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The History of China

An audio journey through the 5000 year history of one of the world's oldest continuous civilizations.

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#209-Mongol 17.1: Rivers of Ink & Blood

(NOTE: This is Pt. 1 or 2. The Full Episode & all other bonus content is available via Patreon.com/thehistoryofchina)

Mongke has ascended as the Great Khan of the Mongols and set loose his younger brother, Hulegu Ilkhan to bring the Islamic world to heel. The Caliph of the Abbasid Dynasty, al-Mustasim, sits ensconced in his citadel city of Baghdad - the jewel of Islam - and believes that Allah above and his loyal subjects beneath will be more than a match for barbarian hordes.

He's about to learn a lesson neither he - nor the world - will ever forget...

Time Period Covered:

1258-1259 CE

Major Historical Figures:

Mongol Empire:

Hülegü Ilkhan [ca. 1215-1265]

General Kitbukha [d. 1260]

General Baiju [1201-1260]

Abbasid Caliphate:

al-Musta?sim-Billah Abu-Ahmad Abdullah bin al-Mustansir 

Billah, 37th Caliph [1213-1258]

Governor Shahab al Din Sulaiman shah [d. 1258]

Vizier Ibn al Alkami [1197-1258]

Major Sources Cited:

Al-Din, Rashid. Jami al Tararikh (Compendium of Histories).

Al-Din, Rashid (tr. John Andrew Boyle). The Successors of Genghis Khan.

Chugtai, Mizra Azeem Baig. ?The Fall of Baghdad? in The Annal of Urdu Studies.

Daftary, Farhad. The Isma?ilis: Their History and Doctrines.

Hillenbrand, Robert. ?Propaganda in the Mongol ?World History?? in British Academy Review, issue 17 (March 2011).

Hodgson, M. G. S. ?The Isma?ili State? in The Cambridge History of Iran, Vol. 5: The Saljuq and Mongol Periods.

Jamal, Nadia Eboo. Surviving the Mongols: Nizari Quhistani and the Continuity of Ismaili Tradition in Persia.

Marozzi, Justin. Baghdad: City of Peace, City of Blood.

Paris, Matthew of (tr. John Allen Giles). Chronica Majora (Matthew Paris?s English History From the Year 1235 to 1273, Volume 1).

Saunders, J.J. The History of the Mongol Conquests.

van Ruysbroeck, Willem (tr. W. W. Rockhill & Peter Jackson). The journey of William of Rubruck to the eastern parts of the world, 1253-55, as narrated by himself, with two accounts of the earlier journey of John of Pian del Carpine.

Wiet, Gaston. Baghdad: Metropolis of the Abbasid Caliphate.

 

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2021-02-12
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#208 - Ming 4: To Pick at the Dragon's Scales

To both the north and south, the armies of Great Ming continue to achieve order from chaos and stability across the realm, in the imperial palace at Nanjing, the Hongwu Emperor sits the Dragon Throne - as mercurial and temperamental as its very namesake... and woe betide anyone who stokes the dragon's wrath. Still, in the name of greater peace (and fewer mass slaughters), many a brave (and often fatally foolish)scholar will tempt fate by trying to tell Hongwu what he's doing wrong.

Time Period Covered:

1379-1389 CE

Major Historical Figures:

Ming:

The Hongwu Emperor (Zhu Yuanzhang) [r.1368-1398]

Duke Li Wenzhong [d. 1384]

General Fu Youde [d. 1394]

General Feng Sheng [?]

General Lan Yu [d. 1393]

General Mu Ying [d. 1392]

Scholar Chen Wenhui [d. 1381]

Scholar Li Shilu [d. 1381]

Scholar Xie Jin [1369-1415]

Yuan/Yunnanese:

Toghus Temür Khan [d. 1388]

Basalawarmi, the Prince of Liang [d. 1382]

General Naghachu [d. 1388]

Si Lunfa, Chieftain of Shan [d. 1386?]

Major Works Cited:

Crossley, Pamela Kyle, et al. Empire at the Margins: Culture, Ethnicity and Frontier in Early Modern China.

Dillon, Michael. China?s Muslim Hui Community: Migration, Settlements and Sects.

Langlois, John D., Jr. ?The Hung-Wu-Reign? in The Cambridge History of China, Vol. 7: The Ming Dynasty, 13698-1644m Part I.

Tsai, Shi-shan Henry. The Eunuchs in the Ming Dynasty.g.

 

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2021-02-01
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#207 - Mongol 16: Assassin's Creed

Following the destruction of the Khwarazmian Empire in 1221, the Mongol Empire's appetite for conquest to the west is whetted. It will take a few Great Khans to kick it off, but with the accession of Möngke to the throne in 1251, the way will be laid bare - to be led by his brother Hülegü Khan.

The only thing standing between him and the beating heart of Islam is a ragged band of heretics scattered across the mountain fortresses of northern Persia - a group known as the Nizari Isma'ili... or more infamously: the Assassins.

Time Period Covered:

765-1257 CE

Major Historical Figures:

Mongol Empire:

Möngke Khaghan [r. 1251-1259]

Hülegü Ilkhan [r. 1251-1265]

General Ket-Buqa (Noyan) [d. 1260]

Nizari Isma'ili:

Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq [702-765]

Hassan-i Sabbah [1050-1124]

Imam Jalal al-Din Hassan [1187-1221]

Imam Ala al-Din Muhammad III [1211-1255]

Imam Rukn al-Din Khurshah [1230-1256]

Other:

Brother Matthew of Paris [1200-1259]

Friar William of Rubruck [1220-1293]

Ata-Malik Juvayni [1226-1283]

Rashid al-Din Hamadani [1247-1318]

Major Sources Cited:

Al-Din, Rashid (tr. John Andrew Boyle). The Successors of Genghis Khan.

Daftary, Farhad. The Isma?ilis: Their History and Doctrines.

Hillenbrand, Robert. ?Propaganda in the Mongol ?World History?? in British Academy Review, issue 17 (March 2011).

Hodgson, M. G. S. ?The Isma?ili State? in The Cambridge History of Iran, Vol. 5: The Saljuq and Mongol Periods.

Jamal, Nadia Eboo. Surviving the Mongols: Nizari Quhistani and the Continuity of Ismaili Tradition in Persia.

Marozzi, Justin. Baghdad: City of Peace, City of Blood.

Paris, Matthew of (tr. John Allen Giles). Chronica Majora (Matthew Paris?s English History From the Year 1235 to 1273, Volume 1).

Saunders, J.J. The History of the Mongol Conquests.

van Ruysbroeck, Willem (tr. W. W. Rockhill & Peter Jackson). The journey of William of Rubruck to the eastern parts of the world, 1253-55, as narrated by himself, with two accounts of the earlier journey of John of Pian del Carpine.

 

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2021-01-12
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#206 - Ming 3: I Think I'm Paranoid

The founder of the Ming Dynasty, Zhu Yuanzhang, the Hongwu Emperor... has got a bit of a trust problem. It starts with him getting upset that his officials are "cutting corners" when it comes to official counts of tribute payments & the stamped documents verifying them. But it quickly spirals into full-blown paranoia that absolutely everyone is out to get them, and the only was he knows how to confront this problem is by getting all of his "enemies" first.

