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These Tatars were, however, segmented construction, up- hereditary foes of the Mongols. There also seems to have been a decline per ijth century Mongolfrom southern Russia ex-Plet- of settled civilization and an extension of nomadism in the Mongol area nyeva ; lower 13th— 14th from the tenth to twelfth centuries. The groups were not clear cut and a clan could move from one to the other depending on its circumstances - Genghis Khan's family did just this during his early life.

The Mongol people were also divided into units such as the ulus tribe , oboq clan and yasun sub-clan or family. Though they had no towns, the steppe Mongols sometimes lived in huge, circular-tent cities. Those within reach of wooded areas used a round, felt-covered but wood-framed tent called a ger wrongly referred to in Europe as a yurt. Though relatively easy to dismantle, the ger could also be transported intact on great wheeled wagons. Mongol clans living on the treeless steppe or close to the Gobi desert used wide, low, woollen tents called maikhan, which had more in common with those of the Arab bedouin.

Clans moved from pasture to pasture along well-established and generally agreed routes, according to the time of year. Only when such pastures failed would competition for somebody else's grassland lead to savage warfare, either within the tribe or against outsiders. Mutton, milk and cheese formed a basic diet, qumiss or fermented mare's milk being the nomad's most potent beverage. In fact, a remarkably high proportion of the Mongol young from over-drinking.

While such aristocrats hunted with hawks, all Mongols were hunters of one kind or another. They used bows, lassos and, in the forest, various kinds of trap. Yet it was the bow, used from horseback, that remained the nomad's primary weapon in both hunting and warfare.

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Archery was basic to Mongol military prowess and the fact that all able- bodied males - not to mention many women - were fully trained horse- archers gave the Mongols a considerable advantage over their settled neighbours. Men fought as a unit under their clan or tribal leader and, since women and children were capable of looking after the herds, all adult males were available for combat. Relations between the Mongol and settled peoples were not always unfriendly.

The nomads needed metals for their weapons, grain for bread and luxuries like tea and textiles for their aristocracy. These they generally obtained through trade, and while the settled civilizations welcomed nomad products like sheepmeat, wool and horses, there can Most of the best examples of Central Asian art date from be little doubt that the nomads needed their agricultural neighbours well before Genghis Khan's more than the other way around.

Despite this, however, the Mongols lifetime, for there had been a never appreciated settled life, though they did admire the things that it definite cultural decline prior to could provide. Such a paradox led to horrific results during Genghis the rise of the Mongol World Empire. But the type of armour Khan's career of conquest. Lamellar rashar Mingoi , changed very little over the next three cen- armour for both men and horses had been known in central Asia for turies.

This warrior has a seg- centuries and was, of course, common in China and the Muslim lands. It mented helmet, a full cuirass of had also been used by some of the richer peoples of the steppes as well as lamellar construction, a spear and a round shield British by the settled oasis-dwelling peoples of the desert that lay between China Museum.

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During times of prosperity and conquest such sophisticated and expensive military equipment had appeared among nomadic peoples like the Kirghiz. While Mongol society had its ruling clans and military elite, the tribes were in realilty very fragmented. Political bonds were complicated and, by the twelfth century, already changing. A system had emerged whereby a talented but relatively obscure warrior could build up his own following while at the same time attaching himself to a more powerful man as his noker or 'comrade'.

Khans existed solely for the convenience of those they ruled. Chiefs were proclaimed when they were needed as war leaders or to settle serious disputes. Most came from aristocratic families, as did Genghis himself, but incompetence meant instant disqualification - an unsuccessful chief would simply not be obeyed. This 'political' freedom was in marked contrast to the iron discipline within Mongol armies once an effective leader had been accepted. Success was self-perpetuating as clans and tribes flocked to the standard of a victorious chief.

In time of peace, however, the people merely agreed not to go against their khan's interests, but would equally resist interference in their own everyday lives. Genghis Khan's achieve- ment was to create a government that not only governed but whose wide-ranging activities were accepted by those he ruled - or at least by those who wielded political and military clout. Meanwhile, outside powers like China tried to keep the Mongols divided by balancing one leader against another so that none became too p If.

