Kublai Khan

Kublai Khan

Overview
Kublai Khan born Kublai and also known by the temple name Shizu , was the fifth Great Khan of the Mongol Empire
Mongol Empire
The Mongol Empire , initially named as Greater Mongol State was a great empire during the 13th and 14th centuries...

 from 1260 to 1294 and the founder of the Yuan Dynasty
Yuan Dynasty
The Yuan Dynasty , or Great Yuan Empire was a ruling dynasty founded by the Mongol leader Kublai Khan, who ruled most of present-day China, all of modern Mongolia and its surrounding areas, lasting officially from 1271 to 1368. It is considered both as a division of the Mongol Empire and as an...

 in China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

. As the second son of Tolui
Tolui
Tolui, was the youngest son of Genghis Khan by his chief khatun Börte...

 and Sorghaghtani Beki
Sorghaghtani Beki
Sorghaghtani Beki or Bekhi , also written Sorkaktani, Sorkhokhtani, Sorkhogtani, Siyurkuktiti; , a Kereyid princess of the Nestorian Christian faith and daughter-in-law of Temüjin , was one of the most powerful and competent women in the Mongol Empire...

 and a grandson of Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan , born Temujin and occasionally known by his temple name Taizu , was the founder and Great Khan of the Mongol Empire, which became the largest contiguous empire in history after his death....

, he claimed the title of Khagan
Khagan
Khagan or qagan , alternatively spelled kagan, khaghan, qaghan, or chagan, is a title of imperial rank in the Mongolian and Turkic languages equal to the status of emperor and someone who rules a khaganate...

 of the Ikh Mongol Uls (Mongol Empire) in 1260 after the death of his older brother Möngke
Möngke Khan
Möngke Khan , born Möngke, , was the fourth Great Khan of the Mongol Empire from July 1, 1251 – August 11, 1259. He was the first Great Khan from the Toluid line, and made significant reforms to improve the administration of the Empire during his reign...

 in the previous year, though his younger brother Ariq Böke
Ariq Boke
Ariq Böke , the components of his name also spelled Arigh, Arik, Bukha, Buka , was the youngest son of Tolui , a son of Genghis Khan. After the death of his brother the Great Khan Mongke, Ariq Boke briefly took power while his brothers Kublai and Hulagu were absent...

 was also given this title in the Mongolian capital at Karakorum
Karakorum
Karakorum was the capital of the Mongol Empire in the 13th century, and of the Northern Yuan in the 14-15th century. Its ruins lie in the northwestern corner of the Övörkhangai Province of Mongolia, near today's town of Kharkhorin, and adjacent to the Erdene Zuu monastery...

.
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Timeline

1260   Kublai Khan becomes ruler of the Mongol Empire.

1271   Kublai Khan renames his empire "Yuan" (元 yuán), officially marking the start of the Yuan Dynasty of Mongolia and China.

1281   The Mongolian fleet of Kublai Khan is destroyed by a typhoon while approaching Japan.

1287   Kublai Khan defeated the force of Nayan and other traditionalist Borjigin princes in East Mongolia and Manchuria.

 
Encyclopedia
Kublai Khan born Kublai and also known by the temple name Shizu , was the fifth Great Khan of the Mongol Empire
Mongol Empire
The Mongol Empire , initially named as Greater Mongol State was a great empire during the 13th and 14th centuries...

 from 1260 to 1294 and the founder of the Yuan Dynasty
Yuan Dynasty
The Yuan Dynasty , or Great Yuan Empire was a ruling dynasty founded by the Mongol leader Kublai Khan, who ruled most of present-day China, all of modern Mongolia and its surrounding areas, lasting officially from 1271 to 1368. It is considered both as a division of the Mongol Empire and as an...

 in China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

. As the second son of Tolui
Tolui
Tolui, was the youngest son of Genghis Khan by his chief khatun Börte...

 and Sorghaghtani Beki
Sorghaghtani Beki
Sorghaghtani Beki or Bekhi , also written Sorkaktani, Sorkhokhtani, Sorkhogtani, Siyurkuktiti; , a Kereyid princess of the Nestorian Christian faith and daughter-in-law of Temüjin , was one of the most powerful and competent women in the Mongol Empire...

 and a grandson of Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan , born Temujin and occasionally known by his temple name Taizu , was the founder and Great Khan of the Mongol Empire, which became the largest contiguous empire in history after his death....

, he claimed the title of Khagan
Khagan
Khagan or qagan , alternatively spelled kagan, khaghan, qaghan, or chagan, is a title of imperial rank in the Mongolian and Turkic languages equal to the status of emperor and someone who rules a khaganate...

 of the Ikh Mongol Uls (Mongol Empire) in 1260 after the death of his older brother Möngke
Möngke Khan
Möngke Khan , born Möngke, , was the fourth Great Khan of the Mongol Empire from July 1, 1251 – August 11, 1259. He was the first Great Khan from the Toluid line, and made significant reforms to improve the administration of the Empire during his reign...

 in the previous year, though his younger brother Ariq Böke
Ariq Boke
Ariq Böke , the components of his name also spelled Arigh, Arik, Bukha, Buka , was the youngest son of Tolui , a son of Genghis Khan. After the death of his brother the Great Khan Mongke, Ariq Boke briefly took power while his brothers Kublai and Hulagu were absent...

 was also given this title in the Mongolian capital at Karakorum
Karakorum
Karakorum was the capital of the Mongol Empire in the 13th century, and of the Northern Yuan in the 14-15th century. Its ruins lie in the northwestern corner of the Övörkhangai Province of Mongolia, near today's town of Kharkhorin, and adjacent to the Erdene Zuu monastery...

. He eventually won the battle against Ariq Böke in 1264, and the succession war essentially marked the beginning of disunity in the empire. Kublai's real power was limited to China and Mongolia
Mongolia
Mongolia is a landlocked country in East and Central Asia. It is bordered by Russia to the north and China to the south, east and west. Although Mongolia does not share a border with Kazakhstan, its western-most point is only from Kazakhstan's eastern tip. Ulan Bator, the capital and largest...

 after the victory over Ariq Böke, though his influence still remained in the Ilkhanate
Ilkhanate
The Ilkhanate, also spelled Il-khanate , was a Mongol khanate established in Azerbaijan and Persia in the 13th century, considered a part of the Mongol Empire...

, and to a lesser degree, in the Golden Horde
Golden Horde
The Golden Horde was a Mongol and later Turkicized khanate that formed the north-western sector of the Mongol Empire...

, in the western parts of the Mongol Empire. His realm reached from the Pacific to the Urals, from Siberia
Siberia
Siberia is an extensive region constituting almost all of Northern Asia. Comprising the central and eastern portion of the Russian Federation, it was part of the Soviet Union from its beginning, as its predecessor states, the Tsardom of Russia and the Russian Empire, conquered it during the 16th...

 to modern day Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

 – one fifth of the world's inhabited land area.

In 1271, Kublai established the Yuan Dynasty, which at that time ruled over present-day Mongolia
Mongolia
Mongolia is a landlocked country in East and Central Asia. It is bordered by Russia to the north and China to the south, east and west. Although Mongolia does not share a border with Kazakhstan, its western-most point is only from Kazakhstan's eastern tip. Ulan Bator, the capital and largest...

 and China, and some adjacent areas, and assumed the role of Emperor of China
Emperor of China
The Emperor of China refers to any sovereign of Imperial China reigning between the founding of Qin Dynasty of China, united by the King of Qin in 221 BCE, and the fall of Yuan Shikai's Empire of China in 1916. When referred to as the Son of Heaven , a title that predates the Qin unification, the...

. By 1279, the Yuan forces had successfully annihilated the last resistance
Mongol conquest of the Song Dynasty
The conquest of South China's Song Dynasty under Kublai Khan was the final step for the Mongols to rule the whole of China. It is also considered the Mongol Empire's last great military achievement.- Background :...

 of the Southern Song Dynasty, and Kublai thus became the first non-Chinese Emperor who conquered all of China. He was also the only Mongol khan after 1260 to win new great conquests.

The summer garden of Kublai Khan at Xanadu
Xanadu
-Description of Xanadu by Toghon Temur :The lament of Toghon Temur Khan , concerning the loss of Daidu and Heibun Shanduu in 1368, is recorded in many Mongolian historical chronicles...

  is the subject of Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Samuel Taylor Coleridge was an English poet, Romantic, literary critic and philosopher who, with his friend William Wordsworth, was a founder of the Romantic Movement in England and a member of the Lake Poets. He is probably best known for his poems The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Kubla...

's 1797 poem Kubla Khan
Kubla Khan
Kubla Khan is a poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, completed in 1797 and published in Christabel, Kubla Khan, and the Pains of Sleep in 1816...

. Coleridge's work and Marco Polo
Marco Polo
Marco Polo was a Venetian merchant traveler from the Venetian Republic whose travels are recorded in Il Milione, a book which did much to introduce Europeans to Central Asia and China. He learned about trading whilst his father and uncle, Niccolò and Maffeo, travelled through Asia and apparently...

's book brought Kublai and his achievements to the attention of a widespread audience, and today Kublai is a well-known historical figure.

Early years


Kublai (b. 23 Sep. 1215) was the fifth son of Tolui
Tolui
Tolui, was the youngest son of Genghis Khan by his chief khatun Börte...

 and Sorghaghtani Beki
Sorghaghtani Beki
Sorghaghtani Beki or Bekhi , also written Sorkaktani, Sorkhokhtani, Sorkhogtani, Siyurkuktiti; , a Kereyid princess of the Nestorian Christian faith and daughter-in-law of Temüjin , was one of the most powerful and competent women in the Mongol Empire...

. As his grandfather Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan , born Temujin and occasionally known by his temple name Taizu , was the founder and Great Khan of the Mongol Empire, which became the largest contiguous empire in history after his death....

 advised, Sorghaghtani chose as her son's nurse a Buddhist Tangut woman whom Kublai later honored highly.

On his way back home after the conquest
Mongol invasion of Khwarezmia
The Mongol invasion of Khwarezmia from 1219 to 1221 marked the beginning of the Mongol conquest of the Islamic states, in the Mongol expansion would ultimately culminate in the conquest of virtually all of Eurasia, save for Western Europe, Fennoscandia, the Byzantine Empire, Arabia, Indian...

 of Khwarizmian Empire, Genghis Khan performed the ceremony on his grandsons Mongke and Kublai after their first hunting in 1224 near the Ili River
Ili River
thumb|right|300px|Map of the Lake Balkhash drainage basin showing the Ili River and its tributariesThe Ili River is a river in northwestern China and southeastern Kazakhstan .It is long, of which is in Kazakhstan...

. Kublai was nine years old and with his eldest brother killed a rabbit
Rabbit
Rabbits are small mammals in the family Leporidae of the order Lagomorpha, found in several parts of the world...

 and an antelope
Antelope
Antelope is a term referring to many even-toed ungulate species indigenous to various regions in Africa and Eurasia. Antelopes comprise a miscellaneous group within the family Bovidae, encompassing those old-world species that are neither cattle, sheep, buffalo, bison, nor goats...

. His grandfather smeared fat from killed animals onto Kublai's middle finger following the Mongol tradition.

After the Mongol-Jin War, in 1236, Ogedei gave Hebei
Hebei
' is a province of the People's Republic of China in the North China region. Its one-character abbreviation is "" , named after Ji Province, a Han Dynasty province that included what is now southern Hebei...

 Province (attached with 80,000 households) to the family of Tolui who died in 1232. Kublai received an estate of his own and 10,000 households there. Because he was inexperienced, Kublai allowed local officials free rein. Corruption amongst his officials and aggressive taxation caused the flight of large numbers of Chinese peasants, which in turn led to a decline in tax revenues. Kublai quickly came to his appanage
Appanage
An apanage or appanage or is the grant of an estate, titles, offices, or other things of value to the younger male children of a sovereign, who would otherwise have no inheritance under the system of primogeniture...

 in Hebei and ordered reforms. Sorghaghtani sent new officials to help him and tax laws were revised. Thanks to those efforts, people returned to their old towers.

