Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-544b6db54f-mdtzd Total loading time: 0.193 Render date: 2021-10-16T19:38:59.437Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": true, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true, "newEcommerce": true, "newUsageEvents": true }

Introduction

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 November 2020

Get access

Summary

It was a dark and stormy night when the Mongol fleets anchored off the coast of Japan at Hakata Bay and Imari Bay in 1281. With their fleet arranged as a floating fortress, the Mongols waited for a dawn that never came as a tsunami struck the Mongol fleet, destroying much of the fleet and scattering the remainder. The failure at Japan marked a tipping point for the Mongols. No longer did their armies march inexorably across Eurasia defeating all who opposed them, creating an empire that stretched from the shores of Korea to Bulgaria. Even after the dissolution of the empire in 1260, each of the successor states would be considered a super-power in modern terminology. Yet, the Mongols soon found themselves engaged in desultory civil wars rather than new conquests. How did it reach this point? Considering that the Mongols began their empire as a rather inconsequential power in the steppes of Mongolia, among a half dozen similar groups, another question comes to mind: Why were the Mongols successful in the first place?

Much of the Mongols’ success had to do with the appearance of Temüjin, the man who became Chinggis Khan. Before his appearance on the historical stage, the Mongols were but a minor tribe at a time when the Jin Empire (1125–1234) in northern China and Manchuria defeated an ascending Mon-gol khanate in the 1160s. Temüjin's father, Yesügei died in 1171, poisoned by Tatars, rivals of the Mongols. With the defeat of the Mongols, the Tatars dominated eastern Mongo lia. The Tatars were a powerful confederation bordering the Jin Empire, providing better access to trade and wealth. In the past, confederations like the Tatars rose to regional dominance and sometimes even held sway over all of the Mongolian steppes. Yet, the Tatars were not the only powerful tribe in the Mongolian steppes.

In Central Mongolia, the Kereit held sway. Ruled by Toghril Khan, the Kereit had close ties with the Mongols. Toghril had been anda or blood brother to Yesügei and became the suzerain of Temüjin. The Kereit, however, controlled the Orkhon Valley, which historically conveyed legitimacy to previous steppe empires.

Type
Chapter
Information
The Mongols , pp. 1 - 8
Publisher: Amsterdam University Press
Print publication year: 2019

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Send book to Kindle

To send this book to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

  • Introduction
  • Timothy May
  • Book: The Mongols
  • Online publication: 20 November 2020
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781641890953.001
Available formats
×

Send book to Dropbox

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

  • Introduction
  • Timothy May
  • Book: The Mongols
  • Online publication: 20 November 2020
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781641890953.001
Available formats
×

Send book to Google Drive

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

  • Introduction
  • Timothy May
  • Book: The Mongols
  • Online publication: 20 November 2020
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781641890953.001
Available formats
×