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The Yuan dynasty
Yuan dynasty
(/juːˈɑːn/;[4] Chinese: 元朝; pinyin: Yuán Cháo), officially the Great Yuan[5] (Chinese: 大元; pinyin: Dà Yuán; Yehe Yuan Ulus[b]), was the empire or ruling dynasty of China established by Kublai Khan, leader of the Mongolian Borjigin
Borjigin
clan. It followed the Song dynasty
Song dynasty
and was succeeded by the Ming dynasty. Although the Mongols
Mongols
had ruled territories including modern-day North China
China
for decades, it was not until 1271 that Kublai Khan
Kublai Khan
officially proclaimed the dynasty in the traditional Chinese style,[6] and the conquest was not complete until 1279. His realm was, by this point, isolated from the other khanates and controlled most of present-day China
China
and its surrounding areas, including modern Mongolia.[7] It was the first foreign dynasty to rule all of China
China
and lasted until 1368, after which the rebuked Genghisid rulers retreated to their Mongolian homeland and continued to rule the Northern Yuan dynasty.[8] Some of the Mongolian Emperors of the Yuan mastered the Chinese language, while others only used their native language (i.e. Mongolian) and the 'Phags-pa script.[9] The Yuan dynasty
Yuan dynasty
was the khanate ruled by the successors of Möngke Khan after the division of the Mongol
Mongol
Empire. In official Chinese histories, the Yuan dynasty
Yuan dynasty
bore the Mandate of Heaven. The dynasty was established by Kublai Khan, yet he placed his grandfather Genghis Khan on the imperial records as the official founder of the dynasty as Taizu.[c] In the Proclamation of the Dynastic Name,[2] Kublai announced the name of the new dynasty as Great Yuan and claimed the succession of former Chinese dynasties from the Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors to the Tang dynasty.[2] In addition to Emperor of China, Kublai Khan
Kublai Khan
also claimed the title of Great Khan, supreme over the other successor khanates: the Chagatai, the Golden Horde, and the Ilkhanate. As such, the Yuan was also sometimes referred to as the Empire
Empire
of the Great Khan. However, while the claim of supremacy by the Yuan emperors was at times recognized by the western khans, their subservience was nominal and each continued its own separate development.[10][11]

Contents

1 Name 2 History

2.1 Background 2.2 Rule of Kublai Khan

2.2.1 Early years 2.2.2 Founding the dynasty 2.2.3 Military
Military
conquests and campaigns

2.3 Successors after Kublai

2.3.1 Temür Khan 2.3.2 Külüg Khan 2.3.3 Ayurbarwada Buyantu Khan 2.3.4 Gegeen Khan and Yesün Temür 2.3.5 Jayaatu Khan Tugh Temür 2.3.6 Toghon Temür

2.4 Decline of the empire

3 Impact 4 Government 5 Society

5.1 Imperial lifestyle 5.2 Imperial Harem 5.3 Culture

5.3.1 Ceramics

5.4 Religion 5.5 Mathematics 5.6 Medicine 5.7 Printing and publishing 5.8 Social classes

6 Administrative divisions 7 Gallery 8 See also 9 Notes 10 References

10.1 Citations 10.2 Sources

11 Further reading 12 External links

Name[edit] See also: Names of China, Mongol
Mongol
Empire, I Ching, and Mandate of Heaven

v t e

Division of the Mongol
Mongol
Empire

Khanate

Yuan dynasty Ilkhanate Golden Horde Chagatai Khanate

War

Toluid Civil War Berke–Hulagu war Kaidu–Kublai war Esen Buqa–Ayurbarwada war

Yuan dynasty

"Yuan dynasty" in Chinese (top) and Mongolian (bottom) script

Chinese name

Chinese 元朝

Literal meaning "Yuan dynasty"

Transcriptions

Standard Mandarin

Hanyu Pinyin Yuán cháo

Wade–Giles Yüan2 ch'ao2

IPA [ɥɛ̌n ʈʂʰǎu]

Wu

Suzhounese Nyœ́ záu

Yue: Cantonese

Yale Romanization Yùhn chìuh

IPA [jy̏ːn tsʰȉːu]

Jyutping Jyun4 ciu4

Southern Min

Tâi-lô Guân tiâo

Alternative Chinese name

Chinese 大元

Literal meaning Great Yuan

Transcriptions

Standard Mandarin

Hanyu Pinyin Dà Yuán

Yue: Cantonese

Yale Romanization Daai6 Yun4

IPA [tàːi jy̏ːn]

Mongolian name

Mongolian script

Transcriptions

SASM/GNC Yehe Yüan Ulus

This article contains special characters. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols.

In 1271, Kublai Khan
Kublai Khan
imposed the name Great Yuan (Chinese: 大元; pinyin: Dà Yuán; Wade–Giles: Ta-Yüan), establishing the Yuan dynasty.[5] "Dà Yuán" (大元) is from the clause "大哉乾元" (dà zai Qián Yuán / "Great is Qián, the Primal") in the Commentaries on the Classic of Changes (I Ching) section[12] regarding Qián (乾).[2] The counterpart in Mongolian language
Mongolian language
was Dai Ön Ulus, also rendered as Ikh Yuan Üls or Yekhe Yuan Ulus. In Mongolian, Dai Ön (Great Yuan) is often used in conjunction with the "Yeke Mongghul Ulus" (lit. "Great Mongol
Mongol
State"), resulting in Dai Ön Yeke Mongghul Ulus[13] (Mongolian script: ), meaning "Great Mongol State".[14] The Yuan dynasty
Yuan dynasty
is also known by westerners as the " Mongol
Mongol
dynasty"[15] or " Mongol
Mongol
Dynasty
Dynasty
of China",[16] similar to the names "Manchu dynasty"[17] or "Manchu Dynasty
Dynasty
of China"[18] which were used by westerners for the Qing dynasty. Furthermore, the Yuan is sometimes known as the " Empire
Empire
of the Great Khan" or " Khanate of the Great Khan",[19] which particularly appeared on some Yuan maps, since Yuan emperors held the nominal title of Great Khan. Nevertheless, both terms can also refer to the khanate within the Mongol Empire
Mongol Empire
directly ruled by Great Khans before the actual establishment of the Yuan dynasty by Kublai Khan
Kublai Khan
in 1271. History[edit] Main article: History of the Yuan dynasty See also: Timeline of the Yuan dynasty

History of the Mongols

Timeline · History · Rulers · Nobility Culture · Language · Proto-Mongols

States

Mongol
Mongol
khanates IX-X

Khereid
Khereid
Khanate X-1203

Merkit
Merkit
Khanate XI–XII

Tatar Khanate IX – XII

Naiman Khanate -1204

Khamag Mongol
Khamag Mongol
Khanate X-1206

Mongol
Mongol
Empire 1206-1368

Yuan dynasty 1271-1368

Khitan Sultanate 1220s-1306

Chagatai Khanate 1225-1340s

Moghulistan 1346-1462

Golden Horde 1240-1502

Ilkhanate 1256-1335

Chobanids 1335-1357

Jalairid Sultanate 1335-1432

Injuids 1335-1357

Northern Yuan dynasty 1368-1691

Timurid Empire 1370–1507

Kara Del 1383-1513

Four Oirat 1399-1634

Arghun
Arghun
dynasty 1479-1599

Mughal Empire 1526–1857

Kalmyk Khanate 1630-1731

Khoshut Khanate 1640s-1717

Dzungar Khanate 1634-1758

Bogd Khaganate 1911-1924

Mongolian People's Republic 1924–1992

Mongolia 1992-present

Mongolia
Mongolia
portal

v t e

History of China

ANCIENT

Neolithic c. 8500 – c. 2070 BCE

Xia dynasty
Xia dynasty
c. 2070 – c. 1600 BCE

Shang dynasty
Shang dynasty
c. 1600 – c. 1046 BCE

Zhou dynasty
Zhou dynasty
c. 1046 – 256 BCE

 Western Zhou

 Eastern Zhou

   Spring and Autumn

   Warring States

IMPERIAL

Qin dynasty
Qin dynasty
221–206 BCE

Han dynasty
Han dynasty
206 BCE – 220 CE

  Western Han

  Xin dynasty

  Eastern Han

Three Kingdoms
Three Kingdoms
220–280

  Wei, Shu and Wu

Jin dynasty 265–420

  Western Jin

  Eastern Jin Sixteen Kingdoms

Northern and Southern dynasties 420–589

Sui dynasty
Sui dynasty
581–618

Tang dynasty
Tang dynasty
618–907

  (Second Zhou dynasty
Zhou dynasty
690–705)

Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms 907–960 Liao dynasty 907–1125

Song dynasty 960–1279

  Northern Song

Western Xia

  Southern Song Jin

Yuan dynasty
Yuan dynasty
1271–1368

Ming dynasty
Ming dynasty
1368–1644

Qing dynasty
Qing dynasty
1644–1912

MODERN

Republic of China
China
1912–1949

People's Republic of China
China
1949–present

Related articles

Chinese historiography Timeline of Chinese history Dynasties in Chinese history Linguistic history Art history Economic history Education history Science and technology history Legal history Media history Military
Military
history Naval history

