1070AD-REFORMATION: Satan's Release

Revelation 20:7-9

7 Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. 9 They went up on the breadth of the earth...

From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mongol_Empire

Mongol Empire

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Expansion of the Mongol Empire
Expansion of the Mongol Empire
Historical map of the Mongol Empire (1300~1405), the gray area is Timurid dynasty.
Historical map of the Mongol Empire (1300~1405), the gray area is Timurid dynasty.

The Mongol Empire, also known as the Mongolian Empire (Mongolian: Монголын Эзэнт Гүрэн, Mongolyn Ezent Güren; 12061405) was the largest contiguous empire in history and for sometime was the most feared in Eurasia. It was the product of Mongol unification and Mongol invasions, which began with Temujin being proclaimed ruler in 1206, eventually sparking the conquests.

By 1279, the Mongol Empire covered over 33,000,000 km² (12,741,000 sq mi),[1]up to 22% of Earth's total land area. It held sway over a population of over 100 million people.

During the beginning of the 14th century, most of the khanates of the Empire gradually broke off. They went on to be absorbed and defeated.



[edit] Formation

Genghis Khan, through political manipulation and military might, united the nomadic, previously ever-rivaling Mongol-Turkic tribes under his rule by 1206. He quickly came into conflict with the Jin Dynasty empire of the Jurchens and the Western Xia of the Tanguts in northern China. Under the provocation of the Muslim Khwarezmid Empire, he moved into Central Asia as well, devastating Transoxiana and eastern Persia, then raiding into Kievan Rus' (a predecessor state of Russia, Belarus and Ukraine) and the Caucasus. Before dying, Genghis Khan divided his empire among his sons and immediate family, but as custom made clear, it remained the joint property of the entire imperial family who, along with the Mongol aristocracy, constituted the ruling class.

[edit] Major events in the Early Mongol Empire

Eurasia on the eve of the Mongol invasions, c. 1200.
Eurasia on the eve of the Mongol invasions, c. 1200.
Mongol Empire in 1227 at Genghis' death
Mongol Empire in 1227 at Genghis' death
  • 1206: Upon domination of Mongolia, Temüjin from the Orkhon Valley received the title Genghis Khan, thought to mean Oceanic Ruler or Firm, Resolute Ruler
  • 1207: The Mongols began operations against the Western Xia, which comprised much of northwestern China and parts of Tibet. This campaign lasted until 1210 with the Western Xia ruler submitting to Genghis Khan. During this period, the Uyghur Turks also submitted peacefully to the Mongols and became valued administrators throughout the empire.
  • 1211: Genghis Khan led his armies across the Gobi desert against the Jin Dynasty of northern China.
  • 1218: The Mongols captured Zhetysu and the Tarim Basin, occupying Kashgar.
  • 1218: The execution of Mongol envoys by the Khwarezmian Shah Muhammad set in motion the first Mongol westward thrust.
  • 1219: The Mongols crossed the Jaxartes (Syr Darya) and begin their invasion of Transoxiana.
  • 1219–1221: While the campaign in northern China was still in progress, the Mongols waged a war in central Asia and destroyed the Khwarezmid Empire. One notable feature was that the campaign was launched from several directions at once. In addition, it was notable for special units assigned by Genghis Khan personally to find and kill Ala al-Din Muhammad II, the Khwarazmshah who fled from them, and ultimately ended up hiding on an island in the Caspian Sea.
  • 1223: The Mongols gained a decisive victory at the Battle of the Kalka River, the first engagement between the Mongols and the East Slavic warriors.
  • 1227: Genghis Khan's death; Mongol leaders returned to Mongolia for kuriltai. The empire at this point covered nearly 26 million km², about four times the size of the Roman or Macedonian Empires.
  • 1237: Under the leadership of Batu Khan, the Mongols returned to the West and began their campaign to subjugate Kievan Rus'
  • 1240: Mongols sacked Kiev.
  • 1241: Mongols defeated Hungarians and Croatians at the Battle of Sajo and Poles, Templars and Teutonic Knights at the Battle of Legnica.
  • 1241 and 1242 Mongols under Batu and Khadan invaded Bulgaria and forced them to pay annual tribute as vassal.
  • 1246 Guyuk elected as great khan.

[edit] Organization

[edit] Military setup

History of Mongolia
Before Genghis Khan
Mongol Empire
- Chagatai Khanate
- Golden Horde
- Ilkhanate
- Yuan Dynasty
- Timurid Empire
- Mughal Empire
Crimean Khanate
Khanate of Sibir
Qing Dynasty (Outer Mongolia, Mongolia during Qing)
Mongolian People's Republic
Modern Mongolia
Inner Mongolia
Buryat Mongolia
Kalmyk Mongolia
Hazara Mongols
Aimak Mongols
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The Mongol military organization was simple, but effective. It was based on an old tradition of the steppe, which was a decimal system known in Iranian cultures since Achaemenid Persia, and later: the army was built up from squads of ten men each, called an arban; ten arbans constituted a company of a hundred, called a jaghun; ten jaghuns made a regiment of a thousand called mingghan and ten mingghans would then constitute a regiment of ten thousand (tumen), which is the equivalent of a modern division.

