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HoW 13 The Mongol Empire and the 'globalisation' of Eurasia, 1206-1405
Transcript of HoW 13 The Mongol Empire and the 'globalisation' of Eurasia, 1206-1405
The creation of a Eurasian free-trade network also provided the perfect conditions for the transmission of disease
(also some argue 14th century start of Little Ice Age from 1350-1850)
A Eurasian free-trade zone
The Mongol conquests
Ibn Khaldun (1332-1406)
‘Cities and buildings were laid waste, roads and signs were obliterated, settlements and mansions became empty, dynasties and tribes grew weak. The entire world changed.’
'Against the wrath of the
Tartars O Lord deliver us'
The David Vases - HoW 100 objects 61
Life under Mongol Rule
The greatest happiness is to scatter your enemy, to drive him before you, to see his cities reduced to ashes, to see those who love him shrouded in tears, and to gather into your bosom his wives and daughters
Subjugated communities had
freedom of worship
legal system - the yassa
Military life of mongol warriors - training by hunting (annual hunt called the nerge)
Any man over 20 in army
Divided into arban (10) and touman (10,000
Some selected as Mangudai - suicide troops
Siege of Caffa, 1347
1266 Genoese leased the port
from the Mongols and it became a
trading centre - furs from north, spices from east. One of biggest slave markets in Europe. Local Khan Janibeg wanted to drive them out:
'What seemed like mountains of dead were thrown into the city...Soon the rotting corpses tainted the air and poisoned the water supply.'
Under the Mongols China developed one
of the most enduring and succesful
luxury products in the history of
the world...The savagery of the Mongol
invasions destabilized and destroyed local
pottery industries across the Middle East so when peace returned they became major new markets for Chinese exports. Blue and white pottery was popular there - the blue pigment is know as Muslim blue
Sword of Islam,
Kublai Khan's Empire
World History Crash Course 17
Genghiz Khan's Empire
Giovanni de Plano Carpini, the Pope's envoy to the Mongol Great Khan, traveled through Kiev in February 1246 and wrote:
"They [the Mongols] attacked Rus, where they made great havoc, destroying cities and fortresses and slaughtering men; and they laid siege to Kiev, the capital of Rus; after they had besieged the city for a long time, they took it and put the inhabitants to death. When we were journeying through that land we came across countless skulls and bones of dead men lying about on the ground. Kiev had been a large and heavily populated town, but now it has been reduced almost to nothing, for there are at the present time scarce two hundred houses there and the inhabitants are kept in complete slavery
Yuan dynasty 'hand gun'
Around 1200 while building up his power based Genghiz' horse was shot from under him in a battle. After victory he found the archer and commended him for his prowess and named him Jebe 'The Arrow'. He became one of his chief commanders
It is with great joy that I learned
of the glory of my lord Genghis Khan. The clouds have made way for the sun, the river is freed from ice. Grant me your favour and I will dedicate my strength to you - Uigur King Barchuq
Persecution of Islam ended by
Mongol general Jebe so seen as a liberator by many
Ruler - Ala al Din who had conquered the region himself in 1215.
Merchant Caravan from Genghis' territory massacred and an envoy was killed.
Brutal campaign launched in 1219
One by one the cities captured and if resistance prolonged then inhabitants butchered. Skilled artisans spared to help with sieges.
Siege of Khojend a river diverted with engineers and 50,000 slave labourers to help capture the fortress. Similarly when capital Urganj captured a river diverted to run through it
Further bloodshed after an uprising in 1222 at city of Herat where it is said that a million and a half people died.
Also the qanat system disrupted
shorter than a longbow but
an equally long draw and needing greater strength than the longbow. Also a much more regular release of tension so twice the range of a longbow and with a flatter trajectory and greater accuracy
Jalal al-Din, son of of Ala al Din, defeated but surviving, ended up leading his followers west. He died in 1231 but the rest o his army overran Jerusalem in 1244, razing much of it and ending Christian occupation until 1917
Until the end of the campaign when their use was at an end. tens of thousands were slaughtered in an organised one-day operation to save on the cost of feeding them.
The ruler of the Hsia Hsia kingdom failed to send troops to help in Transoxania and Genghis took revenge with more devastation before dying of a sudden illness.
Under the reign of Genghis Khan, all the
country between Iran and the land of the Turks enjoyed such peace that a man might have journeyed from the land of sunrise to the land of sunset with a golden platter upon his head without suffering the least violence.
Mongol general Hulegu destroyed Baghdad in 1258 but then was called back with the death of the Great Khan Mongke, leaving a remnant army to be defeated
'If you are ever in doubt what to do, ask this boy Kublai' - grandson of Genghis with Nestorian Christian mother
In 1260 he became Great Khan but also had himself crowned 'Son of Heaven' - Emperor of China
Siege of Hsiang-yiang lasted five years.
Conditions for Mongol cavalry were very difficult and new siege weapons and ships to patrol the river were needed. Two Iraqi engineers finally provided huge new mangonals able to destroy the walls.
1271-1301 conflict with Khaidu Khan in central Asia
Having devastated much of Transoxania he turned on his great rivals, the Golden Horde, defeating them at the battle of Kunduzcha.
Timur's destruction of trading posts to the north shows his understanding of trade. BY destroying the key points of trade to the north he diverted silk-route trade through his territory and his capital of Samarkand. Savagery even more a feature of his conquest than previous Mongols. At Sarai skeletons scatter the city without heads, feet or hands.
