The China History Podcast

Laszlo finishes up the story of the Yuan Dynasty, founded in 1271.  The parts of China not yet conquered were done in by 1276 and the last holdouts gone by 1279.  But the Great Yuan didn't last long.  This episode takes a nice little overview of the dynasty, its slow demise and the legacy they left.


Da Yuanchao 大元朝 The Great Mongol Dynasty

Tolui 拖雷 Fourth Son of Genghis Khan, father of Kublai Khan

Golden Horde  金帐汗国   Originally the northwest portion of the Mongol Empire. Also known as the Kipchak Khanate. Lasted till 1502.

Arigh Böke 阿里不哥 Youngest son of Tolui, fought civil war with Kublai

Möngke 蒙哥 Eldest son of Tolui, elder brother to Kublai Khan

Zhao   赵   The surname of the Song dynasty ruling family

Ogedai Khan 窝阔台 or 斡歌歹 Third son of Genghis Khan, second Khan of the Mongol Empire

Zhengding   正定 A place adjacent to Shijiazhuang, site of Kublai Khan's mother's appanage.

Shijiazhuang   石家庄 Capital of Hebei Province

Hebei   河北 Province in northern China

Zhongtong Era   中统 Era during the Yuan 1260-1264

Zhiyuan Era 至元 Era during the Yuan 1264-1294

Jin Dynasty  金朝 Jürchen Dynasty 1115-1234, founded by Aguda

Haiyun Chan Shi 海运禅师 Buddhist advisor to Kublai Khan

Liu Bingzhong   刘秉忠 Advisor to Kublai Khan on all matters architectural, feng shui and other things

Khitans   契丹 The people who founded the Liao Dynasty 907-1125

Kaiping 开平 Original name of Shangdu

Shangdu   上都 Known popularly as Xanadu, later became Kublai's summer palace

Chengde   承德 Better known in old history books as Jehol or Rehe, city northwest of Beijing

Hülegü 旭烈兀 grandson of Genghis Khan, son of Tolui

Dadu  大都 Kublai Khan capital, also known as Khanbaliq, City of the Khan's, located in present day Beijing

Zhu Yuanzhang   朱元璋 Ming Dynasty founder

Karakorum  喀喇昆仑 Mongol capital 1235-1260, originally built by Ogedai Khan

Shandong   山东 Coastal province in the north, famous for a million things including Confucius

Li Tan 李璮 Loyal Yuan official up in Shandong who later led a rebellion against Mongol rule in China.

Shi Tianze   石天泽 One of Kublai Khan's most loyal and successful Han Chinese generals

Duke of Zhou   周公 Son of the Zhou Dynasty founder King Wen, brother to King Wu

Taizong   太宗 Co-founder of the Tang Dynasty, also known as Li Shimin

Han Wudi   汉武帝 Great conquering Han Dynasty emperor

Liu Bei   刘备 Mighty hero during the Eastern Han Dynasty and Three Kingdoms period. Founder of the Shu Han State.

Lantau Island   大屿山 Hong Kong's largest island, the international airport is located there

Zhao Kuangyin   赵匡胤 Song dynasty founder

Lizong   理宗   Southern Song emperor 1224-1264 Not a terribly good one.

Emperor Yang of the Sui   隋炀帝 Son of Sui Dynasty founder and final emperor of the Sui. Did some good and some bad. Had a lot of concubines

Empress Dowager Xie

Duzong emperor 度宗 Southern Song emperor from 1264 to 1274

Jia Sidao   贾似道 Southern Song chancellor

Aju  阿术 General and high ranking official during the Yuan. Grandson of Subotei

Subotei  速不台 Genghis Khan's number one guy (and Ogedai's too!). Great Mongol general.

Dali Kingdom 大理国 Kingdom that lasted 937-1253. Mostly located in Yunnan.

