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19

Maybe someone more knowledgeable about the economics of a society like the medieval Mongols might expand on this, but to me it seems that such a civilization could generate much more income by conquering and looting new territory than what they could produce internally. This is also true to the nomadic people in the migration period some centuries earlier: ...


16

The Mongols were pastoralists. Livestock herders. As such, their culture naturally thrived on steppe (or grassland) territory. A pastoral nation is not tied to any one place, but rather moves around with its herds to find the best grazing. A militarily dominant pastoralist society will naturally attempt to take over all good grassland territory for itself. ...


8

Japan did have naval forces at the time, and they probably fought the Mongolians a few times. The samurai Takezaki Suenaga, a gokenin from Higo in central Kyūshū, was a veteran of both wars. To showcase his valour in battle (to request rewards from the government), Takezaki commissioned the Mōko Shūrai Ekotoba, an illustrated account of the Mongol ...


8

Three factors. 1) The death of Ögedei Khan forced the hordes rampaging through Europe under Subutai to break off and return for the Kuraltai to choose a successor. Interrupting their hard-earned momentum, and giving the Europeans time to regroup, recover, reflect and prepare, was the deciding factor - also, Talabuga was not the general Subutai was. 2) ...


8

A few points help in answering your question: The History has a Selection Bias The first issue is: Is your question accurate? Keep in mind that we inherited most of our history from the European perspective. There were plenty of cases where Europeans went out and conquered other groups, and the Europeans were just as warlike. The difference is that it ...


7

The main library in Baghdad was Bayt al-Hikma, the House of Wisdom. A very good article about its content and activities is here. There were different phases. In the beginning they just interpreted Quran. Then they started translating foreign works. Later they started doing their own research in chemistry, algebra, medicine, and other disciplines. From ...


7

You might also ask why these people from the steppes also created so much havoc in CHINA. Because they are really two sides of the same coin. In "economic" terms, there are two reasons: 1) "comparative advantage" and 2) "incentives." To use a model derived from Civilization II (I like to play the Russians and the Mongols on the "real world" map), there are ...


7

I've found some evidence during the Mongol invasion of Japan (it is wikipedia, but it's cited to a reasonable, but not fantastic degree): "in 1274, the Yuan fleet set out, with an estimated 15,000 Mongol and Chinese soldiers and 8,000 Korean soldiers, in 300 large vessels and 400-500 smaller craft, although figures vary considerably depending on the source" ...


7

The Mongols occupied Moscow briefly in 1237-1238 (less than a year). Basically only long enough to burn the city. At this time, they also occupied Beijing. The city was rebuilt over the next century and a half. But a second Mongol attempt to occupy the city was repulsed by Dmitri Donskoy. Meanwhile, the Ming dynasty had successfully begun a revolt against ...


7

One reason that Genghis Khan's Mongols expanded so far as they did was because each success brought with it a new set of enemies. Genghis Khan began by uniting the five core tribes: his own "Mongols," the Kereits, the Merkits, the Naiman, and the Tatars, accomplishing this by 1206. This earned him the emnity of several groups on the borders of the new ...


7

Note that the first such peoples from the Eurasian Steppes were the Germans (Goths in particular), so it wasn't the people themselves so much as something about the environment. The period in which this was occurring, roughly 400AD to 1350 (or Andrianople to the popularization of Gunpowder), is what historian Charles Oman referred to as The Age of Cavalry. ...


7

The Mongols and Manchus elected to "join" China upon conquering it, because the latter was more advanced and civilized. So upon conquering China, they just took over the Chinese cities, palaces, country, for themselves, and installed themselves as the ruling class. After the death of Genghis Khan, the "father" of the Mongol Empire, it divided into four ...


7

A very important reason was the death of Genghis Khan, the "maximum leader" in 1227. This caused his Empire to be divided into four "Khanates" (see bottom of link), Russia (yellow), the Middle East (purple), Central Asia (red), and China-Mongolia (green) in the map above. None of these entities had the power of the whole. More to the point, most empires ...


6

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. ...


