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China Under Mongol Rule

China Under Mongol Rule

EDITED BY John D. Langlois
Hok-lam Chan
David M. Farquhar
Herbert Franke
Marilyn Wong Fu
David Gedalecia
Yan-shuan Lao
John D. Langlois
Chu-tsing Li
Morris Rossabi
K’o-k’uan Sun
Stephen H. West
Copyright Date: 1981
Pages: 516
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  • Book Info
    China Under Mongol Rule
    Book Description:

    Encompassing history, politics, religion, and art, this collection of essays on Chinese civilization under the Mongols challenges the previously held views that Mongol rule had only negative consequences.

    Originally published in 1981.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-5409-7
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-x)
    (pp. xi-xii)
    (pp. xiii-xvi)
    (pp. 1-21)

    On a date which corresponded to January 18,1272, Khubilai, grandson of Chinggis Khan, proclaimed the edict which determined that the Mongol regime in China would thenceforth bear the title Yüan. The edict reads as follows:¹

    “[We] have nobly accepted the splendid mandate covering the entire world and giving a place of abode to the exalted ruler. There must be an elegant title to link the many kings [who will follow] and to record [the deeds of] the succession. The origin of [the practice of giving titles to dynasties] is found in antiquity, and is not something only our house has...

  6. [Illustration]
    (pp. 22-22)

    • Structure and Function in the Yüan Imperial Government
      (pp. 25-55)

      We are so accustomed to hearing of the autocratic, highly centralized, bureaucratic character of governments in imperial China, that it is extremely difficult to view them in any other way, except during those periods of disintegration or disunion when serious talk about a central government is clearly impossible.¹ The Yiian dynasty of the Mongols, in particular, has been pointed out as a “tightly centralized regime” with a “centrally controlled bureaucracy.”² One writer has even said that the Yüan was a state in which “power was absolutely lacking at the local level; it lay only at the center....”³ Centralizing and bureaucratic...

    • Chinese Official Historiography at the Yüan Court: The Composition of the Liao, Chin, and Sung Histories
      (pp. 56-106)

      One of the most ambitious projects ever undertaken in the history of official Chinese historiography was the compilation of the “standard histories” (cheng-shih 正史)of the Liao (906–1125), Chin (1125–1234), and Sung (960–1279) dynasties under the auspices of the Mongol rulers of the Yuan dynasty (1260—1368).¹ It was an extraordinary undertaking not only because of its grandiose attempt to deal with the heritage of three different ruling houses with diverse backgrounds, but also because of the haste under which their records were brought to order amid decades of heated discussions over the ideological principles for these historical...

    • Southern Chinese Scholars and Educational Institutions in Early Yüan: Some Preliminary Remarks
      (pp. 107-134)

      Throughout the history of China’s traditional period, scholars often heeded the saying of Confucius that “the way of a superior man remains constant, whether he serves in public or lives in retirement.”¹ This was further modified and amplified by his disciple Tzu Hsia, when the latter stated: “when one has attained excellence in office, he should study; when one has attained excellence in learning, he should serve in office.”² From the Han dynasty on, this calling to office seemed irresistible to great numbers of literati. While such a tendency has been characterized as worldly or vulgar because of the primary...


    • Political Thought in Chin-hua under Mongol Rule
      (pp. 137-185)

      Wu-chou Circuit 婺州路(modern Chin-hua Prefecture 金華府)in central Chekiang 浙工 was the center of Yüan China’s perhaps most distinguished tradition of political thought. It provided much of the philosophical and intellectual continuity between the Sung and the Ming eras. Scholars from Chin-hua were noted for their support oftao-hsüeh道學,the teaching of “the True Way” of the Sung master Chu Hsi 农鲁 (1130–1200). But, beyond their dedication to the transmission of Chu Hsi,s teachings, the Chin-hua scholars faced the problems of government in an age when “sage kings” did not occupy the throne of the Son of Heaven and when...

    • Wu Ch’eng and the Perpetuation of the Classical Heritage in the Yüan
      (pp. 186-211)

      Wu Ch’eng 吳澄(1249–1333), the premier classical scholar and Neo-Confucian thinker during the Yuan period, lived a long and productive life spanning both the late Sung era and a good portion of the Yüan. His prolific scholarship involved him in searching and influential explications of all of the major Confucian classics and in revitalizing philosophic trends, so as to preserve and enrich the cultural heritage. His life is testimony to this unified intellectual outlook.

