Empire (Mongolian: Mongolyn Ezent Güren
listen (help·info); Mongolian Cyrillic: Монголын
эзэнт гүрэн; [mɔŋɡ(ɔ)ɮˈiːŋ ɛt͡sˈɛnt ˈɡurəŋ];
also Орда ("Horde") in Russian chronicles) existed during the 13th
and 14th centuries and was the largest contiguous land empire in
history. Originating in the steppes of Central Asia, the Mongol
Empire eventually stretched from
Eastern Europe and parts of Central
Europe all the way to the Sea of Japan, extending northwards into
Siberia, eastwards and southwards into the Indian subcontinent,
Indochina, and the Iranian plateau, and westwards as far as the Levant
and the Carpathians.
Empire emerged from the unification of several nomadic
tribes in the
Mongol homeland under the leadership of Genghis Khan,
whom a council proclaimed ruler of all the
Mongols in 1206. The empire
grew rapidly under his rule and that of his descendants, who sent
invasions in every direction. The vast transcontinental empire
connected the east with the west with an enforced Pax Mongolica,
allowing the dissemination and exchange of trade, technologies,
commodities, and ideologies across Eurasia.
The empire began to split due to wars over succession, as the
Genghis Khan disputed whether the royal line should
follow from his son and initial heir
Ögedei or from one of his other
sons, such as Tolui, Chagatai, or Jochi. The Toluids prevailed after a
bloody purge of Ögedeid and Chagataid factions, but disputes
continued even among the descendants of Tolui. A key reason for the
split was the dispute over whether the
Empire would become a
sedentary, cosmopolitan empire, or would stay true to their nomadic
and steppe lifestyle. After
Möngke Khan died (1259), rival kurultai
councils simultaneously elected different successors, the brothers
Ariq Böke and
Kublai Khan, who then not only fought each other in the
Toluid Civil War
Toluid Civil War (1260–1264), but also dealt with challenges from
the descendants of other sons of Genghis.
took power, but civil war ensued as he sought unsuccessfully to regain
control of the Chagatayid and Ögedeid families.
During the reigns of Genghis and Ögedei, the
Mongols suffered the
occasional defeat when a less skilled general was given a command. The
Siberian Tumads defeated the
Mongol forces under
1215–1217; Jalal al-Din defeated Shigi-Qutugu at the Battle of
Parwan; and the Jin generals Heda and Pu'a defeated Dolqolqu in 1230.
In each case, the
Mongols returned shortly after with a much larger
army led by one of their best generals, and were invariably
Battle of Ain Jalut
Battle of Ain Jalut in
Galilee in 1260 marked the
first time that the
Mongols would not return to immediately avenge a
defeat, due to a combination of the death of Möngke Khan, the Toluid
Civil War between Arik Boke and Khubilai, and
Berke of the Golden
Horde attacking Hulegu in Persia. Though the
Mongols launched many
more invasions of the Levant, briefly occupying it and raiding as far
as Gaza after a decisive victory at the
Battle of Wadi al-Khazandar
Battle of Wadi al-Khazandar in
1299, they withdrew due to various geopolitical factors.
By the time of Kublai's death in 1294, the
Empire had fractured
into four separate khanates or empires, each pursuing its own separate
interests and objectives:
Golden Horde khanate in the northwest
Chagatai Khanate in Central Asia
Ilkhanate in the southwest
Yuan dynasty in the east based in modern-day Beijing.
In 1304 the three western khanates briefly accepted the nominal
suzerainty of the Yuan dynasty, but in 1368 the Han Chinese
Ming dynasty took over the
Mongol capital. The Genghisid rulers of the
Yuan retreated to the Mongolian homeland and continued to rule there
as the Northern Yuan dynasty. The
Ilkhanate disintegrated in the
period 1335–1353. The
Golden Horde had broken into competing
khanates by the end of the 15th century whilst the Chagatai Khanate
lasted in one form or another until 1687.
2.1 Pre-empire context
2.2 Rise of Genghis Khan
2.3 Early organization
2.3.1 Push into Central Asia
2.3.2 Religious policies
2.4 Death of
Genghis Khan and expansion under
2.4.1 Invasions of
Kievan Rus' and central China
2.4.2 Push into central Europe
Ögedei power struggles (1241–1251)
2.5.1 Death of
2.6 Rule of
Möngke Khan (1251–1259)
2.6.1 Administrative reforms
2.6.2 New invasions of the Middle East and Southern China
2.6.3 Death of
Möngke Khan (1259)
2.7.1 Dispute over succession
2.7.2 Mongolian Civil War
2.7.3 Campaigns of
Kublai Khan (1264–1294)
2.8 Disintegration into competing entities
2.8.1 Development of the khanates
2.9 Relict states of the
3 Military organization
4.1 Law and governance
4.3 Arts and literature
4.4 Mail system
5 Silk Road
7 See also
9 Further reading
10 External links
What is referred to in English as the
Empire was called the Ikh
Mongol Uls (ikh: great, uls: state; Great Mongolian State). In the
1240s, one of Genghis's descendants,
Güyük Khan, wrote a letter to
Pope Innocent IV
Pope Innocent IV which used the preamble "Dalai (great/oceanic) Khagan
of the great Mongolian state (ulus)".
After the succession war between
Kublai Khan and his brother Ariq
Böke, Ariq limited Kublai's power to the eastern part of the empire.
Kublai officially issued an imperial edict on 18 December 1271 to
name the country "Great Yuan" (Dai Yuan, or Dai Ön Ulus) to establish
the Yuan dynasty. Some sources state that the full Mongolian name was
Dai Ön Yehe Monggul Ulus.
Main article: Proto-Mongols
Mongolian tribes during the Khitan
Liao dynasty (907–1125)
Eurasia on the eve of the
Mongol invasions, c. 1200.
The area around Mongolia, Manchuria, and parts of
North China had been
controlled by the
Liao dynasty since the 10th century. In 1125, the
Jin dynasty founded by the
Jurchens overthrew the
Liao dynasty and
attempted to gain control over former Liao territory in Mongolia. In
the 1130s the Jin dynasty rulers, known as the Golden Kings,
successfully resisted the
Khamag Mongol confederation, ruled at the
time by Khabul Khan, great-grandfather of
Temujin (Genghis Khan).
Mongolian plateau was occupied mainly by five powerful tribal
confederations (khanlig): Keraites, Khamag Mongol, Naiman, Mergid, and
Tatar. The Jin emperors, following a policy of divide and rule,
encouraged disputes among the tribes, especially between the Tatars
and the Mongols, in order to keep the nomadic tribes distracted by
their own battles and thereby away from the Jin. Khabul's successor
Ambaghai Khan, who was betrayed by the Tatars, handed over to the
Jurchen, and executed. The
Mongols retaliated by raiding the frontier,
resulting in a failed Jurchen counter-attack in 1143.
In 1147, the Jin somewhat changed their policy, signing a peace treaty
Mongols and withdrawing from a score of forts. The Mongols
then resumed attacks on the Tatars to avenge the death of their late
khan, opening a long period of active hostilities. The Jin and Tatar
armies defeated the
Mongols in 1161.
During the rise of the
Empire in the 13th century, the usually
cold, parched steppes of
Central Asia enjoyed their mildest, wettest
conditions in more than a millennium. It is thought that this resulted
in a rapid increase in the number of war horses and other livestock
Mongol military strength.
Rise of Genghis Khan
Khamag Mongol and Genghis Khan
National Palace Museum
National Palace Museum in Taipei, Taiwan
Known during his childhood as Temujin,
Genghis Khan was a son of a
Mongol chieftain. As a young man he rose very rapidly by working with
Toghrul Khan of the Kerait. The most powerful
Mongol leader at the
time was Kurtait; he was given the Chinese title "Wang", which means
Temujin went to war with Wang Khan. After
Wang Khan he gave himself the name Genghis Khan. He then enlarged his
Mongol state under himself and his kin. The term
Mongol came to be
used to refer to all Mongolic speaking tribes under the control of
Genghis Khan. His most powerful allies were his father's friend,
Wang Khan Toghoril, and Temujin's childhood anda
Jamukha of the Jadran clan. With their help,
Merkit tribe, rescued his wife Börte, and went on to defeat the
Naimans and the Tatars.
Temujin forbade looting of his enemies without permission, and he
implemented a policy of sharing spoils with his warriors and their
families instead of giving it all to the aristocrats. These
policies brought him into conflict with his uncles, who were also
legitimate heirs to the throne; they regarded
Temujin not as a leader
but as an insolent usurper. This dissatisfaction spread to his
generals and other associates, and some
Mongols who had previously
been allies broke their allegiance. War ensued, and
the forces still loyal to him prevailed, defeating the remaining rival
tribes between 1203 and 1205 and bringing them under his sway. In
Temujin was crowned as the khagan of the Yekhe
Mongol State) at a kurultai (general assembly/council). It was
there that he assumed the title of
Genghis Khan (universal leader)
instead of one of the old tribal titles such as Gur Khan or Tayang
Khan, marking the start of the
Genghis Khan ascended the throne in the Yeke Quriltay region in the
Onan river, from the Jami' al-tawarikh.
Genghis Khan introduced many innovative ways of organizing his army:
for example dividing it into decimal subsections of arbans (10
soldiers), zuuns (100), Mingghans (1000), and tumens (10,000). The
Kheshig, the imperial guard, was founded and divided into day
(khorchin torghuds) and night (khevtuul) guards. Genghis rewarded
those who had been loyal to him and placed them in high positions, as
heads of army units and households, even though many of them came from
very low-ranking clans.
Compared to the units he gave to his loyal companions, those assigned
to his own family members were relatively few. He proclaimed a new
code of law of the empire, Ikh Zasag or Yassa; later he expanded it to
cover much of the everyday life and political affairs of the nomads.
He forbade the selling of women, theft, fighting among the Mongols,
and the hunting of animals during the breeding season.