Time Period Covered:

ca. 1373-1382 CE

Major Historical Figures:

The Hongwu Emperor (Zhu Yuanzhang) [r. 1368-1398]

Crown Prince Zhu Biao [1355-1392]

Zhu Shuang, Prince Min of Qin [1356-1395]

Zhu Gang, Prince Gong of Jin [1358-1398]

Zhu Di, Prince of Yan [1360-1424]

Chancellor Hu Weiyong [d. 1380]

Gao Qi [1334-1374]

Prefect Ye Boju [d. 1376]

Academician Zheng Shili [d. 1376]

Sources Cited:

Brook, Timothy. The Confusions of Pleasure: Commerce and Culture in Ming China.

Langlois, John D., Jr. ?The Hung-Wu-Reign? in The Cambridge History of China, Vol. 7: The Ming Dynasty, 13698-1644m Part I.

Laozi. Dao De Jing.

Luo, Yuming. A Concise History of Chinese Literature.

Strassberg, Richard E. Inscribed Landscapes: Travel Writing from Imperial China.

 

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2020-12-26
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#205 - Hangzhou: A City by the Bay

You might not be able to go on a real holiday - but today we take a little audio trip to the city of Hangzhou, Zhejiang... famed across the millennia for its beautiful bay, canals, and the famous West Lake.

This is no ordinary tourist get-away, though, because we'll be skipping across time, looking at the highlights of its early history.

Time Period Covered:

ca. 5,000 BCE- ca. 960 CE

Major Sources:

Cotterell, Arthur. The Imperial Capitals of China ? An Inside View of the Celestial Empire.

Giles, Lionel (tr.) Sun Tzu?s The Art of War.

Loewe, Michael and Edward L. Shaughnessey. The Cambridge History of Ancient China.

Mote, F.W. Imperial China.(900-1800).

Rossabi, Morris. China Among Equals: the Middle Kingdom and its Neighbors, 10th-14th centuries.

Schmidt, J. D. Within the Human Realm: The Poetry of Huang Zunxian, 1848-1905.

Yan, Zi. Famous Temples in China.

 

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2020-12-13
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#204 - Ming 2: Winning Was Easy, Young Ming, Governing Is Harder

The Hongwu Emperor officially accedes to the throne as the founding ruler of Great Ming, to as much pomp and circumstance as his ministers can possibly pack in to the ceremony. After the parties are all done and the sacrifices all made, however, the real work of governing an empire that has been ravaged for centuries begins? and not everyone is happy about having a new sovereign sitting atop the dragon throne.

Time Period Covered:

1367-1373 CE

Major Historical Figures:

Great Ming:

The Hongwu Emperor (Zhu Yuanzhang) [r. 1368-1398]

Empress Xiaocigao (née Ma Xuying) [1332-1382]

Zhu Biao, Crown Prince [1355-1392]

Zhu Shuang, Prince of Qin [1356-1395]

Zhu Gang, Prince of Jin [1358-1398]

Zhu Di, Prince of Yan [1360-1424]

Tao Kai, Minister of Rites

General Xu Da [1332-1385]

General Deng Yu

General Fu Youde [1327-1394]

Ambassador Zhao Zhi

Xia Kingdom (Sichuan):

Emperor Ming Yuzhen [r. 1360-1366]

Emperor Ming Sheng [r. 1366-1371]

Nanch? Japan:

Prince Kaneyoshi, the Chinzei Shogun [c. 1329-1383]

Monk Sorai

Major Works Cited:

Chan, Hok-Lam. ?Ming Taizu?s Problem With his Sons: Prince Qin?s Criminality and Early Ming Politics? in Asia Major, Third Series, Vol. 20, No. 1 (2007).

Langlois, John D. ?The Hung-wu Reign? in The Cambridge History of China, Vol. 7: The Ming Dynasty, 1368-1644, Part 1.

 

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2020-11-29
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#203 - Yuan 16: The White Hare's Curse

"The list of their disasters was much lengthened [...] and whenever they tried to force a way into the borders of the empire, they were beaten back. They were once more confined to the great desert, whence they originally sprang.?

?Although I am a woman, I have avenged the vengeance of my husband. When I die, there will be no regret.?

Time Period Covered:

1368~1399 CE

Major Historical Figures:

Yuan/ Northern Yuan:

Toghon Temür (Emperor Shun) [r. 1333-1368, 1368-1369]

Ayurshiridara (Biligtü Khan) [r. 1370-1378]

Prince Maidiribala [1338-1378]

General Köke Temür [1330-1375]

Elbeg Khan [r. 1393-1399]

Oljeitu Khatun [d. ~1399]

Ming:

Zhu Yuanzhang (Hongwu Emperor) [r. 1368-1399]

Xu Da, "Barbarian-Conquering Generalissimo" [1332-1385]

General Li Wenzhong [1339-1383]

 

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2020-11-12
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#202.5 - Bonus: Strange Tales V.5: The Masque of the Red Death

You are invited to a very exclusive party. Everyone who's anyone will be there, dressed to the nines. You're sure to have the time of your life, and won't even know where the time's gone...

Story by: Edgar Allen Poe

 

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2020-10-23
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#202 - Special: Strange Tales V

The chill of autumn is in the air once again, which can only mean one thing! It?s time for more tales to terrorize & titillate, baffle & bemuse? it?s time to once again venture into the studio of Pu Songling and listen to his strange tales. So gather round the light of the fire? or the iPhone? and get ready for seven strange stories of sly foxes, flights of fancy, monstrous appetites, unusual encounters, otherworldly lessons, tricky traders, and enchanting apparitions...

00:58: The Half-Fox Girl

10:55: The Painted Wall

18:27: The Monster In the Buckwheat

21:48: The Girl From Nanjing

25:45: A Most Exemplary Monk

28:07: Stealing a Peach

33:38: The Hungry Bride

36:07: The Magic Sword & the Magic Bag

 

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2020-10-17
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#201 - Ming 1: Overflowing Martial Accomplishment

How does a peasant, orphan, son of a farmer

in the Black Death, made a monk in the middle of a forgotten spot

In central Anhui by providence impoverished

In squalor, grow up to be a rebel hero, then a monarch?

Time Period Covered:

1364-1368 CE

Major Historical Figures:

Ming:

Zhu Yuanzhang (Hongwu Emperor) [r. 1368-1398]

General Xu Da [1332-1385]

General Chang Yuchun [1330-1369]

Commander Li Wenzhong [1338-1384]

Yuan:

Emperor Toghon Temür [r. 1333-1368, 1368-1370]

Crown Prince Ayushiridara [1340-1378]

General Chaghan Temür [d. 1362]

General Köke Temür [1330-1375]

General Bolod Temür [d. 1364]

Wu:

Zhang Shicheng (King of Dazhou) [r. 1354-1367]

General Li Bosheng

 

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2020-10-06
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#200 - Special: Di Er Bai Ji!

It's our 200th(ish) episode!

And so we take to the listeners to answer some of their burning questions about... Daoist gods... Islam in China... The Mandate of Heaven... sacrifices! ... the political expedience of murdering Mongol ambassadors... The Duke ... the names of emperors... technology transfers ... Korean empresses... and more!