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Background[edit] Main article: Toluid Civil War Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan
united the Mongol
Mongol
tribes of the steppes and became Great Khan in 1206.[20] He and his successors expanded the Mongol
Mongol
empire across Asia. Under the reign of Genghis' third son, Ögedei Khan, the Mongols
Mongols
destroyed the weakened Jin dynasty in 1234, conquering most of northern China.[21] Ögedei offered his nephew Kublai a position in Xingzhou, Hebei. Kublai was unable to read Chinese but had several Han teachers attached to him since his early years by his mother Sorghaghtani. He sought the counsel of Chinese Buddhist and Confucian advisers.[22] Möngke Khan
Möngke Khan
succeeded Ögedei's son, Güyük, as Great Khan in 1251.[23] He granted his brother Kublai control over Mongol held territories in China.[24] Kublai built schools for Confucian scholars, issued paper money, revived Chinese rituals, and endorsed policies that stimulated agricultural and commercial growth.[25] He adopted as his capital city Kaiping
Kaiping
in Inner Mongolia, later renamed Shangdu.[26]

Mongol
Mongol
successor khanates

Many Han Chinese
Han Chinese
and Khitan defected to the Mongols
Mongols
to fight against the Jin. Two Han Chinese
Han Chinese
leaders, Shi Tianze, Liu Heima (劉黑馬, Liu Ni),[27][28][29][30] and the Khitan Xiao Zhala (蕭札剌) defected and commanded the 3 Tumens in the Mongol army.[31][32][33][34] Liu Heima and Shi Tianze served Ogödei Khan.[35] Liu Heima and Shi Tianxiang led armies against Western Xia for the Mongols.[36] There were 4 Han Tumens and 3 Khitan Tumens, with each Tumen consisting of 10,000 troops. The three Khitan Generals Shimobeidier (石抹孛迭兒), Tabuyir (塔不已兒) and Xiaozhacizhizizhongxi (蕭札刺之子重喜) commanded the three Khitan Tumens and the four Han Generals Zhang Rou, Yan Shi, Shi Tianze, and Liu Heima commanded the four Han tumens under Ogödei Khan.[37][38][39] Shi Tianze was a Han Chinese
Han Chinese
who lived in the Jin dynasty. Interethnic marriage between Han and Jurchen became common at this time. His father was Shi Bingzhi (史秉直, Shih Ping-chih). Shi Bingzhi was married to a Jurchen woman (surname Na-ho) and a Han Chinese
Han Chinese
woman (surname Chang); it is unknown which of them was Shi Tianze's mother.[40] Shi Tianze was married to two Jurchen women, a Han Chinese woman, and a Korean woman, and his son Shi Gang was born to one of his Jurchen wives.[41] The surnames of his Jurchen wives were Mo-nien and Na-ho; the surname of his Korean wife was Li; and the surname of his Han Chinese
Han Chinese
wife was Shi.[40] Shi Tianze defected to Mongol
Mongol
forces upon their invasion of the Jin dynasty. His son Shi Gang married a Kerait woman; the Kerait were Mongolified Turkic people and were considered part of the " Mongol
Mongol
nation".[41][42] Shi Tianze (Shih T'ien-tse), Zhang Rou (Chang Jou, 張柔), and Yan Shi (Yen Shih, 嚴實) and other high ranking Chinese who served in the Jin dynasty and defected to the Mongols
Mongols
helped build the structure for the administration of the new state.[43] Chagaan (Tsagaan) and Zhang Rou jointly launched an attack on the Song dynasty
Song dynasty
ordered by Töregene Khatun. Möngke Khan
Möngke Khan
commenced a military campaign against the Chinese Song dynasty in southern China.[44] The Mongol
Mongol
force that invaded southern China
China
was far greater than the force they sent to invade the Middle East in 1256.[45] He died in 1259 without a successor.[46] Kublai returned from fighting the Song in 1260 when he learned that his brother, Ariq Böke, was challenging his claim to the throne.[47] Kublai convened a kurultai in Kaiping
Kaiping
that elected him Great Khan.[48] A rival kurultai in Mongolia
Mongolia
proclaimed Ariq Böke
Ariq Böke
Great Khan, beginning a civil war.[49] Kublai depended on the cooperation of his Chinese subjects to ensure that his army received ample resources. He bolstered his popularity among his subjects by modeling his government on the bureaucracy of traditional Chinese dynasties and adopting the Chinese era name of Zhongtong.[50] Ariq Böke
Ariq Böke
was hampered by inadequate supplies and surrendered in 1264.[51] All of the three western khanates (Golden Horde, Chagatai Khanate and Ilkhanate) became functionally autonomous, although only the Ilkhans truly recognized Kublai as Great Khan.[52][53] Civil strife had permanently divided the Mongol
Mongol
Empire.[54] Rule of Kublai Khan[edit] Early years[edit] Instability troubled the early years of Kublai Khan's reign. Ögedei's grandson Kaidu
Kaidu
refused to submit to Kublai and threatened the western frontier of Kublai's domain.[55][56] The hostile but weakened Song dynasty remained an obstacle in the south.[55] Kublai secured the northeast border in 1259 by installing the hostage prince Wonjong as the ruler of Korea, making it a Mongol
Mongol
tributary state.[57][55] Kublai was also threatened by domestic unrest. Li Tan, the son-in-law of a powerful official, instigated a revolt against Mongol
Mongol
rule in 1262. After successfully suppressing the revolt, Kublai curbed the influence of the Han advisers in his court.[58] He feared that his dependence on Chinese officials left him vulnerable to future revolts and defections to the Song.[59] Kublai's government after 1262 was a compromise between preserving Mongol
Mongol
interests in China
China
and satisfying the demands of his Chinese subjects.[60] He instituted the reforms proposed by his Chinese advisers by centralizing the bureaucracy, expanding the circulation of paper money, and maintaining the traditional monopolies on salt and iron.[61] He restored the Imperial Secretariat and left the local administrative structure of past Chinese dynasties unchanged.[62] However, Kublai rejected plans to revive the Confucian
Confucian
imperial examinations and divided Yuan society into three, later four, classes with the Han occupying the lowest rank. Kublai's Chinese advisers still wielded significant power in the government, but their official rank was nebulous.[61] Founding the dynasty[edit]

Kublai Khan, founder of the Yuan dynasty

Kublai readied the move of the Mongol
Mongol
capital from Karakorum
Karakorum
in Mongolia
Mongolia
to Khanbaliq
Khanbaliq
in 1264,[63] constructing a new city near the former Jurchen capital Zhongdu, now modern Beijing, in 1266.[64] In 1271, Kublai formally claimed the Mandate of Heaven
Mandate of Heaven
and declared that 1272 was the first year of the Great Yuan (Chinese: 大元) in the style of a traditional Chinese dynasty.[65] The name of the dynasty originated from the I Ching
I Ching
and describes the "origin of the universe" or a "primal force".[66] Kublai proclaimed Khanbaliq
Khanbaliq
the "Great Capital" or Daidu (Dadu, Chinese: 大都 in Chinese) of the dynasty.[67] The era name was changed to Zhiyuan to herald a new era of Chinese history.[68] The adoption of a dynastic name legitimized Mongol
Mongol
rule by integrating the government into the narrative of traditional Chinese political succession.[69] Khublai evoked his public image as a sage emperor by following the rituals of Confucian propriety and ancestor veneration,[70] while simultaneously retaining his roots as a leader from the steppes.[69] Kublai Khan
Kublai Khan
promoted commercial, scientific, and cultural growth. He supported the merchants of the Silk Road
Silk Road
trade network by protecting the Mongol
Mongol
postal system, constructing infrastructure, providing loans that financed trade caravans, and encouraging the circulation of paper banknotes (鈔, Chao). Pax Mongolica, Mongol
Mongol
peace, enabled the spread of technologies, commodities, and culture between China
China
and the West.[71] Kublai expanded the Grand Canal from southern China
China
to Daidu in the north.[72] Mongol
Mongol
rule was cosmopolitan under Kublai Khan.[73] He welcomed foreign visitors to his court, such as the Venetian merchant Marco Polo, who wrote the most influential European account of Yuan China.[74] Marco Polo's travels would later inspire many others like Christopher Columbus
Christopher Columbus
to chart a passage to the Far East in search of its legendary wealth.[75] During the Southern Song dynasty
Song dynasty
the descendant of Confucius
Confucius
at Qufu, the Duke Yansheng
Duke Yansheng
Kong Duanyou fled south with the Song Emperor to Quzhou, while the newly established Jin dynasty (1115–1234)
Jin dynasty (1115–1234)
in the north appointed Kong Duanyou's brother Kong Duancao who remained in Qufu
Qufu
as Duke Yansheng. From that time up until the Yuan dynasty, there were two Duke Yanshengs, one in the north in Qufu
Qufu
and the other in the south at Quzhou. An invitation to come back to Qufu
Qufu
was extended to the southern Duke Yansheng
Duke Yansheng
Kong Zhu by the Yuan dynasty
Yuan dynasty
Emperor Kublai Khan. The title was taken away from the southern branch after Kong Zhu rejected the invitation, so the northern branch of the family kept the title of Duke Yansheng.[76][77][78][79][80] The southern branch still remained in Quzhou
Quzhou
where they lived to this day. Confucius's descendants in Quzhou
Quzhou
alone number 30,000.[81][82] During the Yuan dynasty, one of Confucius' descendants, who was one of the Duke Yansheng Kong Huan's (孔浣) sons, named Kong Shao (孔紹), moved from China
China
to Goryeo
Goryeo
dynasty Korea and established a branch of the family there after wedding a Korean woman (Jo Jin-gyeong's 曹晉慶 daughter) during Toghon Temür's rule. This branch of the family received aristocratic rankin Joseon
Joseon
era Korea.[83][84][85][86][87][88] (曲阜孔氏 (朝鲜半岛) 곡부 공씨.) Military
Military
conquests and campaigns[edit] After strengthening his government in northern China, Kublai pursued an expansionist policy in line with the tradition of Mongol
Mongol
and Chinese imperialism. He renewed a massive drive against the Song dynasty to the south.[89] Kublai besieged Xiangyang between 1268 and 1273,[90] the last obstacle in his way to capture the rich Yangzi River basin.[63] An unsuccessful naval expedition was undertaken against Japan in 1274.[91] Kublai captured the Song capital of Hangzhou
Hangzhou
in 1276,[92] the wealthiest city of China.[93] Song loyalists escaped from the capital and enthroned a young child as Emperor Bing of Song. The Mongols
Mongols
defeated the loyalists at the battle of Yamen in 1279. The last Song emperor drowned, bringing an end to the Song dynasty.[94] The conquest of the Song reunited northern and southern China
China
for the first time in three hundred years.[95] The Yuan dynasty
Yuan dynasty
created a "Han Army" (漢軍) out of defected Jin troops and an army of defected Song troops called the "Newly Submitted Army" (新附軍).[96] Kublai's government faced financial difficulties after 1279. Wars and construction projects had drained the Mongol
Mongol
treasury.[97] Efforts to raise and collect tax revenues were plagued by corruption and political scandals.[98] Mishandled military expeditions followed the financial problems.[97] Kublai's second invasion of Japan in 1281 failed because of an inauspicious typhoon.[91] Kublai botched his campaigns against Annam, Champa, and Java,[99] but won a Pyrrhic victory against Burma.[100] The expeditions were hampered by disease, an inhospitable climate, and a tropical terrain unsuitable for the mounted warfare of the Mongols.[99][91] The Trần dynasty
Trần dynasty
which ruled Annam (Đại Việt) defeated the Mongols
Mongols
at the Battle of Bạch Đằng (1288). Annam, Burma, and Champa recognized Mongol
Mongol
hegemony and established tributary relations with the Yuan dynasty.[101] Internal strife threatened Kublai within his empire. Kublai Khan suppressed rebellions challenging his rule in Tibet
Tibet
and the northeast.[102] His favorite wife died in 1281 and so did his chosen heir in 1285. Kublai grew despondent and retreated from his duties as emperor. He fell ill in 1293, and died on 18 February 1294.[103] Successors after Kublai[edit]

