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Thread: Mongols and crualty

  1. #1
    is not a senior Member Meneldil's Avatar
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    Default Mongols, were they just barbarians ?

    While I was looking through this forum, I just found out an old topic about the movie 'Alexander' and the fact that there should be a movie a Gengiz-Khan. This topic become a topic about the mongols and their crualty. Some people (Rosacrux Redux) were saying that mongols were just a bunch of stupid barbarians and butchers, while some other (The Wizard, me) were having a less extrimistic (sp?) point of view.

    I read a lot of books (modern research, fiction books, primary sources) on the matter, and I can now affirm that the occidental point of view about the mongols is rather silly.

    Here are a few facts to prove my point :

    - Genghis built Karakorum, which quickly became one of the most developped and wealthiest city of Eurasia. This city was built from scrach in the middle of nowhere. However, Gengis Khan brought irrigation, with the help of chineses technicians. He created a street for each known religion or culture (christians, muslim merchants, chineses).

    - Genghis created a very effective administration, that allowed him to rule over the largest empire known. Unlike what happened almost everywhere else in the world, corruption was not plaguing the whole empire.

    - Genghis created the Waza (that's the french spelling). This law code (based on a model similar to the anglo-saxon common law) was used long after the mongols disappeared in many eurasian regions.

    - The Mongols created an alphabet, which was also still used in some regions of asia minor as well as some region of China at the beginning of the last century.

    - Trade known a major boost under the mongols rule. The silk road, which was less and less efficient before the mongol invasion, became a major trade road once again. The mongol rule brought security to the trade roads between europe and asia.

    - A large part of the Mongol crualty is just fairy tales. The skull towers, cannibalism and all that are mostly propaganda written by people who were afraid by the Mongols.

    - Mongols (Ogodai) created an effective mail service, which would be unequaled for centuries. About 200.000 horses were available for this mail service. It would take only between 7 and 11 days for a letter to go through the empire.

    - China was a closed country. Christians and Muslims were barely tolered. Once Kubilay setted his capital to Pekin, he developped trade accross the country, and opened China to the rest of the world.
    Once mongols were kicked out of China, the country closed his frontiers once more. Christians and muslims were either deported or killed, and when the europeans 'invaded' China centuries later, the country had barely evolved since the middle-age.

    Too late to write anything else. I'll post the rest tomorrow, if anyone is interested.
    Last edited by Meneldil; 04-18-2005 at 10:24.

  2. #2
    robotica erotica Member Colovion's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mongols and crualty

    After reading a number of books on the Mongols I have come to the conclusions that they were in fact, the most advanced and tactically adept organisation of warriors of their time period. To them Europe was merely a small penninsula with a number of warring fiefdoms, puny and insignificant to the majesty of the Mongol empire. Western education neglects to delve into the Asian conquerers such as the Khans and Tamerlane. There are no conquerers in the Western world who had anything close to the wealth of manpower, tactical ability and treasure that the Mongols and, later, Tamerlanes Tatars had. Alexander had but a breath of the air the Asian glory exuded - and in actuality encompasses the only Western semblance of such prowess in battle and empire building. Had he lived longer, I do not doubt his exploits to have been much greater.

    I tell you the truth, the Europeons were the barbarians in the time of the Khans and the steppe warriors.

    For those who disagree with the scant refferences which I have drawn, seemingly to you, out of nothing, I implore you to read a few books which have opened my eyes to the exploits of formerly unknown greatness.

    http://www.haroldlamb.net/history.htm

    Specifically Tamerlane, Genghis Khan: Emperor of All Men and, what I feel to be the pinnacle of his books: The March of the Barbarians - all of which are written in a way it seems you are apart of the history, and not merely reading a history book.

    Oh yes, and his books outlining Alexander and Charlemange are also amazing. I do implore you once more, give them a gander.

    edit - yes the Mongols were cruel - but so was all warfare in those days. The only reason you remember the exploits of the Mongols and such steppe warriors as being that much more terrible was because they were performed on a much larger scale.
    Last edited by Colovion; 04-17-2005 at 23:44.
    robotica erotica

  3. #3

    Default Re: Mongols and crualty

    You can be very advanced and still take a cruel attitude toward your enemies - look at Rome.

    I dont know enough about the Mongols to discuss it, but it seems the points in the original post were pointing out the advances in the mongol empire. That doesnt exempt them from cruelty.

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    robotica erotica Member Colovion's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mongols and crualty

    Quote Originally Posted by PanzerJager
    You can be very advanced and still take a cruel attitude toward your enemies - look at Rome.

    I dont know enough about the Mongols to discuss it, but it seems the points in the original post were pointing out the advances in the mongol empire. That doesnt exempt them from cruelty.
    I've yet to come across any culture which conquered a large area of land to be without cruel actions towards the populace of said region or the army protecting it.
    robotica erotica

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    Humanist Senior Member Franconicus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mongols and crualty

    As far as I know the Mongols were very good in adopting things from other civilisations. I guess there are several reasons why they appear to be cruel:

    1. They had a civilisation that was very different from what they foung in China Persia ... . Living in big towns, houses, having burocracy ... seemed to them pervert. I think they saw it as their destiny to erase these cultures. Dchegis Khan wanted to destroy all town until one of his generals explained him that he could get more money and goods if he didn't. (He destroid a lot anyway)

    2. They came from the steppe and life was rough. And cruelty helped them a lot. They killed all the people in towns that tried to resist. (I think Alexander did the same).

    3. People in Europe were shocked of the Mongolian invasion. For them it was a complete different culture too and so the Mogols seemed to be just beasts.

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    Lord of the House Flies Member Al Khalifah's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mongols and crualty

    .. following from Franconicus

    4. The largely nomadic nature of their warrior class and indeed the Mongol people as a whole. Though they supported trade and the development of cities and farming under their dominion, the Mongols themselves were a very mobile people. This would seem rather barbaric to the much more stationary European feudal powers where the nature of the system effectively tied the people to the land for the majority of the year unless there was a call to arms. A Mongol soldier who owned a mount would most likely have travelled further in his life time than many people have today, much further than a contemporary European soldier.
    Cowardice is to run from the fear;
    Bravery is not to never feel the fear.
    Bravery is to be terrified as hell;
    But to hold the line anyway.

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    Member Member travel zen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mongols and crualty

    The Mongols were like any other culture at the time....only more sucessful and had a better leader than the rest.

    They were less cruel than most other empires, but had more success in warefare.

