Mongolia and the Mongols have a tremendous history and have played a significant role in world history.Until recently,it was unclear how the Mongol race appeared in world history, where they came from, and where their homeland was in the pre-historical time period. How and when did they come to their present day territory, settle and become a homogeneous nation after having a thousand year confrontation with other Eurasian nationalities like Scythian, Avars, Sarmats, Kipchack, Hazars, Turks and others? Is the present day Mongolian territory the homeland of Kirgiz, Uighur and Turkic khanates? Is it a frontier of confrontation between the Turkic and Mongol origin nationalities? Who isthe real owner of that territory? What did the ancient Mongols look like? How are the present day Turkic nationalities different from each other? Did this change come from historical development and interactions? How did the Mongols survive the historical mixture and confrontations? Are the Mongols genetically stronger than the other races? Who was the main player of the region? There are many questions we face today as we look for the right answer.
ANCIENT MONGOLIAN HISTORY
The present day Mongolian territory was the arena of an active intercultural crossroads as it was used by many Eurasian nationalities subsisting on cattle breeding as their main economy which its vast land was suitable for. Many nationalities were to rise and fall on that land. The arid continental climate determined and dictated the method of survival as only animal husbandry or stock breeding was suitable as a way of life. The early medieval history of this land experienced the rise and fall of many nationalities. The Huns were the first big khanate, becoming an empire which went on to conquer part of Europe and drive many nationalities to consolidate and establish state hoods when confronted with Attila the Hun’s army. Attila was a danger to all of Europe and thanks to him, present day France, Germany, and Britain were established. Part of the Hun Empire entered the present day Russian southern frontier and inhabited the region. Other nationalities with different names such as the Scythians, Avars, Sarmats, Kipchacks and Hazarians have disappeared from history or assimilated with stronger nations like the Mongols. It is well known that the Hun Empire has a nomadic origin and the Huns were a mongoloid type of race. The geneticists and anthropologists agree that the Mongols originated from the Huns by analyzing their DNA. The Hun Empire was proto-Mongol state. During that time, Asia and Europe were connected with each other by the Silk Road and cross culture activities between the two continents were established. When the Hun Empire collapsed, the first world migration happened. Part of their brethren came to Europe through the Ural Mountain and settled in Central Europe, renamed as the Hungarians. The rest went on to live in the southern region of Russia and were known by ethnic namessuch as the Scythians, Sarmats, Avars, Kipchack, Hazarians. During the following dynasties were established or risen several states in the territories of Eurasia the mongoloid nations were assimilated with the locals and disappeared from the world history. Only the million of the hazars live in Afghanistan. As we know the hazars were nomads and as well as settled people who worked in agriculture and have the sedentary life. The Kipchacks was under the Mongol rule during the Great Mongol State and they were good horseman and taught the Mongols how to herd the horses and how to make the permitted drink “airag” or” koumiss” (1, pp. ). After the Hun Empire, the Sumbe (Syanbi) Khanate was established which is known by Chinese sources asSyanbi. They utilized the best aspects from previous Empire and also had intensive cross culture relations with other Eurasians,having some control over them. After this cultural group,the Mongolian territory saw the advent of the Nirun khanate, which is known as a Jujan by Chinese sources. The Persian historian, Rashid ad Din’s book termed them as“Darligin.” Mongolian scholar,G.Sukhbaatar, approved the Jujans as Darliginsin his brilliant research.A state named Nirun (p. 2) was created by them.With the collapse of that khanate, the territory of Mongolia saw several hundred years of non-Mongolian states rise to power, namely the Turks, Uighurs and Kyrgyzs. During these centuries, we saw a significant influence from the Turkic language, and also adopted Uighur letters from the Sogdo-Arameisof Iran. Many present day geographic names still have Turkic words which are hard to explain the meaning of. All of these khanates had the same main economy of animal husbandry and the nomadic way of life. This group had the same nutrition, dwellings, transport, clothes,and way of dressing and probably the mentality was nomadic. During recent years, archeologists found artifacts from that time-period which shows that during the existence of above-mentioned khanates, they had very intensive cross-culture relations similar to the Hun Empire of the Silk Road time-period. Archeologists founda large amount of golden coins and porcelain products, such as bowls, which were used during the Roman Empire and the Byzantine period. They also found an Egyptian pharaoh statue, a Tang statue of musicians and a dragon wall-drawing. In that time-period, Mongols had a huge influence on the outside world and had interactions with and borrowed some for their future development.