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Temür Khan[edit] Following the conquest of Dali in 1253, the former ruling Duan dynasty were appointed as Maharajah. Local chieftains were appointed as Tusi, recognized as imperial officials by the Yuan, Ming, and Qing-era governments, principally in the province of Yunnan. Succession for the Yuan dynasty, however, was an intractable problem, later causing much strife and internal struggle. This emerged as early as the end of Kublai's reign. Kublai originally named his eldest son, Zhenjin, as the Crown Prince, but he died before Kublai in 1285. Thus, Zhenjin's third son, with the support of his mother Kökejin and the minister Bayan, succeeded the throne and ruled as Temür Khan, or Emperor Chengzong, from 1294 to 1307. Temür Khan
Temür Khan
decided to maintain and continue much of the work begun by his grandfather. He also made peace with the western Mongol
Mongol
khanates as well as neighboring countries such as Vietnam, which recognized his nominal suzerainty and paid tributes for a few decades. However, the corruption in the Yuan dynasty
Yuan dynasty
began during the reign of Temür Khan. Külüg Khan[edit]

Painting
Painting
of a 14th-century Yuan dynasty
Yuan dynasty
junk

Külüg Khan
Külüg Khan
(Emperor Wuzong) came to the throne after the death of Temür Khan. Unlike his predecessor, he did not continue Kublai's work, largely rejecting his objectives. Most significantly he introduced a policy called "New Deals", focused on monetary reforms. During his short reign (1307–11), the government fell into financial difficulties, partly due to bad decisions made by Külüg. By the time he died, China
China
was in severe debt and the Yuan court faced popular discontent. Ayurbarwada Buyantu Khan[edit] The fourth Yuan emperor, Buyantu Khan (Ayurbarwada), was a competent emperor. He was the first Yuan emperor to actively support and adopt mainstream Chinese culture
Chinese culture
after the reign of Kublai, to the discontent of some Mongol
Mongol
elite. He had been mentored by Li Meng, a Confucian
Confucian
academic. He made many reforms, including the liquidation of the Department of State Affairs (Chinese: 尚書省), which resulted in the execution of five of the highest-ranking officials. Starting in 1313 the traditional imperial examinations were reintroduced for prospective officials, testing their knowledge on significant historical works. Also, he codified much of the law, as well as publishing or translating a number of Chinese books and works. Gegeen Khan and Yesün Temür[edit] Emperor Gegeen Khan, Ayurbarwada's son and successor, ruled for only two years, from 1321 to 1323. He continued his father's policies to reform the government based on the Confucian
Confucian
principles, with the help of his newly appointed grand chancellor Baiju. During his reign, the Da Yuan Tong Zhi (Chinese: 大元通制, "the comprehensive institutions of the Great Yuan"), a huge collection of codes and regulations of the Yuan dynasty
Yuan dynasty
begun by his father, was formally promulgated. Gegeen was assassinated in a coup involving five princes from a rival faction, perhaps steppe elite opposed to Confucian reforms. They placed Yesün Temür (or Taidingdi) on the throne, and, after an unsuccessful attempt to calm the princes, he also succumbed to regicide. Before Yesün Temür's reign, China
China
had been relatively free from popular rebellions after the reign of Kublai. Yuan control, however, began to break down in those regions inhabited by ethnic minorities. The occurrence of these revolts and the subsequent suppression aggravated the financial difficulties of the Yuan government. The government had to adopt some measure to increase revenue, such as selling offices, as well as curtailing its spending on some items.[104] Jayaatu Khan Tugh Temür[edit]

The Bailin Temple Pagoda of Zhaoxian County, Hebei
Hebei
Province, built in 1330 during the Yuan dynasty.

When Yesün Temür died in Shangdu
Shangdu
in 1328, Tugh Temür was recalled to Khanbaliq
Khanbaliq
by the Qipchaq
Qipchaq
commander El Temür. He was installed as the emperor (Emperor Wenzong) in Khanbaliq, while Yesün Temür's son Ragibagh succeeded to the throne in Shangdu
Shangdu
with the support of Yesün Temür's favorite retainer Dawlat Shah. Gaining support from princes and officers in Northern China
China
and some other parts of the dynasty, Khanbaliq-based Tugh Temür eventually won the civil war against Ragibagh known as the War of the Two Capitals. Afterwards, Tugh Temür abdicated in favour of his brother Kusala, who was backed by Chagatai Khan Eljigidey, and announced Khanbaliq's intent to welcome him. However, Kusala suddenly died only four days after a banquet with Tugh Temür. He was supposedly killed with poison by El Temür, and Tugh Temür then remounted the throne. Tugh Temür also managed to send delegates to the western Mongol
Mongol
khanates such as Golden Horde
Golden Horde
and Ilkhanate
Ilkhanate
to be accepted as the suzerain of Mongol
Mongol
world.[105] However, he was mainly a puppet of the powerful official El Temür during his latter three-year reign. El Temür purged pro-Kusala officials and brought power to warlords, whose despotic rule clearly marked the decline of the dynasty. Due to the fact that the bureaucracy was dominated by El Temür, Tugh Temür is known for his cultural contribution instead. He adopted many measures honoring Confucianism
Confucianism
and promoting Chinese cultural values. His most concrete effort to patronize Chinese learning was founding the Academy of the Pavilion of the Star of Literature (Chinese: 奎章閣學士院), first established in the spring of 1329 and designed to undertake "a number of tasks relating to the transmission of Confucian
Confucian
high culture to the Mongolian imperial establishment". The academy was responsible for compiling and publishing a number of books, but its most important achievement was its compilation of a vast institutional compendium named Jingshi Dadian (Chinese: 經世大典). Tugh Temür supported Zhu Xi's Neo- Confucianism
Confucianism
and also devoted himself in Buddhism. Toghon Temür[edit] After the death of Tugh Temür in 1332 and subsequent death of Rinchinbal (Emperor Ningzong) the same year, the 13-year-old Toghun Temür (Emperor Huizong), the last of the nine successors of Kublai Khan, was summoned back from Guangxi
Guangxi
and succeeded to the throne. After El Temür's death, Bayan became as powerful an official as El Temür had been in the beginning of his long reign. As Toghun Temür grew, he came to disapprove of Bayan's autocratic rule. In 1340 he allied himself with Bayan's nephew Toqto'a, who was in discord with Bayan, and banished Bayan by coup. With the dismissal of Bayan, Toqto'a seized the power of the court. His first administration clearly exhibited fresh new spirit. He also gave a few early signs of a new and positive direction in central government. One of his successful projects was to finish the long-stalled official histories of the Liao, Jin, and Song dynasties, which were eventually completed in 1345. Yet, Toqto'a resigned his office with the approval of Toghun Temür, marking the end of his first administration, and he was not called back until 1349. Decline of the empire[edit]

A Yuan dynasty
Yuan dynasty
jade belt plaque featuring carved designs of a dragon.

