This paper, a study of the career of Yii Chi (1272–1348), explores the nature of Chinese literati support of Mongol rulers during the Yiian period. Yii Chi served as the leading apologist for the usurper Tugh Temiir (Wen-tsung, r. 1328 and 1329–1332). The most prominent court scholar of his time, Yii Chi devoted himself to the enhancement of Tugh Temiir's prestige, authority, and legitimacy. The paper explores Yii's activities in detail and speculates on his motivations in serving his Mongol emperor. In particular, it suggests that Yii Chi's ultimate aim in bolstering the usurper's claims to the throne, as well as in encouraging imperial support of Chinese cultural symbols and values, was to make Mongol rule more predictable and stable and thus to benefit the Mongols' Chinese subjects.

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