He appointed his adopted brother Shigi-Khuthugh as supreme judge
(jarughachi), ordering him to keep records of the empire. In addition
to laws regarding family, food, and the army, Genghis also decreed
religious freedom and supported domestic and international trade. He
exempted the poor and the clergy from taxation. He also encouraged
literacy, adopting the Uyghur script, which would form the
Mongolian script of the empire, and he ordered the Uyghur
Tatatunga, who had previously served the khan of Naimans, to instruct
Push into Central Asia
Mongol invasion of Central Asia
Empire circa 1207
Genghis quickly came into conflict with the Jin dynasty of the
Jurchens and the
Western Xia of the
Tanguts in northern China. He also
had to deal with two other powers,
Tibet and Qara Khitai. Towards
the west he moved into Central Asia, devastating
eastern Persia, then raiding into
Kievan Rus' (a predecessor state of
Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine) and the Caucasus.
Before his death,
Genghis Khan divided his empire among his sons and
immediate family, making the
Empire the joint property of the
entire imperial family who, along with the
constituted the ruling class.
Prior to the three western khanates' adoption of Islam, Genghis Khan
and a number of his Yuan successors placed restrictions on religious
practices they saw as alien. Muslims, including Hui, and Jews, were
collectively referred to as Huihui. Muslims were forbidden from Halal
or Zabiha butchering, while Jews were similarly forbidden from Kashrut
or Shehita butchering. Referring to the conquered subjects as "our
Genghis Khan demanded they no longer be able to refuse food
or drink, and imposed restrictions on slaughter. Muslims had to
slaughter sheep in secret.
Among all the [subject] alien peoples only the Hui-hui say “we do
Mongol food”. [Cinggis Qa’an replied:] “By the aid of
heaven we have pacified you; you are our slaves. Yet you do not eat
our food or drink. How can this be right?” He thereupon made them
eat. “If you slaughter sheep, you will be considered guilty of a
crime.” He issued a regulation to that effect ... [In 1279/1280
under Qubilai] all the Muslims say: “if someone else slaughters [the
animal] we do not eat”. Because the poor people are upset by this,
from now on, Musuluman [Muslim] Huihui and Zhuhu [Jewish] Huihui, no
matter who kills [the animal] will eat [it] and must cease
slaughtering sheep themselves, and cease the rite of circumcision.
Genghis Khan arranged for the Chinese Taoist master
Qiu Chuji to visit
him in Afghanistan, and also gave his subjects the right to religious
freedom, despite his own shamanistic beliefs.
Genghis Khan and expansion under
Mongol invasions and conquests
Ögedei Khan in 1229 as the successor of Genghis Khan.
By Rashid al-Din, early 14th century.
Genghis Khan died on 18 August 1227, by which time the Mongol
Empire ruled from the Pacific Ocean to the Caspian Sea – an
empire twice the size of the
Roman Empire or the Muslim
their height. Genghis named his third son, the charismatic Ögedei, as
his heir. According to
Genghis Khan was buried in a
secret location. The regency was originally held by Ögedei's younger
Tolui until Ögedei's formal election at the kurultai in
Among his first actions
Ögedei sent troops to subjugate the Bashkirs,
Bulgars, and other nations in the Kipchak-controlled steppes. In
the east, Ögedei's armies re-established
Mongol authority in
Manchuria, crushing the Eastern Xia regime and the Water Tatars. In
1230, the great khan personally led his army in the campaign against
the Jin dynasty of China. Ögedei's general
Subutai captured the
capital of Emperor Wanyan Shouxu in the siege of Kaifeng in 1232.
The Jin dynasty collapsed in 1234 when the
Mongols captured Caizhou,
the town to which Wanyan Shouxu had fled. In 1234, three armies
commanded by Ögedei's sons Kochu and Koten and the Tangut general
Chagan invaded southern China. With the assistance of the Song dynasty
Mongols finished off the Jin in 1234.
Han Chinese and Khitan defected to the
Mongols to fight against
the Jin. Two
Han Chinese leaders, Shi Tianze, Liu Heima (劉黑馬,
Liu Ni), and the Khitan Xiao Zhala defected and commanded the 3
Tumens in the
Mongol army. Liu Heima and
Shi Tianze served Ogödei
Khan. Liu Heima and Shi Tianxiang led armies against Western Xia
for the Mongols. There were four Han Tumens and three Khitan
Tumens, with each Tumen consisting of 10,000 troops. The Yuan dynasty
created a Han army 漢軍 from Jin defectors, and another of ex-Song
troops called the Newly Submitted Army 新附軍.
In the West Ögedei's general
Chormaqan destroyed Jalal ad-Din
Mingburnu, the last shah of the Khwarizmian Empire. The small kingdoms
in southern Persia voluntarily accepted
Mongol supremacy. In
East Asia, there were a number of Mongolian campaigns into Goryeo
Korea, but Ögedei's attempt to annex the
Korean Peninsula met with
little success. Gojong, the king of Goryeo, surrendered but later
revolted and massacred
Mongol darughachis (overseers); he then moved
his imperial court from
Gaeseong to Ganghwa Island.
As the empire grew,
Ögedei established a
Mongol capital at Karakorum
in northwestern Mongolia.
Kievan Rus' and central China
Mongol invasion of Rus'
Mongol invasion of Rus' and
Mongol invasion of China
Mongol invasions of India,
Mongol invasions of Korea, and
Mongol conquest of Tibet
The sack of
Batu Khan in 1238, miniature from a 16th-century
Meanwhile, in an offensive action against the Song dynasty, Mongol
armies captured Siyang-yang, the Yangtze and Sichuan, but did not
secure their control over the conquered areas. The Song generals were
able to recapture Siyang-yang from the
Mongols in 1239. After the
sudden death of Ögedei's son Kochu in Chinese territory the Mongols
withdrew from southern China, although Kochu's brother Prince Koten
Tibet immediately after their withdrawal.
Batu Khan, another grandson of Genghis Khan, overran the territories
of the Bulgars, the Alans, the Kypchaks, Bashkirs, Mordvins, Chuvash,
and other nations of the southern Russian steppe. By 1237 the Mongols
were encroaching upon Ryazan, the first
Kievan Rus' principality they
were to attack. After a three-day siege involving fierce fighting, the
Mongols captured the city and massacred its inhabitants. They then
proceeded to destroy the army of the
Grand Principality of Vladimir
Grand Principality of Vladimir at
the Battle of the Sit River.
Mongols captured the
Maghas in 1238. By 1240, all
Kievan Rus' had fallen to the Asian invaders except for a few northern
Mongol troops under
Chormaqan in Persia connecting his
Transcaucasia with the invasion of Batu and Subutai,
forced the Georgian and Armenian nobles to surrender as well.
Giovanni de Plano Carpini, the pope's envoy to the
Mongol great khan,
Kiev in February 1246 and wrote:
They [the Mongols] attacked Russia, where they made great havoc,
destroying cities and fortresses and slaughtering men; and they laid
siege to Kiev, the capital of Russia; after they had besieged the city
for a long time, they took it and put the inhabitants to death. When
we were journeying through that land we came across countless skulls
and bones of dead men lying about on the ground.
Kiev had been a very
large and thickly populated town, but now it has been reduced almost
to nothing, for there are at the present time scarce two hundred
houses there and the inhabitants are kept in complete slavery.
Despite the military successes, strife continued within the Mongol
ranks. Batu's relations with Güyük, Ögedei's eldest son, and Büri,
the beloved grandson of Chagatai Khan, remained tense and worsened
during Batu's victory banquet in southern Kievan Rus'. Nevertheless,
Güyük and Buri could not do anything to harm Batu's position as long
as his uncle
Ögedei was still alive.
Ögedei continued with
offensives into the Indian subcontinent, temporarily investing Uchch,
Multan of the
Delhi Sultanate and stationing a Mongol
overseer in Kashmir, though the invasions into India eventually
failed and were forced to retreat. In northeastern Asia, Ögedei
agreed to end the conflict with
Goryeo by making it a client state and
sent Mongolian princesses to wed
Goryeo princes. He then reinforced
his keshig with the Koreans through both diplomacy and military
Push into central Europe
Mongol invasion of Europe
The battle of Liegnitz, 1241. From a medieval manuscript of the Hedwig
The advance into Europe continued with
Mongol invasions of Poland and
Hungary. When the western flank of the
Mongols plundered Polish
cities, a European alliance among the Poles, the Moravians, and the
Christian military orders of the Hospitallers,
Teutonic Knights and
the Templars assembled sufficient forces to halt, although briefly,
Mongol advance at Legnica. The Hungarian army, their Croatian
allies and the Templar Knights were beaten by
Mongols at the banks of
the Sajo River on 11 April 1241. Before Batu's forces could
continue on to
Vienna and northern Albania, news of Ögedei's death in
December 1241 brought a halt to the invasion. As was customary
Mongol military tradition, all princes of Genghis's line had to
attend the kurultai to elect a successor. Batu and his western Mongol
army withdrew from
Central Europe the next year.
Ögedei power struggles (1241–1251)
Great Khan Ögedei's death in 1241, and before the next
kurultai, Ögedei's widow
Töregene took over the empire. She
persecuted her husband's Khitan and Muslim officials and gave high
positions to her own allies. She built palaces, cathedrals, and social
structures on an imperial scale, supporting religion and
education. She was able to win over most
Mongol aristocrats to
support Ögedei's son Güyük. But Batu, ruler of the Golden Horde,
refused to come to the kurultai, claiming that he was ill and that the
Mongolian climate was too harsh for him. The resulting stalemate
lasted more than four years and further destabilized the unity of the
Batu Khan consolidates the Golden Horde
When Genghis Khan's youngest brother
Temüge threatened to seize the
Güyük came to
Karakorum to try to secure his position.
Batu eventually agreed to send his brothers and generals to the
kurultai convened by
Töregene in 1246.
Güyük by this time was ill
and alcoholic, but his campaigns in
Manchuria and Europe gave him the
kind of stature necessary for a great khan. He was duly elected at a
ceremony attended by
Mongols and foreign dignitaries from both within
and without the empire – leaders of vassal nations,
representatives from Rome, and other entities who came to the kurultai
to show their respects and conduct diplomacy.
Güyük Khan demanding Pope Innocent IV's submission. The letter was
written in Persian.
Güyük took steps to reduce corruption, announcing that he would
continue the policies of his father Ögedei, not those of Töregene.
