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Key Terms 11-09-19 10:10 AM
Chinggis Khan (1206 – 1227)
Khubilai Khan (1271 – 1294)
Giovanni da Pian del Carpine (1180 – 1252)
Marco polo (1254 – 1324)
• Significance of pastoral societies in global history
• Impact of the Mongol moment on global history
• Implications of the Eurasian trade sponsored by the Mongols
The Mongol Moment 11-09-19 10:10 AM
Not paid attention to throughout history:
• Did not leave many material cultures behind
o I.e. establishing monuments
o Moved around; temporary structure
• Adopting ideas from other civilizations that were conquered
• Tended to blend in with other cultures leaving the idea that perhaps
they brought nothing to the table
• Historians study people that they are more familiar with, more
o Societies similar to their own
• Nomad stereotypes: wander about aimlessly
o Complex, thought out system that allows them to survive in
o All societies have this system but aren’t seen like this by
Observations on Mongols:
• Reports from outside can be useful because they pay attention to
things that people in the society take for granted
• Reflect the perspective of the author; Specifically Europeans
Giovanni – missionary; traveled silk road & played important role in
introducing Mongols to Europeans, made diplomatic relationships with
Mongols, one of first to visit them, wrote a book about them & mixed in
fantastical elements (created idea that Mongols were monstrous). Route:
1245 – 1247.
• Split into 4 empires after death of Chinggis Khan
• Contained China, Korea, central Asia, eastern Europe
o Largest land based empire in history at the time
Question: Given what we know about nomadic society, how was he able to
achieve and maintain such a large empire:
• Learned not to trust family but Friendship; traded friendships for
more advantageous alliances (Steppe Diplomacy).
• In order to build empire need loyalty, skill, and merit
o Not necessarily obvious
• Renowned for violence, atrocities, etc.
• Also very skillful at adopting and adapting skilled people for their
• Offered economic incentives; facilitating commerce on a grand scale
o Made merchants of that background allies to the Mongols
• Mongols controlled such a large amount of land and offered safety &
• Religious freedoms; accepted & encouraged religious denominations
Infrastructure of Empire
• Postal service – essential for communication, also the movement of
merchandise. Different post stations, days worth apart in distance.
• Beauraucracy – adept at specializing, translations, good at
recruiting and training people for these jobs
Way to Secure Ruling
• Monuments – Established authority in newly conquered land.
• Established two capitals – Karakorum 1220, over Chinggis Khan.
1266 after took over N & S. China: city of the emperors close to
modrn day Beijing – Khanbaliq, Yuandadu: Chinese name; the
great city of the Yuan (?)
Transformed selves from nomadic tribes to a universal empire; circulated far
& wide in central Asia.
• Experimented with many types.