Unlike other mobile-only warriors, such as the Xiongnu/Huns or the Vikings, the Mongols were very comfortable in the art of the siege. They were very careful to recruit artisans and military talents from the cities they conquered, and along with a group of experienced Chinese engineers and bombardier corps, they were experts in building the trebuchet, Xuanfeng catapults and other machines to which they can lay siege to fortified positions. These were effectively used in the successful European campaigns under General Subutai. These weapons may be built on the spot using immediate local resources such as nearby trees.

Within a battle Mongol forces used extensive coordination of combined arms forces. Though they were famous for their horse archers, their lance forces were equally skilled and just as essential to their success. Mongol forces also used their engineers in battle. They used siege engines and rockets to disrupt enemy formations, confused enemy forces with smoke, and used smoke to isolate portions of an enemy force while destroying that force to prevent their allies from sending aid.

The army's discipline distinguished Mongol soldiers from their peers. The forces under the command of the Mongol Empire were generally trained, organized, and equipped for mobility and speed. To maximize mobility, Mongol soldiers were relatively lightly armored compared to many of the armies they faced. In addition, soldiers of the Mongol army functioned independently of supply lines, considerably speeding up army movement. Skillful use of couriers enabled these armies to maintain contact with each other and with their higher leaders. Discipline was inculcated in nerge (traditional hunts), as reported by Juvayni. These hunts were distinct from hunts in other cultures which were the equivalent to small unit actions. Mongol forces would spread out on line, surrounding an entire region and drive all of the game within that area together. The goal was to let none of the animals escape and to slaughter them all.

All military campaigns were preceded by careful planning, reconnaissance and gathering of sensitive information relating to the enemy territories and forces. The success, organization and mobility of the Mongol armies permitted them to fight on several fronts at once. All males aged from 15 to 60 and capable of undergoing rigorous training were eligible for conscription into the army, the source of honor in the tribal warrior tradition.

Another advantage of the Mongols was their ability to traverse large distances even in debilitatingly cold winters; in particular, frozen rivers led them like highways to large urban conurbations on their banks. In addition to siege engineering, the Mongols were also adept at river-work, crossing the river Sajó in spring flood conditions with thirty thousand cavalry in a single night during the battle of Mohi (April, 1241), defeating the Hungarian king Bela IV. Similarly, in the attack against the Muslim Khwarezmshah, a flotilla of barges was used to prevent escape on the river.

[edit] Law and governance

See also: Organization of state under Genghis Khan.

The Mongol 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 the nobility shared much of the same hardship as the common man. It also imposed severe penalties – e.g., the death penalty was decreed if the mounted soldier following another did not pick up something dropped from the mount in front. On the whole, the tight discipline made the Mongol Empire extremely safe and well-run; European travelers were amazed by the organization and strict discipline of the people within the Mongol Empire.

Under Yassa, chiefs and generals were selected based on merit, religious tolerance was guaranteed, and thievery and vandalizing of civilian property was strictly forbidden. According to legend, a woman carrying a sack of gold could travel safely from one end of the Empire to another.

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.

Genghis also demonstrated a rather liberal and tolerant attitude to the beliefs of others, and never persecuted people on religious grounds. This proved to be good military strategy, as when he was at war with Sultan Muhammad of Khwarezm, other Islamic leaders did not join the fight against Genghis — it was instead seen as a non-holy war between two individuals.

Throughout the empire, trade routes and an extensive postal system (yam) were created. Many merchants, messengers and travelers from China, the Middle East and Europe used the system. Genghis Khan also created a national seal, encouraged the use of a written alphabet in Mongolia, and exempted teachers, lawyers, and artists from taxes, although taxes were heavy on all other subjects of the empire.

At the same time, any resistance to Mongol rule was met with massive collective punishment. Cities were destroyed and their inhabitants slaughtered if they defied Mongol orders.

[edit] Religions

Mongols were highly tolerant of most religions, and typically sponsored several at the same time. At the time of Genghis Khan, virtually every religion had found converts, from Buddhism to Christianity and Manichaeanism to Islam. To avoid strife, Genghis Khan set up an institution that ensured complete religious freedom, though he himself was a shamanist. Under his administration, all religious leaders were exempt from taxation, and from public service.[2]

Initially there were few formal places of worship, because of the nomadic lifestyle. However, under Ögedei, several building projects were undertaken in Karakorum. Along with palaces, Ogodei built houses of worship for the Buddhist, Muslim, Christian, and Taoist followers. The dominant religion at that time was Shamanism and Buddhism, although Ogodei's wife was a Christian.[3]

[edit] Christianity

Nestorian tombstone found in Issyk Kul, dated 1312.
Nestorian tombstone found in Issyk Kul, dated 1312.