 

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2020-09-20
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#199 - Yuan 15: On the Waterfront

You don't understand! Chen Youliang coulda had class! He coulda been a contender! He coulda been somebody... instead of a bum, which is what he is after the fiasco on the waters of Lake Poyang. Let's face it.

Time Period Covered:

1360-1363 CE

Major Historical Figures:

State of Ming:

Zhu Yuanzhang

Commander Hua Yun [d. 1360]

Han Lin'er, "Emperor of Song"

General Kang Maocai

General Xu Da

General Hu Dahai [d. 1361]

General Shao Rong [d. 1361]

State of Han:

Emperor Chen Youliang [r. 1360-1363]

General Chen Yuren

Xu Shouhui, "Emperor" of Tianwan [d. 1360]

State of Wu:

Zhang Shicheng

Yuan Dynasty:

Emperor Toghon Temur

Prince Chaghan Temur [d. 1361]

Köke Temur (Wang Baobao)

 

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2020-08-30
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#198 - Mongol 15.1: The Toluid Revolution

When Ögedei dies in late 1241, the empire must choose a successor before it can move forward. In spite of the late Khan determining in advance that it should be his grandson, his empress has other ideas - namely, installing her own irascible son, Güyük, instead. This raises more than a few eyebrows, especially from the Lord of the Golden Horde (and Güyük's personal nemesis) Batu Khan. He'll spend then next 5 years doing absolutely everything in his power to prevent Güyüks' enthronement. And so, when Güyük is finally installed... is it any surprise that he'll seek to get even on his hated cousin? Their looking showdown on the fields of Dzungaria will set the stage for a truly unpredictable series of events, that will leave the Mongol Empire altered forever...

(NOTE: This is Part 1 of a Bonus Episode! Get the rest, and all other bonus content by subscribing via patreon.com/thehistoryofchina

Time Period Covered:

1242-1254 CE

Major Historical Figures:

Mongol Empire:

Temuge Otchigin, Genghis Khan's youngest brother, Prince of the Hearth [1168-1246]

House Ögedei:

*Ögedei Khaghan [r. 1232-1241]

Toregene Khatun [r. 1242-1246]

Güyük Khaghan [r. 1246-1248]

Oghul Khaimish Khatun [r. 1248-1251]

Prince Shiremun [d. 1251]

Prince Khodan [d. 1246]

Lady Fatima [d. 1246]

House Tolui:

*Tolui Otchigin [1191-1232]

Sorkhakhtani Beki [1190-1252]

Möngke Khaghan [r. 1251-1259]

Prince Khubilai

Prince Hulagu

Prince Ariq Boke

General Menggesar, Noyan Companion of Mongke

House Jochi:

*Jochi [c. 1182-1225]

Batu, Khan of the Golden Horde [1205-1255]

Major Sources Cited:

De Nicola, Bruno. ?Regents and Empresses: Women?s Rule In the Mongols? World Empire? in Women in Mongol Iran: The Khatuns, 1206-1335.Hamadani, Rashid-al-Din. Compendium of Chronicles. Dowson, John (tr.)Juvaini, Ata-Malik. History of the World Conqueror. (tr. John Andrew Boyle).Kim, Hodong. ?A Reappraisal of Güyüg Khan? in Mongols, Turks, and Others: Eurasian Nomand and the Sedentary World.Man, John. Kublai Khan: The Mongol King Who Remade China.McLynn, Frank. Genghis Khan: This Conquests, His Empire, His Legacy.Onon, Urgunge (tr.). The Secret History of the Mongols: The Life and Times of Chinggis Khan.Rockhill, William Woodville (tr.). The journey of William of Rubruck to the eastern parts of the world, 1253-55, as narrated by himself, with two accounts of the earlier journey of John of Pian de Carpine.Rossabi, Morris. ?The Reigns of Ogodei and Guyug? in The Cambridge History of China, Vol. 6: Alien Regimes and Border States, 907-1368.Weatherford, Jack. Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World.  

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2020-08-12
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#197 - Yuan 14: Battle Royale

As Guard-Captain of the Red Turbans, Zhu Yuanzhang sets his sights on the jewel of the southlands: Nanjing. Once that's in his grasp, he'll truly join the ranks of the top-tier warlords of the era... but when you've elbowed you way up to the head table, don't be surprised if those you bump up against take exception to you shoving them aside...

Time Period Covered:

1355-1360 CE

Major Historical Figures:

Yuan Dynasty:

Emperor Toghon Temur (Huizong/Shundi) [r. 1333-1368, 1368-1370]

General Shimo Yisun [d. 1360]

Red Turban:

Emperor of Song, Han Lin'er, the Little Lord of Light [r. 1351-1367]

Guo Zixing [d. 1355]

Ming:

Guard-Captain Zhu Yuanzhang, "Outstanding Hero" [1328-1398]

General Xu Da [1332-1385]

General Chang Yüchen

General Hu Dahai [d. 1362]

Minister Song Lian [1310-1381]

Han:

King Chen Youliang [1320-1363]

Wu:

Zhang Shicheng, the "Heaven Blessed" King, Salt-Smuggler Extraordinaire [1321-1367]

 

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2020-07-29
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#196 - Special: ReConsidering China with Xander Snyder & Eric Fogg

My long-lost conversation with the hosts of the excellent ReConsider Podcast, Xander and Eric... now *finally* delivered to you!

 

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2020-07-20
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#195 - Yuan 13: The Lords of Light

As the cataclysmic decade of the 1340s rolls in to the 1350s a planned rerouting of the Yellow River will trigger a massive uprising by what the Yuan authorities call the Red Turban Rebels. But who are they really? What do they believe? Why are they fighting? And how do they tie in with the eventual overthrow of the Mongols from their hegemony over China?

Major Historical Figures:

Maitreya Buddha, Successor to Gautama Buddha [???]

Mani the Last, Prophet of Manichaeism [ca. 216-277 CE]

Red Turbans:

Peng Yingyu, Buddhist Monk, "Father" of the Red Turbans [d. ca. 1348-1358]

Northern:

Han Shantong, Lord of Light [d. 1351]

Han Lin'er, the Young Lord of Light [1340-1367]

General Liu Futong (AKA "Liu Fangshi") [1321-1363]

Guo Zixing, Leader of Red Turban Army, Lord of Haozhou [d. 1355]

Zhu Yuanzhang, Buddhist mendicant monk, Guard Commander of the Red Turbans [1328-1398]

Southern:

Xu Shouhui, cloth-merchant, Emperor of Tianwan Kingdom, Maitreya Incarnate [1320-1360]

Qing Dynasty:

Huang Yupian, Qing Dynasty Magistrate and White Lotus Hunter [mid-19th century]

Major Sources Cited:

Brook, Timothy. The Confusions of Pleasure: Commerce and Culture in Ming China.

Buckley Ebrey, Patricia and Anne Walthall. Pre-Modern East Asia: A Cultural, Social, and Political History, Volume I.

Chao, Wei-pang. ?Secret Religious Societies in North China in the Ming Dynasty? in Folklore Studies, Vol. 7.

Farmer, Edward L. Zhu Yuanzhang and Early Ming Legislation: The Reordering of Chinese Society following the Era of Mongol Rule.

Flower, Theresa. ?Millenarian Themes of the White Lotus Society.?

Hung, Hing Ming. From the Mongols to the Ming Dynasty: How a Begging Monk Became Emperor of China, Zhu Yuan Zhang.

Lin, Wushu. ?A Study On Equivalent Names of Manichaeism in Chinese? in Popular Religion and Shamanism.

Lin, Wushu. Manichaeism and its Dissemination in the East.

Ma, Xisha. ?The Syncretism of Maitreyan Belief and Manichaeism in Chinese History? in Popular Religion and Shamanism.

Mote, Frederick W. Imperial China: 900-1800.

Mote, Frederick W. ?The Rise of the Ming Dynasty, 1330-1367? in The Cambridge History of China, Vol. 7: The Ming Dynasty.

Overmeier, Daniel L. ?Folk-Buddhist Religion: Creation and Eschatology in Medieval China? in History of Religions, Vol. 12, No. 1.

Shek, Richard. ?Religious Dissenters in Ming-Qing China? in Religion and the Early Modern State: Views from China, Russia, and the West.

Tan, Chung. Across the Himalayan Gap: An Indian Quest for Understanding China.

Ter Haar, B.J. The White Lotus Teachings in Chinese Religious History.

Wang, Kristen. ?Scandalous Tales Behind Nanjing?s 70 Ancient Names? in The Nanjinger, 07/04/2019.

Waterson, James. Defending Heaven: China?s Mongol Wars, 1209-1370.

 

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2020-07-11
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#194 - Intelligent Speech: Hidden Narratives from the Middle Kingdom

My presentation to the 2020 Intelligent Speech Convention, on Women, Minorities, and reading between the bamboo scrolls of history to find the hidden stories. Also with a Q&A session after.

 

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2020-07-01
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#193 - Yuan 12:Blue Sky, Red Turban, White Lotus, Black Death

As Toghon Temur - the eleventh and final Great Khan of the Yuan, takes the throne - the dam holding back the near century of bad decisions back begins to buckle. Things are not helps by a dramatic climate shift, or the outbreak of one of the worst pandemics in human history, either... can we really blame the apocalyptic cults that spring up for thinking it's the end of the world?

Time Period Covered:

1333~1344 CE

Major Historical Figures:

Toghon Temur Khaghan [r. 1333-1368, 1370]

Grand Chancellor Bayan Ba'atur of the Merkid [1280-1340]

Zhu Yuanzhang [1328-1398]

 

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2020-06-15
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Rebroadcast: 6/4 - UK Cable on the Tiananmen Square Massacre

31 years later,

To forget is to risk it all happening anew...

 

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2020-06-04
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#192 - Mongol 14.1: There & Back Again

In the aftermath of the Golden Horde's devastating strike into Eastern Europe, Christendom reels. As apocalyptic as the assaults were, the great enemy's sudden and inexplicable evaporation offers no comfort, and only more questions.

In order to get some answers, the Holy See will dispatch an unlikely candidate to make his way across the whole of Eurasia in an attempt to first find, and then meet with, the King of the Tartars - whoever, and wherever he may be...

Time Period Covered:

1245-1247 CE

Major Historical Figures:

European Christendom:

Pope Innocent IV [r. 1243-1254]

Friar Giovanni da Pian del Carpine (John of Plano Carpini) [ca. 1185-1252]

Friar Benedict of Poland [ca. 1200-ca. 1280]

Friar Stephen of Bohemia

Konrad I, High Duke of Krakow [ca. 1187-1247]

Prince Daniel Romanovich of Galacia [1201-1264]

Grand Prince Vasilko (Basil) Romanovich of Kiev [1203-1269]

Grand Prince Yaroslav II Vsevolodovich of Vladimir [1191-1246]

Mongol Empire:

Guyük Khaghan [r. 1246-1248]

Toregene Khatun [r. 1241-1246]

Batu Khan of the Golden Horde [ca. 1205-1255]

Grand Secretary Chinqai of Khwarazm

 

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2020-05-20
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#191 - Special: "Superpower Interrupted," an Interview with Author Michael Schuman

My interview with Beijing-based author and journalist Michael Schuman about China's history, present, future, and food... and of course about his upcoming book, "Superpower Interrupted: The Chinese History of the World," available on June 9th, 2020.

Find Michael on Twitter under the handle @michaelschuman

 

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2020-05-11
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#190 - Yuan 11: The War of the Two Capitals

We start today in the aftermath of the murder of the 9th Great Mongol Khan and the 5th Emperor of Yuan. We end a decade later, at the beginning of the 15th Great Khan and 11th Yuan Emperor... coincidentally (or not) the last of both. The treachery, assassinations, wars, and power-plays that get us from that start to that end will threaten to split the very soul of the empire in two. Also, there's a lot of Temürs along the way... like, a *lot,* a lot!

Time Period Covered:

1323-1333 CE

Major Events:

* Coup at Nanpo [Sept. 4, 1323] - Outcome: assassination of Shidebala Khaghan, accession of Yesün Temür Khaghan

* War of the Two Capitals [Aug. 1328-Nov. 14, 1328 (sporadic resistance thru 1332)] - Outcome: Khaishan Restorationist victory/ Shangdu Loyalist defeat, overthrow of Aragibagh & enthronement of Jayaatu Khaghan

* Incident at Ongghochatu [Aug. 26-30, 1329] - Outcome: assassination of Khoshila, restoration of Togh Temur Khaghan to the throne

Relevant Historical Figures:

Great Yuan:

Shidebala (Gegeen Khaghan/Yuan Yingzong) [r. 1320-1323]

Yesün Temür (Khaghan/Yuan Taiding) [r. 1323-1328]

Aragibagh (Khaghan/Yuan Tianshun) [r. Oct.-Nov. 1328]

Togh Temür (Jayaatu Khaghan/Yuan Wenzong) [r. Oct. 1328-Apr. 1329, Sept. 1329- Sept. 1332]

Khoshila (Khutughtu Khaghan/Yuan Mingzong) [r. Feb. 1329-Aug. 1329]

Rinchinbal (Khaghan/Yuan Ningzong) [r. Oct. 29, 1332-Dec. 14, 1332]

Toghon Temür (Ukhaghatu Khaghan/Yuan Huizong) [r. 1333-1368]

Empress Budashiri [1307-1340]

Crown Prince Aradnadara [d. 1330]

Prince El Tegüs [c. 1329-c. 1340]

Daula-shah, Grand Councilor of the Right [d. 1228]

El Temür, General & Grand Councillor of the Right [d. 1333]

Bayan of the Merkids, General & Grand Councillor of the Left [d. 1340]

Chagatai Khanate:

Esen Bukha I, Khan [r. 1310-1318]

Eljigidey Khan [r. 1326-1329]

Golden Horde:

Öz Beg Khan [r. 1313-1341]

Ilkhanate:

Abu Sa'id (Bahadur Khan) [r. 1316-1335]

 

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2020-04-26
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#189 - Yuan 10: The Third Rail

Temur Khan's death without an heir sparks a power vacuum within the Yuan court - two brothers will come to power together, but only one will be able to sit the throne at a time, who will succeed? Meanwhile, as money issues continue to plague the empire, the Mongol nobility get more and more fed-up with the Yuan Borjigins' continual shift toward Chinese-style reforms.

