Thursday, October 02, 2008

Last Battle in September

I had a hard time picking the last "Decisive Battle" for September, and finally chose Ain Jalut, the defeat of the Mongols

under Kitbuqa by Qutuz's Mamluk cavalry from Egypt in 1260.

I started the post earlier but didn't complete it until tonight: it's back down the page right here.

Interesting engagement.

And wouldn't you know it?

Those darn Mongols are STILL trying to take things from people.One under the bed in a minute if you're not careful, I swear.

Did you know that Obama's mother's father's brother's teacher's lawn care guy was a Mongol who hated America?

Well, go down the page and find out why!


mike said...

Great post on Ain Jalut, - thanks Chief. The Mongol Empire is one (of many) part of history I have always been ignorant of. Although I was fascinated by it - especially the ebb tide. You are forcing my feeble old mind to new pathways.

Whatever happened to the Mongols of the Ilkhanate? Did they all go home just leaving pockets like the Hazara in Afghanistan & Pakistan?? Or are there other descendants in Iran? I am guessing most of the Mongols returned home to their wives and families leaving just a few elite to rule the empire and those few married locally and eventually their descendants became indistinguishable from the people they ruled over - you think???

BTW: "Did you know that Obama's mother's father's brother's teacher's lawn care guy was a Mongol who hated America?"

After consulting wiki, I find that Genghis's grandsons Mongke, Kublai, and Hulagu Khans were all sons of a Nestorian Christian mother: Sorghaghtani Beki. Turns out the Mongols were very tolerant of different religions and that women had a strong influence in Mongol politics and culture. Who would have thunk it?

FDChief said...

mike: The Mongols were one of the great empires of history: the best of friends, the worst of enemies. Their rule was about as good as it got in those days.

Unfortunately for much of Asia, they depended more than the typical medieval principate on good leadership. After Mongke died in 1259 the clan was unable to settle on a Great Khan. The khans split the empire and, often with the aid of outside agents like the Mamluks, began to war between themselves.

Many of the Mongol warriors of the successor khanates returned to the steppe. Some settled in as minorities in southwest Asia. You're right in that most of them who stayed were assimilated within a couple of generations, particularly in strong cultures like Persia.

basilbeast said...

there was a "Mongol" movie out this past summer, that I missed seeing.

It should be coming out on DVD soon.