He punished Töregene's supporters, except for governor
Elder. He also replaced young Qara Hülëgü, the khan of the Chagatai
Khanate, with his favorite cousin Yesü Möngke, to assert his newly
conferred powers. He restored his father's officials to their
former positions and was surrounded by Uyghur, Naiman and Central
Asian officials, favoring
Han Chinese commanders who had helped his
father conquer Northern China. He continued military operations in
Korea, advanced into Song China in the south, and into
Iraq in the
west, and ordered an empire-wide census.
Güyük also divided the
Sultanate of Rum
Sultanate of Rum between Izz-ad-Din Kaykawus and Rukn ad-Din Kilij
Arslan, though Kaykawus disagreed with this decision.
Not all parts of the empire respected Güyük's election. The
Mongol allies whose Grand Master Hasan
Jalalud-Din had offered his submission to
Genghis Khan in 1221,
Güyük by refusing to submit. Instead he murdered the Mongol
generals in Persia.
Güyük appointed his best friend's father
Eljigidei as chief commander of the troops in Persia and gave them the
task of both reducing the strongholds of the
Assassins Muslim movement
and conquering the
Abbasids at the center of the Islamic world, Iran
Güyük raised more troops and suddenly marched westwards
Mongol capital of Karakorum. The reasoning was unclear. Some
sources wrote that he sought to recuperate at his personal estate,
Emyl; others suggested that he might have been moving to join
Eljigidei to conduct a full-scale conquest of the Middle East, or
possibly to make a surprise attack on his rival cousin
Batu Khan in
Suspicious of Güyük's motives, Sorghaghtani Beki, the widow of
Genghis's son Tolui, secretly warned her nephew Batu of Güyük's
approach. Batu had himself been traveling eastwards at the time,
possibly to pay homage, or perhaps with other plans in mind. Before
the forces of Batu and
Güyük met, Güyük, sick and worn out by
travel, died en route at Qum-Senggir (Hong-siang-yi-eulh) in Xinjiang,
possibly a victim of poison.
A Stone Turtle at the site of the
Mongol capital, Karakorum.
Oghul Qaimish stepped forward to take control of the
empire, but she lacked the skills of her mother-in-law Töregene, and
her young sons Khoja and Naku and other princes challenged her
authority. To decide on a new great khan, Batu called a kurultai on
his own territory in 1250. As it was far from the Mongolian heartland,
members of the Ögedeid and Chagataid families refused to attend. The
kurultai offered the throne to Batu, but he rejected it, claiming he
had no interest in the position. Batu instead nominated Möngke, a
grandson of Genghis from his son Tolui's lineage. Möngke was leading
Mongol army in Russia, the northern
Caucasus and Hungary. The
Tolui faction supported Batu's choice, and Möngke was elected;
though given the kurultai's limited attendance and location, it was of
Batu sent Möngke, under the protection of his brothers,
Tukhtemur, and his son
Sartaq to assemble a more formal kurultai at
Kodoe Aral in the heartland. The supporters of Möngke repeatedly
Oghul Qaimish and the other major Ögedeid and Chagataid
princes to attend the kurultai, but they refused each time. The
Ögedeid and Chagataid princes refused to accept a descendant of
Tolui as leader, demanding that only descendants of
Ögedei could be great khan.
Möngke Khan (1251–1259)
When Möngke's mother Sorghaghtani and their cousin
Berke organized a
second kurultai on 1 July 1251, the assembled throng proclaimed
Möngke great khan of the
Mongol Empire. This marked a major shift in
the leadership of the empire, transferring power from the descendants
of Genghis's son
Ögedei to the descendants of Genghis's son Tolui.
The decision was acknowledged by a few of the Ögedeid and Chagataid
princes, such as Möngke's cousin
Kadan and the deposed khan Qara
Hülëgü, but one of the other legitimate heirs, Ögedei's grandson
Shiremun, sought to topple Möngke.
Shiremun moved with his own forces towards the emperor's nomadic
palace with a plan for an armed attack, but Möngke was alerted by his
falconer of the plan. Möngke ordered an investigation of the plot,
which led to a series of major trials all across the empire. Many
members of the
Mongol elite were found guilty and put to death, with
estimates ranging from 77–300, though princes of Genghis's royal
line were often exiled rather than executed.
Möngke confiscated the estates of the Ögedeid and the Chagatai
families and shared the western part of the empire with his ally Batu
Khan. After the bloody purge, Möngke ordered a general amnesty for
prisoners and captives, but thereafter the power of the great khan's
throne remained firmly with the descendants of Tolui.
Möngke was a serious man who followed the laws of his ancestors and
avoided alcoholism. He was tolerant of outside religions and artistic
styles, leading to the building of foreign merchants' quarters,
Buddhist monasteries, mosques, and
Christian churches in the Mongol
capital. As construction projects continued,
Karakorum was adorned
with Chinese, European, and Persian architecture. One famous example
was a large silver tree with cleverly designed pipes that dispensed
various drinks. The tree, topped by a triumphant angel, was crafted by
Guillaume Boucher, a Parisian goldsmith.
Hulagu, Genghis Khan's grandson and founder of the Il-Khanate. From a
medieval Persian manuscript.
Although he had a strong Chinese contingent, Möngke relied heavily on
Mongol administrators and launched a series of economic
reforms to make government expenses more predictable. His court
limited government spending and prohibited nobles and troops from
abusing civilians or issuing edicts without authorization. He commuted
the contribution system to a fixed poll tax which was collected by
imperial agents and forwarded to units in need. His court also
tried to lighten the tax burden on commoners by reducing tax rates. He
also centralized control of monetary affairs and reinforced the guards
at the postal relays. Möngke ordered an empire-wide census in 1252
that took several years to complete and was not finished until
Novgorod in the far northwest was counted in 1258.
In another move to consolidate his power, Möngke assigned his
Kublai to rule Persia and Mongol-held China
respecively. In the southern part of the empire he continued his
predecessors' struggle against the Song dynasty. In order to outflank
the Song from three directions, Möngke dispatched
Mongol armies under
Kublai to Yunnan, and under his uncle Iyeku to subdue
Korea and pressure the Song from that direction as well.
Kublai conquered the
Dali Kingdom in 1253 after the Dali King Duan
Xingzhi defected to the
Mongols and helped them conquer the rest of
Yunnan. Möngke's general Qoridai stabilized his control over Tibet,
inducing leading monasteries to submit to
Mongol rule. Subutai's son
Uryankhadai reduced the neighboring peoples of
Yunnan to submission
and defeated the
Trần dynasty in northern
Vietnam in 1257, but they
had to draw back in 1258. The
Empire tried to invade
Vietnam again in 1284 and 1287 but were defeated both times.
New invasions of the Middle East and Southern China
Mongol invasions of the Levant
Mongol invasion of China
Mongol invasion of China and Siege of Baghdad (1258)
Mongol invasion of Baghdad
After stabilizing the empire's finances, Möngke once again sought to
expand its borders. At kurultais in
Karakorum in 1253 and 1258 he
approved new invasions of the Middle East and south China. Möngke put
Hulagu in overall charge of military and civil affairs in Persia, and
appointed Chagataids and Jochids to join Hulagu's army.
The Muslims from
Qazvin denounced the menace of the
Nizari Ismailis, a
heretical sect of Shiites. The
Mongol Naiman commander
to assault several Ismaili fortresses in 1253, before
in 1256. Ismaili Grand Master Rukn ud-Din surrendered in 1257 and was
executed. All of the Ismaili strongholds in Persia were destroyed by
Hulagu's army in 1257, except for Girdukh which held out until
Fall of Baghdad, 1258
The center of the Islamic
Empire at the time was Baghdad, which had
held power for 500 years but was suffering internal divisions. When
its caliph al-Mustasim refused to submit to the Mongols, Baghdad was
besieged and captured by the
Mongols in 1258 and subjected to a
merciless sack, an event considered as one of the most catastrophic
events in the history of Islam, and sometimes compared to the rupture
of the Kaaba. With the destruction of the Abbasid Caliphate, Hulagu
had an open route to Syria and moved against the other Muslim powers
in the region.
His army advanced towards Ayyubid-ruled Syria, capturing small local
states en route. The sultan
Al-Nasir Yusuf of the Ayyubids refused to
show himself before Hulagu; however, he had accepted
two decades earlier. When
Hulagu headed further west, the Armenians
from Cilicia, the
Rum and the Christian realms of Antioch
Tripoli submitted to
Mongol authority, joining the them in their
assault against the Muslims. While some cities surrendered without
resisting, others such as Mayafarriqin fought back; their populations
were massacred and the cities were sacked.
Möngke Khan (1259)
The extent of the
Empire after the death of Möngke Khan
Meanwhile, in the northwestern portion of the empire, Batu's successor
and younger brother
Berke sent punitive expeditions to Ukraine,
Lithuania and Poland. Dissension began brewing between the
northwestern and southwestern sections of the
Empire as Batu
suspected that Hulagu's invasion of Western Asia would result in the
elimination of Batu's own dominance there.
In the southern part of the empire,
Möngke Khan himself led his army
to complete the conquest of China. Military operations were generally
successful, but prolonged, so the forces did not withdraw to the north
as was customary when the weather turned hot. Disease ravaged the
Mongol forces with bloody epidemics, and Möngke died there on 11
August 1259. This event began a new chapter in the history of the
Mongols, as again a decision needed to be made on a new great khan.
Mongol armies across the empire withdrew from their campaigns to
convene a new kurultai.
Dispute over succession
Mongols at war
Hulagu broke off his successful military advance
into Syria, withdrawing the bulk of his forces to
Mughan and leaving
only a small contingent under his general Kitbuqa. The opposing forces
in the region, the Christian Crusaders and Muslim Mamluks, both
recognizing that the
Mongols were the greater threat, took advantage
of the weakened state of the
Mongol army and engaged in an unusual
passive truce with each other.
