Week 3: Succession, Civil War and Dissolution

The death of Genghis Khan . . . the death of the Mongol Empire?
Genghis Khan and His Successors from Rossabi
  1. Morris Rossabi, Chapter 3, from The Mongols: a Very Short Introduction. This is a succinct chapter that covers the period we’ll be talking about this week. Not to be missed.
  2. Frank McLynn, Chapters 14 & 15, from Genghis Khan: His Conquests, His Empire, His Legacy. The chapter “Ogedei,” followed by, “Administering the Mongol Empire,” will end our reading of McLynn (until Week 6). These two chapters describe what we will come to see as the end of the empire of Genghis Khan’s creation and the beginning of a divided, but still Mongol-ruled, Eurasia.
  3. Peter Jackson, “The Dissolution of the Mongol Empire.” This is a rather long, involved article (I might describe it as–horror of horrors–“academic”) but he expertly explains what happened to the new empire immediately after Genghis Khan’s death. Jackson argues that the empire, such as it was, ended with a coup by the family of Touli, the fourth son of Börte and Genghis Khan. For a true understanding of the Mongol Empire after Genghis Khan, this article is essential.
  4. Jack Weatherford, Chapter 7, from Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World. This chapter is titled “Warring Queens” and covers the same time period as Rossabi, but from a different point of view.
  5. Jack Weatherford, Chapter 5, from The Secret History of the Mongol Queens: How the Daughters of Genghis Khan Rescued His Empire. I couldn’t resist adding one more chapter. This one is titled “War Against Women” and is absolutely scandalous. You’ll love it. (I apologize for the obnoxious underlining and comments. Some people have no respect for library books.)

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