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  Wikipedia: Song Dynasty (960-1279)

Wikipedia: Song Dynasty (960-1279)
Song Dynasty (960-1279)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

This article discusses the Song Dynasty in the 10th century. Refer to Song Dynasty (420-479) for the first of the four Southern dynasties of China.


 This article is part of the
History of China series.
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 Sixteen Kingdoms
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The Song Dynasty (宋朝 960-1279) followed the Period of the Five Dynasties and the Ten Kingdoms and preceded the Yuan Dynasty in China. The period is divided into the Northern Song (960-1127) in which the Song controlled both Northern and Southern China and when the capital was in Kaifeng, and the Southern Song (1127-1279) in which the Song lost control of Northern China to the Liao Dynasty (later replaced by the Jin Dynasty (1115-1234) and retreated south of the Yangtze River to form its capital at Hangzhou. Because Chinese diplomatic theory did not recognize relations between equal states, the Southern Song was technically a tributary state of the northern dynasty.

In 1276, the Southern Song Dynasty court fled to Guangdong by boat, fleeing Mongol invaders, and leaving the Emperor Gong of Song China behind. Any hope of resistance centred on two young princes, Emperor Gong's brothers. The older boy, Zhao Shi, aged nine was declared emperor, and, in 1277, the imperial court sought refuge first in Silvermine Bay (Mui Wo) on Lantau Island and later in today's Kowloon City, Hong Kong (see also Sung Wong Toi). The older brother became ill and died, and was succeeded by the younger, Zhao Bing, aged seven. When in 1279 the Song army was defeated in its last battle, the Battle of Yamen, against the Mongols in the Pearl River Delta, a high official is said to have taken the boy emperor in his arms and jumped from a clifftop into the sea, drowning both of them. These emperors are also believed to have held court in the Tung Chung valley, which takes its name from a local hero who gave up his life for the emperor. Hau Wong, an official from this court, is still revered as a god in Hong Kong.

Arts, culture and economy

The founders of the Song dynasty built an effective centralized bureaucracy staffed with civilian scholar-officials. Regional military governors and their supporters were replaced by centrally appointed officials. This system of civilian rule led to a greater concentration of power in the emperor and his palace bureaucracy than had been achieved in the previous dynasties.

The Song dynasty is notable for the development of cities not only for administrative purposes but also as centers of trade, industry, and maritime commerce. The landed scholar-officials, sometimes collectively referred to as the gentry, lived in the provincial centers alongside the shopkeepers, artisans, and merchants. A new group of wealthy commoners - the mercantile class - arose as printing and education spread, private trade grew, and a market economy began to link the coastal provinces and the interior. Landholding and government employment were no longer the only means of gaining wealth and prestige.

Culturally, the Song refined many of the developments of the previous centuries. Included in these refinements were not only the Tang ideal of the universal man, who combined the qualities of scholar, poet, painter, and statesman, but also historical writings, painting, calligraphy, and hard-glazed porcelain. Song intellectuals sought answers to all philosophical and political questions in the Confucian Classics. This renewed interest in the Confucian ideals and society of ancient times coincided with the decline of Buddhism, which the Chinese regarded as foreign and offering few practical guidelines for the solution of political and other mundane problems.

The Song Neo-Confucian philosophers, finding a certain purity in the originality of the ancient classical texts, wrote commentaries on them. The most influential of these philosophers was Zhu Xi (1130-1200), whose synthesis of Confucian thought and Buddhist, Taoist, and other ideas became the official imperial ideology from late Song times to the late 19th century. As incorporated into the examination system, Zhu Xi's philosophy evolved into a rigid official creed, which stressed the one-sided obligations of obedience and compliance of subject to ruler, child to father, wife to husband, and younger brother to elder brother. The effect was to inhibit the societal development of premodern China, resulting both in many generations of political, social, and spiritual stability and in a slowness of cultural and institutional change up to the 19th century. Neo-Confucian doctrines also came to play the dominant role in the intellectual life of Korea, Vietnam, and Japan.