When nomad leaders did rise to prominence they almost invari- ably raided the wealth of China. Some even made themselves masters of northern China before losing touch with their steppe origins and being absorbed within Chinese civilization. These earlier efforts to unify the Mongols mostly shrouded in legend, though the last seems to have are taken place in the middle of the twelfth century.

It was foiled by the Chin rulers of northern China, who were themselves of nomad ancestry, aided by the Tatars, blood enemies of the Mongols. Genghis claimed to be descended from these earlier Mongol rulers and certainly followed in their footsteps. The Mongols were thus backward but not totally barbaric.

While many of their nomadic neighbours had been influenced by, or converted to, Buddhism, Manichaeism, Islam and Christianity, the Mongols remained largely Shamanist.

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Few details are known about their animist Graves containing both men beliefs, which seem to have revolved around a multitude of spirits. They and horses are common on the recognized a supreme god identified as the 'Everlasting Blue Sky', medieval Central Asian beneath whom was Itiigen, goddess of fertility and the earth. Neverthe- steppes. These nth- 14th cen- tury Turkish examples from less the Mongols were impressed by the power - and magical potential - the Elovsky burial mounds near of more sophisticated faiths and their attitudes could often be summed upper the reaches of the up as seeking as much religious insurance as they could find.

Their Siberian Ob river include one spiritual leaders, the shamans, were travelling seers who communicated example A containing a man and his horse. The man 's bones with the spirit world through trances and were highly respected, not to have apparently been disturbed say feared. They generally wore white, rode white horses and carried a while the animal's were laid at a lower depth along with a very drum and staff as their insignia.

As well as officiating at blessings of one large cooking pot. A I3th-i4th kind or another and supervising sacrifices and funeral celebrations, they century example B only con- prophesied by examining the cracks on a sheep's scorched shoulder tains a man's bones which are blade. Their pronouncements often had a powerful impact on tribal laid on one side of a grave sur- rounded by a number of large politics.

Like so many ancient religions, Mongol shamanism also in- stones ex-Pletnyeva. In fact, the word yurt urbanized Turkish Uighurs. Like the Uighurs, too, there were many at refers to a stretch of grazing leastnominal Christians among them. Nestorian Christian missionaries land.

Such tents consist of a from Iraq and Iran had been active in central Asia for many centuries and wooden frame covered with sheets of felt and having a a whole chain of bishoprics extended along the caravan routes from the wooden door-frame. They Middle East to northern China. The Kerait tribespeople were in a similar could either be dismantled or situation. They too might have been half Turkish and had been nomi- transported intact aboard large carts Historical Museum, nally Christian since around the year iooo A.

Nestorian church probably had several million adherents. Many Kerait aristocrats still bore Christian names, and wildly exaggerated rumours of their existence as a mighty power in central Asia fuelled the legend of Prester John in far-away Christian Europe. The Mongols Neighbours 5 Between the Mongols and the teeming urban of China and civilizations Islam lay a series of smaller tribes and states.

Others were partly settled or were essentially merchant communities inhabiting the chain of oases along ancient caravan routes between China and the Middle East - the so-called Silk Road. Most of these peoples could boast a higher material culture than the Mongols, though some Turkish tribes, such as the Kirghiz who lived north of the Naiman, remained primitive pagan nomads. They originally came from Manchuria, but by the early thirteenth century seem to have abandoned the steppes and forests to anyone who could control them.

Instead, the Chin concentrated on their rivalry with the original Sung dynasty that still Another, now lost, religion that ruled southern China. Meanwhile, western China was ruled by yet flourished for several centuries in Central Asia was Manichea- another dynasty, the Hsi-Hsia, who were of Tibetan origin. Founded in jrd century West of China itself were the Uighurs, an ancient Turkish people AD in Iran by Mani, who was whose small but highly civilized oasis kingdoms were part Buddhist and known to his followers as 'The Apostle of Light', it attempted part Christian.

