China in the Middle Ages
Tang Dynasty: 618–907 Song (Sung) Dynasties: 960–1279
1203–1206 1207–1233 1258 1267 1280 1271 1331 1367 1368 1421
― Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism are the main religions in China. ― The official writings of Confucianism are engraved on stones. ― Buddhism, which had arrived in China from India via the Silk Road, gains more followers in China and inspires new literature and philosophical discussion. ― Trade and exchange of goods and ideas along the Silk Road reach their height. ― Education of the population increases. A period of technological and cultural growth: ― world’s first paper money (1024) ― papermaking and movable type for book publishing ― mathematicians invent fractions; perfect the abacus ― precise lunar calendar based on phases of the Moon ― build first mechanical clock (1088) ― invent magnetic compass (1100) ― iron production for bridge building and armour ― Golden Age of Chinese landscape painting ― invent gunpowder/explosives Genghis Khan defeats and unites the Mongol tribes and calls himself King (Khan) of Kings Genghis Khan conquers areas of eastern Europe, China, and present-day Russia as territories of the Mongol Empire. Beijing is captured in 1215. Mongols attack and sack Baghdad, killing many Muslims and extending the Mongol Empire into the Middle East. Kublai Khan establishes a unified Mongol empire centred in China. Mongols revive the Silk Road trading routes, assuring safety of traders from raiders and Crusaders. Kublai Khan conquers all the rest of China and founds the Yuan Dynasty. He rules until 1294. Marco Polo travels from Venice (Italy) to the court of Kublai Khan, and remains until 1292. His observations of the land, people, culture, and technology of China were recorded in a book called Il milione. Black Death or bubonic plague begins in China and wipes out large populations. It is passed on through trading routes to the cities of Europe. Rivalry among the Mongol imperial heirs,...
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