6

There are two things that the Mongols had to their advantage when they waged war, significant numbers and superior training and discipline. These two factors almost always ensured that they would have the upper hand in any engagement. I found one source that suggested that a typical military unit for the Mongols would consist of three major units. One unit ...


5

For Mongols specifically, it was in part their unparallelled-till-20th-century tactical flexibility. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mongol_military_tactics_and_organization


5

From the Wiki you linked: Tengriism also played a large part in the religious denomination of the Gok-Turk Empire and the Great Mongol Empire. The name “Gok-Turk” translates as “Celestial Turk” which directly points out to the devotion to Tengriism. In the 13th century, Genghis Khan and several generations of his followers were also Tengrian believers ...


5

The most important thing Kublai Khan did for culture was to found the Yuan Dynasty, which sought to rule what Genghis had conquered. It initiated trade between east and west, cross-pollinating ideas and culture. Specifically in China, this resulted in advancements in the arts - painting, calligraphy and poetry combined into a new discipline similar to ...


4

Well, there are two problems - the first is that we don't know where Abaskun actually is. It was purported to be in the area of the mouth of the Gorgan River, which brings us to another issue - there are numerous sandbars in the region, which come and go with the weather over a span of years. The "island" may have been a vegetated sandbar (also known as a ...


3

I think it is important to consider an arc of development for Gengis Khan and not to consider his actions in isolation. First would be the early childhood and youth phase where Genghis Khan, who was only known as Temujin struggled to survive in a tough political climate of Mongolia, surrounded by constant warfare, raids, blood revenge, and dire poverty. To ...


3

Kublai Khan could qualify, but the answer depends somewhat on how narrowly one defines rule. One should remember that neither city was a capital when his rule began. Supreme authority for the Mongol Empire lay in the Great Khan (Khagan), ostensibly elected from the chiefs in council (kurultai). In practice Genghis (Chinggis) Khan divided the empire among ...


2

Here is an outline of a few sentences distilled from many long paragraphs at my previously mentioned website. The apparent military superiority of the horse-mounted nomads of central Eurasia during ancient and medieval times was due to: The Scythian, Sarmatian, Alan, Hun, Avar, Magyar, Mongol, et al armies had a tremendous advantage in both strategic and ...


2

Why weren't Celts, Ostrogoths, Teutonic knights, or Slavs pushing east? At times, all of these people pushed eastwards. It just depended on relative technology and strength of population. Celts: At maximum expansion, about 270 BC, they invaded Poland, the Balkans, and even central Anatolia and the Ukraine. Goths: Before moving west ahead of the ...


2

I think the answer is demography. In European urban and agricultural societies the main limiting factor was the extent of available land. While Europeans had high fertility rate at the time, most children could not reach their puberty due to food shortages. At the same time, the nomad peoples could just divide and find new pastures. And the territory of the ...


2

The Golden Horde refers to a Mongol territory, rather than a group of soldiers. It consisted of Mongol-occupied (southern) Russia and Kazakstan. The "horde," under the Mongol ruler Batu that attacked northern Russia and later invaded Europe using the Golden Horde as a base, numbered perhaps 130,000 men.


1

The main change was that the Age of Cavalry ended. From roughly the popularization of the stirrup to that of gunpowder-using infantry, Cavalry was the dominant military branch. Infantry during this period was essentially only useful as support units for the cavalry (particularly against other non-cavalry units). A good cavalry force required a lifetime of ...


1

Communications/Logistics. Eastern Europe was pretty undeveloped with poor local infrastructure to support armies or any great wealth to attract conquerers. Pushing out from Europe across the steppes just isn't attractive and is difficult. The mongols or other horse nomads are able to cross the area more easily, moving quicker and able too graze their horses. ...


1

I can't find exactly where the port of Abaskun was, but it is said to be near modern Gorgun, which is near the southeast corner of the Caspian Sea. All I see on Google Maps in that area is a couple of barrier islands (one of which technically you could claim is a peninsula). So most likely it would have been one of those. The larger one paralleling the ...



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