By Steve Kovacs (Introduction by Chuck Gibson)

LOVELAND, OH (December 18, 2023) – Today’s edition of Fun with Maps celebrates the beginning of Yuan Dynasty – the first uniting of two Chinese cultures.


On December 18, 1271, Kublai Khan declared himself the emperor of all of China. 

At that time, the name used was the Great Yuan or Great Mongol State.  Thus began the Yuan, or Mongol, Dynasty which completed the imperial conquest of all of what we know today as China.

It was a time of peace and tolerance, leading to major cultural achievements, like enhanced development of a written language, introduction of paper money, and leisure items like musical instruments and playing cards.  Trade with Europe increased.  Marco Polo was the noted traveler of the time, writing about his experiences at the Eastern end of the Silk Road.

In uniting the Mongols and the Hans, Kublai Khan became the first ruler to unite the 2 cultures and rule over the many diverse tribes there.  The capital was established at Dadu, today’s Beijing. 

The Yuan Dynasty was overthrown by native Han rebels in 1368 and the establishment of the Ming Dynasty returned governance to the native citizens.

The map of China from the early 19th century, specifically 1831, is shown here by Teesdale.

China Map – 1831 (Credit Steve Kovacs)

Steve Kovacs and his wife Theresa reside in Loveland, Ohio where they raised their two children. He is a passionate collector of antique maps.

Visit his antique map boutique world-on-paper online. Watch for his daily feature Steve Kovacs: Fun with Maps here on Loveland Beacon.