Kublai, also known by his temple name as the Emperor Shizu of Yuan, was the fifth khagan-emperor of the Mongol Empire, reigning from 1260 to 1294, although after the division of the empire this was a nominal position. He also founded the Yuan dynasty of China in 1271, and ruled as the first Yuan emperor until his death in 1294.
Kublai was the fourth son of Tolui and a grandson of Genghis Khan. He was almost 12 years of age when Genghis Khan died and had succeeded his older brother Möngke as Khagan in 1260, but had to defeat his younger brother Ariq Böke in the Toluid Civil War lasting until 1264. This episode marked the beginning of the fragmentation of the empire. Kublai's real power was limited to the Yuan Empire, even though as Khagan he still had influence in the Ilkhanate and, to a significantly lesser degree, in the Golden Horde. If one considers the Mongol Empire at that time as a whole, his realm reached from the Pacific Ocean to the Black Sea, from Siberia to what is now Afghanistan.