Timeline of the Jin–Song Wars

(Redirected from Timeline_of_the_Jin_campaigns_against_the_Song_Dynasty)

The Jin–Song Wars were a series of armed conflicts conducted by the Jurchen Jin dynasty and the Song dynasty in the 12th and 13th centuries. The Jurchens were a Tungusic–speaking tribal confederation native to Manchuria. They overthrew the Khitan Liao dynasty in 1122 and declared the establishment of a new dynasty, the Jin.[1] Diplomatic relations between the Jin and Song deteriorated, and the Jurchens first declared war on the Song dynasty in November 1125.[2]

Two armies were dispatched against the Song. One army captured the provincial capital of Taiyuan, while the other besieged the Song capital of Kaifeng. The Jurchens withdrew when the Song promised to pay an annual indemnity.[3] As the Song dynasty weakened, the Jin armies conducted a second siege against Kaifeng. The city was captured and looted, and the Song dynasty emperor, Emperor Qinzong, was imprisoned and taken north to Manchuria as a hostage.[4] The remainder of the Song court retreated to southern China, beginning the Southern Song period of Chinese history.[1] Two puppet governments, first the Da Chu dynasty and later the state of Qi, were established by the Jin as buffer states between the Song and Manchuria.[5]

The Jurchens marched southward with the aim of conquering the Southern Song, but counteroffensives by Chinese generals like Yue Fei halted their advance.[6] A peace accord, the Treaty of Shaoxing, was negotiated and ratified in 1142, establishing the Huai River as the boundary between the two empires.[7] Peace between the Song and Jin was interrupted twice.[8] Wanyan Liang invaded the Southern Song in 1161,[9] while Song revanchists tried and failed to retake northern China in 1204.[10]

The Jin–Song Wars were notable for the appearance of new technological innovations. The siege of De'an in 1132 included the first recorded use of the fire lance, an early gunpowder weapon and an ancestor of the firearm.[11] The huopao, an incendiary bomb, was employed in a number of battles[12] and gunpowder bombs made of cast iron were used in a siege in 1221.[13] The Jurchens migrated south and settled in northern China, where they adopted the language and Confucian culture of the local inhabitants.[1] The Jin dynasty government grew into a centralized imperial bureaucracy structured in the same manner as previous dynasties of China.[14] Both the Song and Jin dynasties ended in the 13th century as the Mongol Empire expanded across Asia.[15]


Campaigns against the Northern Song

Year Date[a] Event Ref(s)
1125 November Jin dynasty declares war against the Song dynasty and dispatches two armies. [2]
1126 January Jurchens reach Taiyuan and besiege the city. [2]
January 27 Jurchen army crosses the Yellow River on their way to the Song capital of Kaifeng. [16]
January 28 Emperor Huizong of Song abdicates and Emperor Qinzong is enthroned as the Jurchens approach Kaifeng. [16]
January 31 Jurchens besiege Kaifeng. [17]
February 10 Siege of Kaifeng ends. [4]
March 5 The Jurchen army retreats from Kaifeng after the Song emperor promises to pay an annual indemnity. [17]
June Two armies dispatched by Emperor Qinzong to Taiyuan, Zhongshan, and Hejian are defeated by the Jurchens. [17]
December The Jurchen army that captured Taiyuan arrives in Kaifeng. The second siege of Kaifeng begins. [17]
1127 January 9 During the Jingkang Incident, Kaifeng surrenders and the city is looted by the Jurchens. [4]
May Emperor Qinzong, former Emperor Huizong, and members of the Song court are taken north to Manchuria as prisoners. [4]
1129 Song dynasty capital moved to Nanjing. End of the Northern Song. [1][18]
Former Song official Liu Yu is enthroned as the emperor of the Jurchen puppet state of Qi. [18]

Campaigns against the Southern Song

Year Datea Event Ref(s)
1132 De'an is besieged by the Jurchens. The battle is the earliest known use of the fire lance, an ancestor of the firearm. [11]
1133 Yue Fei is appointed a general tasked with leading the largest army in a region near the central Yangtze River. [19]
1134 Yue Fei commanded a military campaign that recaptured much of the territory seized by the Jin. [20]
1135 Qi captures the town of Xiangyang. [20]
1137 Jurchens dissolves the Qi state and demotes Liu Yu as emperor. [20]
1140 Yue Fei launches a successful military expedition against the Jin and makes considerable territorial gains, but was forced to withdraw by Emperor Gaozong. [21]
1141 Yue Fei is imprisoned as Gaozong moves forward with his plans for a peace treaty. [21]
October Negotiations for a peace treaty begins between the Song and Jin. [21]
1142 Yue Fei is poisoned in his jail cell. [21]
October The peace treaty, the Shaoxing Accord, is ratified and the Song agrees to pay an annual indemnity. The Huai River is settled as the boundary. [7][21]

