Yup, I’ve finally learned how to do this. Yeah! #datasisbeautiful.
Joke aside, I never guessed that I would fine a unknown official named Hasan so high and other well known individuals such as Temüder and Li Meng so low in the list.
This article examines the officials under the reign of Ayurbarwarda (Ch. Renzong, r. 1311-1320) during the early fourteenth century Mongol rule over China. It adopts a quantitative analysis of the officials in this period, especially applying the network analysis methodology to analyze the relationship and significance of these officials. Previous scholarship has generally neglected this period, and mostly been centered around the factional conflict between the non-Han Chinese faction represented by Temüder (? – 1322) and the more ethnical Han/Han cultural appreciating faction centered around Li Meng 李孟 (1255-1321). Focusing on sixty-five individuals of this era, this paper constructs a network database of these individuals based on their official assignments and their names appearing together in governmental documents such as the Institutions of the Yuan Dynasty (Yuandianzhang 元典章). This analysis reveals a few significant points not easily spotted in traditional close reading of texts, and also confirm well-known theories on this period. First of all, it reveals that rather well known individuals did not rank high in terms of centrality, while other less known individuals ranked higher than one would expect. For example, an individual named Hasan, the long time holding Junior Chief Councillor of the Secretariat (zhongshuzuochengxiang 中書左丞相) of this period who has no single biographical work dedicated to him, ranked highest in the degree centrality. On the other hand, well known individuals such as Li Meng and Temüder remained relatively low. Second, although clear division between the Han and non-Han officials did not exist, this analysis confirms the theory that the officials of the military and the censorate were mostly dominated by the non-Han officials. In addition to revealing new aspects of the early fourteenth century Yuan rule, this study also demonstrates how digital methodologies can play a role in both analyzing and visualizing results beyond traditional source reading.
Key words: Ayurbarwarda Qa’an(Renzong), Yuan, Network Analysis, Digital Humanities, Li Meng, Temüder, Hasan