Talk:Siege of Baghdad (1258)

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History and anecdote[edit]

OWB, I think that you believe too uncritically in later accounts of the fall of the city. This event became iconic for Muslims. It was the destruction of a six century tradition! Hence a tendency to embroider, to exaggerate, to inflate the death toll. It's not at all clear that the Persian historian saw the fall of the city, or relied on first-hand accounts of the destruction. It would take some real work to tease out the first-hand accounts from the later embroideries.

I think you also make a mistake in attributing desertification in Iraq to the Mongols. They did not stop to fill in canals -- that would have been counterproductive, if they expected any revenue from the conquered peasants. Rather, canals and dams failed due to lack of maintenance, caused by disruption and reduced population. Also, there's a long-term trend at work, Soil salination. If irrigation is not managed extremely carefully, it results in salination. As water evaporates under a hot sun, it leaves salt and minerals behind. Centuries of evaporation can leave salt deposits that make the ground unsuitable for agriculture. Only irrigation accompanied by periodic deposits of silt (as in Egypt) can keep land productive over millenia.

A historian should be a detective. Everyone has an angle, everyone lies or slants the narrative. You have to be suspicious like a hawk to try to find the truth behind the lies and distortions. Zora 02:15, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

Zora Hi Zora, I agree that a historian -- I have degrees in history -- has to be like a detective, sorting through legend, and propaganda, to find the best facts we can -- after all, we are reconstructing events that took place almost eight centuries ago! Here is my problem, with all respect, I believe you are dead wrong when you say I am too critical in attributing later events -- the destruction of the canal system, and irrigation system -- to the Mongols. ALL histories, all of them, whether east or west, attribute this directly to the Mongols. With all respect, I also worked in the environmental field for 20 years as a manager in water treatment and wastewater reclamation. There really is no question historically, as to what happened. Lord, I sat in a meeting in the AWWA where the Iraq situation and it's causes were specifically discussed by environmental experts plus historians, and all agreed: The Mongols destroyed much of the system prior to their attack on Bagdad, and the population was simply not sufficient afterwards to repair and maintain it. If you can find me ONE SOURCE, just one, that has a different finding, I would like to read it. I am aware of the necessity of extreme carefulness in irrigation -- but Zora, you are overlooking that this particular system had worked well for at least a millinium! Zora, I believe you are a good historian, I just respectfully disagree with some of your conclusions. HOWEVER, this is obviously a labor of love for you, and I am just trying to help, so I am not trying to irritate you, nor will I post things you oppose -- though I believe in some instances, you are wrong. I am here to help you, not irritate you, but please think about what I wrote.old windy bear 04:11, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

Zora I hate to admit this, but I like your style of putting an article together better than mine. You did an excellent job on this. If you have any articles where you think I might be of some use -- I do read arabic, greek and latin, and am a fairly knowledgable historian on the religions involved, the religious wars, the non-religious wars, et al, I would be delighted to help. I defer to you on final edits, even when I disagree. And again, you did an excellent job on this article. old windy bear 04:18, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

Letter to the caliph?[edit]

OWB, I deleted the purported letter. Historians of the past were happy to invent letters and speeches for their characters. They were what the character would have said. Unless the letter is still extant today, or we have good reason to believe that a copy was sitting in front of the historian as he wrote, we have to categorize the letters and speeches as inventions. Zora 07:06, 4 February 2006 (UTC)

Zora HI Zora, i agree that Verbatim accounts of old speeches and letters are to be distrusted, unless actual copies of the letters still exist. Historians were happy to invent letters and speeches -- but that messages were sent from Hulagu to the Calpih and answered is accepted history, and Abdullah Wassaf, a HIGHLY respected Muslim historian of the age, is one who put it in writing. However, you are correct in that a direct copy from Hulagu himself does not exist - but then it should be removed from the article on Hulagu, for consistency, don't you think? (for the record, I did not put it there, but did use the same quote which John Woods translated from the old Muslim histories -- remember that a Persian historian would have had special access to Hulagu since his Khanate was capitaled in Persia). Other than that, you are a better writer, so your edits were good ones. I do think though if we are taking a position that quote should not be used, it should be removed from the article on Hulagu Khan as well. I have not been here as long as you have, so I toss that issue to you, but believe since you are correct that no direct copy of the message exists, only accounts of it, abeit from reliable sources, that it is legitimate to object to citing it as a direct quote -- but then we should take the same stance wikipedia wide on that quote, and either remove it from the article on Hulagu Khan, or state that it is a second hand account from Wassaf and other Muslim historians. old windy bear 14:40, 4 February 2006 (UTC)