A Yuan dynasty
Yuan dynasty
blue-and-white porcelain dish with fish and flowing water design, mid-14th century, Freer Gallery of Art

The final years of the Yuan dynasty
Yuan dynasty
were marked by struggle, famine, and bitterness among the populace. In time, Kublai Khan's successors lost all influence on other Mongol
Mongol
lands across Asia, while the Mongols
Mongols
beyond the Middle Kingdom saw them as too Chinese. Gradually, they lost influence in China
China
as well. The reigns of the later Yuan emperors were short and marked by intrigues and rivalries. Uninterested in administration, they were separated from both the army and the populace, and China
China
was torn by dissension and unrest. Outlaws ravaged the country without interference from the weakening Yuan armies. From the late 1340s onwards, people in the countryside suffered from frequent natural disasters such as droughts, floods and the resulting famines, and the government's lack of effective policy led to a loss of popular support. In 1351, the Red Turban Rebellion
Red Turban Rebellion
started and grew into a nationwide uprising. In 1354, when Toghtogha led a large army to crush the Red Turban rebels, Toghun Temür suddenly dismissed him for fear of betrayal. This resulted in Toghun Temür's restoration of power on the one hand and a rapid weakening of the central government on the other. He had no choice but to rely on local warlords' military power, and gradually lost his interest in politics and ceased to intervene in political struggles. He fled north to Shangdu
Shangdu
from Khanbaliq
Khanbaliq
(present-day Beijing) in 1368 after the approach of the forces of the Míng dynasty
Míng dynasty
(1368–1644), founded by Zhu Yuanzhang
Zhu Yuanzhang
in the south. He had tried to regain Khanbaliq, which eventually failed; he died in Yingchang (located in present-day Inner Mongolia) two years later (1370). Yingchang was seized by the Ming shortly after his death. Some royal family members still lived in Henan
Henan
today.[106] The Prince of Liang, Basalawarmi established a separate pocket of resistance to the Ming in Yunnan
Yunnan
and Guizhou, but his forces were decisively defeated by the Ming in 1381. By 1387 the remaining Yuan forces in Manchuria
Manchuria
under Naghachu had also surrendered to the Ming dynasty. The Yuan remnants retreated to Mongolia
Mongolia
after the fall of Yingchang to the Ming in 1370, where the name Great Yuan (大元) was formally carried on, and is known as the Northern Yuan dynasty.[8] Impact[edit]

Ilkhanate
Ilkhanate
wall-tile containing the Azure dragon.

A rich cultural diversity developed during the Yuan dynasty. The major cultural achievements were the development of drama and the novel and the increased use of the written vernacular. The political unity of China
China
and much of central Asia
Asia
promoted trade between East and West. The Mongols' extensive West Asian and European contacts produced a fair amount of cultural exchange. The other cultures and peoples in the Mongol
Mongol
World Empire
Empire
also very much influenced China. It had significantly eased trade and commerce across Asia
Asia
until its decline; the communications between Yuan dynasty
Yuan dynasty
and its ally and subordinate in Persia, the Ilkhanate, encouraged this development.[107][108] Buddhism
Buddhism
had a great influence in the Yuan government, and the Tibetan-rite Tantric Buddhism
Buddhism
had significantly influenced China during this period. The Muslims of the Yuan dynasty
Yuan dynasty
introduced Middle Eastern cartography, astronomy, medicine, clothing, and diet in East Asia. Eastern crops such as carrots, turnips, new varieties of lemons, eggplants, and melons, high-quality granulated sugar, and cotton were all either introduced or successfully popularized during the Yuan dynasty.[109] Western musical instruments were introduced to enrich Chinese performing arts. From this period dates the conversion to Islam, by Muslims of Central Asia, of growing numbers of Chinese in the northwest and southwest. Nestorianism
Nestorianism
and Roman Catholicism
Roman Catholicism
also enjoyed a period of toleration. Buddhism
Buddhism
(especially Tibetan Buddhism) flourished, although Taoism
Taoism
endured certain persecutions in favor of Buddhism
Buddhism
from the Yuan government. Confucian
Confucian
governmental practices and examinations based on the Classics, which had fallen into disuse in north China
China
during the period of disunity, were reinstated by the Yuan court, probably in the hope of maintaining order over Han society. Advances were realized in the fields of travel literature, cartography, geography, and scientific education.

A plate made of lacquer, wood, and paper from the Yuan dynasty. The Chinese were able to perfect a method of making lacquer. Decorating this plate are parrots and peonies. The parrot was a symbol of fidelity; because of its ability to mimic human speech, it was believed to be a suitable companion to a woman whose husband was away from home. The bird would be able to inform each person of the other's activities. The peony was a symbol of female virtue. When shown in full bloom, it is a token of love, affection, and feminine beauty.[110] Birmingham Museum of Art.

Certain Chinese innovations and products, such as purified saltpetre, printing techniques, porcelain, playing cards, and medical literature, were exported to Europe and Western Asia, while the production of thin glass and cloisonné became popular in China. The Yuan exercised a profound influence on the Chinese Ming dynasty. The Ming Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang (1368–97) admired the Mongols' unification of China
China
and adopted its garrison system.[109] Aside from the ancient Roman embassies, the first recorded travels by Europeans to China
China
and back date from this time. The most famous traveler of the period was the Venetian Marco Polo, whose account of his trip to "Cambaluc," the capital of the Great Khan, and of life there astounded the people of Europe. The account of his travels, Il milione (or, The Million, known in English as the Travels of Marco Polo), appeared about the year 1299. Some doubted the accuracy of Marco Polo's accounts due to the lack of mentioning the Great Wall of China, tea houses, which would have been a prominent sight since Europeans had yet to adopt a tea culture, as well the practice of foot binding by the women in capital of the Great Khan. Recent studies however show that Polo's account are largely accurate and unique.[111][112] The Yuan undertook extensive public works. Among Kublai Khan's top engineers and scientists was the astronomer Guo Shoujing, who was tasked with many public works projects and helped the Yuan reform the lunisolar calendar to provide an accuracy of 365.2425 days of the year,[113] which was only 26 seconds off the modern Gregorian calendar's measurement. Road and water communications were reorganized and improved. To provide against possible famines, granaries were ordered built throughout the empire. The city of Beijing
Beijing
was rebuilt with new palace grounds that included artificial lakes, hills and mountains, and parks. During the Yuan period, Beijing
Beijing
became the terminus of the Grand Canal of China, which was completely renovated. These commercially oriented improvements encouraged overland and maritime commerce throughout Asia
Asia
and facilitated direct Chinese contacts with Europe. Chinese travelers to the West were able to provide assistance in such areas as hydraulic engineering. Contacts with the West also brought the introduction to China
China
of a major food crop, sorghum, along with other foreign food products and methods of preparation. The Yuan dynasty
Yuan dynasty
was the first time that non-native Chinese people ruled all of China. In the historiography of Mongolia, it is generally considered to be the continuation of the Mongol
Mongol
Empire. Mongols
Mongols
are widely known to worship the Eternal Heaven, and according to the traditional Mongolian ideology Yuan is considered to be "the beginning of an infinite number of beings, the foundation of peace and happiness, state power, the dream of many peoples, besides it there is nothing great or precious."[114] In traditional historiography of China, on the other hand, the Yuan dynasty
Yuan dynasty
is usually considered to be the legitimate dynasty between the Song dynasty
Song dynasty
and the Ming dynasty. Note, however, Yuan dynasty
Yuan dynasty
is traditionally often extended to cover the Mongol Empire
Mongol Empire
before Kublai Khan's formal establishment of the Yuan in 1271, partly because Kublai had his grandfather Genghis Khan placed on the official record as the founder of the dynasty or Taizu (Chinese: 太祖). Despite the traditional historiography as well as the official views (including the government of the Ming dynasty
Ming dynasty
which overthrew the Yuan dynasty), there also exist Chinese people[who?] who did not consider the Yuan dynasty
Yuan dynasty
as a legitimate dynasty of China, but rather as a period of foreign domination. The latter believe that Hans were treated as second-class citizens,[citation needed] and that China
China
stagnated economically and scientifically. The dragon clothing of Imperial China
China
was used by the Ilkhanids, the Chinese Huangdi (Emperor) title was used by the Ilkhanids due to heavy clout upon the Mongols
Mongols
of the Chinese system of politics. Seals with Chinese characters were created by the Ilkhanids themselves besides the seals they received from the Yuan dynasty
Yuan dynasty
which contain references to a Chinese government organization.[115] Government[edit] See also: List of emperors of the Yuan dynasty
List of emperors of the Yuan dynasty
and Mongolian nobility §  Mongol Empire
Mongol Empire
(1206–1368) and Yuan dynasty
Yuan dynasty
(1271–1368)

Yuan dynasty
Yuan dynasty
coinage

Map of the Northwest territory.

