More than 70 historians from mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan attended a two-day conference on the history of the Song Dynasty (960-1127) organised by Lingnan’s Department of History on 8-9 December.
Prof Tao Jing-shen of Soochow University, Taiwan, delivered a keynote speech on the female attendants of the Song court, a substantial group of imperial servants from the early Song until the reign of Emperor Xiaozong (1162-1189). Prof Tao gave a detailed overview of the court attendants’ life and responsibilities; how many had been discharged and why, their life afterwards; as well as their role and impact on the Song court. He concluded that since the court attendants were in charge of the personal matters of the emperor, the empress and the imperial concubines, in addition to taking care of the princes and princesses, they were quite indispensable to the royal household. Although the court attendants only had limited contact with the outside world, their high mobility enabled some interaction between the royalty and the civilian society, whereby the imperial trends and fashion were brought to the people.
Prof Li Yumin of Shaanxi Normal University and Prof Bao Weimin of Renmin University of China also spoke on “The Missing Prince of Emperor Shizong of Later Zhou – Revealing the Political Tactics of Zhao Kuangyin” and “An Overview of the Official Certificates of Xu Wei in the Southern Song Unearthed in Wuyi County and Its Academic Value” respectively.