Notes on Mongols

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The Mongols were a group of nomadic tribes occupying roughly what is now Mongolia. In the thirteenth century these tribes that united under the leadership of Genghis Khan (1162-1227). Mongol armies quickly swept south into China and west into Russia and the Near East, smashing anyone who dared to resist. By about 1300, the Mongols had erected a huge empire, divided into several smaller "pieces."

The Mongols created probably the largest, land empire in world history. At its height, the empire spanned from Eastern Europe to China and into the Near East. That was truly an amazing accomplishment given the obscure origins of the Mongols in the twelfth century on a distant plateau, isolated in the heart of Asia. The military advantages enjoyed by the Mongols over any potential adversaries stemmed from their legendary discipline, extraordinary abilities on horseback, ability to organize and coordinate large military units and, finally, their noted ferocity. By the height of Mongol conquests in the mid-thirteenth century, the Mongols were feared by everyone across Europe and Asia. Please feel free to review my lecture notes (rtf file) on the Mongols. You may send me any suggested corrections or additions.

To create one of the greatest empires in world history under the control of one man meant a lifetime of war, and Chinggis (Temujin, Tumuchin or Ghenghis) Khan, 1170?-1227, was a great warrior. From practically nondescript origins, he arose to power and created probably the largest empire ever to exist in world history. By August 1227 when Chinggis died-allegedly at age 72 although that is not clear--during a campaign against the Xi-Xia empire, his enemies had come to justifiably fear his wrath, but he could be a relatively moderate ruler in practice.
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