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In the Service of the Khan concerns the making of an empire that was to stretch from the Dnestr to the Sea of Japan and whose influence shaped the destiny of Europe and most of Asia. The two-volume collection contains biographical essays on some fifty leading figures in China, Mongolia and Central Asia who, in various capacities, contributed to building and administering this empire in the 13th century. They include army generals, religious leaders, statesmen and men of letters. The focus is primarily on China, from the beginning of the Mongol conquest under Genghis Khan to the end of Khubilai’s reign.
The essays, written by a team of specialists using many hitherto untapped sources, throw light on the political, social and economic history of the period as well as on religious beliefs, intellectual trends and scientific achievements. They provide a means of assessing the profound changes brought about by the collapse and reshaping both of urban mediaeval Chinese society and tribal steppe societies. Furthermore, in its overview of a largely ignored yet critical event in the history of mankind, this work offers a rare insight into the comportment of a diversity of remarkable people caught up in circumstances which, in many respects, strikingly mirror the upheavals and uncertainties of our own times.
Both parts can be delivered only separately as Print on Demand: