Sunday, 6 February 2011
The Song Dynasty North and South, Episodes 27 and 28 - The China History Podcast
Song dynasty China was a huge state, and a very advanced one. Many of the inventions that have gone on to create the modern world were first developed there. The sheer scale of the Chinese economy astonished observers, and can still amaze us today looking back on it. The Song themselves don't seem to have had a huge amount to do with the success of their empire. They were to be totally annihilated by the Mongols under Kublai Khan with the last Song general and the 8 year old emperor in his charge throwing themselves from a cliff rather than suffer the humiliation of capture. But Chinese culture seems to have continued perfectly smoothly without them.
As this is't a chronological history I thought it would be okay to jump straight in half way through, but I probably missed out by not being a bit more patient and trying out some of the earlier episodes. There are references to earlier material. This is a very solid and well researched podcast presented clearly. You need to have a strong interest in China though because it goes into lots of detail, but you might very well acquire a strong interest in China from listening to it.
Discuss this and other history podcasts on the history podcast forum.