Daughter of Xanadu Part 24
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AIRAG: Mongolians' favorite alcoholic drink, fermented mare's milk. Mongolians' favorite alcoholic drink, fermented mare's milk.
ANDA: In Mongolian, closest friend, like a blood brother, with a vow of lifelong loyalty. In Mongolian, closest friend, like a blood brother, with a vow of lifelong loyalty.
BATTLE OF V VOCHAN: A battle between the Mongols and the Burmese that took place in 1277, although the exact date is unclear. In his book, Marco described the battle, saying that twelve thousand Mongol horsemen fought a Burmese army of sixty thousand soldiers and two thousand elephants. He did not mention gunpowder, the use of which is fictional here. Vochan is believed to be the city today known as Baoshan, in Yunnan Province.
BEKI: Mongolian for "princess." Mongolian for "princess."
BURMA: A country southwest of China, now called Myanmar. The Mongols conquered and sacked Burma's capital at Pagan in 1287.
CARAJAN: Mongol-era name of Yunnan Province, in southwest China.
CATHAY: Name used for North China during the thirteenth century; it may be a corruption of the spelling of "Khitai," a group of nomadic people from Manchuria who ruled this part of China from 907 to 1125.
CHABI: Chief wife of Khubilai Khan and a devout Buddhist.
CHIMKIN: Khubilai Khan's second son, who became heir apparent. He died before his father, so he never became Great Khan. The Chinese name of Chimkin, sometimes spelled Zhenjin, means "True Gold," and his father ensured that he was educated in Chinese.
CHINGGIS K KHAN: Known in the West as Genghis Khan, the Mongol leader who conquered much of the known world during his lifetime, from 1162 (estimated) to 1227, and founded the Mongol Empire. His birth name was Temujin.
CHRISTENDOM: Europe was known by this name in Marco Polo's era. The word "Europe" was not widely used until centuries later.
DA-LI: A city in Yunnan Province, then known as Carajan. The ancient capital of the Nanzhao Kingdom and the Da-li Kingdom, conquered by the Mongols in 1253. Also spelled Ta-li Fu, and known today as Dali.
DEL: Mongolian clothing, a long-sleeved robe that crosses over in the front and is secured with a sash at the waist. Worn by men and women in summer and winter. Mongolian clothing, a long-sleeved robe that crosses over in the front and is secured with a sash at the waist. Worn by men and women in summer and winter.
DORJI: Khubilai Khan's eldest son, who was passed over as heir apparent. Little is known about him. His name is sometimes spelled Jurji. Dorji is a Tibetan Buddhist name.
DRAGONS: The creatures described here are crocodiles. Marco Polo called them "great serpents."
DROLMA: Fictional younger sister of Emmajin.
EMMAJIN: Fictional daughter of Dorji, Khubilai Khan's eldest son. Born in 1260, the year her grandfather became Great Khan. In 1275, she would have been fifteen by today's reckoning, but she was then considered sixteen by Chinese and Mongolian reckoning. Her name, more properly spelled Emujin, is the female form of Temujin, the birth name of Chinggis Khan.
GER: A round, collapsible Mongolian tent, known in the West as a yurt. A round, collapsible Mongolian tent, known in the West as a yurt.
GOLDEN H HORDE: The name of the Mongol khanate khanate (kingdom) that ruled Russia and nearby lands for nearly three hundred years. The name is believed to have come from the golden, or yellow, color of the tents and flags used by the Mongols to denote imperial status. The English word (kingdom) that ruled Russia and nearby lands for nearly three hundred years. The name is believed to have come from the golden, or yellow, color of the tents and flags used by the Mongols to denote imperial status. The English word horde horde comes from the Mongolian word comes from the Mongolian word ordo ordo, meaning "camp."
HOORAY: English word that is believed to have come from the Mongolian word for "amen," used as a cry of bravado and encouragement (see Jack Weatherford, Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World).
IL-KHAN OF P PERSIA: The Mongol ruler of Persia, subordinate to the Great Khan. The area he ruled included modern-day Iran, as well as parts of Iraq and neighboring countries. The first Il-khan was Khubilai Khan's brother Hulegu.
KHAGAN OR OR KHA'AN KHA'AN: Mongolian for "emperor," "Great Khan," or "Khan of all Khans." Marco Polo translated this word as "Great Lord of Lords."