The most prominent, and arguably influential component of Kublai Khan's early life was his study and strong attraction to contemporary Chinese culture. Kublai invited Haiyun, the leading Buddhist monk in North China, to his ordo
Ordo
Ordo may refer to:* A musical phrase constructed from one or more statements of a rhythmic mode pattern and ending in a rest* Ordo , is a nomadic palace for the Mongol aristocrats and the Turkic rulers...

 in Mongolia. When he met Haiyun in Karakorum in 1242, Kublai asked him about the philosophy
Philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

 of Buddhism. Haiyun named Kublai's son, Zhenjin
Zhenjin
Zhenjin was the second son of Kublai Khan, founder of the Yuan Dynasty. He was designated as the Crown Prince by Kublai Khan in 1273, and became the head of Zhongshusheng .The North Chinese Buddhist monk Haiyun gave him the name, Zhenjin , when he was born in 1243...

 (True Gold in Chinese language), who was born in 1243. Haiyun also introduced Kublai the former Taoist and now Buddhist monk, Liu Bingzhong. Liu was a painter
Painting
Painting is the practice of applying paint, pigment, color or other medium to a surface . The application of the medium is commonly applied to the base with a brush but other objects can be used. In art, the term painting describes both the act and the result of the action. However, painting is...

, calligrapher, poet and mathematician
Mathematician
A mathematician is a person whose primary area of study is the field of mathematics. Mathematicians are concerned with quantity, structure, space, and change....

, and became Kublai's advisor when Haiyun returned to run his temple
Temple
A temple is a structure reserved for religious or spiritual activities, such as prayer and sacrifice, or analogous rites. A templum constituted a sacred precinct as defined by a priest, or augur. It has the same root as the word "template," a plan in preparation of the building that was marked out...

 in modern Beijing
Beijing
Beijing , also known as Peking , is the capital of the People's Republic of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of 19,612,368 as of 2010. The city is the country's political, cultural, and educational center, and home to the headquarters for most of China's...

. Kublai soon added the Shanxi
Shanxi
' is a province in Northern China. Its one-character abbreviation is "晋" , after the state of Jin that existed here during the Spring and Autumn Period....

 scholar Zhao Bi to his entourage. Kublai employed other nationalities as well, for he was keen to balance local and imperial interests, Mongol and Turk
Turkic peoples
The Turkic peoples are peoples residing in northern, central and western Asia, southern Siberia and northwestern China and parts of eastern Europe. They speak languages belonging to the Turkic language family. They share, to varying degrees, certain cultural traits and historical backgrounds...

.

Khagan's viceroy in North China



In 1251, his eldest brother Möngke
Möngke Khan
Möngke Khan , born Möngke, , was the fourth Great Khan of the Mongol Empire from July 1, 1251 – August 11, 1259. He was the first Great Khan from the Toluid line, and made significant reforms to improve the administration of the Empire during his reign...

 became Khan of the Mongol Empire, and Khwarizmian Mahmud Yalavach
Mahmud Yalavach
Mahmud Yalavach was a Muslim administrator in the Mongol Empire who ruled over Turkestan as governor and eventually went on to be mayor of Taidu . He was a Sogdiana Muslim Merchant who served as an administrator and advisor to Genghis Khan...

 and Kublai were sent to China. Kublai received the viceroyalty over North China and moved his ordo to central Inner Mongolia
Inner Mongolia
Inner Mongolia is an autonomous region of the People's Republic of China, located in the northern region of the country. Inner Mongolia shares an international border with the countries of Mongolia and the Russian Federation...

. During his years as viceroy, Kublai managed his territory well, boosting the agricultural output of Henan
Henan
Henan , is a province of the People's Republic of China, located in the central part of the country. Its one-character abbreviation is "豫" , named after Yuzhou , a Han Dynasty state that included parts of Henan...

 and increasing social welfare spendings after receiving Xi'an
Xi'an
Xi'an is the capital of the Shaanxi province, and a sub-provincial city in the People's Republic of China. One of the oldest cities in China, with more than 3,100 years of history, the city was known as Chang'an before the Ming Dynasty...

. These acts received great acclaim from the Chinese warlords and were essential to the building of the Yuan Dynasty. In 1252 Kublai criticized Mahmud Yalavach, who never stood high in the valuation of his Chinese associates, over his cavalier execution of suspects during a judicial view and Zhao Bi attacked him for his presumptuous attitude toward the throne. With Chinese Confucian-trained officials' resistance, Mongke dismissed Mahmud Yalavach.

In 1253, Kublai was ordered to attack Yunnan
Yunnan
Yunnan is a province of the People's Republic of China, located in the far southwest of the country spanning approximately and with a population of 45.7 million . The capital of the province is Kunming. The province borders Burma, Laos, and Vietnam.Yunnan is situated in a mountainous area, with...

, and he asked the Kingdom of Dali
Kingdom of Dali
Dali or Great Li was a Bai kingdom centred in what is now Yunnan Province of China. Established by Duan Siping in 937, it was ruled by a succession of 22 kings until the year 1253, when it was conquered by an invasion of the Mongol Empire. The capital city was at Dali.- History :The Kingdom of...

 to submit. The ruling faimly, Gao
Gao
Gao is a town in eastern Mali on the River Niger lying ESE of Timbuktu. Situated on the left bank of the river at the junction with the Tilemsi valley, it is the capital of the Gao Region and had a population of 86,663 in 2009....

, resisted and murdered Mongol envoy
Diplomacy
Diplomacy is the art and practice of conducting negotiations between representatives of groups or states...

s. The Mongols divided their forces into three. One wing rode eastward into the Sichuan
Sichuan
' , known formerly in the West by its postal map spellings of Szechwan or Szechuan is a province in Southwest China with its capital in Chengdu...

 basin. The second column under Subotai's son Uryankhadai took a difficult way into the mountains of western Sichuan. Kublai himself headed south over the grasslands, meeting up with the first column. While Uryankhadai galloping in along the lakeside from the north, Kublai took the capital city of Dali and spared the residents despite the slaying of his ambassadors. The Mongols appointed King Duan Xingzhi as local ruler and stationed a pacification commissioner there. After Kublai's departure, unrest broke out among the Black jang. By 1256, Uryankhadai had completely pacified Yunnan
Yunnan
Yunnan is a province of the People's Republic of China, located in the far southwest of the country spanning approximately and with a population of 45.7 million . The capital of the province is Kunming. The province borders Burma, Laos, and Vietnam.Yunnan is situated in a mountainous area, with...

.

Kublai was attracted by the abilities of Tibetan
Tibetan Buddhism
Tibetan Buddhism is the body of Buddhist religious doctrine and institutions characteristic of Tibet and certain regions of the Himalayas, including northern Nepal, Bhutan, and India . It is the state religion of Bhutan...

 monks as healers. In 1253 he made Drogön Chögyal Phagpa
Drogön Chögyal Phagpa
Zhogön Qögyä Pagba, Zhogoin Qoigyai Phagspa or Drogön Chögyal Phagpa , born Lochö Gyäcän or Lochoi Gyaicain , was the fifth leader of the Sakya school of Tibetan Buddhism. He became the first vice-king of Tibet and played an important political role...

 of the Sakya order member of his entourage. Phagpa bestowed on Kublai and his wife, Chabi
Chabi
Empress Chabi , was a Chinese Empress consort of the Yuan Dynasty, married to Kublai Khan.- Sources :...

 (Chabui), a Tantric Buddhist initiation. Kublai appointed Uyghur
Uyghur people
The Uyghur are a Turkic ethnic group living in Eastern and Central Asia. Today, Uyghurs live primarily in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in the People's Republic of China...

 Lian Xixian (1231–1280) to head his Pacification Commission in 1254. Some officials who were jealous of Kublai's success muttered that he was getting above himself, dreaming of his own empire by rivalling Mongke's capital Karakorum
Karakorum
Karakorum was the capital of the Mongol Empire in the 13th century, and of the Northern Yuan in the 14-15th century. Its ruins lie in the northwestern corner of the Övörkhangai Province of Mongolia, near today's town of Kharkhorin, and adjacent to the Erdene Zuu monastery...

 (Хархорум). The Great Khan Mongke sent 2 tax inspectors, Alamdar (Ariq Böke's close friend and governor in North China) and Liu Taiping, to audit Kublai's officials in 1257. They found fault, listed 142 breaches of regulations, accused Chinese officials, even had some executed and Kublai's new Pacification Commission was abolished. Kublai sent a two-man embassy with his wives and then in person appealed to Mongke as brother to brother. Mongke publicly forgave his younger brother and reconciled with him.

The Taoists had exploited their wealth and status by seizing Buddhist temples. Mongke demanded that the Taoists cease their denigration of Buddhism
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

 repeatedly and ordered Kublai to end the clerical strife between the Taoists and Buddhists in his territory. Kublai called a conference of Taoist and Buddhist leaders in early 1258. At the conference, the Taoist claim was officially declared refuted and Kublai forcibly converted their 237 temples to Buddhism and destroyed all copies of the fraudulent texts.

In 1258, Möngke put Kublai in command of the Eastern Army and summoned him to assist with attack on Sichuan
Sichuan
' , known formerly in the West by its postal map spellings of Szechwan or Szechuan is a province in Southwest China with its capital in Chengdu...

. Already suffering from gout, Kublai was allowed to stay, however, he moved to assist his brother, Mongke. Before Kublai could arrive in 1259, word reached him that Möngke had died. Kublai decided to keep the death of his brother a secret and continued to attack Wuhan
Wuhan
Wuhan is the capital of Hubei province, People's Republic of China, and is the most populous city in Central China. It lies at the east of the Jianghan Plain, and the intersection of the middle reaches of the Yangtze and Han rivers...

, near Yangtze. While his force was besieging Wuchang, Subotai's son Uryankhadai joined him.

Enthronement and civil war



The Song
Song Dynasty
The Song Dynasty was a ruling dynasty in China between 960 and 1279; it succeeded the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period, and was followed by the Yuan Dynasty. It was the first government in world history to issue banknotes or paper money, and the first Chinese government to establish a...

 minister Jia Sidao
Jia Sidao
Jia Sidao was a chancellor during the late Song Dynasty of China. He dominated the Song court from 1260 to 1273, after rising to the rank of chancellor due to his sister being a concubine of the Emperor Lizong...

 made a secret approach to Kublai to propose terms and asked whether the Song paid an annual tribute
Tribute
A tribute is wealth, often in kind, that one party gives to another as a sign of respect or, as was often the case in historical contexts, of submission or allegiance. Various ancient states, which could be called suzerains, exacted tribute from areas they had conquered or threatened to conquer...

 of 200,000 tael
Tael
Tael can refer to any one of several weight measures of the Far East. Most commonly, it refers to the Chinese tael, a part of the Chinese system of weights and currency....

s of silver
Silver
Silver is a metallic chemical element with the chemical symbol Ag and atomic number 47. A soft, white, lustrous transition metal, it has the highest electrical conductivity of any element and the highest thermal conductivity of any metal...

 and 200,000 bolts
Bolt (fabric)
A bolt is a unit of measurement used as an industry standard for a variety of materials from wood to canvas, typically materials stored in a roll. The length is usually either 40 or 100 yards but varies depending on the fabric being referred to, for example, a bolt of canvas is traditionally 39...

 of silk
Silk
Silk is a natural protein fiber, some forms of which can be woven into textiles. The best-known type of silk is obtained from the cocoons of the larvae of the mulberry silkworm Bombyx mori reared in captivity...

, in exchange for the Mongols agreeing that the Yangtze should be the frontier between the states. Kublai first declined but reached a peace agreement with Jia Sidao and returned north to the Mongolian plains because he learned in a message from his wife that Ariq Böke had been raising troops.

He soon received news that his younger brother Ariq Böke had held a kurultai
Kurultai
Kurultai is a political and military council of ancient Mongol and Turkic chiefs and khans. The root of the word "Khural" means political "meeting" or "assembly" in the Mongolian language, it is also a verb for "to be established"...

 at the Mongolian imperial capital of Karakorum and was pronounced Great Khan by Mongke's old officials. Most of Genghis Khan's descendants favored Ariq Böke as Great Khan; however, his two brothers Kublai and Hulegu opposed this. Kublai's Chinese staff encouraged him to ascend the throne, and virtually all the senior princes in North China and Manchuria
Manchuria
Manchuria is a historical name given to a large geographic region in northeast Asia. Depending on the definition of its extent, Manchuria usually falls entirely within the People's Republic of China, or is sometimes divided between China and Russia. The region is commonly referred to as Northeast...

 supported his candidacy. Upon returning to his own territories, Kublai summoned his own kurultai. Few members of the royal family supported Kublai's claims to the title, though the small number of attendees included representatives of all the Borjigin lines except that of Jochi
Jochi
Jochi was the eldest of the Mongol chieftain Genghis Khan's four sons by his principal wife Börte. An accomplished military leader, he participated in his father's conquest of Central Asia, along with his brothers and uncles.-Early life:...

