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The Impact of the Mongols. Carl Ernst Introduction to Islamic Civilization. General remarks. Mongol conquests much greater than Arab conquests, but short-lived Christian fantasies of Prester John, Christian king of the East (who would attack Muslims)

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The impact of the mongols l.jpg

The Impact of the Mongols

Carl Ernst

Introduction to Islamic Civilization

General remarks l.jpg
General remarks

Mongol conquests much greater than Arab conquests, but short-lived

Christian fantasies of Prester John, Christian king of the East (who would attack Muslims)

Destruction of cities followed by rebuilding, flourishing long-distance trade (Marco Polo), and even an expansion and flourishing of Islamic civilization

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  • Mongol khanates

    • Qipchaq

    • Il-Khans

    • Chaghatay

  • New centers of Islamic culture

    • Mamluks (Egypt)

    • Delhi Sultanate

    • Ottomans

  • Scourges (plague, Timur)

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1. After Chingiz Khan (d. 1227):4 Mongol Khanates

Qipchaq Khanate (Golden Horde), on Eurasian steppes

Il-khanate (Persia)

Chaghatay Khanate (Central Asia)

Great Khanate or Yuan Dynasty (Mongolia, China)

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A. Qipchaq khanate (Golden Horde)

Collected tribute from Russians without integrating into Russian society

Like most Mongols, tolerated religious missionaries of various types (insurance policy?)

Gradual Islamization

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B. Il-khans (Persia)

Hulagu rebuilds destroyed cities, astronomical observatory at Maragha

Devastation of northern Iran and Iraq

First successors leaned towards Buddhism and Christianity

In 1295, Ghazan converts to Islam

Thriving culture and art

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C. Chaghatay Khanate (later known as Uzbeks)

Remained nomadic

A coalition of Mongols, Turks, and Uighurs

In 1326, Tarmashirin converts to Islam and orders all others to follow

Empire collapses shortly afterward

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2. New Centers of Islamic Culture: A. Mamluk Egypt

Defeated Mongols in 1260 in Palestine

Occupied Syria, Arabia

Import of slaves for military leadership

Loyalty to Amirs as core virtue, distance from local society, need for replacements

Political instability

Good relations with Byzantines, Italians

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B. Delhi Sultanate

Ghurids conquered Punjab and Delhi 1193, expanding into Ganges region

Turkish Sultans with military slave background, Persian culture

Resisted Mongol expeditions

Expanded empire to South (2nd capital)

Delhi a magnet for scholars and artisans

Coexistence with vast Hindu majority

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Rise of Ottomans

Succeed Saljuqs, who established Persian culture in Konya, though they remained subject to Mongols

Ghazi raiders against Byzantines eventually establish state, expand into Balkans

Recruitment of Christian knights (siege of Kosovo in 1389 – Serbian national myth)

Forcible enrollment of Christian youths in military and bureaucracy (devshirme)

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Tomb of Rumi

(d. 1273)

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3. Scourges

Black plague causes massive devastation

Timur (Tamerlane) creates a neo-Mongol empire, causing great destruction.

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Final thoughts

Why did the Mongols not have a longer-lasting civilization?

Confrontations with Christian powers in name of God (Tenggri) who gave authority to Chingiz Khan

Confrontations with Turkish rulers of Delhi Sultanate: is the Mongol law (yasa) stronger than Islamic shari`a?

Weakness of non-textual cultures