They had their own art, alphabet, literature and fully to integrate Persian Zoroastria- developed system of administration, while much of their peasant popu- nism, Buddhism and Chris- lation was of Iranian origin. The Uighurs were themselves technically tianity into a universal faith. Manicheanism may have dependent on the Kara Khitai, whose ramshackle empire spread both influ- enced medieval European here- sides of the Tien Shan mountains. These Kara Khitai were in turn sies such as the Albigensian descended from another nomadic Mongol people that had once ruled Cathars.

This fragment of a northern China. After being expelled by the Chin they carved out an Manichean book shows 'The Feast of Bema and comes from ' ephemeral empire that now included a large segment of Islamic territory. But the Kara Khitai state was now in great confusion, having been comprehensively defeated by its western neighbour, the Muslim Khwarazmshah of Transoxania. A Naiman Mongol prince also man- aged to seize the Kara Khitai throne in 1.

Brought up as a Christian but then converting to Buddhism, he now persecuted the Muslims who formed the bulk of his subjects. They in turn would soon welcome Genghis Khan as a liberator! Beyond the Pamir mountains lay Transoxania, one of the richest provinces in the Muslim world, with its great cities such as Samarkand and Bukhara. This had been Islamic territory since the eighth century and, like China, was the seat of a flourishing, highly developed agri- cultural and urban civilization.

Since 5, when Ala al Din Muhammad conquered most of what is now Afghanistan, almost the entire area had been ruled by the Khwarazmshahs. This short-lived but warlike dynasty sprang from Khwarazm, a fertile irrigated region south of the Aral sea. On the surface the Khwarazmshahs appeared very powerful. They, like their subjects, were Muslim. Unfortunately this largely consisted of unpopular Kipchak and Qangli Turkish tribal mercenaries, who quarrelled with the local Turco- Iranian troops.

Unlike the armies of longer-established dynasties, which were generally built around a corps of dedicated mamluks of slave origin, Khwarazmshah forces consisted of mercenaries of dubious loyalty.

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Their empire was also a very new creation; it had grown with extra- ordinary speed and was not yet accepted by many of its subjects. Furthermore, the Khwarazmshah had quarrelled with the Abbasid Caliph in Baghdad, thus alienating a large section of his own religious establishment. On the other hand, Transoxania and eastern Iran possessed large and strongly walled cities, many with citadels dating back to pre-Islamic times, while some had smaller fortified encampments dotted around them. For almost two hundred years, since the Seljuk Turkish invasion, most warfare in this area had been between competing Muslim dynasties rather than against a nomad threat from the steppes.

Armies had aimed to seize cities and centres of government, while the countryside re- mained largely peaceful. Rural areas like Khwarazm might have been dotted with the small castles of a local aristocracy, but their defences were more ornamental than businesslike. The numerous fortified car- avanserais, the 'motels' of the medieval Muslim world, were also designed to keep out brigands rather than armies.

North of the Muslim world the great Eurasian steppes stretched across what is now southern Russia and the Ukraine. The peoples of this area were again nomads of Turkish stock. Since the eleventh century the Kipchak tribes had dominated the region, while their predecessors, such as the Pechenegs, had been pushed into the forest fringe of Russia, into the Hungarian-ruled Carpathian mountains or across the Danube into Byzantine territory.

Russia and Byzantium both had long experience of dealing with such nomads, often recruiting them as a vital element in their armies. The Chernye Klobuky, or 'Black Caps', who helped defend Russia's border principalities against the Kipchaks were, in fact, the still- nomadic descendants of Turkish tribes that had previously been ousted by the Kipchaks. Not, however, until the coming of the Mongols did a nomad people of the steppes seriously threaten the very existence and independence of medieval Russia. East of Moscow, far from the steppes but on the fringe of the forests and the fertile agricultural 'Black Land' of what is now southern Russia, there existed a strange and isolated Muslim state - that of the Volga Bulgars.

It was a flourishing and rich Turkish khanate deriving consider- able wealth from trade up and down the mighty Volga river. Since the early twelfth century, however, these Volga Bulgars had faced pressure from the Russian principality of Vladimir. Other culturally isolated peoples survived on the southern edge of the steppes.

They included the once-nomadic but now settled and Christian Alans, a warlike people Genghis Khan Temuchin and his younger brother Qasar murder heir half-brother Bekter in a quarrel over f one fish and a small bird that they had caught while hunting. In the mountains of the Crimean peninsula there were still people of Germanic origin known as Saxi or Gothi.