I think it should be deleted from Hulagu. If accounts containing the purported letter are listed under references, then readers who want further info can look up the refs and make up their own minds.
I think it's OK to reference legends and anecdotes, if they're summarized and presented as possibly or probably non-historical. Someone coming to the article may be looking for info precisely on that anecdote. However, long direct quotations of non-historical material aren't needed, IMHO. Zora 00:33, 5 February 2006 (UTC)

NPOV query: I think the 'stench was too much for even the bloodthirsty Mongols' is outside NPOV.

Good point. I overlooked that in trying to tone down the article. Zora 20:07, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

Zora Hi Zora, I agree with the deletion of extra material on the change in dynsties, but the quote on the moving of the camp, and the bloodthirsty MOngol is a direct quote from the highly sourced and well regarded book, The Mongol Warlords, and I do think it should be in since it is sourced and the movement of the camp is also covered in The Mamluk-Ilkhanid War, and The History of the Mongol Conquests, among others, so please consider the sourcing, and leave it in? Unless someone else can come up with countering references? I agree with you that the alleged letter sent by Hulagu to the Caliph should also be excised from Hulagu's article -- will you support me if I do so? I am currently revising most of the Mongol Era articles. old windy bear 22:27, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

Can you put it back with a reference and with references to bloodthirsty Mongols removed? Instead of saying that they were bloodthirsty, allow readers to come to their own conclusions. I suspect that the conclusion will be "bloodthirsty" in any case.
As to supporting you -- I suppose that you're anticipating a conflict with other editors, but I can't really get involved. I'm sorry, but I am so grotesquely over-extended in editing Wikipedia articles that my real life is suffering. As in jobless and broke. I can't promise any more effort. Zora 22:34, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

Zora Zora, I will be glad to put it back without the word "bloodthirsty," (even though that really was in the quote). I am really sorry that you are having problems with job loss and finances. I know it does not any good to say I will pray for you, but i will. You are a nice person, extremely bright, and I hope you find something good. I won't ask you to get involved in any other wikiepedia articles, and apologize I did so. I forget sometimes that not everyone is sitting at home in a chair like I am, with this (and school!) as my primary interest. Well, again, I hope and pray you find something good jobwise soon, and I will reword the little citation on moving the camp, leaving out the bloodthirsty. On the issue with the quote being in Hulagu's article, don't worry, since I am working on the Mongol Era for the Military project, I will just bump that up to Kirill, and I am sure he will take care of it. Again, take care...old windy bear 01:16, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

Latest copyedit[edit]

OWB, you don't seem to have gotten the trick of references. If the book is listed in the reference section, all you have to do is add (Foobar 2005, p. 32). Short and sweet. You don't need to give the whole author name or the whole title. However, it IS important to give page numbers. There are also trickier ways of doing references, with footnotes, that I've been too lazy to learn. See Battle of Badr for a good example.

Please ADD references in that short form or the superscript footnote form.

If you want to quote, then quote, don't paraphrase. It would go something like:

Foobar claims that "blah blah blah blah" (Foobar 2005, p. 32).

Also, I cut the whole section on Berke -- you never explain who he is. Surely this is something outside the scope of this battle and this article.

