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Yuan dynasty (1260-1368)

A period of foreign occupation by the nomadic tribes of Mongolia. Europe's diplomatic and religious interest in China grew during the Yuan dynasty, and missionaries arrived for the first time. Marco Polo of Venice worked for 17 years in the service of Khubilai Khan, grandson of the Mongol conqueror Genghis Khan. Faced with discrimination by foreign rulers, the educated Chinese recalled their past and turned their energies to art and culture, including theater, influenced by Daoism, painting, and poetry. The Daoist Eight Immortals became popular in decorative arts.

See: Chronology Section for details