The Last Great Nomadic Changes: From Chinggis Khan to Timur
The nomads of central Asia during the 13th century returned to
center stage in world
The Mongols ended or interrupted the great postclassical empires while extending the world
network of that era. Led by Chinggis Khan and his successors, they brought central Asia, China, Persia,
Tibet, Iraq, Asia Minor, and southern Russia under their control.
The states formed dominated most of
Asia for one and half centuries.
The Mongol success was the most formidable nomadic challenge to the
global dominance of the sedentary, civilized core civilizations since the 1st century C.E.
often are portrayed as barbarian, destructive conquerors, but their victories brought much more than death
In their vast possessions peoples lived in peace, and enjoyed religious toleration and a
unified law code.
Peaceful contacts over long distances opened.
Mongol territory was a bridge between
the civilizations of the Eastern Hemisphere as products and ideas moved among civilized and nomadic
The Mongol Empire of Chinggis Khan.
The Mongols were nomadic herders of goats and sheep who
lived off, and traded, the products of their animals.
Boys and girls learned to ride as soon as they could
The basic unit of social organization, the tribe, was divided into kin-related clans.
confederations were organized temporarily for defensive and offensive operations.
Males held dominant
leadership positions; women held considerable influence within the family.
Leaders were elected by free
They gained their positions through courage and diplomatic skills and maintained authority as long
as they were successful.
The Making of a Great Warrior: The Early Career of Chinggis Khan.
Mongolian peoples had held
brief periods of power in central Asia.
They established kingdoms in north China in the 4th and 10th
Kabul Khan in the 12th century defeated a Qin army, but Mongol organization declined
after his death.
His grandson, Chinggis Khan, originally named Temujin, was a member of one of the
clans disputing Mongol leadership at the end of the 12th century.
After surviving defeat and capture
Temujin gained strength among the Mongols through alliances with more powerful groups.
defeating his rivals
he was elected supreme ruler (
) of all Mongol tribes in 1206 .
Building the Mongol War Machine.
Mongol males were trained from youth to ride, hunt, and fight.
Their skillfully-used powerful short bows, fired from horseback, were devastating weapons.
and mobility of Mongol armies, when joined to the discipline brought by Chinggis Khan, made them the
world's best military.
The armies, divided into 10,000-strong fighting units (
),. included both
heavy and light cavalry.
A separate messenger force made possible effective communication
Harsh discipline, enforced through a formal code, brought punishments and rewards for