Time Period Covered:

1307-1323 CE

Major Historical Figures:

Khaishan (Külüg Khaghan/Emperor Wuzong) [r. 1307-1311]

Ayurbarwada (Buyantu Khaghan/Emperor Renzong) [r. 1311-1320]

Shidebala (Gegeen Khaghan/Emperor Yingzong) [r.1320-1323]

Grand Empress Dowager Targi [d. 1322]

Empress Bulukhan [d. 1307]

Khosila, Prince of Zhou

Prince Ananda [d. 1307]

Grand Councilor of the Right, Harghasun [d. 1307]

Grand Councilor of the Right, Temüder [d. 1322]

Grand Councilor of the Left/Right, Baiju [d.1323?

 

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2020-04-08
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#188 - Mongol 13: O Lord, Why Are Thy Judgements So Deep?

King Bela IV of Hungary has a bit of a barbarian problem. You see, he let in some Cumans, but now some different barbarians are demanding that he give them back. So Bela does the sensible thing: he kills the Mongol emissaries. Batu Khan and General Subotai are less than pleased...

Time Period Covered:

c. 1239-1242 CE

Major Historical Figures:

Mongol Empire:

Batu Khan [c. 1205-1255]

General Subotai Ba'atur ("the Valiant") [c. 1175-1248]

General Khadan [d. 125?]

General Shiban [d. 1266]

Kingdom of Greater Hungary:

King Bela III [r. 1172-1196]

King Andrew II [r. 1205-1235]

King Bela IV [r. 1235-1265]

Duke Coloman of Slavonia [d. 1241]

Archbishop Ugolin of Kaolocsa [d. 1241]

Duke Palatine of Hungary [d. 1241]

Bishop Benedict of Oradea [d. 1241]

Templar Master Rembald de Voczon [d. 1241]

Archdeacon Thomas of Spalato [1200-1268]

Master Roger of Torre Maggiore, Archdeacon of Varad [1205-1266]

Cuman Tribes:

Chieftain Khotan [d. 1140]

Austria:

Duke Frederick of Austria "the Quarrelsome" [d. 1245]

Holy Roman Empire:

Emperor Frederick II [r. 1220-1250]

Conrad IV, King of Italy, Germany, the Romans, and Jerusalem [r. 1228-1254]

Roman Catholic Church:

Pope Gregory IX [r. 1227-1241]

 

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2020-03-23
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#187 - Yuan 9: Blessed Iron Khan

Olziyet Temur - the Blessed Iron Khan - takes the throne as the Yuan Dynasty's second emperor, Changzong "The Preserver." He has taken it upon himself to uphold and protect his grandfather Khubilai's glorious legacy... but granddad sure left a bit of a mess for him to try to clear up.

Time Period Covered:

1294-1307 CE

Major Historical Figures:

Olziyet Temur Khan (Emperor Changzong of Yuan) [r. 1294-1307 CE]

Empress Bulukhan

Crown Prince Deshou [d. 1306]

Empress-Dowager Kököchin

Gammala, Prince of Jin

Öljei, Grand Councilor of the Right [d. 1303]

Sayyid Boyan al-D?n, Finance Minister

Khaidu Khan of House Ögedei [d. 1301]

Du'a Khan of House Chagatai 

Öljeitu, Ilkhan of House Hülegü

General Bayan of the Barin, "Hundred Eyes"

 

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2020-03-08
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#186 - Yuan 8: Khan With the Wind

Khubilai is ancient, pained, and sick... but he still has more Mongol justice to mete out before he joins the Eternal Sky. Still, some campaigns will go better than others.

Period Covered:

ca. 1287-1294 CE

Major Historical Figures:

Yuan Dynasty:

Khubilai (Emperor Shizu) [r. 1260-1294]

Crown Prince Olziit Temur (Emperor Chengzong) [r. 1294-1307]

Prince Esen Temur

Prince Temur Bukha

General Shibi

General Gao Xing

Admiral Yike Musi

Ambassador Meng Qi

Phagspa Lama, Imperial Preceptor of Tibet [1235-1280]

Imperial Preceptor Dharmapalarasita

Kingdom of Pagan (Burma):

King Narathihapate [r. 1256-1287]

Kingdom of Singhasari (Java):

King Kertanagara [d. 1292]

Prince Raden Vijaya [r. 1293-1309]

Duke Jayakatwang of Kediri [d. 1293]

Mongol Khanates:

Du'a Khan of the Chagatids

Khaidu Khan of the Ögedeids [d. 1301]

Prince Nayan [d. 1287]

 

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2020-02-20
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#185 - Special: De Materia Medica

Traditional Chinese Medicine - as its name duly implies - has been a part of China for at least 2,500 years. But what does it mean? Where does it come from? How does it work? And does it have a place it modern society?

 

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2020-02-14
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#184 - Yuan 7: Mark It Zero

Khubilai Khan has led a pretty blessed existence as of the year 1279. But fate has a way of balancing things out in starkly brutal fashion...

Time Period Covered:

~1279-1287 CE

Major Historical Figures:

Yuan Dynasty:

Emperor Khubilai

Empress Chabi (d. 1281)

Crown Prince Zhenjin (1242-1285)

Prince Toghon, Prince of Suppression of the South

Finance Minister Ahmad Fanakati (d. 1282)

Finance Minister Lu Shijing (d. 1285)

Admiral Hong Tau

General Fan Wenhu

General Xindu

General Nasir al-Din

Commander Sodu (d. 1285)

Commander Arigh Khaya

Japanese Shogunate:

Hojo Tokimune, Regent of the Shogun

Kingdom of Pagan:

King Narathihapate

Kingdom of Champa:

King Jaya Indravarman VI

Kingdom of Dai-Viet:

Emperor Tran Than-Tong

 

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2020-02-06
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#183 - Yuan 6: Cultural Hot-Pot for the Soul

Khubilai Khan is a man astride multiple worlds - trying to be both the Khan of the Great Mongol Nation, and the Emperor of the Yuan Dynasty. This will take quite a bit of accommodation, and between Mongolian shamanism, Chinese Confucianism, Buddhism, Daoism, Islam, and Christianity... more than a little behaving like a cultural chameleon to square those civilizational circles.

 

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2020-01-21
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#182 - Mongol 12.1: The Golden Horde

Jochi was tasked with subduing the Cuman tribes of the western steppes. Jochi failed. Now, under the second Great Khan Ögedei, it will fall to his successor, Batu, Khan of the Golden Horde, to finish what his father could not. He won't be going alone, though. In addition to his invincible tumens, he'll bring with him a host of imperial princes, as well as the greatest commander to ever mount a steed - Subotai the Valiant, now returns to the Western expanses to finish what he began 15 years ago...

Note: this is part 1 of an extended bonus episode! Find the full episode and all other Bonus Episodes by become a patron at patreon.com/thehistoryofchina

Time Period Covered:

ca. 1235-1240 CE

Major Historical Figures:

Mongol Khanate:

Ögedei Khaghan (1186-1241)

Subotai Ba'atuur, The Last Orlok (ca. 1176-1248)

General Uriyangkhadai (1201-1272)

House Ogedeid:

Guyuk (1206-1248)

Khadan (?)