In 1260, the Mamluks advanced from Egypt, being allowed to camp and
resupply near the Christian stronghold of Acre, and engaged Kitbuqa's
forces just north of
Galilee at the Battle of Ain Jalut. The Mongols
were defeated, and
Kitbuqa executed. This pivotal battle marked the
western limit for
Mongol expansion in the Middle East, and the Mongols
were never again able to make serious military advances farther than
In a separate part of the empire,
Kublai Khan, another brother of
Hulagu and Möngke, heard of the great khan's death at the Huai River
in China. Rather than returning to the capital, he continued his
advance into the Wuchang area of China, near the Yangtze River. Their
younger brother Ariqboke took advantage of the absence of
Kublai, and used his position at the capital to win the title of great
khan for himself, with representatives of all the family branches
proclaiming him as the leader at the kurultai in Karakorum. When
Kublai learned of this, he summoned his own kurultai at Kaiping, and
nearly all the senior princes and great noyans in
North China and
Manchuria supported his own candidacy over that of Ariqboke.
Mongolian Civil War
Toluid Civil War
Toluid Civil War and Berke–
Kublai Khan, Genghis Khan's grandson and founder of the Yuan dynasty
Battles ensued between the armies of
Kublai and those of his brother
Ariqboke, which included forces still loyal to Möngke's previous
administration. Kublai's army easily eliminated Ariqboke's supporters
and seized control of the civil administration in southern Mongolia.
Further challenges took place from their cousins, the
Kublai sent Abishka, a Chagataid prince loyal
to him, to take charge of Chagatai's realm. But Ariqboke captured and
then executed Abishka, having his own man
Alghu crowned there instead.
Kublai's new administration blockaded Ariqboke in
Mongolia to cut off
food supplies, causing a famine.
Karakorum fell quickly to Kublai, but
Ariqboke rallied and re-took the capital in 1261.
In southwestern Ilkhanate,
Hulagu was loyal to his brother Kublai, but
clashes with their cousin Berke, the ruler of the Golden Horde, began
in 1262. The suspicious deaths of Jochid princes in Hulagu's service,
unequal distribution of war booty, and Hulagu's massacres of Muslims
increased the anger of Berke, who considered supporting a rebellion of
the Georgian Kingdom against Hulagu's rule in 1259–1260.[full
Berke also forged an alliance with the Egyptian
Hulagu and supported Kublai's rival claimant,
Hulagu died on 8 February 1264.
Berke sought to take advantage and
invade Hulagu's realm, but he died along the way, and a few months
Alghu Khan of the
Chagatai Khanate died as well.
Hulagu's son Abaqa as new Ilkhan, and nominated Batu's grandson
Möngke Temür to lead the Golden Horde. Abaqa sought foreign
alliances, such as attempting to form a Franco-
Mongol alliance against
the Egyptian Mamluks. Ariqboqe surrendered to
21 August 1264.
Kublai Khan (1264–1294)
Kublai Khan's Campaigns
The samurai Suenaga facing Mongol's bomb and Goryeo's arrows. Mōko
Shūrai Ekotoba (蒙古襲来絵詞), circa 1293.
In the south, after the fall of Xiangyang in 1273, the
the final conquest of the
Song dynasty in South China. In 1271, Kublai
renamed the new
Mongol regime in China as the
Yuan dynasty and sought
to sinicize his image as
Emperor of China
Emperor of China to win the control of the
Kublai moved his headquarters to Dadu, the genesis for
what later became the modern city of Beijing. His establishment of a
capital there was a controversial move to many
Mongols who accused him
of being too closely tied to Chinese culture.
Mongols were eventually successful in their campaigns against
(Song) China, and the Chinese Song imperial family surrendered to the
Yuan in 1276, making the
Mongols the first non-Chinese people to
conquer all of China.
Kublai used his base to build a powerful empire,
creating an academy, offices, trade ports and canals, and sponsoring
arts and science.
Mongol records list 20,166 public schools created
during his reign.
Mongol warrior on horseback, preparing a mounted archery shot.
After achieving actual or nominal dominion over much of
successfully conquering China,
Kublai pursued further expansion. His
invasions of Burma and
Sakhalin were costly, and his attempted
invasions of Annam and
Champa ended in devastating defeat, but secured
vassal statuses of those countries. The
Mongol armies were repeatedly
beaten in Annam and were crushed at the Battle of Bạch Đằng
Nogai and Konchi, the khan of the White Horde, established friendly
relations with the
Yuan dynasty and the Ilkhanate. Political
disagreement among contending branches of the family over the office
of great khan continued, but the economic and commercial success of
Empire continued despite the squabbling.
Disintegration into competing entities
Main article: Division of the
The funeral of Chagatai Khan.
Major changes occurred in the
Empire in the late 1200s. Kublai
Khan, after having conquered all of China and established the Yuan
dynasty, died in 1294. He was succeeded by his grandson Temür Khan,
who continued Kublai's policies. At the same time the Toluid Civil
War, along with the Berke–
Hulagu war and the subsequent
Kublai war, greatly weakened the authority of the great khan
over the entirety of the
Empire and the empire fractured into
autonomous khanates, the
Yuan dynasty and the three western khanates:
the Golden Horde, the
Chagatai Khanate and the Ilkhanate. Only the
Ilkhanate remained loyal to the Yuan court but endured its own power
struggle, in part because of a dispute with the growing Islamic
factions within the southwestern part of the empire.
After the death of Kaidu, the Chatagai ruler
Duwa initiated a peace
proposal and persuaded the Ögedeids to submit to Temür Khan.
In 1304, all of the khanates approved a peace treaty and accepted Yuan
emperor Temür's supremacy. This established the
nominal supremacy of the
Yuan dynasty over the western khanates, which
was to last for several decades. This supremacy was based on weaker
foundations than that of the earlier Khagans and each of the four
khanates continued to develop separately and function as independent
Nearly a century of conquest and civil war was followed by relative
stability, the Pax Mongolica, and international trade and cultural
exchanges flourished between Asia and Europe. Communication between
Yuan dynasty in China and the
Ilkhanate in Persia further
encouraged trade and commerce between east and west. Patterns of Yuan
royal textiles could be found on the opposite side of the empire
adorning Armenian decorations; trees and vegetables were transplanted
across the empire; and technological innovations spread from Mongol
dominions towards the West.
Pope John XXII
Pope John XXII was
presented a memorandum from the eastern church describing the Pax
Khagan is one of the greatest monarchs and all lords
of the state, e.g., the king of Almaligh (Chagatai Khanate), emperor
Abu Said and Uzbek Khan, are his subjects, saluting his holiness to
pay their respects." However, while the four khanates continued to
interact with one another well into the 14th century, they did so as
sovereign states and never again pooled their resources in a
cooperative military endeavor.
Development of the khanates
A European depiction of the four khans, Temür (Yuan), Chapar (House
Toqta (Golden Horde), and
Öljaitü (Ilkhanate), in the
Fleur des histoires d'orient.
In spite of his conflicts with
Kaidu and Duwa, Yuan emperor Temür
established a tributary relationship with the war-like Shan people
after his series of military operations against
Thailand from 1297 to
1303. This was to mark the end of the southern expansion of the
Ghazan took the throne of the
Ilkhanate in 1295, he formally
Islam as his own religion, marking a turning point in Mongol
history after which
Mongol Persia became more and more Islamic.
Ghazan continued to strengthen ties with
Temür Khan and
Yuan dynasty in the east. It was politically useful to advertise
the great khan's authority in the Ilkhanate, because the Golden Horde
in Russia had long made claims on nearby Georgia. Within four
Ghazan began sending tribute to the Yuan court and appealing to
other khans to accept
Temür Khan as their overlord. He oversaw an
extensive program of cultural and scientific interaction between the
Ilkhanate and the
Yuan dynasty in the following decades.
Ghazan's faith may have been Islamic, but he continued his ancestors'
war with the Egyptian Mamluks, and consulted with his old Mongolian
advisers in his native tongue. He defeated the Mamluk army at the
Battle of Wadi al-Khazandar
Battle of Wadi al-Khazandar in 1299, but he was only briefly able to
occupy Syria, due to distracting raids from the
Chagatai Khanate under
its de facto ruler Kaidu, who was at war with both the Ilkhans and the
Yuan dynasty.
Struggling for influence within the Golden Horde,
Kaidu sponsored his
own candidate Kobeleg against Bayan (r. 1299–1304), the khan of the
White Horde. Bayan, after receiving military support from the Mongols
in Russia, requested assistance from both
Temür Khan and the
Ilkhanate to organize a unified attack against Kaidu's forces. Temür
was amenable and attacked
Kaidu a year later. After a bloody battle
with Temür's armies near the
Zawkhan River in 1301,
Kaidu died and
was succeeded by Duwa.
Béla IV in flight from the
Mongols under general Kadan
of the Golden Horde.
Duwa was challenged by Kaidu's son Chapar, but with the assistance of
Duwa defeated the Ögedeids.
Tokhta of the Golden Horde, also
seeking a general peace, sent 20,000 men to buttress the Yuan
Tokhta died in 1312, though, and was succeeded by Ozbeg
(r. 1313–41), who seized the throne of the
Golden Horde and
persecuted non-Muslim Mongols. The Yuan's influence on the Horde was
largely reversed and border clashes between
Mongol states resumed.
Ayurbarwada Buyantu Khan's envoys backed Tokhta's son against
In the Chagatai Khanate,
Esen Buqa I (r. 1309–1318) was enthroned as
khan after suppressing a sudden rebellion by Ögedei's descendants and
driving Chapar into exile. The Yuan and Ilkhanid armies eventually
attacked the Chagatai Khanate. Recognising the potential economic
benefits and the Genghisid legacy,
Ozbeg reopened friendly relations
with the Yuan in 1326. He strengthened ties with the Muslim world as
well, building mosques and other elaborate structures such as
baths. By the second decade of the 14th century,
Mongol invasions had further decreased. In 1323, Abu Said Khan (r.
1316–35) of the
Ilkhanate signed a peace treaty with Egypt. At his
request, the Yuan court awarded his custodian
Chupan the title of
commander-in-chief of all
Mongol khanates, but
Chupan died in late
Civil war erupted in the
Yuan dynasty in 1328–29. After the death of
Yesün Temür in 1328,
Tugh Temür became the new leader in Dadu,
while Yesün Temür's son Ragibagh succeeded to the throne in Shangdu,
leading to the civil war known as the War of the Two Capitals. Tugh
Temür defeated Ragibagh, but the Chagatai khan
1326–29) supported Kusala, elder brother of Tugh Temür, as great
khan. He invaded with a commanding force, and
Tugh Temür abdicated.