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    is not a senior Member Meneldil's Avatar
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    Default Re : Mongols and crualty

    Well, yes, this topic should be re-named (I know, I created it, but heh)

    Well, my main point was to prove that mongols were not a bunch of guys who just spent their time riding horses and killing innocents. They created a very advanced and successful civilisation in Eurasia (unlike Alexander and his Diadochi I may say).

    Most account on the mongols descripting them as butchers, cannibals or even demons were written by people who had never travelled visited the mongol empire and who had never ever met a mongol in their life.
    On the other hand, all people who visited the Khan empire described it as a weird but fantastic country, where everyone respected the law, where muslims and christians lived in peace (kinda unusual at this time), and where people were rewarded for their skills rather than for their birth.

    As Panzer said, they were kinda the Romans of the middle age (just as there was a Pax Romana, there was a Pax Mongolica)

  9. #9
    Lord of the House Flies Member Al Khalifah's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mongols and crualty

    The Christian kingdoms were not in total opposition to the Mongols it must be said. Many Christian princesses were offered as bridges to senior mongols in the hope of creating an alliance between their kingdoms. There was also a very strong effort to convert the Khan to Christianity, due to several similarities between the arrival of the Mongols and the prophesised arrival of Prester John - the Christian King from the East who would drive the Muslims from the Holy Land.
    Unfortunately (for the Catholic Kings of Europe) such efforts were fruitless. Most western princesses were unenthusiastic to say the least to marry pagan warrior lords and the Khanates advance into the Middle East halted before Jerusalem. Had the Mongols captured the Holy city, it probably would've become a multi-cultural city like Karakorum anyway.
    Cowardice is to run from the fear;
    Bravery is not to never feel the fear.
    Bravery is to be terrified as hell;
    But to hold the line anyway.

  10. #10
    Urwendur Ûrîbêl Senior Member Mouzafphaerre's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mongols, were they just barbarians ?

    -
    They were pretty good guys to themselves. Like Genghiz's Karakurum, Tamerlane made Semerkand virtually the greatest city of its time. However, it was at the cost anything on their way. Hulagu literally destroyed Baghdad, the greatest city of its time, burning -maybe- the richest library on the earth; Tamelane did the same to Sivas (Sevasteia) in his Asia Minor campaign. Their cruelty against people, albeit with the usual grain of salt, was legendary. Towers built with bodiless heads was an infamous trademark of Tamerlane, which he built anywhere who dared to oppose him after his triumph.



    The Mongol hordes contributed to civilization only after sort of submitting to it. The Golden Horde assimilated among the Turks they were to rule, adapting their language; the Il Khans became only another native dynasty in Persia/Middle East; Kublai's branch morphed into the Yuan, Chinise in anything but the long gone past; Tamerlane's mother toungue was already Turkish and his descendants' place in the history of civilizations (Ulug Bey, renowned astronomer himself; Huseyn Baykara, poet and great patron of arts and sciences; Babur and his "Mughals") is much more secured.

    This is not the degrade the Mongol ethnies in any way. But the was Genghis opened to them a virtual world domination was deconstructivistical in nature, and maybe it just had to be that way.

    A side note, what you report French spell as Waza is originally Yasa with a hard "s".


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    Humanist Senior Member Franconicus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Re : Mongols and crualty

    [QUOTE=Meneldil]Well, yes, this topic should be re-named (I know, I created it, but heh)QUOTE]
    Maybe the topic is: Why do we judge the Mongols for being cruel and the the Romans not. (look at Cesars war against Gaul!)

    My attampt for explanation: The Romans conquered most parts of Europe, Alexander did the same on his part of the world. And as you know, the winner writes the history (or is it 'his story'?)
    The Mongols didn't conquer western Europe. Maybe the stories about their bratality are coming from here?

    [QUOTE=Meneldil]Well, my main point was to prove that mongols were not a bunch of guys who just spent their time riding horses and killing innocents. They created a very advanced and successful civilisation in Eurasia (unlike Alexander and his Diadochi I may say).QUOTE]

    Helenism as a civilisation was (and maybe is) very successful. Even though their empires were destrit soon, the Romans adopted the Hellenism; so did the Jewish and Helenism entered the Bible. Also Helenism influenced the Middle Age (Scholastic, Thomas of Aquin).

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    Tovenaar Senior Member The Wizard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mongols and crualty

    Another sure contributor to the stereotype of Mongols being mindless killers sparing no-one is confusion.

    Confusion, you say? Yes, confusion -- confusion between Chingis Khan and his Turco-Mongol successor of sorts, Timur-i-Lenk or Tamerlane.

    Take the skull towers for instance. Many people instantly connect this to the Mongols, while it actually never mentioned in contemporary sources, such as the very reliable Secret History of the Mongols. It was, however, a favored strategem of Timur to use this as a reminder of what happened to those that opposed him.

    It didn't work however -- Timur had to come back many times to once again subjugate those under his 'control'. Take, for instance, the Jalayrids of Baghdad and Iraq. Defeated by Timur at first, they rose in resistance to him when he attacked the Mamluks and the Ottomans. He had to go back after he had defeated Beyazid Yildirim (how the hell am I supposed to get that Turkish letter that's supposed to be in place of those i's anyways? ) and the Mamluks to seize Baghdad (and reduce it a second time) again!

    Compared to this Mongol psychological warfare was far more effective, while the killings of Timur were actually greater than those of Chingis, Subedei, and Hulegu. Anyone got any thoughts on why that was so?



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    Ambiguous Member Byzantine Prince's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mongols, were they just barbarians ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Meneldil
    - Genghis built Karakorum, which quickly became one of the most developped and wealthiest city of Eurasia. This city was built from scrach in the middle of nowhere. However, Gengis Khan brought irrigation, with the help of chineses technicians. He created a street for each known religion or culture (christians, muslim merchants, chineses).
    It this city was as great as you say how come non of remains(except for a turtle sculpture)? Oh and the Buddhist temple was built after the khans. Common man, Rome was destroyed 5 times and it still has more remains then a turtle.
    - Genghis created a very effective administration, that allowed him to rule over the largest empire known. Unlike what happened almost everywhere else in the world, corruption was not plaguing the whole empire.
    Says you. How do we know. His empire was so large anyone could do anything they wanted without anyone ever knowing

    - Genghis created the Waza (that's the french spelling). This law code (based on a model similar to the anglo-saxon common law) was used long after the mongols disappeared in many eurasian regions.
    Lot's of places had laws since the begging of time. Why is this such a great achievement in teh 1200's?

    - The Mongols created an alphabet, which was also still used in some regions of asia minor as well as some region of China at the beginning of the last century.
    Never heard of this, sounds interesting. Got any pics of it?