Khaidu (c. 1230-1301)

House Jochi (Golden Horde):

Batu Khan (ca. 1205-1255)

House Tolui:

Möngke (1209-1259)

Bujek (?)

House Chagatai:

Baidar(?)

Buri (d. 1252)

Kipchak-Cuman Confederacy:

Bachman Khan (d. 1237)

Khoten Khan (d. 1241)

Russian Principalities:

Grand Prince Yuri II of Vladimir (1188-1238)

Prince Roman of Vladimir (d. 1238)

Prince Michael of Chernigov (1179-1246)

Dmitri, Voivode of Kiev (?)

Kingdom of Hungary:

King Béla IV (1206-1270)

 

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2020-01-03
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#181 - Special: 6th Anniversary Q&A

It's finally time to give holiday thanks and - of course - submit myself before the high inquisitors pelting me with questions day and night!

Topics this year ranged far and wide:

1. How wide-ranging was Genghis Khan's last command in Western Xia?

2. How do I keep my loud mouth out of trouble with the PRC?

3. How "good" were the good times of dynasties for the normies?

4. Which Khan has got it goin' on?

5. Were there plagues in ancient China? How were they dealt with?

6. Did the Mongols trigger anti-foreign conservatism in the Ming?

7. Where should we divide "Chinese" history from "non-Chinese" history?

8. Just how incompetent was the Song Dynasty?

9. Why does THoC be like it do?

10. How did the Mongols relay orders over long distances before writing?

11. How much was opium to blame versus other factors in the decline and fall of the Qing Dynasty?

 

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2019-12-21
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#180 - Yuan 5: Dismounting the Horse to Sit the Dragon

While his armies have been keeping busy in every direction on both offense and defense, Emperor Khubilai had been hard at work re-organizing the mess his family made in China and reformatting it into a stable, lawful Yuan Dynasty. And Grandpa Genghis was right: it's was a *lot* more work to run an empire, than to conquer one...

Period Covered:

ca. 1261-1290

 

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2019-12-08
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#179 - Yuan 4: Traditional Family Values

Khubilai must face off against his most potent threat - his own traditionalist cousin, Khaidu. Meanwhile, Khaidu frets over his daughter Khutulun - a girl as desirable as she is formidable, and will brook no husband who cannot best her at wrestling.

Time Period Covered: ca. 1265-1306 CE

Notable Historical Figures:

Yuan Dynasty:

Khubilai Khan

Prince Zhenjin

Prince Nomukhan

Prince Kokochu

Prime Minister of the Right Antong

General Bayan

Chagatai Khanate:

Khaidu Khan

Princess Khutulun

Rebel Princes:

Togh Timur

Shiregi

Yobukhur

Melik Timur

 

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2019-11-18
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#178 - Yuan 3: Divine Wind

The armies of Great Yuan sweep across the east, destroying and conquering all who would stand against them. Goryeo Korea eventually sees the writing on the wall and cuts a deal with the Great Khan. Khubilai will then turn his sights out over the waters of the Pacific, to the Land of the Rising Sun... and send its monarch a friend request.

Time Period Covered:

ca. 1257-1275 CE

Major Historical Figures:

Yuan Dynasty:

Khubilai, Great Khan of Mongolia, Emperor of Yuan

Princess Hutulun Jielimishi

Zhao Liangbi, Yuan Emissary to Japan

Goryeo Korea:

Choi Ui, Warlord of Korea [d. 1257]

King Wonjong [r. 1260-1274]

Im Yon, Warlord [d. ca. 1271]

Pan Pu, Yuan Emissary to Japan

Kamakura Japan:

Hojo Tokimune, Regent of the Shogun (Shikken, de facto ruler of Japan)

Shoni Sukeyoshi, Magistrate of Chikuzen City

 

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2019-11-05
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#177 - Yuan 2: Brother Mine

With the untimely death of Möngke Khaghan outside the walls of Chongqing, the Mongol Empire will be fore to choose for a new emperor for the 5th time in just three decades. Unlike the first four conclaves, however, this will result in not one, but two khuriltais, and two who would be Great Khan. Möngke?s brothers, Khubilai and Ariq Böke, will duel it out across Central Asia to determine who will rule all under the Eternal Blue Sky.

Time Period Covered:

1259-1266 CE

Major Historical Figures:

Toluids:

Möngke Khaghan [d.1259]

Khubilai?s Supporters:

Khubilai Khaghan [r. 1260-1289]

Chabi Khatun [1225-1281]

Hulegu Ilkhan [d. 1265]

General Ked Bukha [d. 1260]

King Hethum I of Armenia [r. 1226-1270]

Ariq Böke Supporters:

Ariq Böke Khaghan [r. 1260-1264, d. 1266]

Berke Khan (Golden Horde/Jochid) [d. 1266]

Alghu Khan (Chagatids) [d. 1265]

Jumukhur (Ilkhanate)

Urung Tang (Möngke Toluid)

General Alandar [d. 1262]

General Durchi

Mamluk Sultanate:

Sultan Saif ad-Din Qutuz [r. 1259-1260]

Sultan Baibars [r. 1260-1277]

Song Dynasty:

Chancellor Jia Sidao [d. 1273]

 

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2019-10-20
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#176 - Special: Strange Tales 4, "Zibuyu"

Confucius talked about a *lot* ... but there were certain things about which even the Master dare not speak. Today we break that ancient taboo with 4 stories of spooky strangeness...

2:01 - "A Karmic Meal"

5:30 - "The Concubine's Revenge"

20:22 - "Too Poor to Be Haunted"

24:26 - "A Hell of a Trial"

Adapted from:

Zibuyu "What the Master Would Not Discuss" by Yuan Mei

 

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2019-10-12
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#175 - Mongol 11.1: Ögedei Cometh

Genghis Khan is dead, and his 3rd son Ögedei has ben selected to lead the Mongol Empire into an uncertain future. Once he is confirmed on the throne, he'll strike on in every direction against every foe at once. On the way, there will be virgin sacrifices, talking wolves, free money, mass enslavement, Persian princes, Assassins, poison, angry water spirits, battle-mages, cannibalism... and that's just the tip of the iceberg!

Note: This is part 1 of the 2-part conclusion to the life of Genghis Khan, with the conclusion available to subscribers via: www.patreon.com/thehistoryofchina 

Time Period Covered:

1227-1234 CE

Major Historical Figures:

Ogedeids:

Ogedei Khaghan

Subotai the Valiant

General Chormakhan

Minister Yelu Chu Cai

Toluids:

Tolui Khan

Sorkhakhtani Beki Khatun

Chagatids:

Chagatai Khan

Khwarazmia:

Jalal al-Din

Kingdom of Georgia:

Queen Rusudan

 

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2019-10-09
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Proclamation of the Central People's Government of the PRC, October 1, 1949

The people throughout China have been plunged into bitter suffering and tribulations since the Chiang Kai-shek Kuomintang reactionary government betrayed the fatherland, colluded with imperialists, and launched the counter-revolutionary war. Fortunately our People's Liberation Army, backed by the whole nation, has been fighting heroically and selflessly to defend the territorial sovereignty of our homeland, to protect the people's lives and property, to relieve the people of their sufferings, and to struggle for their rights, and it eventually wiped out the reactionary troops and overthrew the reactionary rule of the Nationalist government. 