. This kurultai proclaimed him Great Khan, on April 15, 1260, despite his younger brother Ariq Böke's apparently legal claim.
This subsequently led to warfare between Kublai and his younger brother Ariq Böke, resulting in the eventual destruction of the Mongolian capital at Karakorum
Karakorum
Karakorum was the capital of the Mongol Empire in the 13th century, and of the Northern Yuan in the 14-15th century. Its ruins lie in the northwestern corner of the Övörkhangai Province of Mongolia, near today's town of Kharkhorin, and adjacent to the Erdene Zuu monastery...

. In Shaanxi
Shaanxi
' is a province in the central part of Mainland China, and it includes portions of the Loess Plateau on the middle reaches of the Yellow River in addition to the Qinling Mountains across the southern part of this province...

 and Sichuan, Mongke's army supported Ariq Böke. Kublai dispatched Lian Xixian to Shaanxi and Sichuan where they executed Ariq Böke's civil administrator Liu Taiping and won over several wavering generals. To secure the southern front, Kublai did attempt a diplomatic resolution by sending envoys to Hangzhou
Hangzhou
Hangzhou , formerly transliterated as Hangchow, is the capital and largest city of Zhejiang Province in Eastern China. Governed as a sub-provincial city, and as of 2010, its entire administrative division or prefecture had a registered population of 8.7 million people...

, but Jia broke his promise and arrested them. Kublai sent Abishqa as new khan to the Chagatai Khanate
Chagatai Khanate
The Chagatai Khanate was a Turko-Mongol khanate that comprised the lands ruled by Chagatai Khan , second son of the Great Khan Genghis Khan, and his descendents and successors...

. Ariq Böke captured Abishqa, two other princes and 100 men and had his own man, Alghu
Alghu
Alghu was a khan of the Chagatai Khanate . He was the son of Baidar and the grandson of Chagatai Khan.In 1260 he was appointed as head of the ulus of the Chagatai Khanate by the Great Khan claimant Ariq Böke, in opposition to the child khan Mubarak Shah and his mother Orghina...

, crowned khan of Chagatai
Chagatai Khan
Chagatai Khan was the second son of Genghis Khan and first khan and origin of the names of the Chagatai Khanate, Chagatai language and Chagatai Turks....

's territory. In the first armed clash between Ariq Böke and Kublai Ariq Böke lost and his commander Alamdar was killed at the battle. In revenge, Ariq Böke had Abishqa executed. Kublai cut off the food supply to Karakorum with the support of his cousin Khadan, son of Ogedei Khan
Ögedei Khan
Ögedei Khan, born Ögedei was the third son of Genghis Khan and second Great Khan of the Mongol Empire by succeeding his father...

. Karakorum fell quickly at the hands of Kublai's large army, but following Kublai's departure it was temporarily re-taken by Ariq Böke in 1261. During the war with Ariq Böke, Yizhou governor Li Tan revolted against Mongol rule in February 1262. Hearing this, Kublai ordered his Chancellor Shi Tianze and Shi Shu to attack Li Tan. The two armies crushed Li Tan's revolt in just a few months and Li Tan was executed. These armies also executed Wang Wentong, the father-in-law of Li Tan who had been appointed the Chief Administrator of the Zhongshusheng, "Department of Central Governing") early in Kublai's reign and became one of the most trusted Han Chinese officials of Kublai. The incident instilled in Kublai a distrust of ethnic Hans. After becoming emperor, Kublai banned the titles of and tithes to Han Chinese warlord
Warlord
A warlord is a person with power who has both military and civil control over a subnational area due to armed forces loyal to the warlord and not to a central authority. The term can also mean one who espouses the ideal that war is necessary, and has the means and authority to engage in war...

s.

The Chagatayid Khan Alghu declared his allegiance
Allegiance
An allegiance is a duty of fidelity said to be owed by a subject or a citizen to his/her state or sovereign.-Etymology:From Middle English ligeaunce . The al- prefix was probably added through confusion with another legal term, allegeance, an "allegation"...

 to Kublai Khan and defeated a punitive expedition
Punitive expedition
A punitive expedition is a military journey undertaken to punish a state or any group of persons outside the borders of the punishing state. It is usually undertaken in response to perceived disobedient or morally wrong behavior, but may be also be a covered revenge...

 sent by Ariq Böke against him in 1262. Ilkhan Hulegu also sided with Kublai and criticized Ariq Böke. Ariq Böke surrendered to Kublai at Xanadu
Xanadu
-Description of Xanadu by Toghon Temur :The lament of Toghon Temur Khan , concerning the loss of Daidu and Heibun Shanduu in 1368, is recorded in many Mongolian historical chronicles...

 on August 21, 1264. The rulers of western khanates acknowledged the reality of Kublai's victory and rule in Mongolia. When Kublai summoned them to organize another kurultai, Alghu Khan demanded security for his illegal position from Kublai in return. Despite tensions between them, both Hulegu and Berke
Berke
Berke Khan was the ruler of the Golden Horde who effectively consolidated the power of the Blue Horde and White Hordes from 1257 to 1266. He succeeded his brother Batu Khan of the Blue Horde and was responsible for the first official establishment of Islam in a khanate of the Mongol Empire...

, khan of the Golden Horde
Golden Horde
The Golden Horde was a Mongol and later Turkicized khanate that formed the north-western sector of the Mongol Empire...

, accepted Kublai's invitation at first. However, they soon declined to attend the new kurultai. Although, Kublai pardoned his younger brother, he executed Ariq Böke's chief supporters.

Great Khan of the Mongols


Suspicious deaths of 3 Jochid princes in Hulegu's service, the sack of Baghdad
Battle of Baghdad (1258)
The Siege of Baghdad, which occurred in 1258, was an invasion, siege and sacking of the city of Baghdad, the capital of the Abbasid Caliphate at the time and the modern-day capital of Iraq, by the Ilkhanate Mongol forces along with other allied troops under Hulagu Khan.The invasion left Baghdad in...

, and unequal distribution of war booties strained the Ilkhanate's relations with the Golden Horde. In 1262, Hulegu's complete purge of the Jochid troops, and support for Kublai in his conflict with Ariq Böke brought open war with the Golden Horde. Khagan Kublai reinforced Hulegu with 30,000 young Mongols in order to stabilize the political crises in western regions of the Mongol Empire. As soon as Hulegu died on 8 February 1264, Berke
Berke
Berke Khan was the ruler of the Golden Horde who effectively consolidated the power of the Blue Horde and White Hordes from 1257 to 1266. He succeeded his brother Batu Khan of the Blue Horde and was responsible for the first official establishment of Islam in a khanate of the Mongol Empire...

 marched to cross near Tiflis to conquer the Ilkhanate, but died on the way. Within a few months of these deaths, Alghu Khan of the Chagatai Khanate
Chagatai Khanate
The Chagatai Khanate was a Turko-Mongol khanate that comprised the lands ruled by Chagatai Khan , second son of the Great Khan Genghis Khan, and his descendents and successors...

 also died. In the new official version of the family history, Kublai Khan refused to write Berke's name as the khan of the Golden Horde because of his support for Ariq Böke and wars with Hulegu, however, Jochi's family was fully recognized as legitimate family members.

Kublai Khan named Abagha as the new Ilkhan and nominated Batu's grandson Mongke Temur
Möngke Temür
Möngke Temür or Dudu Mentemu was the Jurchen chieftain of the Odoli tribe, one fo the three tribes of the lower Sungari river valley in Manchuria...

 for the throne of Sarai
Sarai (city)
Sarai was the name of two cities, which were successively capital cities of the Golden Horde, the Mongol kingdom which ruled Russia and much of central Asia in the 13th and 14th centuries...

, the capital of the Golden Horde. The Kublaids in the east retained suzerainty over the Ilkhans (obedient khans) until the end of its regime. Kublai also sent his protege Baraq
Baraq (Chagatai Khan)
Baraq was a khan of the Chagatai Khanate. He was the son of Yesünto'a, and a grandson of Chagatai Khan. A convert to Islam, he took the name Ghiyas-ud-din.-Background:...

 to overthrow the court of Oirat Orghana, the empress of the Chagatai Khanate, who put her young son Mubarak Shah
Mubarak Shah
Mubarak Shah was head of the Chagatai Khanate . He was the son of Qara Hülëgü and Ergene Khatun, of the Mongol empire....

 on the throne in 1265, without Kublai's permission after her husband's death. Ogedeid prince Kaidu
Kaidu
Kaidu was the leader of the House of Ogedei and the de facto khan of the Chagatai Khanate. He ruled part of modern-day Xinjiang and Central Asia during the 13th century, and actively opposed his uncle, Kublai Khan, who established the Yuan Dynasty in China until his death in 1301...

 declined to personally come to the court of Kublai. Kublai instigated Baraq to attack him. Baraq began to expand his realm northward, fighting Kaidu and the Golden Horde after he seized power in 1266. He also pushed out Great Khan's overseer from the Tarim basin
Tarim Basin
The Tarim Basin is a large endorheic basin occupying an area of about . It is located in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in China's far west. Its northern boundary is the Tian Shan mountain range and its southern is the Kunlun Mountains on the northern edge of the Tibetan Plateau. The...

. When Kaidu and Mongke Timur defeated him together, Baraq joined an alliance with the House of Ogedei
House of Ogedei
The House of Ogedei, sometimes called the Ogedeids were an influential family of Mongol Borjigin from the 12th to 14th centuries. They were descended from Ogedei Khan , a son of Genghis Khan who had become his father's successor, second Great Khan of the Mongol Empire. Ogedei continued the...

 and the Golden Horde against Kublai in the east and Abagha in the west. Meanwhile, Mongke Temur stayed out of any direct military expedition against Kublai's realm. The court of the Golden Horde promised the Great Khan her assistance to defeat Kaidu whom Mongke Temur called the rebel. This was apparently due to the conflict between Kaidu and Mongke Temur over the agreement they made at the Talas kurultai. The armies of Mongol Persia defeated Baraq's invading forces in 1269. When Baraq died the next year, Kaidu took control of the Chagatai Khanate and recovered his alliance with Mongke Temur.

Meanwhile, Kublai tried to stabilize the control over Korea by mobilizing another Mongol invasion after he appointed Wonjong (r. 1260-1274) as the new Goryeo
Goryeo
The Goryeo Dynasty or Koryŏ was a Korean dynasty established in 918 by Emperor Taejo. Korea gets its name from this kingdom which came to be pronounced Korea. It united the Later Three Kingdoms in 936 and ruled most of the Korean peninsula until it was removed by the Joseon dynasty in 1392...

 king in 1259 in Kanghwa. He forced two rulers of the Golden Horde and the Ilkhanate to call a truce with each other in 1270 despite the Golden Horde's interests in the Middle East and Caucasia
Caucasus
The Caucasus, also Caucas or Caucasia , is a geopolitical region at the border of Europe and Asia, and situated between the Black and the Caspian sea...

