Talk:Franco-Mongol alliance

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Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: no concensus after 23 days. Anthony Appleyard (talk) 15:27, 21 March 2010 (UTC)

Franco-Mongol allianceFranco-Mongol relations — Mainstream historical consensus is that despite many attempts, there was no successful alliance. So to avoid confusion, this article would be better titled as Franco-Mongol relations. Elonka 01:29, 26 February 2010 (UTC)


Feel free to state your position on the renaming proposal by beginning a new line in this section with *'''Support''' or *'''Oppose''', then sign your comment with ~~~~. Since polling is not a substitute for discussion, please explain your reasons, taking into account Wikipedia's policy on article titles.
  • Support, as nominator. See also discussion in above section "#Move?". --Elonka 01:31, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose May I remind that this subject has been delt with and resolved 3 times already: 1: Request for move, 2: Poll for renaming the article, 3: Article title everytime in favour of maintaining the Franco-Mongol alliance title? Is it really wise and productive to again lose the time of the community on this subject, and again create a dispute on something which has already been so clearly settled? Fundamentally, Franco-Mongol relations would actually have a much wider scope (cultural relations, trade relations, conflicts as well as alliances would have to be covered... quite daunting). Instead, the Franco-Mongol alliance article is supposed to focus on the only instances of diplomatic and military rapprochement between the Franks and the Mongols. These rapprochements were rather few and sparse but are regularly described in the academic literature as "Franco-Mongol alliance" indeed ([1]Jotischky p.249[2]). It is therefore an established expression and a subject of scholarly inquiry (also sometimes "Franco-Mongol rapprochement"). With someone courageous enough to build the content, I think we could clearly have a Franco-Mongol relations article, from which we could link to the more specific "Franco-Mongol Alliance" article. Best regards to all. Per Honor et Gloria  01:33, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
    The last discussion on this was two years ago. It's reasonable to re-open a discussion after a certain amount of time has passed, to re-check consensus. See Consensus can change. --Elonka 01:56, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Wonderful Elonka, fine with me, but then let's apply the same rules for everyone: please do not attack me anymore for challenging an old "consensus" between editors, especially as I bring more information to the table [3]: it would be quite unfair if you could challenge a former consensus, but I couldn't. Consensus can change indeed, and I will be more than happy to uphold this principle. I still think that since we've already had 3 formal resolutions on the subject, doing it a 4th time is quite over the top: are we going to make polls on disputed subjects every year from now on? This would be a clear invitation for Wikipedia to drown in incessant and repetitive litigation, away from actual content creation :-) Best regards Per Honor et Gloria  02:13, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Support consensus can change. I feel that "alliance" gives too much weight to the idea that there was a formal military alliance, when nothing in any of the article backs this idea up. If "relations" doesn't work, then maybe something else would. Maybe "rapprochment" would be best, as that pretty much captures the essence of what in the end was a ephemeral chase for something that never came about. By the way, PHG, we really don't need to link the title of the article twice in your statement... seems kinda silly. Ealdgyth - Talk 01:37, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Support. I don't think I participated in the previous discussions about the article name, so that's one reason why it's worthwhile raising this issue again--editors who haven't participated before can add their opinion. I agree that the "alliance" title implies that there was a successful alliance, whereas "relations" or similar doesn't carry the same implication. --Akhilleus (talk) 02:02, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose "relations" as too general and generic but I could support "rapprochement". Dr.K. λogosπraxis 02:08, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Support The awkward contortions in the opening paragraph illustrate the difficulty of a title that asserts as fact something that does not have scholarly consensus. I had a look through the Google Books searches offered by PHG: some of them use the term in a negative context ("mirage", "no interest at all", etc), some refer to a brief alliance between Kitbuqa and Bohemond VI, and Jean Richard refers to a broad (if unsuccessful) alliance. The article presents this as a minority view. The current title amounts to taking a side in a scholarly dispute, and apparently the minority position at that. It doesn't have to be "relations", though. Kanguole 02:20, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose for the same reasons as last time, and for those raised by Dr. K. —Srnec (talk) 03:26, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose, since this a phrase used by scholars, even if it is to say that there wasn't one. (We can certainly have articles about things that never happened...we have a "peace in our time" article for example.) Adam Bishop (talk) 07:27, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
    That's not an ideal example, as that article is about Chamberlain's utterance, which all agree did happen (though he apparently said "for"). Kanguole 11:30, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Support we don't even have to really establish if their is a consensus that this alliance never took place, as the nominator says; it's sufficient, and hardly disputable, that no consensus has never been reached, and to say more nobody I think will really doubt that a real alliance was never reached. Also, changing the title will avoid, as noted by Srnec, the contortions that are now at the opening of the article: with the title change the opening of the article at least could be more straightforward.--Aldux (talk) 16:43, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
    • Correction: I don't think Srnec said that. It was Kanguole's comment. Dr.K. λogosπraxis 22:03, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
      • Ah, I stand corrected: yes, I mean Kanguole, not Srnec.--Aldux (talk) 23:11, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Comment: In my vocabulary anyway, saying that an alliance was not successful does not equate with "there was no alliance", just as saying that an enterprise was not successful does not equate with "there was no enterprise". As far as I know "not successful" only means that the result was not a success. However the fact that there was agreement, or multiple agreements, between parties (the Franks and the Mongols) towards a common goal (and that's the definition of an alliance) remains nonetheless. The substance of an alliance existed, some military moves were made in agreement but the whole enterprise ended in military failure, which is why the "Franco-Mongol alliance" wording is the one used in the academic literature, and why it is nonetheless often mitigated with expressions such as "attempted", "sporadic", "failure", "unsuccessful" etc... Per Honor et Gloria  02:26, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
  • The text of the article does not support the current title, so support(see below) a move from the current title. However, except for isolated sections, the article is not about merely Franco-Mongol relations but Western European-Mongol relations. I won't judge the coherence of the article but, based on its current content, something along the lines of Western European-Mongol relations might be a better fit. — AjaxSmack 00:56, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Comment:" The adjective "Franco-" is generally used by scholars in this case because it stands here for "Franks", which is the way the Crusaders were designated by the Islamic world. It is a bit different from "French", although a large part or arguably most of the Crusaders were actually French themselves. Per Honor et Gloria  02:34, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Then I would posit that "Franco-" is rather ambiguous. Why not just use "Crusader" rather than a third party designation that is also used as an adjective of France? — AjaxSmack 02:53, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
  • It's just that "Franco-Mongol alliance" is a standard academic phrase to describe the Franks-Mongol relations in the period (Adam Bishop's point). It is a slight ambiguity which academics seem to be content with, so it's probably not the role of Wikipedia to negate that. It is true that it becomes less ambiguous from the 15-16th century, as for example with the Franco-Ottoman alliance. Cheers Per Honor et Gloria  03:15, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Thanks. I have since noticed some of the literature referenced in this discussion uses the term. I still think the article is a bit of a catchall and is more about relations in general but I'll strike my opinion and let others decide. Carry on. — AjaxSmack 04:05, 1 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Support As others have pointed out, the lead paragraph is a torturous attempt to clarify the title of the article. Relations might encompass more than the article current covers, but I don't see that as a bad thing. Shell babelfish 15:52, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
  • I would support the move to "relations." Relations is broader than an alliance, and this article includes content that pertains to relations but not an alliance. It also avoids the issue of pretending to decide whether or not there was such an alliance as an alliance is a type of relations. Also, reading the substance of the article, it seems clear that the two sides never reached any substantial agreement, engaged in successful coordinated action, or even engaged in any behavior they would not have done have they never communicated. Although I agree that the historical consensus is that "alliance" is not the appropriate term, I do not believe we need to decide this issue to understand that the move is appropriate. I don't know how much trade and cultural contact there was, but I suspect that this can be dealt with in two short sections. As for "conflicts", I would think it would be better to cover military cooperation and conflict side-by-side rather than cherry picking one to give the allusion of greater rapprochement. Savidan 23:17, 17 March 2010 (UTC)


Any additional comments:

Is there any particular reason for the "Franco-" part? Wouldn't "Crusader" be more precise? Ucucha 20:03, 2 March 2010 (UTC)

Since we didn't get many outside opinions with the requested move template, perhaps an RfC would get some more involvement? Shell babelfish 03:45, 6 March 2010 (UTC)