Kusala was elected khan on 30 August 1329. Kusala was then poisoned by
Kypchak commander under Tugh Temür, who returned to power.
Tugh Temür (1304–32) was knowledgeable about
Chinese language and
history and was also a creditable poet, calligrapher, and painter. In
order to be accepted by other khanates as the sovereign of the Mongol
world, he sent Genghisid princes and descendants notable Mongol
generals to the Chagatai Khanate, Ilkhan Abu Said, and Ozbeg. In
response to the emissaries, they all agreed to send tribute each
Tugh Temür gave lavish presents and an
imperial seal to
Eljigidey to mollify his anger.
Relict states of the
With the death of Ilkhan Abu Said Bahatur in 1335,
faltered and Persia fell into political anarchy. A year later his
successor was killed by an Oirat governor, and the
divided between the Suldus, the Jalayir, Qasarid
Togha Temür (d.
1353), and Persian warlords. Taking advantage of the chaos, the
Georgians pushed the
Mongols out of their territory, and the Uyghur
commander Eretna established an independent state (Ertenids) in
Anatolia in 1336. Following the downfall of their
Mongol masters, the
loyal vassal, the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia, received escalating
threats from the Mamluks and were eventually overrun.
Along with the dissolution of the
Ilkhanate in Persia,
in China and the
Chagatai Khanate were also in turmoil. The plague
known as the Black Death, which started in the
Mongol dominions and
spread to Europe, added to the confusion. Disease devastated all the
khanates, cutting off commercial ties and killing millions.
Plague may have taken 50 million lives in Europe alone in the 14th
Battle of Blue Waters
Battle of Blue Waters between the armies of
Lithuania and the
Golden Horde in 1362
As the power of the
Mongols declined, chaos erupted throughout the
empire as non-
Mongol leaders expanded their own influence. The Golden
Horde lost all of its western dominions (including modern
Ukraine) to Poland and
Lithuania between 1342 and 1369. Muslim and
non-Muslim princes in the
Chagatai Khanate warred with each other from
1331–43, and the
Chagatai Khanate disintegrated when non-Genghisid
warlords set up their own puppet khans in
Transoxiana and Moghulistan.
Janibeg Khan (r. 1342–1357) briefly reasserted Jochid dominance over
the Chaghataids. Demanding submission from an offshoot of the
Ilkhanate in Azerbaijan, he boasted that "today three uluses are under
Tatar khan, Mengli Giray.
However, rival families of the Jochids began fighting for the throne
Golden Horde after the assassination of his successor Berdibek
Khan in 1359. The last Yuan ruler
Toghan Temür (r. 1333–70) was
powerless to regulate those troubles, a sign that the empire had
nearly reached its end. His court's unbacked currency had entered a
hyperinflationary spiral and the Han-Chinese people revolted due to
the Yuan's harsh impositions. In the 1350s Gongmin of Goryeo
successfully pushed Mongolian garrisons back and exterminated the
Toghan Temür Khan's empress while Tai Situ Changchub
Gyaltsen managed to eliminate the
Mongol influence in Tibet.
Increasingly isolated from their subjects, the
Mongols quickly lost
most of China to the rebellious Ming forces and in 1368 fled to their
heartland in Mongolia. After the overthrow of the
Yuan dynasty the
Golden Horde lost touch with
Mongolia and China, while the two main
parts of the
Chagatai Khanate were defeated by
(1336–1405), who founded the Timurid Empire. However, remnants of
Chagatai Khanate survived; the last Chagataid state to survive was
the Yarkent Khanate, until its defeat by the Oirat
Dzungar Khanate in
Dzungar conquest of Altishahr
Dzungar conquest of Altishahr in 1680. The
Golden Horde broke into
smaller Turkic-hordes that declined steadily in power over four
centuries. Among them, the khanate's shadow, the Great Horde, survived
until 1502, when one of its successors, the
Crimean Khanate, sacked
Crimean Khanate lasted until 1783, whereas khanates
such as the
Khanate of Bukhara
Khanate of Bukhara and the
Kazakh Khanate lasted even
Mongol military tactics and organization
Reconstruction of a
The number of troops mustered by the partly
Turkic is the subject of some scholarly debate, but was
at least 105,000 in 1206. The
Mongol military organization was
simple but effective, based on the decimal system. The army was built
up from squads of ten men each, arbans (10 people), zuuns (100),
Mingghans (1000), and tumens (10,000).
Mongols were most famous for their horse archers, but troops armed
with lances were equally skilled, and the
Mongols recruited other
military talents from the lands they conquered. With experienced
Chinese engineers and a bombardier corps which was expert at building
trebuchets, catapults and other machines, the
Mongols could lay siege
to fortified positions, sometimes building machinery on the spot using
available local resources.
Subutai of the Golden Horde
Forces under the command of the
Empire were trained, organized,
and equipped for mobility and speed.
Mongol soldiers were more lightly
armored than many of the armies they faced but were able to make up
for it with maneuverability. Each
Mongol warrior would usually travel
with multiple horses, allowing him to quickly switch to a fresh mount
as needed. In addition, soldiers of the
Mongol army functioned
independently of supply lines, considerably speeding up army
movement. Skillful use of couriers enabled the leaders of these
armies to maintain contact with each other.
Discipline was inculcated during a nerge (traditional hunt), as
reported by Juvayni. These hunts were distinctive from hunts in other
cultures, being the equivalent to small unit actions.
would spread out in a line, surround an entire region, and then drive
all of the game within that area together. The goal was to let none of
the animals escape and to slaughter them all.
Another advantage of the
Mongols was their ability to traverse large
distances, even in unusually cold winters; for instance, frozen rivers
led them like highways to large urban centers on their banks. The
Mongols were adept at river-work, crossing the river
Sajó in spring
flood conditions with thirty thousand cavalry soldiers in a single
night during the
Battle of Mohi
Battle of Mohi (April 1241) to defeat the Hungarian
king Béla IV. Similarly, in the attack against the Muslim
Khwarezmshah a flotilla of barges was used to prevent escape on the
Traditionally known for their prowess with ground forces, the Mongols
rarely used naval power. In the 1260s and 1270s they used seapower
while conquering the
Song dynasty of China, though their attempts to
mount seaborne campaigns against Japan were unsuccessful. Around the
Eastern Mediterranean, their campaigns were almost exclusively
land-based, with the seas controlled by the Crusader and Mamluk
All military campaigns were preceded by careful planning,
reconnaissance, and the gathering of sensitive information relating to
enemy territories and forces. The success, organization, and mobility
Mongol armies permitted them to fight on several fronts at
once. All adult males up to the age of 60 were eligible for
conscription into the army, a source of honor in their tribal warrior
Main article: Society of the
Law and governance
See also: Organization of the
Empire under Genghis Khan
The executed – the long and full beard probably means he is not a
Mongol – has been thrown off a cliff.
Empire was governed by a code of law devised by Genghis,
called Yassa, meaning "order" or "decree". A particular canon of this
code was that those of rank shared much the same hardship as the
common man. It also imposed severe penalties – e.g., the death
penalty if one mounted soldier following another did not pick up
something dropped from the mount in front. Penalties were also decreed
for rape and to some extent for murder. Any resistance to
was met with massive collective punishment. Cities were destroyed and
their inhabitants slaughtered if they defied
needed] Under Yassa, chiefs and generals were selected based on merit.
The empire was governed by a non-democratic, parliamentary-style
central assembly, called kurultai, in which the
Mongol chiefs met with
the great khan to discuss domestic and foreign policies. Kurultais
were also convened for the selection of each new great khan.
Genghis Khan also created a national seal, encouraged the use of a
written alphabet in Mongolia, and exempted teachers, lawyers, and
artists from taxes.
Mongols imported Central Asian Muslims to serve as administrators
in China and sent
Han Chinese and Khitans from China to serve as
administrators over the Muslim population in
Bukhara in Central Asia,
thus using foreigners to curtail the power of the local peoples of
both lands. The
Mongols were tolerant of other religions, and
rarely persecuted people on religious grounds. This was associated
with their culture and progressive thought. Some historians of the
20th century thought this was a good military strategy: when Genghis
was at war with Sultan Muhammad of Khwarezm, other Islamic leaders did
not join the fight, as it was seen as a non-holy war between two
Religion in the
Persian miniature depicting Ghazan's conversion from
At the time of Genghis Khan, virtually every religion had found Mongol
Buddhism to Christianity, from
Manichaeism to Islam. To
Genghis Khan set up an institution that ensured complete
religious freedom, though he himself was a tengrist or shamanist.
Under his administration, all religious leaders were exempt from
taxation and from public service.
Initially there were few formal places of worship because of the
nomadic lifestyle. However, under
Ögedei (1186–1241), several
building projects were undertaken in the
Mongol capital. Along with
Ögedei built houses of worship for the Buddhist, Muslim,
Christian, and Taoist followers. The dominant religions at that time
were Shamanism, Tengrism, and Buddhism, although Ögedei's wife was a
Eventually, each of the successor states adopted the dominant religion
of the local populations: the Chinese-Mongolian
Yuan dynasty in the
East (originally the great khan's domain) embraced
Shamanism, while the three Western khanates adopted
Arts and literature
See also: List of historical cities and towns of Mongolia
The oldest surviving literary work in the
Mongolian language is The
Secret History of the Mongols, which was written for the royal family
some time after Genghis Khan's death in 1227. It is the most
significant native account of Genghis's life and genealogy, covering
his origins and childhood through to the establishment of the Mongol
Empire and the reign of his son, Ögedei.
Another classic from the empire is the Jami' al-tawarikh, or
"Universal History". It was commissioned in the early 14th century by
Abaqa Khan as a way of documenting the entire world's
history, to help establish the Mongols' own cultural legacy.
Mongol scribes in the 14th century used a mixture of resin and
vegetable pigments as a primitive form of correction fluid; this
is arguably its first known usage.
Mongols also appreciated the visual arts, though their taste in
portraiture was strictly focused on portraits of their horses, rather
than of people.
