The Native, the Local, and the Empire
This concluding chapter reflects on the insights gained from the previous chapters and examines the cultural and historical impact of Song elite travel for the empire as well as for future generations. While the extensive travels of these scholar-officials strengthened the position of Song elites as political, social, and cultural leaders, their experiences on the road also forged a bond between them and the many places they visited. One consequence of this was the growing importance of places other than the capital and the hometown in the lives of Song elites. Moreover, new elite interests and activities increasingly transformed places that varied greatly in their local conditions and histories.
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