Decentering Song-dynasty China: The Chanyuan International Order, 1004-1266

Prof. Shinobu Iguro
- | Van Pelt Library, East Asia Seminar room, 526

The Treaty of Chanyuan, signed at the beginning of the eleventh century, established the international order of multiple coexisting states based on alliance pledges that had intermittently emerged since the ninth century onward, creating a “system” with long-term sustainability. This system was based on the formal equality of the relationship between the Kitan Liao and the Northern Song, which regulated not only relations between these two states, but also with other regimes for one hundred and twenty years. However, the establishment of the Jin led to the emergence of suzerain-vassal relations between the Jin and its neighboring states. While maintaining the Chanyuan system’s framework, which acknowledged coexisting states through the exchanges of oath documents and state letters, the Jin distinguished between the suzerain state of Jin and its vassal states in terms of diplomatic protocols. This international order represents not only a transformative phase of the Chanyuan system but also the final stage in the transition from the coexistence of multiple states to unification by a single state in East Eurasia, namely the Mongols.


This lecture is free and open to all.  Non-Penn affiliates MUST email vivier@upenn.edu by October 3 to arrange for entry to the Library.