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Chapter 7. The Mongols & African Empires. The Mongols. The Mongol people came from the north of China, known today as Mongolia . The Mongols.

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chapter 7

Chapter 7

The Mongols


African Empires

the mongols
The Mongols
  • The Mongol people came from the north of China, known today as Mongolia.
the mongols1
The Mongols
  • In the 13th Century, the Mongols united the people of central Asia and spread across Asia from China to Russia, south into the Byzantine territory and the Muslim territory.
  • Later then even invaded parts of India.
the mongols2
The Mongols
  • In less than 100 years, the Mongols had built the largest land empire in history.
the mongols3
The Mongols
  • Their leader was Temujin, later known as Genghis Khan, who became his tribal leader at the age of 13 when his father was murdered. (1162 AD)
  • Genghis Khan means “universal ruler.”
  • He was one of the greatest conquerors in history.
  • (See map page 167.)
the mongols4
The Mongols
  • The Mongols were fearsome warrior who terrorized the people they conquered.
  • They sometimes massacred entire populations as an example to those yet to be conquered, that resistance was futile.
  • The Mongols left fear, destruction, and death in their wake.
the mongols5
The Mongols
  • Despite the brutality of the Mongols, they allowed the conquered peoples to keep their own religions.
  • Many Mongols even converted to the religions of the people they conquered, especially Islam.
the mongols6
The Mongols
  • After Genghis Khan died, the Mongols continued to advance.
  • Finally the empire became too large for one ruler to manage, and it broke up into separate Mongol states, ruled by Mongol generals, usually descendants of Genghis Khan.
the mongols7
The Mongols
  • Several states that developed out of the vast Mongolian empire were
    • China
    • Russia
    • Central Asia,
    • India
the mongols8
The Mongols
  • The Yuan Dynasty in China (1279-1368)
    • The Great Wall of China could not stop the Mongols from invading China.
    • Genghis Khan’s grandson, Kublai Khan, a learned a wise ruler, began the conquest of China
    • Kublai Khan established the Yuan Dynasty.
mongols yuan dynasty
Mongols – Yuan Dynasty
  • Kublai Khan moved the capital of China to Cambaluc, modern day Beijing.
  • He built roads, invited missionaries, scholars, artists, merchants, and engineers from all over the world to China so he could learn from them.
  • Marco Polo, the Italian trader, lived in China and served the Khan for 17 years. (1271-1288 AD)
mongols yuan dynasty1
Mongols – Yuan Dynasty
  • After Kublai Khan died, the empire started to weaken because the Chinese resented foreign rule.
  • They eventually rebelled, and in 1368, they drove the Mongols back to Mongolia.
russia the golden horde
Russia & the Golden Horde
  • Batu Khan, another grandson of Genghis, led the Mongols into Europe, attacking Russia, Hungary, and Poland.
  • The Europeans called the Mongols “Tartars,” the Greek word for hell.
  • They were called the Golden Horde because the Russians described their camps as “a camp of shining tents.”
russia the golden horde1
Russia & the Golden Horde
  • Under the Mongols, the city of Moscow grew and became the capital of Russia.
  • Moscow was at the intersection of major rivers and was a crossroads for trade and communication.
  • Russia’s leaders cooperated with the Mongols.
russia the golden horde2
Russia & the Golden Horde
  • By the late 14th century, the Russian princes challenged the Mongol rulers and Ivan III refused to pay tribute to the Mongols.
  • In 1480, the Russians again were in control and Moscow became the political and religious capital of the new state.
  • “Timur the Lame” began a new wave of Mongol invasions in the late 14th century.
  • He conquered Baghdad, Damascus, part of Asia Minor (Ottoman Turks), and invaded southern Russia.
  • Then he invaded India and crushed the city of Delhi in 1398.
  • He died before he could launch an invasion of China.
mughal empire in india
Mughal Empire in India
  • The Indians called the Mongols “Mughals.”
  • India had been able to resist Mongol attacks until the 16th century when Babur “the Tiger” captured Delhi and established the Mughal dynasty (1526).
  • He brought law and order, increased Indian unity, and fostered art and architecture.
  • Akbar, a Mughal Muslim, was tolerant of other religions and gained the support of the Hindus.
  • Second largest continent
  • Covers 1/5 of the earth’s land surface
  • The continent of the Egyptians & Carthaginians
  • Muslims took control of North Africa.
  • Sub-Saharan Africa (south of the Sahara Desert)
ancient africa
Ancient Africa
  • Kush (today northern Sudan) mentioned in II Kings.
ancient africa1
Ancient Africa
  • Aksum defeated Kush in AD 330.
  • Aksum embraced Christianity.
  • A Syrian Christian named Frumentius brought the Gospel to them.
  • Also Timothy had witnessed to the Ethiopian eunuch who took the Gospel message to Africa.
  • Later the Muslims and the Romans cut off Africa from the West and European contact.
central western africa
Central & Western Africa
  • Most of African history is unknown because it wasn’t written down.
  • Because of trade and natural resources, however, parts of Africa became very wealthy.
  • The mighty kingdom of Ghana developed in west Africa because they had iron ore and developed advanced weapons which enabled them to conquer other peoples.
  • Iron was the “ultimate weapon” of its day.
  • Ghana’s enemies fought with ebony (hard wood), but the Ghanaians fought with swords & lances.
  • The Arabs, hearing of the vast gold and resources of the wealthy Ghana empire, made plans to attack.
  • The Ghanaians repelled them.
  • However, the contact brought them trade with the Arabs.
  • The trans-Saharan caravan trade flourished:
    • Gold and slaves from Africa to Arabia
    • Salt, horses, cloth, swords, books from Arabia to Africa.
    • Also the Arabs brought a written language to Ghana: Arabic.
    • Much of what we know about the Ghanaians was recorded in Arabic by Arab and Ghanaian scholars.
  • The Ghanaians called their land the kingdom of Ouagadou (wa-ga-doo), but their king was known as “Ghana” or warrior king.
  • As they fame and wealth of their kings spread, the country where he resided became known as Ghana.
  • Eventually, Ghana was invaded by the Muslims and was shattered.
  • Out of the ruins of Ghana arose another great African empire: Mali.
  • Mali was made up of the Mandingo people who spoke the Mande language.
  • The Mandingoes accepted Islam early in the Arab invasions of Africa.
  • Mali became a key region in the Islamic world of the Middle Ages.
  • The Mali people called their rulers “Mansa,” meaning emperor or sultan.
  • Mansa Musa became the most famous ruler in the history of the western Sudan.
mansa musa
Mansa Musa
  • Matrilineal Principle of Succession: the son of the king’s sister becomes the inherits the throne.
  • Mansa Musa was the grandson of one of Sundiata’s (the previous ruler) sisters.
  • Musa is an Arabic version of Moses.
mansa musa1
Mansa Musa

