Friday, September 5, 2008

Khutughtu Khan, Emperor Mingzong of Yuan

Khutughtu Khan , born Kuśala , was the Emperor of China and ruled as emperor of the Yuan Dynasty, khanate of Mongol Empire.

He was the eldest son of . Since the Khayishan administration was founded on the unstable balance between Khayishan, his younger brother and their mother Dagi of the Khunggirad clan, Khayishan appointed Ayurbarwada as Crown Prince on the condition that he would pass the status to Kuśala after succession. However, when Khayishan suddenly died and Ayurbarwada succeeded to the throne in 1311, Dagi, Temüder and other members of the Khunggirad faction installed Ayurbarwada's son instead of Kuśala because his mother came from the Ikires clan, not the Khunggirad clan. He was relegated to Yunnan but fled to -ruled in Central Asia after a failed revolt in Shaanxi. The khan Esen bukha heard that Kuśala was living near his realm, then he came to greet Kusala. Since then, Kusala had been backed by chagataid princes.

Although the rival faction was purged by Yesün Temür Khan when Shidibala Khan was assassinated, he remained in Central Asia. He extended his influence in his stronghold which was located to the west of Altai Mountains.

In 1328 when Yesün Temür Khan died, a civil war erupted between Shangdu-based and Dadu-based . The former was a son of Yesün Temür and backed up by the former Yesün Temür administration led by Dawlat Shah, and the latter was Kuśala's younger brother who was supported by the former Khayishan faction led by the Qipchaq commander El Temür and the Asud commander . This ended in the victory of Tugh Temür since he secured support from princes, aristocrats and warlords in the south of the Gobi Desert. At the same time, Kuśala, with the support from Chaghadaid princes such as Eljigidey, entered Mongolia. He also got support from princes and generals of Mongolia, and with overwhelming military power in the background, put pressure on Tugh Temür, who had already ascended to the throne.

Realizing disadvantages, Tugh Temür declared abdication. In the next year, El Temür brought the imperial seal to Kuśala in Mongolia and announced Dadu's intent to welcome him. Kuśala ascended to the throne in the north of Khara Khorum and Tugh Temür became Crown Prince.

On his way to Dadu, Kuśala met with Tugh Temür in Ongghuchad near Shangdu in the eight month. He suddenly died only 4 days after a banquet with Tugh Temür. It seems that Kuśala was poisoned by El Temür since he feared being lost power to princes and officers of Chaghadai Ulus and Mongolia, who followed Kuśala. Tugh Temür was restored to the throne.

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