Brill’s Encyclopedia of China

Get access

Song Dynasty
(1,017 words)

Following a long phase of upheaval, a general by the family name of Zhao managed to bring large parts of China under his control and proclaim the Song dynasty in 960. It became clear from the very beginning that this dynasty would have a different self-image from its great predecessor, the Tang dynasty: as they regarded the exceedingly high authority of the regional military commanders as the main reason for the demise of the previous dynasty, the new rulers decided to officially subordinate the military to the civil bureaucracy. This measure ind…

Cite this page
van Ess, Hans, “Song Dynasty”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of China, Managing Editor English Edition: Daniel Leese. Consulted online on 27 February 2024 <>
First published online: 2008
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004168633, 20121018

▲   Back to top   ▲