Partly descended from those Gothswho passed through southern Russia during the fourth and fifth Age of Migrations, they may also have included the century offspring of Anglo-Saxon refugees who had sought service in the Byzantine army after the Norman conquest of England. The Young Temuchin The abandotied temples of Chi- The birth and early of the man later to be known as Genghis Khan are life nese Central Asia have yielded shrouded in legend.

He was born somewhere between 1 1 55 and 1 and many treasures of Buddhist art was given the name Temuchin after a Tatar whom his father, a minor including fragments of painted fabric, manuscripts and wall- Mongol chief of the Borjigin clan, had recently slain. Temuchin, as the paintings.

This painted fabric eldest son, took charge of the family when his father was in turn killed by from Khocho shows Vaish- ravana and, though the original the Tatars. Temuchin was, at this time, only about twelve or thirteen subject was Indian, the style of years old and his father's followers refused to serve a mere boy so he, his painting and the armour are es- mother and brothers were forced to eke out a living as best they could. Here These were hard times and the little family had to abandon the steppes the figure wears a flexible ar- mour with flap-like sleeves, in favour of the forested Kentai mountains.

There they could hunt and basically similar to those fish and avoid their foes, who now included not only the Tatars but also perhaps felt or buff leather 'soft rival Mongol families who had seized leadership of the Borjigin clan. Yet armours' worn by Mongol war- riors in late ijth and 14th cen- Temuchin already showed considerable powers of leadership, as well as tury Islamic art West Balm ruthlessness. Later biographers described him as tall for a Mongol, State Museums.

He could endure extremes of heat or cold even better than most Mongols and was apparently indifferent to wounds. Temiichin's early life made him, in fact, a man of iron. Early adventures included skirmishing with rivals or robbers, losing and then recovering eight of the nine horses that were all his family owned, being captured, escaping and finally claiming the hand of Borte, daughter of a chieftain and the girl who had been promised to Temuchin since childhood.

But that lay in the future. For the present Temuchin and his brothers simply had to survive. The grimness of their way of life is betrayed in the episode in which Temuchin and his younger brother Qasar, the finest archer in the little group, ambushed and murdered their own half- brother Bekter. This was in revenge merely for his stealing a fish and a small bird that Temuchin had trapped.

Though Bekter had been the son of another wife, their mother raged at them: One of you was born clutching a clot of black blood! The other is like the savage Qasar dog which he is named! Yet, she accused, the brothers could not even win back leadership of their father's own clan. Temiichin woulddo much more than later retrieve his father's heritage, but in the meantime he slowly gathered a small following of warriors through his skill as a raider and by his loyalty to his own men. He would, they said, take the coat off his back and give it away.

The story of Temiichin's wife Borte adds a welcome touch of romance to an otherwise savage story. The two finally succeeded in getting wed at around the same time that Temiichin allied himself with the powerful Kerait tribe. Only a short while later the little band was ambushed by a party of raiders from the Merkit tribe, Borte being captured.

Temiichin escaped though the speed of his horse and because one of his mother's servants, Qu'aqchin, had heard the drumming hoofbeats of their enemy. He fled back to the Kentai mountains where, climbing the highest peak, he threw his cap upon the ground and put his belt around his neck in sign of supplication.


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I the centuries before Genghis have been able to slip with my horse along the paths of deer and elk. Khan 's rise to power shows re- ligious subjects, reflecting the So saying, Temiichin bowed nine times and made an offering of many faiths that vied for the fermented mare's milk. He seems to have had a special reverence for souls of Turks and Mongols. Tangri and would pray to the Eternal Blue Sky at all crucial moments in This wall-painting in a basically Chinese style, though his life.

A sudden raid on the Merkit camp soon rescued Borte and few with strong Indian and Turkish cared openly to express doubts about the fatherhood of the son she bore elements, is a fine example of nine months after her capture. Suffice to say that Jochi, though the eldest Buddhist art from Kumtara made at the height of Turkish of Genghis Khan's sons, was never permitted to play a leading role in L'ighur civilization West Mongol affairs. Berlin State Museums. One of first moves had been to take his warrior com- Temiichin's panions and nobly born noker followers into an alliance with a less leading anti-Tatar chieftain, Togrul Khan of the Kerait tribe.

