Chris Stewart is a Secondary History Teache at Shanghai Livingston American School and creator and host of The History of China Podcast.
Following the destruction of the Khwarazmian Empire in 1221, the Mongol Empire's appetite for conquest to the west is whetted. It will take a few Great Khans to kick it off, but with the accession of Möngke to the throne in 1251, the way will be laid bare - to be led by his brother Hülegü Khan.The only thing standing between him and the beating heart of Islam is a ragged band of heretics scattered across the mountain fortresses of northern Persia - a group known as the Nizari Isma'ili... or more infamously: the Assassins.Time Period Covered:765-1257 CEMajor Historical Figures:Mongol Empire:Möngke Khaghan [r. 1251-1259]Hülegü Ilkhan [r. 1251-1265]General Ket-Buqa (Noyan) [d. 1260]Nizari Isma'ili:Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq [702-765]Hassan-i Sabbah [1050-1124]Imam Jalal al-Din Hassan [1187-1221]Imam Ala al-Din Muhammad III [1211-1255]Imam Rukn al-Din Khurshah [1230-1256]Other:Brother Matthew of Paris [1200-1259]Friar William of Rubruck [1220-1293]Ata-Malik Juvayni [1226-1283]Rashid al-Din Hamadani [1247-1318]Major Sources Cited:Al-Din, Rashid (tr. John Andrew Boyle). The Successors of Genghis Khan.Daftary, Farhad. The Isma’ilis: Their History and Doctrines.Hillenbrand, Robert. “Propaganda in the Mongol ‘World History’” in British Academy Review, issue 17 (March 2011).Hodgson, M. G. S. “The Isma’ili State” in The Cambridge History of Iran, Vol. 5: The Saljuq and Mongol Periods.Jamal, Nadia Eboo. Surviving the Mongols: Nizari Quhistani and the Continuity of Ismaili Tradition in Persia.Marozzi, Justin. Baghdad: City of Peace, City of Blood.Paris, Matthew of (tr. John Allen Giles). Chronica Majora (Matthew Paris’s English History From the Year 1235 to 1273, Volume 1).Saunders, J.J. The History of the Mongol Conquests.van Ruysbroeck, Willem (tr. W. W. Rockhill & Peter Jackson). The journey of William of Rubruck to the eastern parts of the world, 1253-55, as narrated by himself, with two accounts of the earlier journey of John of Pian del Carpine.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
The founder of the Ming Dynasty, Zhu Yuanzhang, the Hongwu Emperor... has got a bit of a trust problem. It starts with him getting upset that his officials are "cutting corners" when it comes to official counts of tribute payments & the stamped documents verifying them. But it quickly spirals into full-blown paranoia that absolutely everyone is out to get them, and the only was he knows how to confront this problem is by getting all of his "enemies" first.Time Period Covered:ca. 1373-1382 CEMajor Historical Figures:The Hongwu Emperor (Zhu Yuanzhang) [r. 1368-1398]Crown Prince Zhu Biao [1355-1392]Zhu Shuang, Prince Min of Qin [1356-1395]Zhu Gang, Prince Gong of Jin [1358-1398]Zhu Di, Prince of Yan [1360-1424]Chancellor Hu Weiyong [d. 1380]Gao Qi [1334-1374]Prefect Ye Boju [d. 1376]Academician Zheng Shili [d. 1376]Sources Cited:Brook, Timothy. The Confusions of Pleasure: Commerce and Culture in Ming China.Langlois, John D., Jr. “The Hung-Wu-Reign” in The Cambridge History of China, Vol. 7: The Ming Dynasty, 13698-1644m Part I.Laozi. Dao De Jing.Luo, Yuming. A Concise History of Chinese Literature.Strassberg, Richard E. Inscribed Landscapes: Travel Writing from Imperial China.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
You might not be able to go on a real holiday - but today we take a little audio trip to the city of Hangzhou, Zhejiang... famed across the millennia for its beautiful bay, canals, and the famous West Lake.This is no ordinary tourist get-away, though, because we'll be skipping across time, looking at the highlights of its early history.Time Period Covered:ca. 5,000 BCE- ca. 960 CEMajor Sources:Cotterell, Arthur. The Imperial Capitals of China – An Inside View of the Celestial Empire.Giles, Lionel (tr.) Sun Tzu’s The Art of War.Loewe, Michael and Edward L. Shaughnessey. The Cambridge History of Ancient China.Mote, F.W. Imperial China.(900-1800).Rossabi, Morris. China Among Equals: the Middle Kingdom and its Neighbors, 10th-14th centuries.Schmidt, J. D. Within the Human Realm: The Poetry of Huang Zunxian, 1848-1905.Yan, Zi. Famous Temples in China.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
The Hongwu Emperor officially accedes to the throne as the founding ruler of Great Ming, to as much pomp and circumstance as his ministers can possibly pack in to the ceremony. After the parties are all done and the sacrifices all made, however, the real work of governing an empire that has been ravaged for centuries begins… and not everyone is happy about having a new sovereign sitting atop the dragon throne.Time Period Covered:1367-1373 CEMajor Historical Figures:Great Ming:The Hongwu Emperor (Zhu Yuanzhang) [r. 1368-1398]Empress Xiaocigao (née Ma Xuying) [1332-1382]Zhu Biao, Crown Prince [1355-1392]Zhu Shuang, Prince of Qin [1356-1395]Zhu Gang, Prince of Jin [1358-1398]Zhu Di, Prince of Yan [1360-1424]Tao Kai, Minister of RitesGeneral Xu Da [1332-1385]General Deng YuGeneral Fu Youde [1327-1394]Ambassador Zhao ZhiXia Kingdom (Sichuan):Emperor Ming Yuzhen [r. 1360-1366]Emperor Ming Sheng [r. 1366-1371]Nanchō Japan:Prince Kaneyoshi, the Chinzei Shogun [c. 1329-1383]Monk SoraiMajor Works Cited:Chan, Hok-Lam. “Ming Taizu’s Problem With his Sons: Prince Qin’s Criminality and Early Ming Politics” in Asia Major, Third Series, Vol. 20, No. 1 (2007).Langlois, John D. “The Hung-wu Reign” in The Cambridge History of China, Vol. 7: The Ming Dynasty, 1368-1644, Part 1.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
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Shanghai, China
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5 days, 12 hours
Podchaser Creator ID logo 644019