The Yuan dynasty 元朝

The Yuan dynasty, officially the Great Yuan 大元, was an empire of Mongolia established by Kublai Khan, leader of the Mongolian Borjigin Clan. Although the Mongols had ruled territories including today's North China for decades already, it was not until 1271 that Kublai Khan proclaimed the dynasty in the traditional Chinese style, and his conquest was not complete until 1279. Kublai Khan's realm was, by this point, isolated from the other khanates and it controlled most of present-day China plus its surrounding areas, including modern-day Mongolia. It was the first foreign dynasty to rule over the entirety of China. It lasted until 1368, after which the rebuked Genghisid rulers retreated to their Mongolian homeland where they continued to rule over the Northern Yuan Dynasty 北元朝. Some of the Mongolian Emperors of the Yuan mastered the Chinese language, while others only used their native Mongolian language and the Phags-pa script.

Given textual and archaeological evidence, it is thought that thousands of Europeans lived in Imperial China during the period of Mongol rule. These were people from countries traditionally belonging to the lands of Christendom during the High to Late Middle Ages who visited, traded, performed Christian missionary work, or lived in China. This occurred primarily during the second half of the 13th century and the first half of the 14th century, coinciding with the rule of the Mongol Empire, which ruled over a large part of Eurasia and connected Europe with their Chinese dominion of the Yuan dynasty (1271–1368). Whereas the Byzantine Empire centered in Greece and Anatolia maintained rare incidences of correspondence with the Tang, Song and Ming dynasties of China, the Roman papacy sent several missionaries and embassies to the early Mongol Empire as well as to Khanbaliq (modern Beijing), the capital of the Mongol-led Yuan Dynasty.

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