Actually, this seems like quite a good participation rate for an RM (Request for Move): most never even get close to this number of participants. After 3 failed RMs for the same proposal 1: Request for move, 2: Poll for renaming the article, 3: Article title isn't it time to move forward? Best regards Per Honor et Gloria  05:37, 6 March 2010 (UTC)
Except that I'm defining "failed" as in "failed to achieve any kind of consensus" rather than "failed to resolve the issue". Since this has come up several times and we've obviously seen the same old names here, wouldn't it be nice to get some outside input and see if we can find an actual consensus one way or the other? Regardless of which way it goes, a strong consensus would be helpful to keep this same issue from cropping up repeatedly. Shell babelfish 05:42, 6 March 2010 (UTC)
Wikipedia's rules are clear for such naming cases: when there is a failure to achieve consensus in a Request for Move, then the result is simply a "keep". When it is one same person filing the same proposal every 4 times and it gets nowhere, I think it's time to let it go, otherwise I'm afraid it turns into diruption, and it just loses the time of the community. As far as know this kind of repetitive filing is not encouraged by Wikipedia. Best regards. Per Honor et Gloria  06:06, 6 March 2010 (UTC)
So rather than address the issue which clearly hasn't achieved consensus despite repeated discussion among the same editors, you'd rather call a victory since the default is to not move? That's generally what one calls "wikilawyering". Wanting to get additional input to resolve this issue once and for all is a productive response. Shell babelfish 06:25, 6 March 2010 (UTC)
Sighhhh... a Request for Move was filed, so I would just like the results of this RM to be respected, please. This is called fairness to the participants, and respect of due Wikipedia processes. Why file an RM in the first place, if you don't intend to abide by its results if they dissatisfy you? Cheers Per Honor et Gloria  06:36, 6 March 2010 (UTC)
I think you may be confused; I didn't file a request for move, I commented. Since we're seeing the same stalemate as in the last several discussions you keep mentioning, I'm suggesting a way forward that would resolve the issue. No one "wins" or "loses" these discussions and we don't even have a worthwhile "result" here. I'm not sure why you feel getting additional input in the hopes of reaching a consensus is unfair or disrespectful and I don't particularly appreciate being accused of such. I'm certain someone who's been at Wikipedia as long as you is familiar with the various steps of dispute resolution and are aware that it strongly encourages outside opinions for issues that don't achieve consensus among regular topic participants. Shell babelfish 06:54, 6 March 2010 (UTC)
... would some other contributors wish to comment on Shell's proposal? Per Honor et Gloria  07:00, 6 March 2010 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Possible article name compromise[edit]

From the most recent discussion, there seemed to be two main themes:

  1. Concern that Franco-Mongol alliance suggests a broad alliance between the two cultures.
  2. Concern that alliance is the proper word for the various agreements and other words aren't as appropriate.

Would it be possible to change the article name to "Franco-Mongol alliances"? I believe this clarifies that the article discusses the various attempts at cooperation, rather than some single grand plan yet retains the appropriate terminology. This might also assist with the lead since we can then describe the various details properly instead of wasting time explaining that there was no general alliance. Shell babelfish 23:56, 24 March 2010 (UTC)

I think that would be a welcome improvement. The current title suggests a single alliance covering the period, an idea that appears to have little support in the sources. Kanguole 00:47, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
I would be opposed to such a title, as it's not supported by the sources. If we want a catchall title, better would be something like "European-Mongol diplomacy". For more information on how historians have referred to the concept, see User:Elonka/Mongol historians, in the "Term used" column of the table. --Elonka 00:59, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
In the hopes of giving us some more data to look at, I looked over User:Elonka/Mongol historians to see what historians most frequently name the various interactions. Unfortunately, that list is focused on what the historians said about a grand alliance between the two peoples and not what the historians call the bits that did happen. Since we're discussing the best name for the current article which describes those interactions, the data actually isn't very helpful. If anyone can put together a list of quotes that talk about the various treaties or cooperation, I'd be happy to run the numbers on the data and see what word(s) are being used most frequently to describe these interactions. Shell babelfish 19:38, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
I'm confused. I have over a hundred quotes on that page. What is it that you think is missing? --Elonka 22:20, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
Shell, your proposal is very interesting indeed [4]. I totally agree that the periods of alliance between the Franks and the Mongols were quite discontinuous. For example, authors do explain the sealing of an alliance at the 1274 Council of Lyons (Jotischki, p.246), which then "had to be revived" in 1299-1300 (Jotishcky p.249). It is also true that there was no alliance or collaboration for several years at a time. The general scholarly expression remains "Franco-Mongol alliance" however, so I believe the article name should still follow that, but I agree it would be very true and accurate to explain this as a series of intermittent alliances accompanied by quite limited tactical collaboration and some combined strategic movements which didn't manage to vanquish the Mamluks, in the spirit of what Jotischki says (Jotishcky Crusading and the Crusader States p.239):

"In 1262 Hulagu, the Mongol leader of the Near East, offered an alliance to Louis IX. An uneasy series of temporary alliances with the Mongols followed in the second half of the 13th century, but it was always an unequal relationship, and nothing substantial came out of them" Jotishcky Crusading and the Crusader States p.239

Best regards Per Honor et Gloria  05:51, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
Hmm...I'm starting to have some concerns about the source you've been quoting most recently. I had assumed from the quotes you are using that historians were in accord that there was a series of alliances, but I'm not finding that to hold true in any other source I've looked at (I went in depth again after reviewing Elonka's quote page above). Do you have sources besides Jotischky that make this claim? If the idea of any kind of alliances at all is a minority view, that kind of shoots down my whole proposal. Shell babelfish 22:36, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
Well, for reminder, here are more examples of how the contacts are described in historical litterature. My understanding is that many historians evoke the stop-and-go pattern of this alliance that Jotischky most elegantly summarizes. I am also aware that the weight of European sources is high here, and that often European authors (Alain Demurger, Andrew Jotischki, Jean Richard, etc...) seem to be generally much more positive than American ones about the alliance between the Franks and the Mongols, possibly for cultural, religious, historical and geo-political reasons I will not venture going into. For perspective, may I remind that the French tradition of Eastern alliances continued with the Franco-Ottoman alliance in the 16th century, that was to last for more than 3 centuries, and greatly shaped the history of Europe and the Middle-East? Best regards Per Honor et Gloria  06:13, 26 March 2010 (UTC)

Specifics about the alliance[edit]

