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THE MONGOLS: How Barbaric Were the Barbarians?

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Josie l

on 16 April 2015

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Transcript of THE MONGOLS: How Barbaric Were the Barbarians?

Who Were the Mongols?
The Mongols were a nomadic group of people who lived in easy to assemble and disassemble houses they liked to call, yurts. although they had careless ways, they were very advanced. for example, their way of fighting was definitely unique, and they left a big influence on our society today.
Document 5: Persian Manuscript

In my opinion, the Mongols were barbaric because of the way they treated the prisoners. They used methods that were inhumane. According to Persian Manuscript, "Others are being buried alive upside down." I know that in war, people will die, but that doesn't mean torture to that extreme is necessary.
Document 3: Carpini on Battle Tactics
Document 4
The Question
What should we make of the mongols? There is no debate among historians that the Mongols had their brutal side. But when the day of historical judgement comes and the Mongols goods and bads are placed side by side on the balance scale, which way does the scale tip?
THE MONGOLS: How Barbaric Were the Barbarians?
From my perspective, the Mongols seemed to be very civilized because of the way they were able to think outside the box create the illusion that their army was in fact bigger than any other. For example, the text states," ...and sometimes they make figures of men and set them on horses. they do this to give the impression that a great crowd of fighting men is assembled there." This way of fighting was extremely clever and out of the ordinary and for this great thinking, i give the Mongols credit.
From my perspective, this document shows the more barbaric side of the Mongols. For example, when they raided other territories they made sure to kill everything, even the land that the others were farming on. I understand that in war, death is a given but i think that the mongols went to far when they decided to kill. for example in document 4 it states," They severed the heads of the slain from their bodies and heaped them in piles, keeping those of the men separate from those of the woman and children."
Document 2
In this document, the Mongols prove to be somewhat civilized folk. For example, they were very loyal, but they were also being forced to do so, which gave them organization. As you can see, in Document 2, it summarizes, when they are in battle, if one or more of a group of ten flee, all are put to death, whether the others ran or not. And if the entire group of ten runs, the whole group of hundred are put to death too.
Pros of the Mongols
Cons of the Mongols
Document 10: On Marriage
The Mongols didn't seem to have "love at first sight." In fact, they had love at many sights! The Mongols were aloud to have as many wives as they liked. In fact they had a system for owning their wives, almost like how a farmer keeps sheep. "Each man has as many wives as he can keep..." from
Document 10: On Marriage
. I personally think of this as barbaric, because I don't believe that people should be owned.
Document 10: On Hospitality
I believe that in this document the Mongols seemed to be more civilized than my point of view. For example, the document says, that when the Mongols didn't have food, they simply sang happily as if they had eaten like kings. This shows the Mongols ability to be resilient. I believe that resilience is a very valuable trait because without resilience, getting through tough times would be impossible and without the ability to get over things, we wouldn't be very advanced today and the way we would see everything would be changed.
- Had order
- Skilled warriors
- Thought in more advanced ways
- Created strategies
- Caring
- Resilient
- Took things a bit far
- Killed innocent people
- Turned to Torture instead of peace
- A little hot-headed
- Violent
- Careless
In my opinion, the Mongols were both civilized and barbaric. For example,
Documents 5, 4, and 10: On Marriage
, Prove the Mongols to be very barbaric. For example, in Document 5, it states that the Mongols captured prisoners and buried them upside down in the ground. This shows how ruthless and careless they could be. In Document 4, it states,
"They severed the heads of their slain from their bodies keeping those of the men separate from the woman and children."
I think that the Mongols went too far with the killing in this drastic scene. They made sure that
"...not even cats or dogs should be left alive."
However, the Mongols weren't just ruthless killers on a 24/7 rampage, they could also have order and even be a little caring. For example,
Documents 2, 3, and 10: On Hospitality,
explain the Mongols as impressive, caring, and even loyal. For instance, in
Document 3
it states,
"...they make figures of men and set them on horses. They do this to give the impression that a great crowd of fighting men is assembled there."
I believe that this document shows how developed and advanced that the Mongols were. Therefore, giving them the characteristic of impressive. But, the Mongols were also very loyal to each other, especially in battle.
"...if one or two or even three or even more out of a group of ten run away, all are put to death; and if a whole group of ten flees, the rest of the group of a hundred are all put to death, if they do not flee too."
This represents the Mongols as loyal, even if their loyalty was forced. At least they had order and consequences. In conclusion, the Mongols were both civilized and barbaric. So, when you ask me which way the balance scale tips, I'd tell you that it doesn't tip at all. It simply depends on how you look at the evidence.
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