When one speaks of a horde, one usually thinks of an overwhelming number of people. However, the word horde comes from the Mongol Golden Horde, which I heard was frequently outnumbered in its conflicts. What was the typical size of a Mongol army relative to its opponents?

How did the name Golden Horde come about, anyway, to refer the Mongols, or at least a certain subset of them?

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    The Golden Horde was not an army, but a khanate. The sizes of the Mongol Armies invading Europe was between 10.000 to 30.000 warriors. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mongol_invasion_of_Europe Nov 13, 2013 at 13:49
  • I've wondered this myself. It would be good to have an answer here I think.
    – T.E.D.
    Nov 13, 2013 at 15:00
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    the mongols organised their warriors by a decimal system, so groups of 10, 100, 1000 and 10 000, i think 10000 was an individual army, but many of these could band together to form an even bigger one. However every soldier would have three to four horse, witch makes the size of the horde and the dust clouds (don't know if that's the right word in English) a lot larger.
    – Jeroen K
    Nov 13, 2013 at 17:36
  • "Individual soldiers were responsible for their equipment, weapons, and up to five mounts, although they fought as part of a unit. Their families and herds would accompany them on foreign expeditions." en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mongol_military_tactics_and_organization
    – Jeroen K
    Nov 13, 2013 at 18:06
  • @Tom Au: I think horde originally derives from a Mongol word, so a more appropriate question would be to ask, "How did the word horde become associated with an overwhelming number of people?"
    – ChickenGod
    Nov 14, 2013 at 21:19

1 Answer 1


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.

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    Upvote for interesting. How many people were on the European side? Do you have a source?
    – ChickenGod
    Nov 16, 2013 at 3:47

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