chinese scientist and statesman of the Song Dynasty...

 wrote books outlining the field of architectural layouts, craftsmanship, and structural engineering
Structural engineering
Structural engineering is a field of engineering dealing with the analysis and design of structures that support or resist loads. Structural engineering is usually considered a specialty within civil engineering, but it can also be studied in its own right....

 in the 10th and 11th centuries, respectively. Shen Kuo preserved the written dialogues of Yu Hao when describing technical issues such as slanting strut
Strut
A strut is a structural component designed to resist longitudinal compression. Struts provide outwards-facing support in their lengthwise direction, which can be used to keep two other components separate, performing the opposite function of a tie...

s 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 Li Jie (1065–1110), who published the Yingzao Fashi
Yingzao Fashi
The Yingzao Fashi is a technical treatise on architecture and craftsmanship written by the Chinese author Li Jie , the Directorate of Buildings and Construction during the mid Song Dynasty of China. A promising architect, he revised many older treatises on architecture from 1097 to 1100...

('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
Mortar (masonry)
Mortar is a workable paste used to bind construction blocks together and fill the gaps between them. The blocks may be stone, brick, cinder blocks, etc. Mortar becomes hard when it sets, resulting in a rigid aggregate structure. Modern mortars are typically made from a mixture of sand, a binder...

 formulas in masonry
Masonry
Masonry is the building of structures from individual units laid in and bound together by mortar; the term masonry can also refer to the units themselves. The common materials of masonry construction are brick, stone, marble, granite, travertine, limestone; concrete block, glass block, stucco, and...

. In his book, Li provided detailed and vivid illustrations of architectural components and cross-sections of buildings. These illustrations displayed various applications of corbel
Corbel
In architecture a corbel is a piece of stone jutting out of a wall to carry any superincumbent weight. A piece of timber projecting in the same way was called a "tassel" or a "bragger". The technique of corbelling, where rows of corbels deeply keyed inside a wall support a projecting wall or...

 brackets, cantilever
Cantilever
A cantilever is a beam anchored at only one end. The beam carries the load to the support where it is resisted by moment and shear stress. Cantilever construction allows for overhanging structures without external bracing. Cantilevers can also be constructed with trusses or slabs.This is in...

 arms, mortise and tenon
Mortise and tenon
The mortise and tenon joint has been used for thousands of years by woodworkers around the world to join pieces of wood, mainly when the adjoining pieces connect at an angle of 90°. In its basic form it is both simple and strong. Although there are many joint variations, the basic 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 pagoda
Chinese pagoda
Chinese Pagodas are a traditional part of Chinese architecture. In addition to religious use, since ancient times Chinese pagodas have been praised for the spectacular views which they offer, and many famous poems in Chinese history attest to the joy of scaling pagodas.-History:The pagoda is...

s and the construction of enormous bridges (wood or stone, trestle
Trestle
A trestle is a rigid frame used as a support, especially referring to a bridge composed of a number of short spans supported by such frames. In the context of trestle bridges, each supporting frame is generally referred to as a bent...

 or segmental arch bridge
Arch bridge
An arch bridge is a bridge with abutments at each end shaped as a curved arch. Arch bridges work by transferring the weight of the bridge and its loads partially into a horizontal thrust restrained by the abutments at either side...

). 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
Iron Pagoda
The Iron Pagoda of Youguo Temple , Kaifeng City, Henan province, is a Buddhist Chinese pagoda built in 1049 C.E. during the Song Dynasty of China. The pagoda is so-named not because it is made of iron, but because its colour resembles that of iron...

 built in 1049 during the Northern Song and the Liuhe Pagoda
Liuhe Pagoda
Liuhe Pagoda , literally Six Harmonies Pagoda or Six Harmonies Tower, is a multi-story Chinese pagoda in southern Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China. It is located at the foot of Yuelun Hill, facing the Qiantang River...

 built in 1165 during the Southern Song, although there were many others. The tallest is the Liaodi Pagoda
Liaodi Pagoda
The Liaodi Pagoda of Kaiyuan Monastery, Dingzhou, Hebei Province, China is the tallest existing pre-modern Chinese pagoda and tallest brick pagoda in the world, built in the 11th century during the Song Dynasty . The pagoda stands at a height of , resting on a large platform with an octagonal base...

 of Hebei
Hebei
' is a province of the People's Republic of China in the North China region. Its one-character abbreviation is "" , named after Ji Province, a Han Dynasty province that included what is now southern Hebei...

 built in the year 1055, towering 84 m (275.6 ft) in total height. Some of the bridges reached lengths of 1220 m (4,002.6 ft), 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
Cai Xiang
Cai Xiang was a Chinese calligrapher, scholar, official, structural engineer, and poet. Cai Xiang had the reputation as the greatest calligrapher in the Song Dynasty.- Life :...

