The Mongol Empire arose in 1206 AD, from nomadic tribes that inhabited the far north of China, until it became one of the largest empires in history, and its influence extended from the Pacific Ocean to Central Europe, and its area reached 28 million square kilometers, or approximately 20% of the land area, and it wrote a bloody and terrifying history for the whole world, before it fragmented into small empires in the sixties of the thirteenth century due to civil conflicts.
The Mongols had no interest in the construction of great urban edifices or their political systems, neither of which was famous, but in return they contributed to cultural progress, connecting East and West through trade and diplomatic relations, and facilitating the movement of missionaries and travelers from Eurasia to the Far East.
The Mongols trace their origin to pastoral tribes of pagan nomads in northern China and present-day Mongolia, and their environment depended on the care of many herds of animals, and the harsh geographical and climatic nature played a role in the endurance of these tribes, creating a strong generation of knights.
The Mongol tribes consisted of a variety of ethnicities between Turkic tribes, including the Turkish, Kyrgyz, Igz and Qarluk tribes, and non-Turkic tribes such as the Khitai, Tatars, Krait, Naiman and Burjaqin, from which Genghis Khan, the founder of the empire, descended.
The inhabitants of that area were famous for their horsemanship and high fighting skills, as they mastered the use of the composite bow, which is used to aim from horses.
Having strong horses also allowed them to travel long distances, which explains how quickly they controlled large areas as they moved westward.
The Mongol tribes were always nomadic and built their houses out of circular tents made of felt (Shutterstock)
Features of the life of the Mongols
The Mongol tribes traveled as the seasons turned, and their houses were built of circular tents made of felt or yurt tents, and their clothes were durable and warm, helping them to endure the bitter cold of Mongolia.
The Mongols also relied on felt made of sheep wool and animal fur for their dress, with loose trousers and long jilbab-like jackets, which they tied to a leather belt, wore conical hats covering their ears, and made their underwear out of cotton and silk.
As for their food, it was based on milk and what is made of it, such as cheese, butter and others, and the drink that they were famous for was "Al-Kams", an alcoholic drink made from mare's milk, and they also relied on the meat of wild animals, and they always tried to avoid the meat of their livestock because they relied on their milk, wool and even dung to warm them to live.
The Mongols used to organize periodic hunting campaigns to collect food during the summer in preparation for winter, and even special holidays that are an occasion that brings together tribes from time to time, and they called it "Nargha", in which the cavalry encircles a large area of steppes to push the game into a smaller area for easier hunting by archers on their horses.
The practice of this tradition has left behind strong, strong riders skilled in shooting arrows from horses, who have benefited in their wars from the style of "ragha", the way it is organized and the discipline it requires.
Despite the primitive and nomadic life they lived, there were social divisions that governed the nature of dealing between these tribes, there is a nobility, which is dominant, including leaders, and the "Nokur" class, which means free, which is more like the middle class on which the military and political system is based, and the third class is the public and slaves, and similar to the neighboring Asian regions, Mongol women were characterized by more rights and greater powers, until they were in some of them regents.
The geographical nature and harsh climate played a role in the stamina of the Mongol tribes (Getty Images)
As for their religion, the Mongols did not have a holy book, and their rituals were a mixture of spiritualism (deification of animals), shamanism and the worship of the ancestors, and they made fire, earth, water, mountains and natural phenomena spirits, and they believed in the ability of shamans to communicate with these spirits, where the shaman faints in the process of communication and then moves in the world of spirits and finds the lost ones and knows future events, according to their belief.
They had two gods, the earth, the mother goddess Itogin, and the blue sky, the goddess Father protector Tengri, who they believed had "the sacred right to rule the entire world."
This empire was founded by its founder, Genghis Khan, whose original name was Temujin, and his father Yusgi controlled a group of 40,<> families, but was poisoned, so these groups disintegrated and some of them abandoned the Timujin family, who was a child at the time.
After Temujin grew up, he became the leader of the group to succeed his father, so he built his own power forming alliances of the Asian steppe tribes, threatening most of the knights with the choice between joining him or execution, and forcing the Tatars, Kirids, Neimans, and Merced tribes to submit to him.
