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The Mongol Empire
was the biggest land empire in history. Its territory stretched from the Yellow Sea to the borders of eastern Europe. At times it included China, Korea, Mongolia, Persia (which is now Iran), Turkestan, and Armenia.
The Mongols, known as the Tatars, were the most savage conquerors of history. But this empire helped increase contacts between peoples of different cultures. Migrations took these contacts and promoted trade. Roads were built to connect Russia and Persia with eastern Asia, like the Silk Road. Many Europeans came to China, and the Chinese went to Russia and other parts of Europe. Printing and other Chinese
such as paper, gunpowder, and the compass have been introduced to the West during Mongol times.The Mongols lived in felt tents called yurts, and raised ponies,
Marco Polo (CC)
, camels, oxen, and goats. They ate mainly meat and milk. Every Mongol man was a soldier and learned to ride and use a bow and arrow skillfully.Genghis Khan:In the late 1100's, , a Mongol chief later became known as Genghis Khan, rose to power. He began to unify and organize the scattered Mongol and other nomadic tribes into a fighting force. Genghis Khan was a strict disciplinarian. After he
Japanese Battleships (CC)
the master of Mongolia, he set out on a career of conquest.Genghis Khan aimed to train the best-disciplined and most effective army of his time. As part of his military strategy, he formed an officer corps from Mongols who were trained in military tactics. These men were then stationed with various tribes as a training force. The Mongol tribes specialized in the art of siege. They used storming ladders and sandbags to fill in moats. Besiegers approached fortress walls under the protection of gigantic shields. Each tribe prepared a siege train, which consisted of special arms and equipment.Invasions. Genghis Khan wanted to conquer China. He attacked first Xi Xia, a state along the northwestern border of China. Xi Xia represented the Chinese military pattern.The Mongols subdued Xi Xia, and then turned to North China. There the Ruzhen tribe of the Manchu people had established the Jin
. Genghis Khan chose spring for his assault on China, so that his horses would have food when crossing the Gobi Desert. Warriors carried everything they needed on the march, and each rider had a spare horse. They spread terror and destruction everywhere. When conquered territories resisted, the Mongols slaughtered the population of entire cities.
died in 1227. In 1241, about 150,000 Mongol riders laid waste on a large part of Hungary and Poland, threatening the civilization of western Europe.
, a grandson of Genghis Khan, completed the conquest of China in 1279, after attacking the Song dynasty in South China. Kublai Khan's Yuan dynasty lasted until 1368. He established the Mongol winter capital at Cambaluc (also spelled Khanbalikh), the site of present-day Beijing. Further attempts to extend the Mongol Empire to Japan were unsuccessful. Mongol warriors fought unsuccessfully at sea and in the tropical climate of Southeast Asia.Marco Polo was one of the most famous Europeans to travel to the Orient at this time. His travel records have a lot of information about the Mongols. His reports of Chinese cities and the riches of the country he called Cathay did much to arouse the interest of Europeans in exploring the possibilities of trade with the Orient. Many Europeans, includi
ng Christopher Columbus, then sought to go to the Orient by the sea route.The Khan had a desire to have more missionaries sent to China. Dominican and Franciscan missionaries were welcomed by the Khan in Cambaluc. A Franciscan, John of Montecorvino, built a church in the capital and converted many people to Christianity.When Kublai Khan died, his empire broke up into several parts. These smaller empires were the Golden Horde on the steppes of southern Russia and the Balkans, the Mongolian-Chinese Yuan Empire, and the realm of the Ilkhans in western Asia. A revolution in China in the 1300's ended the Yuan dynasty and restored Chinese rule in the form of the Ming dynasty.The great Timur, or Tamerlane, a descendant of Genghis Khan, joined some of the Mongol empires together again and extended his rule over much of Asia in the late 1300's. A descendant of Tamerlane named Babar established a powerful Mongol state in India in 1526.
The Mongols had a strong history of supporting merchants and trade so they developed a trade route for people to use called The Silk Road.
The silk road is a network of trade routes that connected through Southern Asia, Europe, and Northern Africa.
The land routes were supplemented by sea routes, which extended from the Red Sea to coastal India, China and Southeast Asia. Extending 4,000 miles, the
gets its name from the lucrative Chinese silk trade along it, which began during the Han Dynasty. Though silk was certainly the major trade item from China, many other goods were traded like satin, perfumes, spices, medicines, jewels, glassware, etc. While India traded spices, ivory, tex
Silk Road (CC)
The Silk Road (CC)
tiles, and the
exported gold, silver, fine glassware, carpets, and jewels, and much more. A lot of people used it because it was safe. Trade on the Silk road was a significant factor in the development of t
he great civilizations in India, Ancient Egypt, Persia, Arabia, which now affects us in the modern world. Although the term “The Silk Road” implies a continuous journey, very few who traveled the route traversed it from end to end; for the most part, goods were transported by a series of agents on varying routes and were traded in the bustling markets of the oasis towns.