    - Trade known a major boost under the mongols rule. The silk road, which was less and less efficient before the mongol invasion, became a major trade road once again. The mongol rule brought security to the trade roads between europe and asia.
    And they had more silk. I guess the mass murder of hundreds of thousands of people was worth it just for the silk.

    - A large part of the Mongol crualty is just fairy tales. The skull towers, cannibalism and all that are mostly propaganda written by people who were afraid by the Mongols.
    Yes everyone that was ever conqured described them exactly the same in a huge consipiracy. I guess the destruction of entire cities wasn't evidence enough, they had to make some stuff.

    - Mongols (Ogodai) created an effective mail service, which would be unequaled for centuries. About 200.000 horses were available for this mail service. It would take only between 7 and 11 days for a letter to go through the empire.
    Good for them, nobody said that the mongols weren't good on horses.

    - China was a closed country. Christians and Muslims were barely tolered. Once Kubilay setted his capital to Pekin, he developped trade accross the country, and opened China to the rest of the world.
    Once mongols were kicked out of China, the country closed his frontiers once more. Christians and muslims were either deported or killed, and when the europeans 'invaded' China centuries later, the country had barely evolved since the middle-age.
    Um, China was one of the earliest civilizations on earth. They have given us Christians and western people enormous gifts in terms of discoveries and culture. How can you say the Mongols did anything good for anyone but themselves? Furthermore how can you say they tolerated us more like it even matters?

    Well, my main point was to prove that mongols were not a bunch of guys who just spent their time riding horses and killing innocents.
    Well your main point is completely false. Especially when you compare to Alexander who lived 1500 years before the Mongols started then massive campaigns.

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    Tovenaar Senior Member The Wizard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mongols, were they just barbarians ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Byzantine Prince
    It this city was as great as you say how come non of remains(except for a turtle sculpture)? Oh and the Buddhist temple was built after the khans. Common man, Rome was destroyed 5 times and it still has more remains then a turtle.
    A turtle? Yes. Not to forget the walls, plus the foundations of the palaces. Never mind the many descriptions of travellers, Marco Polo first of the Europeans (or whomever he stole the account from).

    Remember that Qaraqorum was a city built by a steppe civilization. Like Tyspwn (Ctesiphon) before it, and the capital of the Khazar khaganate, not to mention the capital of the Blue Horde (Saray Batu and then Saray Berke [sp?]), it started out as a large nomad camp. Tents, pavilions, the works. But no stone buildings. It took Tyspwn about a century to turn into a full-blown city, comparable to Seleukia on the opposite bank.

    Since Qubilai transferred the capital to Ta-Tu (Beijing) before that century (for Qaraqorum!) was complete, the city never had much chance to become the city it was supposed to become. The city also lost prestige for Qubilai, for his base of power was Ta-Tu in the civil war. His successors of the Yuan dynasty lost all interest for things outside of China and Qaraqorum fell into disregard and oblivion.

    Says you. How do we know. His empire was so large anyone could do anything they wanted without anyone ever knowing
    Have you, perchance, ever heard of the Secret History of the Mongol empire? Written by some court member, it is regarded as being very accurate: there was a reason it was kept secret.

    It accurately described the laws Chingis set out in the famous khuriltai on the banks of the Onon river. These laws included turning the Mongol society, so shortly out of the chaos of intertribal warfare and so recently brought under a single central authority, into a series of communities which were obliged to send an amount of fighting men to serve in the khakhan's tumens, making sure these administrative units worked well and that the Mongol army would function well. This points at an advanced, complex administration with a lot of rules; no other way could such a degree of organization within these units, subservient to the khakhan, be expected to supply a fixed amount of men.

    The khanates that started to emerge from Chingis' death and on copied these laws, also pointing out that the administation was sound and effective. It worked; economically all regions conquered by the Mongols took flight quickly after they settled down (took a bit longer for the Il-Khanate).

    Lot's of places had laws since the begging of time. Why is this such a great achievement in teh 1200's?
    How about the fact that this is a tribal steppe people? Such empires which had come before the Mongols had not exceeded the level of a tribal confederation with a fear-inducing reputation for raiding and warring. Chingis turned the confederation he had fought together into a centrally administered state. Not something any kingdom in Europe could say.

    And they had more silk. I guess the mass murder of hundreds of thousands of people was worth it just for the silk.
    Your point being ...?

    Yes everyone that was ever conqured described them exactly the same in a huge consipiracy. I guess the destruction of entire cities wasn't evidence enough, they had to make some stuff.
    So, they destroyed 'some cities'. If I recall, Romans and Greeks destroyed some cities. Without much reason at times too: Persepolis was burned, when it had surrendered with no resistance to Alexander!

    No, the Mongols destroyed cities that resisted to them. They saw those as a threat. Unique to the Mongols? Absolutely not. Did Alexander not have Thebes razed to the ground, didn't the Romans burn Corinth, did Aurelian not destroy Palmyra after it had rebelled again, after he had spared the city?

    Um, China was one of the earliest civilizations on earth. They have given us Christians and western people enormous gifts in terms of discoveries and culture. How can you say the Mongols did anything good for anyone but themselves? Furthermore how can you say they tolerated us more like it even matters?
    Toleration does not matter? The fact that the Mongols kick-started the Renaissance does not matter?

    How in the world do you think Chinese inventions and thoughts reached Europe? Through jesuits and Portuguese? No, such things started reaching Europe in earnest from the time of Chingis, and especially Qubilai, over the Silk Road which they re-opened.

    In fact, both Silk Routes were part of the Mongol empire. The more famous southern one, which ran from the old Han capital, through such cities as Samarqand and Bam, to the Levant and the eastern Mediterranean was part of the Mongol empire since Chingis. And the less famous one, destroyed by Timur (!) later on, which also went from the old Han capital, through Samarqand as well, but then split off, rounded the Caspian Sea, went through such cities as Astrakhan and Saray Berke, and then arrived at Qaffa, which later became a Genoese trading post!

    Well your main point is completely false. Especially when you compare to Alexander who lived 1500 years before the Mongols started then massive campaigns.
    I don't understand your point here in the least. Perhaps you'd like to explain it to me?

    And while you're at it, could you please explain to me what you have against the Mongols which renders you unable to accept, no, even ponder the thought that they maybe just could have been good, like the vikings?

    You are no different than Rosacrux in that sense. You guys are starting to make me think that for some strange reason, Greeks have a natural hate against the Mongols! Preposterous maybe, but I won't explore the reasons for that.