Genghis Khan formed a large army of cavalry that he had heavily trained, including 10,<> of his own fighters – of whom he appointed an elite to prestigious administrative positions – and others he involuntarily recruited from the fighters of the Allies of the empire and the territories he had captured.
In 1206 CE, Genghis Khan gathered the tribes in a large meeting and formed a political council called "Koroltai", in which the leaders officially recognized Genghis Khan Azam (world ruler) of the Mongols.
Statue of Genghis Khan in the capital city of Batur of Mongolia (Shutterstock)
Genghis Khan carried out reforms in the administration of his empire, established a writing system for the Mughal language through his Turkic Uighur writers, who relied on Uyghur writing, issued a legal code called "Yasa", and formed the "Yam" network, which are rest stations for the nomads to provide them with the supplies they need.
He made rule after him for his sons and their children, and the Mongol law allowed only the sons of the Genghis Khan dynasty to become leaders of the Mongols.
After he established its administrative system and expanded the control of his empire and divided it among his four sons, Goji Khan, Jaghtai Khan, Oktai Khan, and Tolly Khan, the empire became 4 times larger than the Roman Empire.
Genghis Khan, once recognized by the tribes, began to conquer most of Mongolia by 1206 AD, until he took full control of it, and then began to expand his conquests and control globally within a few years, seizing Chongdu, the capital of the Chinese Jin dynasty in 1215, and the Tangut Empire as well.
He then turned to the Chinese Song dynasty, then one of the largest and richest in the region, and in 1219 reached the region of North Korea, chased the Khitan tribes, and then turned his sights west towards Persia.
In just two decades, Asia was turned upside down, until Muslims called Genghis Khan "cursed" because of the devastation he caused in their countries, wiping out their entire cities, slaughtering civilians, destroying irrigation systems, and leaving nothing good in the country.
The Mongols were known as fierce knights, strong warriors, and skilled hunters (Shutterstock)
Elimination of the algorithmic state
In 1206 AD, when Genghis Khan took control of all of Mongolia, Muhammad Shah Khwarazm, the ruler of the Khwarizm Empire, captured Afghanistan and then Samarkand.
Genghis Khan wanted to make business relations with the Khwarizmians, so he sent messengers to them, but they were killed after one of the Khwarizmi princes thought they were spies, which sparked fighting between the two sides, and Genghis Khan immediately embarked on his invasion campaign of the Khwarizmi state, which did not end until 1231.
Genghis Khan set out with an army of 100,1221, capturing the cities of Bukhara and Samarkand, and in early <> he reached northern Afghanistan, and a year later raided a Russian army at Kalka.
After his death in 1227, his third son, Oktai Khan, took over the Mongols, becoming the "Great Khan", but died only two years later and was succeeded by his son Gyuk Khan, while the Khan of Khorasan ruled and set his sights on the expansion of Iraq and Diyarbakir, and the eldest son Goji Khan ruled the Caucasus and the territories of Russia, which later became the "Khanate of the Golden Horde".
He managed to expand and extend his control over all Persian lands until he reached the borders of Iraq, but he died in 1229, and inherited power to his eldest son Monco, who attacked Baghdad and the rest of the Islamic countries with the persuasion of his younger brother Hulagu.
When Baraka Khan, Joji's second son, learned that Hulagu was inciting his brother to attack Baghdad, he persuaded his older brother Batu to intervene and persuade Moncu (who had been appointed Grand Khan after Jeok in 1251) to stop the war on Baghdad, until he could.
Model of Saray Batu, the capital of the "Golden Horde" in the Astrakhan region, one of the cities of the Russian Federation (Shutterstock)
What helped Baraka Khan to convince his brother to ease the war on the Muslims, their father's captive wife Risala bint Aladdin Khwarizm Shah, who was captured by Joji after his war against the Khwarizmi state, and married under duress, had a great impact on the hearts of his children, which was the reason for their compassion for the Muslims.
