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Kublai Khan: The Life and Legacy of the Legendary Mongolian Emperor of China

Kublai Khan: The Life and Legacy of the Legendary Mongolian Emperor of China

Narrated by:
Kc Wayman
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Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
December 2022
1 hour 56 minutes
Aside from Genghis, the most famous of the Mongolian rulers was Genghis’s grandson, Kublai Khan, who was raised as Mongolian in the traditional way, but also exposed to Chinese culture. Kublai’s father Tolui made sure all of his sons could ride and hunt, but he was apparently also concerned that they understood the characteristics and possibilities of the more settled regions under Mongolian rule. Thus, while Kublai and his brothers were still boys, his grandfather Genghis arranged a great Mongolian hunt. This traditional event involved many thousands of riders starting in a great circle and gradually moving into the center, driving the game in front of them. It was a hunt, but it was also a traditional kind of practice military exercise. Kublai killed a couple of small animals, and Genghis is reported to have been pleased with his grandsons.

As Great Khan, Kublai Khan ruled the Mongolian Empire from his capital in modern-day Beijing, with a court that included Mongolians, Arabs, and Persians from throughout his empire. While Genghis may have been a warrior, Kublai was a man of culture, intellect and curiosity, and his court was a luxurious one rich in art, music, and goods. Under his reign, trade along the Silk Road was both easier and more efficient than ever before. Toll gates were removed, and traders could move freely from place to place. It was said that even women could travel safely with goods without fear of harm. 

Kublai was clearly an influential ruler, but what helped his legacy endure was that he hosted the famous Italian traveler Marco Polo, who stayed in China for years and described what he saw in detail. When Marco Polo’s travelogue was published back in Europe, it immediately became one of the most famous works on the continent, and while modern historians still debate which parts were factual and fictional, there can be no question that Kublai Khan was a monumental leader in Asia. 
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