Kublai Khan  

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In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.
--"Kubla Khan; or, A Vision in a Dream: A Fragment by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Kublai or Khubilai Khan (September 23, 1215) (Template:Lang-mn; Chinese temple name: 世祖, Shizu), was the Khaghan (Great Khan) of the Mongol Empire from 1260 to 1294 and the founder of the Yuan Dynasty. As the second son of Tolui and Sorghaghtani Beki and a grandson of Genghis Khan, he claimed the title of Khagan of the Mongol Empire in 1260 after the death of his older brother Möngke in the previous year, though his younger brother Ariq Böke was also given this title in the Mongolian capital at Karakorum. He eventually won the battle against Ariq Böke in 1264, and the succession war essentially marked the beginning of the civil war of the Mongol empire. But the Mongol Empire, as a whole, remained united and strong. Kublai's influence was still strong in the Ilkhanate and Golden Horde, western parts of the Mongol Empire.

In 1271, Kublai established the Yuan Dynasty, which at that time ruled over present-day Mongolia, North China, much of Western China, and some adjacent areas, and assumed the role of a Chinese Emperor. By 1279, the Yuan forces had successfully annihilated the last resistance of the Southern Song Dynasty, and Kublai thus became the first non-Chinese Emperor who conquered all China.

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