Home Region:  North China (East Asia)

Great Yuan

EQ 2020  cn_yuan_dyn / CnYuan*

After a series of military campaigns, Kublai Khan, leader of the large and powerful Mongolian empire, took control of China and established a new Mongolian dynasty based in the territory of the former Jin empire. This polity, ruling from China, was to be known as the Yuan Dynasty, and lasted from 1271 CE until its eventual demise in 1368. [1]
The Yuan Dynasty was a continuation of the Mongolian Empire. However, Genghis Khan’s empire had by this time fractured into rival Khanates, including the Chagatai Khanate, the Ilkhanate, and the Golden Horde. Although the Yuan Emperor was the nominal overlord of these regions, the Khanates were effectively independent. [1] The Yuan’s core territory covered North China, Manchuria, and the Inner Mongolian steppe, [1] but military campaigns saw it expand over most of China, Tibet and into Korea. [2] However, their attempt to conquer Japan was thwarted by a typhoon. [3] Eventually, internal dissensions between the various ordos (political units) and local rebellions dissolved the fabric of the empire and led to its disaggregation. [4]
Population and political organization
The Yuan Empire was a sociopolitical blend of Chinese and Mongolian features. At the top of the administrative, religious and military hierarchy sat the emperor, ruling under the traditional Chinese ’Mandate of Heaven’. [5] Kublai Khan was the embodiment of a strong central authority, but the balance he created was only maintained for about 30 years after his death before emperors started to lose internal and external control over the Yuan dominion. [6] Administratively, the empire was modelled on its Jin predecessor, and ruled through a variety of entities such as the Secretariat, the Military Affairs Bureau, and the Censorate. [7] However, it also retained Mongolian institutions, such as the keshig (imperial guard) and the ordos, which corresponded to the palace-tents, household and staff of various princes and lords. [7] These ordos acted as separate vassal states under nominal imperial control. [4] In terms of territorial administration, the Yuan Dynasty comprised 12 provinces. [8] In total, the population of Yuan China may have been between 60 [9] and 85 million. [10]
Communications across the vast empire were facilitated by an elaborate postal system, described in detail by Marco Polo. There were 1,400 relay stations located every 25 to 50 kilometres along the main axes of communication, and messengers could cover up to 400 kilometres a day to relay urgent news. [11] Resources could be controlled by the state thanks to the use of paper currency, issued in proportion to silver reserves, and a commercial tax on the government-sponsored ortoq merchant class. [7] Another significant source of wealth was the salt monopoly, which had reached 80 percent of the government’s income by 1320. [7]
Kublai oversaw the construction of a new capital, known as Dadu to the Chinese, Khanbalik to the Turks and Daidu to the Mongols, on the site of modern Beijing. [12] At its height, Dadu may have had 600,000 inhabitants. [13] The location of this city in the vicinity of the northern frontier enabled Kublai to retain control over the Mongolian homeland. [12] Its architecture and design embodied the syncretism of Mongolian and Chinese influences: it featured two inner walls and an imperial city, but also had avenues wide enough for nine horsemen to gallop abreast, and Mongolian yurts flourished in its parks. [12] The court was cosmopolitan and although Kublai followed Tantric Buddhism, he also had Confucian advisors [14] and welcomed foreigners such as the Polo family. The Yuan were patrons of education through state schools and temples; state organizations sponsored the study of Confucianism, astronomy, historiography and medicine. [7]
Yuan China encompassed a territory that fluctuated between roughly 11 and 24 million square kilometres, supporting a population of between 60 and 85 million people. [15] [16]

[1]: (Atwood 2004, 603) Christopher P. Atwood. 2004. Encyclopedia of Mongolia and the Mongol Empire. New York: Facts on File.

[2]: (Atwood 2004, 604) Christopher P. Atwood. 2004. Encyclopedia of Mongolia and the Mongol Empire. New York: Facts on File.

[3]: (Morgan 2007, 107) David Morgan. 2007. The Mongols. Malden: Wiley-Blackwell.

[4]: (Franke and Twitchett 1994, 26) Herbert Franke and Denis Crispin Twitchett. 1994. ’Introduction’, in The Cambridge History of China, Vol 6: Alien Regimes and Border States, 907-1368, edited by Herbert Franke and Denis C. Twitchett, 414-89. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

[5]: Connie Cook, Seshat North China Workshop, 2016.

[6]: (Buell 2003, 62) Paul D. Buell. 2003. Historical Dictionary of the Mongol World Empire. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press.

[7]: (Atwood 2004, 606) Christopher P. Atwood. 2004. Encyclopedia of Mongolia and the Mongol Empire. New York: Facts on File.

[8]: (Buell 2003, 60) Paul D. Buell. 2003. Historical Dictionary of the Mongol World Empire. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press.

[9]: (Mote 1994, 618) Frederick W. Mote. 1994. ’Chinese Society under Mongol Rule, 1215-1368’, in The Cambridge History of China, Vol 6: Alien Regimes and Border States, 907-1368, edited by Herbert Franke and Denis C. Twitchett, 616-64. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

[10]: 《中國人口史》(第三卷)遼宋金元時期.第390頁.吳松弟.復旦大學出版社.2000年12月出版.《中國人口史》共六卷,由葛劍雄教授主編.

[11]: (Rossabi 1994, 450) Morris Rossabi. 1994. ’The Reign of Khubilai Khan’, in The Cambridge History of China, Vol 6: Alien Regimes and Border States, 907-1368, edited by Herbert Franke and Denis C. Twitchett, 414-89. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

[12]: (Rossabi 1994, 454) Morris Rossabi. 1994. ’The Reign of Khubilai Khan’, in The Cambridge History of China, Vol 6: Alien Regimes and Border States, 907-1368, edited by Herbert Franke and Denis C. Twitchett, 414-89. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

[13]: (Atwood 2004, 123) Christopher P. Atwood. 2004. Encyclopedia of Mongolia and the Mongol Empire. New York: Facts on File.