Some Mongols had been proselytized by Christian Nestorians since about the 7th century, and a few Mongols were converted to Catholicism, esp. by John of Montecorvino.[4]

Some of the major Christian figures among the Mongols were: Sorghaghtani Beki, daughter in law of Genghis Khan, and mother of the Great Khans Möngke, Kublai, Hulagu and Ariq Boke; Sartaq, khan of Golden Horde; Oroqina Khatun, the mother of the ruler Abaqa; Kitbuqa, general of Mongol forces in the Levant, who fought in alliance with Christians. Marital alliances with Western powers also occurred, as in the 1265 marriage of Maria Despina Palaiologina, daughter of Emperor Michael VIII Palaeologus, with Abaqa.

The 13th century saw attempts at a Franco-Mongol alliance with exchange of ambassadors and even military collaboration with European Christians in the Holy Land. The Nestorian Mongol Rabban Bar Sauma visited some European courts in 1287-1288.

[edit] Trade networks

Mongols prized their commercial and trade relationships with neighboring economies and this policy they continued during the process of their conquests and during the expansion of their empire. All merchants and ambassadors, having proper documentation and authorization, traveling through their realms were protected. This greatly increased overland trade.

During the thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries, European merchants, numbering hundreds, perhaps thousands, made their way from Europe to the distant land of China — Marco Polo is only one of the best known of these. Well-traveled and relatively well-maintained roads linked lands from the Mediterranean basin to China. The Mongol Empire had negligible influence on seaborne trade.

[edit] Mail System

Letter of Oljeitu to Philippe le Bel, 1305. The huge roll measures 302x50 cm.
Letter of Oljeitu to Philippe le Bel, 1305. The huge roll measures 302x50 cm.

The Mongol Empire had an ingenious and efficient mail system for the time, often referred to by scholars as the Yam, which had lavishly furnished and well guarded relay posts known as örtöö set up all over the Mongol Empire. The yam system would be replicated later in the U.S. in form of the Pony Express.[5] A messenger would typically travel 25 miles (40 km) from one ordu to the next, and he would either receive a fresh, rested horse or relay the mail to the next rider to ensure the speediest possible delivery. The Mongol riders regularly covered 125 miles per day, which is faster than the fastest record set by the Pony Express some 600 years later.

[edit] Military conquests

[edit] Central Asia

Mongol invasion of Central Asia initially was composed of Genghis Khan's victory and unification over the Mongol central Asian confederations such as Merkits, Mongols, Uighurs that eventually created the Mongol nation and founding of the Mongol Empire. It then continued with invasion of Khwarezmid Empire in Persia.

[edit] Middle East

Mongol invasion of the Middle East consists of the destruction of Iraq, Iran, parts of Kuwait and eventually reaching into Palestine regions. Please see also Battle of Baghdad.

[edit] East Asia

Mongol invasion of East Asia refers to the Mongols 13th and 14th century conquests under Genghis Khan and his descendants of Mongol invasion of China, Korea, and attempted Mongol invasion of Japan, and it also can include Mongols attempted invasion of Vietnam. The biggest conquest was the total invasion of China in the end.

[edit] Europe

Mongol invasion of Europe largely constitute of their invasion and conquest of Kievan Rus, much of Russia, invasion of Poland and Hungary among others.

Pope’s envoy to Mongol Khan Giovanni de Plano Carpini, who passed through Kiev in February 1246, 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."[6]

[edit] After Genghis Khan

Ögedei Khan, Genghis Khan's son and successor
Ögedei Khan, Genghis Khan's son and successor
Kublai Khan, Genghis Khan's grandson and founder of the Yuan Dynasty
Kublai Khan, Genghis Khan's grandson and founder of the Yuan Dynasty
Hulagu, Genghis Khan's grandson and founder of the il-Khan
Hulagu, Genghis Khan's grandson and founder of the il-Khan

At first, the Mongol Empire was ruled by Ögedei Khan, Genghis Khan's third son and designated heir, but after his death in 1241, the fractures which would ultimately crack the Empire began to show. Enmity between the grandchildren of Genghis Khan resulted in a five year regency by Ögedei's widow until she finally got her son Guyuk Khan confirmed as Great Khan. But he only ruled two years, and following his death -- he was on his way to confront his cousin Batu Khan, who had never accepted his authority -- another regency followed, until finally a period of stability came with the reign of Mongke Khan, from 1251-1259. The last universally accepted Great Khan was his brother Arigboh (aka. Arigbuga, or Arigbuha), his elder brother Kublai Khan dethroned him with his own supporters after some extensive battles. Kublai Khan ruled from 1260-1294. Despite his recognition as Great Khan, he was unable to keep his brother Hulagu and their cousin Berke from open warfare in 1263, and after Kublai's death there was not an accepted Great Khan, so the Mongol Empire was fragmented for good.

