Article ID: CBB318397692

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


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.

Citation URI

Similar Citations

Book Jiren Feng; (2012)
Chinese Architecture and Metaphor: Song Culture in the Yingzao Fashi Building Manual (/isis/citation/CBB148044905/) unapi

Article Han, Jishao; (2006)
Alchemy and Copper-Smelting in Song Dynasty (/isis/citation/CBB000630905/) unapi

Article Qiao, Xunxiang; (2007)
On the Form of Gongxian and Liaoli in Yingzao Fashi (/isis/citation/CBB000933497/) unapi

Article Ma, Liping; (2008)
Position of the Sun in Ancient Chinese Records of Solar Eclipses (/isis/citation/CBB000933512/) unapi

Article Zuo, Ya; (2010)
The Production of Written Knowledge Under the Rubric of Jiyi (/isis/citation/CBB001034998/) unapi

Chapter Joseph Dennis; (2011)
Early Printing in China Viewed from the Perspective of Local Gazetteers (/isis/citation/CBB969016406/) unapi

Article Lamouroux, Christian; (2010)
Le Travail Artisanal En Chine (Xe--XIIe Siècles) (/isis/citation/CBB001252105/) unapi

Article Qiao, Xunxiang; (2006)
The Technology of Orientation and Levelling in Yingzao Fashi (/isis/citation/CBB001020743/) unapi

Article Han, Jishao; (2008)
External Alchemy and the Science of the TCM Formula in the Song Dynasty (/isis/citation/CBB000933534/) unapi

Article Sun, Xiaochun; (2006)
Calendar-Testing in the Song Calendar Reform and Ancient Chinese Planetary Astrology (/isis/citation/CBB001020786/) unapi

Thesis Sun, Xiaochun; (2007)
State and Science: Scientific Innovations in Northern Song China, 960--1127 (/isis/citation/CBB001560524/) unapi

Article Han, Yi; (2007)
Livestock Epidemic Diseases and Countermeasures by the Song Government (/isis/citation/CBB001090007/) unapi

Article Buell, Paul D.; May, Timothy; Ramey, David; (2010)
Greek and Chinese Horse Medicine: Déjà vu All Over Again (/isis/citation/CBB001021507/) unapi

Thesis Simonis, Fabien; (2010)
Mad Acts, Mad Speech, and Mad People in Late Imperial Chinese Law and Medicine (/isis/citation/CBB001561116/) unapi

Authors & Contributors
Han, Jishao
Qiao, Xunxiang
Sun, Xiaochun
Liu, Shu-fen
Chu, Pingyi
Ma, Liping
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
University of Pennsylvania
Princeton University
University of Hawai'i Press
East Asia, civilization and culture
Sima, Guang (1019-1086)
Guo, Yong (1091-1187)
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)

Be the first to comment!

{{ comment.created_by.username }} on {{ comment.created_on | date:'medium' }}

Log in or register to comment