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Lecture 11

Lecture 11.pdf


Department
History
Course Code
HISA04H3
Professor
Natalie Rothman
Lecture
11

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Key Terms 11-09-19 10:10 AM
People
Chinggis Khan (1206 – 1227)
Khubilai Khan (1271 – 1294)
Giovanni da Pian del Carpine (1180 – 1252)
Marco polo (1254 – 1324)
Places
Mongolia
Karakorum
Khanbaliq/Yuandadu
Concepts
Steppe Diplomacy
Paz Mongolica
Social boundaries
Themes:
Significance of pastoral societies in global history
Impact of the Mongol moment on global history
Implications of the Eurasian trade sponsored by the Mongols

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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
attached to.
o Societies similar to their own
Nomad stereotypes: wander about aimlessly
o Complex, thought out system that allows them to survive in
non-human-friendly environments
o All societies have this system but aren’t seen like this by
settled societies
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.
Mongols
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:
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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
needs
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 &
benefits
Religious freedoms; accepted & encouraged religious denominations
to thrive
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.
Religious Accommodations
Experimented with many types.
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