Temiichin was, of course, still a minor player in the tangled and bloody politics of Mongolia, but he soon proved his worth to the Kerait. At the same time he was careful not to alienate Togrul, despite his own rapidly increasing prestige. Instead, the young Mongol warrior concentrated on destroy- was helped by the ing his family's hereditary foes, the Tatars. In this he Chin rulers of northern China, who were growing concerned about Tatar power. In , with Chin support and encouragement, the Keraits and their ally Temiichin inflicted a serious defeat on the over- weening Tatars.

In gratitude the Chin declared Togrul to be wang, or king, of areas north of China. It might have been around this time that Temiichin adopted the title of Genghis more accurately Chingiz or 'Oceanic' Khan of the purely Mongol tribes. Genghis's next few campaigns were theoretically fought on behalf of the Kerait. The Naiman were defeated and Togrul became the most powerful ruler in Mongolia. His realm was, in fact, to be the foundation upon which Genghis Khan built his own empire. Did Jelme know the damage that a blood clot could cause to his leader's unconscious brain, or was this another example of traditional medicine saving a life without anyone quite knowing how the treatment worked?

Jelme's own story is an interesting one. He would later become a Mongol general, but his father had been a humble leading smith who arrived in Temuchin's camp 'with his bellows on his shoulders'. This man came from an area that had, for centuries, been famous for its sword-makers and his role may hint at the vital part the armourers of the mountains played in Genghis Khan's rise to power.

Genghis won another loyal follower at around this time when, after defeating a rival tribe and having massacred a suitable percentage of its captive warriors, the Mongol leader young bowman who came across a had once brought down the Khan's own horse. When the young warrior proudly admitted this fact, Genghis pardoned him, renamed him Jebe, 'the arrow', and thus earned the unswerving loyalty of a man who would eventually become the most illustrious of Mongol military com- manders. When the Tatars were finally overthrown, their fate was less The 'Demon with a Lamp' in this Uighur wall-paintingjrom generous.

The entire people was virtually wiped out, with only a few a Buddhist cave temple at survivors being gradually absorbed by the Mongol tribes. It is, there- Bezeklik is more Turkish in fore, ironic that the Tatar name lived on, to be given by many of the style. Such painting would have an influence on Islamic Mongols' foes to the Mongols themselves. In Europe the name was Middle Eastern art following corrupted to Tartar, perhaps implying that these savage and unknown the Turkish and Mongol con- eastern conquerors had sprung from Tartarus, an ancient name for Hell.

A Kerait ambush was betrayed and a furious battle was subsequently fought near the head- waters of the Khalka river. Genghis Khan's outnumbered army got the worst of this fight and he had to retreat north, towards Siberia and into the inhospitable wastes of northern Manchuria. Only a few followers now remained with him, but their loyalty was eventually to be repaid a hundred-fold.

For the present they simply had to survive until the Kerait coalition of allied tribes quarrelled and fell apart. As soon as this happened, Genghis returned to the offensive and crushed the Kerait. Their leader, Togrul, fled to Naiman territory, where he was accident- by a man who failed to recognize him. Perhaps seeing in this ally killed the hand of Providence, the Kerait people accepted the fact of Genghis Khan's leadership and thereafter served him loyally. The Khan himself was not quite so confident and had the Kerait clans distributed among the Mongol tribes, but at least there was no massacre.

Genghis Khan's next move was to attack the Naiman, the only people now in a position to challenge his domination of Mongolia. The defeat of the the Naiman had all the elements of a heroic tragedy. Overwhelmed in a furious battle, the mortally wounded Naiman chieftain retreated to a hill, where he asked his companions who were the four warriors who now pursued him like wolves.

A one-time comrade of Genghis Khan who now fought for the Naiman replied that they were the four hunting dogs of Temiichin: fedon human flesh and leashed with iron chains; their skulls are of brass, their teeth hewn from rock, their tongues like swords. Asking the identity of the man who followed them, the Naiman chief was told, 'that is my blood-brother Temiichin, wearing a coat of iron'. As the Naiman lay dying, the last of his followers charged down the hill upon the victorious Mongols.

