This first of two volumes on the Sung Dynasty (960-1279) and its Five Dynasties and Southern Kingdoms precursors presents the political history of China from the fall of the T'ang Dynasty in 907 to the Mongol conquest of the Southern Sung in 1279. Its twelve chapters survey the personalities and events that marked the rise, consolidation, and demise of the Sung polity during an era of profound social, economic, and intellectual ferment. The authors place particular emphasis on the emergence of a politically conscious literati class during the Sung, characterized by the increasing importance of the examination system early in the dynasty and on the rise of the tao-hsueh (Neo-Confucian) movement toward the end. In addition, they highlight the destabilizing influence of factionalism and ministerial despotism on Sung political culture and the impact of the powerful steppe empires of the Khitan Liao, Tangut Hsi Hsia, Jurchen Chin, and Mongol Yuan on the shape and tempo of Sung dynastic events.
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Number of pages: 1128
Weight: 1610 g
Dimensions: 235 x 162 x 67 mm
"This addition to the authoritative multivolume Cambridge History of China presents a chronological account broadly focused on the political and military history of a period of vast, deep, and irreversible change...Scholarly footnotes, 32 maps, and a 53-page bibliography offer guidance for further research...No serious student can afford to neglect this excellent starting point for research and reflection. In tandem with its forthcoming companion volume of topical essays, it testifies to the radical vigor of scholarship that during the last 50 years has radically changed and continues to transform scholarly understanding of these three and a half centuries. Indispensable to advanced students. Summing Up: Essential." --Choice
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