[14]: Vesna Wallace 2017, personal communication.

[15]: 《元史‧卷五八‧志第十‧地理一》,記載:「十三年,平宋,全有版圖。二十七年,又籍之,得戶一千一百八十四萬八百有奇。於是南北之戶總書於策者,一千三百一十九萬六千二百有六,口五千八百八十三萬四千七百一十有一,而山澤溪洞之民不與焉。」

[16]: 《中國人口史》(第三卷)遼宋金元時期.第390頁.吳松弟.復旦大學出版社.2000年12月出版.《中國人口史》共六卷,由葛劍雄教授主編。

General Variables
Identity and Location
Utm Zone:
50 S  
Original Name:
Great Yuan  
Capital:
Shangdu  
Dadu  
Alternative Name:
Yuan Dynasty  
Yuan  
Great Yuan  
Great Mongol State  
Temporal Bounds
Peak Years:
1,310 CE  
Duration:
[1,271 CE ➜ 1,368 CE]  
Political and Cultural Relations
Suprapolity Relations:
alliance with [---]  
Supracultural Entity:
China  
Succeeding Entity:
China - Early Ming  
Scale of Supracultural Interaction:
[17,000,000 to 26,000,000] km2  
Relationship to Preceding Entity:
continuity  
Preceding Entity:
Mongol Empire  
Degree of Centralization:
unitary state  
Language
Linguistic Family:
Mongolic  
Sino-Tibetan  
Language:
Mongolian language  
Chinese  
Religion
Religion Genus:
Mongolian Shamanism  
Alternate Religion Genus:
Confucianism  
Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Population of the Largest Settlement:
800,000 people 1300 CE
Polity Territory:
[24,000,000 to 11,000,000] km2 1300 CE
Polity Population:
[60,491,000 to 85,000,000] people 1300 CE
Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
7  
Religious Level:
3  
Military Level:
6  
Administrative Level:
8  
Professions
Professional Soldier:
present  
Professional Priesthood:
present  
Professional Military Officer:
present  
Bureaucracy Characteristics
Specialized Government Building:
present  
Merit Promotion:
present  
Full Time Bureaucrat:
present  
Examination System:
present  
Law
Professional Lawyer:
present  
Judge:
present  
Formal Legal Code:
present  
Court:
present  
Specialized Buildings: polity owned
Market:
present  
Irrigation System:
present  
Food Storage Site:
present  
Transport Infrastructure
Road:
present  
Port:
present  
Canal:
present  
Bridge:
present  
Special-purpose Sites
Mines or Quarry:
present  
Information / Writing System
Written Record:
present  
Script:
present  
Phonetic Alphabetic Writing:
absent  
Nonwritten Record:
present  
Non Phonetic Writing:
present  
Mnemonic Device:
present  
Information / Kinds of Written Documents
Scientific Literature:
present  
Sacred Text:
present  
Religious Literature:
present  
Practical Literature:
present  
Philosophy:
present  
Lists Tables and Classification:
present  
History:
present  
Fiction:
present  
Calendar:
present  
Information / Money
Precious Metal:
inferred present  
Paper Currency:
present  
Indigenous Coin:
inferred present  
Article:
present  
Information / Postal System
Postal Station:
present  
General Postal Service:
absent  
Courier:
present  
Information / Measurement System
Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications
  Wooden Palisade:
inferred present  
  Stone Walls Non Mortared:
inferred present  
  Stone Walls Mortared:
inferred present  
  Settlements in a Defensive Position:
inferred present  
  Modern Fortification:
absent  
  Moat:
inferred present  
  Fortified Camp:
inferred present  
  Earth Rampart:
inferred present  
  Ditch:
inferred present  
  Complex Fortification:
unknown  
  Long Wall:
absent  
Military use of Metals
  Steel:
present  
  Iron:
present  
  Copper:
present  
  Bronze:
present  
Projectiles
  Tension Siege Engine:
present  
  Sling Siege Engine:
present  
  Sling:
unknown  
  Self Bow:
present  
  Javelin:
present  
  Handheld Firearm:
present  
  Gunpowder Siege Artillery:
present  
  Crossbow:
unknown  
  Composite Bow:
present  
  Atlatl:
unknown  
Handheld weapons
  War Club:
present  
  Sword:
present  
  Spear:
present  
  Polearm:
present  
  Dagger:
present  
  Battle Axe:
present  
Animals used in warfare
  Horse:
present  
  Dog:
absent  
Armor
  Wood Bark Etc:
present  
  Shield:
present  
  Scaled Armor:
unknown  
  Plate Armor:
unknown  
  Limb Protection:
present  
  Leather Cloth:
present  
  Laminar Armor:
unknown  
  Helmet:
present  
  Chainmail:
unknown  
  Breastplate:
present  
Naval technology
  Specialized Military Vessel:
present  
  Small Vessels Canoes Etc:
present  
  Merchant Ships Pressed Into Service:
present  
Religion Tolerance Nothing coded yet.
Human Sacrifice Nothing coded yet.
Crisis Consequences Nothing coded yet.
Power Transitions Nothing coded yet.