Main article: Yam (route)
A 1305 letter (on a scroll measuring 302 by 50 centimetres (9.91 by
1.64 ft)) from the Ilkhan
Öljaitü to King Philip IV of
Empire had an ingenious and efficient mail system for the
time, often referred to by scholars as the Yam. It had lavishly
furnished and well-guarded relay posts known as örtöö set up
throughout the Empire. A messenger would typically travel 25
miles (40 km) from one station to the next, either receiving a
fresh, rested horse, or relaying the mail to the next rider to ensure
the speediest possible delivery. The
Mongol riders regularly covered
125 miles (200 km) per day, better than the fastest record set by
the Pony Express some 600 years later. The relay
stations had attached households to service them. Anyone with a paiza
was allowed to stop there for re-mounts and specified rations, while
those carrying military identities used the Yam even without a paiza.
Many merchants, messengers, and travelers from China, the Middle East,
and Europe used the system. When the great khan died in Karakorum,
news reached the
Mongol forces under
Batu Khan in Central Europe
within 4–6 weeks thanks to the Yam.
Genghis and his successor
Ögedei built a wide system of roads, one of
which carved through the Altai mountains. After his enthronement,
Ögedei further expanded the road system, ordering the Chagatai
Golden Horde to link up roads in western parts of the
Kublai Khan, founder of the Yuan dynasty, built special relays for
high officials, as well as ordinary relays, that had hostels. During
Kublai's reign, the Yuan communication system consisted of some 1,400
postal stations, which used 50,000 horses, 8,400 oxen, 6,700 mules,
4,000 carts, and 6,000 boats.
Manchuria and southern Siberia, the
Mongols still used dogsled
relays for the yam. In the Ilkhanate,
Ghazan restored the declining
relay system in the Middle East on a restricted scale. He constructed
some hostels and decreed that only imperial envoys could receive a
stipend. The Jochids of the
Golden Horde financed their relay system
by a special yam tax.
Main article: Silk Road
Pax Mongolica and Black Death
Tuda Mengu of the Golden Horde.
Mongols had a history of supporting merchants and trade. Genghis
Khan had encouraged foreign merchants early in his career, even before
uniting the Mongols. Merchants provided information about neighboring
cultures, served as diplomats and official traders for the Mongols,
and were essential for many goods, since the
Mongols produced little
of their own.
Mongols sometimes provided capital for merchants and sent them far
afield, in an ortoq (merchant partner) arrangement. As the empire
grew, any merchants or ambassadors with proper documentation and
authorization received protection and sanctuary as they traveled
Mongol realms. Well-traveled and relatively well-maintained
roads linked lands from the Mediterranean basin to China, greatly
increasing overland trade and resulting in some dramatic stories of
those who travelled through what would become known as the Silk Road.
Marco Polo traveled east along the Silk Road, and the
Rabban Bar Sauma
Rabban Bar Sauma made a comparably epic journey
along the route, venturing from his home of
Khanbaliq (Beijing) as far
as Europe. European missionaries, such as William of Rubruck, also
traveled to the
Mongol court to convert believers to their cause, or
went as papal envoys to correspond with
Mongol rulers in an attempt to
secure a Franco-
Mongol alliance. It was rare, however, for anyone to
journey the full length of Silk Road. Instead, merchants moved
products like a bucket brigade, goods being traded from one middleman
to another, moving from China all the way to the West; the goods moved
over such long distances fetched extravagant prices.
An Islamic gold coin inscribed in the name of Genghis Khan
After Genghis, the merchant partner business continued to flourish
under his successors
Ögedei and Güyük. Merchants brought clothing,
food, information, and other provisions to the imperial palaces, and
in return the great khans gave the merchants tax exemptions and
allowed them to use the official relay stations of the
Merchants also served as tax farmers in China, Russia and Iran. If the
merchants were attacked by bandits, losses were made up from the
imperial treasury.
Policies changed under the
Great Khan Möngke. Because of money
laundering and overtaxing, he attempted to limit abuses and sent
imperial investigators to supervise the ortoq businesses. He decreed
that all merchants must pay commercial and property taxes, and he paid
off all drafts drawn by high-ranking
Mongol elites from the merchants.
This policy continued under the Yuan dynasty.
The fall of the
Empire in the 14th century led to the collapse
of the political, cultural, and economic unity along the Silk Road.
Turkic tribes seized the western end of the route from the Byzantine
Empire, sowing the seeds of a Turkic culture that would later
crystallize into the
Ottoman Empire under the
Sunni faith. In the
East, the native Chinese overthrew the
Yuan dynasty in 1368, launching
Ming dynasty and pursuing a policy of economic
See also: History of Mongolia
Map showing the boundary of 13th century
Empire compared to
Mongols in Mongolia, Russia, the Central Asian States, and
Mongol Empire – at its height the largest contiguous empire
in history – had a lasting impact, unifying large regions. Some
of these (such as eastern and western Russia and the western parts of
China) remain unified today.
Mongols might have been assimilated
into local populations after the fall of the empire, and some of these
descendants adopted local religions – for example, the eastern
khanate largely adopted Buddhism, and the three western khanates
adopted Islam, largely under
According to some[specify] interpretations, Genghis Khan's conquests
caused wholesale destruction on an unprecedented scale in certain
geographical regions, leading to changes in the demographics of Asia.
Non-military achievements of the
Empire included the
introduction of a writing system, a
Mongol alphabet based on the
characters of the Uyghur language, that is still used today in
Tokhtamysh and the armies of the
Golden Horde initiate the Siege of
Some of the other long-term consequences of the
Moscow rose to prominence whilst under the Mongol-
Tatar yoke, some
time after Russian rulers were accorded the status of tax collectors
for the Mongols. The fact that the Russians collected tribute and
taxes for the
Mongols meant that the
Mongols themselves would rarely
visit the lands that they owned. The Russians eventually gained
military power, and their ruler Ivan III overthrew the Mongols
completely to form the Russian Tsardom. After the Great stand on the
Ugra river proved the
Mongols vulnerable, the Grand Duchy of Moscow
Europe's knowledge of the known world was immensely expanded by the
information brought back by ambassadors and merchants. When Columbus
sailed in 1492, his mission was to reach Cathay, the land of the Grand
Khan in China, and give him a letter from the monarchs Ferdinand II of
Aragon and Isabella I of Castile.
Some studies indicate that the
Black Death that devastated Europe in
the late 1340s may have traveled from China to Europe along the trade
routes of the
Mongol Empire. In 1347, the Genoese possessor of Caffa,
a great trade emporium on the
Crimean Peninsula, came under siege by
an army of
Mongol warriors under the command of Janibeg. After a
protracted siege during which the
Mongol army was reportedly withering
from disease, they decided to use the infected corpses as a biological
weapon. The corpses were catapulted over the city walls, infecting the
inhabitants. The Genoese traders fled, transferring the plague
via their ships into the south of Europe, from where it rapidly
spread. The total number of deaths worldwide from the pandemic is
estimated at 75–200 million with up to 50 million deaths in Europe
Dominican martyrs killed by
Mongols during the
Mongol invasion of
Poland in 1260.
R. J. Rummel
R. J. Rummel estimated that 30 million people were
killed under the rule of the
Mongol Empire. Some estimates go as high
as 80 million killed, with 50 million deaths being the middle ground.
The population of China fell by half in fifty years of
Mongol invasion, the territories of the Chinese dynasties
reportedly had approximately 120 million inhabitants; after the
conquest was completed in 1279, the 1300 census reported roughly 60
million people. While it is tempting to attribute this major decline
Mongol ferocity, scholars today have mixed opinions
regarding this subject. Scholars such as Frederick W. Mote argue that
the wide drop in numbers reflects an administrative failure to record
rather than a de facto decrease, whilst others such as Timothy Brook
argue that the
Mongols reduced much of the south Chinese population,
and very debatably the
Han Chinese population, to an invisible status
through cancellation of the right to passports and denial of the right
to direct land ownership. This meant that the Chinese had to depend on
and be cared for chiefly by
Mongols and Tartars, which also involved
recruitment into the
Mongol army. Other historians such as William
McNeill and David Morgan argue that the bubonic plague was the main
factor behind the demographic decline during this period.[citation
Islamic world was subject to massive changes as a result of Mongol
invasions. The population of the Iranian plateau suffered from
widespread disease and famine, resulting in the deaths of up to
three-quarters of its population, possibly 10 to 15 million people.
Historian Steven Ward estimates that Iran's population did not reach
Mongol levels again until the mid-20th century.
David Nicole states in The
Mongol Warlords, "terror and mass
extermination of anyone opposing them was a well tested Mongol
tactic." About half of the Russian population may have died
during the invasion. However,
Colin McEvedy in Atlas of World
Population History, 1978 estimates the population of Russia-in-Europe
dropped from 7.5 million prior to the invasion to 7 million
afterwards. Historians estimate that up to half of Hungary's two
million population were victims of the
Mongol invasion. Historian
Andrea Peto says that Rogerius, an eyewitness, said "the Mongols
killed everybody regardless of gender or age" and that "the Mongols
especially 'found pleasure' in humiliating women."
Babur and his heir Humayun
One of the more successful tactics employed by the
Mongols was to wipe
out urban populations that refused to surrender. During the Mongol
invasion of Rus', almost all major cities were destroyed. If they
chose to submit, the people were generally spared, though this was not
guaranteed. For example, the city of Hamadan in modern-day Iran was
destroyed and every man, woman, and child executed by
Subadai, after surrendering to him but failing to have enough
provisions for his
Mongol scouting force. Several days after the
initial razing of the city, Subadai sent a force back to the burning
ruins and the site of the massacre to kill any inhabitants of the city
who had been away at the time of the initial slaughter and had
returned in the meantime. Mongolian armies made use of local peoples
and their soldiers, often incorporating them into their armies.
Prisoners of war sometimes were given the choice between death and
becoming part of the
Mongol army to aid in future conquests. In
addition to intimidation tactics, the rapid expansion of the empire
was facilitated by military hardiness (especially during bitterly cold
winters), military skill, meritocracy, and discipline.
Kalmyk migration from Russia to China in 1770–1771
Crimean Khanate and other descendants, such as the Mughal royal
family of South Asia, are descended from Genghis Khan: Babur's mother
was a descendant, whereas his father was directly descended from Timur
(Tamerlane). The word "Mughol" is a Persian word for Mongol.
