Week 6: A Lasting Legacy

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.


  1. 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.
  2. John Man, “Epilogue,” from Kublai Khan: From Xanadu to Superpower. An eloquent end to a great biography.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.



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