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    Ambiguous Member Byzantine Prince's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mongols, were they just barbarians ?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Wizard
    A turtle?
    This thing:

    The only thing that survived from the period. Everything in the background came much later.
    Yes. Not to forget the walls, plus the foundations of the palaces. Never mind the many descriptions of travellers, Marco Polo first of the Europeans (or whomever he stole the account from).
    Again you are confusing the Buddhist citadel which stands where karakorum was. I'm not denying anything ever lived there, just that it was a bunch of tents.

    How about the fact that this is a tribal steppe people? Such empires which had come before the Mongols had not exceeded the level of a tribal confederation with a fear-inducing reputation for raiding and warring. Chingis turned the confederation he had fought together into a centrally administered state. Not something any kingdom in Europe could say.
    Every kingdom everywhere started like that. Macedon for example was but a tiny pice of land when the tribe started taking over it's neighbours and gaining more land and calling it Macedon.



    So, they destroyed 'some cities'. If I recall, Romans and Greeks destroyed some cities. Without much reason at times too: Persepolis was burned, when it had surrendered with no resistance to Alexander!
    Destroying some cities is one thing, killing eveyone involved or not is something else. I don't recall Alexander having wiped out hundreds of thousands of innocent human beings.

    No, the Mongols destroyed cities that resisted to them.
    Heh, what they really did was they sent an emissary to ask: "Give us all your land and people, or else". Or something like that. When the leader naturally answered negatively they invaded. May I remind you this would hapen all the time. Oh and this is completely different from what Alexander did.

    Toleration does not matter? The fact that the Mongols kick-started the Renaissance does not matter?
    You're hillarious.

    And while you're at it, could you please explain to me what you have against the Mongols....
    Nothing, I just don't like it when people manipulate the truth to serve their own vision and not the truth.

    ...just could have been good, like the vikings?
    The Vikings were good? Where are you getting this information. What's next, the Nazis were kind?
    Last edited by Byzantine Prince; 04-21-2005 at 14:52.

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    Moderator Moderator Gregoshi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mongols and crualty

    BP, thanks for providing that image of the turtle. However, could you host the image on your own web space? Linking directly to an image on another web site may result in Tosa getting an email from that web site about us stealing their bandwidth.


    Nothing, I just don't like it when people manipulate the truth to serve their own vision and not the truth.
    That statement is the proverbial two-edged sword. Careful.

    Finally, Ladies and Gentlemen, let's stop the nonsense and refrain from anymore sarcasm or snide remarks. Let's also not draw other patrons into a discussion in which they have not been involved. Thank you for your cooperation.
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    American since 2012 Senior Member AntiochusIII's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mongols and crualty

    I've remembered PanzerJager creating a topic concerning of why the Nazis are the only "bad guys" that the modern world - he means the US, in fact - seems to remember, and forget every other "evil" in the world. I think the same principle applies to the Mongols, as Western authors of the time lived in fear of the Mongols invading and crushing them, utterly, and left the records of their writing about cruelty, evil, cannibalism, devillishness of the Mongols - which is no doubt exaggerated greatly, as we all know the nature of human bias.

  18. #18
    American since 2012 Senior Member AntiochusIII's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mongols and crualty

    BP,

    I believe you see the Mongols from the eyes of their "victims" - which should be translated more properly as enemies, of the period. You can understand their fears, their perspective, and the "dark side" of the Mongols that way. But, remember, in every writing, there is bias. And, unlike Thucydides, famed and admired for his few bias, most authors were Herodotus-like. Especially, if you live in the age where the threat of a specific force can brought utter destruction to you and your family, you will be greatly exaggerating the evil part of that force's true self in such a way that they are devils from "Tartarus."

    Let's see, first, from the Mongolian perspective:

    You were born in a tent, and your home is none but the endless plains in front, behind, and surrounding you. You were raised under the constant struggles of life that has been made harder by desperate and cruel tribal warfares. You were betrayed often, force to betray often, even if you hate to do so and holds honor high, for the sake of survival. You see your people being united, as a great hero emerges. You join them in a new fervor, for the first time ever, that the wars of the tribes end. The hero calls for the destruction of the many foes you and your people have, including the powerful, and bullying, great empire in the south. Therefore, you sets out, and that great leader uses new, brilliant tactics: psychological warfare. This tactic of sudden destruction, a blow so hard that you need not to blow again, will be used again and again by your people, for you are always against overwhelming odds in the great many wars you fight. You will be cruel, to the point of the devil, on your enemies, and spare everyone who bows before you. You do so, and often, and succeed far and wide. You defeated that great empire which had been instigating the tribal wars within your people, and made your life so hard. You kill those who resist, let go those who humble. You help rebuild their decayed and corrupted administration, and do it their way, and then you look forward, to the other lands, as you were born to move and your destiny is to move...

    Now, you come into contact with another vibrant empire a bit west. Your leader sends messages of trade and friendship to them, but, to a greatest disgrace imaginable by your people, they arrogantly, and sacrilegiously, kills your diplomats, not once, but twice. Your leader swear a bloody vengeance, and you, and all of those who are with you, howls with fury at this evil act. You go and exact revenge on those people who has harmed your people's right and pride so much. This is your most cruel acts, your far descendants (Tamerlane) may be more cruel, but in your acts no others are worse in cruelty and you justified it with a national vengeance, and you are sure the gods favor it, for they are just. Then, as the ever-moving people, you moved again...


    Points:

    -Vengeance is done by the great number of great people in history; Alexander the Great included. Do not bias yourself with only the Mongolian people.

    -Psychological warfare of Mongolian style is utilized almost exactly the same before by the Romans - Corinth, Palmyra, and the once-powerful Carthage. Civilizations fell beneath Rome's heels as much as the Great Khan's heels.

    -Mongols do establish a strong and successful administration. Ever wonder why Rome fell? And it's just half of what the Mongols holds together.

    -Their incredibly warm tolerance of basic human rights and religion as well as their respectable mercy to those whom surrendered to them were ignored completely in face of their powerful strategy in war. Such sad misunderstanding happens so much in history, where the lenient conqueror is viewed with such evil if their fundamental aspects of society - especially the nonsense of the conflicts of religious beliefs - were different.

    -Alexander the great, whom I believe is your hero (and nothing wrong with that, by the way) utterly destroys one of the most vibrant cities in the ancient world: Tyre, mother of Carthage, and the finest among the Phoenicians, for what reason I'm sure you know...

    So you should view the Mongols with fairer eyes.
    Last edited by AntiochusIII; 04-21-2005 at 06:49.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Mongols and crualty

    Quote Originally Posted by AntiochusIII
    -Mongols do establish a strong and successful administration. Ever wonder why Rome fell? And it's just half of what the Mongols holds together.
    I do not actually see Mongolian holdings nowadays. I could however see the ruins of what they destroyed. Carthago was rebuilt. Palmyra was rebuilt. But nobody will ever rebuild Mesopotamia.

    their respectable mercy to those who surrendered to them
    As in where Timur promised that he will not behead them if they surrender. So they surrendered. So he had them drowned.

    -Alexander the great, whom I believe is your hero (and nothing wrong with that, by the way) utterly destroys one of the most vibrant cities in the ancient world: Tyre, mother of Carthage, and the finest among the Phoenicians, for what reason I'm sure you know...
    For this single feat (slaughtering the defenders after they surrendered), Alexander is never called "Great" by my mouth, and I sincerely hope he burns at the bottom of hell.
    "Only when the human spirit is allowed to invent and create, only when individuals are given a personal stake in deciding economic policies and benefitting from their success -- only then can societies remain economically alive, dynamic, progressive, and free. Trust the people."
    Ronald Reagan

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    Humanist Senior Member Franconicus's Avatar
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    Default Mongols and crualty

    Mongols were a schock for the civilisations. The muslims suffered hard. They were more civilised than the West before the mongols and couldn't recover since. The Russians were seperated from the development in the West for long and haven't caught up.

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    Default Re: Mongols and crualty

    Quote Originally Posted by Franconicus
    Mongols were a schock for the civilisations. The muslims suffered hard. They were more civilised than the West before the mongols and couldn't recover since. The Russians were seperated from the development in the West for long and haven't caught up.
    Amen, brother.
    "Only when the human spirit is allowed to invent and create, only when individuals are given a personal stake in deciding economic policies and benefitting from their success -- only then can societies remain economically alive, dynamic, progressive, and free. Trust the people."
    Ronald Reagan

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    Tovenaar Senior Member The Wizard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mongols and crualty

    Firstly, you mistake Timur, a Turco-Mongol, with the Mongols. An often-made mistake. Confusion between the original Mongols and, for instance, Timur, is one of the most prominent causes of mistaking the Mongols proper for cruel, mindless killers. There are reasons for why modern historians see the Mongols under their khakhans, the Mongol 'successor states', and the Timurids as three separate entities.

    Browning, you obviously interest yourself for military history. Why, then, do you find the destruction of a single city so important as to deny Alexander the title of 'the Great'? It may have first originated as a mistranslation, but it is certainly no misnomer.

    Is war supposed to be about roses and daisies? The 18th century style of warfare? Generals determining time and place of their battles? You know -- all they fought was a couple of tactical games, only then with real men instead of chess pawns, and then determined who had won the war by simple win-loss ratio. Is that what war is supposed to be?

    No. Maybe in 18th-century Europe, but not in the age of the Mongols, nor any other time or place in the history of this planet. War is no game. People suffer: soldiers first, civilians later. The transition to 'total war' in the 19th and 20th centuries is just the old way of war on a much larger scale.

    So Tyros got destroyed? So did Hathra. So did Ctesiphon. Just like Saray Berke, Tenochtitlan, Dura Europos, Antioch, Sardis, Itil, Sparta, Persepolis, Ilios, Knossos... need I continue? I could produce an endless list of destroyed cities and conquered civilizations. To no avail. All of it is a simple part of the complex human version of nature.

    Franconicus: as I argued with Rosacrux before, the decline of the 'supremacy' amongst the many Muslim cultures is not to be found in a single, simple explanation, such as 'the Mongols did it'. History is not a whodunnit.

    No, for such places as Central Asia and Iran a combination of factors should be sought. The reaction of the cultures there to the Black death; the many different strong, warlike cultures in the area at the time; and yes, the Mongols; and yes, also Timur (to a greater extent than those he deemed himself the successor of).

    Also, it is to be noted that the decline of the area, Iran especially, did not take place in the 13th or 15th century, but rather at a later time period. The Safavid dynasty of Iran fell in the 17th century. Iran was weakened, but disaster was averted for a while by Nadir Shah. But after his death, Iran fractured and became a battle ground for a whole host of powers in the 18th and 19th centuries. Pair that constant warfaring to the attitude of total war in the area, lack of a central authority to guide the economy, and the traditional decline of trade due to danger and you can understand why European visitors of the area noted that many cities were ruins, empty and ghostlike.



    ~Wiz
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    is not a senior Member Meneldil's Avatar
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    Default Re : Mongols and crualty

    Well, as usual, Byzantine Prince is just trying to prove his point without bringing any valid argument. Whoever disagrees with him is said to be a liar or stupid, while his arguing is far from being brilliant. That's mostly why he's on my ignore list now.

    I'm not going to take his pointless arguing into consideration, as The Wizard already did so, but here are a few answers to other people.

    I do not actually see Mongolian holdings nowadays. I could however see the ruins of what they destroyed. Carthago was rebuilt. Palmyra was rebuilt. But nobody will ever rebuild Mesopotamia.
    Well, Karakorum, as well as some other cities in China and Asia are actually being 'discovered'. It's kinda funny that you say such a thing, because all cities built under the mongols' rule (I admit they were not a lot of it) were destroyed when their empires collapsed (Karakorum was destroyed by the Chineses, the capital -I'll find the name of the city later if you want- of the Golden Horde was burnt by the Russians, and so on).
    Mongols didn't have the monopol of burning cities. It was a common strategy to inspire fear to your enemy, and it was used since the beginning of human history (well, Alexander, the worldwide hero burnt a whole lot of cities and killed a whole lot of innocents, just as Caesar, and almost any conquerors).

    As in where Timur promised that he will not behead them if they surrender. So they surrendered. So he had them drowned.
    Precisly, Timur and the Timurides weren't exactly mongols. Most of them were turkish and arabic people. And I'm not 100% sure Timurleng wasn't ethnicaly a mongol.

    Mongols were a schock for the civilisations. The muslims suffered hard. They were more civilised than the West before the mongols and couldn't recover since. The Russians were seperated from the development in the West for long and haven't caught up.
    Oh yeah, the same usual cliché. Muslims built a magnificient civilisation. Christians, and then mongols almost destroyed this uber-cool civilisation.

