- Mongol Emperor -
( 1215 - 1294 )
|* List of the stories
he appears in :
- D 90314 : "Return to Xanadu", from 1991, by Don Rosa (by name only) ;
- D 92380 : "Guardians of the Lost Library", from 1993, by Don Rosa (by name only) ;
- FC PM 318D : "Les Inédits de Don Rosa #12" (an illustration for "Return to Xanadu"), from 1999, by Don Rosa.
* His biography :
Kublai was born in 1215, son of Toluia, himself son of Genghis Khan, and Sorghaghtani Beki. After his brother Mongke died in battle in 1260 he was elected Khan and ruled of the empire that their grandfather Genghis Khan had created.
The empire was separated into four khanates, each ruled by a separate khan and overseen by the Great Khan. The Kipchak Khanate ruled Russia, the Ilkhanate ruled the Middle East, the Chagatai Khanate ruled over western Asia, and the Great Khanate controlled Mongolia and eventually China.
The empire reached its greatest extent under Kublai with his conquest of China, completed with the final defeat of the Song Dynasty in 1279, when Kublai became emperor of China, the first foreigner ever to rule China and the founder of the Yuan Dynasty.
An energetic and brilliant prince, he was able to rule a vast empire by adapting Chinese traditions to his government, he suppressed his rivals, promoted economic growth with the rebuilding of the Grand Canal, extended highways, repaired public buildings introduced paper currency, encouraged men of letters and Chinese art, demonstrated religious tolerance, except to Taoism, and made Buddhism the state religion.
He established himself at his capital Cambaluc (now called Beijing), and his empire was visited by several Europeans, notably Marco Polo in 1271, who may have seen the summer capital in Shangdu (Xanadu?).
Under pressure from his Mongolian advisors Kublai attempted to conquer Korea, Myanmar and Japan. All the attempts failed and the cost of these expeditions and the paper currency he created caused inflation.
Kublai Khan died in 1294.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge, himself inspired by Samuel Purchas' Pilgrimes, wrote a poem about him and Xanadu in 1798, entitled Kubla Khan (click the link to see the poem).
* His place in the Barks/Rosa stories universe
First, in "Return to Xanadu", we learn that Marco Polo discovered the city of Tralla La / Xanadu and that he thought it was the Kingdom of Priest John. he talked about this to Kublai Khan, who invaded the city, where he carried his treasure and his grandfater Genghis Khan's crown and took the Tralla Lalians as slaves. When the invasion ended, the Tralla Lalians throw the crown away, forget about their pain, and lived a happy life as they had wlways done before, but in the 1950's, Scrooge and his nephews come back with the crown to search the rest of the treasure of Cathay, and the Tralla Lalians remember about these dark ages...ultural place, during Marco Polo's time.
In "Guardians of the Lost Library", we learn that Marco Polo, in thanks to an Abbey for having let his family look through a modified version of the Lost Library of Alexandria, which helped them to find the treasures of the East, gives to this Abbey copies of the big books of Kublai Khan.
He appeared in person in "Les Inédits de Don Rosa #12", which illustrates the story "Return to Xanadu".
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