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The Bridge between Eastern and Western Cultures


Title: Mongolian Empire Author: ccboe Last modified by: Cobb County School District Created Date: 1/30/2007 3:56:30 PM Document presentation format – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Bridge between Eastern and Western Cultures

"The Bridge between Eastern and Western Cultures"
The Mongolian Empire
Nomadic Life
  • surpasses all other Barbarians in wildness of
    life. And though they do just bear the likeness
    of men they are so little advanced in
    civilization that they make no use of fire, nor
    any kind of relish, in the preparation of their
    food, but feed upon the roots which they find in
    the fields and the half-raw flesh of any sort of
    animal. I say half-raw, because they give it a
    kind of cooking by placing it between their own
    thighs and the backs of their horses. (POV)

  • Would you be willing to live this kind of life?
  • What advantages are there?
  • What equipment was essential for a horse-mounted
  • What type of riding gear would have been

Who were the Mongols?   Nomads who lived on the
steppe. Around 500 BCE, a tribe of nomadic
people called the Mongols lived in Asia. The
Mongols were traders and herdsmen. They herded
sheep and traded horses with the ancient Chinese
and Persians. The ancient Mongols are sometimes
called The Felt Tent People because their homes
were round tents made of felt.
What did they wear? Dels Clothes varied from
tribe to tribe. Both men and women wore leather
boots. Also, men and women wore dels. A del is a
wrap that looks like a dress tied at the waist.
Dels made of cotton fabric kept people cool
in the summer. Dels were lined with fur
for winter wear, to keep the people warm
and toasty. There were no pockets in a del.
Eating utensils and anything you wished to carry
was hung from your belt.
Mongol Clothing
  • Hair was a symbol of honor and strength. In BCE
    times, the Mongols believed that hairstyles
    should look like the wings of an eagle.
  • Women wore their hair pulled smoothly away from
    their face. They glued strings of decorated felt
    to hairbands.
  • Men cut their hair in the shape of a horseshoe on
    top. a French missionary left the following
    description Like our monks, the men leave a
    lock of hair on the top of head. But they would
    shave around it for about three fingers wide. The
    hair lock left on the top would hung ahead and
    grow until reaching the eyebrows. The remainder
    of hairs left behind will be locked in two

How did they live?
  • Tribes They did not live in towns. The
    Mongols were nomads. They traveled in small
    groups composed of perhaps only two or three
    families. You might travel 20 miles before you
    ran into another family group. Although the
    Mongols were nomads, they still had a royalty of
    sorts - chieftains, and later khans. In ancient
    times, a tribe did not necessarily
    travel together. But they did get together at
    festivals, and in times of need.

Mongolian Tent
  • The Mongols were a very diverse and mobile group.
  • They used oxen when they needed animal power for
    key tasks such as transporting their housing for
    seasonal or longerterm migrations.
  • The Mongols mounted the tents on wagons, which
    were pulled large teams of oxen.

Mongol Customs
  • 1. You may not beat horses, dogs, or animals. It
    would be the same as beating a close friend.
  • 2. You may not throw any waste into water
    including rivers and lakes.
  • 3. You must feed all guests, or at least offer
  • 4. You must build two bonfires with an open path
    between them and direct traders to walk along the
    path between the fires to be purified before
    trade can occur.
  • 5. Greet all people with a well wish.
  • 6. Deep respect can be shown by putting your hand
    on your heart and bowing.
  • 7. The highest form of greeting is to give a gift
    of a blue scarf.
  • 8. It is forbidden to be unfair. Here are
    two old Mongol sayings or proverbs "Better the
    bone be broken than ones reputation." "Better to
    die with a good reputation than be alive with a
    bad one."

Genghis Khan
  • All who surrender will be spared whoever does
    not surrender but opposes with struggle and
    dissension, shall be annihilated. --Genghis Khan

Genghis Khan
  • The Mongols were not united until Genghis
  • The Nomads who lived on horseback-from the Asian
    steppes-organized along bloodlines/clans
  • Great speed and mobility
  • Had spies to gather information about the enemy
  • Formal code of honor with military forces
  • had a messenger force to communicate between
  • Male dominated but women had influence within the
  • Temujin Chinggis
  • Elected supreme ruler of all Mongol tribes in

  • Genghis Khan became emperor of "all who lived in
    felt tents," but his dream was to conquer the

  • Method of ruling (motto submit and live, resist
    and die)
  • People could keep their religions, used their
    knowledge to make the empire better
  • Always open to new ideas/religions
  • Established laws to make peace throughout the
    Asian empire
  • Commerce excelled because trade routes were safe
    (silk road)

Mongols siege a Persian city
  • All males 15-70 served in the army as cavalry
  • The Armys 95 units of 10,000 soldiers wee
    subdivided into units of 1,000, 100, and 10.
  • Different tribes were mixed together to ensure
    loyalty to the army.
  • Officers and men were bound to each other by
    mutual loyalty and two-way responsibilities.
  • No one in the army was paid, though all shared to
    varying degrees in the booty. All contributed to
    a fund to take care of those too old, sick, or
    hurt to fight.