 (1012–1067) in medieval Fujian
Fujian
' , formerly romanised as Fukien or Huguing or Foukien, is a province on the southeast coast of mainland China. Fujian is bordered by Zhejiang to the north, Jiangxi to the west, and Guangdong to the south. Taiwan lies to the east, across the Taiwan Strait...

 province.
Besides existing buildings and technical literature of building manuals, Song Dynasty artwork portraying cityscape
Cityscape
A cityscape is the urban equivalent of a landscape. Townscape is roughly synonymous with cityscape, though it implies the same difference in urban size and density implicit in the difference between the words city and town. In urban design the terms refer to the configuration of built forms and...

s 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, Fan Kuan
Fan Kuan
Fan Kuan was a Chinese landscape painter of the Song Dynasty considered among the great masters of the tenth and eleventh centuries. Almost no biographical details survive about him. He modeled his early work after that of the artist Li Cheng , but later he concluded that nature was the only...

, Guo Xi
Guo Xi
Guo Xi Chinese landscape painter from Henan Province who lived during the Northern Song dynasty. One text entitled "The Lofty Message of Forest and Streams" is attributed to him. The work covers a variety of themes centered around the appropriate way of painting a landscape...

, Zhang Zeduan
Zhang Zeduan
Zhang Zeduan , alias Zheng Dao, also sometimes translated as Zhang Zerui, was a famous Chinese painter during the twelfth century, during the transitional period from the Northern Song to the Southern Song Dynasty, and was instrumental in the early history of the Chinese art style known as shan...

, Emperor Huizong of Song, and Ma Lin painted close-up depictions of buildings as well as large expanses of cityscapes featuring arched bridges
Arch bridge
An arch bridge is a bridge with abutments at each end shaped as a curved arch. Arch bridges work by transferring the weight of the bridge and its loads partially into a horizontal thrust restrained by the abutments at either side...

, halls and pavilions
Chinese pavilion
.Chinese Pavilions are covered structures without surrounding walls and are a traditional part of Chinese architecture. While often found within temples, pavilions are not exclusively religious structures...

, pagoda towers
Pagoda
A pagoda is the general term in the English language for a tiered tower with multiple eaves common in Nepal, India, China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam and other parts of Asia. Some pagodas are used as Taoist houses of worship. Most pagodas were built to have a religious function, most commonly Buddhist,...

, and distinct Chinese city wall
Chinese city wall
Chinese city walls refer to civic defensive systems used to protect towns and cities in China in pre-modern times. The system consisted of walls, towers, and gates, which were often built to a uniform standard throughout the Empire....

s. The scientist and statesman Shen Kuo was known for his criticism of artwork
Art criticism
Art criticism is the discussion or evaluation of visual art.Art critics usually criticize art in the context of aesthetics or the theory of beauty...

 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
Henan
Henan , is a province of the People's Republic of China, located in the central part of the country. Its one-character abbreviation is "豫" , named after Yuzhou , a Han Dynasty state that included parts of Henan...

 province. About 100 km (62.1 mi) 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 are lines of Song Dynasty stone statues of officials, tomb guardians, animals, and mythological 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 archaeological
Archaeology
Archaeology, or archeology , is the study of human society, primarily through the recovery and analysis of the material culture and environmental data that they have left behind, which includes artifacts, architecture, biofacts and cultural landscapes...

 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
Shang Dynasty
The Shang Dynasty or Yin Dynasty was, according to traditional sources, the second Chinese dynasty, after the Xia. They ruled in the northeastern regions of the area known as "China proper" in the Yellow River valley...

 (1600–1046 BCE) which bore the writing characters of the Shang era
Oracle bone script
Oracle bone script refers to incised ancient Chinese characters found on oracle bones, which are animal bones or turtle shells used in divination in Bronze Age China...

. 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 ancient aristocratic class
Four occupations
The four occupations or "four categories of the people" was a hierarchic social class structure developed in ancient China by either Confucian or Legalist scholars as far back as the late Zhou Dynasty and is considered a central part of the Fengjian social structure...

; 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 interdisciplinary
Interdisciplinarity
Interdisciplinarity involves the combining of two or more academic fields into one single discipline. An interdisciplinary field crosses traditional boundaries between academic disciplines or schools of thought, as new needs and professions have emerged....

 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 scaled sighting device
Sight (device)
A sight is a device used to assist aligning or aim weapons, surveying instruments, or other items by eye. Sights can be a simple set or system of markers that have to be aligned together as well as aligned with the target...

 on crossbows; while experimenting with ancient musical measures
Bar (music)
In musical notation, a bar is a segment of time defined by a given number of beats of a given duration. Typically, a piece consists of several bars of the same length, and in modern musical notation the number of beats in each bar is specified at the beginning of the score by the top number of a...

, Shen suggested hanging an ancient bell
Bianzhong
Bianzhong is an ancient Chinese musical instrument consisting of a set of bronze bells, played melodically. These sets of chime bells were used as polyphonic musical instruments and some of these bells have been dated at between 2,000 to 3,600 years old. They were hung in a wooden frame and...