GREAT MONGOL EMPIRE AS THE CENTER OF CROSS CULTURAL ACTIVITY
The first mention of Mongols appears in the Chinese annals of ”Xin Tang shu” and “Jiu Tang shu” and are named “mengwu” and “menwa”. Later, in the 13th century, Mongols were named “menggusi”. In my book, I wrote about how the Chinese termed Mongol ethnic names in their historical sources. According my research, the ethnic name of the Mongols appeared around the eight and the ninth century. At the tenth century the “Khamag Mongol” khanate created a state, used until now. The meaning of that name has been explained by many scholars all over the world. The explanation I give it is like those who rise and grow up living near the” Mungunuul (Silver mountain)” with a suffix of plural of the Mongolian “l” and named like” Mongols”(1).The Mongols previously had power in the present day Eurasian territories and were influenced by other ethnicities’ names. But most of these ethnicities were pushed out from Mongolia and moved on to another place, searching a peaceful and quiet life. Before the Khamag Mongol statehood was established, most parts of Mongolia were under the reign of the Kitan (Qidan) Liao Empire. They had two types of letters--one named as a small letter, another named as a big letter. Inner Mongolian scholar, Chingeltei, discovered within the small lettering several Mongolian words like gahai, tahia, nohoi, which means pig, chicken and dog. Among nine generals or ministries of the Great Khan’s cabinet, EluiChucai has a kitan origin and a wise minister who taught the Mongols how to use the taxation system among the Northern Chinese, who fell under the Mongol rule in the first half of the thirteenth century which increased the income for rulers etc. The successor of the kitans had a family name like Xiao or Hsiao and they lived among the Chinese of Mainland China and Taiwan. They were identified by a blue mark on their back when they were children which disappeared before age six or seven. That blue mark has been seen among Mongols, Koreans, Japanese and Hungarians and most of the northern Chinese. That is the genetic mark of those with a Mongol origin. When the successor of the Kitans came to Mongolia and listened to the faint sound of the horse head fiddle, they usually fell into the lyric’s sentiments and easily cried over it. The horse head fiddle is the traditional Mongolian instrument, registered by UNESCO as a world heritage item. The historical past tells us about the sentimental power of the music and melody. Nowadays, Mongols use this instrument’s melody to make a mother camel accept her baby camel if she hates or dislikes it. After hearing that instrument, the mother cameldrops down and accepts her baby. It’s an interesting and memorable event. You can observe it if you will go to a nomad family in Mongolia. The main historical source of Mongolian medieval history is the Secret History of Mongols, written in 1240 by unknown author. The Mongolian original was lost while the Chinese character written version exists. The scholars from around the world are still researching it and trying to recover the Mongol origin. The Mongolian text was written into Chinese characters and translated into Chinese which was found by the Russian missionary,Kafarov, at the end of the nineteenth century in China. We have found three versions of this significant source written in the Chinese script. All the versions are different. This monument to time tells us about the origin of the Mongols before the birth of Chinggis (Genghis) khan and described well his previous 25 generations of genealogy. Scholars have recognized this monument as the main Mongolian source of history, ethnography, culture, literature and religion. In one word it is the main Mongolian written encyclopedia and all recognize it as a wonderful legacy to world civilization. It has already been translated into all the main languages of the world. Except for the Secret History of Mongols, Mongols have also written some historical epics like “Jangar” and ”Geser”. These two historical epics are also recognized as treasures of literature and studied by scholars all around the world. Jangar was popular among the western Mongols and story tellers retold over seven days and nights. It was written in classic Mongolian and the Tod Mongolian letter as well. Western Mongolians in China, Russia and Mongolia recognize it still as a main canon about their origins. In Xinjiang Autonomous Region of PRC there exist some temples dedicated to this epos of Jangar and Mongols within this region go to these temples to pray. Dozens of books are dedicated to this unique epos and have been published in many countries. Mongolia in the thirteenth century was a center of the world development as well as a center of the cultural cross-road. The best architect and handicrafts were used in the construction of the capital of the Empire of Kharakhorum. Since the late 1940’s we have studying the archeological excavation of that colorful ruin. As mentioned before, Mongolia grew from a nomadic civilization and I researched this topic. As I noted, the world civilization could be divided into two types: sedentary and nomadic. Two different forces hold them. Namely the centripetal force determines sedentary civilizationsas to why individualism and institutions are stronger there than in nomadic civilizations, in which the centrifugal force determines it to be less institutionalized with less attention paid to cultural or material heritage. Therefore sedentary civilizationshave preserved their materialistic culture better than the nomadic civilizations have (2, pp. 115-125). With the collapse of imperial powers all over the world such as in Russia (1480), China (1368), Persia (1370-1372) and the rest of the world, the Mongols fell in stagnation and anarchy and lost their dominance. From the end of the seventeenth century until 1911, they became subjects of the Manchu Qing Dynasty. In that time period the Mongols lost their braveness and fell into the Lamaism sect of the Buddhism, spending more time praying and starting to deeply believe in reincarnation. With the adoption of Lamaism in Mongolia, the 1600’s saw the intellectual life of Mongols follow in their influence. Mongols learnt Sanskrit,the Tibetan written language and its historical literature. We became more religious and Mongolian books were burned during the reign of Ligdeng khan(mid the seventeenth century). The printing of Buddhist literature was developed. When Mongolia fell under the Manchu domination, we started to learn Manchurian, using it until 1911.The Manchus used the Mongolian classical letter as their state letter until their overthrow in 1911.During their domination, the Mongols learned Chinese and translated all the Chinese classics--including Confucian literature, Chinese poetry and novels like:”Jin Ping Mei”,” Hong loumeng”,” San guoyanyi” and” Shuihuzhuan” etc. Our genesis came from the Huns (Xiongnu) and we have same DNA. The Mongoloid race came from the Mongols and spread into the Eurasia area. We had many centuries of ties with other Eurasians of which some of them still exist now or were assimilated with others during history. Mongolia is holder of the nomadic way of life, historically living in harmony with nature while confronting with sedentary civilizations. We took part in the ancient history of mankind and drove the creation of many states in both continents while leaving our trace on their histories. When Mongolia was a super power in medieval history, we drove Russians and Chinese to unite and helped them create their own statehood. We influenced the political life of many countries and contributed value totheir politics whilecreatingour own order under the Mongol rule and reign. Our geographical location lies in the middle of cross-cultural territory, constantly utilized as a cross road for different civilizations. Mongols historically were tolerant towards other religions and were never in the field of fighting over religion, having believedfor many millenniums in “Tenger” (sky) or heaven. Mongolia surprises the world with it rich archeological treasures. Mongolia offers a rich written monument and historical source.