NGA Settlements:

Year Range Great Yuan (cn_yuan_dyn) was in:
 (1271 CE 1367 CE)   Middle Yellow River Valley
Home NGA: Middle Yellow River Valley

General Variables
Identity and Location


Capital:
Shangdu

Capital at Dadu (modern Beijing). [1] Shangdu was a summer capital. [2]

[1]: (Lorge 2005, 79)

[2]: (Lorge 2005, 99)

Capital at Dadu (modern Beijing). [1] Shangdu was a summer capital. [2]

[1]: (Lorge 2005, 79)

[2]: (Lorge 2005, 99)



Temporal Bounds
Peak Years:
1,310 CE

greatest territory: west to Turpan, southwest to northern Tibet, Yunnan and Myanmar, north to North Sea, the Ob River, east to the Sea of Japan


Duration:
[1,271 CE ➜ 1,368 CE]

  1. 1206-1227 CE: Taizu (太祖 Tàizǔ)/ Borjigin Temüjin (孛兒只斤鐵木真 Bóérzhījīn Tiěmùzhēn)
  2. 1227-1229 CE: Ruizong (睿宗 Ruìzōng)/ Borjigin Tolui (孛兒只斤拖雷 BóérzhījīnTuōléi)
  3. 1229-1241 CE: Taizong (太宗 Tàizōng)/ Borjigin Tolui (孛兒只斤拖雷 BóérzhījīnTuōléi)
  4. 1246-1248 CE: Dingzong (定宗 Dìngzōng)/ Borjigin Güyük (孛兒只斤貴由 Bóérzhījīn Guìyuó)
  5. 1251-1259 CE: Xianzong (憲宗 Xiànzōng)/ Borjigin Möngke (孛兒只斤蒙哥 Bóérzhījīn Ménggē)
  6. 1260-1294 CE: Shizu (世祖 Shìzǔ)/ Borjigin Kublai (孛兒只斤忽必烈 Bóérzhījīn Hūbìliè)
  7. 1294-1307 CE: Chengzong (成宗 Chéngzōng)/ Borjigin Temür (孛兒只斤鐵木耳 Bóérzhījīn Tiěmù’ěr)
  8. 1307-1311 CE: Wuzong (武宗 Wǔzōng)/ Borjigin Qayshan (孛兒只斤海山 Bóérzhījīn Hǎishān)
  9. 1311-1320 CE: Renzong (仁宗 Rénzōng)/ Borjigin Ayurparibhadra (孛兒只斤愛育黎拔力八達 Bóérzhījīn Àiyùlíbálìbādá)
  10. 1320-1323 CE: Yingzong (英宗 Yīngzōng)/ Borjigin Suddhipala (孛兒只斤碩德八剌 Bóérzhījīn Shuòdébālá)
  11. 1328-1328 CE: Borjigin Arigaba (孛兒只斤阿速吉八 Bóérzhījīn Āsùjíbā)
  12. 1328-1329 CE: Wuzong (武宗 Wǔzōng)/ Borjigin Toq-Temür (孛兒只斤圖鐵木兒 Bóérzhījīn Tútiěmùér)
  13. 1329-1329 CE: Mingzong (明宗 Míngzōng)/ Borjigin Qoshila (孛兒只斤和世剌 Bóérzhījīn Héshìlà)
  14. 1329-1332 CE: Wuzong (武宗 Wǔzōng)/ Borjigin Toq-Temür (孛兒只斤圖鐵木兒 Bóérzhījīn Tútiěmùér)
  15. 1332-1332 CE: Ningzong (寧宗 Níngzōng)/ Borjigin Irinchibal (孛兒只斤懿璘質班 Bóérzhījīn Yìlínzhìbān)
  16. 1333-1370 CE: Huizong (惠宗 Huìzōng)/ Borjigin Toghan-Temür (孛兒只斤妥懽鐵木兒 Bóérzhījīn Tuǒhuān Tiěmùér)


Political and Cultural Relations
Suprapolity Relations:
alliance with [---]

Yuan had vassals including Goryeo, Burma, Vietnam, Champa, Java, Golden Horde, Chagatai Khanate, Ilkhanate




Scale of Supracultural Interaction:
[17,000,000 to 26,000,000] km2

km squared. Rough area of Yuan Kingdom (17,000,000) or larger cultural area including all Mongolian Kingdoms (26,000,000+).





Religion



Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Population of the Largest Settlement:
800,000 people
1300 CE

Inhabitants.
Hangzhou 800,000: 1300 CE. [1]

[1]: (Morris 2013) Morris, I. 2013. The Measure of Civilization: How Social Development Decides the Fate of Nations. Princeton University Press.


Polity Territory:
[24,000,000 to 11,000,000] km2
1300 CE

in squared kilometers. 21,000,000: 1271 CE; 22,000,000: 1280 CE; 23,500,000: 1290 CE; 24,000,000: 1309 CE; 11,000,000: 1310 CE; 10,750,000: 1320 CE; 10,500,000: 1330 CE; 10,250,000: 1340 CE; 10,000,000: 1350 CE; 7,500,000: 1360 CE. Also: 5,000,000: 1369 CE; 3,667,000: 1380 CE; 2,333,000: 1390 CE; 1,000,000: 1400 CE.
Contains interpolated data. [1]

[1]: (Chase-Dunn Spreadsheet)


Polity Population:
[60,491,000 to 85,000,000] people
1300 CE

People.

  • 1290 CE : 58,834,711 [1]  ; 75,000,000 [2]  ; 75,306,000 was an recent estimate
  • 1291 CE : 60,491,230 [3] ; 76,496,000
  • 1293 CE : 79,816,000
  • 1330 CE : 84,873,000; 85,000,000 [4]
  • 1351 CE : 87,487,000

[1]: 《元史‧卷五八‧志第十‧地理一》,記載:「十三年,平宋,全有版圖。二十七年,又籍之,得戶一千一百八十四萬八百有奇。於是南北之戶總書於策者,一千三百一十九萬六千二百有六,口五千八百八十三萬四千七百一十有一,而山澤溪洞之民不與焉。」

[2]: 《中國人口史》(第三卷)遼宋金元時期.第390頁.吳松弟.復旦大學出版社.2000年12月出版.《中國人口史》共六卷,由葛劍雄教授主編。

[3]: 《新元史‧卷六十八‧志第三十五‧食貨一‧戶口科差稅法

[4]: 《中國人口史》(第三卷)遼宋金元時期.第390頁.吳松弟.復旦大學出版社.2000年12月出版.《中國人口史》共六卷,由葛劍雄教授主編.


Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
7

levels. Inferred from administrative system [1] .
1. Capital city2. Circuit seat3. Route seat4. Prefecture seat5. Sub-prefecture seat6. County seat7. Village

[1]: (Endicott-West 1994, 589-594)


Religious Level:
3

levels.
1. Emperor"Under persistent pressure from Chinese literati, the Mongolian rulers acqui- esced in carrying out Confucian rites, such as the suburban offerings to heaven, but they did not usually attend them in person. One may surmise that the imperial family felt more comfortable with the Buddhist rituals introduced by the ’Phags-pa Lama. The imperial family attended in person the Buddhist celebratory processions and plays in the first month of the New Year at which Chinese, Muslim, and Tangut musicians entertained.’ The ruling Mongols also continued to practice shamanist rituals and apparently saw no conflict of interest in deriving legitimacy from more than one ideological—religious tradition." [1]
2. Ministry of Rites
"In terms of political and economic authority, the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Rites was far more narrowly defined than that of either the Ministry of Personnel or the Ministry of Revenue. Court ceremonies, music, assemblies, and sacrifices came under its aegis, as did such matters as granting posthumous titles, provisioning the imperial kitchen, and manufacturing the imperial seals. The authority of the Ministry of Rites did, however, extend beyond the limited sphere of court etiquette into the realm of sumptuary regulations, marriage rites, mourning rites, and burial rites, all of which affected commoners to a certain degree. In addition, the ministry upheld the rights of the different ethnic groups in Yiian China to practice their own particular rituals and not to have to conform to Chinese standards. Uighurs, for example, were directed to conduct their mourning in accordance with their own regulations; if they were to ignore their own mourning customs and follow instead Chinese practices, they would be subject to confiscation of their property. The Ministry of Rites was also charged with administering the state schools and regulating religious establishments." [2]
3. Ritual specialistsImams, shamans, Buddhist monks, Taoist priests, etc. "In matters of religion, Khubilai was all-inclusive. He patronized, or at least sanctioned, every religious group in his realm, from Daoism and Buddhists to Christians and Muslims. ... He added imperial Chinese ceremonies to his government’s practice, and built the most ritually correct Chinese city ever constructed for his capital at Dadu (modern Beijing)." [3]

[1]: (Endicott-West 1994, 609)

[2]: (Endicott-West 1994, 589-590)

[3]: (Lorge 2005, 79)


Military Level:
6

levels.
1. Emperor
2. Privy Council"Of the six ministries, the Ministry of War was the least significant, as the real military authority in Yuan times resided in the Privy Council (Shu-mi yuan). The Privy Council, established in 1263, was at the pinnacle of a separate military bureaucracy, whereas the Ministry of War was subordinate to the Central Secretariat within the civilian bureaucracy. The insignificance of the Ministry of War is demonstrated by the fact that the Ping chih (Monograph on the military) in the Yuan shih (Official history of the Yuan) does not even mention the Ministry of War in its description of the structure of the Yuan military, instead stating that ’the Privy Council was set up to take 7 overall charge.’ All military offices, including the imperial guard (su-wei), were ultimately responsible to the Privy Council in the military chain of command." [1]
2. Branch Secretariat"The [Privy Council] did not, however, exert direct control over garrison troops stationed in the Branch Secretariats outside the metropolitan province. The myriarchies (wan-hufu, M: ttimeri) from which the garrison troops were drawn were answerable to the Branch Secretariats, which of course were territorial administrations in the civilian bureaucracy. This meshing of civil and military authority at the regional level was apparently aimed at facilitating cooperation between the two. Nevertheless, as we mentioned earlier, in dire military emergencies, as in the case of insurrections against the dynasty, a temporary Branch Privy Council would be established until the emergency had passed." [2]
3. Imperial guard"In regard to administrative organization, the units of the imperial guard were under the jurisdiction of the Privy Council (Shu-mi yuan), which was at the apex of the separate military bureaucracy." [2]
3. Military officers in charge of provincial garrisons
4. Other officers inferred
5. Other officers inferred
6. Individual soldier

[1]: (Endicott-West 1994, 589)

[2]: (Endicott-West 1994, 601)


