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Famous Historical Figure in the Song Dynasty

Starting in 960 and ending in 1279, the Song Dynasty consisted of the Northern Song and the Southern Song. With a prosperous economy and radiant culture, the Song Dynasty was considered as another period of 'golden age' after the glorious Tang Dynasty. Th efollowing are several people over the Song Dynasty may have played an important role in making China the nation it is today.

1. Zhu Xi (朱熹)Zhu Xi
The greatest person of Song period Neo-Confucianism is Zhu Xi 朱熹 (1130-1200). Zhu Xi is the most important person of Confucianism after Confucius and Mengzi. He has not only been an important commentator of the classical and canonical texts, but his interpretations are undertaken as an explanation of the whole corpus of classical texts. His interpretations have been the orthodox exegesis of Confucian texts until the end of the Chinese empire. Secondly, Zhu Xi has accumulated the whole new cosmological and metaphysical interpretations of the Song Dynasty and has incorporated them into a new school, later known to us as Neo-Confucianism.

2. Li Shishi (李师师)
Li Shishi was a famous courtesan in the Northern Song dynasty (960-1127). The Emperor Huizong (1082-1135) was a regular client of hers. Li was good at singing, dancing and poetry. Many writers, poets and people in high society were her clients. The Northern Song was destroyed by the Jin kingdom and Li Shishi's whereabouts were unknown.

3. Yue Fei (岳飞)
Throughout the 1130s, the Sung, led by the able general Yue Fei, waged war on the Jin, winning many crushing victories, just as Yue Fei was on the verge Yue Feiof retaking Kaifeng, he was called back to Nanjing, arrested, and together with his son Yue Yun, executed in 1141. This was all the doing of the traitor Qin Hui, who persuaded Gao Zong of the advantages of signing a peace treaty instead of making war. Qin Hui is still much hated in China today for what he did to a noble and valiant patriot.

4. Shen Kuo (沈括
Shen Kuo (1031–1095) wrote scientific treatises about his research and about various fields that show advanced knowledge. He was a court official as well as a general. Shen KuoShen Kuo's Dream Pool Essays of 1088 was a voluminous scientific composition that can be said to contain the forefront of knowledge in astronomy, magnetism and other fields. He is said to have discovered the concepts of true north and magnetic declination towards the North Pole. However, he didn't discover the compass. It is known that lodestone compasses were used in the Han era. But he was the first to describe the magnetic needle compass's declination. This knowledge predates European discovery.

5. Emperor Gaozong of Song (宋高宗)
Emperor Gaozong , born Zhao Gou, was the tenth emperor of the of China, and the first emperor of the Southern Song. He reigned from 1127 to 1162. Emperor Gaozong of SongHe fled south after the Jurchens overran Kaifeng in the Jingkang Incident, hence the beginning of the Southern Song dynasty 1127-1279. Gaozong re-established his seat of government in Lin'an . Gaozong was the 5th son of Emperor and the younger half-brother of Emperor . His mother was a concubine from the Wei family who later became empress dowager, and is known posthumously as Empress Xianren .