Silk Procurement Methods, Taxes and Allocations in the Yuan Dynasty
1Erzurum Teknik Üniversitesi, Edebiyat Fakültesi, Tarih Bölümü, Erzurum/TÜRKİYE
2İstanbul Üniversitesi, Sosyal Bilimler Enstitüsü, İstanbul/TÜRKİYE
Keywords: Silk, Mongols, Tax, China, Yuan Dynasty.
The Silk Road, known as the oldest trade route in world history, is the main artery of interactions and changes that occur in commercial, religious and cultural terms. Although this road, which emerged depending on the needs of people living in different geographies, took its name from the silk traded, it is known that other valuable goods and the merchandise were sent to different countries via this road. For this reason, the interaction of different ethnic origins and cultures with the east-west synthesis that took place throughout Eurasia was clearly felt. Especially the Mongol Empire period (1206-1294) was a time when communities were migrated to different geographies including the Far East and the Middle East, which can be considered as the two ends of the world, and had important cultural exchanges.
Silk, which has attracted the attention of mankind since ancient times, has played a prominent role in the status and wealth of people. It was accepted as a luxury commodity, perhaps because of its material value, and was subject to a certain tax system. During the Mongol Empire period (602-693/1206-1294), special silk taxes, especially on household basis, began to be collected from China, where the production was most intense. So much so that some families in Mongolian China were separated from other families under the name of “silk households” (絲戶). The silk tax, which was also given importance by the Mongols, started to be collected from various regions of North China under the name of “five household silk” (五戶絲) as raw silk. When evaluated in this context, the article deals with the annual silk taxes that the Mongols received from China and silk allocations for the Mongol noble.