. He called 2 Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

i siege engineers from the Ilkhanate in order to destroy the fortresses of the Song China. After the fall of Xiangyang
Battle of Xiangyang
The Battle of Xiangyang also known as the Battle of Xiangfan was a six-year battle between invading Yuan Dynasty armies founded by the Mongols and Southern Song forces between AD 1267 and 1273. After the battle, the victorious Yuan forces pushed farther into the Song heartland...

 in 1273, Kublai's commanders, Aju
Aju
Aju was a general and chancellor of the Mongol Empire and the Yuan Dynasty. He was from the Jarchud clan of the Mongol Uriankhai....

 and Liu Zheng, proposed to him a final campaign of annihilation against the Song Dynasty, and Kublai made Bayan
Bayan of the Baarin
Bayan of the Baarin , also known as "Bayan chingsang" or, to Marco Polo, as "Bayan Hundred Eyes" , was a Mongol general...

 the supreme commander. Therefore, Kublai ordered Mongke Temur to revise the second census of the Golden Horde to provide sources and men for his conquest of China. The census took place in all parts of the Golden Horde, including Smolensk
Smolensk
Smolensk is a city and the administrative center of Smolensk Oblast, Russia, located on the Dnieper River. Situated west-southwest of Moscow, this walled city was destroyed several times throughout its long history since it was on the invasion routes of both Napoleon and Hitler. Today, Smolensk...

 and Vitebsk
Vitebsk
Vitebsk, also known as Viciebsk or Vitsyebsk , is a city in Belarus, near the border with Russia. The capital of the Vitebsk Oblast, in 2004 it had 342,381 inhabitants, making it the country's fourth largest city...

 in 1274-75. The Khans also sent Nogai
Nogai Khan
Nogai , also called Isa Nogai, was a general and de facto ruler of the Golden Horde and a great-great-grandson of Genghis Khan. His grandfather was Baul/Teval Khan, the 7th son of Jochi...

 to Balkan to strengthen Mongol influence there.

As Kublai Khan renamed the Mongol regime in China Dai Yuan in 1271, he sought to sinicize his image as Emperor of China in order to win the control of millions Chinese people. When he moved his headquarters to Khanbalic or Dadu
Khanbaliq
Khanbaliq or Dadu refers to a city which is now Beijing, the current capital of the People's Republic of China...

 at modern Beijing
Beijing
Beijing , also known as Peking , is the capital of the People's Republic of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of 19,612,368 as of 2010. The city is the country's political, cultural, and educational center, and home to the headquarters for most of China's...

, there was an uprising in the old capital Karakorum that he barely staunched. His actions were condemned by traditionalists and his critics still accused him of being too closely tied to Chinese culture. They sent a message to him: "The old customs of our Empire are not those of the Chinese laws… What will happen to the old customs?". Even Kaidu attracted the other elites of Mongol Khanates, declaring himself to be a legitimate heir to the throne instead of Kublai who had turned away from the ways of Genghis Khan. Defections from Kublai's Dynasty swelled the Ogedeids' forces.

The Song imperial family surrendered to the Yuan in 1276, making the Mongols the first non-Chinese people to conquer all of China. Three years later, Yuan marines crushed the last of the Song loyalists
Battle of Yamen
The naval Battle of Yamen took place on 19 March 1279 and is considered to be the last stand of the Song Dynasty against the invading Mongol-controlled Yuan Dynasty...

. The Song Empress Dowager and her grandson, Zhao Xian, were then settled in Khanbalic where they were given tax-free property. Kublai's wife Chabi took a personal interest in their well-being. However, Kublai had Zhao sent away to become a monk to Zhangye
Zhangye
-Administration:Zhangye has 1 urban district, 4 counties, 1 autonomous county, 97 towns, and 977 villages.-Demographics:Zhangye has a total population of 1,260,000, only 260,000 being urban residents...

 later. Kublai succeeded in building powerful Empire, creating an academy
Academy
An academy is an institution of higher learning, research, or honorary membership.The name traces back to Plato's school of philosophy, founded approximately 385 BC at Akademia, a sanctuary of Athena, the goddess of wisdom and skill, north of Athens, Greece. In the western world academia is the...

, office
Office
An office is generally a room or other area in which people work, but may also denote a position within an organization with specific duties attached to it ; the latter is in fact an earlier usage, office as place originally referring to the location of one's duty. When used as an adjective, the...

s, trade ports and canal
Canal
Canals are man-made channels for water. There are two types of canal:#Waterways: navigable transportation canals used for carrying ships and boats shipping goods and conveying people, further subdivided into two kinds:...

s and sponsoring arts
ARts
aRts, which stands for analog Real time synthesizer, is an audio framework that is no longer under development. It is best known for previously being used in KDE to simulate an analog synthesizer....

 and science
Science
Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe...

. The record of the Mongols lists 20,166 public schools created during his reign. Achieving actual or nominal dominion over much of Eurasia, and having seen his successful conquest of China, Kublai was in a position to look beyond China. However, Kublai's costly invasions of Burma, Annam
Vietnam
Vietnam – sometimes spelled Viet Nam , officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam – is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea –...

, Sakhalin
Sakhalin
Sakhalin or Saghalien, is a large island in the North Pacific, lying between 45°50' and 54°24' N.It is part of Russia, and is Russia's largest island, and is administered as part of Sakhalin Oblast...

 and Champa
Champa
The kingdom of Champa was an Indianized kingdom that controlled what is now southern and central Vietnam from approximately the 7th century through to 1832.The Cham people are remnants...

 secured only the vassal
Vassal
A vassal or feudatory is a person who has entered into a mutual obligation to a lord or monarch in the context of the feudal system in medieval Europe. The obligations often included military support and mutual protection, in exchange for certain privileges, usually including the grant of land held...

 status of those countries. Furthermore, Mongol invasions of Japan (1274 and 1280) and Java
Mongol invasion of Java
In 1293, Kublai Khan, the Great Khan of the Mongol Empire and the founder of the Yuan Dynasty, sent a large invasion fleet to Java with 20,000 to 30,000 soldiers...

 (1293) failed. At the same time his nephew Ilkhan Abagha tried to form a grand alliance
Franco-Mongol alliance
Franco-Mongol relations were established in the 13th century, as attempts were made towards forming a Franco-Mongol alliance between the Christian Crusaders and the Mongol Empire against various Muslim empires. Such an alliance would have seemed a logical choice: the Mongols were sympathetic to...

 of the Mongols and the Western Europeans to defeat the Mamluks in Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

 and North Africa that constantly invaded the Mongol dominions. Abagha and his uncle Kublai focused mostly on foreign alliances, and opened trade routes. Khagan Kublai dined with a large court every day, and met with many ambassadors, foreign merchants.

Kublai's son Nomukhan and generals occupied Almaliq
Almaliq, China
Almalik was a medieval city in Central Asia's Ili river basin. Its site is located within the present-day Huocheng County in the Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture of China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, between the city of Yining and the border with Kazakhstan.Almalik was originally one of...

 from 1266-76. In 1277, a group of Genghisid princes under Mongke's son Shiregi rebelled, kidnapping Kublai's two sons and his general Antong
Antong
Antong was a prominent official of Kublai Khan, the Great Khan of the Mongol World. As a great-grand son of Muqali of the Jalayir clan, one of the greatest generals under Genghis Khan, he became an influential administrator in the administration of the Yuan Dynasty.He was well educated in...

. The rebels handed them over to Kaidu and Mongke Temur. The latter was still allied with Kaidu who fashioned an alliance with him in 1269, although, he promised Kublai Khan his military support to protect him from the Ogedeids. Great Khan's armies suppressed the rebellion and strengthened the Yuan garrisons in Mongolia and Uighurstan. However, Kaidu took control over Almaliq.

In 1279-80, Kublai decreed death for those who performed Islamic-Jewish slaughtering of cattles, which offended Mongolian custom. When the Ahmad Teguder
Tekuder
Ahmed Tekuder , also known as Sultan Ahmad , was the sultan of the Persia-based Ilkhanate, son of Hulegu and brother of Abaqa. He was eventually succeeded by Arghun Khan...

 seized the throne of the Ilkhanate in 1282, attempting to make peace with the Mamluks, Abagha's old Mongols under prince Arghun
Arghun
Arghun Khan aka Argon was the fourth ruler of the Mongol empire's Ilkhanate, from 1284 to 1291. He was the son of Abaqa Khan, and like his father, was a devout Buddhist...

 appealed to the Great Khan. After the execution of Ahmad, Kublai confirmed Arghun's coronation and awarded his commander in chief Buqa
Buqa
Buqa was a Mongol lord and chancellor who was instrumental in sweeping Arghun to power as the fourth Il-Khan of Iran in 1284 and became his chief minister and advisor, succeeding Shams ad-Din Juvayni whom Arghun had executed...

 who helped his master the title of chingsang.

Kublai's niece, Kelmish, who married a Khunggirat general of the Golden Horde, was powerful enough to have Kublai's sons Nomuqan and Kokhchu returned. Three leaders of the Jochids, Tode Mongke, Konchi
Köchü
Köchü was the Khan of the White Horde between c.1280-1302. He was the eldest son of Sartaqtay and Qujiyan of the Qongirat and a grandson of Orda Khan....

, and Nogai, agreed to release two princes. The court of the Golden Horde sent them back as a peace overture to the Yuan Dynasty in 1282 and induced Kaidu to release the general of Kublai. Konchi, khan of White Horde, established friendly relations with the Yuan and the Ilkhanate, receiving luxury gifts and grain from Kublai as reward. Despite political disagreement between contending branches of the family over the office of Khagan, the economic and commercial system which trumped their squabbles continued.

Emperor of the Yuan Dynasty



Kublai Khan considered China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 to be his main base, a realization that dawned on him within a decade of his enthronement as Great Khan. He needed to concentrate on governing China. He adopted Chinese political and cultural models from the beginning of his reign, and also worked to minimize the influences of regional lords who had held immense power before and during the Song Dynasty
Song Dynasty
The Song Dynasty was a ruling dynasty in China between 960 and 1279; it succeeded the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period, and was followed by the Yuan Dynasty. It was the first government in world history to issue banknotes or paper money, and the first Chinese government to establish a...

. Kublai heavily relied on his Chinese advisers until about 1276. He had many Han Chinese advisers such as Liu Bingzhong
Liu Bingzhong
Liu Bingzhong , or Liu Kan was a Yuan Dynasty court adviser and architect. He was born in Ruizhou , during the Jin Dynasty. In 1233, he entered the Jin's bureaucracy. He still was an officer after the Mongol-Yuan Dynasty replaced the Jin, but later he became a monk...

 and Xu Heng
Xu Heng
Xu Heng was a Confucianist and educator of the Yuan Dynasty in China.Xu Heng was born in present-day Xinyang of Henan Province, which was then governed by the Jin Dynasty. At the age of 16, he studied Confucian Classics and became enamoured of it. In early 1230s, when the Jin Dynasty was...

. He also employed many Uyghur Turks, some of whom were resident commissioner running Chinese districts.

Kublai also appointed Phagspa Lama
Drogön Chögyal Phagpa
Zhogön Qögyä Pagba, Zhogoin Qoigyai Phagspa or Drogön Chögyal Phagpa , born Lochö Gyäcän or Lochoi Gyaicain , was the fifth leader of the Sakya school of Tibetan Buddhism. He became the first vice-king of Tibet and played an important political role...

 his state preceptor (Guoshi), giving him power over all the empire's Buddhist monks. In 1270, after Phagspa created the Square script, he was promoted to imperial preceptor. Kublai established the Supreme Control Commission under Phagspa to administer affairs of both Tibetan and Chinese monks. During Phagspa's absence in Tibet, the Tibetan monk Sangha rose to high office and had the office renamed the Commission for Buddhist and Tibetan Affairs. In 1286, Tibetan
Tibetan people
The Tibetan people are an ethnic group that is native to Tibet, which is mostly in the People's Republic of China. They number 5.4 million and are the 10th largest ethnic group in the country. Significant Tibetan minorities also live in India, Nepal, and Bhutan...

 Sangha became the dynasty's chief fiscal officer. However, their corruption
Political corruption
Political corruption is the use of legislated powers by government officials for illegitimate private gain. Misuse of government power for other purposes, such as repression of political opponents and general police brutality, is not considered political corruption. Neither are illegal acts by...

 later embittered Kublai. Thenceforwards, Kublai came to rely wholly on younger Mongol aristocrats. While Antong of the Jalayir
Jalayir
Jalayir is one of the Darliqin Mongol tribes according to Rashid-al-Din Hamadani's Jami' al-tawarikh. After the Mongol conquest in the 13th century many Jalayirs spread over Central Asia and the Middle East. Jalayirs are one of the founding tribes of Mongolia's largest ethnic group Khalkha....

