Mongol invasions and conquests

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Mongol invasions and conquests
Animated map showing growth of the Mongol Empire
Expansion of the Mongol Empire 1206–94
Date 1206–1337
Location Eurasia
Result
Mongols conquer most of Eurasia

Mongol invasions and conquests progressed throughout the 13th century, resulting in the vast Mongol Empire, which, by 1300, covered much of Asia and Eastern Europe. Historians regard the Mongol raids and invasions as some of the deadliest conflicts in human history. According to Brian Landers, "One empire in particular exceeded any that had gone before, and crossed from Asia into Europe in an orgy of violence and destruction. The Mongols brought terror to Europe on a scale not seen again until the twentieth century."[1] Diana Lary contends that the Mongol invasions induced population displacement "on a scale never seen before" – particularly in Central Asia and eastern Europe – adding that "the impending arrival of the Mongol hordes spread terror and panic."[2] In addition, they brought the bubonic plague along with them, deliberately spreading it across much of Asia and Europe and helping cause the massive loss of life in the Black Death.[3][4][5][6] Tsai concludes that "[t]he Mongol conquests shook Eurasia and were of significant influence in world history."[7]

The Mongol Empire emerged in the course of the 13th century by a series of conquests and invasions throughout Central and Western Asia, reaching Eastern Europe by the 1240s.

Tartar and Mongol raids against Russian states continued well beyond the start of the Mongol Empire's fragmentation around 1260. Elsewhere, the Mongols' territorial gains in China persisted into the 14th century under the Yuan dynasty, while those in Persia persisted into the 15th century under the Timurid Empire. In India, the Mongols' gains survived into the 19th century as the Mughal Empire.

The killings and the disruption of societies led to dramatic declines in populations in many areas. In North China, the population fell from 50 million to about 9 million. In Persia, tax revenues from the villages fell 80 percent. Partly it was a decline in population, and partly it was long-term damage to agricultural productivity caused by the destruction of the irrigation system. The Muslim world was especially hard-hit, with damage by the Mongols in the East, and the reconquest of Spain in the West.[8]

Central Asia[edit]

Battle of Vâliyân against the Khwarazmian dynasty.

Genghis Khan forged the initial Mongol Empire in Central Asia, starting with the unification of the Mongol and Turkic confederations such as Merkits, Tartars, Mongols, and Uighurs. He then continued expansion of the empire via conquest of the Qara Khitai and the Khwarazmian dynasty.

Large areas of Islamic Central Asia and northeastern Iran were seriously depopulated,[9] as every city or town that resisted the Mongols was subject to destruction. In Termez, on the Oxus: "all the people, both men and women, were driven out onto the plain, and divided in accordance with their usual custom, then they were all slain". Each soldier was required to execute a certain number of persons, with the number varying according to circumstances. For example, after the conquest of Urgench, each Mongol warrior – in an army group that might have consisted of two tumens (units of 10,000) – was required to execute 24 people.[10]

West Asia[edit]

The Mongols conquered, either by force or voluntary submission, the areas today known as Iran, Iraq, Syria, Caucasus and parts of Turkey, with further Mongol raids reaching southwards as far as Gaza into the Palestine region in 1260 and 1300. The major battles were the Siege of Baghdad (1258), when the Mongols sacked the city which for 500 years had been the center of Islamic power; and the Battle of Ain Jalut in 1260, when the Muslim Egyptian Mamluks were for the first time able to stop the Mongol advance at Ain Jalut in the southern part of the Galilee. One thousand northern Chinese engineer squads accompanied the Mongol Khan Hulagu during his conquest of the Middle East.[11][12]

The Mongols were never able to expand farther than the Middle East due to a combination of political and environmental factors, such as lack of sufficient grazing room for their horses.

East Asia[edit]

Genghis Khan and his descendants launched numerous invasions of China, subjugating the Western Xia in 1209 before destroying them in 1227, defeating the Jin dynasty in 1234 and defeating the Song dynasty in 1279. They made the Bai Kingdom of Dali into a vassal state in 1253, forced Korea to capitulate through invasions, but failed in their attempts to invade Japan.

Many Han Chinese and Khitan defected to the Mongols to fight against the Jin. Two Han Chinese leaders, Shi Tianze, Liu Heima (劉黑馬, Liu Ni),[13] and the Khitan Xiao Zhala defected and commanded the 3 Tumens in the Mongol army.[14] Liu Heima and Shi Tianze served Ogödei Khan.[15] Liu Heima and Shi Tianxiang led armies against Western Xia for the Mongols.[16] There were 4 Han Tumens and 3 Khitan Tumens, with each Tumen consisting of 10,000 troops.