KHAIDU: A descendant of Chinggis Khan through his son Ogodei, the second Great Khan. Khaidu believed that Ogodei's line should have inherited the right to rule the Empire, so he challenged Khubilai Khan's right to be Great Khan.
KHAN: Mongolian for "king," "commander," or "ruler." Mongolian for "king," "commander," or "ruler."
KHANBALIK: "Khan's capital" in Mongolian, this city was built by Khubilai Khan to be the capital of the Mongol Empire. It was formerly known as Yenjing, and then as Peking, and is now known as Beijing. Marco Polo called it Cambaluc, a variation on Khanbalik. The Chinese refer to Mongol-era Beijing as "Yuan Dadu," which means "main capital of the Yuan dynasty."
KHATUN: Mongolian for "queen" or "empress," used for wives of the khan or Mongolian for "queen" or "empress," used for wives of the khan or khagan khagan.
KHUBILAI K KHAN: The fifth Great Khan, born in 1215, who ruled the Mongol Empire from 1260 to his death in 1294. Commonly known in the West as Kubla Khan or Kublai Khan. During his reign, the Mongol Empire reached its greatest size. For details of Khubilai Khan's life, the author found the best source to be Khubilai Khan: His Life and Times Khubilai Khan: His Life and Times, by Morris Rossabi.
KINSAY: Name used by Marco Polo for Hangzhou, capital of the Southern Sung dynasty. Kinsay is a variation on the Chinese words "jing shi," "capital city."
MAFFEO P POLO: Marco Polo's uncle, who traveled to China twice, once with Marco's father only and again with both Marco and his father.
MARCO P POLO: A young Venetian who traveled to the capital of the Mongol Empire in China, leaving home in late 1271 and arriving in 1275 at the age of twenty-one. After returning home to Venice in 1295, he wrote a book about his travels, becoming the first European to write about China for a Western audience. Many versions of Marco's book exist; the author of Daughter of Xanadu Daughter of Xanadu relied on relied on The Travels of Marco Polo: The Complete Yule-Cordier Edition The Travels of Marco Polo: The Complete Yule-Cordier Edition.
MIAOYAN: A daughter of Khubilai Khan who became a Buddhist nun. At a Buddhist temple outside Beijing, called Tanzhe Temple, there are indentations on the stone where it is believed she knelt and prayed.
MONGOL E EMPIRE: Founded by Chinggis Khan in 1206. At its peak in 1279 the Mongol Empire included all of Mongolia, China, Tibet, Korea, Central Asia, Iran, and Russia. It was the largest contiguous land empire in history, rivaled only by the nineteenth-century British Empire. The Mongols ruled China and Iran for about one hundred years, and Mongols continued to rule Russia for about three hundred years.
MONGOLIA: Homeland of the Mongols, now an independent country north of China. It included parts of China known today as Inner Mongolia.
NICCOLO P POLO: Marco Polo's father, who made his first journey to China from 1260 to 1269, and his second journey to China with his son, Marco Polo, from 1271 to 1295. Both times, Niccolo Polo traveled with his brother, Maffeo.
OVOO: In Mongolian custom, a heap of stones that marks a sacred place. In Mongolian custom, a heap of stones that marks a sacred place.
POPE: The head of the Christian religion in Rome. When Marco Polo left for China in 1271, the new Pope was Gregory X, whom his father and uncle had befriended earlier, during their travels.
SOUTHERN C CHINA: Before the Mongol era, in 1127, China was divided into two countries, north and south. The north was ruled by the Jin dynasty and the south by the Southern Sung dynasty. Marco Polo called northern China Cathay and southern China Manzi, the Chinese word for "barbarian." It is likely that he learned these terms from the Mongols. The Mongols conquered the Jin dynasty by 1234, and completed the conquest of southern China in 1279, three years after the conquest of its capital at Kinsay (Hangzhou).
SUREN: Fictional eldest son of Chimkin, born the same year as Emmajin.
TARA: Buddhist goddess of compassion, revered by Tibetans and Mongolians.
TARTARS: A word used by Europeans, especially Russians, to describe Mongols.
TEMUR: Son of Chimkin, who later became the sixth Great Khan, ruling from 1294 to 1307. The year of his birth is uncertain; it is either 1261 or 1265.
TENGRI: Mongolian for "Eternal Heaven," or "God."
