During the Song dynasty much of Tang magnificence was restored. The Zhao family ruled with more care and humanity than their immediate predecessors at the new capital of Kaifeng, Henan. Renowned for the love of arts and philosophy the brutality of military rule was swept aside for a long while. Economic revival followed and together with better civil administration life was much more comfortable. However aggression in the north by the Khitan peoples gradually sapped money, military strength and territory until the empire was lost in the North. As in the case of the six dynasties the capital was re-established in the South. The patronage of the arts led to a re-invigoration of Daoism and Confucianism. Printing was much more widespread and not limited to the imperial entourage, books became cheap enough for lower officials and local fiefs to buy (500 years ahead of Europe). The civil service examination system was reformed and regimented.
Porcelain vase with dragon decoration. Lungchuan (Longzhuan) ware
Kilns at Lungchuan were noted for jade-like translucence without crackles. Song dynasty. Height 19cms. Unearthed at Lungchaun, Zhejiang.
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