Shi Tianze was a Han Chinese who lived in the Jin dynasty (1115–1234). Interethnic marriage between Han and Jurchen became common at this time. His father was Shi Bingzhi (史秉直, Shih Ping-chih). Shi Bingzhi was married to a Jurchen woman (surname Na-ho) and a Han Chinese woman (surname Chang), it is unknown which of them was Shi Tianze's mother.[17] Shi Tianze was married to two Jurchen women, a Han Chinese woman, and a Korean woman, and his son Shi Gang was born to one of his Jurchen wives.[18] His Jurchen wive's surnames were Mo-nien and Na-ho, his Korean wife's surname was Li, and his Han Chinese wife's surname was Shi.[17] Shi Tianze defected to the Mongol Empire's forces upon their invasion of the Jin dynasty. His son Shi Gang married a Kerait woman, the Kerait were Mongolified Turkic people and considered as part of the "Mongol nation".[19][20]

The Yuan dynasty created a "Han Army" (漢軍) out of defected Jin troops and and army of defected Song troops called the "Newly Submitted Army" (新附軍).[21]

The Mongol force which invaded southern China was far greater than the force they sent to invade the Middle East in 1256.[22]

The Mongols' greatest triumph was when Kublai Khan established the Yuan dynasty in China in 1271. The top-level government agency Bureau of Buddhist and Tibetan Affairs was established to govern Tibet, which was conquered by the Mongols and put under Yuan rule. The Mongols also invaded Sakhalin between 1264 and 1308. Likewise, Korea (Goryeo) became a semi-autonomous vassal state and compulsory ally of the Yuan dynasty for about 80 years, but the Yuan dynasty itself was eventually overthrown during the Red Turban Rebellion in 1368 by the Han Chinese who established the Ming dynasty.

Southeast Asia[edit]

Kublai Khan's Yuan dynasty invaded Burma between 1277 and 1287, resulting in the capitulation and disintegration of the Pagan Kingdom. However, the invasion in 1301 was repulsed by the Burmese Myinsaing Kingdom.

The Mongol invasions of Vietnam and Java resulted in defeat for the Mongols, although much of South Asia agreed to pay tribute in order to avoid further bloodshed.

The Chinese region of Fujian was the original home of the Chinese Tran (Chen) clan before they migrated under Trần Kinh (陳京, Chén Jīng) to Dai Viet and whose descendants established the Tran dynasty which ruled Vietnam (Đại Việt), and certain members of the clan could still speak Chinese like when a Yuan dynasty envoy had a meeting with the Chinese speaking Tran Prince Trần Quốc Tuấn in 1282.[23][24][25][26][27][28][29]

Europe[edit]

Historians regard the Mongol raids and invasions as some of the deadliest conflicts in human history up through that period. Brian Landers has offered that, "One empire in particular exceeded any that had gone before, and crossed from Asia into Europe in an orgy of violence and destruction. The Mongols brought terror to Europe on a scale not seen again until the twentieth century."[1] Diana Lary contends that the Mongol invasions induced population displacement "on a scale never seen before," particularly in Central Asia and eastern Europe. She adds, "the impending arrival of the Mongol hordes spread terror and panic."[2]

The Mongols invaded and destroyed Volga Bulgaria and Kievan Rus', before invading Poland, Hungary and Bulgaria, and others. Over the course of three years (1237–1240), the Mongols destroyed and annihilated all of the major cities of Russia with the exceptions of Novgorod and Pskov.[30]

Giovanni da Pian del Carpine, the Pope's envoy to the Mongol Great Khan, traveled through Kiev in February 1246 and wrote:

"They [the Mongols] attacked Rus, where they made great havoc, destroying cities and fortresses and slaughtering men; and they laid siege to Kiev, the capital of Rus; 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."[31]