I moved the claim re Shi'a betrayal to the bottom. I'd say that this is controversial, and possibly just one volley in the Sunni-Shi'a war that's been on-going for centuries. This really needs more investigation. Surely there's a Shi'a rebuttal somewhere. Zora 09:30, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

Zora Hi Zora. Sorry about the references -- with all respect, I am referencing as the APA Manual calls for. I didn't know wikipedia had different rules. I was quoting the book itself - and page numbers are no problem -- because there has been so much argument about sourcing. I personally think the quotation by Berke should be in the article - the whole point of revising the entire series on the Mongol Era is to tie them together. This battle, historically, led to the first Mongol on Mongol War, the real break up of the Mongol Empire! Berke's attacks on Hulagu's domains in retaliation for the sack of Bagdad, and Hulagu's subsuquent invasion -- and disastorous defeat, north of the Caucas, are all direct result of this battle. It was Berke's pressure on Hulagu that kept him from ever being able to bring his entire army to bear to avenge the terrible Mongol defeat at Ain Jalut. But you are the editor, I am merely a military historian, so I respect your decision. As for the section on the Shi'a, I think that whole section should be deleted. Personally that can be debated, and I think it opens a whole can of worms that we don't need. I know you visit this article regularly, so if you put it back, I will honor that too. I did add that another author said that the Shi'a who yielded to the Mongols did so out of fear, and provided troops as any vassal who had yielded was required to do -- but the vast majority of his army was not Shi's, though in numbers, had they all fought for him, they should have been! But I really believe the whole question of which side various Shi'a sects fought on -- and it originally said Iran, when of course there was no country named Iran for another 700 years! -- some of the Shi'a were horrified by the sack of Bagdad, some were not, it is just too political, especially without additional sourcing. There is no question that most of the Persians, and they were virtually all Shi'a, had submitted to Hulagu, (or been killed if they hadn't) and therefore, as vassals, were required, as were other Muslims who had yielded to him, to provide troops. The statement Iran -- a non-existent country -- or the Shi'a in toto (many were in Bagdad, and while there was some effort to spare them, those who had helped defend the city, and some others, were killed with the mass of the population executed) wanted to help the Mongols is just not historically provable. There is evidence some Shi'a were happy about revenge on the Abbasids, but others were horrified at the fate of brother and sister Muslims! And again, those who had submitted in order to survive supplied troops because it was provide them or die! Actually, all of it is in the sources already referenced! Under all these circumstances, I think the statement should be removed, or modified, which I did, and sourced, and more fully explained, as above. Hope you agree! (but if not, you are the boss!) old windy bear 17:34, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

OWB, I'm not the boss. I'm not the boss of you! The reference style that I described is fairly common in academic works -- but it's not BETTER than AP style, it's just different. I think it works here because we are allowed to have a list of references at the end. The style used at the Battle of Badr article is probably better yet and I really should learn to use it! As for the Persians being Shi'a then ... actually, they were majority Sunni until the 15th century or so.
I was thinking that there should be a para at the beginning, giving the Mongol context, and perhaps one para at the end, with the consequences. Short paras, with links to other articles that would explain. I have a hard day ahead of me -- I'm doing stuff for my local Linux group -- but I'll get to it when I can. Zora 17:55, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

Zora Zora, forgive the boss joke, I was just sort of kidding. You seem like a genuinely nice person, and what I really meant was that I respect your intelligence and historical knowledge a great deal, and in this venue, I believe it is probably superior to mine, therefore I am trusting your judgement. I agree that a substantial number -- maybe most of Persians at that point were Sunni, (there is some historical disagreement on that, as you know! The Shi'a histories certain dispute it!) and the issue of Shi'a support for the Mongols is complex, and I honestly do believe MOST historical references support the general idea that their support was mostly forced. Do I believe they harbored ENORMOUS bitterness over the Abbasid stealing of the caliphate? (you are better aware than I that they had agreed after the Zab that ultimately the heirs of Ali would become Caliph!) Yes, but I don't believe the majority supported the horror of the sack of Bagdad. As to references, I am going to the style you pointed out, because I believe you are right, and it works better here. I guess I am still (I have only been working on articles here for 6 months!) getting used to some of the different ways of doing things. I agree there should be a short para in the beginning, and a conclusion, another short one, referencing other articles -- for instance, both the articles on the Battle of Ain Jalut and Hulagu support the historical facts that Berke Khan did indeed do his best to call Hulagu to account for destroying Berke's brother Muslims, and his intervention probably saved the Mamluks from the overwhelming numbers Hulagu could have otherwise mustered against them. I have faith you will put good paras together, and seriously, I wish you good fortune in finding a job. I hope my thoughts have been a little helpful on this article. I must say, it is not often I find someone who is clearly more knowledgable than I am on this subject -- I read Arabic, Greek, Latin, and a little Farsi, (though I realize Farsi is not the appropriate term of saying the Persian language) and really have tried to learn about this era. But I take my hat off to you, and that is quite sincere. old windy bear 22:12, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

outside article 3 (from ANTIWAR.COM, a libertarian soap box)is inappropriate-it is overgeneralized, preachy and out of context. The article is a heaping pile of SPIN!

