Southern and Northern Dynasties

The Southern and Northern Dynasties (Chinese: 南北朝; pinyin: Nánběicháo) was a period in the history of China that lasted from 420 to 589. Though an age of civil war and political chaos, it was also a time of flourishing arts and culture, advancement in technology, and the spreading of Mahayana Buddhism and Daoism. The period saw large-scale migration of Han Chinese people to the lands south of the Yangtze River.

During this period the process of sinicization accelerated among the non-Chinese arrivals in the north and among the aboriginal people in the south. This process was also accompanied by the increasing popularity of Buddhism (introduced into China in the 1st century) in both north and south China, along with Daoism gaining influence from the outline of Buddhist scriptures (with two essential Daoist canons written during this period). Although multiple story towers such as guard towers and residential apartments existed in previous periods, during this period the distinct Chinese pagoda tower (for storing Buddhist scriptures) evolved from the stupa, the latter originating from Buddhist traditions of protecting sutras in ancient India.

There were notable technological advances during this period. With the invention of the stirrup during the earlier Western Jin Dynasty, heavy cavalry became standard in combat. Advances in medicine, astronomy, mathematics, and cartography are also noted by historians. The famous Chinese mathematician and astronomer Zu Chongzhi (429–500) belonged to this age, an intellectual and social product of the elite culture shaped and developed in southern China during this period of time.

Read more about Southern And Northern Dynasties:  Background, The Southern Dynasties, The Northern Dynasties, Demographic Changes

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Famous quotes containing the words dynasties, southern and/or northern:

    All forms of government symbolize an immortal government, common to all dynasties and independent of numbers, perfect where two men exist, perfect where there is only one man.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)

    I walked on the banks of the tincan banana dock and sat down under the huge shade of a Southern Pacific locomotive to look at the sunset over the box house hills and cry.
    Allen Ginsberg (b. 1926)

    [During the Renaissance] the Italians said, “We are one in the Father: we will go back.” The Northern races said, “We are one in Christ, we will go on.”
    —D.H. (David Herbert)