TOLUI: Chinggis Khan's fourth son, father of Khubilai Khan.
VENEZIA: Italian spelling of Venice.
XANADU: Alternative spelling of Shangdu, the site of Khubilai Khan's summer palace, due north of Khanbalik/Beijing. The name Shangdu means "Upper Capital" in Chinese. Today it is in ruins, located near the town of Duolun in Inner Mongolia. Marco Polo described it in great detail; various translations of his book spell the name "Chandu" and "Xandu." In the famous poem "Kubla Khan," by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, it was spelled "Xanadu," which is the name most widely used in English.
YANGTZE R RIVER: Main river in central China, known today as Chang Jiang ("Long River"). The Mongols called it Brius, or "Gold River," for its upper reaches, the Jinsha River.
YELLOW R RIVER: Main river in northern China. The Mongols called it Caramoran, meaning "Black River."
YUAN DYNASTY: An era of Chinese history when China was ruled by the Mongols. Khubilai Khan declared the Yuan dynasty in 1271, eleven years after he became Great Khan of the Mongol Empire. His heirs followed as emperors until the Yuan dynasty fell in 1368.
After the long process of researching and writing this book, I have many people to thank, starting with my husband, Paul Yang, who suggested that I write a novel about Marco Polo. Week after week, I received great input and advice from my writing coach and teacher, Brenda Peterson, and the many in her class who read and commented on the book as it progressed, especially Leslie Helm, Susan Little, John Runyan, Mary Matsuda Gruenewald, Donna Sandstrom, Jennifer Haupt, Leigh Calvez, Trip Quillman, J. Kingston Pierce, Liz Gruenfeld, Liz Adams, Laurie Greig, Dan Keusal, Leska Fore, Susan Knox, and Sara Yamasaki.
For support and encouragement, I also want to thank my daughters, Emily and Serena, and my friends Rita Vesper, Katy Ehrlich, and Kathy Renner, as well as my fellow Mongolia explorers Jeanne DeMund, and Elton, Bonnie, and Erin Welke. Jeanne and I managed to locate the abandoned ruins of Xanadu, as well as the earlier capital of the Mongol Empire, Karakorum, and the mausoleum of Chinggis Khan. I am also grateful to Steven Yang, who created the map. Many other friends and relatives encouraged me along the way, commented on early drafts, and endured long monologues about why the Mongol Empire mattered so much in history and why we can be confident that Marco Polo really did go to China.
I particularly want to thank my wonder-working agent, Michael Bourret, as well as Jane Dystel and Miriam Goderich of Dystel & Goderich Literary Management, and my terrific editors, Michelle Poploff and Rebecca Short of Delacorte Press, who appreciated and enriched my vision for this book.
For information about the Mongol Empire, I read many books, the most useful of which was Khubilai Khan: His Life and Times Khubilai Khan: His Life and Times, by Morris Rossabi. By and large, I have followed the spellings he prefers. Mongolian words and names are notoriously difficult for English speakers to pronounce correctly, so feel free to pronounce them as you wish! Both Emmajin and Suren are fictional, but many other characters in this book were real people. I tried to imagine and re-create them as accurately as historical records would allow. Any mistakes that remain are my own.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR.
Dori Jones Yang sought out faraway places to research this book. In Mongolia, she drank airag airag in a in a ger ger, rode camels, and practiced archery. She located the almost-impossible-to-find ruins of Xanadu and investigated the site of Khubilai Khan's palace at Khanbalik, now the Forbidden City in Beijing.
Originally from Ohio, she explored Asia as a foreign correspondent for BusinessWeek BusinessWeek magazine, based in Hong Kong, for eight years. She studied history at Princeton, international relations at Johns Hopkins, and Mandarin Chinese in Singapore. Her first book, about Starbucks Coffee Company, was translated into ten languages, and her second book, magazine, based in Hong Kong, for eight years. She studied history at Princeton, international relations at Johns Hopkins, and Mandarin Chinese in Singapore. Her first book, about Starbucks Coffee Company, was translated into ten languages, and her second book, The Secret Voice of Gina Zhang The Secret Voice of Gina Zhang, which reveals the inner life of an immigrant girl from China, won two awards. She lives near Seattle with her Chinese husband, Paul Yang, who inspired this story of cross-cultural love.
Find out more at her website, dorijonesyang.com.
Daughter of Xanadu Part 24
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