Administrative Level:
8

levels (number equivalent to the number of levels in the provincial government, plus the Emperor). The below is a simplification, though the administrative entities that have been left out were either outside "the streamlined structure of civilian government" or were at an equivalent level to other entities already present (e.g. the Branch Secretariat for Korea would have been at the same level as the eight principal Branch Secretariats), meaning that the number of levels coded would probably remain unchanged. For a very detailed description of the Yuan administrative system, see Endicott-West (1994).
1. Emperor
__Central Government__
2. Central Secretariat"The Central Secretariat was the nerve center of the entire civilian bureaucracy. Most other agencies in the Yuan structure of communication and control were ultimately responsible to it. All memorials to the emperor, with the exception of those written by high-ranking military and censorial officials, for example, passed through the Central Secretariat. In turn, that office was empowered to make recommendations, draft regulations, and make responses subject to imperial approval. In addition to its role as communication center, the Central Secretariat controlled official appointments to virtually all civilian offices in the empire." [1] "The top official in the Central Secretariat was the chung-shu ling, in Khubilai’s reign a post assumed by the heir apparent. Because the chung-shu ling was most often left vacant throughout the Yuan, the next two subordinate officials, the councillor of the right (yu ch’eng-hsiang) and the councillor of the left (tso ch’eng-hsiang), were in effect the highest civil officials in the empire. They in turn had direct control over the six ministries, the ministries of Personnel (Li-pu), Revenue (Hu-pu), Rites (Li-pu), War (Ping-pu), Pun- ishments (Hsing-pu), and Works (Kung-pu.)" [2]
3. Ministry of Personnel"Of the six ministries, all formally established under Khubilai, the Ministry of Personnel was arguably the most influential, by virtue of its power to appoint civilian officials throughout the empire. Regional and local officials, the only civilian officials with whom commoners might have had direct contact, were regularly evaluated by the Ministry of Personnel for promotion, demotion, and transfer once in office." [2]
3. Ministry of Revenue"The Ministry of Revenue was charged with overseeing population censuses, taxation records, state treasuries, currency, and government manufacturing. One of this ministry’s most important duties was enforcing the numerous and elaborate Yiian regulations concerning paper currency. Because the Yiian government was committed to the empirewide circulation of paper notes, the procedures necessary for printing and administering paper currency were extensive. The government’s deep concern is suggested by the fact that counterfeiting paper money was punishable by death." [2]
3. Ministry of Rites"In terms of political and economic authority, the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Rites was far more narrowly defined than that of either the Ministry of Personnel or the Ministry of Revenue. Court ceremonies, music, assemblies, and sacrifices came under its aegis, as did such matters as granting posthumous titles, provisioning the imperial kitchen, and manufacturing the imperial seals. The authority of the Ministry of Rites did, however, extend beyond the limited sphere of court etiquette into the realm of sumptuary regulations, marriage rites, mourning rites, and burial rites, all of which affected commoners to a certain degree. In addition, the ministry upheld the rights of the different ethnic groups in Yiian China to practice their own particular rituals and not to have to conform to Chinese standards. Uighurs, for example, were directed to conduct their mourning in accordance with their own regulations; if they were to ignore their own mourning customs and follow instead Chinese practices, they would be subject to confiscation of their property. The Ministry of Rites was also charged with administering the state schools and regulating religious establishments." [3]
3. Ministry of War"Of the six ministries, the Ministry of War was the least significant, as the real military authority in Yuan times resided in the Privy Council (Shu-mi yuan). The Privy Council, established in 1263, was at the pinnacle of a separate military bureaucracy, whereas the Ministry of War was subordinate to the Central Secretariat within the civilian bureaucracy. The insignificance of the Ministry of War is demonstrated by the fact that the Ping chih (Monograph on the military) in the Yuan shih (Official history of the Yuan) does not even mention the Ministry of War in its description of the structure of the Yuan military, instead stating that ’the Privy Council was set up to take 7 overall charge.’ All military offices, including the imperial guard (su-wei), were ultimately responsible to the Privy Council in the military chain of command."
"The main duties of the Ministry of War were to manage the population rosters of military colonies and postal personnel, manage the requisitioning of animals for military purposes, and oversee the provisioning of postal relay stations. By 1320, however, the Ministry of War had relinquished its jurisdiction over the postal relay stations to the Bureau of Transmission (T’ung-cheng yuan), which had been created in 1276 separate from the military bureaucracy to supervise the postal relay system. All in all, the powerlessness of the Ministry of War reflects the Mongols’ discomfort at having their military establishment subordinate to a civil branch of government. By investing power in the Privy Council the Yuan rulers were able to keep military affairs separate and secret from the civilian bureaucracy. In fact, the description of the Privy Council in the Yuan shih opens with the observation that it was ’charged with responsibility over military armaments and secret [military] affairs throughout the empire’." [2]
3. Ministry of Punishment"The Ministry of Punishment’s duties were drafting criminal laws, review- ing cases involving capital punishment, and registering criminals’ dependents and confiscated goods. In comparison with that of earlier dynasties, the Yuan Ministry of Punishments gained in importance because it took over the responsibilities for judicial review that in previous times had rested with the Grand Court of Judicial Review (Ta-li ssu). The Grand Court originated in Northern Ch’i and Sui times and functioned as the highest legal agency in the Chinese empire, but it did not exist as such in Yuan times. For a brief time, from 1283 to 1285, a Grand Court existed in name only as a temporary redesignation of the Court of Justice for Uighurs (Tu-hu fu). Thus, by not having a Grand Court of Judicial Review, the Ministry of Punishments resolved and implemented legal decisions, which were subject only to an occasional revision by the Central Secretariat or the emperor himself." [3]
3. Ministry of Works"The sixth ministry, the Ministry of Works, supervised government work- shops, the repair of fortifications, the assignment and labor of government artisans, the evaluation of artisan officials, and the conscription of laborers for government projects." [4]
__Provincial Government__
3. Branch Secretariats"The permanently established Branch Secretariats (Hsing chung-shu sheng or hsing-sheng), which numbered eleven in all, were formally established during Khubilai’s reign in order to manage the affairs of lesser territorial- administrative units, to pacify frontier areas, to manage the transport of grain, and to take overall charge of military and civil affairs at the regional level. They were directly answerable to the Central Secretariat in terms of the structure of communication and control. [...] Despite the consolidation of separate civil and military bureaucracies under Khubilai, civil and military jurisdictions were united at the level of the Branch Secretariats. The Branch Secretariats held authority over most garrison troops stationed throughout the empire, except in dire emergencies when Branch Privy Councils were temporarily established." [5]
"Yuan civilian government departed from earlier patterns and precedents in Chinese governmental history in the multiplicity of its levels of sub- metropolitan government and in the sheer number of civilian officials staffing those units of government. Thus, the levels of government subordinate to the Branch Secretariats were (in descending order): circuit (tao), route (lu), prefecture (san-fu or fu), subprefecture {chou), county (hsien), and special districts under the jurisdiction of lu or fu called lu-shih ssu. Not every unit was necessarily present on every level in the administrative hierarchy. In other words, eight of the eleven Branch Secretariats directly administered prefectures that were not subordinate to an intermediate route. In addition to administering seven routes, the Branch Secretariat of Kan-su (Kan-su teng- ch’u hsing chung-shu sheng) also directly administered two subprefectures." [6]
4. Officials in charge of circuits"Those circuits administered by Pacification Offices (Hsiian-wei ssu) were particularly important as coordinators of civil and military affairs at the regional level. The Pacification Offices themselves handled military affairs in frontier areas and supervised troop movement and provisioning at the local level." [7]
5. Officials in charge of routes
6. Prefects
7. Sub-prefects
8. Officials in charge of special districts under the jurisdiction of routes or sub-prefectures.
8. Officials in charge of counties
9. Clerks serving under the officials in charge of each administrative unit

