The Song dynasty (960-1279) has been characterized by its pre-eminent civil culture and military weakness. This groundbreaking work demonstrates that the civil dominance of the eleventh century was the product of a half-century of continuous warfare and ruthless political infighting. The spectacular culture of the eleventh century, one of the high points in Chinese history, was built on the bloody foundation of the conquests of the tenth century. Peter Lorge examines how, rather than a planned and inevitable reunification of the Chinese empire, the foundation of the Song was an uncertain undertaking, dependent upon highly contingent battles, both military and political, whose outcome was always in doubt. Song civil culture grew out of the successful military campaigns that created the dynasty and, as the need for war and armies diminished, the need for civil officials grew. The Song dynasty's successful waging of war led ultimately to peace.
|Publisher:||Cambridge University Press|
|Product dimensions:||5.98(w) x 9.02(h) x (d)|
About the Author
Peter Lorge specializes in tenth- and eleventh-century Chinese military history and thought, and is the author, most recently, of Chinese Martial Arts: From Antiquity to the Twenty-First Century (Cambridge, 2012), and editor of Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms (2010), and Debating War in Chinese History (2013) and Chinese and Indian Warfare: From the Classical Age to 1870 (with Kaushik Roy, 2014). His earlier books include War, Politics and Society in Early Modern China, 900-1795 (2005) and The Asian Military Revolution: From Gunpowder to the Bomb (Cambridge, 2008). He is also the editor of a book series with Routledge, Asian States and Empires. He is currently working on a history of Chinese military thought from the third to the thirteenth centuries.
Table of Contents1. Introduction; 2. Historiography, methodology, and Song military and political history; 3. The pivot of the tenth century; 4. Rebuilding the empire; 5. The army and the creation of the Song dynasty; 6. Personal politics and the campaigns of conquest; 7. Separating war and politics; 8. Fighting to become emperor; 9. Failure and rebellion; 10. The end of the beginning; 11. Conclusion; Bibliography; Index.