The Sui, Tang and Song Dynasties
Why was there agricultural, technological, and commercial progress during this time?

Mid/Later-Imperial Era (Sui & Tang through Early Qing Dynasties)

Sui Dynasty (589-617)


The Sui Dynasty reunites China

The examination system re-established in a stable and enduring form

Tang (T'ang) Dynasty (618-907)


Founding of the Tang Dynasty


Capital of Chang'an the most developed site of world culture, influenced by contacts with India and West through "Silk Route" across Central Asia

Early Tang era of cosmopolitan culture; flourishing of "Religious Taoism"

c. 750

Du Fu (712-770) reaches height of poetic powers


The Rebellion of An Lushan


Late Tang era of cultural closing

Rise of Confucian intolerance; era of first persecutions of Buddhism

c. 800

Approximate midpoint of career of Han Yu (768-824)

Five Dynasties Period (907-960)


Brief era of renewed political fragmentation; different ruling houses divide China

Song (Sung) Dynasty (960-1279) -- Northern Song (960-1127); Southern Song (1127-1279)


Northern Song Dynasty

Capital at Kaifeng, near the central reaches of Yellow River in North --

Beginning of medieval China's "commercial revolution"

Era of Confucian dominance


Factional battles between "Cultural Confucians" and "Pragmatic Confucians"; "Neo- Confucian" founders develop theories in withdrawal from political arena

Major Confucian figures of this period include: Sima Guang (1019-1086), Wang Anshi (1021-1086)


Fall of North China to Jurchen tribes (Jin Dynasty)


Southern Song Dynasty

Song capital moved to Yangzi River delta area, at Hangzhou

Era of growth of Neo-Confucianism


Death of Zhu Xi (1130-1200), who synthesized teachings of N.Song 'Five Masters" as Neo-Confucianism -- despite intitial persecution by government, Neo-Confucianism becomes dominant ideology until 1911