      This essay discusses the importance of Wu Ch’eng in the intellectual history of the Yiian by examining the nature and development of his scholarly achievements, how...

    • Yü Chi and Southern Taoism during the Yüan Period
      (pp. 212-254)
      K’O-K’UAN SUN

      Some of Yüan China’s leading Han Chinese literati were extremely close to leaders of southern Taoism. Yü Chi 虞集(1272–1348),a Confucian-trained scholar reared in Kiangsi, and his famous mentor Wu Ch’eng 吳潜 (1249—1333),also from Kiangsi, are perhaps the most prominent examples of this phenomenon. Wu Ch’eng and Yü Chi wrote numerous laudatory essays on behalf of Taoist leaders such as the hereditary Celestial Masters (T’ien-shih 天師. And both men were highly regarded by the patriarchs of Hsiian-chiao 玄敎. Hsüan-chiao,“the sublime teaching,” was in effect a branch of southern T’ien-shih Taoism that had been created by the edict of the...


    • The Muslims in the Early Yüan Dynasty
      (pp. 257-295)

      The non-Chinese Muslims in China first attained prominent positions in government and finance during the Yüan dynasty. Muslims from Central Asia and from the Middle East, however, had reached China much earlier. Within a century after Muhammad’s death, Muslims had travel led by land to China’s northwest and by sea to China’s eastern coast.² During the T’ang and Sung dynasties,³ a few Muslims led distinguished careers in the local and regional administration or prospered as merchants. Yet it was only with the Mongol invasions and the establishment of the Yüan that they were suddenly appointed to high-ranking positions in the...

    • Tibetans in Yüan China
      (pp. 296-328)

      A study of the role of Tibetans in China under Mongol rule is made difficult by several problems of definition. From the very start a student is faced with the question whether and to what degree Tibet was at all a part of the Mongol empire. The answer to this question will determine whether we should regard Tibetans in Yüan China as a national minority living in a territory subject to some sort of Sino-Mongol control, or as foreigners from a country that remained outside the sinitic world. Another source of difficulty and confusion is the inconsistency of terminology. The...


    • The Role of Wu-hsing in Early Yüan Artistic Development Under Mongol Rule
      (pp. 331-370)

      Although there has been no agreement among scholars as to the nature of the response to Mongol rule by Chinese culture during the Yüan Dynasty, the existence of a strong impact by the former on the latter is generally conceded. In order to assess the nature of the Chinese response, I have chosen to make a detailed study of a prefecture in the heart of Chiang-nan 江南 where the native sentiment of the southern Chinese was very strong. Wu-hsing 吳興,also known as Hu-chou 湖州,is located on the southern shore of Lake T’ai,about fifty miles north of Hanngchow&gt. A sceinc, wealthy,...

    • [Illustrations]
      (pp. None)
    • The Impact of the Re-unification: Northern Elements in the Life and Art of Hsien-yü Shu (1257?–1302) and Their Relation to Early Yüan Literati Culture
      (pp. 371-433)

      When Chao Meng-fu 趙孟頫(t. Tzu-ang 子昂,1254-1322; Wu-hsing 吳興,Chekiang) returned south in the spring of 1295 on his way home to Wu-hsing, Chekiang, after a period of almost ten years in the capital, it marked a turning point in his career from the standpoint of the history of art. He brought back with him a group of paintings and calligraphy as substantial evidence of an experience and changing esthetic view which, as demonstrated in his own calligraphy and painting, would significantly redirect the course of later art from the Yüan onward.¹ His northern experience would form the basis for an approach...

    • Mongol Influence on the Development of Northern Drama
      (pp. 434-466)

      The question of Mongol influence on drama might seem to be a cut-and-dried topic. After all, Yoshikawa Kōjirō 吉川幸次郎 and Aoki Masaru 青木正兒 have spilled much ink on exactly that subject, seemingly confirming once and for all the conviction of Wang Kuo-wei 王國 維 (1877—1927) and his Ming sources that the Mongols caused the development of drama, and that it was the literati who had nurtured the etiolated sprouts of a folk art to full-blown radiance in the Yüan.

      But as new archaeological finds of the past decade have been gradually revealed to the world in the pages of...

  11. APPENDIX 1
    (pp. 467-468)
    (pp. 469-472)
  13. INDEX
    (pp. 473-488)
    (pp. 489-490)
  15. Back Matter
    (pp. 491-491)