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Sacred MandatesAsian International Relations since Chinggis Khan$
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Timothy Brook, Michael van Walt van Praag, and Miek Boltjes

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780226562629

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226562933.001.0001

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Chinggisid Rule and the Mongol Great State

Chinggisid Rule and the Mongol Great State

Chapter:
(p.25) Chapter Two Chinggisid Rule and the Mongol Great State
Source:
Sacred Mandates
Author(s):
Timothy Brook, Michael van Walt van Praag, Miek Boltjes
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226562933.003.0002

The rise of Chinggis Khan in 1206 marked the emergence of a newly unified Mongol polity that built an empire beyond itself, a new political form that Mongols called the Great State. Through conquest and alliances, Chinggis created a Mongol Great State that stretched from the eastern Mediterranean to the Pacific. His legitimacy as ruler of the world was based on the understanding that Heaven had assigned him this task. Mongol ideas about sovereignty, legitimacy, and interpolity relations have influenced every subsequent empire or Great State in Asia. The model was based on universal sovereignty, but it included partitioned or layered sovereignty, the deployment of fiefs, and religious patronage, as the case studies on Mongol rule in Persia and Mongol domination of Tibet show. Within this system, Khubilai Khan ruled Yuan China as a major component of his authority over the Mongol Great State. To the Chinese he justified his rule by claiming that he provided a degree of unification no emperor had previously achieved. From elsewhere within the Mongol empire, however, China was not visible as a distinct polity, and would become so only when it broke away from the Mongol Great State in 1368.

Keywords:   Chinggis Khan, Chinggisid order, fiefs, Khubilai Khan, partitioted sovereignty, Mongol empire, imperial succession, Persia, Phagpa, Tibet

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