Published online by Cambridge University Press: 24 March 2022
This chapter looks at the Yuan dynasty in a time of growing chaos. It undertook distant military campaigns, major relief efforts, ambitious river projects, a new legal code, and massive dynastic historical compilations. Envoys like Marignolli came to the Yuan court from the other side of world, a clear reminder of the Great Yuan’s international standing and ties to other lands. If all this evidenced formidable state capacity, Korean observers also saw acute problems: widespread drought and flooding that led to famine and occasionally even cannibalism, virulent banditry that blurred readily into revolt, and court intrigue that shook vast political patronage networks and threw dynastic policy into tumult.