Genghis, admiring their courage and loyalty, wanted to spare them, but they spurned his offer and fought till all were slain. In he summoned a great quriltai, or assembly of the leaders of the people, near the source of the Onon river. Here he was proclaimed supreme Khan of all Turkish and Mongol tribes 'who lived in felt tents' in eastern Asia. A famous shaman named Kokchii declared that Genghis was Khan 'by the strength of the Eternal Heaven'. Thus fortified with divine approval, the new ruler selected a wise judge to reward those who had remained faithful and punish those who had betrayed him.

Suchjudgements were then noted down in 'Blue Books', which later became the foundation of Genghis Khan's legal code. It had been a great achievement, but it also posed Genghis Khan with the problem that faced all those nomad leaders who managed to unify the warlike and predatory tribes of Central Asia. What should he do now? Ready at his command stood a magnificent military machine, but one that would quarrel and start falling apart if it was not soon used. The obvious answer was to direct the tribesmen's warlike energies outwards. Thus Genghis was set, almost inevitably, on a career of conquest.

So the only real question was whom to attack first. Meanwhile the shaman Kokchii continued to proclaim the Khan's Divine Mission but also started meddling in his family affairs.

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At last, Genghis Khan, despite his fear of the shaman's magical powers, heeded the warnings of his mother and his wife Borte. Kokchii had to be removed but, perhaps through fear of the shaman's powers, this was done by breaking the magician's back and thus shedding no blood. Other nomadic peoples of central Asia were soon drawn into the grand design, but only later did a seemingly endless succession of victories lead to the idea of a Universal Empire -to the theory, in fact, of World Conquest.

Meanwhile Genghis Khan had to mop up the neighbouring Turkish tribes. This he did between and The wild Kirghiz of the north submitted, as did some of the civilized Uigurs to the south. While other central Asian leaders ducked and weaved, or resisted and were destroyed, the Uighur king Barchuq, realizing that thesewere epoch-making changes, sent a fulsome message to Genghis Khan: It is with great joy that I learned of the glory of my lord Genghis Khan.

The clouds have made way for the sun, the river is freed from ice. Grant me your favour and I will dedicate A few items such as this iron bit my strength to you, I shall be as a fifth son to you. They equipment. It dates from the may even have had much advice to offer in the techniques of siege ijth or 14th century and comes from a grave on the upper warfare, because they were students of Chinese as well as Islamic reaches of the Yenesi river Re- military science.

Here the Mongol armies had their first clash with a settled agricultural and urban state. They learned much by the experience and forced the Hsi-Hsia king to recognize the overlordship of Genghis Khan. A much tougher proposition was the Chin state of northern China, which had its capital at Peking.

Genghis Khan's career sometimes reads like a catalogue of unbroken victories, but this was not really the case. His first attacks on the Chinese heartland were not very effective. The countryside was raided, but the Mongols could not take fortified towns. When they withdrew, the Chin army returned to repair the damage, resupply its garrisons and strengthen their fortifications. Nor could the Mongol tactic of mass- acring or dispersing a defeated foe work among the teeming millions of China; there were simply too many people to kill!

Nor could the bulk of the unwarlike Chinese peasantry be enlisted in the Mongol army. Meanwhile the Chin themselves, though now a settled ruling dynasty, retained the martial vigour of their nomad ancestors and fought hard, aided by Chinese science and Chinese military engineers.

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Contrary to popular opinion, though, recent archaeological research has shown that the Great Wall of China - at least in its present form - did not exist in Genghis Khan's day. Even the month-long sack of Peking in 12 15, after numerous attacks, did not mark the end of Chin resistance. In fact Mongol assaults on northern China continued almost unabated until Genghis Khan's death. Only under his successors was the invasion brought to a successful conclusion. Kara Khitai fell, with hardly a struggle, toGenghis Khan's loyal general, Jebe, in 8.

