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1) Journal Title: The Mongols Call #: DS1 9 M67 1986 Volume: Issue: Month/Year: 1986 Pages: 49-73 Location: LAU Stacks AVAILABLE Item #: Article Author: Morgan — Article Title: Khan and the founding of the Mongol Empire = — Imprint: — 0= •— cJ) — co 0 co C C F -D THIS MATERIAL MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT LAW (TITLE 17 U.S. CODE) 54 Nomads of the Steppe: Asia before Chingiz Khän been a grim irony, but in fact there seems to be no real basis for the accusation. Further west again, the successors of Saladin ruled in Syria and Egypt, and fought among themselves and against the remnants of the Crusading states that maintained a precarious foothold on the Syrian coast. In Anatolia the Saljuq (Seljük) sultanate of Rum, last representative of a once great and farflung dynasty, disputed territory with a Byzantine Empire that was shortly to fall victim to its friends from the Christian west in the Fourth Crusade.26 Apart from those few who took Prester John seriously, none of the contenders in the political mael strom of western Asia gave a thought to events in the Far East whose consequences were soon to engulf most of them: just as, when an earlier disaster befell that same part of the world, ‘in the days that were before the flood they were eating and and knew not drinking, marrying and giving in marriage until the flood came, and took them all away.’27 ... 3 Chingiz Khdn and the founding of the Mongol Empire Chingiz Khãn’s rise to power We do not know with any certainty exactly when the future Chingiz Khãn was born. According to some traditions it was in a Pig year of the animal cycle, which would mean 1155 or 1167. Another version is 1162, and this was the date celebrated in the Mongolian People’s Republic, in 1962, as the 800th anniver sary. It happened to fall during a brief period in which Chingiz was enjoying Marxist respectability.’ The usual scholarly pref erence, which has the advantage of not making him improbably old at the end of his career, is for 1167.2 This lack of certainty usefully serves to point to the considerable degree of im precision that afflicts our knowledge of the details of Chingiz’s career before he commenced his attack on the great sedentary states of Asia. The broad lines and the general character of Chingiz’s early life are clear enough. But any attempt to provide a detailed chronological narrative is in my view a hazardous project, unless the historian is prepared simply to offer a paraphrase of the Secret History of the Mongols, and to call that history. But we do admittedly have the earlier sections of the chronicle of Rashid al-DIn, which draws on the other, lost, Mongolian source, the Altan Debter as, in a more abbreviated form, do the Chinese Sheng-wu ch’in-cheng lii and parts of the Yuan shih. So there is a sufficient check on the Secret History for us at — 26 See R. S. Humphreys, from Saladin to the Mongols (1977); C. Cahen, Pre Ottoman furkey (196$). Matthew xxiv, 38—9. 2 C. R. Bawden, The Modern History of Mongolia (1968), pp.417—19. p Pelliot, Notes on Marco Polo (1959—73), vol. 1, pp. 284ff. Chingiz Khdn and the Founding of the Mongol Empire Chingiz Khdn ‘s rise to power least to be sure that we are unlikely to be dealing with mere fiction when we read its account of Chingiz Khãn’s rise to power. Paul Ratchnevsky, in his magisterial study of Chingiz, has provided an account of this phase of the hero’s life that takes all these sources into account.3 Nevertheless I remain a little sceptical, and I shall here offer no more than what seems to me a reasonably secure general conspectus of the conqueror’s formative years. Of the Mongols themselves, called by that name, we know very little prior to the twelfth century, though the name under the form Mong-wu is perhaps to be recognised in Chinese sources of the T’ang dynasty (618—907). The Mongols of Chingiz Khãn’s period are in all probability, as was suggested earlier, a people whose definitive formation should be ascribed to the time of the Khitan domination of Mongolia. During the twelfth century, according to the Secret History, they did have powerful khãns, notably Qabul Khãn, who fought the Chin of north China in mid century and who was among Chingiz Khãn’s immediate ancestors. But Chingiz’s family, though of high rank, does not seem to have exercised power of a very farflung kind. The Mongols were one among many peoples of the steppe, and not by any means the most important. The tribes of Mongolia in the twelfth century have to be described as ‘Turko-Mongol’, since it is by no means clear in all cases which were Turkish and which Mongol. Even this would mean no more than that they spoke Turkish or Mongolian respectively. In any case, the tribes intermarried freely, in accordance with exogamous custom. The most important of the tribes were perhaps the Tatars, living like the vIongols in eastern Mongolia; the Keraits in the centre; the Merkits to the north of them; and the Naimans to the west. A tribal map of Mongolia