Around 1200, a Mongol clan leader named Temujin sought to unify the Mongols under his leadership.He fought and defeated his rivals one by one.
In 1206, Temujin accepted the title Genghis Khan, or “universal ruler” of the Mongol clans.
After invading the northern Jin Empire in 1211, however, his attention turned to the Islamic region west of Mongolia.
By 1225, Central Asia was under Mongol control.
Genghis Khan died in 1227—not from violence, but from illness. His successors continued to expand his empire.
Kublai Khan, the grandson of Genghis Khan, assumed the title Great Khan in 1260. In theory, the Great Khan ruled the entire Mongol Empire.
The most famous European to visit China in these years was a young Venetian trader, Marco Polo. He traveled by caravan on the Silk Roads with his father and uncle, arriving at Kublai Khan’s court around 1275.
Failure to Conquer Japan After conquering China, Kublai Khan tried to extend his rule to Japan. In 1274 and again in 1281, the Great Khan sent huge fleets
Empires in East Asia 335
Kublai Khan died in 1294. After his death, the Yuan Dynasty began to fade. Family members continually argued over who would rule. In one eight-year period, four different khans took the throne.
Over the next 100 years, the Gupta Empire broke into small king- doms. Many were overrun by the Hunas or other Central Asian nomads. The Empire ended about 535.
He ruled from A.D. 375 to 415.
Chandra Gupta II also strengthened his empire through peaceful means by negotiating diplomatic and marriage alliances.
After his marriage, Chandra Gupta I took the title “Great King of Kings” in A.D. 320.
Chandragupta’s son assumed the throne. He ruled for 32 years. Then Chandragupta’s grandson, Asoka
At first, he followed in Chandragupta’s footsteps, waging war to expand his empire. During a bloody war against the neighboring state of Kalinga, 100,000 sol- diers were slain, and even more civilians perished.
This allowed travelers to stop and refresh theirselves. Noble as his policies of toleration and nonviolence were, they failed to hold the empire together after Asoka died in 232 B.C.
For 500 years, beginning about
185 B.C., wave after wave of Greeks,
Persians, and Central Asians poured into
They were about a mysterious woman named Laura, who was his ideal. (Little is known of Laura except that she died of the plague in 1348.) In classical Latin, he wrote letters to many important friends.
In 1434, he won control of Florence’s government. He did not seek political office for himself, but influenced members of the ruling council by giving them loans. For 30 years, he was dictator of Florence.
Cosimo de Medici died in 1464, but his family continued to control Florence. His grandson, Lorenzo de Medici, came to power in 1469. Known as Lorenzo the Magnificent, he ruled as a dictator yet kept up the appearance of having an elected government.
Leonardo da Vinci’s notebooks—and life—are mysterious. Some 3,500 pages closely covered with writings and drawings survive. His-writing is clear and easy to read, but only if you look at it in a mirror. No one-knows why he wrote backwards.
Renaissance scholars looked down on the art and literature of the Middle Ages. Instead, they wanted to return to the learning of the Greeks and Romans. They achieved this in several ways.
His grandson, Lorenzo de Medici, came to power in 1469. Known as Lorenzo the Magnificent, he ruled as a dictator yet kept up the appearance of having an elected government.
Like Leonardo, Michelangelo was a Renaissance man.
He excelled as a painter, sculptor, architect, and poet.
Michelangelo is most famous for the way he portrayed the human body in painting and sculpture. Influenced by classical art, he created figures that are.
The women writers who gained fame during the Renaissance usually wrote about personal sub- jects, not politics. Yet, some of them had great influence. Vittoria Colonna (1492–1547) was born of a noble family. In 1509, she married the Marquis of Pescara. He spent most of his life away from home on military campaigns.
The Prince (1513) by Niccolò Machiavelli (MAK
Renaissance writers introduced the idea that all educated people were expected to create art. In fact, the ideal individual strove to master almost every area of study. A man who excelled in many fields was praised as a “universal man.” Later ages called such people “Renaissance men.”
Baldassare Castiglione (KAHS