Monday, 20 June 2016
The Mongol Empire
When Chinggis Khan ascended the pulpit of a mosque in Bukhara, Muslims across the world viewed the Mongols as a punishment sent by God for their sins. Yet, within a hundred years the Mongols were largely Muslim rulers and Islam had spread into new territories even as Muslim merchants dominated most of the trade routes, including China. How did this occur and what caused such an about face that transformed three-quarters of the Mongol Empire into an Islamic empire? This book seeks to answer these questions while examining the Mongol Empire's interactions with Muslims from its inception to its fall. During this period the Mongol Empire was transformed from an empire that conquered and then ruled Muslims to an empire that used Islamic forms of authority and legitimacy. The Empire promoted Islamic sciences and art and assisted the spread of ideas and goods through the Pax Mongolica and the Silk Road. While attention is given to the political and military history of the Mongols, this book also examines the empire from the perspective of its subjects, particularly its Muslim inhabitants. Furthermore, it examines the empire as an entity that changed through time and compares how the ecology, economics, religion, and the Chinggisid dynasty affected all portions of the empire.
Timothy May is Department Head and Associate Professor of Central Eurasian and Middle Eastern History at North Georgia College and State University. He is the author of The Mongol Art of War: Chinggis Khan and the Mongol Military System (2007) and Culture and Customs of Mongolia (2009).