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196
[HISTORY
CHINA

sent an army to his succour, but his general was completely defeated. During the disorder which arose in consequence of the invasion of the northern provinces by the Khitán, General An Lu-shan, an officer of Turkish descent, placed himself at the head of a revolt, and having secured Tung-kwan on the Yellow river, advanced on Chang-an. Thereupon the emperor fled, and placed his son, Su-tsung (756–762), on the throne. This sovereign, with the help of the forces of Khotan, Khokand and Bokhara, of the Uighurs and of some 4000 Arabs sent by the caliph Mansur, completely defeated An Lu-shan. During the following reigns the Tibetans made constant incursions into the western provinces of the empire, and T‛ai-tsung (763–780) purchased the assistance of the Turks against those intruders by giving a Chinese princess as wife to the khan.

At this epoch the eunuchs of the palace gained an unwonted degree of power, and several of the subsequent emperors fell victims to their plots. The T‛ang dynasty, which for over a hundred years had governed firmly and for the good of the nation, began to decline. The history of the 8th and 9th centuries is for the most part a monotonous record of feeble governments, oppressions and rebellions. Almost the only event worth chronicling is the iconoclastic policy of the emperor Wu-tsung (841–847). Viewing the increase of monasteries and ecclesiastical establishments as an evil, he abolished all temples, closed the monasteries and nunneries, and sent the inmates back to their families. Foreign priests were subjected to the same repressive legislation, and Christians, Buddhists and Magi were bidden to return whence they came. Buddhism again revived during the reign of the emperor I-tsung (860–874), who, having discovered a bone of Buddha, brought it to the capital in great state. By internal dissensions the empire became so weakened that the prince of Liang found no difficulty in gaining possession of the throne (907). He took the title of T‛ai-tsu, being the first emperor of the Later Liang dynasty. Thus ended the T‛ang dynasty, which is regarded as being the golden age of Chinese literature.

Five dynasties, viz. the Later Liang, the Later T‛ang, the Later Tsin, the Later Han and the Later Chow, followed each other between the years 907 and 960. Though the monarchs of these lines nominally held sway over the empire, their real power was confined to very narrow limits. The disorders which were rife during the time when the T‛ang dynasty was tottering to its fall fostered the development of independent states, and so arose Liang in Ho-nan and Shan-tung, Ki in Shen-si, Hwai-nan in Kiang-nan, Chow in Sze-ch‛uen and parts of Shen-si and Hu-kwang, Wu-yuĕ in Cheh-kiang, Tsu and King-nan in Hu-kwang, Ling-nan in Kwang-tung and the Uighurs in Tangut.

A partial end was made to this recognized disorganization when, in 960, General Chao Kw‛ang-yin was proclaimed by the army emperor in succession to the youthful Kung-ti, who was compelled to abdicate. The circumstances Sung dynasty. of the time justified the change. It required a strong hand to weld the empire together again, and to resist the attacks of the Khitán Tatars, whose rule at this period extended over the whole of Manchuria and Liao-tung. Against these aggressive neighbours T‛ai-tsu ( Chao Kw‛ang-yin) directed his efforts with varying success, and he died in 976, while the war was still being waged. His son T‛ai-tsung (976–997) entered on the campaign with energy, but in the end was compelled to conclude a peace with the Khitán. His successor, Chên-tsung (997–1022), paid them tribute to abstain from further incursions. Probably this tribute was not sent regularly; at all events, under Jên-tsung (1023–1064), the Khitán again threatened to invade the empire, and were only bought off by the promise of an annual tribute of taels 200,000 of silver, besides a great quantity of silken piece goods. Neither was this arrangement long binding, and so formidable were the advances made by the Tatars in the following reigns, that Hwei-tsung (1101–1126) invited the Nüchih Tatars to expel the Khitán from Liao-tung. This they did, but having once possessed themselves of the country they declined to yield it to the Chinese, and the result was that a still more aggressive neighbour was established on the north-eastern frontier of China. The Nüchih or Kin, as they now styled themselves, overran the provinces of Chih-li, Shen-si, Shan-si and Ho-nan, and during the reign of Kao-tsung (1127–1163) they advanced their conquests to the line of the Yangtsze-kiang. From this time the Sung ruled only over southern China; while the Kin or “Golden” dynasty reigned in the north. The Kin made Chung-tu, which occupied in part the site of the modern Peking, their usual residence. The Sung fixed their capital at Nanking and afterwards at Hangchow. Between them and the Kin there was almost constant war.