, and Bayan of the Baarin served as grand councillor
Councillor
A councillor or councilor is a member of a local government council, such as a city council.Often in the United States, the title is councilman or councilwoman.-United Kingdom:...

s from 1265, Oz-temur of the Arulad headed the censorate
Censorate
The Censorate was a top-level supervisory agency in ancient China, first established during the Qin Dynasty ....

. Borokhula's descendant, Ochicher, headed a kheshig and the palace provision commission.

In the 8th Year of Zhiyuan (1271), Kublai Khan officially declared the creation of the Yuan Dynasty, and proclaimed the capital to be at Dadu
Khanbaliq
Khanbaliq or Dadu refers to a city which is now Beijing, the current capital of the People's Republic of China...

 ' onMouseout='HidePop("34217")' href="http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Beijing">Beijing
Beijing
Beijing , also known as Peking , is the capital of the People's Republic of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of 19,612,368 as of 2010. The city is the country's political, cultural, and educational center, and home to the headquarters for most of China's...

) in the following year. His summer capital was in Shangdu
Xanadu
-Description of Xanadu by Toghon Temur :The lament of Toghon Temur Khan , concerning the loss of Daidu and Heibun Shanduu in 1368, is recorded in many Mongolian historical chronicles...

 ' onMouseout='HidePop("60788")' href="http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Xanadu">Xanadu
Xanadu
-Description of Xanadu by Toghon Temur :The lament of Toghon Temur Khan , concerning the loss of Daidu and Heibun Shanduu in 1368, is recorded in many Mongolian historical chronicles...

, near what today is Dolonnur
Duolun
Dolon Nor , is a town and the county seat of Duolun County, Xilin Gol League in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous region, China. It is of historical importance because the remnants of Xanadu, the summer capital of Kubilai Khan and the following Mongol emperors of the Yuan Dynasty , are located some 17...

). To unify China, Kublai Khan began a massive offensive against the remnants of the Southern Song Dynasty in the 11th year of Zhiyuan (1274), and finally destroyed the Song Dynasty in the 16th year of Zhiyuan (1279), unifying the country at last.

China proper
China proper
China proper or Eighteen Provinces was a term used by Western writers on the Qing Dynasty to express a distinction between the core and frontier regions of China. There is no fixed extent for China proper, as many administrative, cultural, and linguistic shifts have occurred in Chinese history...

, Manchuria
Manchuria
Manchuria is a historical name given to a large geographic region in northeast Asia. Depending on the definition of its extent, Manchuria usually falls entirely within the People's Republic of China, or is sometimes divided between China and Russia. The region is commonly referred to as Northeast...

, Mongolia homeland as well as Korean Peninsula were administered in 11 provinces during his reign with a governor and vice-governor each. Aside from the 11 provinces was the Central Region , consisting of much of present-day North China, was considered the most important region of the dynasty and directly governed by the Zhongshusheng (Chinese
Chinese language
The Chinese language is a language or language family consisting of varieties which are mutually intelligible to varying degrees. Originally the indigenous languages spoken by the Han Chinese in China, it forms one of the branches of Sino-Tibetan family of languages...

: 中書省, "Department of Central Governing") at Dadu
Khanbaliq
Khanbaliq or Dadu refers to a city which is now Beijing, the current capital of the People's Republic of China...

. In addition, Tibet
Tibet
Tibet is a plateau region in Asia, north-east of the Himalayas. It is the traditional homeland of the Tibetan people as well as some other ethnic groups such as Monpas, Qiang, and Lhobas, and is now also inhabited by considerable numbers of Han and Hui people...

 was governed by another top-level administrative department called the Xuanzheng Yuan .

He ruled well, promoting economic growth with the rebuilding of the Grand Canal
Grand Canal of China
The Grand Canal in China, also known as the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal is the longest canal or artificial river in the world. Starting at Beijing, it passes through Tianjin and the provinces of Hebei, Shandong, Jiangsu and Zhejiang to the city of Hangzhou...

, repairing public buildings, and extending highways. However, Kublai Khan's domestic policy also included some aspects of the old Mongol living traditions, and as Kublai Khan continued his reign, these traditions would clash more and more frequently with traditional Chinese economic and social culture. Kublai decreed that partner merchants of the Mongols should be subject to taxes in 1263 and set up the Office of Market Taxes to supervise them in 1268. With the Mongol conquest of the Song, the merchants expanded their sphere of operations to the South China Sea
South China Sea
The South China Sea is a marginal sea that is part of the Pacific Ocean, encompassing an area from the Singapore and Malacca Straits to the Strait of Taiwan of around...

 and the Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
The Indian Ocean is the third largest of the world's oceanic divisions, covering approximately 20% of the water on the Earth's surface. It is bounded on the north by the Indian Subcontinent and Arabian Peninsula ; on the west by eastern Africa; on the east by Indochina, the Sunda Islands, and...

. In 1286 maritime trade was put under the Office of Market Taxes. The main source of revenue of the government was the salt
Salt
In chemistry, salts are ionic compounds that result from the neutralization reaction of an acid and a base. They are composed of cations and anions so that the product is electrically neutral...

 monopoly
Monopoly
A monopoly exists when a specific person or enterprise is the only supplier of a particular commodity...

.

The Mongol administration had issued paper currencies from 1227 on. In August 1260, Kublai created the first unified paper currency with bills that circulated throughout the Yuan domain with no expiration date. To guard against devaluation, the currency was convertible with silver
Silver
Silver is a metallic chemical element with the chemical symbol Ag and atomic number 47. A soft, white, lustrous transition metal, it has the highest electrical conductivity of any element and the highest thermal conductivity of any metal...

 and gold
Gold
Gold is a chemical element with the symbol Au and an atomic number of 79. Gold is a dense, soft, shiny, malleable and ductile metal. Pure gold has a bright yellow color and luster traditionally considered attractive, which it maintains without oxidizing in air or water. Chemically, gold is a...

, and the government accepted tax payments in paper currency. In 1273, He issued a new series of state sponsored bills to finance his conquest of the Song, although eventually a lack of fiscal discipline and inflation turned this move into an economic disaster in the later course of the dynasty. It was required to pay only in the form of paper money
Paper Money
Paper Money is the second album by the band Montrose. It was released in 1974 and was the band's last album to feature Sammy Hagar as lead vocalist.-History:...

 called Chao
Chao (currency)
The Chao , was the official banknote of the Yuan Dynasty in China. Unlike the earlier paper money such as Jiaozi, it was the first paper currency to be used as the predominant circulating medium in the history of China....

. To ensure its use in circles, Kublai's government confiscated gold and silver from private citizens as well as foreign merchants. But traders received government-issued notes in exchange. That is why Kublai Khan is considered to be the first of fiat money
Fiat money
Fiat money is money that has value only because of government regulation or law. The term derives from the Latin fiat, meaning "let it be done", as such money is established by government decree. Where fiat money is used as currency, the term fiat currency is used.Fiat money originated in 11th...

 makers. The paper bills made collecting taxes and administering the huge empire much easier while reducing cost of transporting coins. In 1287 Kublai's minister Sangha created a new currency, Zhiyuan Chao, to deal with the budget
Budget
A budget is a financial plan and a list of all planned expenses and revenues. It is a plan for saving, borrowing and spending. A budget is an important concept in microeconomics, which uses a budget line to illustrate the trade-offs between two or more goods...

 shortfall. It was non-convertible and denominated in copper
Copper
Copper is a chemical element with the symbol Cu and atomic number 29. It is a ductile metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. Pure copper is soft and malleable; an exposed surface has a reddish-orange tarnish...

 cash. Later Gaykhatu
Gaykhatu
Gaykhatu was the fifth Ilkhanate ruler in Iran. He reigned from 1291 to 1295. During his reign, Gaykhatu was a noted dissolute who was addicted to wine, women, and sodomy...

 of the Ilkhanate attempted to adopt the system in Persia and Middle east
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

, which was however a complete failure, and he was assassinated shortly after that.

He encouraged Asian arts and demonstrated religious tolerance. Despite his anti-Taoist edict
Edict
An edict is an announcement of a law, often associated with monarchism. The Pope and various micronational leaders are currently the only persons who still issue edicts.-Notable edicts:...

s, Kublai respected the Taoist master and appointed Zhang Liushan the patriarch of Taoist Xuanjiao order. Under Zhang's advice, Taoist temples were put under the Academy of Scholarly Worthies. The empire was visited by several Europeans, notably Marco Polo
Marco Polo
Marco Polo was a Venetian merchant traveler from the Venetian Republic whose travels are recorded in Il Milione, a book which did much to introduce Europeans to Central Asia and China. He learned about trading whilst his father and uncle, Niccolò and Maffeo, travelled through Asia and apparently...

 in the 1270s who may have seen the summer capital Shangdu.

Warfare and foreign relations



Despite that Kublai restricted the functions of kheshig
Kheshig
Kheshig were the imperial guard for Mongol royalty in the Mongol Empire, particularly for the rulers like the Genghis Khan and his wife Borte. Their primary purpose was as a body guard for the emperors and rulers and to protect them during the day and night...

 (khan's bodyguard), he created a new imperial bodyguard, at first entirely Chinese in composition but later strengthened with Kipchak, Alan
Alans
The Alans, or the Alani, occasionally termed Alauni or Halani, were a group of Sarmatian tribes, nomadic pastoralists of the 1st millennium AD who spoke an Eastern Iranian language which derived from Scytho-Sarmatian and which in turn evolved into modern Ossetian.-Name:The various forms of Alan —...

 (Asud
Asud
Asud were a guard and military group of Alani origin. The Mongol clan Asud is the plural of As, the Arabic name for the Alans.After the Mongol invasion of Rus, many Alans submitted to the Mongol Empire. Some of them resisted the Golden Horde longer. Many warriors moved from Northern Caucasia to...

), and Russian
Russians
The Russian people are an East Slavic ethnic group native to Russia, speaking the Russian language and primarily living in Russia and neighboring countries....

 units. Once his own kheshig was organized in 1263, Kublai put three of the four shifts of the kheshig under descendants of Genghis Khan's four steeds, Borokhula, Boorchu and Muqali
Muqali
Mukhulai was one of the greatest generals under Genghis Khan of Jalayir descent and the first prince of the Mongol Empire. The fact that his father died trying to save Genghis Khan during a battle coupled with his own skills in battle led Muqali to become one of the Khan's most trusted generals...

. Kublai Khan began the practice of having the four great aristocrats in his kheshig
Kheshig
Kheshig were the imperial guard for Mongol royalty in the Mongol Empire, particularly for the rulers like the Genghis Khan and his wife Borte. Their primary purpose was as a body guard for the emperors and rulers and to protect them during the day and night...

 sign all jarliq
Jarliq
In the Mongol Empire, Jarlig was one of three types of non-fundamental law pronouncements that had the effect of a regulation or ordinance, the other two being debter and bilig In the Mongol Empire, Jarlig (Mongolian: зарлиг; Russian: iarlyk, also transliterated yarlyk and the Tartar: yarligh)...

s (decree), a practice that spread to all other Mongol khanates. Both Mongol and Chinese units were organized according to the same decimal organization that Genghis Khan used. The Mongols eagerly adopted new artillery
Artillery
Originally applied to any group of infantry primarily armed with projectile weapons, artillery has over time become limited in meaning to refer only to those engines of war that operate by projection of munitions far beyond the range of effect of personal weapons...

 and technologies. While Kublai's younger brother Hulegu used 1,000 Chinese mangonel
Mangonel
A mangonel was a type of catapult or siege engine used in the medieval period to throw projectiles at a castle's walls. The exact meaning of the term is debatable, and several possibilities have been suggested. Mangonel may also be indirectly referring to the 'mangon' a French hard stone found in...

 operators under Barga Mongol Ambaghai, he brought siege engineers, Ismail
Ismail (mangonel expert)
Ismail was a Muslim Iraqi mangonel expert who served in Kublai Khan’s army in the conquest of the Southern Song Dynasty.In 1271 Kublai Khan dispatched envoys to obtain persons skilled in the management of mangonels from his kinsman Abaqa, the Ilkhan in Persia...

 and Al al-Din
Al al-Din
Al al-Din was a Muslim Persian mangonel expert who served in Kublai Khan’s army in the conquest of the Southern Song Dynasty.In 1271 Kublai Khan dispatched envoys to obtain persons skilled in the management of mangonels from his kinsman Abaqa, the Ilkhan in Persia...