Genghis Khan divided his realm into four Khanates, subdivisions of a single empire under the Great Khan (Khan of Khans). The following Khanates emerged after the regency following Ögedei Khan's death, and became formally independent after Kublai Khan's death:

The Mongol Empire and its successor khanates
The Mongol Empire and its successor khanates

The empire's expansion continued for a generation or more after Genghis's death in 1227. Under Genghis's successor Ögedei Khan, the speed of expansion reached its peak. Mongol armies pushed into Persia, finished off the Xia and the remnants of the Khwarezmids, and came into conflict with the Song Dynasty of China, starting a war that concluded in 1279 with the conquest of populous China, which then constituted the majority of the world's economic production.

In the late 1230s, the Mongols under Batu Khan invaded Russia and Volga Bulgaria, reducing most of its principalities to vassalage, and pressed on into Eastern Europe. In 1241 the Mongols may have been ready to invade Western Europe as well, having defeated the last Polish-German and Hungarian armies at the Battle of Legnica and the Battle of Mohi. Batu Khan and Subutai were preparing to start with a winter campaign against Austria and Germany, and finish with Italy. However news of Ögedei's death spared Western Europe as Batu had to turn his attentions to the election of the next Great Khan. It is often speculated that this was one of the great turning points in history and that Europe may well have fallen to the Mongols had the invasion gone ahead. During the 1250s, Genghis's grandson Hulegu Khan, operating from the Mongol base in Persia, destroyed the Abbasid Caliphate in Baghdad and destroyed the cult of the Assassins, moving into Palestine towards Egypt. The Great Khan Möngke having died, however, he hastened to return for the election, and the force that remained in Palestine was destroyed by the Mamluks under Saif ad-Din Qutuz in 1261 at Ayn Jalut.

[edit] Areas that Avoided Mongol Conquest

Essentially, only six areas accessible to the Mongols avoided conquest by them -- Indochina, South Asia, Vietnam, Japan, Western Europe and Arabia. Also, two important cities that evaded the Mongol Conquest were Vienna and Jerusalem. Both evaded the conquest because of the death of a Great Khan.

[edit] Western Europe

While the Mongolian Empire extended into Poland and threatening present day Austria, the Mongols were not able to push into Western Europe. The most popular explanation was the fact that on 11 December 1241, during pre-emptive operations by Mongol reconnaissance forces inside Austria for the invasion of Vienna, news came that Ogedei Khan died, and bound by Mongol tradition, all Mongol commanders and princes had to report back to the capital of Karakorum to elect a new Khan. It was believed that the Mongol abandonment of the European campaign was only temporary, but in fact, the Mongols had committed no further campaigns into Europe in earnest.[citations needed]Some western historians attribute European survival to Mongol unwillingness to fight in the more densely populated German principalities, where the wetter weather affected their bows.[citations needed] But the same weather did not stop them from devastating Russia or the campaigns against the Southern Song, and Europe was less densely populated than China.[5]

The probable answer for the Mongol's stopping after the Mohi River, and the destruction of the Hungarian army, was that they never intended to advance further at that time.[7]

Batu Khan had made his Russian conquests safe for the next 10 generations, and when the Great Khan died, he rushed back to Mongolia to put in his claim for power. Upon his return, relations with his cousin Guyuk Khan had deteriorated to the point that open warfare between them came shortly after Guyuk's death. The point is that the Mongols were unable to bring a unified army to bear on either Europe, or Egypt, after 1260. Batu Khan was in fact planning invasion of Europe all the way to the "Great Sea" — the Atlantic Ocean, when he died in 1255.[7][5]

His son inherited the Khanate, but also died in a short time, and Batu's brother Berke became Khan of the Kipchak Khanate. He was far more interested in fighting with his cousin Hulagu than invading the remainder of Europe, which was no threat to him.