would also have to fit in the Qonggirats, the Ongguts, the Kirghiz, and others. At the time of Chingiz Khãn’s birth the Tatars were probably the most influential of the tribes: they were the people who had Chin support. Unfortunately they were also something of a hereditary enemy of the Mongols. In due course, we are told, Chingiz Khãn in the days of his power virtually exterminated the Tatars, who ceased to exist as an identifiable tribe, though individuals can be traced. Of these the most notable was Shigi Qutuqu, whom Chingiz’s mother adopted as her son when the tribe was destroyed.4 In these circumstances it is odd that ‘Tatar’ should have become so widely the name by which the conquerors as a whole were known. This has never been satisfactorily explained, though in Europe Tatar, if spelt Tartar, had the convenient advantage of suggesting that the Mongols emanated from Hell, Tartarus. Matthew Paris ascribes the pun to Louis IX of France. It has been suggested on philological grounds that in the context of the Mongol Empire, ‘Tatar’ carried the implication of ‘people who have become (politically) Mon gol’.6 This might solve the puzzle if the point is valid historically as well as philologically. It seems just as likely, however, that perhaps because of the former prominence of the Tatars, the name had become for outsiders a conventional general label for the peoples of Mongolia, and that the label stuck. It is worth noting that the Sung envoy Chao Hung in 1221 described all the ‘Mongols’ as Tatars, dividing them into Black, White and Wild.7 Chingiz Khãn’s father, Yesugei, was a minor chieftain of noble descent, not of sufficient status to rate the title of Khin, though Chingiz is shown referring to him posthumously as Yesugei Qan. He named his son, the future Chingiz Khãn, Temüchin, after a Tatar he had defeated shortly before his son’s birth.8 In due course, however, he was himself murdered by the Tatars, and this while Temüchin, his eldest son, was still a small bo. The feud with the Tatars had to be left till later: mere survival was the immediate problem, for Yesflgei’s followers promptly and unsurprisingly took themselves off. No one wanted a nine-year-old chieftain. Years of struggle, we are told, 56 See P. Ratchnevsky, ‘igi-qutuqu, em mongolischer Gefolgsmann im 12.—13. Jahrhundert’, Central Asiatic Journal, 10 (1965), pp. 88—120. JJ. Saunders, ‘Matthew Paric and the Mongols’, in T. A. Sandquist and M. R. Powicke teds), Essaes in Medieval Histor’ presented to Bertze Wilkinson (1969), p. 124. 6 0. Pritsak, ‘Two migratory movements in the Eurasian steppe in the 9th—I Ith centuries’, in Proceedings of the 26th lnterncitional Congress of Orientalists, New Delhi 1964. vol.2(1968), p. 159. P. Olbricht and E. Pinks (trs), Meog.Ta pci-itt nod Hei-Ta sI,ih-Iiieh (1980i, p. 3. Secret History, paras 177 and 59: tr. F. XV. Cleaes, The Secret History ot the Mongols (1982), pp. 104 and 14. - P. Ratchnevsky, t.inggis-Khan Scm Leben nod Wirken t1983), chapters 1 and 2. 57 Chingiz KIdn ‘s rise to power I j up in peace, he might some day make a nuisance of himself. However, failing to have the courage of their convictions, they neglected to kill Temüchin when they had captured him, and in due course, with characteristic resource, he was able to make his escape. What we are to make of these Mongolian tales of the hero’s childhood is extremely hard to say. Taken as a whole they ptpitmoLathi1dwho trlliphs over jjjdvejsity to fulfil his destiny and to reclaim his birthright and more; who enjoys the favour if somewhat rraticay vouchsafed, of Heaven; and who shows rneris ingenuity as well as nascent powers of leership in overcoming all the disadvantages result ing from his father’s sudden death and his followers’ faithless ness. Perhaps it is rather too good to be true. But on the other hand the boy who later became Chingiz Khãn is no doubt likely, in reality, to have been remarkable enough; and we have seen before that the Secret History does not shrink from relating such tales, discreditable though they may be to the young hero, as that of his murder of his half-brother Bekter. So again I would propose reserving judgement on some of the details while accepting the probable general truth of the picture presented. The Tatars may, during Temüchin’s youth, have been tem porarily the most powerful tribe, but they did not dominate, still less rule, Mongolia. Both the Keraits and the Naimans were serious rivals for primacy. Since there was nothing that even approximated to a ‘central government’, and because the tribal structure was apparently in something of a fluid state, circum stances were propitious for a successful young nomad warrior to build up a following of his own, if he could once make a start. This is what Temüchin appears to have done. By his audacity, his success in raiding those more powerful than himself, his personal magnetism whatever it may have been he began to attract like-minded young warriors to his standard. He acquired as anda another Mongol of noble blood, Jamuqa, and an