1000 to 1450: Intensified Hemispheric Interactions
Northern Song 960 to 1127 Southern Song 1127 to 1279
Yuan 1279 to 1368
Ming 1368 to 1644
Late Heian ca.900 to 1185
Kamakura 1185 to 1333 Nanbokucho 1336 to 1392
Muromachi 1392 to 1573
Koryo 918 to 1392
Choson 1392 to 1910
Angkor Period (Cambodia, at times also Burma, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam) 802 to 1431
Thai kingdom in Ayudhya
Powerful regional states, incl. Chola ca.860 to 1279
Sultanate Period 13th century Rajput kingdoms 14th century
Table of Contents - 1000 to 1450

| Index of Topics for All Time Periods |

CHINA: HISTORY-ARCHAEOLOGY

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

Printable Map Maps of Chinese Dynasties: Northern Sung (Song) Dynasty [The Art of Asia, Minneapolis Institute of Arts]
Color map showing land ruled by China's Northern Song dynasty relative to present-day political boundaries. Can be downloaded as a .pdf file.

Printable Map Maps of Chinese Dynasties: Southern Sung (Song) Dynasty [The Art of Asia, Minneapolis Institute of Arts]
Color map showing land ruled by China's Southern Song dynasty relative to present-day political boundaries. Can be downloaded as a .pdf file.

Art of the Silk Road: Cultures: The Song Dynasty [University of Washington, Simpson Center for the Humanities]
A brief overview of the Song dynasty, with a map and images of six related artworks. Part of an online exhibit "organized as part of Silk Road Seattle, a collaborative public education project exploring cultural interaction across Eurasia from the first century BCE to the sixteenth century CE."

MapsThe Song Dynasty in China: Life in the Song Seen through a 12th-century Scroll [Asia for Educators]
An in-depth look at the northern and southern Song dynasties, with a 12th-century scroll depicting a typical Song-era city as the starting point. Topics include: Economic Revolution (Population Boom, Commercialization, Paper Money, etc.); Technology (Rice Cultivation, Printing & Movable Type, Shipbuilding, Gunpowder, etc.); Cities (Urban Life, Religious Life, etc.); Confucianism (Examination System, The Three Perfections and Su Shi, Neo-Confucianism); and Outside World (Northern Rivals, International Trade).

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Liao Dynasty (907-1125); Jin Dynasty (1115-1234)

China's Liao Dynasty [Asia Society]
"A Chinese dynasty and kingdom existed roughly in parallel to the better-known Song Dynasty, but this one ruled by the nomadic Khitans. A fascinating essay on governance, international relations, technology and exchange in China and its northern frontiers from 907-1123."

"Dynasty of Nomads: Rediscovering the Forgotten Liao Empire" [Archaeology]
A short article about recent archaeological work that reveals the cultural tensions, past and present, between the Han Chinese and Khitan Liao. From the November/December 2007 issue of Archaeology magazine.

Art of the Silk Road: Cultures: The Khitan and the Liao Dynasty [University of Washington, Simpson Center for the Humanities]
A brief overview of the Khitan and their dynasty, the Liao, with a map and images of five related artworks. Part of an online exhibit "organized as part of Silk Road Seattle, a collaborative public education project exploring cultural interaction across Eurasia from the first century BCE to the sixteenth century CE."

Interactive MapGilded Splendor: Treasures of China's Liao Empire (907-1125) [Asia Society]
This excellent interactive website explores the complex cultural and religious legacy of the Khitan and their reign over China during the Liao Dynasty (907-1125). Features an extensive image gallery of objects (organized into the following topics: 1) Nomadic Heritage; 2) Chinese Tomb Tradition; 3) Luxuries and Necessities; 4) Religious Life); an interactive tour of two Liao tombs; plus an interactive map of recently excavated Liao sites in Inner Mongolia (with images); two additional historic maps; and a timeline.

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Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368)

Printable Map Maps of Chinese Dynasties: Yuan Dynasty [The Art of Asia, Minneapolis Institute of Arts]
Color map showing land ruled by China's Yuan dynasty relative to present-day political boundaries. Can be downloaded as a .pdf file.