  • Andrew Jotischky in Crusading and the Crusader States writes "In 1262 Hulagu, the Mongol leader of the Near East, offered an alliance to Louis IX. An uneasy series of temporary alliances with the Mongols followed in the second half of the 13th century, but it was always an unequal relationship, and nothing substantial came out of them" (Andrew Jotischki Crusading and the Crusader States p.239)
  • J.R.S. Phillips in The medieval expansion of Europe explains that "1248 may be taken as the year in which an alliance between the Mongols and Europe was first seriously considered by both parties. From then until the early fourteenth century some kind of alliance or cooperation was an almost constant feature of their relations." (J. R. S. Phillips The medieval expansion of Europe, p.118). He then describes the ups and downs of the alliance, but does highlight the actual instances of collaboration, such as when Bohemond VI "openly assisted the Mongol invasion" p.119, or when Edward I and the Mongols "combined their forces" p.121.
  • May, Timothy mentions a "Papal-Mongol accomodation" (Crusaders, condottieri, and cannon Donald J. Kagay p.151). He explains that "the Ilkhanate alliance with Rome was extended to Jaume I of Aragon and Edward I of England (p.153), but that the negotiations "accomplished very little" (p.153). The alliance began to unravel in 1275 with the death of Bohemond VI (p.154). He further writes that "despite the alliance hammered out at Lyons, the Mongols never engaged in joint operations with the Franks" (p.154). In 1280 "only a contingent of Hospitallers fought alongside the (Mongol) invaders" (p.154).
  • René Grousset mentions especially "Louis IX and the Franco-Mongol alliance" (p521), "Only Edward I understood the value of the Mongol alliance" (p.653) "Edward I and the Mongol alliance" (p.653), "Edward I renewed the precious Mongol Alliance" (in "L'épopée des Croisades", p.301), "The Franco-Mongol coalition, of which the Hospitallers were giving the example" (p.686)
  • Jean Richard in The Crusades, has the Franco-Mongol alliance start in earnest in the 1260s: "The sustained attacks of Baibars (...) converted the Westerners to this alliance, which the Mongols were also able to persuade the Byzantines to join." (Jean Richard The Crusades, p.440) and continue on-and-off until it was strongly revived by Ghazan, to continue to have an influence until 1322: "In 1297 Ghazan revived his projects against Egypt (...) the Franco-Mongol cooperation had thus survived, to the loss of Acre by the Franks, and to the conversion of the khan to Islam. It was to remain one of the givens of Crusading politics, until the peace treaty with the Mamluks, which was concluded in 1322 by khan Abu Said." (p.455). He concludes on the many missed opportunities the alliance offered: "The Franco-Mongol alliance... foundered... It is a story of lost opportunities" (p.456)
  • Reuven Amitai-Preiss in Mongols and Mamluks writes that "Under Bohemond VI, the northern Franks maintained their unequivocal pro-Mongol alliance after Ayn Jalut (Reuven Amitai-Preiss Mongols and Mamluks: the Mamluk-Īlkhānid War, 1260-1281 p.54). He also writes about the "Mongol-Frankish rapprochement" (Mamluk perceptions of the Mongol-Frankish rapprochement, MHR 7 (1992), p.50-65 [5])
  • Dr. Martin Sicker, in The Islamic World Ascendancy (p.113): "Ket-Buqa and Bohemond VI fully appreciated the mutual advantages of the Frank-Mongol alliance". He also mentions an end to the Franco-Mongol alliance after the events of Sidon: "Suitably provoked, the Mongols responded by pillaging Sidon, thereby bringing an effective end to the Frank-Mongol alliance." (Martin Sicker The Islamic world in ascendancy p.113)
  • Christopher Tyerman, in God's War: A New History of the Crusades, does mention the existence of "The Mongol alliance", although he specifies that in the end it led nowhere,("The Mongol alliance, despite six further embassies to the west between 1276 and 1291, led nowhere" God's war: a new history of the Crusades Christopher Tyerman p.816) and turned out to be a "false hope for Outremer as for the rest of Christendom" at the time of Saint Louis' Crusade (pp. 798-799). He further describes successes and failures of this alliance from 1248 to 1291, with Bohemond VI's alliance with the Mongols and their joint victories (p.806), and Edward's largely unsuccessful attempts to pursue the Mongol alliance (p.813). He does not mention the Ruad expedition in 1300-1303.
  • Bernard de Vaulx in History of the Missions (p. 53) writes about the "Franco- Mongol alliance".
  • Peter W. Edbury in The Kingdom of Cyprus and the Crusades, 1191-1374 (p. 92) mentions the "Franco-Mongol alliance", and gives as an example that the Mongol staged an attack to coincide with the Frank offensive during the Crusade of Edward I.
  • Jean-Paul Roux, in Histoire de l'Empire Mongol ISBN 2213031649, has a chapter on the "Frank alliance" with the Mongols. He describes the continuation of this alliance until the time of Oljeitu: "The Occident was reassured that the Mongol alliance had not ceased with the conversion of the Khans to Islam. However, this alliance could not have ceased. The Mamelouks, through their repeated military actions, were becoming a strong enough danger to force Iran to maintain relations with Europe.", p.437
  • Claude Mutafian in Le Royaume Arménien de Cilicie describes "the Mongol alliance" entered into by the king of Armenia and the Franks of Antioch ("the King of Armenia decided to engage into the Mongol alliance, an intelligence that the Latin barons lacked, except for Antioch"), and "the Franco-Mongol collaboration" (Mutafian, p.55)
  • Zoe Oldenbourg in The Crusades mentions the 1280 "Alliance of Franks and Mongols against Qalawun". (Oldenbourg, "The Crusades", p.620)
  • Alain Demurger, in the 2002 Jacques de Molay biography The Last Templar, refers to it as the "Mongol alliance", which came to fruition through such events as the 1300 combined offensives between the Templars and the Mongols.(Demurger, p.147 "This expedition sealed by a concrete act the Mongol alliance"), "The strategy of the Mongol alliance in action" (Demurger p.145) "De Molay led the fight for the reconquest of Jerusalem by relying on an alliance with the Mongols", back cover). In 1281, the Northern Franks allied with the Mongols, and by the end of the 13th century the Master of the Knights Templar De Molay "chose resolutely the alliance with the Mongols" (Alain Demurger Les Templiers p.81-83). For Demurger, the death of Ghazan in 1304 put an end to the "strategy of the Mongol alliance" ("En 1304, la mort de Ghazan mettait fin à cette stratégie d'alliance avec les Mongols" in Alain Demurger Les Templiers p.85).
  • Jonathan Riley-Smith mentions in his Atlas of the Crusades that in 1285 the Hospitallers of the north agreed to ally to the Mongols.("En 1285, Qalawun, nouveau sultan mamelouk, reprend l'offensive, qu'il dirige contre les Hospitaliers du nord, qui s'etaient montres prets a s'allier aux Mongols", Jonathan Riley-Smith, "Atlas des Croisades", p.114) He also describes Bohemond's alliance with the Mongols: "Bohemond VI of Antioch-Tripoli became their [the Mongol's] ally", in History of the Crusades, p.136
  • Laurent Dailliez, in Les Templiers, mentions that the Knights Templar allied with the Mongols, and that Jacques de Molay signed a treaty with them against the Muslim "their common enemy".("The Mongols, after taking Damascus and several important cities from the Turks, after having been routed by the Sultan of Egypt at Tiberiade in 1260, allied themselves with the Templars. Jacques de Molay, in his letter to the king of England said that he had to sign such a treaty to fight against the Muslims, "our common enemy"" Dailliez, p.306-307)
  • Peter Jackson in The Mongols and the West entitles a whole chapter "An ally against Islam: the Mongols in the Near East" (Peter Jackson The Mongols and the West, 1221-1410 p.167) and describes all the viscicitudes and the few limited results of the Franco-Mongol collaboration: Edward I's ineffective coordination with the Mongols ("Only the English contingent under the Lord Edwards... made contact with the Mongols" p.167); the failed junction of Hugh III of Cyprus with the Mongols in 1280 (p.168); the participation of the Hospitallers in the Mongol offensive in 1281 (p.168); the arrival of a contigent of 800 Genoese in Baghdad in 1290 to build a fleet against the Mamluks (p.169); the seaborne operations of 1299 in attempts to coordinate with the Mongols (p.171); the major Ruad expedition in 1300 to coordinate an offensive with the Mongols (p.171), described as "the high-water mark of Mongol-Latin relations" (p.172).
  • Claude Lebedel in Les Croisades describes the alliance of the Franks of Antioch and Tripoli with the Mongols: (in 1260) "the Frank barons refused an alliance with the Mongols, except for the Armenians and the Prince of Antioch and Tripoli".
  • Amin Maalouf in The Crusades through Arab eyes is extensive and specific on the alliance (page numbers refer to the French edition): “The Armenians, in the person of their king Hetoum, sided with the Mongols, as well as Prince Bohemond, his son-in-law. The Franks of Acre however adopted a position of neutrality favourable to the muslims” (p.261), “Bohemond of Antioch and Hethoum of Armenia, principal allies of the Mongols” (p.265), “Hulagu (…) still had enough strength to prevent the punishment of his allies [Bohemond and Hethoum]” (p.267), “..the Hospitallers. These monk-horsemen allied with the Mongols, going as far as fighting at their side in a new attempt at invasion in 1281."
  • Sylvia Schein in Gesta Dei per Mongolos describes the Templars, Hospitallers and crusaders of Cyprus as allies of the Mongols in the campaings of 1300-1302: "They (the Templars, Hospitallers and crusaders of Cyprus) sailed to the island of Ruad, and, from that base, captured Tortosa, but retired a few days later when their allies (the Mongols) did not appear.", p.811
  • E. L. Skip Knox, Boise State University, in The Fall of Outremer online: "Some of the Crusader States wanted to form an alliance with the Mongols, while others weren't so sure. The allure of destroying Egypt was great, but the Mongols were pretty scary allies. In the end, Armenia and Antioch joined, along with the Templars and Hospitallers." also here: "A double army marched down from the north and east, crossing the Euphrates in 1281. Qalavun marched north and they met near Homs on 30 October. Once again, Christians fought alongside the Mongols (the Hospitallers and the Armenians this time)".
  • Encyclopedia Britannica: A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, Literature.., p.100: "The fact that the Mongols were in ostensible alliance with Christian princes led to a renewal by the sultan of the ordinances against Jews and Christians."
  • Emmanuel Berl in Histoire de l'Europe (p. 219) writes about the "Franco-Mongol rapprochement".
  • Reuven Amitai-Preiss writes about the "Mongol-Frankish rapprochement" (Mamluk perceptions of the Mongol-Frankish rapprochement, MHR 7 (1992), p.50-65)
  • Patrick Huchet in Les Templiers, une fabuleuse epopee relates that "Jacques de Molay, elected Master in 1292, associated himself with the Mongols to set up military operations on the island of Ruad (near Tortose)."