After the peace treaty

Year Datea Event Reference(s)
1152 The Jurchen emperor Wanyan Liang moves his capital south from Manchuria to Beijing. [22]
1158 Wanyan Liang blames the Song for breaching the peace treaty after it procured horses from the frontier regions. [22]
1159 The Jin begins preparations for a war against the Song. [22]
1161 Summer Conscription of Han Chinese soldiers for the Jurchen war effort ends. [22]
June 14 Jurchen envoys arrive in the Song on the eve of the invasion. Their behavior led to suspicions of a Jin plot against the Song. [9]
October 15 The Jurchen forces depart from Kaifeng. [9]
October 28 The Jin army reaches the Huai River and continue their march to the Yangtze River. [9]
November 26–27 The Jurchens try to capture the city of Caishi during the Battle of Caishi but are repelled by the Song. [23]
The Battle of Tangdao is fought at sea between the Jurchens and the Song. The Song navy uses incendiary bombs and other weapons against a Jin fleet of 600 ships. [24]
December 15 Wanyan Liang is assassinated in his military camp by his officers, ending the Jurchen invasion. [25]
1204 Song armies begin raiding the Jin settlements north of the Huai River. [26]
1206 June 14 The Song declares war against the Jurchens. [26]
Fall Jin armies capture towns and military bases, slowing the Song advance. [10]
December Wu Xi, general and governor of Sichuan, defects to the Jurchens, threatening the war effort. [10]
1207 March 29 Wu Xi is assassinated by Song loyalists. [10]
1208 July Following negotiations for peace, the war ends and the Jurchens withdraw. [27]
November 2 A peace treaty is signed between the Jin and the Song. The Song agreed to continue paying tribute to the Jurchens. [27]
1217 The Jurchens invade the Song to remedy the territory they had lost to the Mongols. [28]
1221 A gunpowder bomb made of cast iron is used as the Jurchens try to capture Qizhou, a Song city. [13]
1224 The Jin and Song agreed to a peace treaty. Song discontinues its annual tributes to the Jurchens. [29]
1234 February 9 The Jin dynasty ends after an invasion by the Mongols and the Song. [15][30]

See also


  1. ^ Omitted if the date of the event is unknown.



  1. ^ a b c d Holcombe 2011, p. 129.
  2. ^ a b c Lorge 2005, p. 52.
  3. ^ Lorge 2005, pp. 52–53.
  4. ^ a b c d Franke 1994, p. 229.
  5. ^ Franke 1994, pp. 229–230.
  6. ^ Mote 2003, p. 299.
  7. ^ a b Beckwith 2009, p. 175.
  8. ^ Franke 1994, p. 239.
  9. ^ a b c d Franke 1994, p. 241.
  10. ^ a b c d Franke 1994, p. 248.
  11. ^ a b Chase 2003, p. 31.
  12. ^ Partington 1960, pp. 263–264.
  13. ^ a b Lorge 2008, p. 41.
  14. ^ Franke 1994, p. 235.
  15. ^ a b Lorge 2005, p. 73.
  16. ^ a b Mote 2003, p. 196.
  17. ^ a b c d Lorge 2005, p. 53.
  18. ^ a b Franke 1994, p. 230.
  19. ^ Mote 2003, p. 301.
  20. ^ a b c Franke 1994, p. 232.
  21. ^ a b c d e Mote 2003, p. 303.
  22. ^ a b c d Franke 1994, p. 240.
  23. ^ Franke 1994, p. 242.
  24. ^ Partington 1960, p. 264.
  25. ^ Franke 1994, p. 243.
  26. ^ a b Franke 1994, p. 247.
  27. ^ a b Franke 1994, p. 249.
  28. ^ Franke 1994, p. 259.
  29. ^ Franke 1994, p. 261.
  30. ^ Franke 1994, p. 264.


  • Beckwith, Christopher I. (2009). Empires of the Silk Road: A History of Central Eurasia from the Bronze Age to the Present. Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-13589-2.
  • Chase, Kenneth Warren (2003). Firearms: A Global History to 1700. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-82274-9.
  • Franke, Herbert (1994). Denis C. Twitchett; Herbert Franke; John King Fairbank (eds.). The Cambridge History of China: Volume 6, Alien Regimes and Border States, 710–1368 . Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-24331-5.
  • Holcombe, Charles (2011). A History of East Asia: From the Origins of Civilization to the Twenty-First Century. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-51595-5.
  • Lorge, Peter (2005). War, Politics and Society in Early Modern China, 900–1795b. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-203-96929-8.
  • Lorge, Peter (2008). The Asian Military Revolution: From Gunpowder to the Bomb. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-84682-0.
  • Mote, Frederick W. (2003). Imperial China: 900–1800. Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-01212-7.
  • Partington, J. R. (1960). A History of Greek Fire and Gunpowder . Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 978-0-8018-5954-0.

Categories: Timelines of military conflicts | Jin–Song Wars

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