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In this major new history of Muslim merchants and their trade links with China, John W. Chaffee uncovers 700 years of history, from the eighth century, when Muslim communities first established themselves in southeastern China, through the fourteenth century, when trade all but ceased. These were extraordinary and tumultuous times. Under the Song and the Mongols, the Muslim diaspora in China flourished as legal and economic ties were formalized. At other times the Muslim community suffered hostility and persecution. Chaffee shows how the policies of successive dynastic regimes in China combined with geopolitical developments across maritime Asia to affect the fortunes of Muslim communities. He explores social and cultural exchanges, and how connections were maintained through faith and a common acceptance of Muslim law. This ground breaking contribution to the history of Asia, the early Islamic world, and to maritime history explores the networks that helped to shape the pre-modern world.
Sung dynasty managed weapons production through the Armaments Section of the Salt and Iron Monopoly Bureau of the State Finance Commission, which was in charge of financial administration. The use of gunpowder weapons increased during the middle and late periods of the Southern Sung. The Sung did not usually establish specialized organs for military logistics; for the most part the various administrative levels of the government were responsible for logistics and supply during times of both peace and war. At the start of the Southern Sung the most pressing task for the court was the reorganization of military forces for resisting the Chin armies. In examining the course of the Sung-Chin war it becomes clear that between 1127 and 1128 the Chin armies had only occupied between ten and twenty prefectures and military prefectures; not even the transportation and communication lines leading to the Yellow River were controlled by the Chin.
This is the second of two volumes on the Sung Dynasty, which together provide a comprehensive history of China from the fall of the T'ang Dynasty in 907 to the Mongol conquest of the Southern Sung in 1279. With contributions from leading historians in the field, Volume 5, Part Two paints a complex portrait of a dynasty beset by problems and contradictions, but one which, despite its military and geopolitical weakness, was nevertheless economically powerful, culturally brilliant, socially fluid and the most populous of any empire in global history to that point. In this much anticipated addition to the series, the authors survey key themes across ten chapters, including government, economy, society, religion, and thought to provide an authoritative and topical treatment of a profound and significant period in Chinese history.