Now, the People's War of Liberation has been basically won, and the majority of the people in the country have been liberated. On this foundation, the first session of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference , composed of delegates of all the democratic parties and people's organization of China, the People's Liberation Army, the various regions and nationalities of the country, and the overseas Chinese and other patriotic elements, has been convened. Representing the will of the whole nation, [this session of the conference] has enacted the organic law of the Central People's Government of the People's Republic of China, elected Mao Zedong as chairman of the Central People's Government; and Zhu De, Liu Shaoqi, Song Qingling, Li Jishen, Zhang Lan, and Gao Gang as vice chairmen [of the Central People's Government]; and Chen Yi, He Long, Li Lisan, Lin Boqu, Ye Jianying, He Xiangning, Lin Biao, Peng Dehuai, Liu Bocheng, Wu Yuzhang, Xu Xiangqian, Peng Zhen, Bo Yibo, Nie Rongzhen, Zhou Enlai, Dong Biwu, Seypidin, Rao Shushi, Tan Kah-kee [Chen Jiageng], Luo Ronghuan, Deng Zihui, Ulanhu, Xu Deli, Cai Chang, Liu Geping, Ma Yinchu, Chen Yun, Kang Sheng, Lin Feng, Ma Xulun, Guo Moruo, Zhang Yunyi, Deng Xiaoping, Gao Chongmin, Shen Junru, Shen Yanbing, Chen Shutong, Szeto Mei-tong [Situ Meitang], Li Xijiu, Huang Yanpei, Cai Tingkai, Xi Zhongxun, Peng Zemin, Zhang Zhizhong, Fu Zuoyi, Li Zhuchen, Li Zhangda, Zhang Nanxian, Liu Yazi, Zhang Dongsun, and Long Yun as council members to form the Central People's Government Council, proclaimed the founding of the People's Republic of China and decided on Beijing as the capital of the People's Republic of China. 

The Central People's Government Council of the People's Republic of China took office today in the capital and unanimously made the following decisions: to proclaim the establishment of the Central People's Government of the People's Republic of China; to adopt the Common Program of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference as the policy of the government; to elect Lin Boqu from among the council members as secretary general of the Central People's Government Council; to appoint Zhou Enlai as premier of the Government Adminstration Council of the Central People's Government and concurrently minister of Foreign Affairs, Mao Zedong as chairman of the People's Revolutionary Military Commission of the Central People's Government, Zhu De as commander-in-chief of the People's Liberation Army, Shen Junru as president of the Supreme People's Court of the Central People's Government, and Luo Ronghuan as procurator general of the Supreme People's Procuratorate of the Central People's Government, and to charge them with the task of the speedy formation of the various organs of the government to carry out the work of the government. 

At the same time, the Central People's Government Council decided to declare to the governments of all other countries that this government is the sole legal government representing all the people of the People's Republic of China. This government is willing to establish diplomatic relations with any foreign government that is willing to observe the principles of equality, mutual benefit, and mutual respect of territorial integrity and sovereignty.

Mao Zedong

Chairman

 

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2019-09-30
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#174 - Yuan 1: In Xanadu Did Kubla Khan...

You know it?s hard out there for a prince. The fourth sons of a fourth son, Khubilai of the Borjigin will grow up little recognized, and bound for a life of little more than comfortable obscurity. But between his mother?s machinations, his wife?s guidance, his own skills? and a healthy smattering of good fortune, he?ll find himself suddenly thrust into the spotlight and tasked with overseeing the conquest of the Mongols? oldest foe.

Time Period Covered:

1215-1259 CE

Major Historical Figures:

Mongol:

Tolui [c. 1191-1232] ? 4th son of Genghis Khan, Khubilai?s father

Sorkhokhtani Beki [c. 1190-1252] ? Khubilai?s mother, Nestorian Christian

Möngke Khaghan [1209-1259] ? Tolui?s eldest son, 4th Great Khan of the Mongols

Khubilai, Ilkhan of the Left [1215-1289] ? favored grandson of Genghis

Hulagu, Ilkhan of the Right [1218-1265] ? 3rd son of Tolui and Sorkhokhtani

Ariq Böke [1219-1266] ? youngest son of Tolui, Otchigin ?Hearthkeeper?

Chabi Khatun [1225-1281] ? Khubilai?s 2nd wife & only love, Tibetan Buddhist

North China:

Minister Yao Shu

Liu Bingzhong, Buddhist Monk, Adviser & Architect of Kaiping/Shangdu city

The Phagspa Lama [1235-1280]

Dali Kingdom:

King Duan Xingzhi [r. 1251-1254, 1256-1260 (as Maharaja)]

Prime Minister Gao Taixiang [d. 1253]

Major Sources:

Atwood, Christopher P. Encyclopedia of Mongolia and the Mongol Empire.

Broadbridge, Anne F. Women and the Making of the Mongol Empire.

Clements, Jonathan. A Brief History of Khubilai Khan: Lord of Xanadu, Founder of the Yuan.

May, Timothy (ed.). The Mongol Empire: A Historical Encyclopedia, vol. 1.

McLynn, Frank. Genghis Khan: His Conquests, His Empire, His Legacy.

Rossabi, Morris. ?The Reign of Khubilai Khan? in The Cambridge History of China, v. 6: Alien Regimes and Border States, 907-1368.

Weatherford, Jack. The Secret History of the Mongol Queens.

 

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2019-09-22
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"Kubla Khan" - By: Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Kubla Khan

BY SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE

Or, a vision in a dream. A Fragment.

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan

A stately pleasure-dome decree:

Where Alph, the sacred river, ran

Through caverns measureless to man

   Down to a sunless sea.

So twice five miles of fertile ground

With walls and towers were girdled round;

And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,

Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;

And here were forests ancient as the hills,

Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.

But oh! that deep romantic chasm which slanted

Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover!

A savage place! as holy and enchanted

As e?er beneath a waning moon was haunted

By woman wailing for her demon-lover!

And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething,

As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing,

A mighty fountain momently was forced:

Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst

Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail,

Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher?s flail:

And mid these dancing rocks at once and ever

It flung up momently the sacred river.

Five miles meandering with a mazy motion

Through wood and dale the sacred river ran,

Then reached the caverns measureless to man,

And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean;

And ?mid this tumult Kubla heard from far

Ancestral voices prophesying war!

   The shadow of the dome of pleasure

   Floated midway on the waves;

   Where was heard the mingled measure

   From the fountain and the caves.

It was a miracle of rare device,

A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice!

   A damsel with a dulcimer

   In a vision once I saw:

   It was an Abyssinian maid

   And on her dulcimer she played,

   Singing of Mount Abora.

   Could I revive within me

   Her symphony and song,

   To such a deep delight ?twould win me,

That with music loud and long,

I would build that dome in air,

That sunny dome! those caves of ice!

And all who heard should see them there,

And all should cry, Beware! Beware!