Ok, I had been working under the assumption that you'd moved past this list of sources from two years ago that even ArbCom found to be cited "in a misleading or distorted fashion". It's truly shocking to see you pull this out. I'd have to say that pretty much shoots down my suggestion entirely :( Shell babelfish 14:28, 26 March 2010 (UTC)
As you wish, Shell :) but in my opinion this list shows fairly well how these authors describe the specific instances of the collaborations between the Franks and the Mongols. At the very least, I would say a quote is a quote, and if an historian writes about how the Franks allied with the Mongols, that's what he wrote, whatever some other people might want to argue. If the existence of those lines "shocks" you, I can only be sorry for you, but they are real nonetheless. I don't think quoting authors should ever be shocking or criticized, lest we behave as if there was a "thought police". Best regards Per Honor et Gloria  14:58, 26 March 2010 (UTC)
I am in strong agreement with Shell Kinney on this. Most of the sources that PHG just listed were already thoroughly debunked, or it was pointed out that PHG was seriously misrepresenting what they say. It's very disappointing that PHG is continuing to bring them up. Really, Grousset, Dailliez, Oldenbourg, again? It's time to drop the damn stick. Or Amitai? This cherry-picking is highly frustrating, that PHG is trying to cite him (and he is a him, which PHG would know if he'd actually read his book, since Amitai's picture is right there). Amitai is definitely a reputable historian, but it's completely incorrect to try and list him as someone who is supporting the idea that an alliance existed, when in fact he argued quite clearly that it didn't. He stated that the nearest thing to cooperation in the entire history of Mongol-Latin relations was between Edward I and Abagha, but it failed. In fact, he's got an entire article on the "failed attempt at Mongol-Frankish cooperation". For anyone who wishes to read it, it's easily found on Google:[6] --Elonka 16:29, 26 March 2010 (UTC)
Aren't we fundamentally in agreement here, beyond the rhetoric? In the very nice article you quote [7], Reuven Amitai clearly describes mutual agreement between Edward I and Abagha to launch a coordinated military operation against the Mamluks (and an agreement to achieve a common goal is indeed the definition of an alliance: this is exactly when René Grousset says "Edward I renewed the precious Mongol Alliance"). According to this agreement, troops were moved, offensives were made (Edward's troops and 10,000 Mongols horsemen). It is clear however that coordination was poor, and this operation ended in failure. There is a confusion of meaning on your part I am afraid: saying that an attempt at a collaboration failed perfectly allows for the fact that there was indeed an agreement to collaborate to start with. It is fairly simple: the Crusaders and the Mongols agreed to cooperate towards a common goal against the Mamluks (= formed an alliance), but their efforts ultimately mostly failed (=military success did not happen). It's common sense... isn't this something we can agree on? Best regards Per Honor et Gloria  17:03, 26 March 2010 (UTC)
The Wikipedia article should reflect the mainstream consensus of modern reliable historians. The mainstream consensus is, "There were attempts at alliance, which were unsuccessful." --Elonka 17:30, 26 March 2010 (UTC)
Elonka, I know that when you're out of arguments you often tend to revert to this formulation as if it were a mantra, but I honestly don't think it reflects the reality of what historians generally explain: they explain that the Mongols and the Crusaders made agreements to collaborate military, which is exactly the definition of an alliance ("an agreement between two or more parties, made in order to advance common goals and to secure common interests"), and which is proved by the numerous written material which have reached us. They then explain that as a result of these agreements the Mongols and Crusaders collaborated a few times on the field, although in a limited, discontinuous and generally ineffective way. They then explain that they faced military defeat against the Mamluks. So I think your formulation is inexact, plays on an ambiguous interpretation of the word alliance which would mix the agreements with their outcome (which is not supported by dictionaries), and which is not what historians describe: what historians generally mean by "Franco-Mongol alliance" is that the Crusaders and the Mongols did agree to collaborate militarily (to ally), then attempted to coordinate in a grand way but failed to do so and only achieved very limited results (clumsy execution), and that their endeavour ended in military defeat against the Mamluks (ultime military failure). Best regards Per Honor et Gloria  20:05, 26 March 2010 (UTC)
Let me try an analogy here - pretend I said "I went to shop, but was unsuccessful because I had a flat tire." Would any reasonable person look at that and say "Ahha! You mentioned attempts to shop, so there was shopping even if it was ultimately unsuccessful."? And to answer my rhetorical question, of course not - if they did, people would look at them like they were crazy.

History and context can be difficult to understand but in this case we have a) they talked about it b) they tried to get together but c) it never actually happened. Reasonable people do not look at that and say talks and attempts to coordinate equals an alliance, just like attempt to go to the store does not equal shopping. Shell babelfish 18:09, 26 March 2010 (UTC)

I'll follow your analogy, which is great. It's very simple: please look at the definition of "alliance". On Wikipedia it is "an agreement between two or more parties, made in order to advance common goals and to secure common interests" [8], or on the "A close association of nations or other groups, formed to advance common interests or causes" [9]. So, to take your analogy "forming an alliance" is like "let's go shopping together": it doesn't prejudge whether shopping will actually occur or not. The "shopping" part is the equivalent of actually collaborating on the field, and here we know that the Mongols and the Crusaders actually sent armies to collaborate against the common Mamluk enemy, and that some level of cooperative action took place, so indeed they actually went shopping and shopped together, even if in a rather clumsy and limited way. So there was a decision to go shopping, and there was actually shopping together: there was an alliance and multiple instances of actual cooperation as a result. The "going back home with the goodies" is were things didn't work as planned: the Mongols and Crusaders were quite inefficient in putting their act together, and they were most of the time trounced by the Mamluks: so yes, the shopping failed in the end, they couldn't get the goodies back home. It is very logical, not contradictory, and I think basically we all agree: an alliance (or alliances, i.e. agreements to fight together for a common goal) took place, military collaboration occured as a result although on a generally limited scale, but in the end the whole thing ended in failure with military defeat against the Mamluks. It is also the very reason why the expression "Franco-Mongol alliance" exists to start with. Isn't it very simple, and something we can easily agree on? Best regards Per Honor et Gloria  19:42, 26 March 2010 (UTC)
It's not about what dictionaries say, it's about what historians say. The problem here, PHG, is that you have an idee fixe in your mind. You cherry pick quotes that support that idea, and disregard anything that disagrees. You then try to state things that are not supported by the actual consensus of historians. For example, Amitai (who we both seem to agree is a reliable source) said, in an article which was even entitled "failure of cooperation", "There were other attempts at Ilkhanid-Frankish cooperation. For the ill-fated "crusade" of James of Aragon, see [sources]. For reports of Genoese sailors in Iraq during the early 1290s (and perhaps earlier), where they were supposedly building ships to be used against Mamluk shipping, see [sources]. For Frankish activity on the Syrian and Egyptian coast in the aftermath of Ghazan's invasion of the former in 1299-1300, see [source]. In none of these episodes, however, can we speak of Mongols and troops from the Frankish West being on the Syrian mainland at the same time."[10] So even Amitai makes it clear that there were attempts at cooperation, not actual cooperation. Further, it's not just that you interpret the sources differently from everyone else, it's that you stubbornly cling to this interpretation, despite multiple highly informed Wikipedians telling you that your interpretations are incorrect. It is that latter stubbornness and refusing to back down, which is one of the reasons for your topic ban. It's because you form a view, and then insist on it in opposition to other editors. To better participate on Wikipedia, it is essential to engage in the collaborative process. Grant that others may see things differently, grant the possibility of having made a mistake in review (or choices) of sources, and back down. Bow to the will of the community, and move on to another topic, rather than doing what you have been doing, spending literally years of your life arguing about these details. --Elonka 01:11, 27 March 2010 (UTC)
You know Elonka, I'm quite OK to say that the "cooperation failed" because that's true, and that's what Amitai says also. I think everybody agrees that this whole thing ended in failure. The problem is your apparent denial of an alliance taking place, and that's contradicted by facts and what historians say. Something is called by historians "Franco-Mongol alliance" because there were multiple agreements between the Franks and the Mongols to collaborate military. You've made an amalgamation between "there were attempts at collaboration", which is true to the extent that "collaboration" describes the limited combined operations on the field, to "there were only attempts at an alliance", which is not true and denies the whole historical topic to the point of unreasonnably pushing for an article name change as you did 4 times already, and throwing me to Arbcom everytime I dare insert some (referenced) details about these attempts at collaboration. The reason I maintain my argumentation on this point is because I know these agreements for an alliance took place between the Franks and the Mongols (this is described in detail by all historians of the period, and I've even photographed some of their letters myself). I don't even think we are in disagreement fundamentally, because these are simply historical facts. I think we should stop making rethoretical accusations which lead us nowhere and are unpleasant to everybody, and simply settle down to a definition of what the Franco-Mongol alliance actually was. For example:

"The Franco-Mongol alliance was ... a diplomatic and military rapprochement between the Crusader Franks and the Mongols against the Muslim Mamluks between the mid-13th and early 14th centuries, which led to numerous attempts at collaboration and ultimately ended in military failure."

Isn't this a very honest and balanced description, which I think fully incorporates your points? Best regards Per Honor et Gloria  06:14, 27 March 2010 (UTC)
PHG, I am willing to incorporate Timothy May's view as one of those in the minority camp as saying that there was an alliance, though we should make it clear that he's not agreeing with anyone else on the dates. Perhaps in the Richard/Demurger section we could add a sentence like, "Historian Peter May describes the alliance as having its peak at the Council of Lyons in 1274, but that it began to unravel in 1275 with the death of Bohemond, and the forces never engaged in joint operations.<cites>" If you format the citations properly, and we can agree on wording, I'm willing to include it in the article. --Elonka 18:37, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
Good thing for Timothy May, but how about the others? Jotischky, Andrew, who describes an "uneasy series of temporary alliances" between the West and the Mongols throughout the second half of the 13th century [11]. Phillips, J.R.S. who describes "Some kind of alliance or collaboration" between the Mongols and Europe throughout the second half of the 13th century [12]. These views deserve representation, and should allow us to balance also the article introduction which is today only into denying the alliance, which is highly unfair. We had made a formal mediation agreement to this effect [13] to use the following introduction sentence:
"A Franco-Mongol alliance, or at least attempts towards such an alliance, was the objective of diplomatic endeavors between the Franks and the Mongols, starting around the time of the Seventh Crusade" [14].
Do this day, I think this is the best thing we ever did together, and I believe you should respect your mediation pledge. Per Honor et Gloria  06:21, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
From a strict interpretation of WP:UNDUE, we shouldn't even be including the views of Richard and Demurger, let alone May. What we should be doing is including significant views, in proper proportion. Usually that would mean that some percentage of historians think X, and some percentage think Y. In the case of this Franco-Mongol alliance article though, we have the mainstream view of X, and then a few historians who have views of A, B, C, and D, but none of the latter agree with each other. Or in other words: Mainstream historical consensus describes the situation as a series of failed attempts at forming an alliance. Richard says there was an alliance starting around 1263. Demurger says an alliance wasn't sealed until 1300. Timothy May says that the high point of the alliance was 1274, but it started unraveling in 1275. To my knowledge no single historian who argues that there was an alliance, agrees with any other historian on this, so it's difficult for me to call this a "significant minority view". I'm trying to accommodate you though, so the compromise has been to include specific quotes from a few of these isolated historians, if they are particularly reputable or well-known. Jean Richard (historian) definitely qualifies. Alain Demurger is not at the standard of Richard, but is fairly well-known, so we are including him as well. Jotischky's work I don't have much respect for, as he got several things wrong, so I'm not willing to include his "series of temporary alliances" phrasing, both because his other work was sloppy, and because no other historian has used that kind of descriptor. For Timothy May, I'm not that familiar with him, but his work seems reliable, so I'm willing to include a sentence about his view, even though I feel that this is stretching the concept of "minority view" pretty far. Just because one historian says something that is different from everyone else, does not make that one historian a "significant view". Or in short: I am still willing to include one sentence which summarizes Timothy May's views, if you would like to write it, we can agree on wording, and you can provide a properly formatted ref tag for it. --Elonka 14:31, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
All historians can differ on specifics, one way or the other, especially given the sparsity, complexity and ancienty of the information on this subject. You cannot disqualify historians just because they differ on specifics. All the historians you are mentionning however have in common the claim that an alliance actually took place (as well as many others). This is where they form a significant view that should properly be reflected in the article. The role of the introduction being to summarize the article, they deserve representation there as well (hence the legitimacy of our compromise phrasing "An alliance or attempts towards an alliance..."). Cheers Per Honor et Gloria  14:48, 3 April 2010 (UTC)


Moved from Talk:Franco-Mongol alliance/GA1.

Good news. One more important concern however: now that it has been decided [15] that the title of the article should remain "Franco-Mongol alliance", the introduction starting with "Franco-Mongol relations...", doesn't make sense and is very weird. Per WP:LEAD, it is necessary to find instead a sentence starting with "The Franco-Mongol alliance was...". I suggest:

"The Franco-Mongol alliance consisted in a series of diplomatic and military rapprochement between the Crusader Franks and the Mongols, against the Muslim Mamluks, between the mid-13th and early 14th centuries, starting around the time of the Seventh Crusade."

Best regards Per Honor et Gloria  06:24, 25 March 2010 (UTC)

PHG, please respect your (in-process) ArbCom topic ban, and do not try to use this GA nom in order to push your pet theories. For anyone else who wishes more info, see Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Amendment#PHG's topic ban is renewed. --Elonka 16:42, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
PHG a lack of consensus means just that; the regulars at the article can't agree on an article title. This is not affirmation of an alliance, in fact, Adam Bishop, in suggesting that the name stay, specifically mentioned that there was a lack of any alliance, but it should still be described in this manner. Neither the sources nor the current article text remotely support your suggested lead. Shell babelfish 22:53, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
The results of the four polls on the question 1: Request for move, 2: Poll for renaming the article, 3: Article title4: Requested move was to keep the "Franco-Mongol alliance" title, and it was reasserted that it was the general scholarly expression to describe the Frankish-Mongol rapprochement at the time. If so, it is necessary to acknowledge it, and find somehow a way to define in the intro what is meant by "Franco-Mongol alliance". The current intro, which starts with something else entirely goes against this community decision to keep the "Franco-Mongol alliance" title, is unwieldy, and goes against WP:LEAD editorial rules as well. I am afraid the article doesn't stand a chance to reach FA with the intro as it is written now... Best regards Per Honor et Gloria  06:28, 26 March 2010 (UTC)
Maybe we could inspire ourselves from Andrew Jotischki's sentence (Jotishcky Crusading and the Crusader States p.239) for the intro:

"The Franco-Mongol alliance was an uneasy series of temporary alliances between the Crusader Franks and the Mongols during the second half of the 13th century, which ended with very limited results and an ultimate defeat against the Mamluks."

Per Honor et Gloria  06:34, 26 March 2010 (UTC)
Even in isolation, it makes no sense to say "the alliance was a series of alliances". But underlying this, you've produced sources that mention an alliance at this or that time, or a series of alliances, but there appears to be little support for "the Franco-Mongol alliance". Kanguole 11:04, 26 March 2010 (UTC)
Good point, though "Franco-Mongol alliance" is indeed how it is generally described. So maybe again:

"The Franco-Mongol alliance was a series of diplomatic and military rapprochements between the Crusader Franks and the Mongols during the second half of the 13th century, which ended with very limited results and an ultimate defeat against the Mamluks."