, from Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

 and Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

. The world's earliest known cannon
Cannon
A cannon is any piece of artillery that uses gunpowder or other usually explosive-based propellents to launch a projectile. Cannon vary in caliber, range, mobility, rate of fire, angle of fire, and firepower; different forms of cannon combine and balance these attributes in varying degrees,...

, dated 1282, was found in Mongol-held Manchuria. Kublai and his generals avoided total destruction of South China for economic benefits. Effective assimilation of Chinese naval techniques allowed the Yuan army to quickly conquer the Song and advance beyond the seas.

Diplomatically and militarily, Kublai's foreign policy, as the previous Mongol Great Khans, was imperialistic
Imperialism
Imperialism, as defined by Dictionary of Human Geography, is "the creation and/or maintenance of an unequal economic, cultural, and territorial relationships, usually between states and often in the form of an empire, based on domination and subordination." The imperialism of the last 500 years,...

. Kublai Khan invaded then made Goryeo
Goryeo
The Goryeo Dynasty or Koryŏ was a Korean dynasty established in 918 by Emperor Taejo. Korea gets its name from this kingdom which came to be pronounced Korea. It united the Later Three Kingdoms in 936 and ruled most of the Korean peninsula until it was removed by the Joseon dynasty in 1392...

 (Korea
Korea
Korea ) is an East Asian geographic region that is currently divided into two separate sovereign states — North Korea and South Korea. Located on the Korean Peninsula, Korea is bordered by the People's Republic of China to the northwest, Russia to the northeast, and is separated from Japan to the...

) a tributary vassal in 1260. After the Mongol invasion in 1273, the Goryeo was subjugated and became a fully integrated client state under Yuan. The Goryeo in Korea became a Mongol military base and several myriarchy commands were established there. The court of the Goryeo supplied Korean troops and ocean naval force for the Mongol campaigns. Despite the opposition of his Confucian-trained Chinese advisers, Kublai decided to invade Japan, Burma, Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam – sometimes spelled Viet Nam , officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam – is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea –...

 and Java
Mongol invasion of Java
In 1293, Kublai Khan, the Great Khan of the Mongol Empire and the founder of the Yuan Dynasty, sent a large invasion fleet to Java with 20,000 to 30,000 soldiers...

, following his Mongol officials. These costly conquests
Mongol invasions
Mongol invasions progressed throughout the 13th century, resulting in the vast Mongol Empire which covered much of Asia and Eastern Europe by 1300....

 along with the introduction of paper currency, caused inflation
Inflation
In economics, inflation is a rise in the general level of prices of goods and services in an economy over a period of time.When the general price level rises, each unit of currency buys fewer goods and services. Consequently, inflation also reflects an erosion in the purchasing power of money – a...

. From 1273 to 1276 war against the Song Dynasty and Japan made emissions of paper currency explode from 110,000 ding to 1,420,000 ding.

Invasions of Japan


Kublai Khan twice attempted to invade Japan. Both times it is believed that bad weather, or a flaw in the design of ships that were based on river boats without keels, destroyed his fleets. The first attempt took place in 1274, with a fleet of 900 ships. The second invasion occurred in 1281.The Mongols sent two separate forces this time; an impressive force of 900 ships containing 40,000 Korean, Chinese, and Mongol troops set out from Masan, while an even larger force of 100,000 sailed from southern China in 3,500 ships, each close to 240 feet (73.2 m) long. The fleet was hastily assembled and ill-equipped to handle the sea.

In November, they sailed out into the treacherous waters that separated Korea and Japan by 110 miles. The Mongols easily took over Tsushima Island about halfway across the strait and then Ika Island closer to Kyushu.
The Korean fleet reached Hakata Bay on June 23, 1281 landing its forces and animals, but the ships from China were nowhere to be seen.

The samurai
Samurai
is the term for the military nobility of pre-industrial Japan. According to translator William Scott Wilson: "In Chinese, the character 侍 was originally a verb meaning to wait upon or accompany a person in the upper ranks of society, and this is also true of the original term in Japanese, saburau...

 warriors rode out against the Mongol forces for individual combat, but the Mongols held their formation. As usual, the Mongols fought as a united force, not as individuals. Instead of coming out for duels, the Mongols bombarded the samurai with exploding missiles and showered them in arrows. Eventually, the remaining Japanese withdrew from the coastal zone inland to a fortress. The Mongol forces did not chase the fleeting Japanese into an area about which they lacked reliable intelligence at that time.

Dr. Kenzo Hayashida, a marine archaeologist, headed the investigation that discovered the wreckage of the second invasion fleet off the western coast of Takashima
Takashima
Takashima may refer to:PeoplePeople with the surname Takashima:*Gara Takashima, Japanese voice actor*Kazusa Takashima, Japanese manga artist*Kohey Takashima, Japanese businessman*Masahiro Takashima, Japanese actor...

. His team's findings strongly indicate that Kublai Khan rushed to invade Japan and attempted to construct his enormous fleet in only one year (a task that should have taken up to 5 years). This forced the Chinese to use any available ships, including river boats, in order to achieve readiness. Most importantly, the Chinese, then under Kublai's control, were forced to build many ships quickly in order to contribute to the fleet in both of the invasions. Hayashida theorizes that, had Kublai used standard, well-constructed ocean-going ships, which have a curved keel
Keel
In boats and ships, keel can refer to either of two parts: a structural element, or a hydrodynamic element. These parts overlap. As the laying down of the keel is the initial step in construction of a ship, in British and American shipbuilding traditions the construction is dated from this event...

 to prevent capsizing
Capsize
Capsizing is an act of tipping over a boat or ship to disable it. The act of reversing a capsized vessel is called righting.If a capsized vessel has sufficient flotation to prevent sinking, it may recover on its own if the stability is such that it is not stable inverted...

, his navy might have survived the journey to and from Japan and might have conquered it as intended. In October 2011, one of the possibility Kubilai Khan wreck has been found at the coast of Nagasaki
Nagasaki
is the capital and the largest city of Nagasaki Prefecture on the island of Kyushu in Japan. Nagasaki was founded by the Portuguese in the second half of the 16th century on the site of a small fishing village, formerly part of Nishisonogi District...

.

David Nicolle writes in The Mongol Warlords that "Huge losses had also been suffered in terms of casualties and sheer expense, while the myth of Mongol invincibility had been shattered throughout eastern Asia." He also wrote that Kublai Khan was determined to mount a third invasion, despite the horrendous cost to the economy and to his and Mongol prestige of the first two defeats, and only his death and the unanimous agreement of his advisers not to invade prevented such a third attempt.

After his first invasion of Japan, in response, the Japanese pirates, known as Wokou
Wokou
Wokou , which literally translates as "Japanese pirates" in English, were pirates of varying origins who raided the coastlines of China and Korea from the 13th century onwards...

, raided Korea. But the Mongol-Korean forces pushed them back, and the Wokou pirates experienced a low point of their activity due to the higher degree of military preparedness in the Goryeo and the Kamakura. In 1293, the Yuan navy captured 100 Japanese from Okinawa.

Invasions of Vietnam



Kublai Khan also twice invaded Đại Việt. When Kublai became the Great Khan in 1260, the Trần Dynasty sent tribute
Tribute
A tribute is wealth, often in kind, that one party gives to another as a sign of respect or, as was often the case in historical contexts, of submission or allegiance. Various ancient states, which could be called suzerains, exacted tribute from areas they had conquered or threatened to conquer...

 every 3 years and received a darugachi. But their king soon declined to attend the court in person. The first incursion (the second Mongol invasion of Đại Việt) began in December 1284 when Mongols under the command of Toghan, the prince of Kublai Khan, crossed the border and quickly occupied Thăng Long (now Hanoi
Hanoi
Hanoi , is the capital of Vietnam and the country's second largest city. Its population in 2009 was estimated at 2.6 million for urban districts, 6.5 million for the metropolitan jurisdiction. From 1010 until 1802, it was the most important political centre of Vietnam...

) in January 1285 after the victorious battle of Omar
Omar
Omar can refer to:-Name:* Omar , including a list of people with the given name or surname Omar, Omer or Umar as well-Places:* Omar, Konar, a village in Afghanistan...

 in Vạn Kiếp (north east of Hanoi). At the same time Sogetu from Champa
Champa
The kingdom of Champa was an Indianized kingdom that controlled what is now southern and central Vietnam from approximately the 7th century through to 1832.The Cham people are remnants...

 moved northward and rapidly marched to Nghe An (in the north central region of Vietnam now) where the army of the Tran under general Tran Kien surrendered to him. However, the Trần kings and the commander-in-chief Trần Hưng Đạo changed tactics from defence to attack and struck against the Mongols. In April, General Trần Quang Khải
Trần Quang Khải
Prince Chiêu Minh Trần Quang Khải was the third son of Trần Thái Tông, first emperor of the Trần Dynasty. Being younger brother of the Emperor Trần Thánh Tông and holding the position of grand chancellor of the Trần Dynasty for many years, Trần Quang Khải was one of the most important figures of...

 defeated Sogetu in Chuong Duong (now part of Hanoi
Hanoi
Hanoi , is the capital of Vietnam and the country's second largest city. Its population in 2009 was estimated at 2.6 million for urban districts, 6.5 million for the metropolitan jurisdiction. From 1010 until 1802, it was the most important political centre of Vietnam...

) and then the Trần kings won a big battle in Tây Kết where Sogetu died. Soon after, general Trần Nhật Duật
Trần Nhật Duật
Prince Chiêu Văn Trần Nhật Duật was the sixth prince of Trần Thái Tông, first emperor of Trần Dynasty. Being younger brother of the Emperor Trần Thánh Tông, Trần Nhật Duật was one of the most important figures of Trần family and royal court during the reigns of four successive emperors Thánh Tông,...

 also won a battle in Hàm Tử (now part of Hưng Yên) while Toghan was defeated by General Trần Hưng Đạo and Kublai Khan failed in his first attempt to invade Đại Việt. Toghan had to hide himself inside a bronze pipe to avoid being killed by the Đại Việt archers; this shameful act became a disastrous humiliation for the Mongol Empire and for Toghan himself.

After his first failure, Kublai wanted to install Nhan Tong's brother Tran Ich Tac, who had defected to the Mongols, as king of Annam, but hardship in the Yuan's supply base in Hunan
Hunan
' is a province of South-Central China, located to the south of the middle reaches of the Yangtze River and south of Lake Dongting...

, and Kaidu's invasion aborted his planned invasion. In 1285 the Brigung sect rebelled, attacking monasteries of Paghspa's sect in Tibet. The Chagatayid Khan, Duwa
Duwa
Duwa , also known as Du'a, was khan of the Chagatai Khanate . He was the second son of Baraq. He was the longest reigning monarch of the Chagatayid Khanate and accepted the Great Khan's supremacy...

, came in to aid the rebels, and laid siege to Kara-Kocho while defeating Kublai's garrisons in the Tarim basin. Kaidu destroyed an army at Beshbalik and occupied the city the next year. Many Uyghurs abandoned Kashgar
Kashgar
Kashgar or Kashi is an oasis city with approximately 350,000 residents in the western part of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China. Kashgar is the administrative centre of Kashgar Prefecture which has an area of 162,000 km² and a population of approximately...

 for safer bases back east in the Yuan. Only after Kublai's grandson Buqa-Temur crushed the resistance of the Brigung sect, killing 10,000 Tibetans in 1291, Tibet was fully pacified.

The second invasion of Đại Việt by Kublai Khan began in 1287 and was better organized than the previous effort, utilizing a large fleet and plentiful stocks of food. The Mongols, under the command of Toghan, moved to Vạn Kiếp (from the north west) and met the infantry and cavalry of Omar
Omar
Omar can refer to:-Name:* Omar , including a list of people with the given name or surname Omar, Omer or Umar as well-Places:* Omar, Konar, a village in Afghanistan...

