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 Rossabi was born in Egypt and researched throughout the Middle East. He earned his PhD in East and Central Asian history from Columbia University in 1970. He received an honorary doctorate from National Mongolian University in 2009. He is fluent in an array of languages such as: Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, French, and German. As well literate in Italian, Latin, Manchu, Mongol, Persian, Russian, and Uyghur.
Rossabi has an extensive writing career with over fifteen books, eleven biographies, fifty five articles, over one hundred book reviews and countless contributions to book chapters. Three of his titles relating to the Mongolian period would include: “Three Mongols in the Twentieth Century”, “Mongolian Empire and World History”, as well as “Modern Mongolia: From Khans to Commissars to Capitalists.” The book “Mongolian Empire and World History” proved to be a very good reference book with original documents and a general history of the Mongols. It became quite useful alongside his “Khubilai Khan His Life and Times”.
The first chapter of th...
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...ities such as the text is the clear and concise language with which it is written. The book used a lot of sources and is a very academic work. Therefore, this study is for historians interested in Khubilai Khan or this era of Chinese history. Rossabi does a great job explaining the man Marco Polo met in China. He also does explains the Mongols, their Empire, and their leader Khubilai Khan.
In conclusion, Rossabi collected information available about the great grandson of Genghis Khan and offers it as springboard into getting to know Khubilai Khan. Morris Rossabi can paint a picture of Khan and his life from a collection of sources emphasizing his significance in history. The conquest of China was a considerable achievement, however Khubilai should not only be remembered as the founder of the Yuan dynasty, but also as, albeit contested, Great Khan of the Mongols.