[edit] Vietnam and Japan

Another area that wasn't conquered by Mongols was Vietnam, which repelled Mongol attacks in 1257, 1285 and 1287/1288. Japan also repelled massive Mongol invasions in 1274 and 1281. Japan's ruler Hojo Tokimune first sent back the emissaries time and time again without audience in Kamakura, and then after the first invasion was so bold as to behead Kubilai's emissaries, twice.[8] In both Japan and Vietnam, Kubilai sent part of the Mongol armies, instead of concentrating on Vietnam first, and then Japan. Furthermore, the splitting of resources left the Mongols with a fleet that was not readily equipped for the storms that plagued the Sea of Japan. A great storm sank the primary invasion fleet and killed most of the Mongol army during the 1281 invasion. Nonetheless, Kublai Khan continued to attempt to gather forces for another invasion while simultaneously attacking Vietnam. The end result was Japan was able to repel Mongol assaults, but Vietnam was not.[7]

[edit] Indochina

Not only Vietnam and Japan, but there are many countries of Indochina which can avoid the Mongol invasion. The most remarkable one is the Maoluang kingdom (or the Kingdom of Mong Mao) which is the empire of Tai people at Northern Thailand, Shan and Kachin state of present Burma of Northern and Northeastern Burma , Assam of Eastern India and Southwestern China. Sa Khaan Pha (or Si Ke Fa), the king of Maoluang kingdom can get the threaty after he wins the Mongols three times during the period of Kublai Ghan. He gets the authority on any lands beyond Southern to the Sang city which is now the Kun Ming city of Yunnan province of China. Lanna and Sibsongpanna at the Northern Thailand, Northern Laos and Southern China, Lan Xang at Laos, Champa at Southern Vietnam and Cambodia, Siamese kingdoms of Chiang Saen (or Chieng Saeng), Lavo, Haripunjai, Phyao and Sukhotai, and the Khmer empire are never been touched by the Mongols because of the Maoluang - the Mongol theaty, Malaria disease and the unbeatable terrains. But Burmese Pagan dynasty was destroyed in 1287 by Kublai Khan as well as Northern Vietnamese empire of Viet. Mongol was try to send the fleet to Khmer, Java, Siam, Srivijai and Malay but the Mongol army was never got win in such battles.

[edit] South Asia

South Asia was also able to withstand the advance of the Mongols. At this time, Northern India was under the rule of the Delhi sultanate. Though the Mongols raided into the Punjab and invaded Delhi itself (unsuccessfully), the Sultans--mostly notably Ghiyasuddin Balban--were able to keep them at bay and roll them back. Historian John Keay credited the successful combination of the Indian elephant phalanx and maneuverable central Asian cavalry operated by the rulers of Northern India. Ironically, 300 years later, Babar, a Timurid scion who claimed descent from Genghis Khan, would go on to conquer northern India and found the Mughal Empire. The difficult terrain, and other natural obstacles, such as those that plagued the Mongol empire in its attempt to conquer Japan also played a fair role in aiding the southern Asiatic "nations" to repel the Mongols.

[edit] Arabia and Egypt

The final area which would withstand the Mongols was the Levant. The Mamluks successfully defended the Holy Land with the aid of Berke Khan who allied himself with them after his cousin enraged him by sacking Baghdad, (Berke was a Muslim, and sent word to the Great Khan that he would "call him to account (Hulagu Khan), for he has murdered the Caliph in Baghdad, and killed all the faithful.")[9] This Mongol against Mongol fighting, after the Mamluks defeated the Mongols at Ain Jalut in 1260 ultimately brought down the Mongol Empire. Mamluks also repelled Mongol attacks in Syria in 1271, 1281, 1299/1300, 1303/1304 and 1312.

See also: Franco-Mongol alliance

[edit] Disintegration

When Genghis Khan died, a major potential weakness of the system he had set up manifested itself. It took many months to summon the kurultai, as many of its most important members were leading military campaigns thousands of miles from the Mongol heartland. And then it took months more for the kurultai to come to the decision that had been almost inevitable from the start — that Genghis's choice as successor, his third son Ögedei, should become Great Khan. Ögedei was a rather passive ruler and personally self-indulgent, but he was intelligent, charming and a good decision-maker whose authority was respected throughout his reign by apparently stronger-willed relatives and generals whom he had inherited from Genghis.

After the initial massive campaigns at the beginning of the conquest of Europe, where the Mongol war machine handily defeated the Hungarian and Polish armies, the Hospitallers, the Teutonic Knights, as well as the slaughtering of countless many civilians, Ögedei Khan suddenly died in 1241; just as the Mongol forces under General Subutai were preparing an all out assault on Vienna, Austria. This sudden vacuum of power is seen as the beginning of the events that led to the decline of the Mongol Empire. As customary to Mongol military tradition, all generals and princes, and thus the tumens, had to report back to the capital Karakorum thousands of miles away (the relocation of the capital to Dadu would add to this difficulty under Kublai Khan), for the election of a successor to the throne. Pending a kurultai to elect Ögedei's successor, his widow Toregene Khatun assumed power and proceeded to ensure the election of her son Guyuk by the kurultai. Batu, bitterly disappointed by the postponement of the European campaign, was unwilling to accept Guyuk as Great Khan, but lacked the influence in the kurultai to procure his own election. Therefore, while moving no further west, he simultaneously insisted that the situation in Europe was too precarious for him to come east and that he could not accept the result of any kurultai held in his absence. The resulting stalemate lasted four years. In 1246 Batu eventually agreed to send a representative to the kurultai but never acknowledged the resulting election of Guyuk as Great Khan. Toregene Khatun and Guyuk were also less in favor of the Mandarin officials instilled by Genghis Khan himself, most notably Chancellor Yeh-Lu Ch'u-Ts'ai, whom were so instrumental in the successful administration of Mongol conquests, choosing instead, to place Muslim administrators from the new domains to help run Mongol politics[5].

