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Yuan: the Dynasty AND the Money

A young Marco Polo sets out with his father Niccolo on their famous journey to Cathay/China while Kublai Kahn renames his empire "Yuan". Khan will issue a fiat paper money called "zhong tong yuan bao jiao chao" meaning "Kublai Khan's gold and silver money", suggesting that the paper money is backed by a gold and silver coin or Khan's treasury, but coins are forbidden in the empire for now. Inflation will cause the Yuan dynasty to create new coins to stabilize the economy, but that is in the future. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Khan got the idea of paper money from the Song Dynasty, but the Songs were disciplined in using paper money. Kublai Khan seems not to realize the danger of paper money.

They Raised the Roof for Gregory X

The papal elections has dragged on for three years so the townspeople make things uncomfortable for the Cardinals, first tearing the roof off of the villa in which they stay so that they would be exposed to the elements and "The Holy Ghost" as cardinal John of Toledo quipped. When that didn't work, the Cardinals were limited to bread and water. When Pope Gregory X was finally elected, he set in place rules for electing the Pope which included serving bread and water to the Cardinals if the decision is delayed. [8]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
I'm still not sure what was the real reason for the delay. It could have been innocent but also sinister and many shades in between.

The Ninth Crusade Starts... and Ends

Last year Prince Edward I had set out to take back Syria from the Mamelukes but this "Ninth Crusade" has ended in failure in what is today Acre, Israel. They negotiate a hasty peace. [9]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
I have seen several references to the Ninth Crusade and disagreements over when it ended so don't be surprised if you see another announcement of its ending.

See Also


  1. "Currency in the Song and Yuan Dynasties", Shanghai Xinhong Cultural Development Co. Ltd
  2. "Money in Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties", Travel China Guide
  3. "Song Blue and White Porcelain on the Silk Road" By Adam T. Kessler, 2012, pp. 149-150
  4. Marco Polo Timeline:Marco travels, from Soft Schools
  5. Khitan People, Wikipedia
  6. Cathay, Wikipedia
  7. "Historical Events for Year 1271", History Orb
  8. "You Won't Believe These Seven Amazing Papal Elections" by Josh Fruhlinger, March 7th, 2013
  9. Year 1271, Wikipedia

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