During this period the Mongols began to acquire power in eastern Asia, and about the beginning of the 12th century the forces of Jenghiz Khan (q.v.) invaded the north-western frontier of China and the principality of Hia, which Mongol invasion: 12th century. at that time consisted of the modern provinces of Shen-si and Kan-suh. To purchase the good-will of the Mongols the king of Hia agreed to pay them a tribute, and gave a princess in marriage to their ruler. In consequence of a dispute with the Kin emperor Wei-shao Wang, Jenghiz Khan determined to invade Liao-tung. He was aided by the followers of the Khitán leader Yeh-lü Ts‛u-ts‛ai, and in alliance with this general he captured Liao-yang, the capital city.

After an unsuccessful invasion of China in 1212, Jenghiz Khan renewed the attack in 1213. He divided his armies into four divisions, and made a general advance southwards. His soldiers swept over Ho-nan, Chih-li and Shan-tung, destroying upwards of ninety cities. It was their boast that a horseman might ride without stumbling over the sites where those cities had stood. Panic-stricken, the emperor moved his court from Chung-tu to K‛ai-fêng Fu, much against the advice of his ministers, who foresaw the disastrous effect this retreat would have on the fortunes of Kin. The state of Sung, which up to this time had paid tribute, now declined to recognize Kin as its feudal chief, and a short time afterwards declared war against its quondam ally. Meanwhile, in 1215, Yeh-lü Ts‛u-ts‛ai advanced into China by the Shan-hai Kwan, and made himself master of Peking, one of the few cities in Chih-li which remained to Kin. After this victory his nobles wished him to proclaim himself emperor, but he refused, being mindful of an oath which he had sworn to Jenghiz Khan. In 1216 Tung-kwan, a mountain pass on the frontiers of Ho-nan and Shen-si, and the scene of numerous dynastic battles (as it is the only gateway between north-eastern and north-western China), was taken by the invaders. As the war dragged on the resistance offered by the Kin grew weaker and weaker. In 1220 Chi-nan Fu, the capital of Shan-tung, was taken, and five years later Jenghiz Khan marched an army westward into Hia and conquered the forces of the king. Two years later (1227) Jenghiz Khan died.

With the view to the complete conquest of China by the Mongols, Jenghiz declined to nominate either of the eldest two sons who had been born to his Chinese wives as his heir, but chose his third son Ogdai, whose mother was a Tatar. On hearing of the death of Jenghiz Khan the Kin sent an embassy to his successor desiring peace, but Ogdai told them there would be no peace for them until their dynasty should be overthrown. Hitherto the Mongols had been without any code of laws. But the consolidation of the nation by the conquests of Jenghiz Khan made it necessary to establish a recognized code of laws, and one of the first acts of Ogdai was to form such a code. With the help also of Yeh-lü Ts‛u-ts‛ai, he established custom-houses in Chih-li, Shan-tung, Shan-si and Liao-tung; and for this purpose divided these provinces into ten departments. Meanwhile the war with the Kin was carried on with energy. In 1230 Si-gan Fu was taken, and sixty important posts were captured. Two years later, Tu-lé, brother of Ogdai, took Fêng-siang Fu and Han-chung Fu, in the flight from which last-named place 100,000 persons are said to have perished. Following the course of the river Han in his victorious career, this general destroyed 140 towns and fortresses, and defeated the army of Kin at Mount San-fêng.

In 1232 the Mongols made an alliance with the state of Sung, by which, on condition of Sung helping to destroy Kin, Ho-nan was to be the property of Sung for ever. The effect of this coalition soon became apparent. Barely had the Kin The Kin dynasty overthrown. emperor retreated from K‛ai-fêng Fu to Ju-ning Fu in Ho-nan when the former place fell into the hands of the allies. Next fell Loyang, and the victorious generals then marched on to besiege Ju-ning Fu. The presence of the emperor gave energy to the defenders, and they held out until every animal in the city had been killed for food, until every old and useless person had suffered death to lessen the number of hungry mouths, until so many able-bodied men had fallen that the women manned the ramparts, and then the allies stormed the walls. The emperor burned himself to death in his palace, that his body might not fall into the hands of his enemies. For a few days the shadow of the imperial crown rested on the head of his heir Chang-lin, but in a tumult which broke out amongst his followers he lost his life, and with him ended the “Golden” dynasty.

Notwithstanding the treaty between Ogdai and Sung, no sooner were the spoils of Kin to be divided than war broke out again between them, in prosecuting which the Mongol armies swept over the provinces of Sze-ch‛uen, Hu-kwang, Kiang-nan and Ho-nan, and were checked only when they reached the walls of Lu-chow Fu in Ngan-hui. Ogdai died in 1241, and was nominally succeeded by his grandson Cheliemên. But one of his widows, Tolickona, took possession of the throne, and after exercising rule for four years,

established her son Kwei-yew as great khan. In 1248 his life was