13 Interesting Song Dynasty Facts That You Probably Didn't Know

Rajnandini Roychoudhury
Dec 02, 2022 By Rajnandini Roychoudhury
Originally Published on May 01, 2022
Edited by Pete Anderson
Fact-checked by Niyati Parab
China's Song Dynasty Temples, in wuxi city

The Song Dynasty and the facts related to it have immense contributions to making Chinese history enriched.

The Song Era was in existence from 960-1279 AD, and the responsible person for the construction of the Song imperium was emperor Taizu. It was one of the most powerful empires of its time.

Despite having the remarkably powerful pillars of strength, the Song Empire could not last very long because of its recurrent military mistakes.

Culture And Dance Of The Song Dynasty

The Song era can be counted as one of the most enriched eras of ancient China that including the advancement of visual arts, literature, dance, education, and philosophy.

The cultural shift in this era was visible in its art.

Development of the Shan Shui style painting is one of them. San, which denotes 'mountain,' and Shui, which means 'water,' became the most significant prominence of Chinese landscape art, which was not this visible before.

There were new inclusions of fresh genres in Chinese literature during this period.

It is said that the Tang dynasty was the zenith era of literature in China, but the Songs were no lesser than them.

For regular amusements, there were entertainment quarters in the cities.

Social clubs, poetry clubs, music clubs, horse-loving clubs, tea clubs, and food clubs were other prominent sectors of their culture.

Men mainly monitored the public sphere, and the women were behind their households, but the women also had many social privileges.

Accomplishments Of The Song Dynasty

China relished an overall growth during the reign of Song territory.

There was a remarkable growth in technological development during this era.

The Song emphasized and focused on the civil service system to select officials for higher posts.

The culture of eating rice and tea was more popularized in the Song court. It was made possible with the use of early ripening rice from Southeast and South Asia.

China's population saw the first hike in the Song era.

Kaifeng and Hangzhou are two large cities that rose in prominence during this era.

Song government was in support of proper urban planning.

History And Origin Of The Song Dynasty

After the destruction of the Tang Dynasty, China was divided into 50 rivaling kingdoms which are also called the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period. It was the time when the Song came into existence.

Sòng cháoor Song Empire is divided into two eras, the Northern Song and the Southern Song.

Emperor Taizu was regarded as the founder of Northern Song in 960, and Emperor Gaozong (1127-1162) was the founder of the Southern Song Dynasty.

The last emperor of this dynasty was Zhao Bing (1278-1297).

The founding of the Song Dynasty is also regarded as the ending of the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period.

The conflict between the contemporary rulers like the Liao dynasty, Western Xia, and Jin dynasty of northern China was the reason behind the decay of Song's military.

Along with the northern China rulers, the rulers of southern China were another attacker of the Song Empire, to whom they finally lowered. As a result, the Mongol Empire came into being. After that, the Mongols also invaded the Western Xia, Jin, the Middle East, and Kievan Rus.

the poem of Chai Tou Feng or Phoenix Hairpin

Language And Religion Of The Song Dynasty

Language and religion have their own significance in the Song period.

Middle Chinese was the common language spoken among the people of this period.

Deities of Buddhism, Taoism, and ancestral spirits were majorly worshipped around this era. Along with that, some other Chinese Folk religions were also worshipped


Q: What was the culture of the Song dynasty?

A: The culture of the Song period includes the progression of arts, literature, philosophy, educational development, and music.

Q: How did Song Dynasty come to power?

A: After the decay of the Tang Dynasty, China was divided into multiple kingdoms. Later Zhou Dynasty was one of these kingdoms which were always involved in fights and rivalries.

As a part of the Later Zhou Dynasty army, Zhao Kuangyi got much recognition for his performance on the battlefield. His fellow army men subsequently demanded him to be the next emperor, to which he agreed and decided to call himself Emperor Taizu and name his dynasty the Song Empire.

Q: What did Song Dynasty invent?

A: The most significant and useful things Songs invented were the first government-issued paper money and the magnetic compass.

Q: What were the three major accomplishments of the Song Dynasty?

A: The three major accomplishments of the Song Dynasty are the initiative of examination for staff selection, increment in the population of China, and technological development.

Q: What was special about the Song Dynasty?

A: The specialty of the Song court is that they ruled for 300 years, and in these years, it succeeded in uniting the whole of China.

Q: Who killed the Song Dynasty?

A: Kublai Khan, the emperor of the Mongol Yuan Dynasty.

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Written by Rajnandini Roychoudhury

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English, Master of Arts specializing in English

Rajnandini Roychoudhury picture

Rajnandini RoychoudhuryBachelor of Arts specializing in English, Master of Arts specializing in English

With a Master of Arts in English, Rajnandini has pursued her passion for the arts and has become an experienced content writer. She has worked with companies such as Writer's Zone and has had her writing skills recognized by publications such as The Telegraph. Rajnandini is also trilingual and enjoys various hobbies such as music, movies, travel, philanthropy, writing her blog, and reading classic British literature. 

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Fact-checked by Niyati Parab

Bachelor of Commerce

Niyati Parab picture

Niyati ParabBachelor of Commerce

With a background in digital marketing, Niyati brings her expertise to ensure accuracy and authenticity in every piece of content. She has previously written articles for MuseumFacts, a history web magazine, while also handling its digital marketing. In addition to her marketing skills, Niyati is fluent in six languages and has a Commerce degree from Savitribai Phule Pune University. She has also been recognized for her public speaking abilities, holding the position of Vice President of Education at the Toastmasters Club of Pune, where she won several awards and represented the club in writing and speech contests at the area level.

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