Take the 2-minute tour ×
History Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for historians and history buffs. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Muslim historians recorded the Mongol conquest of Baghdad. In order to evaluate potential bias in these records, it would be useful to compare them to other records of Mongol conquests. Since the Mongols didn't record their side of the story, do we have any other, more neutral records of Mongol conquest and their behavior towards conquered peoples?

share|improve this question
1  
Were the Mongols more brutal than other invading nomads? Did they perceive themselves as brutal? What does "brutal" mean? To what should we compare the Mongols? What was the Mongol attitude towards conquered peoples? –  Mark C. Wallace Apr 27 '14 at 18:31
    
Yes, what was the Mongol attitude towards conquered people.. –  elven_rider Apr 27 '14 at 18:43
2  
It would have been hard to kill 2 million people during the Siege of Baghdad given that the population figure given in the same Wikipedia article mentions that the city's population peaked much earlier at 1 million. –  Comintern Apr 27 '14 at 20:16
1  
I think the answer can be summarised in one sentence: if you fully submit and rescind all your human rights, then brutal; if you resist, then supremely brutal! –  Noldorin Apr 29 '14 at 0:50
1  
It'd probably be a good idea to look at Chinese sources. They had less incentive to lie about Mongols. –  DVK Apr 29 '14 at 15:55

2 Answers 2

In Russia Mongols usually demanded the cities to surrender. If a city surrendered without a major fight, the Mongols usually would not conduct much of mass killings. They would impose a heavy taxation and require the city to provide troops for their further conquests.

Other than that they usually did not intervene much in the internal affairs and customs. They did not impose their laws and did not try to win the popularity with the people either.

Particularly since they did not force people to convert into another religion, their conquests were not associated with much of religious bloodshed which accompanied the religious wars of the time, such as the Crusades.

On the other hand if a city would not surrender, they could proceed as far as killing all the inhabitants except a few poeple whom they then would instruct to go to the other cities in the area and spread the word about how the Mongols brutal to those who does not surrender so to advise them to give up without resistence.

share|improve this answer
4  
Good answer but would benefit from sources –  DVK Apr 29 '14 at 15:54
    
As DVK stated, a very good answer. However, we would be grateful, if you support us with sources. –  elven_rider May 4 '14 at 10:22

Here is an interesting first-hand account of an Armenian cleric who experienced their behavior. Don't know for sure if his account is completely unbiased. Link

share|improve this answer
1  
Since links may break sometimes in future, it's advisable to quote the relevant passages in your answer... –  tohuwawohu Feb 20 at 8:39

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.