 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
Ouyang Xiu
Ouyang Xiu was a Chinese statesman, historian, essayist and poet of the Song Dynasty. He is also known by his courtesy name of Yongshu, and was also self nicknamed The Old Drunkard 醉翁, or Householder of the One of Six 六一居士 in his old age...

 (1007–1072) compiled an analytical catalogue of ancient rubbings on stone and bronze which pioneered ideas in early epigraphy
Epigraphy
Epigraphy Epigraphy Epigraphy (from the , literally "on-writing", is the study of inscriptions or epigraphs as writing; that is, the science of identifying the graphemes and of classifying their use as to cultural context and date, elucidating their meaning and assessing what conclusions can be...

 and archeology. During the 11th century, Song scholars discovered the ancient shrine of Wu Liang (78–151 AD), a scholar of the Han Dynasty
Han Dynasty
The Han Dynasty was the second imperial dynasty of China, preceded by the Qin Dynasty and succeeded by the Three Kingdoms . It was founded by the rebel leader Liu Bang, known posthumously as Emperor Gaozu of Han. It was briefly interrupted by the Xin Dynasty of the former regent Wang Mang...

 (202 BC – 220 AD); 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, scholar-official 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
Leopold von Ranke
Leopold von Ranke was a German historian, considered one of the founders of modern source-based history. Ranke set the standards for much of later historical writing, introducing such ideas as reliance on primary sources , an emphasis on narrative history and especially international politics .-...

 (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
Cai Jing
Cai Jing , style name Yuanchang , was a government official and calligrapher who lived during the Northern Song Dynasty. Cai Jing is also featured as one of the antagonists and nemesis of the 108 Liangshan heroes in the Water Margin, one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese...

 (1047–1126), who prohibited scholars from reading and consulting the written histories.

See also


  • Four Great Books of Song
    Four Great Books of Song
    The Four Great Books of Song was compiled by Li Fang and others during the Song Dynasty . The term was coined after the last book was finished during the 11th century...

  • Lu You
    Lu You
    Lu You , was a Chinese poet of the Southern Song dynasty.-Early life and marriage:Lu You was born on a boat floating in the Wei River early on a rainy morning, October 17, 1125...

  • Shao Yong
    Shao Yong
    Shao Yong , courtesy name Yaofu , named Shào Kāngjié after death, was a Song Dynasty Chinese philosopher, cosmologist, poet and historian who greatly influenced the development of Neo-Confucianism in China....

  • Tang Clan
    Tang Clan
    The Tang Clan is one of the Great Five Clans of Hong Kong. The others are Man , Hau , Pang and Liu . The Tangs originated from Jishui of Jiangxi province and are considered to be native Hong Kong people, as they were the first immigrants to settle in what is now Hong Kong from what is now...

  • Taxation in premodern China
    Taxation in premodern China
    In the premodern era of Chinese history, taxation by the various dynasties that ruled China varied greatly. Overall, the most important source of state revenue was the tax on agriculture, or land tax. During some dynasties, the government also imposed state monopolies which became important sources...

  • Tianchao Daguo
    Tianchao Daguo
    Tianchao Daguo is a Chinese term from the imperial era, when the court of the empire was at times referred to as the "Celestial Dynasty" because the emperor was supposed to have obtained the Mandate of Heaven...

  • Tiger Cave Kiln
    Tiger Cave Kiln
    Recent excavations at the Tiger Cave Kiln at Hangzhou in the Chinese province of Zhejiang have helped to identify one site of origin of the important ceramic wares of the Southern Song Dynasty known as Guan or Official wares, which were made for the exclusive use of the imperial...

  • Wang Chongyang
    Wang Chongyang
    Wang Chongyang [Chinese calendar: 宋徽宗政和二年十二月廿二 – 金世宗大定十年正月初四] was a Chinese Taoist and one of the founders of the Quanzhen School in the twelfth century during the Song Dynasty. He was one of the Five Northern Patriarchs of Quanzhen...

  • Water Margin
    Water Margin
    Water Margin , also known as Outlaws of the Marsh, All Men Are Brothers, Men of the Marshes, or The Marshes of Mount Liang, is one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature.Attributed to Shi Nai'an and written in vernacular Chinese, the story, set in the Song Dynasty,...

  • Wen Tianxiang
    Wen Tianxiang
    Wen Tianxiang , Duke of Xinguo, was a scholar-general in the last years of the Southern Song Dynasty. For his resistance to Kublai Khan's invasion of the Song, and for his refusal to yield to the Yuan Dynasty despite being captured and tortured, he is a popular symbol of patriotism and...

  • Zeng Gong
    Zeng Gong
    Zeng Gong , courtesy name Zigu , was a Chinese scholar and historian of the Song Dynasty in China. He was one of the supporters of the New Classical Prose Movement and is regarded as founder of one of the Eight Great Schools of Thought of the Tang and Song dynasties .Zeng Gong was born in Jianchang...



Further reading




External links