Kalmyks were the last
Mongol nomads to penetrate European
territory, having migrated to Europe from
Central Asia at the turn of
the 17th century. In the winter of 1770–1771, approximately 200,000
Kalmyks began the journey from their pastures on the left bank of the
Volga River to Dzungaria, through the territories of their Kazakh and
Kyrgyz enemies. After several months of travel, only one-third of the
original group reached
Dzungaria in northwest China.
Mongol Khanates lasted into recent centuries: The Crimean
Khanate lasted until 1783; the
Khanate of Bukhara
Khanate of Bukhara until 1920; the
Kazakh Khanate until 1847; the
Khanate of Kokand
Khanate of Kokand until 1876; and the
Khanate of Khiva
Khanate of Khiva survived as a Russian protectorate until 1917.
Destruction under the
^ a b c d
Rein Taagepera (September 1997). "Expansion and Contraction
Patterns of Large Polities: Context for Russia". International Studies
Quarterly. 41 (3): 499. doi:10.1111/0020-8833.00053.
^ Morgan. The Mongols. p. 5.
^ Diamond. Guns, Germs, and Steel. p. 367.
Mongols and Russia, by George Vernadsky
^ Gregory G.Guzman "Were the barbarians a negative or positive factor
in ancient and medieval history?", The Historian 50 (1988), 568–70.
^ Allsen. Culture and Conquest. p. 211.
^ "The Islamic World to 1600: The Golden Horde". University of
Calgary. 1998. Archived from the original on 13 November 2010.
Retrieved 3 December 2010.
^ Michael Biran. Qaidu and the Rise of the Independent
Mongol State in
Central Asia. The Curzon Press, 1997, ISBN 0-7007-0631-3
^ The Cambridge History of China: Alien Regimes and Border States. p.
Mongols and the West. p. 127.
^ Allsen. Culture and Conquest. pp. xiii, 235.
^ Sanders. p. 300.
^ Saunders. History of the
Mongol conquests. p. 225.
^ Rybatzki. p. 116.
^ a b c Barfield. p. 184.
^ Neil Pederson (2014). "Pluvials, droughts, the
Mongol Empire, and
modern Mongolia". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 111
(12): 4375–4379. Bibcode:2014PNAS..111.4375P.
^ E.D. Philips The
Mongols Pg. 37
^ a b c d e Morgan. The Mongols. pp. 49–73.
^ Riasanovsky. Fundamental Principles of
Mongol law. p. 83.
^ Ratchnevsky. p. 191.
^ a b Secret history. p. 203.
^ Vladimortsov. p. 74.
^ Weatherford. p. 70.
^ Man, John (2004). Genghis Khan: Life, Death, and Resurrection. New
York: Thomas Dunne Books. p. 116.
^ Morgan. pp. 99–101.
^ Johan Elverskog (2010).
Islam on the Silk Road
(illustrated ed.). University of Pennsylvania Press. p. 228.
ISBN 0-8122-4237-8. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
^ Michael Dillon (1999). China's Muslim Hui community: migration,
settlement and sects. Richmond: Curzon Press. p. 24.
ISBN 0-7007-1026-4. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
^ Leslie, Donald Daniel (1998). "The Integration of Religious
Minorities in China: The Case of Chinese Muslims" (PDF). The
Fifty-ninth George Ernest Morrison Lecture in Ethnology. p. 12.
Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 December 2010. Retrieved 30
^ Man. Genghis Khan. p. 288.
^ Saunders. p. 81.
^ Atwood. p. 277.
^ Rossabi. p. 221.
^ Atwood. p. 509.
^ Collectif 2002, p. 147.
^ May 2004, p. 50.
^ Schram 1987, p. 130.
^ eds. Seaman, Marks 1991, p. 175.
^ Hucker 1985, p. 66.
^ May. Chormaqan. p. 29.
^ Amitai. The Mamluk-Ilkhanid war
^ Grousset. p. 259.
^ Burgan. p. 22.
^ a b Timothy May. Chormaqan. p. 32.
^ "The Destruction of Kiev". Tspace.library.utoronto.ca. Archived from
the original on 19 August 2016. Retrieved 12 October 2013.
^ Jackson. Delhi Sultanate. p. 105.
^ Bor. p. 186.
^ Atwood. p. 297.
^ Henthorn, William E. (1963). Korea: the
Mongol invasions. E.J.
Brill. pp. 160, 183.
^ a b Weatherford. p. 158.
^ Matthew Paris. English History (trans. by J. A. Giles). p. 348.
^ a b Morgan. The Mongols. p. 104.
^ a b Jackson.
Mongols and the West. p. 95.
^ The Academy of Russian science and the academy of Mongolian science
Mongols in Europe and Asia. p. 89.
^ Weatherford. p. 163.
Kublai Khan. p. 28.
^ a b c d e Atwood. p. 255.
^ D. Bayarsaikhan. Ezen khaaniig Ismailiinhan horooson uu (Did the
Ismailis kill the great khan)[better source needed]
^ Weatherford. p. 179.
^ a b Atwood. p. 213.
^ a b c Morgan. The Mongols. p. 159.
^ a b c Morgan. The Mongols. pp. 103–04.
^ Guzman, Gregory G. (Spring 2010). "European Captives and Craftsmen
Among the Mongols, 1231–1255". The Historian. 72 (1): 122–150.
^ a b Allsen.
Mongol Imperialism. p. 280.
^ a b Morgan. The Mongols. p. 129.
^ a b Morgan. The Mongols. pp. 132–35.
^ Morgan. The Mongols. pp. 127–28.
^ Lane. p. 9.
^ a b Morgan. The Mongols. p. 138.
^ a b Wassaf. p. 12.[full citation needed]
^ a b Jackson.
Mongols and the West. p. 109.
^ a b Barthold. Turkestan. p. 488.
^ L. N.Gumilev, A. Kruchki. Black legend
^ Barthold. Turkestan Down to the
Mongol Invasion. p. 446.
Empire and Its Legacy. p. 302.
^ Weatherford. p. 120.
Kublai Khan. p. 74.
^ Sh.Tseyen-Oidov – Ibid. p. 64.
Kublai Khan. p. 207.
^ Weatherford. p. 195.
^ Vernadsky. The
Mongols and Russia. pp. 344–66.[full citation
^ Henryk Samsonowicz, Maria Bogucka. A Republic of Nobles. p.
179.[full citation needed]
^ a b Prawdin.[page needed]
^ d.Ohson. History of the Mongols. p. II. p. 355.[full citation
^ Sh.Tseyen-Oidov. Genghis bogdoos Ligden khutagt khurtel (khaad). p.
81.[full citation needed]
^ Vernadsky – The
Mongols and Russia. p. 74.
^ Oljeitu's letter to Philipp the Fair
^ J. J. Saunders The History of the
^ Howorth. p. 145.
^ Weatherford. p. 236.
^ Vernadsky. p. 93.
^ The Cambridge History of China: Volume 6, by Denis C. Twitchett,
Herbert Franke, John King Fairbank, p413
^ Bibliothèque nationale de France. Département des Manuscrits.
Division occidentale. Nouvelle acquisition française 886, fol. 37v
^ Allsen. Culture and Conquest. pp. 32–35.
^ René Grousset. The
Empire of the Steppes
^ Atwood. p. 445.
^ Atwood. p. 106.
^ Allsen. Culture and Conquest. p. 39.
^ Franke. pp. 541–50.
^ G., Ghazarian, Jacob (2000). The Armenian kingdom in
the Crusades : the integration of Cilician Armenians with the
Latins, 1080–1393. Richmond: Curzon. p. 159–161.
ISBN 0700714189. OCLC 45337730.
^ Morgan. The Mongols. pp. 117–18.
^ Ole Jørgen Benedictow, The Black Death, 1346–1353: The Complete
History (2004), p. 382.p. 382.
^ a b Prawdin. p. 379.
^ Halperin. p. 28.
^ Manz, Beatrice (2018).
Central Asia In Historical Perspective.
^ Moss, Walter G (2003). A History of Russia Volume 1: To 1917. Anthem
^ Sverdrup. p. 109.
^ Sverdrup. p. 110.
^ a b Morgan. The Mongols. pp. 80–81.
^ a b Morgan. The Mongols. pp. 74–75
Mongols and the Eastern Mediterranean
^ Morgan. The Mongols. p. 75
^ San,T. "Dynastic China: An Elementary History" .pg 297
^ Buell, Paul D. (1979). "Sino-Khitan Administration in Mongol
Bukhara". Journal of Asian History. Harrassowitz Verlag. Vol. 13 (No.
2): 137–38. JSTOR 41930343.
^ Weatherford. p. 69.
^ Weatherford. p. 135.
^ a b Foltz. pp. 105–06.
^ Ezzati. The Spread of Islam: The Contributing Factors. p. 274.
Islam in Russia: The Four Seasons. p. 145.
^ Hull. The
Mongol Empire. p. 60
^ Chambers, James. The Devil's Horsemen Atheneum, 1979,
^ Secret History of the Mongols
^ Guoli Liu Chinese Foreign Policy in Transition. p. 364
^ Timothy May (February 2008). "The
Empire in World History".
World History Connected. University of Illinois. 5 (2). Retrieved
^ Hahn, Reinhard F. (1991). Spoken Uyghur. London and Seattle:
University of Washington Press. ISBN 978-0-295-98651-7.
^ Svat Soucek. A History of Inner Asia. Cambridge University Press,
2000. ISBN 0-521-65704-0. P. 116.
^ Benedictow, Ole Jørgen (2004). The Black Death, 1346–1353: the
Complete History. Boydell Press. p. 382.
^ R. Ward, Steven (2009). Immortal: A Military History of Iran and Its
Armed Forces. Georgetown University Press. p. 39.
^ a b "
Mongol Conquests". Users.erols.com. Retrieved 2014-02-15.
^ "History of Russia, Early Slavs history, Kievan Rus, Mongol
invasion". Parallelsixty.com. Retrieved 2014-02-15.
Mongol invasion: the last Arpad kings". Britannica.com.
2013-11-20. Retrieved 2014-02-15.
^ Andrea Peto in Richard Bessel; Dirk Schumann (2003). Life After
Death: Approaches to a Cultural and Social History of Europe During
the 1940s and 1950s. Cambridge University Press. p. 143.
