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Thu 10 Jan 13 #1 
kevg
The Grumpinator


Mongols !!!

Far from being murderous savages who raped and pillaged their way across Asia the Mongols were in fact merely sheep herders who followed their flocks, sometimes they bumped into other tribes, whereupon they apologised and moved round them.
Hands up anyone who thinks that is rubbish ??
Yup, you're right, they were murderous savages with no compunction whatsoever about boiling captives to death in huge vats that are kept for just that purpose. I love the Mongols. First came across them when I was about 12 and been reading stuff ever since.

As we all know Ghengis Khan (born as Temujin)unified the Mongol nation. Not bad for a lad whose father was murdered and his mother cast out of the tribe. Starving in the outback he killed his brother when he found the brother wasn't sharing food he had caught with the family. A good start to his career.
The son of a chietain of the Kiyad people he made alliances with other clans, originally the Keraits under Tigrhul Khan, gradually winning allies or defeating enemies until by the age of 40circa he was ready to take on the Chinese Tanguts Xia dynasty on his south western borders. Defeating them he turned his attention to the Jin dynasty of Manchuria. Over the course of the next 10 years the Mongol armies subjugated all Northern China and expanded in to Korea.
Now the attention turned to the west !!
The vast expanses of the Steppe mean that tribes who had huge empires then are not easily recognisable today. Suffice to say that pacified (slaughtered) in turn were the Kara Khitai, Khwareznian and Kipchak before reaching Europe as we know it. Hungary and Russia bordering the Kipchak empire. The more southerly Khwareznian conquerors went on to invade the Muslim lands, taking Baghdad and Dasmascus before being stopped by the Mamelukes (warrior slaves) of Egypt.
Beaten by the Bulgars (a great surprise) the Mongols turned upon the Rus of Kiev who were defeated in short order leaving the way clear to take the grasslands of Hungary. The battle of Buda-Pest went the way of the Mongols but with the defeat of Mongol forces to Polish knights Ghengis called his generals home to concentrate on China.
There are suggestions that Ghengis died which led to the recall of the armies.
The southern Song dynasty of China had lived on borrowed time. 20 years after invading Manchuria the Mongols moved into southern China. Joined by rebellious Tanguts the Song were saved for a few years more when Ghengis died, possibly by castration by a Tangut princess as he tried to rape her. The Mongols returned home to choose a new leader.

As I said a short history. Much more detail available if anybody is interested, as is the continuing history of later Mongol Emporers. Discussions of the White Horde and Golden Horde also available. I may have some items out of sequence but I'm going from memory so feel free to correct me and I'll check it out.


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Thu 10 Jan 13 #2 
scmwns

Not far off on the herding life; had heard Gingo took an intense interest in the woolies shortly after reaching puberty.


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Fri 11 Jan 13 #3 
Ajax
Contributor

I love the Yuan dynasty. And I love that the Americans thought they could win Vietnam when the Mongols couldn't. Makes me laugh a little bit.


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Fri 11 Jan 13 #4 
sally906
Contributor

Oooh the Mongols were in Budapest. I wonder if there is any historical,evidence of them to be seen?

House of terror is on the list - but alas can't blame the Mongols for the atrocities there. Thanks Kev will go and google Mongol Budapest :)


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Fri 11 Jan 13 #5 
Ajax
Contributor

I love this podcast: China History Podcast.


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Fri 11 Jan 13 #6 
mapmaker
Contributor

Kev, isnt it also correct that the mongols in 13th century made it down to near Jerusalem and had their eyes on Egypt and then Europe? The pope at the time thinking as allies that the mongols could rescue Outremer for the church, this was thwarted when Babyars and the Mamluks slaughtered the Mongols in a monster battle? Or am I mixing up Crusader history?


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Fri 11 Jan 13 #7 
kevg
The Grumpinator

The Mongols did indeed reach Jerusalem and Gaza but only as raiding parties not full blown invasions. Around 1260/1270 they ceded Jerusalem to the French king who was Crusading at the time so they can't have been interested that much. They were forced out of the area by the Mamelukes.
Mongols reached Krakow in Poland and as far north as Lithuania, although that was a far larger country than today. In Krakow a trumpeter still sounds the alarm every day. Debate still rages as to whether the Mongols were defeated by the Poles or merely turned to consolidate gains in Russia. Looking at their past history I'm inclined to believe they found the Poles too tough a prospect, even tho they had won battles against them, and turned away.
Ajax's beloved Yuan dynasty was founded by Kublai Khan, grandson of Ghengis Khan, therefore not Chinese at all, We all know Chinese people are little fellas with pigtails who build railway tracks.