His flashing eyes, his floating hair!

Weave a circle round him thrice,

And close your eyes with holy dread

For he on honey-dew hath fed,

And drunk the milk of Paradise.

 

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2019-09-10
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#173 - S. Song 15: Swan Song

Hangzhou is surrounded by the Mongol Yuan army, and is soon to fall. When the child-emperor and the Empress Dowager are taken captive, it will fall to the last two princes of House Zhao to flee to the islands and archipelagos of the Deep South, if they?re to stand any chance at all of keeping the flame of the Song from guttering out forever.

Time Period Covered:

1275-1279 CE

Southern Song:

Grand Empress Dowager Xie

Empress Dowager Chuan

Emperor Zhao Xian (Gong of Song) [r.1274-1276, d. 1323]

Emperor Zhao Shi (Duanzong) [r. 1276-1278]

Emperor Zhao Bing [r. 1278-1279]

Chancellor Chen Yizhong

Mongol Yuan Dynasty:

Khubilai, Mongol Khan & Emperor of Yuan

General Bayan, Commander of the Southern Campaign

General Atzuhan

Admiral Dong Wenping

Lt. Menkhutai

Lt. Fan Wenhu

 

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2019-09-07
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#172 - S. Song 14: The Tightening Noose

Mongolia is gripped in a civil war of its own, meaning the Song Empire has a chance to breathe. But with the immediate threat allayed for now, other problems become apparent. And when the new Great Khan, Khubilai, returns his attention to the land south of the Yangtze, China will find out whether it was a decade well spent in preparation for the coming assault, on one utterly squandered.

Time Period Covered:

1259-1275 CE

Major Historical Figures:

Song Empire:

Emperor Lizong (Zhao Yun) [r. 1221-1264]

Emperor Duzong (Zhao Qi) [r. 1264 -1274]

Grand Empress Dowager Xie [1210-1283]

Chancellor Jia Sidao [1213-1275]

Mongolia:

Möngke [1209-1259]

Khubilai [1215-1294]

Ariq Böke [1219-1264]

General Aju [1227-1287]

 

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2019-08-24
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#171 - Mongol 10.1: The Succession

Genghis Khan is old, wracked by pain in his body and heart, and in spite of his best efforts, has come to accept there is one foe he cannot defeat: mortality itself. Thus, even before setting out on his campaign against the Khwarazmian Empire, he will assemble his four sons and together reach a fateful decision - who among them will rule when Genghis is gone?

Note: This is part 1 of the 2-part conclusion to the life of Genghis Khan, with the conclusion available to subscribers!

Time Period Covered:

1220-1227 CE

Major Historical Figures:

Genghis Khan [Temüjin] (1162-1227)

Börte Khatun (c.1161-c.1130)

Jochi (1181-1226)

Chagatai Khan (1183-1242)

Ögedei Khan (c.1186-1241)

Tolui (c.1191-1232)

 

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2019-08-07
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#170 - S. Song 13: Stay of Execution

The Mongol Khanate is on the warpath against all who would stand against it... until several unexpected system errors for the whole system to reboot. How will Song China deal with these unexpected years of preparatory time?

Time Period Covered:

1241-1260 CE

Major Historical Figures:

Song Dynasty:

Emperor Lizong

Chancellor Jia Sidao

Mongol Empire:

Ögedei Khan

Toregene Khatun

Guyuk Khan

Oghul Khaimish Khatun

Sorkhokhtani Beki

Möngke Khan

Khubilai Ilkhan

General Uriyangkhadai

 

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2019-07-29
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#169 - S. Song 12: Instant Regret

Just off of the heady victory over the Jin Dynasty with their new BFFs, the Mongols, a first-in-a-century visit to the Imperial Tombs gives the Song court a brilliant idea - what if we just took them back without asking? What's the worst that could happen?

Time Period Covered: 1234-1241 CE

Major Historical Figures:

Song Dynasty:

Emperor Lizong

Chancellor Zheng Qingzhi

Chancellor Shi Miyuan [d. 1233]

General Zhao Kui

General Quan Zicai

Mongol Khanate:

Ögedei Khaghan

Töregene Khatun

Prince Khödan

Prince Khöchu

Ambassador Wang Qi

 

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2019-07-14
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Bonus 4.1 - Mongol 8.1: Subotai & Jebe's Excellent Adventure

In the course of their pursuit of the fleeing Khwarazmian Amir, Genghis Khan's two top commanders have reached the shores of the Caspian Sea, and heard some of the strangest tales about what - and who - lay beyond. When the Great Khan gives his go-ahead to scout it out, they'll launch a three-year trek that will remake the world in their bloody image.

Time Period Covered:

1220-1221 CE

 

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2019-07-04
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#168 - S. Song 11: Twilight of the Golds

The Jin Dynasty is surrounded on all sides. It cannot get out. Soon enough, the Mongol stranglehold around Kaifeng will signal the Empire of Black & Gold's death-knell.

Time Period Covered:

1224-1234 CE

 

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2019-06-29
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#167 - S. Song 10: ...Is My Enemy's Enemy, No More, No Less

With enemies on all sides, and the Mongol sledgehammer poised to strike its crushing blow against them, the Jin Dynasty seeks an out by plunging southward, only to find that the Song defenses have become the anvil on which they rest. Exhausted, they?ll seek peace at any cost? but will it be enough to save the tatters of their empire?

Time Period Covered:

1217-1225 CE

Major Historical Figures:

Song:

Emperor Ningzong (Zhao Kuo) [r. 1194-1224]

Emperor Lizong (Zhao Yun) [r. 1224-1264]

Empress Yang [1162-1232]

Chancellor Shi Miyuan [1164-1233]

Crown Prince Zhao Xun [1194-1220]

Prince Zhao Hong [1207-1225]

General Zhao Fang

An Bing, Commandant of Sichuan

Jin:

Emperor Xuanzong (Wudubu/Wanyan Xun) [r. 1213-1224]

Emperor Aizong (Ningjiasu/ Wanyan Shouxu) [r.1224-1234]

Mongol:

Genghis Khan (Temüjin) [r. 1206-1227]

General Mukhali [1170-1223]

 

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2019-06-02
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6/4: UK Cable on Tiananmen Square Massacre

Even after 30 years...

When you're ordered to forget, to remember becomes an act of defiance.

 

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2019-06-02
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#166 - S. Song 9: The Enemy of My Enemy...

The Jin Empire is all at once ripped apart from 4 different directions all at once: Shandong rebels from the east, Khitan from the northeast, Mongols from the northwest, and Tanguts from the West. So they decide to go the only direction left? and invade Southern Song.

Time Period Covered:

1208-1217 CE

Relevant Historical Figures:

Song:

Emperor Ningzong

Chancellor Shi Miyuan

Minister Zhen Dexiu

Jin:

Prince Wei

Emperor Xuanzong

Commander Hesheli Zhizhong

Councilor Zhuhele Guoleqi

Mongol:

Genghis Khan

Red Jacket Rebels:

Yang the Saddler

Khitan:

Yelu Liuge, puppet-Emperor of Liao

Dazhen Kingdom:

Heavenly King Puxian Wannu

 

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2019-05-19
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