The Mongol Dynasty [Asia Society]
Background reading about "Kublai Khan, grandson of Genghis Khan, (who) ruled as an intellect—and as a warrior—to create one of the greatest empires in human history."

The Legacy of Genghis Khan [The Metropolitan Museum of Art]
"Genghis Khan (ca. 1162–1227) and the Mongols are invariably associated with terrible tales of conquest, destruction, and bloodshed." This short essay includes corresponding works of art.

The Mongols in World History [Asia for Educators]
An in-depth look at the rise of the Mongol empire in the 13th century. Topics include: The Mongols' Mark on Global History (International Trade, Pax Mongolica, Support of Artisans, Religious Tolerance, etc.); The Mongol Conquests (What Led to the Conquests?, Chinggis Khan's Role, The Empire's Collapse, etc.); The Mongols in China (Khubilai Khan, Life in China under Mongol Rule, etc.); Key Figures in Mongol History (Chinggis Khan, Khubilai Khan, Ögödei, Marco Polo); and The Mongols' Pastoral-Nomadic Life (Livestock, Horses, Mare's Milk, Clothing, Shelter, etc.). With more than 25 full-color images, several online readings, an extensive bibliography, class materials, links to maps, and related Web links.

Lesson Plan + DBQs Ethnic Relations and Political History along the Silk Roads >> China under Mongol Rule: The Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368) [PDF] [China Institute]
Unit F from From Silk to Oil, a comprehensive view of the Silk Roads over four thousand years. "This unit investigates why the Mongols can be considered the greatest conquerors in world history. Students will look at how the Mongol conquests changed the Eurasian world and discuss how Khubilai Khan (1215-1294) and his advisors ruled one of the greatest prizes won by Mongol armies: China."

Marco Polo, 1254-1324
Lesson PlanOn the Road with Marco Polo (Part I) [EDSITEment, National Endowment for the Humanities]
For grades K-3. During the Middle Ages, most people in Europe spent their entire lives in the village where they were born. But in the 13th century, a young Italian named Marco Polo traveled all the way to China! In this lesson, students will learn about the remarkable travels of Marco Polo. See links for Lessons 2-5 at bottom of the page.

AFE Special Topic GuideMarco Polo in China [Asia for Educators]
A compilation of primary source readings, discussion questions, and lesson ideas intended to expose students to the impressive developments in Chinese civilization during the Yuan period.

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Ming Dynasty (1368-1644)

Printable Map Maps of Chinese Dynasties: Ming Dynasty [The Art of Asia, Minneapolis Institute of Arts]
Color map showing land ruled by China's Ming dynasty relative to present-day political boundaries. Can be downloaded as a .pdf file.

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RELIGION, PHILOSOPHY, THOUGHT

Neo-Confucianism

Focus on Neo-Confucianism for the World History Curriculum [World History Connected]
A brief introduction to neo-Confucianism — "the renaissance of Confucianism during the Song dynasty."

Lu Jiuyuan (Lu Xiangshan), 1139-1193
Primary Source w/DBQs
Mind Is Principle [PDF] [Asia for Educators]

Zhu Xi, 1130-1200
Primary Source w/DBQs
Preface to the Great Learning by Chapter and Phrase [PDF] [Asia for Educators]
Primary Source w/DBQsThe Nature As Principle [PDF] [Asia for Educators]

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GOVERNMENT AND ADMINISTRATION

Song Dynasty, Reform under the Neo-Confucianists

Wang Anshi, 1021-1086
Primary Source w/DBQs
Memorial on the Crop Loans Measure [PDF] [Asia for Educators]

Cheng Hao, 1032-1085
Primary Source w/DBQs
Remonstrance Against the New Laws [PDF] [Asia for Educators]

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MILITARY AND DEFENSE

Yuan Dynasty, Khubilai Khan's Rule

Marco Polo, 1254-1324
AFE Special Topic GuideMarco Polo in China [Asia for Educators]
A compilation of primary source readings, discussion questions, and lesson ideas intended to expose students to the impressive developments in Chinese civilization during the Yuan period. See the section "On How Khubilai Khan Governs" for primary sources relevant to this topic.

