Friday, September 5, 2008

Ragibagh Khan, Emperor Tianshun of Yuan

Ragibagh was the Emperor of China and ruled as emperor of the Yuan Dynasty, khanate of Mongol Empire who reigned in 1328. Although he should have been the eleventh grand-khan in succession to Yesün Temür Khan, he was dethroned by his rival who was installed by coup before Ragibagh's succession. He is not usually counted as the eleventh khan.

Ragibagh was the eldest son of Yesün Temür Khan. His mother Babukhan Khatun came from the Khunggirad clan, who had held power through marriage to the imperial family. He became Crown Prince at infancy in 1324. In the sixth month of 1328 when Yesün Temür suddenly died in Shangdu, he was installed by the powerful Muslim officer Dawlat Shah there in the next month.

However, Yesün Temür's sudden death triggered an uprising of an anti-mainstream faction who had been dissatisfied with monopolization of power by Yesün Temür's aides including Dawlat Shah who had served him since he was stationed in Mongolia as Jinong. In the eighth month, the Qipchaq commander El Temür, who was stationed in Dadu, launched a coup and called for installation of 's son. was welcomed into Dadu in the same month in which Ragibagh ascended to the throne.

Ragibagh's army advanced on Dadu but was severely defeated by El Temür's troops. In the tenth month, J&'s descandant Örüg Temür, who controlled eastern Mongolia, besieged Shangdu, taking the side of Tugh Temür. Dawlat Shah was executed by the Dadu faction after surrender, but it is not known what happened to the little khan.

Note on his name

Due to scarcity of historical sources and their multilinguality, Ragibagh's name has a lot of variants. The Tibetan ''Red Annals'' calls him "Ra khyi phag." The later Mongolian chronicles such as the ''Erdeni-yin tobchi'' and the ''Altan tobchi'' spell him Radzibaγ or Raǰibaγ. The Chinese ''History of the Yuan'' refers to him as A-su-ji-ba , but it is apparently a misspelling of A-la-ji-ba . The initial "a" prevents the word from starting with "r" in . It looks like a modern Mongolian painter interpreted his name as "Asidkebe" . In Chinese he is also known as the Tianshun Emperor for era name.

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