If it is a heaping pile of spin, show where and what, and cite sources. old windy bear 23:43, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

Relevance today[edit]

Aan (talk · contribs) added the section on relevance today. It either needs sources or needs to be removed - it looks to me like it is biased and original synthesis. --h2g2bob (talk) 08:57, 6 June 2007 (UTC)

From Franco-Mongol alliance:

an event often considered as the single most catastrophic event in the history of Islam.

If this is an extended view, it should appear in the first paragraph (with a reference). -- (talk) 12:34, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

Numbers of civilian deaths[edit]

According to our article, Frazier is no expert. We also have no citation for this claim, which seems wildly out of step with the more expert opinions. I suggest the credence on this claim is reduced, including removing its impact on the info box. --Dweller 07:37, 17 September 2007 (UTC)


From Franco-Mongol alliance#Joint conquest of Baghdad (1258):

The Frank army of Bohemond VI participated to the capture of Baghdad, as well as the Armenians of Hethoum I,[1][2]
But at the intervention of the Mongol Hulagu's Nestorian Christian wife, the Christian inhabitants were spared.[3][4] Hulagu offered the royal palace to the Nestorian Catholicus Mar Makikha, and ordered a cathedral to be built for him.[5]

Some of the sources seem disputed, but if you can get a consensus, it would an interesting addition to this article. -- (talk) 12:40, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

Why there were Armenian Infantry?[edit]

Why there were Armenians and Georgians in the Mongol Army? It wouldn't be mongol invasion if the army were comprised mostly non-mongol people. Sonic99 (talk) 01:02, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

Because the Mongols assimilated conquered peoples into their army. The Kipchaks (for example) were smashed in the Asian steppe country by Batu et al, and the survivors that did not escape of their army were retrained in Mongol tactics and usually put in the front ranks as a vanguard to use as 'shock troops' and also to absorb casualties so that the core Mongol elite tumens would be as undamaged as possible. Like the Huns before them, the Mongol 'hoardes' were composite armies (with exceptions such as the reconnaissance-in-force by Subotai of the Caucusus and the Ukraine). There were also Chinese siege engineers within the Mongol ranks. HammerFilmFan (talk) 16:51, 11 February 2011 (UTC) HammerFilmFan

Battle of Baghdad?[edit]

Shouldn't this be Sack of Baghdad or something similar? There seems to have been some actual battle involved, but this article is really on the whole campaign, which mostly consisted of an advance, a siege, and a sack. As such, I think Sack of Baghdad or Mongol Sack of Baghdad would be a better title for this article. john k (talk) 23:23, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

Note that we don't have Battle of Constantinople (1453) or Battle of Rome (1527), for some analogous situations. john k (talk) 23:24, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

