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Ancient chinese history

  1. Jul 22, 2004 #1
    ...not so sure if this is the right place to post this topic, and yet history is a branch of social science...

    i can;t seem to find answers to the following question: can anyone please tell me:D these are extra credit questions...lol! all related to the mongolian empire/ yuan dynasty in ancient china

    1. if separate laws were given to the chinese and the mongols, and yet chinese were forced to learn the mongolian language, how can they distinguish a chinese from a mongolian during the yuan dynasty? :O

    2. what was the position or ranking given by kublai khan to marco polo in the government of cyuan dynasty during his reign? :eek:

    3. why is it that kublai khan, genghis khan's grandson, succeeded after him instead of the own son of genghis khan? :O

    thanks for your help, guys!
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 22, 2004 #2


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    First, this is medieval Chinese history, not ancient. Ancient Chinese history would be Han dynasty and earlier.

    Second, this is Physics Forums, so to answer your questions, I will need to assume a frictionless Mongel.

    1. Their cultures were significantly different. The manner of dress and hair style might have been enough to distinguish them. I'm just going by memory, but I believe certain hairstyles were outlawed by the Mongols for the Chinese. I may be confusing this with the Manchu domination period though.

    2. He was an official of the Khan's privy council. That doesn't say much about what he did. According to Polo, this meant that the Khan sent him on whatever errand needed doing. He worked as a diplomat and a tax official. There is also a possibility that Marco Polo made all of this up.

    3. He didn't. Kublai Khan succeeded his older brother, over thirty years after Genghis Khan's death. It may have been that this older brother was a grandson that succeeded Ghengis Khan, but I think that is probably not so either. I know Genghis Khan's youngest son took over command of the army upon his death, and successfully completed a war that was underway. I would be surprised if he would stand aside and let a grandson inherit. What your teacher is probably looking for is that the Mongols did not use primogeniture. They were very meritocratic. The first-born son would not necessarily become Great Khan, the best descendent of a Great Khan would succeed.


  4. Jul 22, 2004 #3
    history is a branch of social science. lol :P thanks for your help~
  5. Jul 22, 2004 #4


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    By their names; just as today you can probably guess that someone called Xu Yongming likely has a different ancestry from someone called Anne Smith.
  6. Jul 22, 2004 #5


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    Njorl you just gave me an idea of what saved Europe from Mongol invasion and being laid waste.

    they got to around where the Czech republic is now and
    they were very effective
    and they would kill every living soul in a city if the city didnt surrender
    the first time they asked it to
    and they had better bows and horses and were tougher at the time
    so nothing could have prevented a successful invasion

    but in some year like 1200 or 1250 (you probably know) they were casually beseiging this walled town in some East Europe place, and one morning they just miraculously went away---the didnt even wait to kill and rape the people and collect the loot---so they were in a real hurry.

    It suddenly dawned on me that it was because they LIKED the business of chosing a successor. It was fun for the assembled chieftains to choose the most manly and warlike of the sons.

    It was like the superbowl of manhood and generalship and craftyness and every quality they esteemed.

    The game of choosing the successor was made very appealing by having so many concubines and wives. So the top Mongols has huge numbers of likely sons. there was a lot to pick from.

    Being part of the process must have been a very male thing and none of them wanted to miss out.

    So as soon as they heard the news that so-and-so was dead, and news traveled as fast as 200 miles a day with special post-riders, any Mongol worth his beef jerky would drop everything and run for home so as to be there.

    Wouldnt you? What is conquering Europe mean? Would you miss the Superbowl just for that!
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2004
  7. Jul 22, 2004 #6


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    right after posting I found this on the web

    "As it developed, the Mongols did not remain long in Hungary, either. On December 11, 1241, Ogadei died in Asia. Upon learning of the great khan's death, Subotai reminded the three princes in his army of the law of succession as laid down by Genghis Khan: "After the death of the ruler all offspring of the house of Genghis Khan, wherever they might be, must return to Mongolia to take part in the election of the new khakan." Recalling all their forces, the Mongols started back to their Mongolian capital of Karakorum, postponing their invasion of central Europe for another time--a time that would never come."

  8. Jul 26, 2004 #7
    Physical characteristics, social position, culture, life style, and language that they speak. Basically, in every way possible.

    By the way, it would be a mistake for you to consider that the average Chinese, being forced to learn the Mongolian language, could actually speak it at all well.
  9. Jul 26, 2004 #8
    Nor did they last long in Japan.
  10. Jul 26, 2004 #9


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    Ah those pesky waves; you just can't ride a horse on them :rolleyes:
  11. Jul 26, 2004 #10
    Perhaps they should have had surf boards instead? :biggrin:
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