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Fri 11 Jan 13 #8 
kevg
The Grumpinator

Some of the atrocities attributed to the Mongols are undoubtedly true but the numbers involved must be viewed with great suspicion. Tales of a million people being slaughtered in one city must be grossly exaggerated if only for the sheer logistical effort involved. At 1 minute per execution how many men executing are needed for how long to achieve that figure ??


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Fri 11 Jan 13 #9 
Ajax
Contributor

Ha! Gotcha! Pigtails are a Manchu thing.


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Fri 11 Jan 13 #10 
Doctor Factenstein
Evil Genius

695 men executing, Kev.

Full time. Full day.


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Fri 11 Jan 13 #11 
kevg
The Grumpinator

Ta Doc, 24 hour shift is a killer !!


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Fri 11 Jan 13 #12 
kevg
The Grumpinator

Baibars secured Egypt as Mappie says using Mameluk troops. I don't think any serious Mongol threat was ever launched against Outremer. Indeed with stories of Prester John abounding the Pope was hoping to form an alliance with the Mongols, silly man !!
Prester John was a fabled Christian Emperor (or somesuch) from the east who would save Christianity. Probably derived from the Nestoran church which had split with "proper" Christians. Many Mongols were members, not really proper Christians !!


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Fri 11 Jan 13 #13 
Doctor Factenstein
Evil Genius

Well, if you wanted to give them an hour's break for lunch, you'd need an 30 men on the job to complete in a day but I reckon you're going soft.


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Fri 11 Jan 13 #14 
Honey Badger
Member

Kev, it is all in all such great stuff but I never read that he died that way. I am checking it out here. Been busy as the devil this week. (Hi, Dr. Honey Factenstein BooBoo.)


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Fri 11 Jan 13 #15 
scmwns

And yet the Americans would have won handily had they been allowed to fight like they fight each other on their own streets.


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Sat 12 Jan 13 #16 
kevg
The Grumpinator

After the death of Ghengis the control of the Empire passed to his son Ogedei. Recognising he was not as great a leader as his father he was content to send forces under generals rather than direct battles himself. He, nevertheless, expanded the Empire. Principally into Persia and eastern and southern Manchuria. Georgia and Armenia soon followed as the mongols again headed westward, only stopped when Ogedei died and the armies became involved in internal dispute.
Ogedei was the first of the Mongol Khans to formalise the Empire. Christian, Muslim and Chinese scholars (always respected by Mongols) were used to administer the Empire. Also under his reign the Yam stations made their appearance. The very first Pony Express !! This organisation lasted far longer and was much more successful than the Ponies !!


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Sat 12 Jan 13 #17 
Ajax
Contributor

Get to the part about Tibet. I dare you.


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Sat 12 Jan 13 #18 
kevg
The Grumpinator

No probs but the invasion of Tibet took place a lot later. Even in the time of the Raj the Chinese were seen as no more than advisors there although Tibet was acknowledged as part of China.


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Sat 12 Jan 13 #19 
Honey Badger
Member

Keep going, Kev.

It's good to see Parrot back. Hiya , it's wabzy.


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Thu 24 Jan 13 #20 
kevg
The Grumpinator

So, as I was saying. Having given the Song Chinese a damn good thrashing the Mongols withdrew from southern China. They invaded Tibet, much to Ajax's delight, as a sideline not as an Empire attack. In the west the Russians came under sustained attack and lost all major cities becoming a vassal state. The forces reached as far as Vienna before turning back. Ogedei also pushed his armies into India, a move that would later see a major Khanate evolve in northern India despite being driven back at first.
After Ogedei's death the first splits of the Empire began to occur. Grandsons of Ghengis claimed the throne and politics rather than outright war saw Khanates established independently of the central authority.


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Thu 24 Jan 13 #21 
Ajax
Contributor

Did they really invade Tibet? Or was Tibet, like everyone else, just gagging to be part of China? My books say the latter. Modern historians skirt the issue so as to not upset Richard Gere.


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Thu 24 Jan 13 #22 
kevg
The Grumpinator

Mongols definately invaded Tibet. For some reason I find it strange that anyone would be gagging to join China. They have a history of gagging everyone else. As I've said before, when British moved into Tibet (for trade purposes obviously) China were already theoretically in control there so I've never understood this "free Tibet" stuff. Since Mao took over ??


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Thu 24 Jan 13 #23 
Ajax
Contributor

Well, if you consider the Mongols and the Manchus, they didn't turn China into Mongolia or Manchuria. They were absorbed into China. Voluntarily.


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