Guyuk died in 1248, only two years after his election, on his way west, apparently to force Batu to acknowledge his authority, and his widow Oghul Ghaymish assumed the regency pending the meeting of the kurultai; unfortunately for her, she could not keep the power. Batu remained in the west but this time gave his support to his and Guyuk's cousin, Möngke, who was duly elected Great Khan in 1251.

Möngke Khan unwittingly provided his brother Kublai, or Qubilai, with a chance to become Khan in 1260, assigning Kublai to a province in North China. (Note: This information is questioned, since Möngke died on July 21st 1259.)

Kublai expanded the Mongol empire and became a favorite of Möngke. Kublai's conquest of China is estimated by Holworth, based on census figures, to have killed over 18 million people as seen on the following webpage: [2]

Later, though, when Kublai began to adopt many Chinese laws and customs, his brother was persuaded by his advisors that Kublai was becoming too sinicized and would be considered treasonous. Möngke kept a closer watch on Kublai from then on but died campaigning against Southern Song China at the Fishing Town in Chongqing. After his older brother's death, Kublai placed himself in the running for a new khan against his younger brother, and, although his younger brother won the election, Kublai defeated him in battle, and Kublai became the last true Great Khan. Note, among historians there is no consensus who was the last great Khan. Many scholars believe that Möngke was the last, because after his death, the great empire fell apart into 4 khanates.

He proved to be a strong warrior, but his critics still accused him of being too closely tied to Chinese culture. When he moved his headquarters to Beijing, there was an uprising in the old capital that he barely staunched. He focused mostly on foreign alliances, and opened trade routes. He dined with a large court every day, and met with many ambassadors, foreign merchants, and even offered to convert to Christianity if this religion was proved to be correct by 100 priests.

By the reign of Kublai Khan, the empire was already in the process of splitting into a number of smaller khanates. After Kublai died in 1294, his heirs failed to maintain the Pax Mongolica and the Silk Road closed[citations needed]. Inter-family rivalry compounded by the complicated politics of succession, which twice paralyzed military operations as far off as Hungary and the borders of Egypt (crippling their chances of success), and the tendencies of some of the khans to drink themselves to death fairly young (causing the aforementioned succession crises), hastened the disintegration of the empire.

Another factor which contributed to the disintegration was the difficulty of the potential two-weeks extra transit time of officials and messengers and a general decline of morale when the capital was moved from Karakorum to Dadu, the Yuan name for the modern day city of Beijing by Kublai Khan; as Kublai Khan associated more closely to Chinese culture. Kublai concentrated on the war with the Song Dynasty, assuming the mantle of ruler of China, while the khanates to the west gradually drifted away.

The four descendant empires were the Mongol-founded Yuan Dynasty in China, the Chagatai Khanate, the Golden Horde that controlled Central Asia and Russia, and the Ilkhans who ruled Persia from 1256 to 1353. Of the latter, their ruler Ilkhan Ghazan was converted to Islam in 1295 and actively supported the expansion of this religion in his empire.

[edit] Silk Road

Main article: Silk Road

The Mongol expansion throughout the Asian continent from around 1215 to 1360 helped bring political stability and re-establish the Silk Road vis-à-vis Karakorum. The 13th century saw a Franco-Mongol alliance with exchange of ambassadors and even military collaboration in the Holy Land. The Chinese Mongol Rabban Bar Sauma visited the courts of Europe in 1287-1288. With rare exceptions such as Marco Polo or Christian missionaries such as William of Rubruck, few Europeans traveled the entire length of the Silk Road. Instead traders moved products much like a bucket brigade, with luxury goods being traded from one middleman to another, from China to the West, and resulting in extravagant prices for the trade goods.

The disintegration of the Mongol Empire led to the collapse of the Silk Road's political unity. Also falling victim were the cultural and economic aspects of its unity. Turkic tribes seized the western end of the Silk Road from the decaying Byzantine Empire, and sowed the seeds of a Turkic culture that would later crystallize into the Ottoman Empire under the Sunni faith. Turkic-Mongol military bands in Iran, after some years of chaos were united under the Saffavid tribe, under whom the modern Iranian nation took shape under the Shiite faith. Meanwhile Mongol princes in Central Asia were content with Sunni orthodoxy with decentralized princedoms of the Chagatay, Timurid and Uzbek houses. In the Kypchak-Tatar zone, Mongol khanates all but crumbled under the assaults of the Black Death and the rising power of Muscovy. In the east end, the Chinese Ming Dynasty overthrew the Mongol yoke and pursued a policy of economic isolationism[citations needed]. Yet another force, the Kalmyk-Oyrats pushed out of the Baikal area in central Siberia, but failed to deliver much impact beyond Turkestan. Some Kalmyk tribes did manage to migrate into the Volga-North Caucasus region, but their impact was limited.