 (coming by another way along the Red River) and there they quickly won the battle. The naval fleet rapidly attained victory in Vân Đồn (near Ha Long Bay) but they left the heavy cargo ships stocked with food behind which General Trần Khánh Dư
Trần Khánh Dư
Prince Nhân Huệ Trần Khánh Dư was the adopted prince of the Retired Emperor Trần Thánh Tông and a general of Đại Việt army in royal court of four successive emperors of the Trần Dynasty: Thánh Tông, Nhân Tông, Anh Tông, and Minh Tông...

 quickly captured. As foreseen, the Mongolians in Thăng Long (now Hanoi
Hanoi
Hanoi , is the capital of Vietnam and the country's second largest city. Its population in 2009 was estimated at 2.6 million for urban districts, 6.5 million for the metropolitan jurisdiction. From 1010 until 1802, it was the most important political centre of Vietnam...

) suffered an acute shortage of sustenance. Without any news about the supply fleet Toghan found himself in a tight corner and had to order his army to retreat to Vạn Kiếp. This was when Đại Việt's Army began the general offensive by recapturing a number of locations occupied by the Mongol invaders. Groups of infantry were given orders to attack the Mongols in Vạn Kiếp. Toghan had to split his army into two and retreat.

In early April the naval fleet led by Kublai's Kipchak commander Omar
Omar
Omar can refer to:-Name:* Omar , including a list of people with the given name or surname Omar, Omer or Umar as well-Places:* Omar, Konar, a village in Afghanistan...

 and escorted by infantry fled home along the Bạch Đằng river. As bridges and roads were destroyed and attacks were launched by Đại Việt's troops, the Mongols reached Bạch Đằng without an infantry escort. Đại Việt's small flotilla engaged in battle and pretended to retreat. The Mongols eagerly pursued Đại Việt troops and fell into their prearranged battlefield. "Thousands" of Đại Việt's small boats from both banks quickly appeared, fiercely launched the attack and broke the combat formation of the enemy. Meeting a sudden and strong attack, the Mongols tried to withdraw to the sea in panic. Hitting the stakes, their boats were halted, many of which were broken and sank. At that time, a number of fire rafts quickly rushed toward them. Frightened, the Mongolian troops jumped down to get to the banks where they were dealt a heavy blow by an army led by the Trần king and Trần Hưng Đạo. The Mongolian naval fleet was totally destroyed and Omar was captured. At the same time, Đại Việt's Army made continuous attacks and smashed to pieces Toghan's army on its route of withdrawal through Lạng Sơn. Toghan risked his life making a shortcut through thick forest to flee home. Nevertheless, the Đại Việt and the Kingdom of Champa
Champa
The kingdom of Champa was an Indianized kingdom that controlled what is now southern and central Vietnam from approximately the 7th century through to 1832.The Cham people are remnants...

 had recognized Kublai's supremacy in order to avoid more conflicts.

Southeast Asia and South seas



Three expeditions against Burma (1277, 1283, 1287) brought the Mongol forces to the Irrawaddy delta, and the Mongols captured Bagan
Bagan
Bagan , formerly Pagan, is an ancient city in the Mandalay Region of Burma. Formally titled Arimaddanapura or Arimaddana and also known as Tambadipa or Tassadessa , it was the capital of several ancient kingdoms in Burma...

, the capital of Pagan Kingdom
Pagan Kingdom
The Pagan Kingdom or Pagan Dynasty was the first kingdom to unify the regions that would later constitute the modern-day Burma...

 in Burma, and established their puppet government. Kublai had to be content with the acknowledgment of a formal suzerainty again but the Burmese finally became tributary state and sent tributes until the expulsion of the Mongols from China. The Khmer
Khmer Empire
The Khmer Empire was one of the most powerful empires in Southeast Asia. The empire, which grew out of the former kingdom of Chenla, at times ruled over and/or vassalized parts of modern-day Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, Burma, and Malaysia. Its greatest legacy is Angkor, the site of the capital city...

 kingdom of Cambodia
Cambodia
Cambodia , officially known as the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia...

 and small states in Malay and South India
South India
South India is the area encompassing India's states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu as well as the union territories of Lakshadweep and Pondicherry, occupying 19.31% of India's area...

 submitted to Kublai's rule between 1278-1294. Mongol interests in these parts had always been purely commercial and tributary
Tributary
A tributary or affluent is a stream or river that flows into a main stem river or a lake. A tributary does not flow directly into a sea or ocean...

 relationship.

During the last years of his reign Kublai launched a naval punitive expedition
Punitive expedition
A punitive expedition is a military journey undertaken to punish a state or any group of persons outside the borders of the punishing state. It is usually undertaken in response to perceived disobedient or morally wrong behavior, but may be also be a covered revenge...

 of 20-30,000 men against the Java
Java
Java is an island of Indonesia. With a population of 135 million , it is the world's most populous island, and one of the most densely populated regions in the world. It is home to 60% of Indonesia's population. The Indonesian capital city, Jakarta, is in west Java...

nese kingdom of Singhasari
Singhasari
Singhasari was a kingdom located in east Java between 1222 and 1292. The kingdom succeeded Kingdom of Kediri as the dominant kingdom in eastern Java.-Foundation:...

 (1293), but the Mongol forces were compelled to withdraw, by the Majapahit Dynasty, after considerable losses of more than 3,000 troops. In 1294, two Thai
Thailand
Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

 kingdoms of Sukhotai
Sukhothai kingdom
The Sukhothai Kingdom ) was an early kingdom in the area around the city Sukhothai, in north central Thailand. The Kingdom existed from 1238 till 1438...

 and Chiangmai became vassal
Vassal
A vassal or feudatory is a person who has entered into a mutual obligation to a lord or monarch in the context of the feudal system in medieval Europe. The obligations often included military support and mutual protection, in exchange for certain privileges, usually including the grant of land held...

 states of Kublai's empire.

Conquest of Sakhalin


The Mongol forces made several attacks on Sakhalin
Sakhalin
Sakhalin or Saghalien, is a large island in the North Pacific, lying between 45°50' and 54°24' N.It is part of Russia, and is Russia's largest island, and is administered as part of Sakhalin Oblast...

, beginning in 1264 and continuing until 1308. Economically, the conquest of new peoples provided further wealth for the tribute-based Mongol Dynasty. The Nivkhs and the Oroks were subjugated by the Mongols. However, the Ainu people
Ainu people
The , also called Aynu, Aino , and in historical texts Ezo , are indigenous people or groups in Japan and Russia. Historically they spoke the Ainu language and related varieties and lived in Hokkaidō, the Kuril Islands, and much of Sakhalin...

 raided Mongol posts and fought with the indigenous people of Sakhalin, who submitted to the Great Khan. Finally, the Ainu tribes accepted Mongol supremacy
Supremacy
Supremacy may refer to:* Supremacism, a philosophy that one is superior to others, so dominate, control or rule those who are not* Acts of Supremacy, 16th century laws in England concerning King Henry VIII and the church...

 in 1308.

Europe


Under Kublai, the opening of direct contact between East Asia and the West, made possible by the Mongol control of the central Asian trade routes and facilitated by the presence of efficient postal services, was another spectacular phenomenon in the Mongol Empire. In the beginning of the 13th century, large numbers of Europeans and Central Asians - merchants, travelers, and missionaries of different orders - made their way to China. The presence of the Mongol power also enabled throngs of Chinese, bent on warfare or trade, to make their appearance everywhere in the Mongol Empire, all the way to Russia, Persia, and Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia is a toponym for the area of the Tigris–Euphrates river system, largely corresponding to modern-day Iraq, northeastern Syria, southeastern Turkey and southwestern Iran.Widely considered to be the cradle of civilization, Bronze Age Mesopotamia included Sumer and the...

.


Marco Polo
Marco Polo
Marco Polo was a Venetian merchant traveler from the Venetian Republic whose travels are recorded in Il Milione, a book which did much to introduce Europeans to Central Asia and China. He learned about trading whilst his father and uncle, Niccolò and Maffeo, travelled through Asia and apparently...

, Niccolo Polo's son, accompanied his father and his uncle Maffeo Polo, on their second trip to China starting in 1271. Marco Polo was probably the best-known foreign visitor ever to set foot in China and Mongolia. It is said that after reaching China in 1275, he spent the next 17 years (1275–1292) under the administration and patronage of Kublai Khan, including official service in the salt administration and trips through the provinces of Yunnan and Fukien
Fujian
' , formerly romanised as Fukien or Huguing or Foukien, is a province on the southeast coast of mainland China. Fujian is bordered by Zhejiang to the north, Jiangxi to the west, and Guangdong to the south. Taiwan lies to the east, across the Taiwan Strait...

. Although the numerous flaws in his description of China have tempted modern historians to dispute his sojourn in the Middle Kingdom, the popularity of his journal, Description of the World, was such that it subsequently generated unprecedented enthusiasm in Europe for going east.

The capital city of the Emperor



After Kublai was proclaimed Khagan at his residence in Shangdu on 5 May 1260, he began to organize the country. Zhang Wenqian, who was a friend of Guo and like him was a central government official, was sent by Kublai Khan in 1260 to Daming where unrest had been reported in the local population. Guo accompanied Zhang on his mission. Guo was not only interested in engineering, but he was also an expert astronomer. In particular he was a skilled instrument maker and understood that good astronomical observations depended on expertly made instruments. He now began to construct astronomical instruments, including water clock
Clock
A clock is an instrument used to indicate, keep, and co-ordinate time. The word clock is derived ultimately from the Celtic words clagan and clocca meaning "bell". A silent instrument missing such a mechanism has traditionally been known as a timepiece...

s for accurate timing and armillary spheres which represent the celestial globe
Globe
A globe is a three-dimensional scale model of Earth or other spheroid celestial body such as a planet, star, or moon...

. Turkestan
Turkestan
Turkestan, spelled also as Turkistan, literally means "Land of the Turks".The term Turkestan is of Persian origin and has never been in use to denote a single nation. It was first used by Persian geographers to describe the place of Turkish peoples...

i architect Ikhtiyar al-Din
Ikhtiyar al-Din
Ikhtiyar al-Din may refer to:*Ikhtiyar al-Din Ai-Taq, , amir in western Khurasan following the decline of the Seljuks*Ikhtiyar Uddin Muhammad Bin Bakhtiyar Khalji, , Afghan soldier...

 (also known as Igder) designed the buildings of the city of Khagan or Khanbalic. The Great Khan also employed many foreign artists to build his new capital. One of them named Arniko from Nepal
Nepal
Nepal , officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a landlocked sovereign state located in South Asia. It is located in the Himalayas and bordered to the north by the People's Republic of China, and to the south, east, and west by the Republic of India...

 built the White Stupa
Stupa
A stupa is a mound-like structure containing Buddhist relics, typically the remains of Buddha, used by Buddhists as a place of worship....

 which was the largest structure in Khanbalic/Dadu.

Zhang advised Kublai Khan that his friend Guo was a leading expert in hydraulic engineering. Kublai knew the importance of water management, for irrigation, transport of grain, and flood control, and he asked Guo to look at these aspects in the area between Dadu (now Beijing or Peking) and the Yellow River. To provide Dadu with a new supply of water, Guo found the Baifu spring in the Shenshan Mountain and had a 30 km channel built to bring the water to Dadu. He proposed connecting the water supply across different river basins, built new canals with many sluices to control the water level, and achieved great success with the improvements which he was able to make. This pleased Kublai Khan and led to Guo being asked to undertake similar projects in other parts of the country. In 1264 he was asked to go to Gansu province to repair the damage that had been caused to the irrigation systems by the years of war during the Mongol advance through the region. Guo travelled extensively along with his friend Zhang taking notes of the work which needed to be done to unblock damaged parts of the system and to make improvements to its efficiency. He sent his report directly to Kublai Khan.

Nayan's rebellion


During the conquest of the Jin, Genghis Khan's younger brothers received large appanage
Appanage
An apanage or appanage or is the grant of an estate, titles, offices, or other things of value to the younger male children of a sovereign, who would otherwise have no inheritance under the system of primogeniture...

s in Manchuria
Manchuria
Manchuria is a historical name given to a large geographic region in northeast Asia. Depending on the definition of its extent, Manchuria usually falls entirely within the People's Republic of China, or is sometimes divided between China and Russia. The region is commonly referred to as Northeast...