Timeline[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Brian Landers (2011). Empires Apart: A History of American and Russian Imperialism. Open Road Media. p. 17. 
  2. ^ a b Diana Lary (2012). Chinese Migrations: The Movement of People, Goods, and Ideas over Four Millennia. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 49. 
  3. ^ Robert Tignor et al. Worlds Together, Worlds Apart A History of the World: From the Beginnings of Humankind to the Present (2nd ed. 2008) ch 11 pp 472-75 and map p 476-77
  4. ^ Vincent Barras and Gilbert Greub. "History of biological warfare and bioterrorism" in Clinical Microbiology and Infection (2014) 20#6 pp 497-502.
  5. ^ Andrew G. Robertson, and Laura J. Robertson. "From asps to allegations: biological warfare in history," Military medicine (1995) 160#8 pp: 369-373.
  6. ^ Rakibul Hasan, "Biological Weapons: covert threats to Global Health Security." Asian Journal of Multidisciplinary Studies (2014) 2#9 p 38. online
  7. ^ Wei-chieh Tsai. Review of May, Timothy, The Mongol Conquests in World History H-War, H-Net Reviews. September, 2012. online
  8. ^ Matthew Buttsworth (1999). Eden and the Fall: The Fallacies of Radical Ecological History. Ph. D. disertation--Murdoch University. p. 374. ISBN 978-0-9870628-2-6. 
  9. ^ World Timelines - Western Asia - AD 1250-1500 Later Islamic
  10. ^ "Central Asian world cities", University of Washington.
  11. ^ Josef W. Meri (2005). Josef W. Meri, ed. Medieval Islamic Civilization: An Encyclopedia. Psychology Press. p. 510. ISBN 0-415-96690-6. Retrieved 2011-11-28. This called for the employment of engineers to engaged in mining operations, to build siege engines and artillery, and to concoct and use incendiary and explosive devices. For instance, Hulagu, who led Mongol forces into the Middle East during the second wave of the invasions in 1250, had with him a thousand squads of engineers, evidently of north Chinese (or perhaps Khitan) provenance. 
  12. ^ Josef W. Meri, Jere L. Bacharach (2006). Josef W. Meri, Jere L. Bacharach, ed. Medieval Islamic Civilization: L-Z, index. Volume 2 of Medieval Islamic Civilization: An Encyclopedia (illustrated ed.). Taylor & Francis. p. 510. ISBN 0-415-96692-2. Retrieved 2011-11-28. This called for the employment of engineers to engaged in mining operations, to build siege engines and artillery, and to concoct and use incendiary and explosive devices. For instance, Hulagu, who led Mongol forces into the Middle East during the second wave of the invasions in 1250, had with him a thousand squads of engineers, evidently of north Chinese (or perhaps Khitan) provenance. 
  13. ^ Collectif 2002, p. 147.
  14. ^ May 2004, p. 50.
  15. ^ Schram 1987, p. 130.
  16. ^ eds. Seaman, Marks 1991, p. 175.
  17. ^ a b ed. de Rachewiltz 1993, p. 41.
  18. ^ Kinoshita 2013, p. 47.
  19. ^ [books.google.com/books?id=nCIPD1V39QkC&pg=PA14#v=onepage&q&f=false Watt 2010], p. 14.
  20. ^ Kinoshita 2013, p. 47.
  21. ^ Hucker 1985, p.66.
  22. ^ Smith, Jr. 1998, p. 54.
  23. ^ Taylor 2013, p. 120.
  24. ^ Taylor 2013, p. 103.
  25. ^ ed. Hall 2008, p. 159.
  26. ^ eds. Dutton & Werner & Whitmore 2013 .
  27. ^ Gunn 2011, p. 112.
  28. ^ Embree & Lewis 1988, p. 190.
  29. ^ Woodside 1971, p. 8.
  30. ^ History of Russia, Early Slavs history, Kievan Rus, Mongol invasion
  31. ^ The Destruction of Kiev

Further reading[edit]

  • Boyle, J.A. The Mongol World Enterprise, 1206-1370 (London 1977)
  • Hildinger, Erik. Warriors of the Steppe: A Military History of Central Asia, 500 B.C. to A.D. 1700
  • May, Timothy. The Mongol Conquests in World History (London: Reaktion Books, 2011) online review; excerpt and text search
  • Morgan, David. The Mongols (2nd ed. 2007)
  • Rossabi, Morris. The Mongols: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2012)
  • Saunders, J. J. The History of the Mongol Conquests (2001) excerpt and text search
  • Smith, Jr., John Masson (Jan–Mar 1998). "Review: Nomads on Ponies vs. Slaves on Horses". Journal of the American Oriental Society (American Oriental Society) 118 (1): 54–62. doi:10.2307/606298. JSTOR 606298. 
  • Turnbull, Stephen. Genghis Khan and the Mongol Conquests 1190-1400 (2003) excerpt and text search

Primary sources[edit]

  • Rossabi, Morris. The Mongols and Global History: A Norton Documents Reader (2011),

External links[edit]