[1]: (Endicott-West 1994, 588)

[2]: (Endicott-West 1994, 589)

[3]: (Endicott-West 1994, 589-590)

[4]: (Endicott-West 1994, 591)

[5]: (Endicott-West 1994, 592-593)

[6]: (Endicott-West 1994, 593-594)

[7]: (Endicott-West 1994, 594)


Professions
Professional Soldier:
present

e.g. in the Khan’s personal guard. [1]
Professional:
"By the tenth century, soldiers, to the intense consternation of statesmen, were wholly divorced from any productive activities and earned their livings by skill at arms. Despite many attempts to replace this "mercenary" system, it remained in place until the end of imperial times." [2]
However:
"The problem Chinese statesmen had with the standing army was how to keep it out of politics and isolate its functions to a static, reliable instrument of dynastic stability ...The answer for the Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties was to fuedalize much of the army into a hereditary class with attached lands that would support them in peacetime." [3]

[1]: Bira, Sh. “THE MONGOLS AND THEIR STATE IN THE TWELFTH TO THE THIRTEENTH CENTURY.” In History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Vol. IV: The Age of Achievement A.D. 750 to the End of the Fifteenth Century. Part I The Historical, Social and Economic Setting, edited by C. E. Bosworth, Muhammad S. Asimov, and Yar Muhammad Khan, Paris: Unesco, 1998. 255-256

[2]: (Lorge 2005, 7)

[3]: (Lorge 2005, 8)


Professional Priesthood:
present

"... begun during the Tang dynasty... The rise of religious professionals and soldiers as clearly separate groups was contrary to the previous normative view of society divided into knights (shi, the term that would later be applied to the literati or gentry), farmers, artisans and merchants." [1]

[1]: (Lorge 2005, 7)


Professional Military Officer:
present

standing army [1]

[1]: (Lorge 2005, 8)


Bureaucracy Characteristics

Merit Promotion:
present

The Ministry of Personnel made appointments, did personnel evaluations, and recommended promotions and demotions. [1]

[1]: (Brook, 2010, p.83)


Full Time Bureaucrat:
present

civilian and military bureaucracy [1]

[1]: (Atwood 2004, 606) Christopher P. Atwood. 2004. Encyclopedia of Mongolia and the Mongol Empire. New York: Facts on File.


Examination System:
present

Yuan rarely held imperial examination but adopted heredity and recommendation as the major recruit sources. Only 16 imperial examinations were held during Yuan.


Law
Professional Lawyer:
present

"The Mongols apparently introduced greater leniency into the Chinese legal system. The number of capital crimes amounted to 135, less than one-half the number mandated in the Sung dynasty codes. Criminals could, following Mongolian practice, avoid punishment by paying a sum to the government. Khubilai could grant amnesties, and he did so, even to rebels or political enemies. Officials of the provincial or central government routinely reviewed local judicial decisions on serious crimes in order to prevent abuses of the rights of the accused. Because there have not been any careful studies of this code in operation, it is difficult to tell whether these statutory reforms translated into a more lenient and flexible system than under the earlier Chinese dynasties. Yet the legal ideals embodied in this code supported by Khubilai and the Mongols did indeed appear less harsh than earlier Chinese ones." [1]

[1]: (Rossabi, M. 1994. The reign of Khubilai khan. In Franke, H. and D. Twitchett (eds) The Cambridge History of China, volume 6: Alien Regimes and Border States, 710-1368 pp. 414-489. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. P. 453-454)


The Ministry of Law handled administration of law. [1]

[1]: (Brook, 2010, p.83)


Formal Legal Code:
present

"The Mongols apparently introduced greater leniency into the Chinese legal system. The number of capital crimes amounted to 135, less than one-half the number mandated in the Sung dynasty codes. Criminals could, following Mongolian practice, avoid punishment by paying a sum to the government. Khubilai could grant amnesties, and he did so, even to rebels or political enemies. Officials of the provincial or central government routinely reviewed local judicial decisions on serious crimes in order to prevent abuses of the rights of the accused. Because there have not been any careful studies of this code in operation, it is difficult to tell whether these statutory reforms translated into a more lenient and flexible system than under the earlier Chinese dynasties. Yet the legal ideals embodied in this code supported by Khubilai and the Mongols did indeed appear less harsh than earlier Chinese ones." [1]

[1]: (Rossabi, M. 1994. The reign of Khubilai khan. In Franke, H. and D. Twitchett (eds) The Cambridge History of China, volume 6: Alien Regimes and Border States, 710-1368 pp. 414-489. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. P. 453-454)


"The Mongols apparently introduced greater leniency into the Chinese legal system. The number of capital crimes amounted to 135, less than one-half the number mandated in the Sung dynasty codes. Criminals could, following Mongolian practice, avoid punishment by paying a sum to the government. Khubilai could grant amnesties, and he did so, even to rebels or political enemies. Officials of the provincial or central government routinely reviewed local judicial decisions on serious crimes in order to prevent abuses of the rights of the accused. Because there have not been any careful studies of this code in operation, it is difficult to tell whether these statutory reforms translated into a more lenient and flexible system than under the earlier Chinese dynasties. Yet the legal ideals embodied in this code supported by Khubilai and the Mongols did indeed appear less harsh than earlier Chinese ones." [1]

