From Chingis Khan to Ottoman:A Brief Introduction
Notes prepared by Prof. Erdal Yavuz. For the definitions , images, original texts as well as content, the following internet sources are primarily used: http://en.wikipedia.org/, http://www.m-w.com/ ,http://www.questia.com/library/encyclopedia/, http://www.wsu.edu:8080/~dee/WORLD.HTM , http://www.allempires.com/ ,http://www.bartleby.com/67/ , http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/
Turks and Mongols: AD 1000-1500 The first half of our own millennium was dominated, in Asia , Near East and Eastern Europe by the movement of Turks and Mongols. Almost every part of the continent (southern India and southeast Asia are the exceptions) is connected in this period by conquerors whose own roots lie in the steppes north of the mountain ranges. The first historical mention of the Turks is in Chinese accounts of a great empire established by a confederation of nomads in the 6th century AD. Stretching from north of the Great Wall in the east to the Black Sea in the west, the empire is known to the Chinese as T'u Küe and to the Turks themselves as Gök Türk. Besides different episodes and various states and formations, a global episode starts when in the 13th century the Mongols emerge from the steppes to setup a vast and virtually instant empire. By the time of Kublai Khan almost the whole habitable continent is theirs, except India, southeast Asia and Japan. In the 15th century Tamerlane (Timur) almost repeats their great feat of conquest, but the effect is only to place his Turkish descendants on thrones previously held by Mongols ,except for the imperial throne in China, by now returned to a native dynasty (the Ming). Beginning by the 14th century a new Turkish power, that of the Ottomans, wins control of Anatolia. And by early 16th Century the Ottoman Turks extend their rule round the eastern Mediterranean and down into North Africa and Arabia as well as the steppes of Russia. This had lasting impacts on later Near Eastern and European politics and culture. (As Reader 4, you will find a news article by the occasion of a presentation in Arizona Opera published in The Arizona Republic on February 17, 2006, to see how this influence today is presented to the American public.)
The Mongol Empire The high plateau of Mongolia, east of the Altai Mountains, is the original homeland of both Turks and Mongols; two groups much intermingled in history. The emergence of the Turks from Mongolia is a gradual process. Each successive wave makes its first appearance in history when they acquire power in some new region, whether they be the Khazars, the Seljuks, Ottomans or one of many other such groups. The sudden eruption of the Mongols from their homeland was different. Their astonishing expansion, on both sides of the Asia, can be dated to the early years of the 13th century and can be attributed to the military genius of one man - born with the name of Temujin, but known now as Chingis Khan. The ability to construct tribal alliances and state building were valued traits of leadership hence Chingis Khan is considered to be such a leader. In the Asia, the Mongols had enjoyed brief periods of dominance in the fourth and tenth centuries but that of The Chingis Khan was much more successful. Mongol armies were entirely of cavalry and depended on speed and mobility in making their assaults. Reorganized into units called tumen containing 10,000 men, each army was also divided into heavy cavalry, light cavalry, and lightly armored scouts who preceded the main forces. The later Mongol forces were equipped with gunpowder and artillery. The empire under Chingis Khan and after Chingis Khan after series of attacks in 1207 defeated the kingdom of Hsi Hsia in northern China, then attacked the Chin empire. The Sung, instead of allying with the Chin against took the chance to ally with the Mongols instead, and Sung and Mongol troops put an end to the Chin Dynasty in 1234 AD. (Refer to the map)
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