Presentation 15 Sept: The Ming Court in a Chinggisid World by David M. Robinson

Presentation by David Robinson at the Leiden Institute of History, Monday Sept. 15


David Robinson
15 September 15.00u-17.00u
Huizinga Conference Room

The Ming Court in a Chinggisid World
David M. Robinson

During fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, the Ming court should be understood as one of many courts in Eurasia struggling to come to terms with the legacy of the Mongol empire. Such courts struck various poses vis-à-vis the Mongol empire: some announced themselves the proud successors to the Chinggisid mantle; some denounced the Mongols’ pernicious impact on society, culture, and morality; yet others focused on the restoration of pure native traditions; some tried to domesticate and subjugate the Chinggisid lineage; and finally others quietly appropriated technologies of governances used by the Chinggisids. Regardless of which combination of strategies they chose, polities throughout Eurasia shared a common point of reference, the memory of the Mongol empire and the living reality of the Chinggisid successors. During its first eighty years, the Ming court regularly and explicitly addressed the Chinggisids as both history and contemporary rivals in its effort to legitimate its position both at home and abroad. Such a strategy was predicated on the idea that the Chinggisids still mattered to a broad audience, from close neighbors like Korea, Jurchens, and Mongols, to more distant polities such as Hami, Turfan, and Tibet, all the way to Eastern Moghulistan and the Timurids.