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In the works of the 12th-century philosophers Zhu Xi and Lu Jiuyuan, Neo-Confucianism was systematized into a coherent doctrine.
The Song dynasty is particularly noted for the great artistic achievements that it encouraged and, in part, subsidized.
The Bei Song dynasty at Bianjing had begun a renewal of Buddhism and of literature and the arts.
The greatest poets and painters in the empire were in attendance at court.
During the Song period, commerce developed to an unprecedented extent; trade guilds were organized, paper currency came into increasing use, and several cities with populations of more than 1,000,000 flourished along the principal waterways and the southeast coast.
Widespread printing of the Confucian Classics and the use of movable type, beginning in the 11th century, brought literature and learning to the people.
He chose a capital he called Lin’an (present-day Hangzhou) and set about maintaining defenses against the hostile North and restoring imperial authority in the hinterland.
The tendency of Song jade carvers to adopt old lines and techniques makes difficult the accurate dating of jades that may be from the Song, and it has been similarly difficult to place Song lacquerware.But they were unable to take those regions of Song territory south of the Yangtze River (Chang Jiang).In the South, the climate and the beautiful surroundings were the setting for the Nan Song dynasty established (1127) by the emperor Gaozong.In due course, however, the dynasty began to decline.But the eventual fall of the Song dynasty was neither sudden nor a collapse upon itself such as had ended several of its predecessors.