Last Coin-------------------Next Coin

Dynasty: China Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1274 AD)
Ruler: Emperor Gao Zong
Reigned: 1127 - 1174 AD
Denomination: Bronze 2 Cash
Obverse: "Shao Xing yuan bao" (clockwise) in seal script.
Reverse: Crescent and star
Reference: S 684, Hartill 17.39
Weight: 6 gms
Diameter: 28.8 mm

Southern Sung Dynasty

The Northern Sung Dynasty was militarily weak and frequently lost in confrontations with Liao to the west. Due to their weakness, the Sung made an alliance with the Chin (Jin) Dynasty (1122-1234) of northern Manchuria, but after all their mutual enemies were defeated, the Chin turned on the Sung. This forced them to retreat and form a new capital in the South to Lin-an (modern Hangchou) in 1135, when henceforth the dynasty are known as the Southern Sung.

Throughout the 1130s, the Sung, led by general Yue Fei, fought the Jin, winning many victories. Just as Yue Fei was on the verge of retaking Kaifeng, he was recalled to Nanjing and arrested, and together with his son Yue Yun, executed in 1141. This was the work of Qin Hui, who persuaded Gao Zong to sign a a peace treaty with their enemies.

The Southern Sung flourished even without its northern territories. There were great technological and cultural advances, and the population increased greatly, although the Sung remained militarily weak.

The Mongols under Genghis Khan, invaded north China and the Jin empire in 1206. The Sung, instead of allying with the Jin against a more dangerous enemy, allied themselves with the Mongols instead, and Sung and Mongol troops put an end to the Jin Dynasty in 1234 AD. Next the Mongols wiped out the Tanguts, then turned on the Sung. The war was long and bloody as the Sung fought bitterly, but Kublai Khan had defeated the last remaining Sung armies and reduced the last pockets of resistance by 1279. Despite valiant resistance by patriots like Wen Tianxiang, the 270-year-old Sung Dynasty had fallen.

Back to main page