The structure of the Yuan government took shape during the reign of Kublai Khan
Kublai Khan
(1260–1294). While some changes took place such as the functions of certain institutions, the essential components of the government bureaucracy remained intact from the beginning to the end of the dynasty in 1368. The system of bureaucracy created by Kublai Khan
Kublai Khan
reflected various cultures in the empire, including that of the Hans, Khitans, Jurchens, Mongols, and Tibetan Buddhists. While the official terminology of the institutions may indicate the government structure was almost purely that of native Chinese dynasties, the Yuan bureaucracy actually consisted of a mix of elements from different cultures. The Chinese-style elements of the bureaucracy mainly came from the native Tang, Song, as well as Khitan Liao and Jurchen Jin dynasties. Chinese advisers such as Liu Bingzhong and Yao Shu gave strong influence to Kublai's early court, and the central government administration was established within the first decade of Kublai's reign. This government adopted the traditional Chinese tripartite division of authority among civil, military, and censorial offices, including the Central Secretariat (Zhongshu Sheng) to manage civil affairs, the Privy Council (Chinese: 樞密院) to manage military affairs, and the Censorate to conduct internal surveillance and inspection. The actual functions of both central and local government institutions, however, showed a major overlap between the civil and military jurisdictions, due to the Mongol
Mongol
traditional reliance on military institutions and offices as the core of governance. Nevertheless, such a civilian bureaucracy, with the Central Secretariat as the top institution that was (directly or indirectly) responsible for most other governmental agencies (such as the traditional Chinese-style Six Ministries), was created in China. At various times another central government institution called the Department of State Affairs (Shangshu Sheng) that mainly dealt with finance was established (such as during the reign of Külüg Khan
Külüg Khan
or Emperor Wuzong), but was usually abandoned shortly afterwards. While the existence of these central government departments and the Six Ministries (which had been introduced since the Sui and Tang dynasties) gave a Sinicized image in the Yuan administration, the actual functions of these ministries also reflected how Mongolian priorities and policies reshaped and redirected those institutions. For example, the authority of the Yuan legal system, the Ministry of Justice, did not extend to legal cases involving Mongols
Mongols
and Semuren, who had separate courts of justice. Cases involving members of more than one ethnic group were decided by a mixed board consisting of Chinese and Mongols. Another example was the insignificance of the Ministry of War compared with native Chinese dynasties, as the real military authority in Yuan times resided in the Privy Council. Society[edit] See also: Society of the Mongol
Mongol
Empire Imperial lifestyle[edit]

Painting
Painting
of Kublai Khan
Kublai Khan
on a hunting expedition, by Chinese court artist Liu Guandao, c. 1280

Since its invention in 1269, the 'Phags-pa script, a unified script for spelling Mongolian, Tibetan, and Chinese languages, was preserved in the court until the end of the dynasty. Most of the Emperors could not master written Chinese, but they could generally converse well in the language. The Mongol
Mongol
custom of long standing quda/marriage alliance with Mongol
Mongol
clans, the Onggirat, and the Ikeres, kept the imperial blood purely Mongol
Mongol
until the reign of Tugh Temur, whose mother was a Tangut concubine. The Mongol
Mongol
Emperors had built large palaces and pavilions, but some still continued to live as nomads at times. Nevertheless, a few other Yuan emperors actively sponsored cultural activities; an example is Tugh Temur
Tugh Temur
(Emperor Wenzong), who wrote poetry, painted, read Chinese classical texts, and ordered the compilation of books.[116] The average Mongol
Mongol
garrison family of the Yuan dynasty
Yuan dynasty
seems to have lived a life of decaying rural leisure, with income from the harvests of their Chinese tenants eaten up by costs of equipping and dispatching men for their tours of duty. The Mongols
Mongols
practiced debt slavery, and by 1290 in all parts of the Mongol Empire
Mongol Empire
commoners were selling their children into slavery. Seeing this as damaging to the Mongol
Mongol
nation, Kublai in 1291 forbade the sale abroad of Mongols. Kublai wished to persuade the Chinese that he was becoming increasingly sinicized while maintaining his Mongolian credentials with his own people. He set up a civilian administration to rule, built a capital within China, supported Chinese religions and culture, and devised suitable economic and political institutions for the court. But at the same time he never abandoned his Mongolian heritage.[117] Imperial Harem[edit] See also: Korea under Yuan rule Massive numbers of Korean boy eunuchs, Korean girl concubines, falcons, ginseng, grain, cloth, silver, and gold were sent as tribute to the Mongol
Mongol
Yuan dynasty.[118][119][120] such as the Korean eunuch Bak Bulhwa and Korean Empress Gi. Goryeo
Goryeo
incurred negative consequences as a result of the eunuch Bak Bulhwa's actions.[121] The tribute payment brought much harm to Korea.[119] It was considered prestigious to marry Korean women.[122] The entry of Korean women into the palace had an impact on relations between Korea and the Yuan.[123] If anything negative happened to their families, Korea itself was blackmailed by the Yuan Mongol's Korean concubines.[124] Great power was attained by some of the Korean women who entered the Mongol
Mongol
court.[125] Culture[edit] See also: Yuan poetry
Yuan poetry
and Zaju

Wine jar with fish and aquatic plants, 14th century. Porcelain
Porcelain
with underglaze cobalt blue decoration. Brooklyn Museum

In the China
China
of the Yuan, or Mongol
Mongol
era, various important developments in the arts occurred or continued in their development, including the areas of painting, mathematics, calligraphy, poetry, and theater, with many great artists and writers being famous today. Due to the coming together of painting, poetry, and calligraphy at this time many of the artists practicing these different pursuits were the same individuals, though perhaps more famed for one area of their achievements than others. Often in terms of the further development of landscape painting as well as the classical joining together of the arts of painting, poetry, and calligraphy, the Song dynasty
Song dynasty
and the Yuan dynasty
Yuan dynasty
are linked together. In Chinese painting
Chinese painting
during the Yuan dynasty
Yuan dynasty
there were many famous painters. In the area of calligraphy many of the great calligraphers were from the Yuan dynasty
Yuan dynasty
era. In Yuan poetry, the main development was the qu, which was used among other poetic forms by most of the famous Yuan poets. Many of the poets were also involved in the major developments in the theater during this time, and the other way around, with people important in the theater becoming famous through the development of the sanqu type of qu. One of the key factors in the mix of the zaju variety show was the incorporation of poetry both classical and of the newer qu form. One of the important cultural developments during the Yuan era was the consolidation of poetry, painting, and calligraphy into a unified piece of the type that tends to come to mind when people think of classical Chinese art. Another important aspect of Yuan times is the increasing incorporation of the then current, vernacular Chinese into both the qu form of poetry and the zaju variety show. Another important consideration regarding Yuan dynasty arts and culture is that so much of it has survived in China, relatively to works from the Tang dynasty
Tang dynasty
and Song dynasty, which have often been better preserved in places such as the Shōsōin, in Japan. Ceramics[edit]

Blue-and-white Covered Jar with Fretwork Floral Design in Red and Blue Glaze, excavated in Baoding.

In Chinese ceramics
Chinese ceramics
the period was one of expansion, with the great innovation the development in Jingdezhen ware
Jingdezhen ware
of underglaze painted blue and white pottery. This seems to have begun in the early decades of the 14th century, and by the end of the dynasty was mature and well-established. Other major types of wares continued without a sharp break in their development, but there was a general trend to some larger size pieces, and more decoration. This is often seen as a decline from Song refinement. Exports expanded considerably, especially to the Islamic world. Religion[edit] See also: Islam
Islam
during the Yuan dynasty
Yuan dynasty
and Religion in the Mongol Empire There were many religions practiced during the Yuan dynasty, such as Buddhism, Islam, and Christianity. The establishment of the Yuan dynasty had dramatically increased the number of Muslims in China. However, unlike the western khanates, the Yuan dynasty
Yuan dynasty
never converted to Islam. Instead, Kublai Khan, the founder of the Yuan dynasty, favored Buddhism, especially the Tibetan variants. As a result, Tibetan Buddhism
Buddhism
was established as the de facto state religion. The top-level department and government agency known as the Bureau of Buddhist and Tibetan Affairs (Xuanzheng Yuan) was set up in Khanbaliq (modern Beijing) to supervise Buddhist monks throughout the empire. Since Kublai Khan
Kublai Khan
only esteemed the Sakya
Sakya
sect of Tibetan Buddhism, other religions became less important. He and his successors kept a Sakya
Sakya
Imperial Preceptor (Dishi) at court. Before the end of the Yuan dynasty, 14 leaders of the Sakya
Sakya
sect had held the post of Imperial Preceptor, thereby enjoying special power.[126] Furthermore, Mongol patronage of Buddhism
Buddhism
resulted in a number of monuments of Buddhist art. Mongolian Buddhist translations, almost all from Tibetan originals, began on a large scale after 1300. Many Mongols
Mongols
of the upper class such as the Jalayir
Jalayir
and the Oronar nobles as well as the emperors also patronized Confucian
Confucian
scholars and institutions. A considerable number of Confucian
Confucian
and Chinese historical works were translated into the Mongolian language.

