ANCIENT CHINA Yuan Dynasty
Inscription: Phags-pa script
top: ty bottom: uen left: tuŋ right: bv
tay ’ŭen t‘uŋ bav
"Da Yuan Tong Bao"
means: The Coin of Great Yuan (Mongol)
Weight: 18.5 grams Size: 40 mm
Value: 10 Cash
The Yuan Dynasty (Chinese: 元朝; pinyin: Yuáncháo; Mongolian: Dai Ön Ulus/Дай Юан Улс), or Great Yuan Empire (simplified Chinese: 大元国; traditional Chinese: 大元國; pinyin: Dà Yuán Diguó) was both the continuation of the Mongol Empire and the Mongol founded historical state in Mongolia and China, lasting officially from 1271 to 1368. In Chinese history, the Yuan Dynasty followed the Song Dynasty and preceded the Ming Dynasty. Although the dynasty was established by Kublai Khan, he had his grandfather Genghis Khan placed on the official record as the founder of the dynasty or Taizu (Chinese: 太祖). The rulers of the Yuan Dynasty became Emperor of China by 1279, though Kublai Khan had also claimed the title of Great Khan, i.e. supremacy over the other Mongol khanates (Chagatai Khanate, Golden Horde, Ilkhanate); however this claim was truly recognized by the Il-Khanids, who were nevertheless essentially self-governing. Although later emperors of the Yuan Dynasty were recognized by the three virtually independent western khanates as their nominal suzerains, they each continued their own separate developments. But the Mongol Empire as a whole remained strong and united. The Yuan is sometimes referred to as the Empire of the Great Khan. The Mongol Emperors of the Yuan held the title of Great Khan of all Mongol Khanates.
Founding of the Dynasty
Kublai Khan, Genghis Khan's grandson and founder of the Yuan Dynasty
Since the beginning of his reign (1260), Kublai Khan had adopted many customs from earlier Chinese dynasties, such as era names and bureaucracy. After winning the war against Ariq Böke, Kublai Khan began his reign over his realm with greater aspirations and self-confidence — in 1266 he ordered the construction of his new capital at the modern city of Beijing. The city had been called Zhongdu (Chinese: 中都, lit. "Central Capital") during the Jin Dynasty, and in 1272 it came to be known as Dadu (Chinese: 大都; Wade-Giles: Ta-tu, "Great Capital") in Chinese, Daidu to the Mongols, and Khanbalikh ("City of the Khans") to the Turks. In 1271 he established the Yuan Dynasty, which would proceed to be the first non-Han dynasty to rule all of China. Its official title, Da Yuan (Chinese: 大元, "Great Yuan"), originates from I Ching, "大哉乾元" (dà zāi qián yuán). Yuan is the first dynasty in China to use Da (Chinese: 大, "Great") in its official title. In 1272, Dadu officially became the capital of the Yuan Dynasty.
In the early 1270s, Kublai began his massive drive against the Southern Song. By 1273, Kublai had blockaded the Yangzi River with his navy and besieged Xiangyang, the last obstacle in his way to capture the rich Yangzi River basin. In 1275, a Song force of 130,000 troops under Chancellor Jia Sidao was defeated by the Yuan force. By 1276, most of the Southern Song territory had been captured by Yuan forces. In 1279, the Yuan army led by the Chinese general Zhang Hongfan had.