[1]: (Rossabi, M. 1994. The reign of Khubilai khan. In Franke, H. and D. Twitchett (eds) The Cambridge History of China, volume 6: Alien Regimes and Border States, 710-1368 pp. 414-489. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. P. 453-454)


Specialized Buildings: polity owned
Market:
present

Including markets specialised in grain, livestock, noodles, satin, fur/pelt, ducks and geese, iron, jewelry, coral, etc. [1]

[1]: (Ning, 1994, p.283-285)


Irrigation System:
present

Common feature of Chinese agriculture from the Shang Dynasty onwards.



Transport Infrastructure

[1]

[1]: (Brook, 2010, p.29-30)


  • 1277 CE: Quanzhou, Shanghai, Qingyuan (current Lishui, Zhejiang province), Ganpu [1]
  • later: Wenzhou, Qingyuan, Guangdong [1]

[1]: (Ning, 1994, p/286-287)


Yuan dynasty tried to cut a canal across the base of the Shandong peninsula (which was later abandoned in 1280 CE). Yuan also tried to revive the Grand Canal, but was unable to keep Grand Canal in operation due to the enormous cost. [1]

[1]: (Brook, 2010, p.110)



Special-purpose Sites

Information / Writing System






Information / Kinds of Written Documents
Scientific Literature:
present

“The influence of Islamic medicine on China during the period was also substantial. The Mongols preferred Islamic medicine themselves, and also made it available to their subjects through public clinics.” [1] "Other occupational groups fared better under Khubilai than under the Chinese emperors. Physicians were one such group that benefited from Mongolian rule. As a pragmatist, Khubilai valued medicine and accorded doctors a higher social status. He established branches of the Huang-hui ssu (Imperial Hospitals), staffed primarily by Muslim doctors, in K’ai-p’ing and in north China to care for the court. Mongolian officials consulted Muslim physicians, and thirty-six volumes of Muslim medicinal prescriptions were added to the Imperial Library." [2]

[1]: (Buell 1993, 69)

[2]: (Rossabi, M. 1994. The reign of Khubilai khan. In Franke, H. and D. Twitchett (eds) The Cambridge History of China, volume 6: Alien Regimes and Border States, 710-1368 pp. 414-489. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. P. 450-451)







History:
present

"In addition to the many directorates that oversaw the material well-being of the imperial household, the emperor’s ritual and intellectual activities were served by the Han-lin and National History Academy (Han-lin chien kuo-shih yuan) and the Mongolian Han-lin Academy (Meng-ku Han-lin yuan), among others. The joining together of the Han-lin Academy and the National History Office into one joint academy was an institutional innovation undertaken by Khubilai in 1261 on the advice of the senior Han-lin academician Wang O. This apparently stemmed from Wang’s attempt to convince Khubilai of the need to begin compiling standard histories of the Liao and Chin as well as the records of the pre-Khubilai Mongolian rulers. In 1264, with the removal of the capital to Ta-tu (modern Peking), the Han-lin and National History Academy was formally established, and the foundations for the composition of the Liao and Chin dynastic histories were laid." [1]

[1]: (Endicott-West, E. 1994. “The Yüan government and society” in Denis C. Twitchett and Herbert Franke, eds. The Cambridge History of China Volume 6: Alien Regimes and Border States, 710-1368. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. P. 605)




Information / Money

Paper Currency:
present

"The Ministry of Revenue was charged with overseeing population cen- suses, taxation records, state treasuries, currency, and government manufac- turing. One of this ministry’s most important duties was enforcing the numerous and elaborate Yiian regulations concerning paper currency. Be- cause the Yiian government was committed to the empirewide circulation of paper notes, the procedures necessary for printing and administering paper currency were extensive. The government’s deep concern is suggested by the fact that counterfeiting paper money was punishable by death." [1]

[1]: (Endicott-West 1994, 589)




Information / Postal System
Postal Station:
present

The Mongol empire established astonishing communications networks even before the Yuan. Posting stations were said to be found at distance of twenty-five or thirty miles along all the main highways leading to the provinces. [1] "The most remarkable improvement in transport involved the postal relay system. China had had postal stations and relays at least since the Han dynasty, but the Mongolian rulers vastly extended the system. The postal stations were designed for the transmission and delivery of official mail, but they were also available to traveling officials, military men, and foreign state guests, aided in the transport of foreign and domestic tribute, and facilitated trade. They were not intended as hostels for merchants, but they came to be used as such and were vital links in the networks of foreign and domestic commerce. By the end of Khubilai’s reign, China had more than 1,400 postal stations, which in turn had at their disposal about 50,000 horses, 1,400 oxen, 6,700 mules, 4,000 carts, almost 6,000 boats, over 200 dogs, and 1,150 sheep. The individual stations were anywhere from fifteen to forty miles apart, and the attendants worked in the stations as part of their corvee obligations. In an emergency, the rider-messengers could cover up to 250 miles a day to deliver significant news, a remarkably efficient mail service for the thirteenth, or any other, century. Despite abuses by officials, merchants, and attendants, the postal system operated efficiently, a fact to which numerous foreign travelers, including Marco Polo, have attested." [2]

[1]: (Brook, 2010, p.29-30)

[2]: (Rossabi, M. 1994. The reign of Khubilai khan. In Franke, H. and D. Twitchett (eds) The Cambridge History of China, volume 6: Alien Regimes and Border States, 710-1368 pp. 414-489. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. P. 450)


