The Kitan-Liao and Jurchen-Jin

Authored by: Valerie Hansen

Routledge Handbook of Imperial Chinese History

Print publication date:  October  2018
Online publication date:  September  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138847286
eBook ISBN: 9781315726878
Adobe ISBN:


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After the Tang dynasty collapsed in 907, some fifty years of disunity followed until the Song dynasty reunified China in 960. Many historians of China skip from the Tang dynasty to the Song dynasty, and so pay no attention to either the Liao dynasty of the Kitan peoples (ca. 907–1125) or the Jin dynasty of the Jurchens (1115–234). These two non-Chinese dynasties, however, developed a successful blueprint that allowed them, both tiny minorities greatly outnumbered by their Chinese subjects, to govern successfully. Their innovations paved the way both for Mongol rule of China—first in the north, from 1234 to 1276, and then over the entire empire from 1276 to 1368—and for Manchu rule over the entire empire, from 1644 to 1911.

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