A Yuan Qingbai
Qingbai
porcelain statue of Guanyin, a bodhisattva of Mahayana Buddhism

At the same time the Mongols
Mongols
imported Central Asian Muslims to serve as administrators in China, the Mongols
Mongols
also sent Hans and Khitans from China
China
to serve as administrators over the Muslim
Muslim
population in Bukhara
Bukhara
in Central Asia, using foreigners to curtail the power of the local peoples of both lands.[127] Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan
and the following Yuan emperors forbade Islamic practices like Halal butchering, forcing Mongol
Mongol
methods of butchering animals on Muslims, and other restrictive degrees continued. Muslims had to slaughter sheep in secret.[128] Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan
directly called Muslims and Jews "slaves" and demanded that they follow the Mongol
Mongol
method of eating rather than the halal method. Circumcision
Circumcision
was also forbidden. Jews were also affected and forbidden by the Mongols
Mongols
to eat Kosher.[129]

Among all the [subject] alien peoples only the Hui-hui say “we do not eat Mongol
Mongol
food”. [Cinggis Qa’an replied:] “By the aid of heaven we have pacified you; you are our slaves. Yet you do not eat our food or drink. How can this be right?” He thereupon made them eat. “If you slaughter sheep, you will be considered guilty of a crime.” He issued a regulation to that effect ... [In 1279/1280 under Qubilai] all the Muslims say: “if someone else slaughters [the animal] we do not eat”. Because the poor people are upset by this, from now on, Musuluman [Muslim] Huihui and Zhuhu [Jewish] Huihui, no matter who kills [the animal] will eat [it] and must cease slaughtering sheep themselves, and cease the rite of circumcision.[130]

The Muslims in the semu class revolted against the Yuan dynasty
Yuan dynasty
in the Ispah Rebellion, but the rebellion was crushed and the Muslims were massacred by the Yuan loyalist commander Chen Youding. Some Muslim communities had the name in Chinese meaning "barracks" and also meaning "thanks"; many Hui Muslims claim it is because that they played an important role in overthrowing the Mongols
Mongols
and it was named in thanks by the Hans for assisting them.[131] During the Ming conquest of Yunnan, Muslim
Muslim
generals Mu Ying
Mu Ying
and Lan Yu led Muslim
Muslim
troops loyal to the Ming dynasty
Ming dynasty
against Mongol
Mongol
and Muslim troops loyal to the Yuan dynasty.[132][133] Hindu
Hindu
statues were found in Quanzhou
Quanzhou
dating to the Yuan period.[134] Mathematics[edit]

A diagram of Pascal's triangle
Pascal's triangle
in Zhu Shijie's Jade
Jade
Mirror of the Four Unknowns, written in 1303

Advances in polynomial algebra were made by mathematicians during the Yuan era. The mathematician Zhu Shijie
Zhu Shijie
(1249–1314) solved simultaneous equations with up to four unknowns using a rectangular array of coefficients, equivalent to modern matrices.[135][136] Zhu used a method of elimination to reduce the simultaneous equations to a single equation with only one unknown.[137] His method is described in the Jade
Jade
Mirror of the Four Unknowns, written in 1303. The opening pages contain a diagram of Pascal's triangle. The summation of a finite arithmetic series is also covered in the book.[138] Guo Shoujing
Guo Shoujing
applied mathematics to the construction of calendars. He was one of the first mathematicians in China
China
to work on spherical trigonometry.[139] Gou derived a cubic interpolation formula for his astronomical calculations.[140] His calendar, the Shoushi Li (授時暦) or Calendar for Fixing the Seasons, was disseminated in 1281 as the official calendar of the Yuan dynasty.[141] The calendar may have been influenced solely by the work of Song dynasty
Song dynasty
astronomer Shen Kuo
Shen Kuo
or possibly by the work of Arab astronomers.[139] There are no explicit signs of Muslim
Muslim
influences in the Shoushi calendar, but Mongol
Mongol
rulers were known to be interested in Muslim
Muslim
calendars.[141] Mathematical knowledge from the Middle East was introduced to China under the Mongols, and Muslim
Muslim
astronomers brought Arabic numerals
Arabic numerals
to China
China
in the 13th century.[139] Medicine[edit] The physicians of the Yuan court came from diverse cultures.[142] Healers were divided into non- Mongol
Mongol
physicians called otachi and traditional Mongol
Mongol
shamans. The Mongols
Mongols
characterized otachi doctors by their use of herbal remedies, which was distinguished from the spiritual cures of Mongol
Mongol
shamanism.[142] Physicians received official support from the Yuan government and were given special legal privileges. Kublai created the Imperial Academy of Medicine to manage medical treatises and the education of new doctors.[143] Confucian scholars were attracted to the medical profession because it ensured a high income and medical ethics were compatible with Confucian virtues.[144][143] The Chinese medical tradition of the Yuan had "Four Great Schools" that the Yuan inherited from the Jin dynasty. All four schools were based on the same intellectual foundation, but advocated different theoretical approaches toward medicine.[144] Under the Mongols, the practice of Chinese medicine spread to other parts of the empire. Chinese physicians were brought along military campaigns by the Mongols
Mongols
as they expanded towards the west. Chinese medical techniques such as acupuncture, moxibustion, pulse diagnosis, and various herbal drugs and elixirs were transmitted westward to the Middle East and the rest of the empire.[145] Several medical advances were made in the Yuan period. The physician Wei Yilin (1277–1347) invented a suspension method for reducing dislocated joints, which he performed using anesthetics.[146] The Mongol
Mongol
physician Hu Sihui
Hu Sihui
described the importance of a healthy diet in a 1330 medical treatise.[146] Western medicine was also practiced in China
China
by the Nestorian Christians of the Yuan court, where it was sometimes labeled as huihui or Muslim
Muslim
medicine.[147] The Nestorian
Nestorian
physician Jesus the Interpreter founded the Office of Western Medicine in 1263 during the reign of Kublai.[148] Huihui doctors staffed at two imperial hospitals were responsible for treating the imperial family and members of the court.[143] Chinese physicians opposed Western medicine because its humoral system contradicted the yin-yang and wuxing philosophy underlying traditional Chinese medicine.[144] No Chinese translation of Western medical works is known, but it is possible that the Chinese had access to Avicenna's The Canon of Medicine.[147] Printing and publishing[edit]

Yuan dynasty
Yuan dynasty
banknote with its printing plate, 1287

A revolving typecase with individual movable type characters from Wang Zhen's Nong Shu, published in 1313

The Mongol
Mongol
rulers patronized the Yuan printing industry.[149][150] Chinese printing technology was transferred to the Mongols
Mongols
through Kingdom of Qocho
Kingdom of Qocho
and Tibetan intermediaries.[149] Some Yuan documents such as Wang Zhen's Nong Shu were printed with earthenware movable type, a technology invented in the 12th century. However, most published works were still produced through traditional block printing techniques.[151] The publication of a Taoist text inscribed with the name of Töregene Khatun, Ögedei's wife, is one of the first printed works sponsored by the Mongols. In 1273, the Mongols
Mongols
created the Imperial Library Directorate, a government-sponsored printing office.[149] The Yuan government established centers for printing throughout China.[149] Local schools and government agencies were funded to support the publishing of books.[152] Private printing businesses also flourished under the Yuan. They published a diverse range of works, and printed educational, literary, medical, religious, and historical texts. The volume of printed materials was vast.[153] In 1312, 1,000 copies of a Buddhist text commented by Cosgi Odsir were printed just within Beijing.[154] By 1328, annual sales of printed calendars and almanacs reached over three million in the Yuan dynasty.[155] One of the more notable applications of printing technology was the chao, the paper money of the Yuan. Chao were made from the bark of mulberry trees.[154] The Yuan government used woodblocks to print paper money, but switched to bronze plates in 1275.[156] The Mongols experimented with establishing the Chinese-style paper monetary system in Mongol-controlled territories outside of China. The Yuan minister Bolad was sent to Iran, where he explained Yuan paper money to the Il-khanate court of Gaykhatu.[157] The Il-khanate government issued paper money in 1294, but public distrust of the exotic new currency doomed the experiment.[158] Foreign observers took note of Yuan printing technology. Marco Polo documented the Yuan printing of paper money and almanac pamphlets called tacuini.[154] The vizier Rashid-al-Din recognized that printing was a valuable technological breakthrough, and expressed regret that the Mongol
Mongol
experiment with printing paper money had failed in the Muslim
Muslim
world. Rashid-al-Din's view was not shared by other chroniclers in the Middle East, who were critical of the experiment's disruptive impact on the Il-khanate.[155] Social classes[edit] Politically, the system of government created by Kublai Khan
Kublai Khan
was the product of a compromise between Mongolian patrimonial feudalism and the traditional Chinese autocratic-bureaucratic system. Nevertheless, socially the educated Chinese elite were in general not given the degree of esteem that they had been accorded previously under native Chinese dynasties. Although the traditional Chinese elite were not given their share of power, the Mongols
Mongols
and the Semuren
Semuren
(various allied groups from Central Asia
Asia
and the western end of the empire) largely remained strangers to the mainstream Chinese culture, and this dichotomy gave the Yuan regime a somewhat strong "colonial" coloration.[159] The unequal treatment is possibly due to the fear of transferring power to the ethnic Chinese under their rule. The Mongols and Semuren
Semuren
were given certain advantages in the dynasty, and this would last even after the restoration of the imperial examination in the early 14th century. In general there were very few North Chinese or Southerners reaching the highest-post in the government compared with the possibility that Persians did so in the Ilkhanate.[160] Later the Yongle Emperor
Yongle Emperor
of the Ming dynasty
Ming dynasty
also mentioned the discrimination that existed during the Yuan dynasty. In response to an objection against the use of "barbarians" in his government, the Yongle Emperor
Yongle Emperor
answered: "... Discrimination was used by the Mongols during the Yuan dynasty, who employed only " Mongols
Mongols
and Tartars" and discarded northern and southern Chinese and this was precisely the cause that brought disaster upon them".[161]