increasing number of less well-born individuals re nounced their own tribal allegiance in order to become Temüchin’s nökers. This group ultimately became the nucleus of his imperial guard, and supplied many of the generals who carried the Mongol name across Asia and Europe. Eventually Ternüchin had established his position sufficiently — Chingiz Khdn. A portrait in the Chinese Imperial Portrait Gallery then ensued for Temüchin, his mother and his siblings. They were at times reduced to living on berries and on what they could grub up from the earth. In addition to all this they are said to have had a good deal of trouble with another Mongol clan, the Tayichi’uts, who feared that if Temüchin was left to grow 59 — 60 Chingiz Khãn and the founding of the Mongol Empire for it to be possible for him to take two important steps: to marry his long-betrothed wife, Bortei of the Qonggirat tribe, and to make an alliance with the greatest of the anti-Tatar rulers of the steppe, Toghril, Khãn of the Keraits. The pretext for this alliance is supposed to have been that Toghril had been anda to Temüchin’s father, Yesugei. When reminded of this fact and given a suitable present, Toghril showed himself favourably disposed towards his old comrade’s son. Be that as it may, Temüchin’s following was evidently by now considerable enough for him to be worth taking on by the Kerait khãn as a junior partner. Later, the Chin government came to feel that their protégés, the Tatars, were becoming over-mighty. So, following customary Chinese practice, they looked around for a counterweight, and found one in Toghril. Aided by Temüchin, he inflicted a defeat on the Tatars, and as a reward received from the Chin emperor the title of Wang, king. Hence he is usually known in the sources as the Wang-Khan or (Mongol ised) the Ong-Khan. Temüchin received a lesser title for his lesser services.9 Temüchin’s rise to power still had its marked ups and downs, but he was eventually recognised as khãn of the Mongols, and it may have been at this time rather than later that he assumed the title of Chingiz (‘Oceanic’ = universal?) Khãn. The Tatars were finally subjugated. Jamuqa turned against his anda (or vice versa, or both) and at a later date was executed at his own request, according to the Secret History; possibly this is evi dence that its author had a sense of humour)° The parting of the ways with Toghril also came, and he too met his end, allegedly at the unwitting hands of a Naiman scout. The Naimans were next to be dealt with, but more was to be heard of them: Kuchlug, son of the Naiman khãn, escaped and fled to the Qara-Khitai court. Well treated and given sanctuary, he reciprocated by overthrowing his benefactor and setting himself up as ruler. He was to be the last. He had apparently been brought up as a Nestorian Christian, but in the Qara-Khitai empire he was converted to Buddhism, and he became a militant, persecuting Buddhist. This may suggest that his Buddhist Chingiz Khdn’s campaigns of conquest 61 education had been deficient in some respects. The majority of the Qara-Khitai subject population was Muslim, and these Kuchlug alienated by his vigorous persecution. The foolishness of this policy was noted with interest by the Mongols. In the years before 1206, then, the tribes of Mongolia were one by one brought under Mongol rule, though the process was not one of unbroken Mongol success. In some cases large numbers of the defeated tribesmen were massacred. The Tatars could expect no mercy, and Temüchin had a score to settle with the Merkits. They had kidnapped his chief wife Bortei just nine months before the birth of Jochi, his eldest son, and the uncertainty over Jochi’s true parentage remained to trouble the Mongol royal house. But for the most part the tribes, once defeated, were neither killed nor driven out: their manpower was potentially far too useful for that. They were incorporated into the new Mongol military machine. As the author of the Tartar Relation wrote in the 1240s, ‘he had acquired the invariable habit of conscripting the soldiers of a conquered army into his own, with the object of subduing other countries by virtue of his increasing strength, as is clearly evident in his successors, who imitate his wicked cunning’.” Chingiz Khãn’s campaigns of conquest — ‘° Secret Histon, paras 94,96 and 134: tr. Cleaves, pp. 32—3 and 63. Secret Histoiy. para. 201: tr. Cleaves, pp. 138—41. By 1206 Temüchin had largely completed the task of conquer ing, or of unifying by force, the tribes of Mongolia. A great quriltai was held, at which Temüchin was acclaimed as supreme khãn of all the Turko-Mongol tribes of the area. Some have seen the quriltai as an elective assembly, and it may on occasion have been that. But such elections rarely had more than one candidate before them, and acclamation is probably a more accurate characterisation of the proceedings. The Secret History has a long account of what went on at the quriltai of 1206.12 Essentially it seems to have been concerned with laying the organisational foundations of the new regime, and with the granting by Chingiz Khãn (who now received that title if he had l R. A. Skelton, T. E. Marston and C. D. Painter feds and trs), The Vinland Map and the lartar Relation (1965), p. 56. Paras 202—34: tr. Cleases, The Secret History, pp. 141—7!. Chingiz Khdn and the founding of the Mongol Empire 62 )))+ Irt. -4 - . . ec:a e F tL F t bLf •: 4 ‘I * , , øv ‘ - .1w ‘; q *4 /e: 1r1tw _-z i A4- I I :j f ‘ I ; - **; — . h : b’V%X v j .. r t , 3 2 F;: : . : — ?)