Medieval Mongol Warfare

Ultimately, the Mongols would establish the largest empire the world had ever seen. By Mark CartwrightHistorian Introduction The Mongols conquered vast swathes of Asia in the 13th and 14th century CE thanks to their fast light cavalry and excellent bowmen, but another significant contribution to their success was the adoption of their enemies’ tactics and[…]

Xanadu: Marco Polo’s Famed Nirvana

Distant and mysteriously lost Xanadu came to represent a place of mystery, splendid luxury and easy living. By Mark CartwrightHistorian Introduction Xanadu (aka Shangdu, Shang-tu, and Kaiping), located in Inner Mongolia, northern China, was made first the capital (1263-73 CE) and then the summer capital (1274-1364) of the Mongol Empire by Kublai Khan (r. 1260-1294[…]

Temujin: The Reign of Genghis Khan, 1206-1227

Genghis Khan built the foundations of an empire which would ultimately control one-fifth of the globe. By Mark CartwrightHistorian Introduction Genghis Khan (aka Chinggis Khan, c. 1162/67-1227 CE) was the founder of the Mongol Empire (1206-1368 CE) which he would rule from 1206 until his death in 1227 CE. Born Temujin, he acquired the title[…]

The Mongol Conquest and Rule of Iran, 1219-1370

The Mongol invasion of Iran began in 1219, after two diplomatic missions to Khwarezm sent by Genghis Khan had been massacred. The Mongol Invasion, 1219-1221 The Khwarazmian dynasty only lasted for a few decades, until the arrival of the Mongols. Genghis Khan had unified the Mongols, and under him the Mongol Empire quickly expanded in[…]

The Mongol Invasion of Russia in the 13th Century

Because of its geography, Russia is a relatively easy country to invade from both east and west. Introduction “Give us trade,”demanded the Vikings from the north. “Try our religion,” urged missionaries from the south. Now a new voice was heard throughout Russia. “Pay us taxes,” ordered the Mongols of the east. Because of its geography,[…]