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Rossabi's Khan Review

984 words - 4 pages

Before Genghis Khan, the Mongols had been semi-barbaric and primitive nomadic tribes, becoming literate just a few years before the early 1200s. Kublai Khan was not only the grandson of Genghis Khan, founder of the Mongol Empire, he was also the fifth Great Khan of the Mongol Empire, and the founder of the Yuan Dynasty in China. The thesis of “Khubilai Khan His Life and Times” written by Morris Rossabi, is a biography that showed the significance of Khan’s life drawn on sources from a variety of countries, it goes into a detailed collection of his conquests and defeats. It is organized chronologically and topically in order to cover Khan’s exploits as a Mongol leader.
Professor Morris ...view middle of the document...

Rossabi stated that Sorghtani Beki, Khubilai’s mother as the secret source of his success. This focus seems to have little evidence to support his claim. He used some flattery made by officials like Bar Hebraeus, and did not list any actions that correlated to her son’s success. The only direct example given was when she warns Batu that he was going to be attacked. This action benefited not only her and her children as well, so can be interpreted as self-perseverance. Another claim was her focus on the children’s education can be viewed much the same way. The children were already members of a royal family and would have had an advanced education program.
While in chapter two we find Khubilai evolving into a great military and political leader, the Great Khan became the Emperor of China after the ultimate defeat of the Sung dynasty (chapter 4-5). Rossabi goes on to examine Khubilai's endeavors after he ascended to the throne of the Great Khan and the Emperor of China. Stating that the Khan was not a puppet but he fails to give why then was his fortune so dependent on their recommendations. He uses examples that not only do not support his claim, but also undermined his authority. It becomes relevant that Khan’s early success was more rewarded from the advice of his advisors that died in the early 1270’s. Rossabi gave credit to Khubilai for successful military exploits and policies during his reign. He gives Chabi as an example of an advisor, but is quite vague on how this wife participated in the Khan’s reign. The last chapter details the decline of the Khan.
According to a review in History Today, by C.F. Beckingham, states that Professor Morris Rossabi sticks very close to documented historical writings to produce his book “Khubilai Khan His Life and Times.” Rossabi uses the manual script The Secret History of The Mongols and many maps with brilliant...

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