What do you think? Best regards Per Honor et Gloria  13:13, 26 March 2010 (UTC)
I have a serious concern here. As I've just found out at the main article talk, PHG is again basing his comments on pulling out source clippings from two years ago that even ArbCom found to be presented "in a misleading or distorted fashion". This has often been difficult for others to overcome because his commentary seems to be so well supported and informed. However, an actual look at the sources is always required to discover that he's not fairly representing what the source has to say. In same cases, the distortion is rather extreme; for example, PHG claims "Peter Jackson in The Mongols and the West entitles a whole chapter "An ally against Islam: the Mongols in the Near East" and describes all the viscicitudes and the actual limited results of the Mongol alliance." but fails to inform that though the chapter title looks very promising for his viewpoint, the entire chapter is dedicated to bemoaning that the alliance never happened.

To date, despite review by several editors (and in the case of most sources, ArbCom) we've found no reliable source given by PHG that would support his novel claim that an alliance occurred. There are an extreme minority of historians (so far we know of only two - Laurent Dailliez and Andrew Jotischky) who claim that at least one alliance existed (though they do not agree among themselves on who, what or when) - both of these sources, however, in addition to being in an extreme minority, are suspect. In Dailliez's case, the work has been derided by other historians as fiction, uses no footnoting and makes a variety of claims other than this that contradict main stream beliefs. Jotischky is still being investigated as this source is rather new to the party, but there are reasons to believe that this source is also less than reliable; in particular the material PHG quotes is attributed by Jotischky to a work by Sylvia Schein (already in use in the article) which does not support the claim.

I would suggest that if there are any concerns other than PHG's about the lead that they be addressed, otherwise I do not feel comfortable making changes (which the body of the article does not support) based on claims that are demonstrably false. Shell babelfish 14:52, 26 March 2010 (UTC)

Thank you Shell for writing that my commentary "seem so well supported and informed", because they indeed are. However, it is totally inexact to say that only two authors write about the alliance of the Franks and the Mongols: dozens of the most respectable authors do. A partial list is available here. I know the collaboration between the Crusaders and the Mongols is hard to comprehend and can be met with disbelief by quite a few, but the undisputable reality is nevertheless that the Crusaders and the Mongols agreed to collaborate against the Mamluks, overlooking ideological and religious differences, and took military actions to that effect, for a period of about 40 years. Now, nobody disputes that this shaky and in a sense opportunistic endeavour ended in military defeat against the Mamluks. Best regards Per Honor et Gloria  15:13, 26 March 2010 (UTC)
Besides Andrew Jotischki, who describes a succession of alliances:
  • "In 1262 Hulagu, the Mongol leader of the Near East, offered an alliance to Louis IX. An uneasy series of temporary alliances with the Mongols followed in the second half of the 13th century, but it was always an unequal relationship, and nothing substantial came out of them" (Andrew Jotischki Crusading and the Crusader States p.239)
let me also mention J.R. Phillips who describes "some kind of alliance or collaboration" that lasted half a century:
  • "1248 may be taken as the year in which an alliance between the Mongols and Europe was first seriously considered by both parties. From then until the early fourteenth century some kind of alliance or cooperation was an almost constant feature of their relations." (The medieval expansion of Europe by J. R. S. Phillips, p.118)
Phillips then describes the ups and downs of the alliance, but does highlight the actual instances of collaboration, such as when Bohemond VI "openly assisted the Mongol invasion" p.119, or when Edwards I and the Mongols "combined their forces" p.121. Best regards Per Honor et Gloria  08:07, 27 March 2010 (UTC)
PHG, again, you are cherry-picking quotes. Phillips did not say that there was an alliance, he said there were attempts, which failed.[16] --Elonka 16:30, 27 March 2010 (UTC)
No at all, Elonka, you are again making an amalgam of two different concepts: an alliance and its outcome. He clearly says from my quote above that "From then until the early fourteenth century some kind of alliance or cooperation was an almost constant feature of their relations." (The medieval expansion of Europe by J. R. S. Phillips, p.118), and he writes from your quote about "The failure of the attempts to bring together the Mongols and the European powers" [17]: both statements are right, and are perfectly compatible and complementary (and should be, since it is the same author writing!). In summary, he is positive that there was "some kind of alliance" almost continuously for over 40 years, but that the Mongols and the Franks didn't manage to get their ressources together properly, which is true, and which only relates to the outcome of the alliance. This is exactly how we should explain the Franco-Mongol alliance: agreements to ally, but ultimate failure to properly coordinate. I suggest we precisely follow what Phillips says. Best regards Per Honor et Gloria  17:24, 27 March 2010 (UTC)
It's my recommendation that rather than cherry-picking the word "alliance" and assuming that that means that there was an alliance, that you actually read Phillips' entire chapter, "The lost alliance: European monarchs and Mongol 'crusaders'". In context, it's pretty clear that Phillips is describing an alliance as being a constant feature of the negotiations between Europe and the Mongols, but that it was best described as a series of attempts that failed. Heck, look at page 122: "Yet, despite the fact that a crusade was actively being planned, Gregory X's reply fell short of a definite commitment to an alliance." Relations were definitely friendly, positive assurances were made, gifts were exchanged, plans were drawn up for joint operations, the opportunity for alliance was there, but the hoped for alliance never happened. This is in line with the mainstream consensus of other reputable historians as well: an often-proposed alliance that despite multiple attempts, never came together. --Elonka 16:25, 28 March 2010 (UTC)
I think you're playing on words. Objectively, joint operations undeniably occured, on multiple occasions, so we're talking about much more than just "assurances" and exchanges of gift. All authors who actually describe these events in detail recognize this. You're going too far by saying it was just "attempts at an alliance". Numerous historians are specific that an alliance occured at one point or another (User:Per Honor et Gloria/Alliance). Clearly this was not a "Grand Alliance" as Shell puts it, as it was so frought with difficulties. Nevertheless, agreements and combined operations occured as a result, which fulfills all the conditions of an alliance. It is quite clear that you are confusing, either unwittingly or on purpose I don't know, agreements to collaborate military (an alliance) and the outcome: ambitious attempts at collaboration which ended with minimal results. It's sad that you cannot recognize this subtlety, which leads you to skew the article, to the point of having a meaningless introduction that doesn't even fullfill WP:LEAD. It's not so important though, as most of the facts of the Franco-Mongol cooperation are there anyway. It's just a bit sad and meaningless. Cheers Per Honor et Gloria  08:10, 31 March 2010 (UTC)

Bohemond VI's alliance with the Mongols[edit]

As of today, there is absolutely no mention in this article of Bohemond VI's "alliance with the Mongols" from 1260. The only wording being used are "subject" or "submission" to the Mongols, whereas a large portion (probably even the majority) of historians qualify this relationship as an "alliance". This is a highly biased way of describing the subject. Bohemond VI's alliance with the Mongols is generally described as the inception, and sometimes the peak, of Franco-Mongol collaboration. Bohemond and his army of Antiochene Franks captured Damascus in collaboration with Hulegu in 1260, and Bohemond received lands from Hulegu for his contribution. I suggest that the account in this article be at least balanced, so as to at least incorporate the "alliance" view, as described by most of historians hereunder (readable through attached Google Book links):

Historian Opinion Year Type of analysis
Riley-Smith, Jonathan Sought an alliance: "Bohemond VI of Antioch-Tripoli, who had succeeded Bohemond V in 1252, joined by his father-in-law Hetum of Cilician Armenia in seeking an alliance with the Mongols and entered Damascus with the Mongol army in March 1260" [18] 2005 Crusades historian
Reuven Amitai-Preiss An "unequivocal pro-Mongol alliance" maintained by Bohemond VI [19]. 1995 Crusades historian
Cambridge History of Islam Bohemond allied with the Mongols, and was later excomunicated for it [20] 1997 Reference work
Ryan, Jame D. Bohemond was persuaded of the "advantages of Mongol

alliance". [21]. Bohemond rode into Damascus in victory with Hulagu [22]