I agree that the title needs to be changed. I've read dozens of books about the Mongols, and the event generally isn't referred to as a "Battle". Instead it's "The Fall of Baghdad" or "The Sack of Baghdad", "The Conquering of Baghdad", or "The Destruction of Baghdad." I looked through titles at, and based on a quick look, "Fall" and "Sack" are the preferred titles. If I had to choose, I'd probably lean towards "Fall of Baghdad (1258)" as being one of the most neutral, but I could go with "Sack of Baghdad" too. The word "Sack" is stronger and somewhat more emotional, but it's definitely well-sourced. --Elonka 04:39, 16 December 2007 (UTC)
We have several Sack of Rome articles - for 387 BC, 410, 455, 846 (somewhat dubiously), 1084, and 1527. On the other hand, for Constantinople it's Fall of Constantinople. But Baghdad seems definitely like a sack - the Mongols were certainly more vicious than the Visigoths in 410, or than the Arabs in 846, in terms of mass destruction. If we're going to have any articles entitled "Sack of X", this one seems like a good candidate. john k (talk) 18:47, 16 December 2007 (UTC)
Makes sense. So, "Sack of Baghdad (1258)" ? Or just "Sack of Baghdad"? --Elonka 21:55, 16 December 2007 (UTC)
Timur appears to have sacked Baghdad again in 1401, but I think this might be a primary topic. What's your thought? john k (talk) 08:38, 17 December 2007 (UTC)
Hmm, is there an article on the 1401 event? Also, what is being used for the current-event actions? --Elonka 09:02, 17 December 2007 (UTC)
"Sack" is such a loaded word... It is also rather limitative: the "sack" was only one of the phases of the siege itself, which is the subject of the article here. I think we should use a broader and more neutral title such as Fall of Baghdad (1258). PHG (talk) 09:26, 17 December 2007 (UTC)
But the same is true of all the other articles called "sack." I wouldn't especially object to Fall of Baghdad (1258), but I'd prefer "Sack". john k (talk) 16:03, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

Why wasn't the name changed? (talk) 21:11, 13 October 2013 (UTC)

Double Vandalism, deleting of more than half of page, no reason given in either cases[edit]

The page has been deleted twice in one day. No reason given, no Talk provided. This is not Wiki policy. This is now reported to Cluebot and/or the rightful office. The material deleted is all Buddhist-related material. If someone is doing this for sectarian anti-Buddhist reasons then the matter brought to Wikipedia's Wiki Adminstrator against Vandalism will not be just about mere vandalism but also about sectarian intolerance. I don't know if people participating on the page about Baghdad and the Christian Crusaders want that to be the topic here. I think massive tolerance and respect for other faiths should be the mission of Crusaders in foreign countries like that. If people are massively deleting, well the subject *will be that*. I'm not saying I don't want anyone to be working on this page, all the contrary (massive deleting is hacking the page). But the massive deletions taking place and being unexplained are not helpful to anyone and should be stopped fast.

No one is saying the page doesn't need change and fast, but change ! And not destruction or Inquisitive banning. What really is needed is more not less. Particularly the Kalachakra references that have not yet been provided by anyone but are well-known and available easily on numerous sites. The serial deleters have not provided even any discussion about the content, so we're really in the outer, outer layers of intolerance here, with people that want to delete something they don't want to talk about. This is therefore something like the iconoclastic idol-crushers in Afghanistan. Speaking about this, it should be reminded that the deleting and banning of material on Buddhism is not isolated and this has happened with that which was provided by the famous Wiki contributor PHG, (Afghanistan precisely) and that also has taken place on a Mongol-related page. The editors of this page know who I am talking about, PHG has provided material here too.

Geir Smith (talk) 08:11, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

I strongly protest about the deleting and destruction i see with the article about Baghdad's destroying by Mongolian armee in 1258 . This has really happened . This is very bad that this can happen on Wikipedia , and if it shall be going on the deletings and destructions , official protest shall be coming !Edward lonesome Wolf (talk) 09:51, 26 February 2008 (UTC)Edward lonesome Wolf .

Sigh. Relata refero (talk) 11:44, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
Clear reasons were given, eg "deep revert of off-topic unencyclopedic essayistic rambling". I see Geir Smith is recruiting people to help push his POV: Violent War of words erupts on faiths, Kalachakra, between Christians and Buddhists online - also look at page one of the thread, where he writes "I'd really need help from people who could come along to the page with me and we do this as a group of people" --Dougweller (talk) 12:03, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

The article was proper written and i did not recognize violent words in the article . I find it a good article and it has to come on Wikipedia . War is always violent , so i suggest that all historic articles about war can also be delete on Wikipedia . But i tell you that an official protest by me and others shall come soon . Is it proper to delete articles on Wikipedia from you or Elonka on the same way ? Only because i say : "You are writing ......... " ! Edward lonesome Wolf (talk) 13:06, 26 February 2008 (UTC)Edward lonesome Wolf .