General Postal Service:
absent

"The most remarkable improvement in transport involved the postal relay system. China had had postal stations and relays at least since the Han dynasty, but the Mongolian rulers vastly extended the system. The postal stations were designed for the transmission and delivery of official mail, but they were also available to traveling officials, military men, and foreign state guests, aided in the transport of foreign and domestic tribute, and facilitated trade. They were not intended as hostels for merchants, but they came to be used as such and were vital links in the networks of foreign and domestic commerce." [1]

[1]: (Rossabi, M. 1994. The reign of Khubilai khan. In Franke, H. and D. Twitchett (eds) The Cambridge History of China, volume 6: Alien Regimes and Border States, 710-1368 pp. 414-489. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. P. 450)


Courier:
present

There were mounted couriers during Yuan. Beneath the courier system and parallel to it, the Ministry of War also operated a postal system to move routine government communications. The system relied on runners rather than mounted messengers. The runners wore large belts, set all round with bells, so that when they ran there were audible at a great distance. [1] "The most remarkable improvement in transport involved the postal relay system. China had had postal stations and relays at least since the Han dynasty, but the Mongolian rulers vastly extended the system. The postal stations were designed for the transmission and delivery of official mail, but they were also available to traveling officials, military men, and foreign state guests, aided in the transport of foreign and domestic tribute, and facilitated trade. They were not intended as hostels for merchants, but they came to be used as such and were vital links in the networks of foreign and domestic commerce. By the end of Khubilai’s reign, China had more than 1,400 postal stations, which in turn had at their disposal about 50,000 horses, 1,400 oxen, 6,700 mules, 4,000 carts, almost 6,000 boats, over 200 dogs, and 1,150 sheep. The individual stations were anywhere from fifteen to forty miles apart, and the attendants worked in the stations as part of their corvee obligations. In an emergency, the rider-messengers could cover up to 250 miles a day to deliver significant news, a remarkably efficient mail service for the thirteenth, or any other, century. Despite abuses by officials, merchants, and attendants, the postal system operated efficiently, a fact to which numerous foreign travelers, including Marco Polo, have attested." [2]

[1]: (Brook, 2010, p.30)

[2]: (Rossabi, M. 1994. The reign of Khubilai khan. In Franke, H. and D. Twitchett (eds) The Cambridge History of China, volume 6: Alien Regimes and Border States, 710-1368 pp. 414-489. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. P. 450)


Information / Measurement System

Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications
Wooden Palisade:
present

City of Fancheng had a "palisade wall along the river" which the Mongols burned. [1] Inferred that other Chinese cities under Mongol control had them.

[1]: (Lorge 2005, 85)


Stone Walls Non Mortared:
present

In the steppe region the preceding Khitan Empire had built walls without mortar. Inferred they have inherited/maintained existing walls or used similar methods themselves.


Stone Walls Mortared:
present

Within technical capability of time, certainly within the region of China.




City of Fancheng had a moat which the Mongols filled in. [1] Inferred that other Chinese cities under Mongol control had them.

[1]: (Lorge 2005, 85)


Fortified Camp:
present

"In late 1267, the Mongol army began to ring Xiangyang and Fancheng with forts and contest the Song navy for control of the river." [1]

[1]: (Lorge 2005, 83)


Earth Rampart:
present

Within technical capability of time.


Ditch:
present

Within technical capability of time.




Projectiles

Sling Siege Engine:
present

"Counter-weight trebuchet at Xiangyang, China 1272." [1] 1272 CE Mongols "constructed platforms for the new "Muslim" (huihui) trebuchets" [2]

[1]: (Turnball 2002) Turnball, S. 2002. Siege Weapons of the Far East (1): AD 612-1300. Osprey Publishing.

[2]: (Lorge 2005, 85)





Handheld Firearm:
present

The general consensus is that hand cannons originated in China, and were spread from there to the rest of the world [1] "The earliest known specimen of a gun was excavated in July of 1970 in Acheng county, Heilongjiang province. Made of bronze, it is 34 centimeters long, weighs 3.5 kilograms and has three distinct parts to its length: a barrel, powder chamber, and socket for a handle at the rear end. It has been dated no later than 1290. ... A 1962 find with an inscribed date of 1332 was 35.3 centimeters long and weighed 6.94 kilograms. Both weapons had touchholes to allow ignition of the gunpowder from the back. The similar sizes, forms, and materials are striking, suggesting that this simple design was being manufactured to regular specifications. ... It is even possible that true guns were used in the Mongol invasion of Japan." [2] c1338 CE cast iron gun developed. [3]

[1]: Chase, Kenneth Warren (2003). Firearms: a global history to 1700. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-82274-9. Retrieved 11 June 2011.

[2]: (Lorge 2011, 69)

[3]: (Lorge 2011, 70)


Gunpowder Siege Artillery:
present

"cache of hundreds of cast iron cannons found in Nanjing manufactured between 1356 and 1357" [1]

[1]: (Lorge 2011, 70)





Animals used in warfare

Never used in warfare. [1]

[1]: (North China Workshop 2016)


Naval technology
Specialized Military Vessel:
present

* e.g. 3, 500 warships were operated during the 2nd Mongol invasions of Japan (第二次元日戰爭/弘安之役) Yuan navy had a force "somewhere between 300 to 700 ships" at the battle of Yaishan 1279 CE. [1]

[1]: (Lorge 2005, 89)


Small Vessels Canoes Etc:
present

"In late 1267, the Mongol army began to ring Xiangyang and Fancheng with forts and contest the Song navy for control of the river." [1]

[1]: (Lorge 2005, 83)




Human Sacrifice Data
Human Sacrifice is the deliberate and ritualized killing of a person to please or placate supernatural entities (including gods, spirits, and ancestors) or gain other supernatural benefits.
- Nothing coded yet.