Kublai Khan

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Kublai Khan

Khubilai Khan
Birth and death:Sept. 23, 1215–Feb. 18, 1294
Clan name (obogh):Borjigin¹ (Боржигин)
Bei'erzhijin² (孛兒只斤) or
Bo'erjijite³ (博爾濟吉特)
Sublineage name 4 :
Khiyad 5 (Хиад)
Qiwowen 6 (奇渥溫) or Qiyan (乞顏)
Given name:Khubilai (Хубилай)
Hubilie (忽必烈)
Khan of the Mongols
Dates of reign:May 5, 1260–Dec. 17, 1271
Emperor of Yuan China
Dates of reign:Dec. 18, 1271 7 –Feb. 18, 1294
Dynasty:n 8 , now Yanh 9 (Юань)
Yuan (元)
Khan name:Setsen Khan (Сэцэн хаан)
Xuechan Han (薛禪汗)</small>
Temple name:(Mongolian name to be added)
Shizu (世祖)
Posthumous name:
Never used short
Posthumous name:
(Mongolian name to be added)
Emperor Shengde Shengong Wenwu
General note: Names given in Mongolian, then in Chinese.
General note: Dates given here are in the Julian calendar.
They are not in the proleptic Gregorian calendar.
1. This is the singular. The plural is Borjigid.
2. This is the most frequent Chinese version of the clan name nowadays.
3. This Chinese version of the clan name was the most frequent during
the Qing Dynasty.
4. The Cambridge History of China thinks that Khiyad was a sublineage
inside the larger Borjigin clan, but other scholars disagree and think that
Borjigin was a sublineage inside the larger Khiyad clan, while there
are those who think that Khiyad and Borjigin were both used
5. This is the plural. The singular is Khiyan.
6. This Chinese version of Khiyad is the one that appears in the Chinese
history of the Yuan Dynasty.
7. Founded the Yuan Dynasty on that day. However, was not in control
of southern China until February 1276 when the Southern Song emperor
was captured and the imperial seal was relinquished to the Mongols.
The last pockets of resistance in southern China fell in 1279.
8. This was the Mongolian transliteration of the Chinese name Yuan
in the 13th and 14th centuries.
9. This is the name of the dynasty in modern Mongolian.

Kublai Khan or Khubilai Khan (12151294), Mongol military leader, was Khan (1260-1294) of the Mongol Empire and founder and first Emperor (1279-1294) of the Chinese Yuan Dynasty.

Born the second son of Tolui and Sorghaghtani Beki and grandson of Genghis Khan, he succeeded his brother Mngke in 1260 as ruler of the Mongol Empire. Kublai Khan's brother, Hulagu, was the conqueror of Persia and founder of the Ilkhanate.



The empire was separated into four khanates, each ruled by a separate khan and overseen by the Great Khan. The Kipchak Khanate (also called the Golden Horde) ruled Russia; the Ilkhanate ruled the Middle East, the Chagatai Khanate ruled over western Asia, and the Great Khanate controlled Mongolia and eventually China. The empire reached its greatest extent under Kublai with his conquest of China, completed with the final defeat of the Song Dynasty in 1279. He ruled well, promoting economic growth with the rebuilding of the Grand Canal, repairing public buildings, extending highways and introducing paper currency. He encouraged Chinese arts and demonstrated religious tolerance, except to Taoism. His capital was at Beijing (then Cambuluc or Dadu 大都 lit. big capital). The empire was visited by several Europeans, notably Marco Polo in the 1270s who may have seen the summer capital in Shangdu (上都 lit. upper capital or Xanadu?).

He conquered Dali (Yunnan) and Goryeo (Korea). Under pressure from his Mongolian advisors, Kublai attempted to conquer Japan, Myanmar, Vietnam and Indonesia . All those attempts failed and the cost of these expeditions and the paper currency he created caused inflation.

Era names

Kublai Khan in fiction

  • Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote a poem fragment in 1798 entitled "Kubla Khan", which invokes Kublai Khan among opium-induced imagery of exoticism. It begins "In Xanadu did Kubla Khan a stately pleasure-dome decree..."
    • The pop band Frankie Goes To Hollywood used the poem's beginning in their lyrics, substituting "decree" with "erect".
    • The progressive rock band Rush turned Coleridge's poem into an entire ballad entitled "Xanadu". The song is regarded by many Rush fans as one of the group's best songs, along with their science fiction epic 2112.
  • Kublai Khan also appears as a character in Italo Calvino's book Invisible Cities, together with Marco Polo.


Kublai had a nephew known as Kaidu, who died in 1301.

External links

Template:Succession box two to oneTemplate:End boxast:Cublai Cande:Kublai Khanfr:Kubilai Khanhe:קובלאי חאןnl:Kublai Khanja:クビライno:Kublai-khanpl:Kubilaj-chansv:Kublai Khanzh:忽必烈

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