In the 13 century a small tribe from the steppes of central Asia conquered much of the Middle East and Eastern Europe. The tribe was known as the Mongol warriors. The Mongols were ruthless and very barbaric. While the Mongols conquered many countries they didn’t care who they hurt. Even though they did benefit some of the areas that they conquered, they did too many bad things that over powered the good things. Their law was very confusing and at some parts it was unreasonable.
They would torture survivors and they conquered more land than any of the greatest world conquest. As ruthless as the Mongols could be, to my surprise they were quite organized as a union. In documents 2 and 3 it talks about how the army should be organized and how they go out to war and fight. John of Plano Carpini wrote in document 2 that the Mongol organization was very precise and strict. For example 1 man was in charge of 10 men and 10 men were in charge of 100 men and if one member of the group fails or try’s to run away they would kill the whole group.
This statement proves that the Mongols were all about war and rules. Document 3 talks about already being on the battle field. In the passage it says “chiefs or princes of the army do not take part in the fighting but take up their stand some distance away facing the enemy”. The Mongols were very smart people for example to make their fighting group look bigger and to give out a scary impression they would put figures of men and set them on horses.
They would also send a group ahead to start the fight and when they enemy would get tired a new and fresh set of Mongol warriors would appear to continue the fight. Sometimes they would even take the fat of the people they killed and melt it then throw it on houses and wherever the fire falls on the fat it is almost inextinguishable that’s why they call it “Greek Fire” which proves just how ruthless and barbaric they truly were.
John of Plano Carpini probably wrote both of these passages because he was the first European to visit the Mongols in their homeland and got to experience the ways of the Mongols first handedly in the point of view of a non-Mongol. In documents 1, 4 and 5 it talks about the amount of conquered land and the number of tragic deaths or just the death caused by the Mongols in general. Document 1 shows all the big invaders of history and how much they invaded in a chart and it shows that Genghis khan took the lead with 4,860,000 square miles, ahead of alexander the great, Adolf Hitler and Cyrus the great.
It also shows a graph of the Mongol empire after the death of Genghis khan and the land was divided into 4 parts for his grandsons which helps us prove that he was all about proceeding his role and the bigger the amount of land he had the better which sounds really selfish and mean. The next document which is doc. 4 is a passage from Ata-Malik Juvaini who was a Persian chronicler who was in the employ of the Mongol II-khan of Persia who served under the Mongols rule as the governor of Bagdad. The passage informs us about the invasion between the Mongols and the city of Nishapur, a city in Persia.
It states that Nishapur had a good defense system with three thousand crossbows, three hundred mangonels, and a quantity of missiles and naphtha but that still wasn’t enough to defeat the attack of the Mongols which clearly shows how powerful they were. A time later after the attack there were walls covered in Mongols and they began to slay and plunder the people and even worse they drove out all the men, women, and children who survived out into the plains where killed them all and if that doesn’t prove that he was ruthless then I don’t know what will.
The next evidence that Ata-Malik Juvaini provided for us is a chart of different places that were attacked and how much people died and or if there were no survivors. Juvaini wrote the passage because he got to see what was going on but what I would have liked more is a passage from a Mongol soldier’s point of view to see if some of the soldiers thought that what they were doing was a bit too extreme. In document 5 the Mongols were once again demonstrating another act of inhumane cruel behavior.
It’s a scene from a Persian manuscript showing the Mongols soldiers shoot some of the survivors with arrows while they also buried the rest of the survivors upside down in the ground face first and to be honest it doesn’t sound so comfy. Even though historians like myself try everything in their power to set the record straight about the Mongols being ruthless barbarian there is always a group of people who dare to argue. They say that the Mongols benefited many of the places that the conquered like for example the Persian silk industry also benefited from the Mongol conquest by all the contacts that opened up with china.
Another benefit is that Persian winemakers thrived under the Mongol control because the Mongols were such heavy drinkers (doc. 6) and the list from there goes on and on at least that what they say. They also say that the Mongols did demonstrate some act of kindness like the fact that the leader of the Mongol empire, Genghis’ khan, outlawed any acts that involved theft and adultery. Ibn Battuta said that if you lost something on your way expect it to be brought to you because the law against theft was that strict (doc.
7). They also created or started up messaging systems. First they would send a man 25 miles to the posting station but in their language it was called yams. Once the man arrive, he packs the mail onto the horses and they take it from there. If they ever come across a lake or a river then the messenger’s must pass through with ferry boats that are kept by neighboring cities (doc 8). The thing that sold the Mongols good act to many people was the fact that the Mongols was tolerant of many religious.
In what looks like a journal it gives us proof that Mongke Khan, who was the fourth great Khan, gave a speech saying “But just as God gave different fingers to the hand so has He given different ways to men. ” (Doc 9) What all of these documents have in common is that they showed what the Mongols did to benefit many places that they conquered and yes they did contribute a lot but they did too much wrong to forget the fact that they are ruthless killers. Many of the Mongols laws also showed evidence that they were strict, ruthless, and unreasonable people.
Like on their laws about adultery it says that whoever commits the crime of adultery they shall be executed. But it also says that if you are a non-believer and you want to get with the married woman then you have to kill her husband first. Another outrageous fact about their law that I found out about is that the man could have as many wives as he can keep. It was a general custom for them to marry any of their relationships except with their mother, daughter, or sister but they could still marry their step sister and his father’s wives but only after the father has passed.
To the Mongols, drunkenness is considered an honor among their fellow people. (Doc 10) This whole article clearly proves that the Mongols were very weird, disgusting, and uncivilized barbarians. Even though the Mongols conquest did benefit the conquered lands by giving religious tolerance, outlawing theft and adultery and a little bit more but it still doesn’t wipe away the fact that they were cruel with the way they treated survivors and the number of deaths that were caused by them. Also it doesn’t change the fact that they have took away so many home and live from the people of the lands that they have conquered. Las
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