You are confused. 'Violent words' is from the title of the thread started by Geir Smith on the Phayul Message Forum in which he canvassed for help and recruited you. Please, go ahead and make your official protest. Perhaps when you get a response you will then understand why Geir Smith's research does not belong here.--Dougweller (talk) 13:57, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

To given a clear reason... Geir's edits have serious problems with WP:No original research, and WP:Verifiability, two of Wikipedia's core Policies. Blueboar (talk) 14:21, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
Oh, and the talk page dreck was deleted per WP:TALK because it contained some nasty personal attacks, massive assumptions of bad faith and because Wikipedia talk pages are not there to be used as a recruiting ground for "Shambhala warriors" in spite of what it says on Mr Smith's own website website. --Folantin (talk) 14:41, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

Dominique Boubouleix[edit]

Some of the dreck was from the above person. Now, I think he is a real person, but I also think he has fake credentials. These seem to include being 'Lord Hearntown', which appears to be a fake title, and "D. Sc. in Archaeology, England; Hon. Ph.D. in Anthropology, USA. Professor of General Anthropology, School of Anthropology, Paris; Director, Centre for Advanced International Studies in Anthropology, Archaeology and Ethnology (CAISAAE), Florida; Director, International Centre for Anthropological Research in India and South East Asia (CIRAIASE), an autonomous department of the International Institute of Anthropology (IIA, Paris); Professor of Philosophy in Anthropology, England." The famour Paris "School of Anthropology" hasn't existed since something like 1922. The two Centres listed above can't be found except here: [1] which is where I found the list of credentials, although the International Institute of Anthropology does. People who list degrees or teaching posts give the institutions, and he doesn't, so I am extremely dubious about those also. Geir Smith says he's a Knight of the British BVA, and last I heard the British Veterinarian Association didn't give knighthoods. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Dougweller (talkcontribs) 18:08, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

Well, people can claim whatever credentials they want... we don't pay any attention to them on Wikipedia, whether True or Faked (remember the Essjay controverey... foolish us if we let claimed credentials influence us)... Me, I have decided that I am the Pope today. Blueboar (talk) 19:00, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
I retract my comments, we have had a cordial email conversation and I now understand the situation. He seems pretty nice now that we have emailed each other. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Dougweller (talkcontribs) 20:05, 29 February 2008 (UTC)

Page move[edit]

This page ought to be moved to either Fall of Baghdad (1258) or Sack of Baghdad. I have no preference but believe that Battle of Baghdad (1258) is peculiar to Wikipedia. There has been some discussion of this issue in the past (here) but events intervened. It is time to revisit the issue. Aramgar (talk) 15:24, 7 February 2009 (UTC)


Abbasi caliphate was a huge empire including the whole middle east, most of north Africa, most of nowadays turkey, Iran, Pakistan and parts of Afghanistan not as mentioned in the article that it was {ONLY) nowadays Iraq

I edited it to be more suitable Dr B2 (talk) 08:45, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

Extreme plundering of Baghdad as a Military Tactic?[edit]

I do not see the extreme sacking of Baghdad as a military tactic. What about the looting and destruction of the House of Wisdom (i.e the Great Library of Baghdad), does it have any military significance over the next Mongolian military campaigns? The Mongols tended to plunder a city for it's wealth, not concerning the next and possible future use of the city. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:54, 23 November 2009 (UTC)

While what you say is basically true, massacres WERE used as a military device by the Mongols - they hoped that the spread of the news would terrify the populations of future areas of conquest so that they would submit without a fight in order to save their lives and property. The effectiveness of such measures is, of course, debatable. It didn't work in Hungary, where large battles ensued that resulted in the virtual annihilation of the Hungarian army and their Cuman allies. And the morality of these actions is pretty clear. HammerFilmFan (talk) 17:06, 11 February 2011 (UTC) HammerFilmFan
I think it was just the application of the relatively extreme values of a very tough people who had grown up in a harsh, vengeance based society on the steppes to civilization. On the steppes, when someone lost, they were liquidated. That's just how it was. I don't think the Mongols ever got together in a tent and had a great intellectual debate about the military effectiveness of these tactics. Likely, that's just a retroactive interpolation by later historians trying to rationalize the abject horror of the matter. (talk) 05:22, 18 October 2012 (UTC)
Of course they did. This is verified in Reliable Sources. The early Mongol Empire had very good generals, and tactics were regularly discussed and observations of battles later re-evaluated. This is beyond dispute. HammerFilmFan (talk) 21:55, 25 April 2017 (UTC)

Comments on the destruction[edit]

I think some of the comments here are a bit 'poetic' rather than encyclopedic. If this is a quote from somewhere, it might be nice if the reference were cited. The comments on the total destruction of Baghdad are pure fantasy. No one in the field believes that.

