The Mongol Empire was endowed by Genghis Khan in 1206. At its peak, the empire covered 9 million square miles.They were considered the largest contiguous land empire in world history. It stretched from the Sea of Japan to the Carpathian Mountains. The empire spread very quickly from 1206 to 1368 until it gradually dissolved because of its vastness and complexity. Eventually, the empire broke up into 4 remaining empires. They were the Yuan of China, established by Kublai Khan, the Khaganate of Central Asia, the Ilkhanate of the Middle East and the Golden Horde of Russia.
Military Practices, Social Behavior, Politics, and Culture
The Mongol Empire’s military achievements were possible because of superior tactics and strategy rather than numerical strength. Their army was mostly composed of cavalry. This allowed them to have a high degree of mobility and speed. The Mongol Empire had many secret messengers and spies that helped them take action. They relied on bows and arrows in battle. Their military was more suited to fight on flatlands and plains rather than in mountainous and wooded regions. Before attacking, they asked for voluntary surrender and offered peace. If their deal of peace was not accepted by the other region or country, the entire population would have either been slaughtered or enslaved.
In the social hierarchy of the Mongol Empire, there were four classes. The top class consisted of Mongolians, which were people who were born and raised in Mongolia. The next class was the Semu, which were allies of the Mongols and a caste of the Yuan Dynasty of China. The next class was the Han Dynasty, which ruled China from 206 BC to 220 AD and established the Silk Road. The last caste consisted of the Southerners, which were people of the former Northern Song dynasty. Punishments were given out based on this class system. If you were of a lower class, your punishment would be worse and vice versa. In Mongol society, women bore much importance. If a king passed away, and there was no heir, their wife would rule the empire until someone could take over. Or if the heir wasn’t old enough to rule, the wife would act as a regent. Women also fought alongside men soldiers in battle. The standard of a perfect woman was one who was proud and brave and also valued physical strength and stamina. The daily life of Moguls consisted of drinking, training, and sports. Drinking was actually considered honorable and heavy drunkenness was socially acceptable.
At the top of the political system was the khan, and he formed an imperial guard of specialized soldiers called keshikten that carried out his orders and protected him. The Khan was advised by an assembly of tribal leaders at the Kurultai. He created several other positions to help administer the empire and these positions were based on merit, not hereditary. Prime ministers were called beqlare-beq and ministers were called viziers, and they also advised the khan.
The Mongols were accepting of other cultures and beliefs and allowed the people that they conquered to keep their religion. Also, Genghis Khan told his army to never destroy a place of religious importance when conquering other lands. In the Mongol culture, horses were of great value. In fact, young children learned how to ride a horse before they learned how to walk. They also used fermented horse milk (called airag) in rituals and as a symbol of welcome or good luck. They also had their own form of dance, which was called bieglees. Also, they invented an instrument called the morin khuur, also known as the horse piano.
The Mongol Empire conquered many lands, and Europe was one of them. The first significant event between the empire and Europe is when