For this final week, we look at how the Mongol Empire–more specifically, Genghis Khan and Khubilai Khan–left their many marks. The readings will help put a capstone on what we’ve covered so far. In class, I’ll show some examples from the ongoing importance of our two khans and the many people that surrounded them.
- Morris Rossabi, Chapters 6 and 7 from The Mongols: A Very Short History. These final chapters discuss the artistic and cultural impact of the Mongol empire and the end of the khanates. Some of it is a repeat of what you’ve read elsewhere, but it’s . . . well, very short.
- John Man, “Epilogue,” from Kublai Khan: From Xanadu to Superpower. An eloquent end to a great biography.
- Jack Weatherford, “Epilogue: The Eternal Spirit of Genghis Khan,” from Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World. A few pages concerning the present that are really about the past.
- Jack Weatherford, “The Secrets of History,” from The Secret History of the Mongol Queens. Having the final word–as we’ve seen all along–the Mongol women have a legacy no less lasting than Genghis Khan and Khubilai.
- Alex Wolfe, In the Belly of the Tatar Beast: The Mongols and the Medieval English Culinary Imagination. This is a PhD dissertation weaving together some unusual and fascinating literature about the Mongols. This is an aspect of the legacy you’ll not likely see discussed elsewhere. Take a look at his interestingly titled sections and read a couple that intrigue you. I particularly recommend the sections on sugar and tea.