While not totally destroyed, by any reasonable examination of the texts, it's clear Baghdad experienced a disaster unimaginable. Had the city been an aircraft carrier, the navy would have sunk it as too badly damaged for repair. Between the Mongols and the Timurids it took centuries for the city to recover. However, any improvement to the section per RS is always desirable. HammerFilmFan (talk) 17:11, 11 February 2011 (UTC) HammerFilmFan

Can anyone please give a citation for the violent act against the books? In which primary source can we readb about the river Tigris running black because of the Ink of the Books, and that a Horse could cross the river on books??? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Chendjer (talkcontribs) 13:58, 13 February 2011 (UTC)

The primary sources are various Persian and Arab historians of the time. How much is poetic license and how much is factual is a matter of debate; however, there is NO debate that the destruction of Baghdad is a fact, and that the city was more or less utterly ruined and the population massacred in very great numbers. Some modern historical secondary sources that can give you a very good idea of what happened and descriptions of what the Mongol terror-tactics in warfare are:
  THE DEVIL'S HORSEMEN, by James Chambers
  THE MONGOLS, by David Morgan

additionally, Will Durant in his "Age of Faith" volume of THE STORY OF CIVILIZATION contains large sections quoted verbatim of the primary sources and has value in that regard. Some time after the destruction, various European accounts by traders and missionaries passing through the area reported the fields of bones and the pitiful remains of the city being used by various beggars and hermits; it took over a century for Baghdad to regain any small percentage of what had been lost. HammerFilmFan (talk) 22:13, 18 September 2011 (UTC) HammerFilmFan — Preceding unsigned comment added by HammerFilmFan (talkcontribs) 22:00, 18 September 2011 (UTC)

Article self-contradictary?[edit]

Claim 1: Opening paragraphs of article: "As a result, Baghdad remained depopulated and in ruins for several centuries" Claim 2: Last paragraph of article: "Initially, the fall of Baghdad was a shock to the whole Muslim world, but the city became one of economic centers where international trade, money minting and religious affairs flourished under the Ilkhans"

So... which is it? And how does this make sense? The Ilkhanate disintegrated by 1335, so I'm not sure how you can possibly reconcile claim 1 with claim 2. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:38, 18 March 2012 (UTC)


I have been working on this article lately, and expect to be intermittently revising/restructuring until next weekend or so, given a GA review that may get in the way. I will remove the tag by Thursday if work is progressing slowly. dci | TALK 00:05, 18 September 2012 (UTC)

Guo Kan[edit]

Guo Kan was a son of the Chinese commander Guo Baoyu who served the Mongolian Empire. He and his family served the Mongols and was usually in charge of Chinese artillery and troops recruited under the banner of the Mongolians. They had never been major military commanders. If we need to mention every sub-commanders, the article simply cannot contain it, so that I removed his name. But his name can be mentioned in the article along with other Mongolian officers.--Lauren68 (talk) 12:26, 14 November 2013 (UTC)


An Arab historian said, "The Moslems, being few, were defeated." Before that, we were told that military victory was proof of philosophy. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:00, 20 June 2017 (UTC)

  1. ^ ”The Franks of Tripoli and Antioch, as well as the Armenians of Cilicia who, as soon as the submission of Asia Minor in 1243 had to recognize the suzerainty of the Mongols and pay tribute, participated to the capture of Baghdad.” Demurger, “Croisades et Croises”, p.284
  2. ^ "Bohemond VI etait present a Baghdad en 1258" Demurger, p.55
  3. ^ Maalouf, p. 243
  4. ^ "A history of the Crusades", Steven Runciman, p.306
  5. ^ Foltz, p.123