Genghis Khans death
  • Upon Chinggiss death the Mongolian Empire was
    divided into four successor empires or khanates.
  • China- Khubilia Khan (Yuan Dynasty)
  • Inner Eurasia- Chagatay
  • Caspian and Black Seas, Russia- Khanate of the
    Golden Horde
  • Persia and Iraq (Ilkhanate)

Mongols in China
  • 1207 forced NW Chinese
  • kingdom to be a vassal
  • Attacked the Qin dynasty
  • Method if cities resisted attacks their
    inhabitants were killed or made slaves

Driving WestThe Golden Horde
  • Took control of Kiev as it was becoming
    vulnerable (1200s)
  • Tartar (people from hell)
  • Russia was a vassal to the Mongols for 250 years
  • Many Russian peasants had to submit to their own
    princes and the Mongolsthey chose serfdom-this
    began feudalism in Russia
  • Serfdom in Russia lasted until the mid 1800s
  • Regardless, some cities grew due to the increase
    in trade b/c of the Mongols (Moscow)
  • Influenced military and political organization
  • Isolated Russia from Western Europe and their

Attack on Islam
  • Hulegu eliminated the last Abbasid Caliph in
    Baghdad (1258)called the Ilkhanates
  • Local rulers were allowed to continue ruling as
    long as they taxed the people and maintained
    order facilitated trade
  • Mamluk (slave dynasty in Egypt)
  • Stopped the spread of Mongols in Egypt

Effect on SW Asia
  • Sack of Baghdad 1258 ended Abbasid Caliphate
  • Invasion turned back at Ain Jalut (Jordan River
    Valley) 1260
  • Destruction of irrigation systems blamed for
    subsequent economic weakness of Mesopotamia

Effect on Europe
  • Successive invasions of E Europe
  • Destroyed Kiev, supported rise of Moscovy
  • Invasions halted/tempered by succession disputes

Effect on South Asia
  • Raided into Indus Valley for decades, sometimes
    into Gangetic Plain
  • Timur the Lame (Tamerlane) destroyed Delhi 1398
  • Periodic incursions until Mughal invasion of
    early 1500s established Mughal Empire north of

The conquest of northern China Beijing
Conquest of western Inner Eurasia and northern
  • Conquest of Black Sea steppes and invasions of
    Russia and eastern Europe
  • Mongols on the plain of Hungary
  • Mongol withdrawal from Europe

Russian Princes Kneeling before Their Mongol Ruler
  • Conquest of Southwest Asia
  • End of the Muslim Caliph and the Abbasid empire
  • Mamluks stop the Mongols in Syria

  • Conquest of southern China
  • Attempted invasions of Japan (1274 and 1281)

Mongolian Empire at its height in 1200s CE
Mongol Impact
  • Pax Mongolia
  • United large territory for about a century 2
    continents were united under one rule safe
    trade etc
  • Cultural diffusion
  • Gun powder
  • Trade of food, tools, ideas
  • for traders (esp. in Venice and Genoa)
  • Bubonic Plague (AKA Black death)
  • Killed 1/3 of W. Europe and 50 of the population
    in other areas
  • Ended feudalism in W Europe

Kublai Khan
  • Ruled in China
  • Took over the Song Dynasty Created
  • the Yuan Dynasty
  • Capital in Tatu (Beijing)
  • Governmentonly Mongols and foreignersno Chinese
    in high positions-why?
  • But respected and were interested in Chinese
  • Got rid of Civil Service Exam
  • Postal/communication system connected Beijing to
    Vienna using horses 1400 postal stations trade
    flourished merchants converted their to
    Chinese paper money

Women in Kublai Khans Court
  • Mongol women would not blend with Chinese culture
    (ie foot binding)
  • Kept their rights to property and freedom to move
    around town as they pleased
  • Many fought in wars too
  • Chabi-Kublai Khans wife-she was a good buffer
    between Mongol and Chinese society

Kublai Khan Continued
  • Marco Polo
  • From Venice
  • Served in the court for 17 yrs
  • Wrote about his travels to Chinano one believed
  • Increased the status of artisans/actors/merchants
  • Mongols built a navy and tried to invade
    Japantwice (1274 and 1281)
  • Kamikaze (sacred wind) this showed the Mongols
    could be stopped
  • Reduced peasant taxes maintained their cropland
  • Wanted to implement education to the peasants

Yuan Dynasty falls
  • Defeat in Japan and Vietnam hurt their image
  • Mongol rule got softspent , led to inflation
  • Kublais successors were weak
  • Divided the empire among various generals by
    1350, most of the empire was reconquered by other
  • White Lotus Society dedicated to overthrowing
    the Yuan Dynasty
  • Ju Yuanzhang-took over and founded the Ming
  • Ruled for 300 years

  • Nomads understood importance of trade
  • Built up roads, extended the Grand Canal in China
  • Set up post offices/trading posts
  • Protected merchants, gave them a higher status
  • Set up merchant associations - ortoghs
  • Allowed safe passage to everyone

Religious Tolerance
No intention of spreading own religion Offered
tax benefits to all religious leaders
(why?) Muslims brought to China to help with
  • More Asian products available to Europe
  • Europeans travel to Asia, return with great
  • Marco Polo spends 17 years in Mongol court
  • His book inspires European imagination

(No Transcript)
  • Portuguese look for quicker route to Asia around
  • Columbus sails west with Marco Polos journal -
    trying to find Mongol China

  • Would Columbus have been inspired to sail the
    ocean blue without the dreams of riches inspired
    by Marco Polos writings?
  • Can we give Genghis Kahn and the Mongols credit
    for the Age of Exploration?

  • Began as nomads and challenged the sedentary
    peoples for control
  • Often portrayed as barbarians destructive
    conquerors, but they brought peace, religious
    toleration, laws and unity to their empire
  • Empire included Central Asia, China, Persia,
    Tibet, Iraq, Asia Minor, and Southern Russia
  • Bridged gaps between East and West

Big Ideas
  • How did the geography of central Asia affect the
    development of the nomadic cultures?
  • How did these people adapt to their environment?
  • What advantages did their adaptations give them?
  • Discuss the military organization, techniques,
    and strategies of these Asian nomads.
  • How did these abilities make their military so