2001 Crusades historian
Irwin, Robert Bohemond submitted to the Mongols [23]. 1986 Crusades historian
Peter Malcolm Holt "Bohemond had rallied to Hulegu in 1260" [24]. 1995 Crusades historian
Judith Bronstein Bohemond VI "concluded an alliance with the (Mongol) invaders" [25]. Description of the "Antioch-Mongol alliance" [26]. 2005 Crusades historian
The New Cambridge Medieval History Bohemond VI was in alliance with the Mongols, for which he was punished by having Antioch taken from him by the Mamluks [27]. 2000 Reference work
Jim Bradbury Bohemond VI allied with the Mongol. [28]. 1992 Historian
Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages The city of Antioch was punished for its alliance with the Mongols. [29]. 2000 Reference work
Concise Encyclopaedia of World History An alliance between the Mongols and Antioch and Armenia, leading to "a Mongol-Christian coalition" which marched victoriously into Damascus". [30]. 2007 Reference work
J.R.S. Phillips Bohemond VI "openly assisted the Mongol invasion" p.119. 2003 Crusades historian
May, Timothy The "alliance began to unravel" in 1275 with the death of Bohemond VI p.154. 2003 Crusades historian
Dr. Martin Sicker "Ket-Buqa and Bohemond VI fully appreciated the mutual advantages of the Frank-Mongol alliance". He also mentions an end to the Franco-Mongol alliance after the events of Sidon: "Suitably provoked, the Mongols responded by pillaging Sidon, thereby bringing an effective end to the Frank-Mongol alliance." [31]. 2000 Crusades historian
Christopher Tyerman Describes Bohemond VI's acceptance of Mongol overlorship, their joint victories, and his reward with territory [32] 2006 Crusades historian
Jonathan Riley-Smith Describes Bohemond's alliance with the Mongols: "Bohemond VI of Antioch-Tripoli became their [the Mongol's] ally", in History of the Crusades, p.136 Crusades historian
Kevin Shillington Describes Bohemond's alliance with the Mongols: "No all Crusaders allied with the Mongols, as did Bohemond initially" [33] 2005 Crusades historian

If anybody still has doubts, please remember that Bohemond was excommunicated for his collaboration with the Mongols (which implies that he volunteered rather than was forced to it), and that his mortal enemy the mamluk leader Baibars reproached him what he himself called Bohemund's alliance with Abagha:

"Our yellow flags have repelled your red flags, and the sound of the bells has been replaced by the call: "Allâh Akbar!" (...) Warn your walls and your churches that soon our siege machinery will deal with them, your knights that soon our swords will invite themselves in their homes (...) We will see then what use will be your alliance with Abagha"

— Letter from Baibars to Bohemond VI, 1271[1]

Cheers Per Honor et Gloria  20:38, 2 April 2010 (UTC)

Bohemond's relationship with the Mongols, including the word "alliance", and the quote from the Baibars letter, is already in the article. See Franco-Mongol alliance#Antioch. --Elonka 04:32, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
Granted, but that's really the only time the word "alliance" is used, and not as a description of Bohemond's relationship with the Mongols, but only as a paraphrasical introduction of Baibars' quote, which suggests this is not a view supported by the article or by secondary sources. On the contrary, Bohemond's relationship is only described in the body of the article as "submission"/ "subject"/"vassal" (Franco-Mongol alliance#Christian vassals, Franco-Mongol alliance#Invasion of Syria (1260)). There is the same problem in the Bohemond VI article. This is honestly a very biased and POV way of putting things, which doesn't do justice to a large part (the largest?) of the historical literature, and which should be at least balanced. Per Honor et Gloria  05:44, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
The term "allies" is also used in the image caption. Overall I think the section (which is a minor portion of the FMA article) seems to be pretty well-balanced, but we can definitely discuss tweaking. Also, did you see my comment above about Timothy May? --Elonka 05:59, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
We just need to say in the body of the article that some historians see it as a "vassalage" relationship and some as an "alliance" relationship. As far as I know, both views should be given pretty much equal weight in the body of the article, which is not at all the case today. I answered to your Timothy Mair comment. Cheers Per Honor et Gloria  06:03, 3 April 2010 (UTC)


This article is POV and currently written in a misleading way, in that it denies that anything such as an alliance occurred between the Franks and the Mongols, contrary to what a huge number of historians say and write on the question (list hereafter). The Franks and the Mongols, after making numerous agreements to fight against the Mamluks (the very definition of an alliance), actually engaged into combined operations on several occasions (1260, 1271, 1281, 1299-1303). Admittedly, these efforts met with huge difficulties and ended in defeat against the Mamluks, but this is not a reason to write that no alliance ever occurred. I am attaching a list of authors (50!) who actually describe the occurrence of an alliance and combined operations:


The view that "there was no alliance", that "it did not happen" [34] or that there were "only attempts at an alliance" is therefore wrong, or at least very partial and one-sided. I have reviewed in detail the sources User:Elonka’s brought forward to promote that argument, and it turns out that most sources she quotes don’t say what she claims, but are actually much more on the line of "there were great hopes, alliances and collaboration took place to a limited extent, and these ventures had limited results or ended in military failure". Many times Elonka makes very partial quotes, which are contradicted in the same source, as when she claims that Turnbull explains that an alliance was "Possible, but did not happen", whereas in the next sentence Turnbull describes how the resulting "unholy alliance took the field in 1259" [35]. Here is a full list of Elonka’s quotes and analysis, completed by other relevant quotes from the same works found by me, and a synthesis for each:


I am asking that this article be better balanced, by combining the views of authors who say there was an alliance, and those who say there was none. It seems to me that balance is an absolute requirement if this article is ever to become a proper FA. Best regards to all Per Honor et Gloria  20:09, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

The article does include the minority pro-alliance views of Jean Richard and Alain Demurger. And as I mentioned (at least twice) already, we could also add the views of Timothy May, if you would like to write something up and provide a properly formatted citation tag. --Elonka 22:54, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
It's not a question of adding a small sentence towards the end, and labeling it "another minority view". The whole article is currently written in a one-sided way to expound the notion that there were "only attempts at an alliance", whereas the view that there was indeed an alliance, and that combined operations occured as a result, is also a highly significant view (see above). I would venture to say that the view that there was an alliance may actually be the most prevalent, but it's hard (and rather pointless) to do statistics with academic works. Both views are significant enough to be balanced throughout, starting with an introduction sentence of the type "An alliance, or attempts towards an alliance....". This is all the more legitimate with an article that is actually named "Franco-Mongol alliance" and is therefore dedicated to describing the actual details and extent of this alliance. Per Honor et Gloria  05:14, 17 April 2010 (UTC)
I'm not going to go line by line down your list, but will repeat what has been said before by multiple editors: Just because a historian uses the word "alliance" in their work, does not mean that he or she was saying that there was an alliance between the Mongols and the Europeans. There are many cases where you have quoted the word "alliance", from sections that are either talking about how there wasn't an alliance, or are talking about something quite different from relations between the Europeans and the Mongols. For example, Cilician Armenia should not be considered European or Frankish. Plus, when Armenia submitted to Mongol authority, that doesn't mean they were allies, it means that they were vassals. Historians may have occasionally used phrasing such as, "the Mongols and their Armenian allies", but that is just a shorthand term for the relationship, and in reading about the subject in-depth, it's clear that the most accurate descriptor is that the Armenians were vassals, a subject state which had submitted to Mongol authority. Also, I must repeat: Just because the Armenians were Christian, does not mean that they were Frankish. --Elonka 14:01, 17 April 2010 (UTC)
What is important is what historians actually say, not your interpretation of what they say: if they say that the Franks were the allies of the Mongols, this is what has to be used in this article as well. Nowhere am I saying that the Armenians were Franks, by the way. Per Honor et Gloria  20:09, 18 April 2010 (UTC)
What you still fail to understand (even after several years of being unable to convince anyone) is that your assertion that by using the word "alliance" the historians meant there was "military or other cooperation formally or informally" is just such an interpretation. The fact that you ignore the context of the majority of the phrases you pick is a serious issue - when the work discusses the lack of an alliance, once cannot use it to support the interpretation that there was an alliance simply because the word is used. Part of good scholarship (and article writing) is looking beyond a single word or phrase; in other words, you still miss the forest because you are scrutinizing the trees. Shell babelfish 20:54, 18 April 2010 (UTC)
Absolutely not. In [36] you will see that historians describe an alliance precisely when they think there was one. As a consequence of these alliances, military campaigns occured: that's a fact, not an interpretation. Most of the time these military operations indeed failed, but that's no reason to claim that there was not an alliance in the first place. Per Honor et Gloria  21:01, 18 April 2010 (UTC)
I have read the majority of these sources personally, as have many of the other editors that have been debating with you for years. As for your list, you could take any subject, pick out just the phrases you want and manage to completely misrepresent the entirety. What those historians say is that there was lots of talk about doing something together with the Mongols and a very few say there were actual agreements to do so (hence Elonka's notes above about that addition to the article). The historians then go on to say that these talks never amounted to anything and that no joint operations happened.