This also brought the remaining Uighur lands under Genghis Khan's control. Meanwhile Jebe showed himself to be a states- man, or at least politician, as well as a fine general. He ended the persecution of Islam that had characterized the last independent Kara Khitai ruler and was thus welcomed as a liberator by the Turkish Muslims of what is now the westernmost province of the Chinese People's Republic. This success meant that the Mongols' frontier had reached the Islamic world. On the far side of the towering Pamir mountains lay the rich and populous Muslim province of Transoxania and beyond that Iran.

Here, however, the Mongols would not be so welcome. Invasion of Islam Genghis Khan's unification of Mongolia and eastern Turkestan involved considerable bloodshed but relatively little material damage. His raids on China had caused destruction but nothing out of the ordinary for a nomad invasion of the Celestial Empire. But his march west, across the Pamir mountains into the Muslim heartland, was to be something quite different. It was these campaigns that gave Genghis Khan his unenviable reputation of being one of the greatest destroyers of all time. The appalling havoc wrought by Genghis Khan's armies across this part of the Middle East sometimes makes it seem as if the Mongol leader had a particularly vindictive attitude towards Islamic civilization.

Yet his kindly treatment of Muslims in the old Kara Khitai realm, and the fact that Muslim Turks were counted among his soldiers, show that Genghis Khan had no particular hatred of Islam. The carnage resulted from political and military considerations, not from cultural ones. After overthrowing the last Kara Khitai ruler, Genghis Khan found himself facing a man as warlike as himself, the Khwarazmshah Ala al Din Muhammad, ruler of a state that had appeared on the scene almost as suddenly as had Genghis Khan's own realm. Whether the clash between these two would-be rulers of central Asia resulted from the Khwaraz- mian massacre of one of Genghis Khan's merchant caravans and the murder of his ambassador, or was engineered by Genghis Khan, can never be known.

What is certain is that in 1 2 1 8 Genghis Khan sent a letter implying that the Khwarazmshah was his vassal. Ala al Din sent a non- committal and restrained reply. Then came the episode of the caravan, whose members probably did include spies, as the Khwarazmians claimed. It Perhaps the Khwarazmshah thought that the Mongols had their hands shows a lokapala, perhaps full in China.

If so, Khan led an army up into the he was wrong. Genghis Virudhaka with an apparently , Irtysh valley where, during the summer of , they fattened up their straight sword, a cuirass that opens down the front and also horses. In response, Ala al Din distributed his army among the strongly is held by buckled shoulder straps, walled cities of Transoxania.

Presumably he expected the Mongol attack and a very raised collar. Some to take the form of a short-lived raid and so decided not to oppose it in lamellar armour can also be seen on shoulder West open battle. Late in the Mongols advanced on three fronts. Genghis his right Berlin State Museums. Khan's eldest son, Jochi, headed for the city of Jend. His other sons, Jagataiand Ogodai, marched on Utrar.


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A third column rode towards Khojend. In February of the following year Genghis himself moved with his main force straight for the great city of Bukhara. Here the Khwaraz- mian garrison tried to cut its way out - but was butchered to a man. This first defeat seems to have shattered Ala al Din's confidence. One by one the cities fell. Embed Size px. Start on. Show related SlideShares at end. WordPress Shortcode. Johnny Hillier Follow. Published in: Education. Full Name Comment goes here. Are you sure you want to Yes No. Be the first to like this.

No Downloads. Views Total views. The Mongols killed many Iranian civilians. However, by time he ascended to power, the Mongol Empire had already dissolved, dividing into different factions. Hulagu Khan seized Baghdad in and put the last Abbasid caliph to death. Hulagu and Berke fought against each other, demonstrating the weakening unity of the Mongol empire. The Mongols lowered taxes for artisans, encouraged agriculture, rebuilt and extended irrigation works, and improved the safety of the trade routes.

As a result, commerce increased dramatically. Items from India, China, and Iran passed easily across the Asian steppes, and these contacts culturally enriched Iran. For example, Iranians developed a new style of painting based on a unique fusion of solid, two-dimensional Mesopotamian painting with the feathery, light brush strokes and other motifs characteristic of China. The domination of the Sunni creed during the first nine Islamic centuries characterized the religious history of Iran during this period.