    Well, not really. First, the impact of the mongols on Russia is quite unclear still nowadays. Some people say that they almost doomed Russia, while some other (including some russian historians) think that Russia became a country thanks to the mongols. You might not know it, but before the mongol invasion, russia wasn't a country, but rather a place were a lot of city-states were spending their time fighting each other. Some of these cities, such as Novgorod, Suzdal or Kiev were rather wealthy, but overall, russia was not nearly as developped as England, France or Italy, and it wasn't really considered as a part of Europe by the europeans (wonder how many crusades were launched against the Russians and the Lithuanians). On the other hand, the mongols established a solid central power, aswell as a solid administration into Russia.

    Saying 'Russia was under-developped cause of the mongols' is rather easy and fairly arguable.
    Same thing for the muslims. The muslims collapse could hardly be described as being caused only by the mongols.
    In fact, the first muslims were kinda similar to the mongols. It was a band of desert folk who invaded and destroyed about every nation around them, and then built an unique civilisation, mixing their culture and those from the lands they invaded. I'm prolly sure that you'll never agree with that, but well, that's how I see things.
    Last edited by Meneldil; 04-21-2005 at 19:52.

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    American since 2012 Senior Member AntiochusIII's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mongols and crualty

    Quote Originally Posted by Browning
    I do not actually see Mongolian holdings nowadays. I could however see the ruins of what they destroyed. Carthago was rebuilt. Palmyra was rebuilt. But nobody will ever rebuild Mesopotamia.
    The many enemies of the Mongolian empire destroyed most of them after their fall. The Mongols are one of the great catalysts of history. Like it or not, they changed the courses of history and laid the foundations of the European Renaissance - by bringing new contact between West and the culturally and technologically advanced and vibrant East. They destroyed much, and thus, left much space in which one is to rebuild anew, and they indeed helped in the re-foundation. Respect them for that, at least.

    Quote Originally Posted by Browning
    As in where Timur promised that he will not behead them if they surrender. So they surrendered. So he had them drowned.
    Timur's wars and the Mongols' wars are seperate wars completely. They were not even actually the pure descendants of the Mongols. Besides, Timur's fear tactics, used very often, were not the same as the actual Mongolian tactics. Mongols, the early khans, actually DO spare the surrendered ones. Their only mass-destruction of everything in their path happens only once, and the results were drastic (in other words, successful.) That happens when two Mongolian diplomat entourage, one came first to the Khawarasmian empire with a FRIENDLY gesture of trade and alliance, was murdered by the Kwarazmian official. The other one came to the empire seeking explaination for that behavior, which, to the Mongols and many others, was an extreme insult against the whole nation's (or people's) pride. He, and his entourage, were killed by the shah outright, who also took all the gifts that came with the diplomats for his own. Genghis then swore an oath to avenge this dishonor with blood of the land. Though some still claims that Central Asia is still recovering from that destructive period (which they may be right...) the only mass-scale *utter* destruction (China survived intact, for example) happens here. It's more an exception than the norm.

    Quote Originally Posted by Browning
    For this single feat (slaughtering the defenders after they surrendered), Alexander is never called "Great" by my mouth, and I sincerely hope he burns at the bottom of hell.
    Then there is no great man in the world in your definition. Great. Great and good are different, you should learn that. A good man doesn't necessary be a great man, and it goes the other way around, as well.
    Last edited by AntiochusIII; 04-21-2005 at 22:24.

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    Humanist Senior Member Franconicus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Re : Mongols and crualty

    The Wizard, Meneldil,

    thank you for your explanations!

    Quote Originally Posted by Meneldil
    Oh yeah, the same usual cliché. Muslims built a magnificient civilisation. Christians, and then mongols almost destroyed this uber-cool civilisation..
    Meneldil, obviously I did not say clearly what I mean. I know my English is insufficient. All I wanted to say is that the Mongolian invasion was a break for all affected countries.

    Quote Originally Posted by Meneldil
    Saying 'Russia was under-developped cause of the mongols' is rather easy and fairly arguable.
    Same thing for the muslims. The muslims collapse could hardly be described as being caused only by the mongols.
    In fact, the first muslims were kinda similar to the mongols. It was a band of desert folk who invaded and destroyed about every nation around them, and then built an unique civilisation, mixing their culture and those from the lands they invaded. I'm prolly sure that you'll never agree with that, but well, that's how I see things.
    What I reallsy meant is that the Mongolian dominance cut Russia (or however you want to call it) from the West. And I think there is still a barrier maybe mainly in the heads of the western people. When the Russina attacked the Turks on Crimea I think they didn't expect that their Christian neighbors would help the Muslims. And the gap between Russia and the west goes through the centuries until today. You see communist USSR after WW1, cold war. Do not most of Western people think that the Russians are still kind of Mongols coming from the tundra?

  26. #26
    Stadtholder Member Ash's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Re: Re : Mongols and crualty

    Quote Originally Posted by Franconicus
    The Wizard, Meneldil,
    And I think there is still a barrier maybe mainly in the heads of the western people.

    When the Russina attacked the Turks on Crimea I think they didn't expect that their Christian neighbors would help the Muslims.

    And the gap between Russia and the west goes through the centuries until today. You see communist USSR after WW1, cold war.

    Do not most of Western people think that the Russians are still kind of Mongols coming from the tundra?
    Because of recent times, not because of something that happened over 700-800 years ago. People can't remember WWI, and are starting to forget WWII. Yet they're supposed to remember some invasion by Steppe people in far away central Asia?
    I think you're overestimating the historical knowledge and interest of average Joe.

    The Cremean war had nothing to do with religion, rather then France being worried for too much influence of Russia over the Balkans. And England being worried by an even more weakened Ottoman empire to keep the Russians in check (and indirectly keeping Russia out of Afghanistan).
    On her part, Russia actually expected help from Austro-Hungary (a Christian empire) as a thank you for Russia's diplomatic intervention in Bosnia. The Habsburgs however told Russia to FOAD and even threatened to join the French and English in the end.
    In conclusion, the Cremean war had nothing to do with religion.

    Yeah that's geopolitics man, for the same reason there's a gap between the US and France for example.

    Weren't Germans surprised at the Asian soldiers Russia fielded in WWI+II? I think I've read they weren't expecting Asians or something.
    I think most people view Russians as a Slavic people, and don't really consider the Asians.
    I could be wrong about this though.