Brown-glazed Jar with Design of Three Fish. Yuan dynasty. Excavated from Hancheng
Hancheng
City

The Mongols
Mongols
had employed foreigners long before the reign of Kublai Khan, the founder of the Yuan dynasty. But during Kublai's reign a hierarchy of reliability was introduced in China. The population was divided into the following classes:

Mongols Semu, consisting of non- Mongol
Mongol
foreigners from the west and Central Asia, like Buddhist Uyghurs from Turfan, Jews, Nestorian
Nestorian
Christians, and Muslims from Central Asia "Han", or all subjects of the former Jin dynasty, including Hans, Khitans, Jurchens
Jurchens
in northern China, and other peoples like Koreans,[162][163][164][165][166][167][168][169] Southerners, or all subjects of the former Southern Song dynasty, including Hans and minority native ethnic groups in southern China, sometimes called "Manzi" during the Yuan

Partner merchants and non- Mongol
Mongol
overseers were usually either immigrants or local ethnic groups. Thus, in China
China
they were Uighur Buddhists, Turkestani
Turkestani
and Persian Muslims, and Christians. Foreigners from outside the Mongol Empire
Mongol Empire
entirely, such as the Polo family, were everywhere welcomed. At the same time the Mongols
Mongols
imported Central Asian Muslims to serve as administrators in China, the Mongols
Mongols
also sent Hans and Khitans from China
China
to serve as administrators over the Muslim
Muslim
population in Bukhara
Bukhara
in Central Asia, using foreigners to curtail the power of the local peoples of both lands.[170] Hans were moved to Central Asian areas like Besh Baliq, Almaliq, and Samarqand
Samarqand
by the Mongols
Mongols
where they worked as artisans and farmers.[171] Alans
Alans
were recruited into the Mongol
Mongol
forces with one unit called "Right Alan Guard" which was combined with "recently surrendered" soldiers, Mongols, and Chinese soldiers stationed in the area of the former Kingdom of Qocho
Kingdom of Qocho
and in Besh Balikh the Mongols
Mongols
established a Chinese military colony led by Chinese general Qi Kongzhi (Ch'i Kung-chih).[172] After the Mongol conquest of Central Asia
Asia
by Genghis Khan, foreigners were chosen as administrators and co-management with Chinese and Qara-Khitays (Khitans) of gardens and fields in Samarqand
Samarqand
was put upon the Muslims as a requirement since Muslims were not allowed to manage without them.[173] The Mongol
Mongol
appointed Governor of Samarqand
Samarqand
was a Qara-Khitay (Khitan), held the title Taishi, familiar with Chinese culture his name was Ahai.[174] Han officials and colonists were sent by the Mongol
Mongol
Yuan dynasty
Yuan dynasty
to areas of Lingbei province (和宁路 益蘭州 謙州).[175]

Jinan Great Southern Mosque
Jinan Great Southern Mosque
was completed during the reign of Temür Khan (Emperor Chengzong).

Despite the high position given to Muslims, some policies of the Yuan Emperors severely discriminated against them, restricting Halal slaughter and other Islamic practices like circumcision, as well as Kosher
Kosher
butchering for Jews, forcing them to eat food the Mongol way.[176] Toward the end, corruption and the persecution became so severe that Muslim
Muslim
generals joined Hans in rebelling against the Mongols. The Ming founder Zhu Yuanzhang
Zhu Yuanzhang
had Muslim
Muslim
generals like Lan Yu who rebelled against the Mongols
Mongols
and defeated them in combat. Some Muslim
Muslim
communities had a Chinese surname which meant "barracks" and could also mean "thanks". Many Hui Muslims claim this is because that they played an important role in overthrowing the Mongols
Mongols
and it was given in thanks by the Hans for assisting them.[177] During the war fighting the Mongols, among the Ming Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang's armies was the Hui Muslim
Muslim
Feng Sheng.[178] The Muslims in the semu class also revolted against the Yuan dynasty
Yuan dynasty
in the Ispah Rebellion
Ispah Rebellion
but the rebellion was crushed and the Muslims were massacred by the Yuan loyalist commander Chen Youding. The historian Frederick W. Mote wrote that the usage of the term "social classes" for this system was misleading and that the position of people within the four-class system was not an indication of their actual social power and wealth, but just entailed "degrees of privilege" to which they were entitled institutionally and legally, so a person's standing within the classes was not a guarantee of their standing, since there were rich and well socially standing Chinese while there were less rich Mongol
Mongol
and Semu
Semu
than there were Mongol
Mongol
and Semu
Semu
who lived in poverty and were ill-treated.[179] The reason for the order of the classes and the reason why people were placed in a certain class was the date they surrendered to the Mongols, and had nothing to do with their ethnicity. The earlier they surrendered to the Mongols, the higher they were placed, the more the held out, the lower they were ranked. The Northern Chinese were ranked higher and Southern Chinese were ranked lower because southern China withstood and fought to the last before caving in.[180][181] Major commerce during this era gave rise to favorable conditions for private southern Chinese manufacturers and merchants.[182] When the Mongols
Mongols
placed the Uighurs of the Kingdom of Qocho
Kingdom of Qocho
over the Koreans
Koreans
at the court the Korean King objected, then the Mongol
Mongol
Emperor Kublai Khan
Kublai Khan
rebuked the Korean King, saying that the Uighur King of Qocho was ranked higher than the Karluk Kara-Khanid ruler, who in turn was ranked higher than the Korean King, who was ranked last, because the Uighurs surrendered to the Mongols
Mongols
first, the Karluks surrendered after the Uighurs, and the Koreans
Koreans
surrendered last, and that the Uighurs surrendered peacefully without violently resisting.[183][184] Japanese historians like Uematsu, Sugiyama and Morita criticized the perception that a four class system existed under Mongol
Mongol
rule and Funada Yoshiyuki questioned the very existence of the Semu
Semu
as a class.[185] Administrative divisions[edit] Main article: Administrative divisions of the Yuan dynasty See also: Yuan dynasty
Yuan dynasty
in Inner Asia

Administrative divisions of the Yuan dynasty.

The territory of the Yuan dynasty
Yuan dynasty
was divided into the Central Region (腹裏) governed by the Central Secretariat and places under control of various provinces (行省) or Branch Secretariats (行中書省), as well as the region under the Bureau of Buddhist and Tibetan Affairs. The Central Region, consisting of present-day Hebei, Shandong, Shanxi, the south-eastern part of present-day Inner Mongolia
Mongolia
and the Henan areas to the north of the Yellow River, was considered the most important region of the dynasty and directly governed by the Central Secretariat (or Zhongshu Sheng) at Khanbaliq
Khanbaliq
(modern Beijing); similarly, another top-level administrative department called the Bureau of Buddhist and Tibetan Affairs
Bureau of Buddhist and Tibetan Affairs
(or Xuanzheng Yuan) held administrative rule over the whole of modern-day Tibet
Tibet
and a part of Sichuan, Qinghai
Qinghai
and Kashmir. Branch Secretariats or simply provinces, were provincial-level administrative organizations or institutions, though they were not exactly provinces in modern sense. There were 11 "regular" provinces in Yuan dynasty,[186] and their administrations were subordinated to the Central Secretariat. Below the level of provinces, the largest political division was the circuit (道), followed by prefecture (府) operating under a prefect and subprefecture (州) under a subprefect. The lowest political division was the county (縣) overseen by a magistrate. This government structure at the provincial level was later copied by the Ming and Qing dynasties. Gallery[edit]

Magic square
Magic square
in Arabic numerals
Arabic numerals
(Yuan dynasty)

smelting machines (Yuan dynasty)

Water wheel (Yuan dynasty)

Water hammer (Yuan dynasty)

Weaving machine (Yuan dynasty)

water mill gear (Yuan dynasty)

loom (Yuan dynasty)

Yuan painting (Zhao Mengfu)

Chuangzi Nu (Yuan dynasty)[187]

Military
Military
costume.

Yuan painting of a legendary figure riding on a dragon.

Yuan cavalry

Yuan Mongol
Mongol
soldier

Genghis Khan's grandson, Kublai Khan
Kublai Khan
during his youth

Mongol
Mongol
warrior on horseback, preparing a mounted archery shot.

Chinese stone inscription of a Nestorian
Nestorian
Christian
Christian
Cross from a monastery of Fangshan District
Fangshan District
in Beijing
Beijing
(then called Dadu, or Khanbaliq), dated to the Yuan Dynasty

See also[edit]

List of emperors of the Yuan dynasty

Emperor's family tree

Mongol
Mongol
Empire

List of Mongol
Mongol
rulers Mongol
Mongol
invasions and conquests

History of Mongolia History of China

Dynasties in Chinese history

Jurchen Jin dynasty Song dynasty Ming dynasty Western Xia Dali Kingdom

Administrative divisions of the Yuan dynasty

Yuan dynasty
Yuan dynasty
in Inner Asia Tibet
Tibet
under Yuan rule Mongolia
Mongolia
under Yuan rule Manchuria
Manchuria
under Yuan rule

Yuan dynasty
Yuan dynasty
coinage Islam
Islam
during the Yuan dynasty Europeans in Medieval China Hua-Yi distinction Jun ware

Notes[edit]

^ The situation of Goryeo
Goryeo
during Yuan dynasty
Yuan dynasty
was disputed. Some scholars (such as Tan Qixiang) regarded it as a country;[1] others regarded it as a part of Yuan. ^ Or Ikh Yuan Üls/Yekhe Yuan Ulus; Их Юань улс in Mongolian Cyrillic. ^ Before Kublai Khan
Kublai Khan
announced the dynastic name "Great Yuan" in 1271, Khagans (Great Khans) of the Mongol Empire
Mongol Empire
(Ikh Mongol
Mongol
Uls) already started to use the Chinese title of Emperor (皇帝) practically in the Chinese language
Chinese language
since Genghis Khan.

