Published on January 1, 2009
“History and Culture of the Song Dynasty” Compiled by Robert Ponzio Chair, Fine Arts Oak Hall School Map
We can learn about the Song Dynasty by examining the scroll: “The Spring Festival Along the River” To Be Read Right to left A Hand Scroll by Zhang Zeduan (created in the early 12th Century)
The scroll depicts a journey from the rural countryside to the imperial capital Bianliang (modern Kaifeng), the Northern Song capital along the Grand Canal.
“The Spring Fes.val The Spring Fes.val Along the River” provides a wealth of detail on the varieLes of commercial acLvity in Kaifeng during it’s day.
The Grand Canal quot; Major Route of Commerce The Grand Canal was a major route of commerce and an engineering marvel.
TransportaLon These waterways helped to unify China and encourage economic and cultural growth.
Suburbs The Suburbs
City Gates Welcome to Kaifeng! Over a million people live in this largest city in the world. Passing through the great Gate of the City
There are hundreds of people depicted in the scroll. We can learn a great deal about the people of the Song by examining their acLviLes.
Traveling Koreans? Suburban Home
The Food Court!
The Grand Canal quot; 2004
Advances in Agriculture New developments in irrigaLon and rice culLvaLon, especially the introducLon of new strains of Rice from Champa what is now Central Vietnam, spectacularly increased rice yields. As a result the populaLon, which had never before exceeded 60 million, grew to 100 million by 1127. Many Song Dynasty agricultural techniques are sLll in use today
Vibrant Market Economy The basic unit of payment was copper coins strung on a string, but these were heavy and cumbersome for use in large‐scale transacLons. The Song soluLon was to print paper money — Helping to grease the wheels of trade was the world's ﬁrst paper money. Marco Polo's report of this was met with incredulity in the West.
Advancement in the Arts: Ceramics Ewer, Northern Song dynasty (960–1127), 11th– 12th century; Yaozhou ware China Stoneware with incised, carved, and relief decoraLon under glaze; H. 8 1/4 in. (21 cm) Gif of Mrs. T. Samuel Peters, 1926 (26.292.73)
Calligraphy Scroll for Zhang Datong, dated 1100 Huang Tingjian (Chinese, 1045–1105) Handscroll; ink on paper; 34.1 x 552.9 cm The Art Museum, Princeton University Gif of John B. Ellioh Poem Wrihen in a Boat on the Wu River, Northern Song Dynasty (960–1127), ca. 1100 Mi Fu (Chinese, 1052–1107) China Handscroll; ink on paper; 44 columns in running‐cursive script; 12 1/4 in. x 18 f. 3 1/4 in. (31.1 x 557 cm) Gif of John M. Crawford Jr., in honor of Professor Wen Fong, 1984 (1984.174)
Calligrapher as scene in the Zeduan scrollr
PainLng Summer Mountains, Northern Song dynasty (960–1127), 11th century Ahributed to Qu Ding (Chinese, acLve ca. 1023–ca. 1056) China Handscroll; ink and pale color on silk; 17 7/8 x 45 3/8 in. (45.4 x 115.3 cm) Ex coll.: C.C. Wang Family, Gif of The Dillon Fund, 1973 (1973.120.1)
Emperor Huizong Five‐Colored Parakeet Emperor Huizong 12th c. He was also a great painter and calligrapher who invented the quot;Slender Goldquot; style. •He was one of the three Chinese emperors to prohibit Buddhism.
PainLng Finches and Bamboo, Northern Song dynasty (960–1127) Emperor Huizong (Chinese, 1082–1135; r. 1101–25) China Handscroll; ink and color on silk; 11 x 18 in. (27.9 x 45.7 cm) Inscribed with the cipher of the emperor John M. Crawford Jr. CollecLon, Purchase, Douglas Dillon Gif, 1981 (1981.278)
Emperor Huizong – Detail Of Ladies Emperor Huizong – Auspicious Cranes Preparing Woven Silk
Confucianism Confucianism provided a faith for people to live by, a convincing account of the natural and human world, and a theoreLcal framework for state and society. It emphasized self‐culLvaLon as a path not only to self‐fulﬁllment but to the formaLon of a virtuous and harmonious society and state. Some might emphasize one aspect more than the other, but ideally, learning to be a beher and wiser person went hand in hand with service to the larger social body. Ask me about: Mencius vs. Xunxi!
