The Mongols Are Coming

I do like my history……empires come and go…..Romans, Alexander, Persians, Mongols……etc.

I like to make the case that most people miss….take the Mongols….most of us know the negative history around these people….

Let’s start with a look at the Mongol that started it all….Temujin the Ruler of the World……

1. “Genghis” wasn’t his real name.

The man who would become the “Great Khan” of the Mongols was born along the banks of the Onon River sometime around 1162 and originally named Temujin, which means “of iron” or “blacksmith.” He didn’t get the honorific name “Genghis Kahn” until 1206, when he was proclaimed leader of the Mongols at a tribal meeting known as a “kurultai.” While “Khan” is a traditional title meaning “leader” or “ruler,” historians are still unsure of the origins of “Genghis.” It may have may have meant “ocean” or “just,” but in context it is usually translated as “supreme ruler” or “universal ruler.”

https://www.history.com/news/10-things-you-may-not-know-about-genghis-khan

Like I have written we know the horrible tactics used by the Mongols from genocide to amputations….but believe it or not there is positive aspects of their rule…..

The Mongolian Empire has a well-deserved reputation for its brutality (it did, after all, kill 40 million in the 12th century, enough people to alter planetary climate conditions). But it’s positive legacies are nearly as profound, if less well known.

The first aspect is art. While the Mongols didn’t produce much literature or fine art during the Mongol Empire, they appreciated and cultivated the arts of the sedentary peoples around them. The Mongol Khans became great patrons of the arts, supporting artists and artisans of all kinds. While not artists themselves in the traditional Mongolian culture, once peace was established in the Empire, all the Khans and sub-khans protected and patronized the arts. Under Genghis Khan, textile workers, architects, stone carvers and jewelers were relocated from the Middle East and Central Asia to Mongolia to create the magnificent works of art desired by the Mongols.

Positive Legacies of the Mongolian Empire: International Trade, Religious Tolerance, Career Opportunities, and Horse Milk

What got me thinking about the Mongols was something that I read about modern day Mongolia and its place in the world….

In the telling of anthropologist Jack Weatherford, Chinggis Khaan was more than an unprecedented and fearsome military leader: He was a nation-builder who embraced the rule of law, protected religious freedom, promoted international trade, and established new diplomatic relations among the great population centers of Asia and Europe. The Mongolian empire connected a formerly disjointed world by creating a “single intercontinental system of communication, commerce, technology and politics.” Due to Chinngis Khaan, the “globe was shaken” and a new order commenced, the historian Edward Gibbon observed.

Today, Mongolia’s reach may be less grand; but while the country faces significant challenges both domestically and regionally, Mongolia remains poised to shape the modern world. Indeed, with the United States as its partner, Mongolia can overcome its obstacles and contribute to building a “free and open” Indo-Pacific.

https://thediplomat.com/2019/07/can-mongolia-shape-the-modern-world-once-again/

The modern country of Mongolia, represents only part of the Mongols’ historical homeland; today, more ethnic Mongolians live in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in the People’s Republic of China than in Mongolia. Since the country’s peaceful democratic revolution in 1990, the ex-communist Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party (MPRP) – which took the name Mongolian People’s Party (MPP) in 2010 – has competed for political power with the Democratic Party (DP) and several other smaller parties, including a new party formed by former President ENKHBAYAR, which confusingly adopted for itself the MPRP name. In the country’s most recent parliamentary elections in June 2016, Mongolians handed the MPP overwhelming control of Parliament, largely pushing out the DP, which had overseen a sharp decline in Mongolia’s economy during its control of Parliament in the preceding years. Mongolians elected a DP member, Khaltmaa BATTULGA, as president in 2017.

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2 thoughts on “The Mongols Are Coming

  1. In the Soviet Union era, I was visiting Leningrad and Moscow, and we were offered an ‘optional excursion’ to Mongolia. It seemed like a good idea, (and reasonably priced) so we booked. The flight from Moscow on a very bumpy old Aeroflot jet took well over six hours! We were taken to a hotel in the city of Ulan Bator, a densely-populated place that seemed more like being in China, than the Soviet Union. The next day, we were taken a long distance on a coach to a place outside the city, to see a ‘Mongolian Cultural Experience’. Yurts, traditional dress, traditional food for lunch, (mostly inedible) and horse-riding displays.
    That night we returned to the city to eat in the hotel, and flew back to Moscow the next morning, after breakfast.
    So, I went to Mongolia, and hardly saw any of it! 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

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