Kublai Khan: The Mongol King Who Remade China by John ManIn Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure dome decree
Kublai Khan lives on in the popular imagination thanks to these two lines of poetry by Coleridge. But the true story behind this legend is even more fantastic than the poem would have us believe. He inherited the second largest land empire in history from his grandfather, Genghis Khan. He promptly set about extending this into the biggest empire the world has ever seen, extending his rule from China to Iraq, from Siberia to Afghanistan. His personal domain covered sixty-percent of all Asia, and one-fifth of the worlds land area.
The West first learnt of this great Khan through the reports of Marco Polo. Kublai had not been born to rule, but had clawed his way to leadership, achieving power only in his 40s. He had inherited Genghis Khans great dream of world domination. But unlike his grandfather he saw China and not Mongolia as the key to controlling power and turned Genghis unwieldy empire into a federation. Using Chinas great wealth, coupled with his shrewd and subtle government, he created an empire that was the greatest since the fall of Rome, and shaped the modern world as we know it today. He gave China its modern-day borders and his legacy is that countrys resurgence, and the superpower China of tomorrow.
Genghis Khan and Kublai Khan, Dr. Morris Rossabi
Kublai Khan , Kublai also spelled Khubilai or Kubla , temple name Shizu , born —died , Mongolian general and statesman, who was the grandson and greatest successor of Genghis Khan. As the fifth emperor reigned —94 of the Yuan, or Mongol, dynasty — , he completed the conquest of China started by Genghis Khan in and thus became the first Yuan ruler of the whole of China.
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The wall curbed raids from the nomadic Mongols, fierce warriors who lived northwest of the kingdom on the cold, dry land called steppe. For centuries, Mongol tribes eked out brutal lives raising horses and sheep while living in movable tents called yurts. In the 13th century, a charismatic leader united the Mongol tribes into an in a disciplined military state that grew into one of the largest empires in history. The son of a minor chief, he was born in CE and was originally named Temujin. When Temujin was nine years old, his father was poisoned and the other Mongol chiefs abandoned his family to starve. Temujin was substantially outnumbered in his early battles, but his well-trained horsemen and brilliant tactical strategy overwhelmed his enemies with brute force. The following year, Genghis Khan led the Mongols on the first of many destructive, bloody invasions of foreign lands.
He also founded the Yuan dynasty in China as a conquest dynasty in , and ruled as the first Yuan emperor until his death in Kublai was the fourth son of Tolui his second son with Sorghaghtani Beki and a grandson of Genghis Khan. This episode marked the beginning of disunity in the empire. In , Kublai established the Yuan dynasty, which ruled over present-day Mongolia, China, Korea, and some adjacent areas, and assumed the role of Emperor of China. By , the Mongol conquest of the Song dynasty was completed and Kublai became the first non-Han emperor to conquer all of China. The imperial portrait of Kublai was part of an album of the portraits of Yuan emperors and empresses, now in the collection of the National Palace Museum in Taipei. White, the color of the royal costume of Kublai, was the imperial color of the Yuan dynasty.
He was the most famous grandson of the great conqueror Genghis Khan , expanding his grandfather's empire and ruling the vast territory. He was the first non-Han emperor to conquer all of China. Although Kublai Khan was the grandson of Genghis Khan, very little is known about his childhood. We do know that Kublai was born in to Tolui the youngest son of Genghis and his wife Sorkhotani, a Nestorian Christian princess of the Kereyid Confederacy. Kublai was the couple's fourth son. Sorkhotani's political savvy was legendary; Rashid al-Din of Persia noted that she was "extremely intelligent and able and towered above all the women in the world. With their mother's support and influence, Kublai and his brothers would go on to take control of the Mongol world from their uncles and cousins.