Frankly PHG, far too much time has been wasted by a variety of editors in an attempt to help you understand your error with this subject. At this time I don't believe further discussion with you is likely to be productive. If you have any other suggestions or concerns for the article, I'd be happy to talk about those. Shell babelfish 22:27, 18 April 2010 (UTC)

Books bis.jpg
Hi Shell. I've read quite a few books on the subject myself (examples attached), and I've provided above a listing of 50 historians who are specific about an alliance occuring. I don't deny that only little came out of these interactions, but this is not a reason to write a whole article one-sidedly saying that there were "only failed attempts at an alliance". Per Wikipedia rules, this view (which I don't deny exists) should be balanced with all those historians who say an alliance actually took place. I believe an intro such as "An alliance, or attempts towards an alliance...." is a fair way of balancing these views, which Elonka had recognized was correct at mediation [37]. This balanced approach is much more sensible, tolerant and inclusive, than one that steadfastly rejects all those historians who write there was an alliance indeed. Cheers Per Honor et Gloria  05:01, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
The mainstream consensus of historians is that the Franco-Mongol alliance is best described as a series of attempts which failed. We do refer to a couple of the minority views in the article already, Richard and Demurger, and it is my opinion that the coverage is appropriate, balanced, and in accordance with WP:NPOV, so no further changes are needed to expand coverage of the minority viewpoint. --Elonka 15:18, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
This is only your WP:SYNTHESIS, and this not what sources say, neither mine nor yours. The smart thing would be to present both views simultaneously, and balance authors who claim there was or was not a alliance, as well as, for that matter those who say it was a rapprochement, collaboration etc... Wikipedia articles are not built by asserting a dogma, but by fairly representing the plurality of significant views on any given subject. Cheers Per Honor et Gloria  19:34, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
Which "alliance" though? Conflating all the various attempts together into an "alliance" rather than a series of alliances (totally leaving aside the fact that most did not really result in much) is just as much a synthesis. The article discuses lots of alliance negotiations, surely you mean "alliances", not one single alliance? Ealdgyth - Talk 19:44, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
Most authors just describe an alliance (in the singular) between the Franks and the Mongols (here), and the standard term is indeed "Franco-Mongol alliance", not "Franco-Mongol alliances", but indeed a few authors describe alliances in the plural, so I think it is fair to present their views as well. I fully agree that the result of this alliance/alliances was not much, even if it was strategically considerable. Cheers Per Honor et Gloria  19:57, 19 April 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── this is where you're losing me. Those various authors are describing an "alliance" but they are each describing a different attempt at an alliance, so it's synthesis to assume that all those attempts were for ONE alliance. You have to allow for the full context of what each author/researcher/historian is describing, which in most cases I've read is one specific attempt during a small time frame, not the full time frame covered by this article. Ealdgyth - Talk 20:03, 19 April 2010 (UTC)

Most of the authors who do go into the details describe a general alliance with ups and downs spanning a period from 1260 and the beginning of the 14th century (here, especially the first part of the list). Other authors, who tend to mention an alliance in passing, often mention a specific part, or several parts, of the alliance related to their own narrative: Bohemond VI's 1260 alliance with the Mongols especially, Edward I with Abaqa in 1271, or also the Hospitallers in 1281, and the Templars in 1299-1300 (here, especially the second part of the list). Per Honor et Gloria  19:54, 20 April 2010 (UTC)

RfC: Mongol influences in European art[edit]

Could the sandbox article Mongol influences in European art be introduced in the mainspace as a regular article? Per Honor et Gloria  04:08, 13 November 2010 (UTC)

Although I cannot edit Mongol-related articles directly [38], I can luckily make suggestions on the Talk Pages of articles. I have been working on the subject of Mongol influences in European art during the 14-15th centuries, based mainly on the works of Lauren Arnold Princely Gifts and Papal Treasures (1999) and Rosamond E. Mack Bazaar to Piazza: Islamic Trade and Italian Art, 1300-1600 (2001). Please comment, and if OK may someone introduce the article into the mainspace. Thank you Per Honor et Gloria  04:08, 13 November 2010 (UTC)

The article seems to be based almost entirely on one source, Rosamond Mack's book. It is a reliable source, but I'm not sure it's worth basing an entire Wikipedia article on the concept. Unless other sources can be provided, this material might be better included as a subsection of some other article? --Elonka 14:56, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
I don't see any problem with such an article being created... HarunAlRashid (talk) 07:23, 15 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Go for it! This looks like a really nice article - congratulations on your work! RayTalk 17:16, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
Its a well written and nicely laid article so go for it. I don't think the single source is an issue - there is no doubt that its a valid standalone article since the illustrations are in some cases by well-known artists and therefore notable. Nice work Philg88 (talk) 21:36, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
  • I would avoid the term "influences", which suggests stylistic influence, when what the article is about is the depiction of elements of Mongol script, textiles and people in Western art, in a number of examples, but essentially a piecemeal fashion. Since the article relies so heavily on a single source, Mack should probably be mentioned in the lead. In the case of the textiles, these are "Mongol Empire" rather than Mongol; in Chinese art history the term Yuan Dynasty is normally used, and should appear here, as Il-Khan does for Persia. Mongol Empire in Western medieval art might be a better title. The later date of the miniature should be in the caption for the battle image. Otherwise I think it is ok, & worth an article of its own. Johnbod (talk) 04:29, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
 Done I agree your wording "depiction of elements of Mongol script, textiles and people in Western art" is most precise, so I've move the article to Mongol elements in Western medieval art. I've also incorporated your other suggestions. Thank you for your comments! Per Honor et Gloria  05:54, 28 November 2010 (UTC)

Thank you all for your comments! Now that the RfC is over, and since concensus seems to be that the sandbox article User:Per Honor et Gloria/Sandbox/Mongol elements in Western medieval art is a worthwhile article, can someone actually create the article in the main space: Mongol elements in Western medieval art, and link one or two articles to it? Thank you! Per Honor et Gloria  22:10, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

Thank you[edit]

Thanks guys, really interesting and well-written article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 03:40:04

I'll second that. One of the most fascinating WP:TFAs I can remember for a very long time. --Dweller (talk) 08:44, 26 April 2013 (UTC)
Thanks! It was definitely a long and complex journey with efforts from many many editors for several years. I'm very pleased to see that we ended up with such a great article as a result. --Elonka 14:58, 26 April 2013 (UTC)


It seems that "Muslims" in the lede needs to wikilink some place. We've got links for the Cristians and the Mongols. Why not the Muslims? Jehochman Talk 13:17, 26 April 2013 (UTC)


Isn't the statement "Such an alliance might have seemed an obvious choice" basically speculation, WP:POV and WP:OR? - Who is John Galt? 18:09, 26 April 2013 (UTC)

If that's what the sources say, then it is fine. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 20:07, 26 April 2013 (UTC)
Not speculation if it's what the sources say. Example: Atwood. "Western Europe and the Mongol Empire" in Encyclopedia of Mongolia and the Mongol Empire. p. 583. "Despite numerous envoys and the obvious logic of an alliance against mutual enemies, the papacy and the Crusaders never achieved the often-proposed alliance against Islam". --Elonka 20:10, 26 April 2013 (UTC)

Sack of Baghdad - massacres[edit]

I am not a specialist, but the number of people massacred in Baghdad, according to this section (80,000) seems very low. In the main article on the Siege of Baghdad (1258), estimates range from 90,000 to 1 million. Clearly, the number is uncertain, and the self-assured way in which 80,000 is postulated here (unsourced, I believe) seems out of place.

Filursiax (talk) 21:25, 15 March 2017 (UTC)

  1. ^ Quoted in Grousset, p.650