The Mongol Empire

The origins of the Mongol Empire were the widespread and scattered nomadic tribes of Central Asia. These tribes have been known for generations to argue among themselves about livestock and grazing land rather than showing each other. Rarely did it come to mergers of some tribes, usually the reason was an attack on settled people to plunder their resources.

It was not until around 1200 that this image changed with the emergence of a charismatic leader who was to frighten the world at that time.
The man, who was still called Temüdschins in his early beginning, managed to unite the nomadic tribes through much persuasion, bribery and pressure, and on this basis he created a solid foundation for a world empire. When the tribes were united to a coherent people, Temüdschins in 1206 took the title of "Khagan" (great barge) and called itself henceforth Genghis Khan.


Dschingis Khan (Bildnis aus dem 14. Jh.)

Genghis Khan (14th century portrait)


Khan immediately began to dissolve the ruling hierarchy and used close friends or loyal fighters in key positions. The favor of weaker tribes, he also secured by measures such as tax exemption or the ban on the sale of women. Also military measures were introduced. So his soldiers should learn their skills from riding and archery through daily training to a degree of perfection. He also divided his army into groups:
- 10 men = Arban
- 100 men = Zuun
- 1000 men = Myangan
- 10000 men = Tumen
and pay attention to the respective tribeship.
Due to the fact that the nomadic tribes ruled the riding of children's legs, Khan was able to teach his riding units certain maneuvers, such as: the feigned flight, and take full advantage of the speed.




The expansion of the empire:

From the year 1207, the Mongolian riders swept across the Asian continent and conquered one area after another in record time. In 1207 fell first the western Chinese kingdom Xi Xia. Beijing fell in 1215 and the Mongolian army rode further south to the Chinese heartland. At the same time, the cities on the famous Silk Road fell in the west. North India fell to the Mongols in 1222, and in 1223 the campaign continued through the southern Russian steppe. When Genghis Khan died in 1227, his empire stretched from the Pacific to the Caspian Sea.


Das mongolische Reich beim Tode Dschingis Khans (1227)

The Mongol Empire at the time of Genghis Khan's death (1227)




Genghis Kahn's heritage:

After the death of Genghis Khan his son Ögädäi took over the leadership of the Mongol Empire and continued the expansion unabated. So his troops invaded Russia in 1237 and left a trail of desolation true to his father's conquered conquest. After 1240 Kiev fell and was looted, the army moved further west where individual troops defeated on 9 April 1241 at Liegnitz in Silesia, the knights army Duke Henry II. Two days later, on April 11, General Subotai's army defeated the Hungarians at Mohi and opened the door to Europe for the Mongols. But an attack thwarted the news of Ögädäi's death and for the election of the successor all Mongolian leaders would have to travel back to their homeland.

During the subsequent reign of Göjuk Khan, the Mongols expanded their campaigns in the east. Also in the time of Hülägü Khan, who marched with his troops to Egypt, the campaign had to be canceled due to the death of his brother Möngke Khan. Egypt was spared, but the people of Baghdad had to pay a very high toll for their conquest, when about 500,000 people were victims of the Mongolian bloodlust.


Das mongolische Reich beim Tode Möngke Khans (1259)

The Mongol Empire at the death of Möngke Khan (1259)




The expansion in China and Southeast Asia:

Genghis Khan's heir, Kublai Khan, who was the governor of the southern Mongolian territories, unlike his brothers and predecessors, sought a degree of connection between the nature of the Mongols and that of the conquered territories. So he was more than fascinated by Chinese culture, wealth, and technology, and he was determined to incorporate the rest of the Chinese Empire into the Mongolian. After the death of his brother Möngke Khan, from 1259 to 1264 a bitter throne conflict broke out with his younger brother Arik Böke. Only then could he begin his goals with China until he had 1271 pushed so far that he crowned himself Huangdi (Emperor) and founded the dynasty of Yüan.

To expand his claim to power, he began a campaign against the rest of China. In 1268 he besieged the strategically important city of Xiangyang, which had access to the Han and thus to the Jangste, as well as to the fertile plains of central China. However, he was only able to take the city after 6 years, but by 1276, most of China was already under his control. The last resistance of the song he could break at the Battle of Yamen 1279.

But it was not only victories that Kublai Khan celebrated, he also suffered heavy defeats. Thus, his invasion fleet, which was to initiate the conquest of Japan, was destroyed in 1274 in Hakata Bay. The second attempt 1281 was thwarted by a storm.
On the other hand, an invasion of Burma in 1277 turned out to be a success and the state could continue as a vassal state. The loyalty of Korea Kublai Khan could gain by supporting King Wonjong against its opponents, but a conquest of Vietnam was thwarted.


Reich der Yuan-Dynastie um 1294

Empire of the Yuan Dynasty around 1294






You can find the right literature here:


The Mongol Empire (The Edinburgh History of the Islamic Empires)

The Mongol Empire (The Edinburgh History of the Islamic Empires)

As the largest contiguous empire in history, the Mongol Empire looms large in history: it permanently changed the map of Eurasia as well as how the world was viewed. As the empire expanded, the Mongols were alternately seen as liberators, destroyers, and harbingers of apocalyptic doom. At the same time, they ushered in an era of religious tolerance and cross-cultural transmission.

This book explores the rise and establishment of the Mongol Empire under Chinggis Khan, as well as its expansion and evolution under his successors. It also examines the successor states (Ilkhanate, Chaghatayid Khanate, the Jochid Ulus (Golden Horde), and the Yuan Empire) from the dissolution of the empire in 1260 to the end of each state. They are compared in order to reveal how the empire functioned not only at the imperial level but how regional differences manifested.

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The Mongol Empire: Its Rise and Legacy

The Mongol Empire: Its Rise and Legacy

In his prologue to The Mongol Empire, Michael Prawdin sets the stage for the last and mightiest onslaught of the nomads upon the civilized world. He tells of the many rejoicings in Europe over the successes of the Crusaders in A.D. 1221. But little did Europe know that two decades later, the Mongol hordes organized by Genghis Khan would turn the Middle East into a heap of ruins and spread terror throughout the West.

A work of enduring scholarship and literary excellence, The Mongol Empire is a classic on the rise and fall of the world's largest empire. It describes the incredible ascent of the Mongol people, which, through the political and military genius of Genghis Khan, overwhelmed and subdued the nations of most of the world. It demonstrates the transformation of barbarous nomads into the most efficient rulers of their time and describes the crumbling of their vast empire and the assumption of its legacy by the formerly subjugated China and Russia.

Maurice Collis in Time and Tide said of The Mongol Empire: "It has the rare merit of being both scholarly and exciting.... The entire world comes on to his canvas, romantic and fantastical persons pass in our view, and at the conclusion we realize that we have seen the whole of what Marco Polo saw only in part." while The Observercommented, "it is a fine book, full of dramatic occasion well used, clear in proportions."

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Genghis Khan & The Mongol Empire

Genghis Khan & The Mongol Empire 1st Edition

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Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World

Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World Hardcover – March 16, 2004

The name Genghis Khan often conjures the image of a relentless, bloodthirsty barbarian on horseback leading a ruthless band of nomadic warriors in the looting of the civilized world. But the surprising truth is that Genghis Khan was a visionary leader whose conquests joined backward Europe with the flourishing cultures of Asia to trigger a global awakening, an unprecedented explosion of technologies, trade, and ideas. In Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World, Jack Weatherford, the only Western scholar ever to be allowed into the Mongols’ “Great Taboo”—Genghis Khan’s homeland and forbidden burial site—tracks the astonishing story of Genghis Khan and his descendants, and their conquest and transformation of the world.

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