The reign of the famed Song dynasty in China began on this day in 960. The technological and cultural achievements of that dynasty make it one of the most important in Chinese history, and it has left an indelible trail in the whole world.
Namely, it was precisely at the time of the Song dynasty that paper money was first printed on the state level. Also during the time of that dynasty, the true direction “north” was discerned with the help of a compass. In addition, the oldest record on the technique of producing gunpowder originates from the time of the Song dynasty. Gunpowder was used both for military and pyrotechnical purposes.
The Song dynasty was founded by Emperor Taizu, who had previously been a military officer. After seizing power, he wisely decided to give the members of the previous imperial dynasty and their military commanders a significant monetary compensation and thus “retired” them in a way. He thus secured peace and stability in his country.
The Song dynasty produced a series of able rulers, who managed to evade the deviations typical to imperial power, such as decadent extravagance and cruelty. The dynasty survived until the time the Mongols, descendants of the famous Genghis Khan, took control of China.