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What Was the Song Dynasty?


The Song Dynasty ruled much of China from 960 to 1279 A.D.

Song Dynasty home of Justice Bao, a magistrate in the Song capital at Kaifeng, Henan Province.

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Song Dynasty: The ruling family of Imperial China from 960 to 1279.

The Song Period was preceded by the chaotic Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Era, and the family was deposed by the Mongol Yuan Dynasty. In the just under three centuries of Song Dynasty rule, Chinese culture flourished. Innumerable inventions, including movable type printing (which was actually developed in Korea, but used in China as well), paddlewheel boats, gunpowder weapons, and paper money revolutionized life in Song China.

While the Song emperors controlled the majority of what is now eastern, central and southern China, they were not the only dynasty in existence at that time. The Jurchen or Manchu Jin Dynasty ruled northern China for much of this period; the Liao and Western Xia Dynasties also coexisted with the Song.

Pronunciation: SUHNG DY-nus-tee
Also Known As: Song Ch'ao
Alternate Spellings: Sung Dynasty

"The Song Dynasty was at first allied with the Mongols against the Jin Dynasty, but Mongke Khan and later Kublai Khan turned against the Song and eventually conquered them."

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