Article ID: CBB318397692

Walls and Gates, Windows and Mirrors: Urban Defences, Cultural Memory, and Security Theatre in Song Kaifeng (2014)

unapi

Kaifeng, the capital of the Northern Song (960-1127) dynasty, boasted sophisticated siege defence installations, which were ultimately breached by the Jurchen invasion of 1126-1127. According to both the archaeological and textual evidence, its concentric city walls and militarized gates with barbicans and bastions represented a crucial stage in the militarization of urban form in early-modern China, as well as a more open approach to planning. While Kaifeng’s urban defences evoked imperial majesty and personal security for Northern Song residents who described them, diasporic literati of the Southern Song (1127-1279) invoked the violation of this defensive perimeter as a metonym for the invasion of their lost homeland. The concept of security theatre explains how Northern Song Kaifeng’s city walls and gates could simultaneously function as efficacious siege defence installations and be perceived as symbolic defences.

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Authors & Contributors
Han, Jishao
Qiao, Xunxiang
Sun, Xiaochun
Liu, Shu-fen
Chu, Pingyi
Ma, Liping
Journals
Ziran Kexueshi Yanjiu (Studies in the History of Natural Sciences)
Lishi yuyan yanjiuso jikan (Bulletin of the Institute of History and Philology, Academia Sinica)
Chinese Journal for the History of Science and Technology
Sudhoffs Archiv: Zeitschrift fuer Wissenschaftsgeschichte
East Asian Science, Technology and Society: An International Journal
Revue de Synthèse
Publishers
University of Pennsylvania
Princeton University
University of Hawai'i Press
Concepts
East Asia, civilization and culture
Medicine
Technology
Architecture
Alchemy
Astronomy
People
Sima, Guang (1019-1086)
Guo, Yong (1091-1187)
Places
China
Greece
Times
Song Dynasty (China, 960-1279)
Tang dynasty (China, 618-907)
Ming dynasty (China, 1368-1644)
Han dynasty (China, 202 B.C.-220 A.D.)
Qing dynasty (China, 1644-1912)
Ancient
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