References[edit] Citations[edit]

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Eurasia. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-80335-9.  Chan 陳, Hok-Lam 學霖 (1991). ""Ta Chin" (Great Golden): The Origin and Changing Interpretations of the Jurchen State Name". T'oung Pao. Second Series. BRILL. 77 (Livr. 4/5): 253–299. JSTOR 4528536.  Dauben, Joseph (2007). "Chinese Mathematics". In Victor Katz. The Mathematics of Egypt, Mesopotamia, China, India, and Islam: A Sourcebook. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-11485-4.  Ebrey, Patricia Buckley (2010) [1996]. The Cambridge Illustrated History of China
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(2nd ed.). Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-12433-1.  Guzman, Gregory G. (1988). "Were the Barbarians a Negative or Positive Factor in Ancient and Medieval History?". The Historian. Blackwell Publishing. 50 (4): 558–571. doi:10.1111/j.1540-6563.1988.tb00759.x.  Ho, Peng Yoke (1985). Li, Qi and Shu: An Introduction to Science and Civilization in China. Hong Kong University Press. ISBN 978-0-486-41445-4.  Hsiao, Ch'i-Ch'ing (1994). "Mid-Yuan Politics". In Denis C. Twitchett; Herbert Franke; John King Fairbank. The Cambridge History of China: Volume 6, Alien Regimes and Border States, 710–1368. Cambridge University Press. pp. 490–560. ISBN 978-0-521-24331-5.  Joseph, George Gheverghese (2011). The Crest of the Peacock: Non-European Roots of Mathematics. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-13526-6.  Lane, George (2006). Daily Life in the Mongol
Mongol
Empire. Greenwood Publishing. ISBN 978-0-313-33226-5.  Morgan, David (1982). "Who Ran the Mongol
Mongol
Empire?". The Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Cambridge University Press (1): 124–136. doi:10.1017/S0035869X00159179.  Morgan, David (2007). The Mongols. Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN 978-1-4051-3539-9.  Rossabi, Morris (1988). Khubilai Khan: His Life and Times. Los Angeles: University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-06740-0.  Rossabi, Morris (1994). "The reign of Khubilai Khan". In Denis C. Twitchett; Herbert Franke; John King Fairbank. The Cambridge History of China: Volume 6, Alien Regimes and Border States, 710–1368. Cambridge University Press. pp. 414–489. ISBN 978-0-521-24331-5.  Rossabi, Morris (2012). The Mongols: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-984089-2.  Mote, Frederick W. (1999). Imperial China: 900–1800. Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-01212-7.  Mote, Frederick W. (1994). "Chinese society under Mongol
Mongol
rule, 1215-1368". In Denis C. Twitchett; Herbert Franke; John King Fairbank. The Cambridge History of China: Volume 6, Alien Regimes and Border States, 710–1368. Cambridge University Press. pp. 616–664. ISBN 978-0-521-24331-5.  Smith, Jr., John Masson (Jan–Mar 1998). "Review: Nomads on Ponies vs. Slaves on Horses". Journal of the American Oriental Society. American Oriental Society. 118 (1): 54–62. doi:10.2307/606298. JSTOR 606298.  Wu, K. T. (1950). "Chinese Printing under Four Alien Dynasties: (916-1368 A. D.)". Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies. 13 (3/4): 447–523. doi:10.2307/2718064. ISSN 0073-0548.  Zhao, Gang (January 2006). "Reinventing China: Imperial Qing Ideology and the Rise of Modern Chinese National Identity in the Early Twentieth Century". 32 (Number 1). Sage Publications. doi:10.1177/0097700405282349. JSTOR 20062627. Archived (PDF) from the original on 25 March 2014. Retrieved 23 May 2014. 

Further reading[edit]

Birge, Bettine (1995). "Levirate marriage and the revival of widow chastity in Yüan China". Asia
Asia
Major. 3rd series. 8 (2): 107–146. JSTOR 41645519.  Chan, Hok-lam; de Bary, W.T., eds. (1982). Yuan Thought: Chinese Thought and Religion Under the Mongols. New York, NY: Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0-231-05324-2.  Cotterell, Arthur (2007). The Imperial Capitals of China
China
- An Inside View of the Celestial Empire. London, England: Pimlico. ISBN 9781845950095.  Dardess, John (1994). "Shun-ti and the end of Yuan rule in China". In Denis C. Twitchett; Herbert Franke; John King Fairbank. The Cambridge History of China: Volume 6, Alien Regimes and Border States, 710–1368. Cambridge University Press. pp. 561–586. ISBN 978-0-521-24331-5.  Ebrey, Patricia Buckley. Chinese Civilization: A Sourcebook (2nd ed.). Simon and Schuster. ISBN 978-1-4391-8839-2.  Endicott-West, Elizabeth (1986). "Imperial governance in Yüan times". Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies. 46 (2): 523–549. doi:10.2307/2719142. JSTOR 2719142.  Endicott-West, Elizabeth (1994). "The Yuan government and society". In Denis C. Twitchett; Herbert Franke; John King Fairbank. The Cambridge History of China: Volume 6, Alien Regimes and Border States, 710–1368. Cambridge University Press. pp. 587–615. ISBN 978-0-521-24331-5.  Langlois, John D. (1981). China
China
Under Mongol
Mongol
Rules. Princeton: Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-10110-1.  Langlois, John D. (1977). "Report on the research conference: The Impact of Mongol
Mongol
Domination on Chinese Civilization". Sung Studies Newsletter. 13: 82–90. JSTOR 23497251.  Paludan, Ann (1998). Chronicle of the China
China
Emperors. London, England: Thames & Hudson. ISBN 0-500-05090-2.  Saunders, John Joseph (2001) [1971]. The History of the Mongol Conquests. University of Pennsylvania Press. ISBN 978-0-812-21766-7.  Owen, Stephen, "The Yuan and Ming Dynasties," in Stephen Owen, ed. An Anthology of Chinese Literature: Beginnings to 1911. New York: W. W. Norton, 1997. p. 723-743 (Archive). Ho, Kai-Lung (何凱龍). (2006). “The Political Power and the Mongolian Translation of the Chinese Calendar During the Yuan Dynasty”. Central Asiatic Journal 50 (1). Harrassowitz Verlag: 57–69. JSTOR 41928409. “Directory of Scholars Working in Sung, Liao, Chin and Yüan”. 1987. “Directory of Scholars Working in Sung, Liao, Chin and Yüan”. Bulletin of Sung and Yüan Studies, no. 19. Society for Song, Yuan, and Conquest Dynasty
Dynasty
Studies: 224–54. JSTOR 23497542.

External links[edit]

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Dynasty
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Preceded by Song dynasty Jin dynasty Western Liao Western Xia Dali Kingdom Mongol
Mongol
Empire Remnants of the Tibet Goryeo Dynasties in Chinese history History of Mongolia
Mongolia
/ Tibet
Tibet
/ Korea 1271–1368 Succeeded by Ming dynasty Northern Yuan dynasty Phagmodrupa Dynasty Goryeo

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Almalik Avarga Azov
Azov
(Azaq) Bukhara Bolghar Karakorum Dadu Majar Maragheh Qarshi Samarkand Sarai Batu/Berke Saray-Jük Shangdu
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East

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China
and Manchuria
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Kingdom of Dali
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Southeast

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South

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Europe

Georgia (1220–22 / 1226–31 / 1237–64) Chechnya (1237–1300s) Volga Bulgaria (1229–36) Rus' (1223 / 1236–40) Poland and Bohemia (1240–41) Hungary (1241-42) Serbia (1242) Bulgaria (1242) Latin Empire
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(1242) Lithuania (1258-59) Poland (1259–60) Thrace (1264-65) Hungary (1285–86) Poland (1287–88) Serbia (1291) Poland (1340-1341)

Middle East

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Civil wars

Division of the Mongol
Mongol
Empire Toluid Civil War
Toluid Civil War
(1260–64) Berke–Hulagu war
Berke–Hulagu war
(1262) Kaidu–Kublai war
Kaidu–Kublai war
(1268–1301) Esen Buqa–Ayurbarwada war
Esen Buqa–Ayurbarwada war
(1314–1318)

People

Great Khans

Genghis Khan Tolui
Tolui
(regent) Ögedei Khan Töregene Khatun (regent) Güyük Khan Oghul Qaimish (regent) Möngke Khan Kublai Khan (Khagans of the Yuan)

Khans

Jochi Batu Khan Sartaq Khan Orda Khan Berke Toqta Öz Beg Khan Chagatai Khan Duwa Kebek Hulagu Abaqa Arghun Ghazan

Military

Subutai Jebe Muqali Negudar Bo'orchu Guo Kan Borokhula Jelme Chilaun Khubilai Aju Bayan Kadan Boroldai Nogai Khan

Timeline of the Mongol
Mongol
Empire

v t e

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Coordinates: 39°54′N 116°23′E / 39.900°N 116.383°E

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