After the Mongol Empire, the great political powers along the Silk Road became economically and culturally separated. Accompanying the crystallization of regional states was the decline of nomad power, partly due to the devastation of the Black Death and partly due to the encroachment of sedentary civilizations equipped with gunpowder.

Ironically, as a footnote, the effect of gunpowder and early modernity on Europe was the integration of territorial states and increasing mercantilism. Whereas along the Silk Road, it was quite the opposite: failure to maintain the level of integration of the Mongol Empire and decline in trade, partly due to European maritime trade. The Silk Road stopped serving as a shipping route for silk around 1400.

[edit] Legacy

The Mongol Empire was the largest contiguous empire in human history. The 13th and 14th century, when the empire came to power, is often called the "Age of the Mongols". The Mongol armies during that time were extremely well organized. The death toll (by battle, massacre, flooding, and famine) of the Mongol wars of conquest is placed at about 40 million according to some sources.

Many ancient sources described Genghis Khan's conquests as wholesale destruction on an unprecedented scale in their certain geographical regions, and therefore probably causing great changes in the demographics of Asia. For example, over much of Central Asia speakers of Iranian languages were replaced by speakers of Turkic languages. The eastern part of the Islamic world experienced the terrifying holocaust of the Mongol invasion, which turned northern and eastern Iran into a desert. Between 1220 and 1260, the total population of Persia may have dropped from 2,500,000 to 250,000 as a result of mass extermination and famine.[10]

Non-military achievements of the Mongol Empire include the introduction of a writing system, based on the Uyghur script, that is still used in Inner Mongolia. The Empire unified all the tribes of Mongolia, which made possible the emergence of a Mongol nation and culture. Modern Mongolians are generally proud of the empire and the sense of identity that it gave to them.

Some of the long-term consequences of the Mongol Empire include:

  • The Mongol empire is traditionally given credit for reuniting China and expanding its frontiers.
  • The language Chagatai, widely spoken among a group of Turks, is named after a son of Genghis Khan. It was once widely spoken, and had a literature, but eventually became extinct in Russia.
  • Moscow rose to prominence during the Mongol-Tatar yoke, some time after Russian rulers were accorded the status of tax collectors for Mongols (which meant that the Mongols themselves would rarely visit the lands that they owned). The Russian ruler Ivan III overthrew the Mongols completely to form the Russian Tsardom, after the Great stand on the Ugra river proved the Mongols vulnerable, and led to the independence of the Grand Duke 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 missions were to reach Cathay, the land of the Genghis Khan. Some research studies indicate that the Black Death, which devastated Europe in the late 1340s, may have reached from China to Europe along the trade routes of the Mongol Empire. In 1347, the Genoese possession 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 the disease, they decided to use the infected corpses as a biological weapon. The corpses were catapulted over the city walls, infecting the inhabitants.[11] The Genoese traders fled, transferring the plague via their ships into the south of Europe, whence it rapidly spread. The total number of deaths worldwide from the pandemic is estimated at 75 million people, there were an estimated 20 million deaths in Europe alone. It is estimated that between one-quarter and two-thirds of the of Europe's population died from the outbreak of the plague between 1348 and 1350.
  • Among the Western accounts, R. J. Rummel estimated that 30 million people were killed under the rule of the Mongol Empire. The population of China fell by half in fifty years of Mongol rule. Before the Mongol invasion, Chinese dynasties reportedly had approximately 120 million inhabitants; after the conquest was completed in 1279, the 1300 census reported roughly 60 million people.[12] David Nicole states in The Mongol Warlords, "terror and mass extermination of anyone opposing them was a well tested Mongol tactic." [13] About half of the Russian population died during the invasion.[14] Historians estimate that up to half of Hungary's two million population at that time were victims of the Mongol invasion.[15]
Genghis Khan, founder of the Mongol Empire and Mongol Nation.
Genghis Khan, founder of the Mongol Empire and Mongol Nation.

One of the more successful tactics employed by the Mongols was to wipe out urban populations that had refused to surrender. In the invasion of Kievan Rus', almost all major cities were destroyed. If they chose to submit, the people were spared and treated as slaves, which meant most of them would be driven to die quickly by hard work, with the exception that war prisoners became part of their army to aid in future conquests[16]. 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. Subutai, in particular among the Mongol Commanders, viewed winter as the best time for war — while less hardy people hid from the elements, the Mongols were able to use frozen lakes and rivers as highways for their horsemen, a strategy he used with great effect in Russia.