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    Stadtholder Member Ash's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Re: Mongols and crualty

    Quote Originally Posted by AntiochusIII
    The many enemies of the Mongolian empire destroyed most of them after their fall. The Mongols are one of the great catalysts of history. Like it or not, they changed the courses of history and laid the foundations of the European Renaissance -
    Yeah well so was the plague of 1346-1350.
    But I don't respect that either...:p

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    Stadtholder Member Ash's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Re: Mongols and crualty

    Quote Originally Posted by Browning
    I do not actually see Mongolian holdings nowadays. I could however see the ruins of what they destroyed. Carthago was rebuilt. Palmyra was rebuilt. But nobody will ever rebuild Mesopotamia.
    I think I saw on tv once about a ruined city which the Mongols had built right smack in the middle of the Steppes.
    Mongols did build cities and apparently were quite tolerant towards different religions (the city was devided in religious quaters).
    That said I'm not sure I'd place the Mongols under the "builder" catagory.

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    Mafia Hunter Member Kommodus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mongols and cruelty

    A lot of good points have been made on this thread, but I'd like to add one thing. It seems that a lot of people have pointed out a lot of peripheral achievements of the Mongols, but seem to be missing the big picture.

    Of course the Mongol ascendancy was accompanied by advances in technology, politics, military techniques, and civilization in general. This is always the case with young, vigorous empires. The new ideas that allowed them to overcome neighboring peoples are spread over a great area, and universally adopted, while being combined in new, unique ways with ideas from the conquered cultures. The strong central rule has a unifying, stabilizing effect as well, enabling greater trade and exchange of ideas between separate cultures. Under the careful administration and protection of such rule, people are free to look beyond daily sustenance and protection, and civilization flourishes.

    Every great ancient empire that I can think of has followed this pattern. Examples include Alexander's Macedonian empire, the Roman empire, the Muslim empire, Napoleon's French empire, and the British empire. In every case, one can easily point to significant achievements in culture, economics, politics, technology, art, military prowess, etc. After all, if they had no advantage over other peoples, how could they have become great at all? No one could seriously think that there was nothing to the great conquerors of history but ruthless barbarism - they each have many facets.

    The problem with all of this, however, is the price of these achievements. Those conquered by the Mongols may have been short-sighted to view them as "demons," but can they really be blamed for that? The Mongols deliberately used military tactics that sowed fear among their enemies. Their terrifying, foreign appearance, their invincible tactics, and their custom of slaughtering without mercy when they encountered resistance, were all designed to terrify their opponents. Neither I nor any of you would have considered the Mongols' "benevolent administrative policies" while watching our families massacred and our civilization destroyed around us. To us, the Mongols would have appeared exactly as they did to the conquered people - as ruthless, inhuman barbarians. The Mongols did not give them any reason to think otherwise, even if some of the more outlandish tales of barbarism were exaggerated.

    I am not singling out the Mongols here; I am fully aware that all of the great empires used similar tactics at one time or another. It's a very effective way to achieve power over others, and the Mongols knew exactly what they were doing. Nevertheless, this illustrates a fatal flaw in the very idea of "empire building."

    This is the "big picture" I spoke of earlier, the deeper reality that goes far beyond technological and economic superficialities. In the process of empire building, dreadful things always occur. Entire cities, peoples, and cultures are destroyed, their achievements wiped out. Families are ripped apart, and millions of lives destroyed, with incalculable suffering. Libraries are burned and their contents lost forever, along with priceless architecture, art, and music.

    It doesn't end there, either. Bitter rivalries are created between people groups, with irreversible consequences. Hatred and fear become solidified in people's minds and hearts, and passed on to all subsequent generations. Why do you think China closed itself off from the foreign world after the Mongols were thrown out? Do you think they would have done the same if they found foreigners to be peaceful, reasonable people? If this had been the case, they would have gladly welcomed intercultural exchange. Consider the irreparable damage the Mongols did to Muslim culture as well. A brief period of enlightenment under the Mongols quickly gave way to centuries of retarded development because of their conquests. This is the "big picture," people. This is the damnable legacy of the Mongols.

    Is there any great empire that didn't eventually collapse, leaving destruction and loss in its wake? Consider Alexander's empire, which quickly gave way to constantly warring successor states. Consider the Roman empire, whose collapse precipitated the Dark Ages of Europe. Consider Africa, ruined by European colonists, still suffering the effects of that period to this day. Consider China, one of the most advanced, promising civilizations of its day, isolating itself because of the threat of foreign enemies like the Mongols, and dooming itself to retardation and a second-class status in the world. Is this not tragic? Does this not far outweigh the benefits brought by those who conquer to fulfull their idea of "greatness?"

    Let people talk about advancements in economics and technology brought about by empire-building. Do we need those things so urgently that we are willing to subject ourselves to every atrocity known to man? Would it really set back civilization so much if we waited a little longer to develop technology that allowed us to kill each other a little more effectively? Wouldn't we eventually go abroad and explore the world to broaden our horizons, no matter who ruled it? Would we not have enough food and resources to meet our needs if we focused on ways of gaining these things other than taking them from others? Is any political system so wonderful that it's worth it to force it on others, who are content enough with their own? All these things could be achieved without empire-building. It might have taken a little longer, but the long-term conditions would've been far preferable.

    The history of humanity portrays a backward, neurotic race. We spend so much of our time acquiring things we don't need, power at the expense of others and ourselves, and technologies that destroy rather than build. The Mongol empire is just another chapter in that tiresome story. You'd think we'd eventually learn, but we haven't, and while our technological development is vast, our moral development is scarcely ahead of where it was centuries ago - every step forward is accompanied by significant backward movement as well. I believe that we could find other ways besides what we've always known, but will we? Only time will tell.
    If you define cowardice as running away at the first sign of danger, screaming and tripping and begging for mercy, then yes, Mr. Brave man, I guess I'm a coward. -Jack Handey

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    Member Member sharrukin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mongols and crualty

    As much as it hurts to say this, I have to agree with Byzantine Prince on this one.

    The Mongols earned their reputation for savagery and terror. I have read accounts of the Mongols from people who were there as travellers or diplomats. The descriptions of Islamic slave owners (no charmers themselves) and there shock at the cruelty and behaviour of the mongols to slaves is detailed.

    Revisionism is a current historical pastime and, unlike reviewing older assumptions and literary works, does harm as it relies on establishing a viewpoint and then finding the evidence to support it. If the evidence does not support the viewpoint then it is made to fit. Writers get attention, money and fame by making controversial claims, and the more controversial the better. That said, I want to be clear I am not suggesting this is what you are attempting to do, only that some sources need to be looked at carefully.

    European, Chinese, Hindu, Persian, Arab and Slavic chroniclers and historians all described the Mongols in similar ways. They all fought and lost wars with other peoples whom they hated and did not describe them in this way. From early feudal times to the high middle ages, western europe has experienced many invasions by alien peoples. Avars, Magyars, Cumans, Vikings, Moslems and Turks. The contact was almost always hostile and the european view of these peoples was clearly negative. The Mongols are just as clearly set apart by the chroniclers. You can use the 'nature vs nurture' argument to explain why the Mongols acted as they did, but not the facts.