[!%r * The enthronement of Chingiz Khdn at the quriltai of 1206. from a manuscript of Rashid al-Din’s Jãmi’ al-tawhrikh Chingi Khdn ‘s campaigns of conquest 63 not had it before) of rewards to his most faithful and long standing followers. Those most favoured were the few who had remained true to Chingiz when his fortunes had been at their lowest ebb, three years previously; they had withdrawn with him to the lake or river of Baijuna, reaffirming their allegiance in the ‘Baijuna covenant’) The question that had to be faced was: what now? The tribes of the Mongolian steppelands, not for the first time, had a supreme ruler. Chinese policy had been circumvented: they had failed to keep the tribes at each others’ throats. But unless something decisive wasdone with the newl’ formed military machine, it would soon dissolve into quarrelling factions again, and Mongolia would revert to its earlier state. this, to my mind, is at least one explanation for the beginnings of the Mongols’ astonishing career of conue. A superb army, potentially invincible in the field in thirteecentco diti&ns, had been successfully created. But if it was not used against external enemies, it woukfnotremain in beinglor long. The only matter that required a decision was in which direction the armies were to advance. There can have been little doubt about the answer. A children’s strip cartoon version of the life of Chingiz Khãn depicts the following scene: ‘Men, after some thought, I have decided to conquer Cathay. Are you with me?’ ‘Yes, sir, a good scheme.’ Indeed, the decision was inevitable, since China was always the target of any successful ruler in Mongolia, and since the Chin government of north China was the new Mongol state’s principal antagonist. It would do whatever it could to destroy Chingiz Khän’s power, if he did not strike first. The years immediately after 1206 were spent in tying up loose ends. The remnants of tribes still in ‘revolt’, such as the residue of the Naimans and the Merkits, were dealt with. In the meantime preparations were made for the great expedition south. The Chin allegiance of the peoples of the Sino-Mongolian borderlands was already weakening, and those territories would provide a springboard for the Mongol assault on China.14 13 f• W. Cleaves, ‘The historicity of the Baijuna covenant’, Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies, 18 (1955), pp. 357—421. 14 P. D. Buell, The role of the Srno-Mongolian frontier zone in the rise of Cinggis Qan’, in H. C. Schwarz (ed), Studies on Mongolia: Proceedings of the first North American Conference on Mongolian Studies (1979), pp. 66—8. 64 Chingiz Khdn and the founding of the Mon gol Empire The Mongols besiege a city on a river. from a manuscript of Rashid al-Din’s Jkmi’ al-tawhrikh. Note the siege engines Two small-scale attacks had already been made on the Tanguts of Hsi-Hsia, and it was decided to mount a major campaign against them before attempting to tackle the more formidable enemy, the Chin. This would serve two purposes. It would be Chingiz Khdn’s campaigns of conquest 65 something of a practice run against a state which was organised largely on Chinese lines, and if successful it would open a western route into China to add to the more direct northern path of invasion. No doubt the Mongols, always alive to the importance of commerce, were also interested in the control of the major trade routes that passed through Hsi-Hsia. Hsi-Hsia was attacked in 1209, and speedily brought to submission. But it was not at this stage conquered. Its native rulers remained in power, now subject to Chingiz Khãn and no longer a danger on the flank of the projected assault on the Chin. The great invasion of Chin began in 1211, and campaigns in the north Chinese empire continued until in 1234, some years after Chingiz Khãn’s death, it was finally subjugated. According to one story, the invasion of China quickly revealed a serious weakness in Mongol milit ...
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The crusades and the Conquest of Jerusalem: An Arab Perspective

The crusades refer to a sequence of religious wars that were sanctioned by Latin
Church particularly in the course of the medieval period. The famously known crusades were
campaigns in the Eastern Mediterranean, which aimed at recapturing of the Jerusalem (Holy
Land) from Muslim rule. The eight major Crusade expeditions took place between 1096 and
1291. The crusades were bloody, violent and highly ruthless conflicts. The ser...

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