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0133 Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1
Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1 / Page 133 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000042
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saine curious process then took place which seems always to have followed the intrusion of Tartar conquerors into China, and singularly analogous to that which followed the establishment of the Roman emperors in Byzantium. The intruders themselves adopted Chinese manners, ceremonies, literature, and civilisation, and gradually lost their energy and warlike character. It must have been during this period, ending with the overthrow of the dynasty in 1123, and whilst this northern monarchy was the face which the Celestial Empire turned to Inner Asia, that the name of Khitan, Khitat, or Khitaï, became indissolubly associated with

  •   China.

  1. In the year just named the last prince of the dynasty was captured by the leader of the revolted Churchés, who had proclaimed himself emperor, and founder of a dynasty under the name of the Golden, the Kin of the Chinese.

This dynasty, like its predecessor, adopted the Chinese civilisation, and for a brief period prospered. Their empire, the chief capital of which was established at the city which they called Chungtu, the modern Peking, embraced in China itself the provinces of Pecheli, Shansi, Shantung, Honan, and the south of Shensi, whilst beyond the wall all Tartary acknowledged their. influence. Their power, however, soon passed its climax, and their influence over Mongolia had already declined before the middle of the twelfth century.

  1. Temuchin, afterwards known as Chinghiz, was born of a Mongol tribe on the banks of the Onon in 1162. It is not need-fill to follow the details of his rise and of his successes against the nations of Tartary which led to his being saluted in 1206 by the diet of his nation as Chinghiz Khan.'

Chinghiz, according to Quatremère, did not use the higher appellation of Kdan (or rather Qdan), which was adopted by his son Okkodai and his successors as their distinctive title, identical with Khd,qcin, the X ayd vos of the Byzantine historians. Properly a distinction should therefore be preserved between Khan, the ordinary title of Tartar chiefs, and which has since spread to Persian gentlemen and to be a common affix to the name of Hindustanis of all classes, and Qdan, as the peculiar title of the Supreme Chief of the Mongols. The Mongol princes of the subordinate empires of Chagatai, Persia, and Kipchak, were entitled only to the former affix, though the other is sometimes applied to them in adulation,