Public School System Confucius taught that all people possessed the same potenLal, and that educaLon was the correcLve means to curb any tendencies to stray from ethical behavior. •Confucius made educaLon available to students from all classes. •EducaLon in China has thus been a equalizing force from ancient Lmes which became the means by which individuals from even the humblest backgrounds could rise to great heights. •The ethics of Confucius which informed the tradiLonal curriculum, it was also a powerful mechanism for implemenLng the ethical and social norms of Chinese society. “To enrich your family, there is no need to buy good land: Books hold a thousand measures of grain. For an easy life, there is no need to build a mansion: In books are found houses of gold. When you go out, do not be upset if no one follows you: In books there will be a crowd of horses and carriages. If you wish to marry, don't be upset if you don't have a go‐between: In books there are girls with faces like jade. A young man who wishes to be somebody will devote his Eme to the Classics. He will face the window and read”. The Song Emperor, Renzong
The Examina+on System Since the Sui Dynasty (581‐617), passing a series of examinaLons led to oﬃce in the civil service. It was only in the Song, however, that the examinaLon system came to be considered the normal ladder to success, though even then many took alternate routes. Exams based on a command of Confucian texts. Honesty was ensured by such measures as idenLfying papers by number rather than the candidate's name. ExaminaLon taking could become a lifeLme endeavor. CompeLLon was keen from the start, but became intolerable by the end of the Song Dynasty.
ReproducLon of Cell Used by Students Taking the Imperial Exams
Buddhism Chinese, Northern Song Dynasty Guanyin, 11th century wood with polychrome and gilt 39 inches high The Iron Pagoda, Kaifeng
Women of the Song • Under the Song, many women gained rights to own property, their ability to inherit, and to control their children's educaLon. • • Women also ran businesses and oversaw family budgets.
The Lily Foot
Foot Binding While foot binding was ﬁnally outlawed in 1911, it was not unLl the Chinese Cultural RevoluLon of the 1940s and '50s that it was genuinely obliterated.
• • • 200 CE • • • tea, 264-273 CE [received in the West, 1600s] • • • 300 CE • • • Word for porcelain first used [produced in the West, 1709] • • • 400 CE • • • sedanchair [received in the West, 1600s] • • • 500 CE • • • kite, 549 [received in the West, 1589] silk, 552-554 [in China, ca. 1300 BCE] Other Song InvenLons • • • 600 CE • • • Chain drive ‐ 800 years later in the West • • • 700 CE • • • playing cards [received in the West, 1377] Canal pound‐lock ‐ 400 years later in dominoes the West gunpowder (?) [received in the West, 1330] Mercator map projecLon ‐ 600 years • • • 800 CE • • • porcelain described, 851 [produced in the West, 1709] later in the West Phosphorescent paint ‐ 700 years later oldest printed book, 868 [Bible printed in the West, 1456] in the West • • • 900 • • • The Song Dynasty, 960-1279 Immunology ‐ 800 years later in the • • • 1000 • • • movable type, 1041-1049 [block printing in the West, 1423] West compass [received in the West, 1190] War technology Flamethrower ‐ 1000 years later in the zinc used in coins, 1094-1098 [described in the West, 1500s; industrially produced, 1740] West orange [earlier origins in China, but cannot be accurately dated] Flares and ﬁreworks ‐ 250 years later • • • 1100 • • • paper, 1150 [in China, 105 CE] in the West quot;Sofquot; bombs and grenades ‐ 400 years explosives, 1161 [gunpowder and cannon in the West, 1330] later in the West compass, 1190 [in China, 1000s] The use of the following also • • • 1200 • • • Movable