. Their descendants strongly supported Kublai's coronation in 1260, but the younger generation desired more independence. Kublai enforced Ogedei Khan's regulations that the Mongol noblemen could appoint overseers, along with the Great Khan's special officials, in their appanages, but otherwise respected appanage rights. His son Manggala established direct control over Singan and Shansi in 1272. In 1274 Kublai Khan appointed Lian Xixian to investigate abuses of power by Mongol appanage holders in Manchuria. Lia-tung region was brought immediately under the Khagan's control, in 1284, eliminating autonomy of the Mongol nobles there.

Threatened by the advance of the Great Khan's bureaucratization, Belgutei
Belgutei
Belgutei was the son of Yesugei and half-brother to Genghis Khan.He also became general to Genghis Khan.-Ancestry:...

's fourth generation descendant, Nayan (not confused with Temuge
Temüge
Temüge was the youngest full-brother of Genghis Khan. As the youngest sibling, Temüge and his mother, by Mongol traditions, were allotted the most land and people by Genghis Khan during his coronation...

's descendant Nayan), instigated revolt in 1287. Nayan attempted to link up with Kublai's competitor Kaidu in Central Asia. Manchuria's native Jurchens and Water Tatars, who had suffered famine
Famine
A famine is a widespread scarcity of food, caused by several factors including crop failure, overpopulation, or government policies. This phenomenon is usually accompanied or followed by regional malnutrition, starvation, epidemic, and increased mortality. Every continent in the world has...

, supported Nayan. Virtually all the fraternal lines under Hadaan, a descendant of Hachiun, and Shihtur, a grandson of Hasar, joined his rebellion
Rebellion
Rebellion, uprising or insurrection, is a refusal of obedience or order. It may, therefore, be seen as encompassing a range of behaviors aimed at destroying or replacing an established authority such as a government or a head of state...

. Because Nayan was popular prince, Ebugen, a grandson of Genghis Khan's son Khulgen, and the family of Khuden, a younger brother of Guyuk Khan
Güyük Khan
Güyük was the third Great Khan of the Mongol Empire. As the eldest son of Ögedei Khan and a grandson of Genghis Khan, he reigned from 1246 to 1248...

, contributed troops for his rebellion.

The rebellion was crippled by early detection and timid leadership. Kublai sent Bayan to keep Nayan and Kaidu apart by occupying Karakorum, while he himself led another army against the rebels in Manchuria. Kublai's commander Oz Temur's Mongol force attacked Nayan's 60,000 green soldiers on June 14, while Chinese and Alan guards under Li Ting protected Kublai. The army of Chungnyeol of Goryeo
Chungnyeol of Goryeo
Chungnyeol of Goryeo was the 25th ruler of the medieval Korean kingdom of Goryeo. He was the son of Wonjong, his predecessor on the throne....

 assisted Kublai in battle. After the hard fight, Nayan's troops withdrew behind their carts, and Li Ting began bombardment
Bombardment
A bombardment is an attack by artillery fire directed against fortifications, troops or towns and buildings.Prior to World War I the term term was only applied to the bombardment of defenceless or undefended objects, houses, public buildings, it was only loosely employed to describe artillery...

 and attacked Nayan's camp that night. Kublai's force pursued Nayan, who was eventually captured and executed in the traditional way for princes, without shedding of blood. Meanwhile, the rebel prince Shikqtur invaded the Chinese districts in Liaoning
Liaoning
' is a province of the People's Republic of China, located in the northeast of the country. Its one-character abbreviation is "辽" , a name taken from the Liao River that flows through the province. "Níng" means "peace"...

 but was defeated within a month. Kaidu pulled back westward to avoid a battle. However, Kaidu defeated a major Yuan army in Khangai
Khangai
Khangai can specify:* Khangai Mountains, a mountain range in Mongolianamed after the Mountains:* two aimags of Mongolia:** Arkhangai Province** Övörkhangai Province* several sums in different aimags:** Hangai, Arhangai...

 and briefly occupied Karakorum in 1289. Kaidu had ridden away before Kublai himself mobilized a larger army.

Widespread but uncoordinated risings of Nayan's supporters continued until 1289 but were ruthlessly repressed. The rebel princes' troops were taken from them and redistributed among the imperial family. Kublai harshly punished the darugachis appointed by the rebels in Mongolia and Manchuria. This rebellion forced Kublai to approve the creation of the Liaoyang Branch Secretariat on December 4, 1287, while rewarding loyal fraternal princes.

Later years



Kublai dispatched his grandson Gammala to Burkhan Khaldun in 1291. Because Kublai wanted to make sure that he laid claims to the sacred place (Ikh Khorig
Ikh Khorig
The Ikh Khorig, or Great Taboo, is a 240 km² area in the Khentii Aimag of Mongolia, believed by some to be the location of Genghis Khan’s grave...

), Burkhan Khaldun, where Genghis was buried, Mongolia was strongly protected by the Kublaids. With Bayan in control of Karakorum and reestablishing control over surrounding areas in 1293, Kublai's rival relative
Relative
-General use:*Kinship, the principle binding the most basic social units society. If two people are connected by circumstances of birth, they are said to be relatives-Philosophy:...

 Kaidu did not attempt anything large-scale for the next three years. From 1293 on Kublai's army cleared Kaidu's forces out of Central Siberian Plateau
Central Siberian Plateau
The Central Siberian Plateau is made up of sharply demarcated surfaces of varying altitudes occupying most of Siberia between the Yenisei and Lena rivers. It extends over an area of 3.5 million km². The highest point is the Putoran Mountains rising to 1701 m. To the north of the plateau are...

.

Kublai Khan originally designated his son Zhenjin
Zhenjin
Zhenjin was the second son of Kublai Khan, founder of the Yuan Dynasty. He was designated as the Crown Prince by Kublai Khan in 1273, and became the head of Zhongshusheng .The North Chinese Buddhist monk Haiyun gave him the name, Zhenjin , when he was born in 1243...

 as his successor. Zhenjin became the head of Zhongshusheng ("Department of Central Governing"), and actively administrated the dynasty in the Confucian fashion. After Nomukhan returned from the captivity in the Golden Horde, he expressed his resentment that Zhenjin had been made heir apparent. However, he was banished north. An official proposed that Kublai's abdicate in favor of Zhenjin in 1285. This action angered Kublai Khan, who refused to see his son. Unfortunately, Zhenjin died soon afterwards in 1286, 8 years before his father. Kublai regretted and remained very close to his wife, Bairam (also known as Kokejin). With the death of Chabi, he began to withdraw from direct contact with his advisers, issuing instructions through one of his other queens Nambui. Only two daughters of Kublai are known by name; he may have had others. Unlike the formidable women of his grandfather's day, Kublai's wives and daughters were an almost invisible presence possibly because Chinese court etiquette demoted females to inferior status.

Kublai became increasingly despondent after the deaths of not only his favorite wife, but also his chosen heir Zhenjin. The failure of the military campaigns in Vietnam and Japan also haunted him. He turned to food and drink for comfort, and as a consequence became grossly overweight and plagued by gout and diabetes. The emperor overindulged both in alcohol and the traditional meat-rich Mongol diet, which may have increased the purine
Purine
A purine is a heterocyclic aromatic organic compound, consisting of a pyrimidine ring fused to an imidazole ring. Purines, including substituted purines and their tautomers, are the most widely distributed kind of nitrogen-containing heterocycle in nature....

 level in his blood and contributed to his gout. He sank into hopeless depression both due to the loss of family, and because of his poor health and advancing age. With the effects of an excessively rich diet finally catching up to the septuagenarian Kublai, he tried every medical treatment available from Korean shamans to Vietnamese doctors and various quack remedies and medicines, but nothing worked and by the end of 1293 it was obvious that the end was near when the emperor refused to participate in the traditional New Years' ceremony. Before his death, Kublai passed the seal of Crown Prince to Zhenjin's son Temür, who would become the next Khagan of the Mongol Empire and the second ruler of the Yuan Dynasty after the death of Kublai Khan. Seeking an old companion to comfort him in his final illness, the palace staff could choose only Bayan, more than 30 years his junior. Kublai weakened steadily, and on 18 February 1294 he died at the age of 78. Two days later, the funeral cortege was ready and set out for the burial place of the khans in Mongolia.

Family


Kublai married Tegulen at first but she died very early. Then he married Chabi Khatun of the Khunggirat. Chabi
Chabi
Empress Chabi , was a Chinese Empress consort of the Yuan Dynasty, married to Kublai Khan.- Sources :...

 was his most beloved empress. After her death in 1286, Kublai married her young cousin, Nambui
Nambui
Empress Nambui was a Chinese Empress consort of the Yuan Dynasty, married to Kublai Khan.- Sources :...

, in accordance with Chabi's wish.

Kublai and his wives' children included:
  • Dorji. He was the director of the Secretariat and head of the Bureau of Military Affairs from 1263. But he was sickly and died young.
  • Zhenjin
    Zhenjin
    Zhenjin was the second son of Kublai Khan, founder of the Yuan Dynasty. He was designated as the Crown Prince by Kublai Khan in 1273, and became the head of Zhongshusheng .The North Chinese Buddhist monk Haiyun gave him the name, Zhenjin , when he was born in 1243...

    . He was the father of Temur Khan, Kublai's successor.
  • Manggala. He was a viceroy in Shaanxi.
  • Nomukhan.
  • Khungjil
  • Aychi
  • Saqulghachi
  • Qughchu
  • Toghan, led Mongol armies into Burma and Vietnam.
  • Khulan-temur
  • Tsever
  • Khutugh beki. She married the king Chungnyeol
    Chungnyeol of Goryeo
    Chungnyeol of Goryeo was the 25th ruler of the medieval Korean kingdom of Goryeo. He was the son of Wonjong, his predecessor on the throne....

     and became the Empress of the Goryeo.
  • and 1 son and 2 daughters

Legacy


Kublai's seizure of power in 1260 pushed the Mongolian Empire into a new direction. Despite his controversial election, which accelerated the disunity of the Mongols, his willingness to formalize the Mongol realm's symbiotic relation with China gave the Mongolian Empire a cultural and administrative brilliance that impressed the world.

Kublai and his predecessors' conquests were largely responsible for re-creating a unified, militarily powerful China. The Mongol rule of Tibet, Xinjiang
Xinjiang
Xinjiang is an autonomous region of the People's Republic of China. It is the largest Chinese administrative division and spans over 1.6 million km2...

, and Mongolia proper from a capital at modern Beijing also supplied the precedent for the Qing Dynasty
Qing Dynasty
The Qing Dynasty was the last dynasty of China, ruling from 1644 to 1912 with a brief, abortive restoration in 1917. It was preceded by the Ming Dynasty and followed by the Republic of China....

's Inner Asian Empire.

Historical Fiction

  • Kublai Khan is depicted in Italo Calvino
    Italo Calvino
    Italo Calvino was an Italian journalist and writer of short stories and novels. His best known works include the Our Ancestors trilogy , the Cosmicomics collection of short stories , and the novels Invisible Cities and If on a winter's night a traveler .Lionised in Britain and the United States,...

    's novel Invisible Cities
    Invisible Cities
    Invisible Cities is a novel by Italian writer Italo Calvino. It was published in Italy in 1972 by Giulio Einaudi Editore.-Description:The book explores imagination and the imaginable through the descriptions of cities by an explorer, Marco Polo...

    , where he converses with Marco Polo about imaginary cities in his empire.
  • Along with Marco Polo
    Marco Polo
    Marco Polo was a Venetian merchant traveler from the Venetian Republic whose travels are recorded in Il Milione, a book which did much to introduce Europeans to Central Asia and China. He learned about trading whilst his father and uncle, Niccolò and Maffeo, travelled through Asia and apparently...

    , Kublai Khan is depicted in the 2011 Young Adult novel Daughter of Xanadu by Dori Jones Yang
    Dori Jones Yang
    Dori Jones Yang is an American author and journalist specializing in topics related to China.- Works :Dori Jones Yang's most widely read book is Pour Your Heart Into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time , co-authored with Howard Schultz, chairman and CEO of Starbucks...

    .

External links

  • Inflation under Kublai
  • Relics of the Kamikaze (Archaeological Institute of America
    Archaeological Institute of America
    The Archaeological Institute of America is a North American nonprofit organization devoted to the promotion of public interest in archaeology, and the preservation of archaeological sites. It has offices on the campus of Boston University and in New York City.The institute was founded in 1879,...

    )