The Mongol Conquests 10/31/05 1. Significance of … a. Central Asia has not had much study. As such, it must be redeemed. b. We are interested in Mongolia as a military achievement, easily one of the largest in History. c. The conquests had tremendous impact on all nations and cultures touched – from Korea to Hungary and beyond. Some countries, such as Persia or Central China, were very significantly affected. d. Along with this, a new kind of silk route was opened up. Sea-borne trade had opened up. The Mongol empire provided the security necessary for this overland trade. e. The emergence of first-rate sources on the east during this period, such as Marco Polo. He was the only one who reached China. Others, such as John of Plano Carpini (1240’s), William of Rubruck (1250’s, made it to Mongolia. Polo went all the way in 1270’s-90’s. 2. Range of Sources a. “Secret History of the Mongols” – aka the inner history of the Mongols. The only one that we have. The inner history is a useful work, but sometimes it seems mythic. Probably took shape in an oral form. b. Given the fact that the Mongols covered so much ground, we have accounts having to do with them in detail in almost any language you can think of, such as Persian, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Sanskrit, Latin, Armenian, and Medieval
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