type prinLng is invented in originated in China in early times, but cannot be • • • 1300 • • • gunpowder and cannon, 1330 [in China, 700s] 1045 ‐ 400 years later in the West accurately dated: peach, _____________________________ apricot, orange, lemon, playing cards, 1377 [in China, 700s] pomelo, chrysanthemum, tea rose, camellia, azalea, China lemon [earlier origins in China, but cannot be accurately dated] High culture develops. PainLng, Poetry, aster, gingko, quot;German silver,quot; Calligraphy becomes mainstream. • • • 1400 • • • block printing, 1423 [movable type in China, 1041-1049] wallpaper, goldfish. Military powers decline. The Jin invade Gutenberg's Bible, 1456 [China's first printed book, 868] the North, the Sung moves capital from • • • 1500 • • • chaulmoogra oil and [received in the West, after 1700s] Kaifeng to Hangzhou. ephedrine described, 1552-1578 zinc described [used in coins in China, 1094-1098] kite, 1589 [in China, 549 CE] © Columbia University, East Asian • • • 1600 • • • sedanchair [in China, 400s CE] Curriculum Project China: A Teaching Workbook | tea [in China, 264-273 CE] afe.easia.columbia.edu folding umbrella [in China, in the 300s BCE] wallpaper manufactured, 1688
Shen Kuo (Kua) Born: 1031 ‐ Died: 1095 Song Dynasty scienLst, mathemaLcian, general, diplomat, ﬁnancial oﬃcer was the inventor of compasses for navigaLon. He found out, that the compasses do not point north but to the magneLc north pole. That was the decisive step to make them useful for navigaLon. He also formulated an hypothesis for the process of land formaLon: based on his observaLon of fossil shells in a mountain hundreds of miles from the ocean, he inferred that the land was formed by erosion of the mountains and by deposiLon of silt. Shen Kuo was not only a geologist; his memoirs also examined magneLsm, astronomy, and engineering, and other ﬁelds. He created a book Meng Xi Bi Tan (Translated “The Sketchbook of Dream Brook” or “Dream Pool Essays”) (1086) in which he wrote about mineralogy, erosion, sedimentaLon and uplif, mathemaLcs, astronomy, and meteorology. AhempLng to compile all of the scien+ﬁc knowledge of his day. Among this he also documented the knowledge of the common people, the creaLve invenLons and innovaLons created by those who were not of the gentry. This book s+ll survives today.
Chinese Compass Mariner's compass, with a ﬂoaLng magneLzed needle poinLng north and south. A further reﬁnement in the box compass (to South Facing Chinese Compass. model of the ﬁrst the right) is from about 1200 CE, and is instrument known to be a compass. The spoon is of much more suitable for navigaLon. magneLc loadstone, and the plate is of bronze
PrinLng Press w/ Movable Type A modern reproducLon of the movable type invented by Pi Sheng between 1041 and 1048, and a page printed from it. Movable type was not invented by Johann Gutenberg, in 1423 as is universally believed in the West. The reproducLon was made from the detailed descripLon by Shen Kuo which survives from 1086.
Advances in Science, Math and Medicine “The Golden Age of Mathematics” occurred under the Song. Advances were also made in medicine, as the first autopsy was performed in about 1145 AD on the body of a Southern Chinese captive. Chinese Armillary
Advances in ConstrucLon Techniques
The Silk Road • The Silk Road ‐ A Vast Network of Trade Routes During the ﬁrst millennium B.C.E. through the middle of the second millennium C.E., a vast network of trade routes known as the quot;Silk Roadquot; linked the people and tradiLons of Asia with those of Europe. These historic routes served as a major conduit for the transport of knowledge, informaLon and material goods between East and West and resulted in the ﬁrst global exchange of scienLﬁc and cultural tradiLons.