The Mongol Empire is also responsible for many technological achievements that are in wide use today. In addition, they discovered a unique way to increase the population of fish in a given body of water.

The Mongol Empire had a lasting impact, unifying large regions, some of which (such as eastern and western Russia and the western parts of China) remain unified today, albeit under different rulership. The Mongols themselves were assimilated into local populations after the fall of the empire, and many of these descendants adopted local religions — for example, the eastern Khanates largely adopted Buddhism, and the western Khanates adopted Islam, largely under Sufi influence. The last Khan who was the ruler of South Asia, Bahadur Shah Zafar was deposed by the British after the collapse of the 1857 uprising and exiled to Rangoon where he lies buried. His sons were killed by the British in Humayun's tomb, the burial place of their ancestor in Delhi.

The influence of the Mongol Empire may prove to be even more direct — Zerjal et al [2003][17] identify a Y-chromosomal lineage present in about 8% of the men in a large region of Asia (or about 0.5% of the men in the world). The paper suggests that the pattern of variation within the lineage is consistent with a hypothesis that it originated in Mongolia about 1,000 years ago. Such a spread would be too rapid to have occurred by diffusion, and must therefore be the result of selection. The authors propose that the lineage is carried by likely male line descendants of Genghis Khan, and that it has spread through social selection.

Mongolia today
Mongolia today

In addition to the Khanates and other descendants, the Mughal royal family of South Asia are also descended from Genghis Khan: Babur's mother was a descendant — whereas his father was directly descended from Timur (Tamerlane). At the time of Genghis Khan's death in 1227, the empire was divided among his four sons, with his third son as the supreme Khan, and by the 1350s, the khanates were in a state of fracture and had lost the order brought to them by Genghis Khan. Eventually the separate khanates drifted away from each other, becoming the Il-Khans Dynasty based in Iran, the Chagatai Khanate in Central Asia, the Yuan Dynasty in China, and what would become the Golden Horde in present day Russia.

[edit] See also

[edit] Notes

  1. ^ http://www.hostkingdom.net/earthrul.html
  2. ^ Weatherford, p. 69
  3. ^ Weatherford, p. 135
  4. ^ Foltz "Religions of the Silk Road"
  5. ^ a b c d Chambers, James, The Devil's Horsemen Atheneum, 1979, ISBN 0-689-10942-3
  6. ^ The Destruction of Kiev
  7. ^ a b c Saunders, J. J. (1971). The History of the Mongol Conquests, Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd. ISBN 0-8122-1766-7
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ Nicolle, David, The Mongol Warlords Brockhampton Press, 1998, ISBN 978-1853141041.
  10. ^ Battuta's Travels: Part Three - Persia and Iraq
  11. ^ Svat Soucek. A History of Inner Asia. Cambridge University Press, 2000. ISBN 0-521-65704-0. P. 116.
  12. ^ Ping-ti Ho, "An Estimate of the Total Population of Sung-Chin China", in Études Song, Series 1, No 1, (1970) pp. 33-53.
  13. ^ Mongol Conquests
  14. ^ History of Russia, Early Slavs history, Kievan Rus, Mongol invasion
  15. ^ The Mongol invasion: the last Arpad kings
  16. ^ 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 ISBN-13: 978-0828320177)
  17. ^ Zerjal, Xue, Bertolle, Wells, Bao, Zhu, Qamar, Ayub, Mohyuddin, Fu, Li, Yuldasheva, Ruzibakiev, Xu, Shu, Du, Yang, Hurles, Robinson, Gerelsaikhan, Dashnyam, Mehdi, Tyler-Smith (2003). "The Genetic Legacy of the Mongols". American Journal of Human Genetics (72): 717–721.

[edit] References

  • 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 Mongol World Empire, The Scarecrow Press, Inc., ISBN 0-8108-4571-7
  • Howorth, Henry H. History of the Mongols from the 9th to the 19th Century: Part I: The Mongols Proper and the Kalmuks. New York: Burt Frankin, 1965 (reprint of London edition, 1876).
  • May, Timothy. "The Mongol Art of War." [3] Westholme Publishing, Yardley. 2007.
  • Weatherford, Jack (2004). Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World. Three Rivers Press. ISBN 0-609-80964-4.

[edit] External links

editKhagans of Mongol Empire
Genghis Khan (1215-1227) | Tolui Khan (regent) (1227-1229) | Ögedei Khan (1229-1241) | Töregene Khatun (regent) (1241-1245) | Güyük Khan (1246-1248) | Möngke Khan (1251-1259) | Khublai Khan (1260-1294)

REWARDS Delivered at the Fall of Babylon (AD70 Jerusalem)