The Mongols in World History [Asia for Educators]
An in-depth look at the rise of the Mongol empire in the 13th century. See the topic The Mongols in China for more about Khubilai Khan and life in China under Mongol Rule.

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Ming Dynasty, Promotion of Social Order and Morality in Government

Emperor Hongwu (Zhu Yuanzhang), 1328-1398
Primary Source w/DBQs
An Imperial Edict Restraining Officials from Evil [PDF] [Asia for Educators]

Primary Source w/DBQsVillage Ordinances: "Prohibition Ordinance" [PDF] [Asia for Educators]

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TECHNOLOGY, INVENTIONS, SCIENCE

The "Rainbow Bridge"

Secrets of Lost Empires: China Bridge [NOVA, PBS]
Companion website to a 2000 PBS program documenting the "effort by a NOVA-assembled crew of scholars and timber framers to design and build a Chinese bridge known only from an ancient painting [the Beijing qingming scroll]." Includes an essay, China's Age of Invention, that highlights many Song-dynasty inventions.

Also see the Rainbow Bridge section of The Song Dynasty in China: Life in the Song Seen through a 12th-century Scroll for images of the bridge as it is depicted in the 12th-century Beijing qingming scroll.

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Astronomy

Lesson Plan + DBQs Exchange of Goods and Ideas along the Silk Roads >> West-East Exchange: Astronomy [PDF] [China Institute]
Unit K from From Silk to Oil, a comprehensive view of the Silk Roads over four thousand years. "What was the importance of astronomy to the pre-modern Chinese state and people? How did the West-East exchange of scientific information along the Silk Roads affect China? Students will study pre-modern Chinese ideas on the relation of the cosmos to everyday life and the political importance of astronomy. They will look at phenomena such as eclipses and supernovae through both (modern) Western and (pre-modern) Chinese eyes."

Essential Question: What was the importance of astronomy to the pre-modern Chinese state and people? How did the West-East exchange of scientific information along the Silk Roads affect China?
Document 1: Astronomy and Imperial Rule
Document 2: The Crab Nebula
Document 3: The Calendar and Daily Life
Document 4: Chinese and Western Almanacs
Document 5: Eclipses and Eclipse Prediction
Document 6: Description of a Solar Eclipse
Document 7: Foreign Astronomers in China
Document 8: What Went Wrong with Chinese Astronomy?
Document 9: The Jesuits and Astronomy
Document 10: Eclipse Prediction Contest

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Other Inventions and Exchange East and West

Video Unit"Easternization" (Not "Westernization"): Modernity Is a Global Formation” [Asia for Educators]
A video presentation with maps and visual images for students and teachers by Professor Sarah Schneewind of UC San Diego that argues that the inventions and ideas that originated in China are part and parcel of the modern West. (Sign-in required; registration is quick and free.)

TimelineChina’s Gifts to the West [PDF] [Asia for Educators]
An exercise identifying Chinese inventions that we use and enjoy in daily life provides an excellent starting point for discussing both the achievements of the Chinese civilization and China's influence on the West. The article China 's Gifts to the West describes China's inventions of silk, tea, porcelain ("china"), paper, printing, gunpowder, the mariner's compass, medicines, lacquer, games (including cards, dominoes, and kites), and miscellaneous items such as umbrellas, as well as natural resources, such as plants (including peaches, apricots, and citrus fruits) and minerals (including coal and zinc), first discovered and cultivated by the Chinese.

Chinese Inventions: Can You Name Them? [Asia for Educators]
Exploring the many inventions that China has contributed to our daily existence, this unit provides an excellent starting point for discussing both the achievements of Chinese civilization and China's influence on the West. Silk, tea, porcelain, paper, printing, gunpowder, compass, alchemy, the civil service, and grain storage are some of the ideas/inventions covered. Discussion questions included.

China's Contributions to the West [PDF] [Asia for Educators]
A comparative timeline tracking various inventions and ideas as they appeared in Chinese and Western histories. Covers many of the items mentioned in the unit Chinese Inventions: Can You Name Them? (above) and spans the period from 300 BCE to 1900 CE.