^ The Story of the
Mongols Whom We Call the Tartars= Historia
Mongalorum Quo s Nos Tartaros Appellamus: Friar Giovanni Di Plano
Carpini's Account of His Embassy to the Court of the
Mongol Khan by Da
Pian Del Carpine Giovanni and Erik Hildinger (Branden BooksApril 1996
^ Michael Khodarkovsky (2002)."Russia's
Steppe Frontier: The Making Of
A Colonial Empire, 1500–1800". Indiana University Press. p. 142.
Allsen, Thomas T. (1987).
Mongol Imperialism: The Policies of the
Grand Qan Möngke in China, Russia, and the Islamic Lands,
1251–1259. University of California Press.
Allsen, Thomas T. (2004). Culture and conquest in
Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-60270-9.
Amitai-Preiss, Reuven (1995).
Mongols and Mamluks: The Mamluk-Ilkhanid
War, 1260–1281. Cambridge, UK; New York: Cambridge University Press.
Atwood, Christopher P. (2004). Encyclopedia of
Mongolia and the Mongol
Empire. New York: Facts on File, Inc. ISBN 0-8160-4671-9.
Barfield, Thomas Jefferson (1992). The perilous frontier: nomadic
empires and China. Blackwell. ISBN 978-1-55786-324-9.
Burgan, Michael (2005).
Empire of the Mongols. New York: Infobase
Publishing. ISBN 978-1-4381-0318-1.
Diamond, Jared (1997). Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human
Societies. New York: W. W. Norton & Co.
Finlay, Robert (2010). The Pilgrim Art: Cultures of Porcelain in World
History. Berkeley, California: University of California Press.
Foltz, Richard C. (1999). Religions of the Silk Road: Overland Trade
and Cultural Exchange from Antiquity to the Fifteenth Century. New
York: St. Martin's Press. ISBN 0-312-23338-8.
Franke, Herbert (1994). Twitchett, Denis; Fairbank, John King, eds.
Alien Regimes and Border States, 907–1368. The Cambridge History of
China. 6. Cambridge, UK; New York: Cambridge University Press.
ISBN 978-0-521-24331-5. CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter
Grousset, Rene (1970). The
Empire of the Steppes: A History of Central
Asia (translated from French by Naomi Walford). New Brunswick, New
Jersey: Rutgers University Press.
Halperin, Charles J. (1985). Russia and the Golden Horde: The Mongol
Impact on Medieval Russian History. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana
University Press. ISBN 0-253-20445-3.
Howorth, Henry H. (1965) [London edition, 1876]. History of the
Mongols from the 9th to the 19th Century: Part I: The
and the Kalmuks. New York: Burt Frankin.
Hull, Mary. (1997). The
Empire (World History Series).
Greenhaven Press. ISBN 978-1560063124.
Jackson, Peter (1978). "The dissolution of the
Mongol Empire". Central
Asiatic Journal. XXXII: 208–351.
Jackson, Peter (2003). The Delhi Sultanate: A Political and Military
History. Cambridge, UK; New York: Cambridge University Press.
Jackson, Peter (2005). The
Mongols and the West: 1221–1410. Harlow,
UK; New York: Longman. ISBN 978-0-582-36896-5.
Lane, George (2006). Daily life in the
Mongol empire. Westport,
Connecticut: Greenwood Press. ISBN 978-0-313-33226-5.
Man, John (2004). Genghis Khan: Life, death and resurrection. New
York: Thomas Dunne Books. ISBN 978-0-312-36624-7.
Man, John (2007).
Kublai Khan: from Xanadu to superpower. Bantam
Books. ISBN 978-0-553-81718-8.
Morgan, David (June 1989). Arbel, B.; et al., eds. "The
the Eastern Mediterranean: Latins and Greeks in the Eastern
Mediterranean after 1204". Mediterranean Historical Review. Tel Aviv,
Illinois: Routledge. 4 (1): 204. doi:10.1080/09518968908569567.
ISSN 0951-8967. CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter (link)
Morgan, David (2007). The
Mongols (2nd ed.). Malden, Massachusetts;
Oxford, UK; Carlton, Victoria, Australia: Blackwell Publishing.
Prawdin, Michael (pseudonym for Charol, Michael) (1961) . Mongol
Empire. New Brunswick, New Jersey: Collier-Macmillan Canada.
ISBN 1-4128-0519-8. CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list
Ratchnevsky, Paul (1993). Haining, Thomas Nivison (translator), ed.
Genghis Khan: His Life and Legacy. Wiley-Blackwell.
Rossabi, Morris (1983). China Among Equals: The Middle Kingdom and Its
Neighbors, 10th–14th Centuries. Berkeley, California: University of
California Press. ISBN 0-520-04383-9.
Sanders, Alan J. K. (2010). Historical Dictionary of Mongolia. Lanham,
Maryland: Scarecrow Press. ISBN 978-0-8108-6191-6.
Saunders, John Joseph (2001). The history of the
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: University of Pennsylvania Press.
Rybatzki, Volker (2009). The Early Mongols: Language, Culture and
History. Indiana University. ISBN 978-0933070578.
Sverdrup, Carl (November 2010). "Numbers in
Mongol Warfare". In
Rogers, Clifford J.; DeVries, Kelly; France, John. Journal of Medieval
Military History. 8. Woodbridge, Suffolk, UK: Boydell & Brewer.
ISBN 978-1-84383-596-7. CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter
Vladimortsov, Boris (1969). The Life of Chingis Khan. B. Blom.
Weatherford, Jack (2004).
Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern
World. New York: Three Rivers Press. ISBN 0-609-80964-4.
Brent, Peter. The
Mongol Empire: Genghis Khan: His Triumph and his
Legacy. Book Club Associates, London. 1976.
Buell, Paul D. (2003). Historical Dictionary of the
Empire. The Scarecrow Press, Inc. ISBN 0-8108-4571-7.
Cleaves, Francis Woodman. 1954. “A Medical Practice of the Mongols
in the Thirteenth Century”. Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies 17
(3/4). Harvard-Yenching Institute: 428–44. doi:10.2307/2718323.
Halperin, Charles J.. 1983. “Russia in the
Comparative Perspective”. Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies 43 (1).
Harvard-Yenching Institute: 239–61. doi:10.2307/2719023.
Findlay, Ronald, and Mats Lundahl. 2016. "The First Globalization
Episode: The Creation of the
Mongol Empire, or the Economics of
Chinggis Khan." in The Economics of the Frontier, pp 173–221
May, Timothy. "The
Mongol Art of War." Westholme Publishing, Yardley.
2007. ISBN 978-1-59416-046-2 / ISBN 1-59416-046-5
May, Timothy. The
Mongol Conquests in World History (Reaktion Books,
distributed by University of Chicago Press; 2012) 319 pages
Ostrowski, Donald. 1998. “The "tamma" and the Dual-administrative
Structure of the
Mongol Empire”. Bulletin of the School of Oriental
and African Studies, University of London 61 (2). Cambridge University
Press: 262–77. https://www.jstor.org/stable/3107652.
Rossabi, Morris. The Mongols: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford
University Press, 2012. ISBN 978-0199840892
Wikimedia Commons has media related to
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for
Genghis Khan and the Mongols
Mongols in World History
Empire for students
Paradoxplace Insight Pages on the
William of Rubruck's Account of the Mongols
Mongol invasion of Rus (pictures)
Worldwide Death Toll
Empire Google Earth
Paiza / Gerege
Manghit / Mangudai
Administrative divisions and vassals
Invasions and conquests
Military tactics and organization
Organization under Genghis Khan
Society and economy
House of Borjigin
House of Ögedei
Tatar raids against Rus'
Tatar states in Europe
House of Ögedei
Qara Khitai (1216–18)
Western Xia (1205 / 1207 / 1209–10 / 1225–27)
Northern China and
Southern China (1235–79)
Kingdom of Dali
Kingdom of Dali (1253–56)
Tibet (1236 / 1240 / 1252)
Japan (1274 / 1281)
Burma (1277 / 1283 / 1287)
Vietnam (1257 / 1284–88)
Georgia (1220–22 / 1226–31 / 1237–64)
Volga Bulgaria (1229–36)
Rus' (1223 / 1236–40)
Poland and Bohemia (1240–41)
Palestine (1260 / 1301)
Division of the
Toluid Civil War
Toluid Civil War (1260–64)
Hulagu war (1262)
Kublai war (1268–1301)
Esen Buqa–Ayurbarwada war
Esen Buqa–Ayurbarwada war (1314–1318)
Oghul Qaimish (regent)
Kublai Khan (Khagans of the Yuan)
Öz Beg Khan
Timeline of the
Yuan dynasty topics
Division of the
Toluid Civil War
Kublai Khan's Campaigns
Mongol invasion of China
conquest of the Song dynasty
Battle of Xiangyang
Battle of Bạch Đằng (1288)
Battle of Ngasaunggyan
Mongol invasion of Burma
Esen Buqa–Ayurbarwada war
War of the Two Capitals
1344 Yellow River flood
Red Turban Rebellion
Red Turban invasions of Goryeo
Battle of Lake Poyang
List of emperors
Bureau of Buddhist and Tibetan Affairs
Administrative divisions of the Yuan dynasty
Yuan dynasty in Inner Asia
Mongolia under Yuan rule
Manchuria under Yuan rule
Tibet under Yuan rule
Korea under Yuan rule
Science and technology
Jade Mirror of the Four Unknowns
Cloud Platform at Juyong Pass
Gulou and Zhonglou (Beijing)
Pagoda of Bailin Temple
Temple of Azure Clouds
Jinan Great Southern Mosque
Society and culture
History of Liao
The Twenty-four Filial Exemplars
The Chalk Circle
The Injustice to Dou E
The Orphan of Zhao
The Story of the Western Wing
Islam during the Yuan dynasty
History of Yuan
Northern Yuan dynasty
Eastern Ganga dynasty
ancient great powers
medieval great powers
modern great powers
Inner Asia history series
Northern Yuan dynasty
Tang dynasty in Inner Asia
Protectorate General to Pacify the North
Western Liao dynasty
Yuan dynasty in Inner Asia
Qing dynasty in Inner Asia
The Cambridge History of Inner Asia