    John of Plano Carpini’s Historia Mongolorum
    Simon of Saint-Quentin
    Roger of Torre Maggiore
    C. De Bridia
    Juvaini’s History of the World-Conqueror
    Rashid ad-Din’s World History
    Grigor of Akanc’ A History of the Nation of the Archers (the Mongols)
    the Chinese Yuan Shih

    Are they all lying or exaggerating? That is too much for me to believe given the number of sources and the number who had personal contact with the Mongols.

    "In this plain there used to be many towns, but most of them were destroyed, so that the Tartars might graze there, for there were most excellent pasturages in that country." William of Robruck 1253-1255.

    The whole land was filled with enemy troops, like locusts, who had no pity to spare the fallen, to show mercy to captives, or to pass over the exhausted: rather like savage beasts, they thirsted only for human blood.

    In the spring of 1241, according to Thomas, large numbers of Hungarian men and women, old and young from the towns and cities of eastern Hungary were put to death in a series of mass killings.
    The population of Pest, including those who sought sanctuary in the Dominican convent, were either slain or burned to death. During the winter, to instill fear in the Hungarians, the Mongols rode up and down the left bank of the Danube with the corpses of children impaled on lances, in Thomas’s words, “like afish on a spear.” He also reported mass killings of the most brutal sort in Croatia early 1242 and again in Bulgaria a few months later (See Segments A 5, C 10, D 1-4, E 5-7, F 2, I 4 and L 5).


    After the beheading of the captives in Croatia, the Mongols permitted themselves a moment of rest and celebration. With a keen sense of irony, Thomas wrote:

    The whole host of murderous people, taking their ease in camp camaraderie in the midst of those dead, began to dance and feast with great delight, and to shake with great mocking laughter, as though thesesfine men had performed some great deed.

    “There was no respect for the feminine sex, no compassion for youth, no mercy for the aged. A single wicked people slaying everyone, they seemed not to be men but devils.”

    “There are no poeple in the world that have such skill in warfare, that know so well how best in the struggle on the battlefield--whether by strength or by cunning--to fight and vanquish the enemy.”


    Thomas of Spalato (Split), archdeacon of Spalato ; c.1245-1251 "His language is unremittingly harsh. The Mongols were a plague, their instincts savage and merciless. "As a people they lacked compassion and humanity."
    Thomas heard it, he did not read it. No textual borrowings from other works have been identified. Thomas’s sources, therefore, apart from his own observations, must have been the numerous refugees who streamed into Spalato in 1242. Early in March 1242 the Mongols appeared before the walls of Spalato. They had ravaged the countryside, and the city was swollen with refugees. According to these eyewitness accounts once established in Hungary the Mongols, so our author reports, indulged in widespread, fearsome atrocities.

    "merciless slaughter" perpetrated by the "nation of the archers"

    Grigor of Akanc

    In central asia city after city was stormed, the inhabitants massacred or forced to serve as catapult fodder for the advance troops of the Mongols against their own people. Fields and farmland were laid waste, wholesale massacres of the peasantry and the Qanez irrigation systems were destroyed.

    Organization, discipline, mobility, and ruthlessness of purpose were the fundamental factors in his military successes. Massacres of defeated populations, with the resultant terror, were weapons he regularly used. His practice of summoning cities to surrender and of organizing the methodical slaughter of those who did not submit has been described as psychological warfare; but, although it was undoubtedly policy to sap resistance by fostering terror, massacre was used for its own sake. Mongol practice, especially in the war against Khwarezm, was to send agents to demoralize and divide the garrison and populace of an enemy city, mixing threats with promises. The Mongols' reputation for frightfulness often paralyzed their captives, who allowed themselves to be killed when resistance or flight was not impossible. Indeed, the Mongols were unaccountable. Resistance brought certain destruction, but at Balkh, now in Afghanistan, the population was slaughtered in spite of a prompt surrender, for tactical reasons.

    Aleppo, Sidon, Bagdad, Samarkand, Bukhara, Balkh, Merv, Nishapur, Herat, Ghazni, Qom, Zanjan, Qazvin, Hamadan, Ryazan, Belgorod, Kiev, Moscow, Kolomna, Vladimir, Suzdal, Rostov, Yaroslavl, Krakow, Sandomir and in China the list is endless and not completely known. This is by no means a complete list of the cities they destroyed, there are many others as well.

    "The evidence, suggests a catastrophic population drop which was every bit the equivalent of the worst disasters in history. Studies of the Iraqi province of Diyala, near Baghdad, indicate that this province, which probably had almost 900,000 inhabitants in the days of the Abbasids ca. 800, supported only around 60,000 persons ca. 1300 under Mongol rule. This 90% drop in population put the province back to the population levels of 1500 B.C. Apparently, less than half the land which had been cultivated in that province under the Abbasids could still be farmed in 1300. Nor was this province an isolated or extreme case. An Ottoman census of 1519 in what is modern Syria and Palestine shows fewer than 600,000 people living in an area that had a population of about 4 million in the days of the Arab Empire."


    Table 1. Population (in millions) for various regions at the beginning of 13th & 14th centuries

    Region;

    China: Mongol rule
    AD 1200:115.00
    AD 1300: 86.00
    % Change: -25.2%

    Korea: Mongol rule
    AD 1200: 4.00
    AD 1300: 3.00
    % Change: -25.0%

    Manchuria: Mongol rule
    AD 1200: 4.50
    AD 1300: 4.80
    % Change: 1.1%

    East Turkestan: Mongol rule
    AD 1200: 2.20
    AD 1300: 2.30
    % Change: 4.5%

    Iran: Mongol rule
    AD 1200: 5.00
    AD 1300: 3.50
    % Change: -30.0%

    Afghanistan: Mongol rule
    AD 1200: 2.50
    AD 1300: 1.75
    % Change: -30.0%

    Iraq: Mongol rule
    AD 1200: 1.50
    AD 1300: 1.00
    % Change: -33.3%

    Europe: Not Mongol rule
    AD 1200: 58.00
    AD 1300: 79.00
    % Change: 36.2%

    India: Not Mongol rule
    AD 1200: 86.00
    AD 1300: 91.00
    % Change: 5.8%
    Last edited by sharrukin; 04-22-2005 at 20:42.
    "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."
    -- John Stewart Mills

    But from the absolute will of an entire people there is no appeal, no redemption, no refuge but treason.
    LORD ACTON

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