Chinese Ideas in the West [PDF] [Asia for Educators]
In addition to material inventions that came to the West from China (discussed in the article China's Gifts to the West), Chinese "ideas" also influenced political and social development in the West. This article discusses the Chinese origins of and influence on: the civil service (see note below), alchemy and chemistry, agricultural methods, thought in the Age of the Enlightenment, Western literature, and Western political and economic theories.

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MILITARY AND DEFENSE

Military Technology

Military Technology [A Visual Sourcebook of Chinese Civilization, University of Washington]
A Visual Sourcebook of Chinese Civilization, prepared by University of Washington history professor Patricia Buckley Ebrey, is an excellent resource, with images, questions for discussion, timelines, maps, and suggested readings throughout. This particular unit discusses siegecraft, crossbows and armor, spears, clubs, and swords, catapults, warships, and gunpowder and firearms.

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The Northern Song Defeated by the Jurchen Jin

Yue Fei, 1103-1142
Primary Source w/DBQsPoem to be Sung to the Tune of "Full River Red" [PDF] [Asia for Educators]

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ECONOMY, WORK, TRADE, FOREIGN RELATIONS

Agriculture: Growth of Cities and Urban Life during the Song and Yuan Dynasties

Chen Pu (Chen Fu), 1076-1154
Primary Source w/DBQs
On Farming (Nongshu) [PDF] [Asia for Educators]

Unknown Author, ca. 1235
Primary Source w/DBQs
The Attractions of the Capital (Hangzhou) [PDF] [Asia for Educators]

Also see the sections on Rice Cultivation and Cities of The Song Dynasty in China: Life in the Song Seen through a 12th-century Scroll for more on these topics.

Marco Polo, 1254-1324
AFE Special Topic GuideMarco Polo in China [Asia for Educators]
A compilation of primary source readings, discussion questions, and lesson ideas intended to expose students to the impressive developments in Chinese civilization during the Yuan period. See the section "On Suzhou and Hangzhou" for primary sources relevant to urban life during the Yuan dynasty.

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Trade and International Relations: The Ming Voyages (1405-1433)

Chinese Trade in the Indian Ocean [Asia Society]
"A background essay on the Ming Dynasty, its powerful trade networks and diplomatic missions as far as Africa and the Red Sea, and the domestic tensions that ultimately changed the course of world history."

Indian Ocean in World History [Indian Ocean in World History]
The Indian Ocean has been a zone of human interactions throughout world history… This web-based resource helps teachers incorporate the Indian Ocean into world history studies by illustrating a variety of interactions that took place in the Indian Ocean during each era. The material has been assembled into an integrated and user-friendly teaching tool for students in upper elementary, middle and high school. It offers students the chance to investigate primary sources that illustrate historical interactions, helping them to become more adept at the analytical historical thinking skills that are required by virtually all state history standards today.

The Ming Voyages [Asia for Educators]
Unit discussing Admiral Zheng He's voyages during the Ming dynasty, the preparation of his fleet, and the political and social problems in Ming China that brought these expeditions to a close. With discussion questions and activities for students.

Video UnitThe Ming Voyages in China's History: The Truth about the Maritime Expeditions Led by Zheng He of the Ming Dynasty [Asia for Educators]
This 2017 video presentation by Prof. Sarah Schneewind of UC San Diego provides the latest insights on the Ming voyages of Zheng He, complete with maps and other visuals in a power point presentation for teachers and students. (Sign-in required; registration is quick and free.)

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SOCIETY

Homes and Gardens, Ming Period

Homes [A Visual Sourcebook of Chinese Civilization, University of Washington]
A Visual Sourcebook of Chinese Civilization, prepared by University of Washington history professor Patricia Buckley Ebrey, is an excellent resource, with images, questions for discussion, timelines, maps, and suggested readings throughout. This particular unit examines how people constructed, decorated, and furnished their homes during the Ming, in order to gain a better understanding about the resources, aesthetic preferences, and social habits prevalent during that time.

