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David Robinson
Colgate University (Hamilton, NY 13346-1386)
The Mongol Empire's Long Shadow: An Early Modern Chinese Court in Eurasian History

Research and writing leading to publication of a book on the political and cultural connections between the Chinese Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and the Mongol Empire.

My project considers the court of China’s Ming dynasty (1368-1644) in the broader context of Eurasian history, focusing on a moment when much of Eurasia shared a common reference point, the Mongol empire. During the thirteenth century, the Mongols created the greatest land empire in history. Their courts in China, Persia, and southern Russia were centers of wealth, learning, power, religion, and lavish spectacle. When the Mongols lost power in the fourteenth century, ambitious men throughout Eurasia wrestled with how best to exploit the memory, institutions, and personnel networks of the fallen empire. This project explores how the Ming court came to terms with the Mongol empire's legacy, variously denouncing the Mongols' "corruption" of China, insisting that the Ming was the exclusive legitimate successor to the Mongols, and inserting the Ming into the story of the rise and fall of the Mongol empire in communications with other Eurasian courts.

Project fields:
Cultural History; East Asian History; East Asian Studies

Fellowships for University Teachers

Research Programs

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2017 – 6/30/2018