Genghis Khan, The Mongol Leader, had encouraged foreign
merchants early in his career, even before uniting the Mongols. He had great experience with government and politics which is why he created the Silk Road.
The native religion of Mongolia is, like the language, related to the Turkish tradition and would also have similarities with the Tibetan Bön. This religion is referred to as shamanism. Shamanism implies that a religious specialist is needed and central to it’s faith and practices while in fact it is an animist (The belief in the existence of individual spirits that inhabit natural objects and phenomena) religion with an arsenal of beliefs and practices in which a shaman not necessarily is involved.
The word shaman originated from a word in Siberia and eventually came to be applied to all medicine men and women of indigenous cultures who's practice includes the flight of the soul. Anthropologist studying indigenous cultures throughout the world, began to find that for different cultures, there were similarities in the way the medicine men and women worked with healing and connecting to the spiritual aspect of people and the world. While there were differences specific to culture, removing the the cultural reference revealed a core system of practice. The core practices are called core-Shamanism - a phrase coined by Michael Harner.
Shamanism is the practice of these core techniques, either for healing or to gain spiritual knowledge. Shamanism is sometime studied with the cultural reference, sometimes without, but the essential nature of the shamanic practice does not change, nor has it changed since ancient times. It has adapted to fit the
or the culture, but its essential core has been the same.
Shamanism is not a religion, not unless you want to make it into one. It has been and is being practiced by peoples of many religions, from Christianity, to Judaism, to Hinduism. You will find shamanic practitioners of every faith.
So what then is shamanism?
It is a direct experience of spiritual knowledge. Because of the direct nature of the work, it tends to facilitate growth in every religious faith. People will share shama
nic experiences in groups, but the insight you gain from shamanic practice are unique to you.
As a healing practice shamanism has been very powerful for both the people of today and those reaching back into the beginnings of recorded history.
The reason that it is so powerful is because each healing is tailored to the needs of the individual being healed. Western medicine seeks to find one cure that works for many, if the number it helps is too small it isn't offered at all. The shaman provides unique treatment, which holistically addresses what
a person needs at this time.
During the long history of the Mongol Empire the Mongolian emperors displayed deep interest in the arts of the many nations that comprised the Mongol domains. Mongolian royalty were great patrons of the arts and were themselves catalysts for international artistic cross-pollination. Although many remarkable examples of this Mongol imperial arts patronage can still be found in museums around the world it is probably just a small fraction of the Mongol Empire’s contribution to the development of the arts. Mongolia has produced many extraordinary artists during its rich history. The greatest Mongolian artist known to us is Bogdo Gegen Zanabazar (1635-1723). Zanabazar was recognized as the first Jebtsundamba Khutuktu, or Bogdo Gegen by the fifth Tibetan Dalai Lama. Zanabazar’s exquisite gilt bronze sculptures combine breathtaking renderings of Buddhist deities with powerfully expressive lifelike characteristics. In 2005 a spectacular collection of Zanabazar and School of Zanabazar masterpiece sculptures was sold in New York by the Rossi & Rossi Gallery. The name of the original owner of this priceless Zanabazar collection (which could make a museum collection by itself) was not available and so it remains a mystery as to how this group of Zanabazar masterpieces found its way from Mongolia to New York City’s art marketplace. It is crucially important for Mongolians to have knowledge of their great artistic heritage and be able to witness the remarkable heights that their own artists achieved by viewing some their creations and sharing this knowledge with Mongolians and others.
led conquests from northern China to Persia and the Caspian Sea, Genghis Khan died in battle at the siege of Hsing Chung Fu, the capital of West Hsia (China), Genghis Khan's son Ogedei was chosen by Mongol clan leaders to become the new Khan. Khan means king. Genghis was likely born in 1162, although some have doubts.
1. Genghis Khan (1206–1227)
2. Tolui (regent)- The youngest son of Genghis. He established the Yuan Dynasty. He reigned from
August 25, 1227 to September 13, 1229
Ogedei Khan- The third son of Genghis Khan. He continued to expand his father’s empire. He reigned from September 13, 1229 to December 11, 1241
4. Töregene Khatun (regent)- He was king after Ogedei Khan. He reigned from 1244-1246
5. Güyük Khan- The third Great Khan of the Mongol Empire. As the eldest son of Ogedei Khan and a grandson of Genghis Khan, he reigned from 1246 to 1248.
6. Oghul Ghaymish (regent)- He reigned from 1248 to 1251. the principal wife of Güyük Khan and ruled as regent over the Mongol empire after the death of her husband in 1248. She was a descendant from the Mergid tribe.
7. MongkeKhan- He reigned from
July 1, 1251 to August 11, 1259. He was the fourth Great Khan of the Mongol Empire.
He was the first Great Khan from the Toluid line, and made significant reforms to improve the administration of the Empire during his reign
Mongke Khan (CC)
Ogedei Khan (CC)
Genghis Khan (CC)
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