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Kublai Khan was the grandson of Genghis Khan, the founder of the Mongol Empire. To the Chinese people of that time, the Mongols, who enjoyed a way of life. Kublai Khan was the greatest of the Mongol emperors after Genghis Khan and founder of the Yüan Dynasty in China. He was a Kublai Khan was the fourth son of Tulë and the grandson of Genghis Khan (c. . Kublai Khan, Lord of Xanadu. The Mongols were highly tolerant of most religions during the early Mongol Empire, and typically sponsored several at the same time. At the time of Genghis Khan in the 13th century, virtually every religion had . For example, Genghis Khan's advisor, Mahmud Yalavach, and Kublai Khan's financial minister, Ahmad Fanakati.
As early asFranciscan missionaries had been traveling eastward to visit the prince of Damascus and the Caliph of Baghdad. Georgia submitted to the advancing Mongols inso as the missionaries lived for five years in the Georgian realm, much of it was in contact or in close proximity with the Mongols.
Three other missions were sent between March and Aprilled respectively by the Dominican Ascelin of Cremone accompanied by Simon de Saint-Quentinwho later wrote the account of the mission in Historia Tartarorum the Franciscan Lawrence of Portugaland another Franciscan, John of Plano Carpini. Inthe Franciscan William of Rubruck traveled to Karakorumthe western Mongol capital, and sought permission to serve its people in the name of Christ.
He was received courteously, but forbidden to engage in missionary work or remain in the country. The khan encouraged a formal debate between the Christians, Buddhists, and Muslims, to determine which faith was correct, as determined by three judges, one from each faith.
By the yearthere were numerous Dominican and Franciscan convents in the Il-Khanate. About ten cities had such institutions, including Maragha, TabrizSultaniyeTifflisand Erzurum.
Christianity among the Mongols
His successor in was Jean de Cor. He thereby formalized his conversion to Roman Catholicism, though a letter from him to the pope indicated that his move had been strongly opposed by the local Nestorian clergy.Genghis Khan and Kublai Khan, Dr. Morris Rossabi
InGhazan great-grandson of Hulagu formally adopted Islam when he took the throne of the Ilkhanate inas did Berke along with other Golden Horde leaders. In his own letters to the Mongol ruler in andthe Pope still expressed his hope that the Mongol ruler would convert to Christianity. Between to converts in each city were numbered by Jean of Sultaniye. Catholic missions to Mongol China[ edit ] Niccolo and Maffeo Polo remitting a letter from Kublai Khan to Pope Gregory X in Inthe Polo brothers brought an invitation from Kublai Khan to Pope Gregory Ximploring him that a hundred teachers of science and religion be sent to reinforce the Christianity already present in his vast empire.
This came to naught due to the hostility of influential Nestorians within the Mongol court, who objected to the introduction of the Western Roman Catholic form of Christianity to supplant their own Nestorian doctrine. He was significantly successful, translated the New testament and Psalms into the Mongol language, built a central church, and within a few years by could report six thousand baptized converts.
But the work was not easy. Kublai was seventeen when his father died. Kublai organized a group of Chinese advisers to introduce reforms in his territories. Kublai was also put in charge of expeditions with the goal of unifying China under the Mongol emperor. In the following years Kublai fought his brother, defeating him in Kublai Khan's administration Under Kublai, the Mongols adopted divide-and-rule tactics. The Mongols and central Asians remained separate from Chinese life; in many ways life for the Chinese was left basically unchanged.
Kublai was also well known for his acceptance of different religions. The rule of the Mongol minority was assured by dividing the population of China into four social classes: The first two classes enjoyed extensive privileges; the third class held an intermediate position; and the southern Chinese, the most numerous of all, were practically barred from state offices.
Separate systems of law were maintained for Chinese and for Mongols. Kublai also reorganized the government, establishing three separate branches to deal with civilian nonmilitary affairs, to supervise the military, and to keep an eye on major officials.
Following this reorganization, a new capital city was constructed at present-day Peking, China, in First called Chungtu, the city was renamed Ta-tu or Daidu, "great capital" in In the eyes of Kublai, leaving some Chinese institutions and customs in place was a political decision. Outside the administration, much of the Mongol way of life still prevailed.
The Mongols, especially the military, preserved their tradition as nomads wanderers. Even within the administration, Chinese influence was controlled by the large numbers of Mongols and central Asians. After more than 16 years in China, the Polos begged permission from Kublai Khan to return home to Venice. Finally, he agreed for them to escort a Mongolian princess, Cogatin, to become the bride of a Persian khan; thus they headed back west.
This time they traveled by sea in Chinese ships and, after many difficulties, succeeded in delivering the princess. Before they could reach Venice, however, Kublai Khan died on February 18,which allowed local rulers to reassert themselves and demand payment from traders.
Consequently, the Polos were forced to hand over 4, Byzantine coins, a significant portion of their fortune, to the local government of a city on the Black Sea.
Return The Polos returned to Venice inhaving been away 24 years. Their enthusiastic biographer told stories, which may have been gossip, that when they returned they were wearing Mongolian clothing and could hardly remember their native language.
Their relatives had thought them long dead. But when they produced a small fortune in gems rubies, sapphires, garnets, diamonds, and emeraldswhich had been sewn into the hems of their Mongolian garments, they were warmly welcomed. Soon Venice was at war with its rival city-state, Genoa, on the west coast of Italy. As was custom for a wealthy merchant, Marco Polo financed his own war galley. He was captured during a naval battle and ended up in prison in Genoa.
Marco Polo (article) | Khan Academy
By chance, one of his cellmates, Rusticello from Pisa, had experience writing romantic novels. As Polo entertained everyone with his tales of traveling to China, Rusticello wrote them down in a French dialect. The couple had three daughters in quick succession. He spent his remaining days as a businessman, working from home. He died there at almost 70 years of age, on January 8,and was buried under the church of San Lorenzo, though his tomb has now vanished.
Religion in the Mongol Empire
It could be circulated only one copy at a time, since printing in Europe did not begin until almost years later. About to early manuscripts — hand-printed and fragmentary versions of The Travels — survive, and every one of them is different.
The earliest readers were scholars, monks, and noblemen.