Rulers of Song dynasty

Temple Names ( Miao Hao 廟號 miao4 hao4) Posthumous Names ( Shi Hao 諡號 ) Born Names Period of Reigns Era Names (Nian Hao 年號) and their according range of years
Convention: "Song" + temple name or posthumous name except last emperor who was revered as Song Di Bing (宋帝昺 song4 di4 bing3)
Bei (Northern) Song dynasty, 960- 1127
Taizu (太祖 tai4zu3) too tedious; thus, not used when referring to this sovereign Zhao Kuang Yin (趙匡胤 zhao4 kuang1 yin4) 960-976 Jianlong (建隆 jian4 long2) 960-963
   Qiande (乾德 qian2 de2) 963-968
Kaibao (開寶 kai1 bao3) 968-976
Taizong (太宗 tai4zong1) too tedious; thus, not used when referring to this sovereign Zhao Kuang Yi (趙匡義 zhao4 kuang1 yi4) or Zhao Guang Yi (趙光義 zhao4 guang1 yi4) 976-997 Taipingxingguo (太平興國 tai4 ping2 xing1 guo2) 976-984
   Yongxi (雍熙 yong1 xi1) 984-987
Duangong (端拱 duan1 gong3) 988-989
Chunhua (淳化 chun2 hua4) 990-994
Zhidao (至道 zhi4 dao4) 995-997
Zhenzong (真宗 zhen1zong1) too tedious; thus, not used when referring to this sovereign Zhao Heng (趙恆 zhao4 heng2) 997-1022 Xianping (咸平 xian2 ping2) 998-1003
   Jingde (景德 jing3 de2) 1004-1007
Dazhongxiangfu (大中祥符 da4 zhong1 xiang2 fu2) 1008-1016
Tianxi (天禧 tian1 xi1) 1017-1021
Qianxing (乾興 qian2 xing1) 1022
Renzong (仁宗 ren2zong1) too tedious; thus, not used when referring to this sovereign Zhao Zhen (趙禎 zhao4 zhen1) 1022-1063 Tiansheng (天聖 tian1 sheng4) 1023-1032
   Mingdao (明道ming2 dao4) 1032-1033
Jingyou (景祐 jing3 you4) 1034-1038
Baoyuan (寶元 bao3 yuan2) 1038-1040
Kangding (康定 kang1 ding4) 1040-1041
Qingli (慶曆 qing4 li4) 1041-1048
Huangyou (皇祐 huang2 you4) 1049-1054
Zhihe (至和 zhi4 he2) 1054-1056
Jiayou (嘉祐 jia1 you4) 1056-1063
Yingzong (英宗 ying1zong1) too tedious; thus, not used when referring to this sovereign Zhao Shu (趙曙 zhao4 shu4) 1063-1067 Zhiping (治平 zhi4 ping2) 1064-1067
Shenzong (神宗 shen2zong1) too tedious; thus, not used when referring to this sovereign Zhao Xu (趙頊 zhao4 xu1) 1067-1085 Xining (熙寧 xi1 ning2) 1068-1077
   Yuanfeng (元豐 yuan2 feng1) 1078-1085
Zhezong (哲宗 zhe2zong1) too tedious; thus, not used when referring to this sovereign Zhao Xu (趙煦 zhao4 xu3) 1085-1100 Yuanyou (元祐 yuan2 you4) 1086-1094
   Shaosheng (紹聖 shao4 sheng4) 1094-1098
Yuanfu (元符 yuan2 fu2) 1098-1100
Huizong (徽宗 hui1zong1) too tedious; thus, not used when referring to this sovereign Zhao Ji (趙佶 zhao4 ji2) 1100-1125 Jianzhongjingguo (建中靖國 jian4 zhong1 jing4 guo2) 1101
   Chongning (崇寧 chong2 ning2) 1102-1106
Daguan (大觀 da4 guan1) 1107-1110
Zhenghe (政和 zheng4 he2) 1111-1118
Chonghe (重和 chong2 he2) 1118-1119
Xuanhe (宣和 xuan1 he2) 1119-1125
Qinzong (欽宗 qin1zong1) too tedious; thus, not used when referring to this sovereign Zhao Huan (趙桓 zhao4 huan2) 1125-1127 Jingkang (靖康 jing4 kang1) 1126-1127
Nan (Southern) Song dynasty, 1127- 1279
Gaozong (高宗 gao1zong1) too tedious; thus, not used when referring to this sovereign Zhao Gou (趙構 zhao4 gou4) 1127-1162 Jianyan (靖炎 jing4 yan2) 1127-1130
   Shaoxing (紹興 shao4 xing1) 1131-1162
Xiaozong (孝宗 xiao4zong1) too tedious; thus, not used when referring to this sovereign Zhao Shen (趙慎 zhao4 shen4) 1162-1189 Longxing (隆興 long2 xing1) 1163-1164
   Qiandao (乾道 qian2 dao4) 1165-1173
Chunxi (淳熙 chun2 xi1) 1174-1189
Guangzong (光宗 guang1zong1) too tedious; thus, not used when referring to this sovereign Zhao Dun (趙惇 zhao4 dun1) 1189-1194 Shaoxi (紹熙 chun2 xi1) 1190-1194
Ningzong (寧宗 ning2zong1) too tedious; thus, not used when referring to this sovereign Zhao Kuo (趙擴 zhao4 kuo4) 1194-1224 Qingyuan (慶元 qing4 yuan2) 1195-1200
   Jiakai (嘉泰 jia1 kai4) 1201-1204
Kaixi (開禧 kai1 xi1) 1205-1207
Jiading (嘉定 jia1 ding4) 1208-1224
Lizong (理宗 li3zong1) too tedious; thus, not used when referring to this sovereign Zhao Yun (趙昀 zhao4 yun2) 1224-1264 Baoqing (寶慶 bao3 qing4) 1225-1227
   Shaoding (紹定 shao4 ding4) 1228-1233
Duanping (端平 duan1 ping2) 1234-1236
Jiaxi (嘉熙 jia1 xi1) 1237-1240
Chunyou (淳祐 chun2 you4) 1241-1252
Baoyou (寶祐 bao3 you4) 1253-1258
Kaiqing (開慶 kai1 qing4) 1259
Jingding (景定 jing3 ding4) 1260-1264
Duzong (度宗 du4zong1) too tedious; thus, not used when referring to this sovereign Zhao Qi (趙祺 zhao4 qi2) 1264-1274 Xianchun (咸淳 xian2 chun2) 1265-1274
did not exist Gong Di (恭帝 gong1 di4) Zhao Xian (趙顯 zhao4 xian3) 1274-1276 Deyou (德祐 de2 you4) 1275-1276
Duan Zong (端宗 duan1 zong1) too tedious; thus, not used when referring to this sovereign Zhao Shi (趙是 zhao4 shi4) 1276-1278 Jingyan (景炎 jing3 yan2) 1276-1278
did not exist Di (帝 di4) or Wei Wang (衛王 wei4 wang2) Zhao Bing (趙昺 zhao4 bing3) 1278-1279 Xiangxing (祥興 xiang2 xing1) 1278-1279

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