Islam Baraka Khan bin Joji Khan was the eldest son of Genghis Khan, a good sign for Muslims who were exhausted by the Mongols in and around Baghdad, and Baraka was handed over by the mystic Sayf al-Din al-Bakhirzi in Bukhara in 1252, so Baraka returned to his country and began to call his family to Islam, so his wife "Jajak Khatun" first became Muslim and took a mosque of tents to be carried with her wherever she went.
Baraka assumed the presidency of the "Golden Horde" established by his brother Batu Khan, so he immediately began to show the rites of Islam and invite the Mongols to faith, and made the city of Saray (Saratov in Russia) the capital of the tribe, and built mosques in it and made it of Islamic character, and worked on it and expanded it until it became the largest city in the world at the time.
On the other hand, Hulagu was waiting for the death of his brother to re-launch his war on Baghdad, and Baraka Khan tried to intervene and condemned Hulagu's actions and the decision to execute Caliph Al-Musta'sim, so he sent to Monco pledging to hold Hulagu accountable for shedding the blood of many innocent people, but Monko "Great Khan" died in August 1259 before he received the message, and soon Hulagu began his attack on Baghdad again immediately after his brother's death.
Saray is one of the largest cities of the Middle Ages, making it the capital of the "Golden Horde" until it became the largest city in the world at the time (Shutterstock)
The Civil War that divided the Mongol Empire
After the death of the Great Khan, the leaders became at odds over his successor, and a civil war broke out that tore apart and divided the Mongol Empire, and from that day on it was no longer what it was, and the Mongol leaders remained in conflict and fighting until the demise of the empire.
Mong's two brothers, Eric Bock and Kublai, claimed the position of Grand Khan until each organized their own coronation council, and although Kublai Khan was eventually appointed to the post, he was unable to extend his control over the entire territory of the empire, and could not obtain recognition from most leaders, but he was able to expand towards China.
Before appointing the new caliph, Hulagu set out to conquer everything in his path, first raiding Baghdad and destroying it for 40 days, killing its people, wreaking havoc and destroying the country, burning its libraries, and throwing others into the Tigris River, until it was said that the river had become ink.
The Mongols struck their swords with people without distinction, then executed the Caliph Al-Musta'sim, after which Hulagu raided the rest of the Levant, starting from Aleppo, destroying it with a catapult after its people refused to submit, until he reached Damascus, which was handed over by its owners so as not to befall them what happened to Aleppo, and then sent threatening the Mamluks before returning to Tabriz to attend the appointment of his brother Khan Azam.
Saif al-Din Qutuz stood in the face of the Mongols and prepared his army and equipped it, until he met Hulagu and those with him in the battle of Ain Jalut, in which the Mongols lost a resounding loss, and Hulagu lost as a result of the Levant, and took over the apparent Baybars rule of Egypt and the Levant after Qutuz, and then there was a rapprochement between him and Baraka Khan, who took to call more Mongol soldiers to Islam, and then entered into an alliance with Baibars and soon began to broadcast strife and problems between the leaders of the Mongols.
The Four Khans. The end of the empire
The Mongol Empire remained united under one banner until 1260 after each khanate became independent by itself, and the rule of Genghis descendants was distributed among the parts of the empire, forming the four khanate (Khaganiyat), the strongest of which was the Yuan dynasty in China, founded by Kublai Khan, and declared himself "Emperor of China" and then China was unified for the first time in centuries.
While the Golden Horde founded by Batu Khan in the middle of the Eurasian steppe lasted until 1480, Hulagu for his part established the Ilkhanid state in Persia and the Mamluks remained his greatest threat, then his state disintegrated in 1335 due to a dispute over power, while Jaghtai established his own khanate, but it also collapsed in 1363.
These last three khanates continued their conflicts and border disputes, knowing that the end of all of them was the conversion to Islam, after which Tamerlane took over the countries of Ilkhaniya and Jaghtai, and established the Timurid state.
Eventually, the Mongols became part of the societies they occupied, melting and being influenced by the culture of their subjects, many of them leaving their traditional shamanic beliefs to convert to Tibetan Buddhism or Islam, the Mongols lost a large part of their cultural identity and even their warlike abilities, and all four khanates were preoccupied with the internal struggle over the assumption of power, until they disappeared completely.