China`s Golden Age Dynasty`s

China’s Golden Age
The Sui, the T’ang and the Song (Sung)
What is a Golden Age?
• A time or period, in a specific culture or
- of “peace, harmony, stability, and prosperity
- “of great happiness, prosperity, and achievement
(merriam-webster online dictionary)”
- “where enlightenment, achievement, and/or
advancement is at its height (me :)”
• What other civilization’s experienced a Golden Age? And
what achievements or advancements are proof of this?
• What is the opposite of a Golden Age?
When was China’sGOLDEN AGE?
Sui dynasty (A.D. 581-617)
Han dynasty (206 B.C.-A.D. 220)
T’ang dynasty (A.D. 618-907)
Song (Sung) dynasty
• On the handout are descriptions of things
invented in China during the Han, Sui,
Tang and Song Dynasty’s.
• Read each one and try to figure out which
invention or advancement is being
Han rulers strengthened the economy and
government of China.
They improved canals and
They made Confucianism the
official belief of the state.
They set up granaries across
the empire.
They relied on well-educated
scholars to run the
They reorganized finances.
They imposed a government
monopoly on iron and salt.
They opened up the Silk
Road, a trade route linking
China and the West.
They used a civil service
exam to find the most
qualified officials.
The Han Golden Age
Han China made such tremendous advances in so many fields, that
the Chinese later called themselves “the people of Han.”
Wrote texts on chemistry,
zoology, and botany.
Measured movements of stars
and planets.
Invented seismograph to
measure earthquakes.
Made paper out of wood pulp.
Pioneered advanced methods of
Invented the rudder, fishing reels,
wheelbarrows, and suspension
Diagnosed diseases.
Used herbal remedies and other
drugs for treatments.
Developed anesthetics.
Explored uses of acupuncture.
Built grand temples and palaces.
Produced jade and ivory carvings and
ceramic figures.
Improved bronzeworking and
silkmaking techniques.
Fall of the Han
• Perfect example of a “fall” within a dynastic
• Ushered in the Era of the Three Kingdoms
- Civil War (220-589)
Time of the Three Kingdoms
The Three Kingdoms era began in 220 AD. After the Han dynasty fell, three powerful
states began a war for power and control over China. The three states were the Wu
state, Wei state, and Shu-Han state. The three main leaders during this war was Cao
Pi of the Wei State, Liu Bei of the Shu-han state, and Sun Quan, the son of Sun Jian
of the Wu state. These three people were the kings of their states.
Three Kingdoms
China’s Dark Ages?
Sort of!
- Sinicization of non-Han Chinese groups
- Growing popularity of Buddhism
- Inventions (like gunpowder)
- Advances in medicine (surgery) and other
The Sui
(A.D. 581-617)
• Ruthless and tyrannical (comparable to that of Qin)
• High tax burden and mandatory labor and
conscription for:
• Maintenance and extensions of the Great Wall
• Building of the Grand Canal
• Unsuccessful wars to conquer the rest of the Korean peninsula
and Vietnam
• As a result: Sui emperor assassinated and a
leading noble took power and began the Tang
• But……….
Grand Canal (completed in 610)
The T’ang
(A.D. 618-907)
Considered by historians as the climax or height of China’s
Golden Age and even Chinese civilization!
Empress Wu
Landscape Painting
The capital at
Chang’an (Xian)
Buddhism becomes a permanent entity of Chinese culture (sinicized)
Leshan Buddha
Major achievements in Literature and Art
-Diamond Sutra
- Li Bo and Du Fu (Literature - Poetry)
(made possible by which invention? That also made “paper money” possible!)
• Read excerpts from Li Bo and Du Fu.
• Compare/contrast the writings of Li Bo and
Du Fu.
• What can their writings tell us about life in
China during the Tang?
• What can a country’s Art tell a historian?
Collapse of the T’ang
• Ah the perils of love!
Consort Yang
The Song (960-1279)
Civilian rule (by scholars appointed by the Emperor and his scholar
advisors) replaced military governors (even in the provinces)
• New classes developed:
-Gentry (landowning scholars)
-Merchant class (educated business owners)
• As a result
– Economy grew
– Land and government were no longer the only means of attaining
wealth and prestige
– Confucianism returned (known as Neo-Confucianism)!!! Why?
(- there was a synthesis of Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism
as a result in Civil Svc exam and culture too)
• Conclusion: The Song dynasty “fine-tuned” the developments of the
former dynasties!
• But……….
Chinese Traditional Social
Fall of the Song
• What would be the price for such concentration on internal and
domestic developments? And on education and scholarship?
• The barbarians in the north pushed the Song dynasty south to
the Yangtze River
• The Mongols also were unifying under the leadership of the
man pictured below and were tempted by the wealth of the
NEXT: The Rise of the Mongols
“Wrath of God”