After a career of conquest Timur
spent 1396-8 rebuilding Samarkand
as an imperial capital.
Timur wanted to end the Delhi Sultanate's tolerance of Hindus. By the time he reached Delhi he had around 100,000 prisoners. All were killed to free up his troops for battle on 12th December 1398. The Muslims had their throats cut while the Hindus were burned alive or flayed. After the capture of Delhi (as with Baghdad) pyramids of skulls were left around the city.
Battle of Ankara in July 1402 saw defeat and capture of Ottoman sultan Bayezit.
He now decided to take on China but died on the way at the head of a vast invasion force.
Under the power of the eternal sky, the message of the great king, Arghun, to the king of France..., said: I have accepted the word that you forwarded by the messengers under Saymer Sagura (Rabban Bar Sauma), saying that if the warriors of Il Khaan invade Egypt you would support them. We would also lend our support by going there at the end of the Tiger year’s winter , worshiping the sky, and settle in Damascus in the early spring .
If you send your warriors as promised and conquer Egypt, worshiping the sky, then I shall give you Jerusalem. If any of our warriors arrive later than arranged, all will be futile and no one will benefit. If you care to please give me your impressions, and I would also be very willing to accept any samples of French opulence that you care to burden your messengers with.
The Middle East
1260 Father and Uncle to court of Kublai Khan
1271-95 he goes with them to Far East
After return dictates story to Rustichello da Pisa (writing in Langues d'Oil - Crusades Lingua Franca possibly as merchants handbook)
1324 Dies a wealthy merchang
First and foremost, then, the document stated the city of Kinsay to be so great that it hath an hundred miles of compass. [note: probably a hundred Chinese li, about 4/10ths of a mile] And there are in it twelve thousand bridges of stone, for the most part so lofty that a great fleet could pass beneath them. And let no man marvel that there are so many bridges, for you see the whole city stands as it were in the water and surrounded by water, so that a great many bridges are required to give free passage about it. And though the bridges be so high the approaches are so well contrived that carts and horses do cross them.
The document aforesaid also went on to state that there were in this city twelve guilds of the different crafts, and that each guild had 12,000 houses in the occupation of its workmen. Each of these houses contains at least 12 men, whilst some contain 20 and some 40, - not that these are all masters, but inclusive of the journeymen who work under the masters. And yet all these craftsmen had full occupation, for many other cities of the kingdom are supplied from this city with what they require.
The document aforesaid also stated that the number and wealth of the merchants, and the amount of goods that passed through their hands, were so enormous that no man could form a just estimate thereof. And I should have told you with regard to those masters of the different crafts who are at the head of such houses as I have mentioned, that neither they nor their wives ever touch a piece of work with their own hands, but live as nicely and delicately as if they were kings and queens. The wives indeed are most dainty and angelical creatures! Moreover it was an ordinance laid down by the King that every man should follow his fatber's business and no other, no matter if he possessed 100,000 bezants [note: a Byzantine coin, often used as a standard coinage
porcellana - little piglet - slang word for cowry shells used by Marco Polo as he best word he could think of for the shell-like sheen of this ceramic material
The town of Mogadishu in Somalia
On leaving Zayla we sailed for fifteen days and came to Maqdasha [Mogadishu], which is an enormous town. Its inhabitants are merchants and have many camels, of which they slaughter hundreds every day [for food]. When a vessel reaches the port, it is met by sumbuqs, which are small boats, in each of which are a number of young men, each carrying a covered dish containing food. He presents this to one of the merchants on the ship saying "This is my guest," and all the others do the same. Each merchant on disembarking goes only to the house of the young man who is his host, except those who have made frequent journeys to the town and know its people well; these live where they please. The host then sells his goods for him and buys for him, and if anyone buys anything from him at too low a price, or sells to him in the absence of his host, the sale is regarded by them as invalid. This practice is of great advantage to them.
1325 sets of on Hajj
Returns to Morocco 1354
Dictates 'Rihla' (the Journey) soon after
1392 Venetian Merchant Francesco Amadi wrote to trading associate in Nuremburg about the going rate for pepper
Today, 4 October, at dawn, the three vessels arrived from La Tana, heavily laden. I enclose with this letter a sealed inventory of the cargoes of these ships so that you can be precisely informed on what they contain. Know that today also three ships arrived from Syria, from whose crew we are reliably informed that our Venetians have brought large amounts of spices there, above all pepper and ginger...
As a result of this news we all feel that there will be adequate supplies of spices on offer this year in Venice.
The Chinese population fell from about 120 to 80 million, the population of Europe also shrunk by around a third.
Europe - Peasant Revolts (1358 in France, 1381 in England)
China - Red Turban movement leader Zhu overthrows Yuan dynasty to establish Ming 'brilliant' dynasty in 1368
Tamerlane's empire was the last real attempt to challenge the partition of Eurasia between the states of the Far West, Islamic Middle East and Confucian East Asia (John Darwin: After Tamerlane)
State building in opposition to
Slow recovery after mass depopulation hindered by desertification
Last Mongol Empire conquered by Tamerlane's descendents in 1526
Economic strength of unified China but continuing nomad threat from the north and strength of native Confucian ideology under Ming dynasty limits expansion
Separate development from rest of Europe confirmed by devastation caused by, and rule of, Mongolian overlords
General economic and social development set back by Black Death but fortunate failure of Mongol invasions spares it from devastation and occupation. In addition opportunities opened up for trade and travel give impetus to new phase of European expansionis.