Gardens [A Visual Sourcebook of Chinese Civilization, University of Washington]
A Visual Sourcebook of Chinese Civilization, prepared by University of Washington history professor Patricia Buckley Ebrey, is an excellent resource, with images, questions for discussion, timelines, maps, and suggested readings throughout. This particular unit discusses the origins, design, social uses, and aesthetics of Chinese garden design, which reached its fullest development during the late Ming.

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Women

Women and the Arts in the 13th Century [China Mirror, U of Michigan]
"Imagine yourself as an educated woman in thirteenth-century China. You are proud of your accomplishments as an artist, but most people only expect you to be pretty and raise children. How do you suggest or convey to others that there is more to life than makeup? It would be more than 600 years before the women's movement begins, so what can you do?"

Yuan Cai, ca. 1140-ca. 1195
Primary Source w/DBQs
"It Is Difficult for Widows to Entrust Their Financial Affairs to Others" [PDF] [Asia for Educators]

Empress Xu, d. 1407
Primary Source w/DBQs
Instructions for the Inner Quarters [PDF] [Asia for Educators]

Also see the Literature section, below, for the work of Li Qingzhao, a noted Song dynasty writer and painter.

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LITERATURE

Literature of Scholar-Officials and Military Officers

Yue Fei, 1103-1142
Primary Source w/DBQsPoem to be Sung to the Tune of "Full River Red" [PDF] [Asia for Educators]

Sima Guang, 1019-1086
Primary Source w/DBQs
Comprehensive Mirror in Aid of Governance [PDF] [Asia for Educators]

Su Shi (Su Dongpo), 1036-1101
Primary Source w/DBQs
Rhyming with Tzu-yu's "Treading the Green" [PDF] [Asia for Educators]
Primary Source w/DBQsThe Red Cliff, Part I [PDF] [Asia for Educators]

Also see the Confucianism section of The Song Dynasty in China: Life in the Song Seen through a 12th-century Scroll for more about Su Shi.

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Women Writers

Li Qingzhao, 1084-ca. 1151
Biographies of Notable Women: Li-Ch'ing-Chao (Li Qingzhao) [Women in World History]
A short introduction to the life and work of this Song dynasty writer, painter, and art collector.

Primary Source w/DBQsPoem to be Sung to the Tune of "Southern Song" (Nan-ge-zi) [PDF] [Asia for Educators]

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ART AND MUSIC

Painting and Calligraphy

Painting (during the Song and Yuan dynasties) [A Visual Sourcebook of Chinese Civilization, University of Washington]
A Visual Sourcebook of Chinese Civilization, prepared by University of Washington history professor Patricia Buckley Ebrey, is an excellent resource, with images, questions for discussion, timelines, maps, and suggested readings throughout. This particular unit "covers not only developments in painting as a fine art, such as the development of landscape painting, but also looks at paintings for evidence of social life, both the commercial life of cities and private life at home."

Landscape Painting in Chinese Art [Timeline of Art History, The Metropolitan Museum of Art]
An overview of key developments in landscape painting during the Song, Yuan, and Ming periods. With 14 related artworks.

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Ceramics and Decorative Objects

• The New Era of Ornamentation: 1350-1521 [National Palace Museum] "With the establishment of the Ming dynasty (1368-1644) in the latter half of the 14th century, the production of objets d'art entered a new realm. In the world of porcelain alone, as painted and colored glazes of decorative designs became more elaborate, this period may well be dubbed a 'new era of ornamentation.'" With a brief introduction plus one-page guide to new ornamentation and glazing techniques developed during this period. Six topics: 1) The Beginning of Underglaze Wares; 2) Paragons of Underglaze Wares; 3) Clear and Delicate Underglaze Blue; 4) Trade and Exchange: Porcelains with Persian Shapes and Designs; 5) Trade and Exchange: Porcelain with Tibetan Script and Decoration; 6) Color Glazes and Overglaze Colors. With 9 related objects.

• Chinese Cloisonné [Timeline of Art History, The Metropolitan Museum of Art] A brief introduction to the development of cloisonné in China during the early 14th to 15th century, as well as to the cloisonné technique. With 2 related artworks. Find more art-related resources for China, 1000-1450 CE at OMuRAA (Online Museum Resources on Asian Art)

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