Transfer of InnovaLons Many important scienLﬁc and technological innovaLons migrated along the Silk Road to the West. Transfer of these innovaLons, including gunpowder, the magneLc compass, the prinLng press, silk, mathemaLcs, musical instruments, ceramic and lacquer crafs, was gradual, so that the West had no clear idea as to their origins. Marco Polo Kublai Khan giving protecLon tablets to Marco Polo's father and Uncle.
Marco Polo Marco Polo (1254‐1324), The famous VeneLan traveled on the Silk Road. His journey through Asia lasted 24 years. He reached further than any of his predecessors, beyond Mongolia to China. He became a conﬁdant of Kublai Khan (1214‐1294). He traveled the whole of China and returned to tell the tale, which became the greatest travelogue.
Sea routes, important for trade and for communicaLon, may also be considered part of the Silk Road.
Song Shipbuilding The Song were world leaders in ship‐building including water‐ Lght compartments and stern‐post rudders. They navigated with the aid of Their ships contained as many as (south‐poinLng) four decks, six masts, a dozen compasses, sails and held 500 sailors. another Chinese invenLon.
The Song period improvements in speed, adaptability to marine condiLons, and steadiness. A strong navy of an ahacking army could come right up to a riverside city. If a ship's deck was high enough, soldiers could step from it to the top of the city's wall.
quot;Sea Hawks,quot; as the type of ship above was called, had ﬂoaLng boards on each side to stabilize the ship. (it is diﬃcult to disLnguish the oars from these boards.) Song ships were also strengthened with iron in the hull. Some had several decks to keep the ship steady. Song bahleships were equipped with ﬁre‐bomb catapults and incendiary arrows that used gunpowder. SomeLmes protected staLons on upper decks were created for crossbowmen who also played the role of watchmen.
quot;Whirlwindquot; The Military catapult The Song possessed superior militarily technology rather than military skills. Determined to keep power out of the hands of the military leaders, Song rulers reduced the status of its military men. No longer could oﬃcials move between the civil and military services. Some soldiers were tahooed to keep them from deserLng. quot;Bamboo ﬁre hawkquot; quot;Thunderbolt‐ballquot; Raised quot;ﬂowerquot; and ball bombs
Fire cart Fire oxen
Flame Throwers quot;Fire‐spurLng lancesquot; were also invented during the Song. Bamboo was used as a barrel to hold the gunpowder, though by the Song, metal barrels were also used. Some had narrow barrels and could be held by one person. Others were mounted on wooden frames and can be understood to precede the modern cannon; these were called eruptors.
Emperor Huizong’s System of Tributes Huizong neglected the army, and Song China became increasingly weak and at the mercy of foreign enemies. To the North, the Jurchen of Manchuria founded the Jin Dynasty pressured the Song on the northern border. Emperor Huizong began a system of tributes where gold, silk, grains and other goods were oﬀered to the Jin in exchange for peace. The Jin soon declared war and by the beginning of 1126 they crossed the Yellow River and came in sight of Kaifeng, the capital of the Song empire. Stricken with panic, Huizong abdicated on January 18, 1126 in favor of his son who became Emperor Qinzong. Captured by the invading Jin, Huizong spent the last 8 years of his life as a capLve. The man who once had been the most powerful ruler on earth and had lived in opulence and art died a broken man in far‐away Northern Manchuria in June 1135 at the age of 52.
In 1125, when the Jurchen, a seminomadic people from northeast Asia, invaded Song China and captured the capital at Bianliang (modern Kaifeng), founding their own Jin dynasty in the north, the Song court reestablished itself in the south in Hangzhou, where it conLnued to rule for another 150 years as the Southern Song dynasty.
Yue Fei • Days afer his birth, ﬂooding of the Yellow River destroyed Yue Fei's village. • His father drowned in the ﬂoods, but not before he had ensured the survival of his wife and son by ﬂoaLng them downstream in a jar. • Yue Fei became proﬁcient in warfare at an early age. As a young man narrowly escaped execuLon afer killing the Prince of Liang in a marLal arts tournament. • He did not join the ﬁght against the Jurchen invaders unLl he was 23.
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