Bayan of the Baarin 伯颜   Kublai's greatest general

Han Jiang   汉江 Tributary of the Yangzi flows from Shaanxi to Hubei

Hanshui   汉水 Another name for the Han JIang

Hubei ren   湖北人 Someone from Hubei

Wuchang   武昌 The city that makes up the Wu in Wuhan

Hankou   汉口 The city that makes the Han in Wuhan

Hanyang   汉阳 The third city of the Wuhan metropolitan area

Nanjing   南京 Ming Dynasty capital, also known as the ancient city of Jiankang

Jiankang   建康 Ancient name for Nanjing

Qiantang River   钱塘江   the southern terminus of the Grand Canal, flowed through Hangzhou

Xiangyang   襄阳 City in Hubei opposite the Han Shui from Fancheng

Fancheng  樊城   City in Hubei opposite the Han Shui from Xiangyang

Xiangfan   襄樊 The twin cities of Xiangyang and Fancheng

Hui Hui Pao   回回炮 "Muslim trebuchet"

Cai Jing   蔡京 Huizong's main official, great calligrapher, not terribly popular in his last years

Emperor Gong  恭帝  Southern Song emperor from 1274 to 1276

Changzhou   常州   City in Jiangsu who felt the wrath of the Khan

Huizong 徽宗 Last emperor of the Northern Song

Duanzong 端宗   Second to the last Southern Song emperor, died age 8

Lu Xiufu   陆秀夫   Official and Military man who served the Song dynasty till the last

Zhao Bing   赵昺   Last emperor of the Southern Song, also known as Huaizong

Huaizong   怀宗   Last Song emperor, also known as Zhao Bing

Hubilie 忽必烈 1215-1294, Great Khan and founder of the Yuan Dynasty. Reigned 1271-1294.

Yunnan   云南   Southwestern province in China

Empress Chabi 察必皇后   favorite wife of Kublai Khan

Zhenjin   真金   Son of Kublai Khan, died before he succeeded his father as emperor

Shizu   世祖   Posthumous temple name of Kublai Khan

Temür Khan 完泽笃汗 Son of Zhenjin, later became the Chengzong emperor

Chengzong emperor   成宗   Succeeded Kublai Khan as Yuan Emperor

Külüg Khan  曲律汗 Also known as the Wuzong emperor

Wuzong emperor  武宗   Yuan emperor 1307-1311

Buyantu Khan   普颜笃汗 Also known as the Renzong Emperor

Renzong emperor 仁宗 Yuan Emperor 1311-1320, champion of Confucianists.

Zhu Xi   朱熹 Great Chinese philosopher, father of Neo-Confucianism

Si Shu 四书 the Four Books

The Lunyu   论语 The Analects

Mengzi   孟子 The Mencius

Daxue   大学 The Great Learning

Zhongyong  中庸 The Doctrine of the Mean

I Ching   易经 The Book of Changes. People swear by it.

Yingzong emperor   英宗   Yuan Dynasty emperor 1320-1323

Temuder   铁木迭儿 Yuan grand councillar during Yingzong

Taiding Emperor 泰定帝 Yuan emperor 1323-1328

Liangdu zhi zhan   两都之战   War of the Two Capitals

Toghon Temür 妥懽帖睦尔Mongolian name of Yuan emperor Shun

Emperor Shun   顺帝 Yuan emperor

Shun  舜  Last of the mythical Five Emperors, lived around 2200 BC

Yu the Great   大禹 Founder of the Xia Dynasty

Poyang Hu zhizhan   鄱阳湖之战 the Battle of Poyang Lake

Hongwu Emperor   洪武帝 Era name chosen by Zhu Yuanzhang, founder of the Ming dynasty

Liu Bang   刘邦 A.K.A. Han Gaozu, founder of the Han Dynasty

Longquan   龙泉 Ancient site near Lishui where some of the best porcelain ware in China was fired.

Lishui   丽水 City in southern Zhejiang

Jingdezhen   景德镇   The historic porcelain capital of China.

Zheng He   郑和 The Yongle Emperor's loyal admiral who led seven voyages to the west that went as far as the east coast of Africa

Wu Cheng 吴澄   Great Yuan dynasty scholar-official and student of Zhu Xi's philosophy

Guo Shoujing 郭守敬   Great Yuan dynasty scholar, scientist, engineer. The "Tycho Brahe of China"

Zhao Mengfu   赵孟頫   Great Yuan era painter, descended from the Song royal family, married to Guan Daosheng.  

Guan Daosheng   管道昇   Called "China's greatest female painter". Married to Zhao amazing couple in their day

Liu Guandao   刘贯道   Another great Yuan dynasty painter


Alec Ash's new book: Wish Lanterns: Young Lives in New China


Barbarians at the Gate Podcast: Get it H E R E at Jeremiah's Granite Studio page.


David Moser's "A Billion Voices: China's Search for a Common Language"


And check out Sixth Tone at


Direct download: CHP-170-The_Mongol_Yuan_Dynasty_Part_2.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 8:20am PDT