He ruled Mali from 1307 – 1332. His accomplishments included extending Mali’s boundaries through war and diplomacy, promoting trade & commerce, and spreading learning. He was a very devout Muslim.

mansa musa s hajj
Mansa Musa’s Hajj

Mansa Musa made his hajj to Mecca in 1324. “The spectacular wealth displayed by his entourage so dazzled the people on his line of march that their descendants still talked about it one hundred years after it occurred.”

mansa musa s hajj1
Mansa Musa’s Hajj
  • Mecca was thousands of miles from Niani, Musa’s capital, across barren wastelands.
  • They took 80-100 camel-loads of gold dust, each weighing about 300 pounds.
  • About 60,000 people travelled in the caravan.
  • Mansa Musa was very generous and left expensive gifts in Mecca and Medina. He gave gold to anyone who performed some service for him.
mansa musa s hajj2
Mansa Musa’s Hajj
  • On his return trip through Cairo, Egypt, he was excessively generous. He gave gold to everyone.
  • As a result,
    • He ran out of money and had to borrow some to get home.
    • He flooded Cairo with so much gold that it took more than 12 years for the economy to recover from the inflation left behind.
charles v s atlas
Charles V’s atlas

The atlas shows an African monarch wearing robes and a crown, holding a scepter and a nugget of gold. The inscription reads: “This Negro lord is called Mousse Melly (Musa of Mali)…So abundant is the gold…in his country that he is the richest and most noble king of all the land.”


The Songhay empire developed along the Niger River. It expanded about the same time as the decline of the Mali empire. The Songhays captured Gao, a Mali city, which became the most important settlement in the region.

  • Traders traveled in caravans to Gao via Egypt and North Africa.
  • The Songhay ruling class converted to Islam, but the common people mostly kept their tribal religious practices.
  • Mansa Musa (of Mali) took two Songhay princes hostage to keep a rival king whom he had dominated from rebelling.
  • Ali Kolon and Sulayman Nar, while serving Musa, made plans for escape.
  • After gaining the trust of the Malians, they managed to escape by hiding arms and provisions along the route they would one day take to return home.
  • As Mali declined, Songhay grew in strength and power.
  • The fiercest warrior king ever to appear in Africa was Songhay King Sunni Ali Ber in 1464.
  • He captured Timbuktu in 1468. This city had a great university called Sankore which attracted scholars from all over Africa.
  • Sunni Ali Ber also captured Jenne, another leading city of Mali.
  • Jenne was famous for its advances in medicine, including complex surgeries.
  • It also had a large university with thousands of teachers conducting research in many subjects.
  • Jenne was known as a beautiful city with attractive waterways and enchanting architecture.
  • Jenne was known as a beautiful city with attractive waterways and enchanting architecture.
  • Jenne was beseiged by Sunni Ali Ber for 7 years, 7 months, and 7 days.
  • At last the city surrendered, but the city was spared because the Songhay people admired their courage.
  • Songhay society was built upon a caste system.
    • Kings and descendants of original Songhay people
    • Caretakers of horses
    • Smiths for making weapons
    • Fishermen
    • Traders
    • Army
    • War Captives & Slaves
interesting facts
Interesting facts
  • During Europe’s “Dark Ages” three great African empires provided the main advance of human knowledge.
  • On separate pilgrimages to Mecca, two African emperors dispensed more than $10 million apiece in charity.
  • Until the invention of firearms the might African warriors of the Sudan were never conquered.