Mongol Empire Timeline

Mongol Empire Timeline


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  • c. 1162 - 1227

    Life of Genghis Khan, founder of the Mongol Empire.

  • 1205

    The Mongols attack the Jurchen Jin state in northern China.

  • 1205 - 1255

    Life of the Mongol military commander and grandson of Genghis Khan, Batu Khan.

  • 1206 - 1368

    The Mongol Empire rules in Central and East Asia.

  • 1206

    A great Mongol conference of tribal leaders (khuriltai) awards Temujin the title of Genghis Khan ('universal ruler').

  • 1206 - 1227

    Reign of Genghis Khan as the ruler of the Mongol Empire.

  • 1209

    The Mongols attack the Jurchen Jin state in northern China.

  • 1209

    The Mongols attack the Tangut state of Xi Xia.

  • 1211

    The Mongols attack the Jurchen Jin state in northern China.

  • 1212 - 1215

    The Mongols attack Song China, sacking over 90 cities.

  • 1214

    The Jurchen Jin state signs a short-lived peace treaty with the Mongol Empire and is obliged to pay tribute.

  • 1215

    The Mongols attack the Jurchen Jin state in northern China.

  • 1215

    The Mongols attack the Tangut state of Xi Xia.

  • 1215

    The Mongols sack Beijing.

  • 1218 - 1220

    The Mongols attack the Khwarazm Empire in Central Asia.

  • 1219

    A Goryeo army allies with the Mongols to attack the Khitan in northern Korea.

  • 1221

    The Mongols attack northern Afghanistan.

  • 1222

    The Mongols defeat a Russian army at Kalka.

  • c. 1227 - 1363

    The Mongol Chagatai Khanate rules in Central Asia.

  • c. 1227 - 1242

    Reign of Chagatai Khan, ruler of the Mongol Chagatai Khanate named after him.

  • 18 Aug 1227

    Death of Genghis Khan from illness.

  • 1228 - 1240

  • 1229 - 1241

    Reign of Ogedei Khan as the ruler of the Mongol Empire.

  • 1230 - 1231

    The Mongols attack the Jurchen Jin State.

  • 1231 - 1232

    Ogedei Khan leads a Mongol invasion into Korea.

  • 1233

    Kaifeng, capital of the Jurchen Jin State, falls after a lengthy siege by the Mongols.

  • 1234 - 1236

    Ogedei Khan orders a census to be conducted for tax purposes across northern China.

  • Feb 1234

    The Mongols attack and conquer the Jurchen Jin State in northern China.

  • 1235

    Ogedei Khan orders the construction of a new capital of the Mongol Empire at Karakorum, Mongolia.

  • 1235

    The Mongols invade northern Iraq and western Asia

  • 1235 - 1263

    Karakorum is capital of the Mongol Empire.

  • 1236 - 1242

    Multiple Mongol armies attack western Asia, Russia, Poland, and Hungary.

  • 21 Dec 1237

    The city of Ryazan (Riazan) is besieged and captured by the Mongols.

  • 1238

    The Mongols invade Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Armenia.

  • 7 Feb 1238

    The Mongols capture the city of Vladimir.

  • 23 Mar 1238

    The Mongols capture the city of Torshok.

  • 1240

    The Mongols sack Halych.

  • 6 Dec 1240

    The Mongols capture Kiev.

  • 9 Apr 1241

    The Mongols defeat an army led by Henry the Pious, the Duke of Silesia, near Liegnitz (Legnica).

  • 10 Apr 1241 - 11 Apr 1241

    The Mongols defeat an army led by Bela IV, king of Hungary, at the Battle of Mohi.

  • Dec 1241

    The Mongols capture Buda and Pest.

  • Dec 1241

    The Mongols capture the great city of Gran (Esztergom) in Hungary.

  • 11 Dec 1241

    Ogedei Khan, ruler of the Mongol Empire, dies at the capital Karakorum.

  • 1242

    Death of Chagatai, ruler of the Chagatai Khanate.

  • 1246 - 1248

    Reign of Guyuk Khan as ruler of the Mongol Empire.

  • 1251

    Batu Khan and the Jochid-Toluid kurultai declare Mongke Great Khan of the Mongols.

  • 1251 - 1259

    Reign of Mongke Khan, ruler of the Mongol Empire.

  • 1253 - 1255

    The Franciscan missionary and chronicler William of Rubruck visits the Mongol Empire, including the capital Karakorum.

  • 1253 - 1260

    A Mongol army led by Hulegu invades Persia and the Middle East.

  • 1256

    The Mongols defeat the Ismailis (aka the Assassins) in Persia.

  • 1257

    The Mongols invade Vietnam.

  • 1257

    The Mongols conquer the Dali kingdom in southern China.

  • 1258

    An uprising restores the monarchy in Korea and makes peace with the Mongol Empire.

  • 1258

    The Mongols conquer the Abbasid Caliphate. During this campaign there is the infamous sacking of Baghdad and murder of the caliph.

  • 11 Aug 1259

    Death of Mongke Khan, ruler of the Mongol Empire.

  • Dec 1259

    The Mongols besiege and capture Aleppo in Syria.

  • 1260 - 1294

    Reign of Kublai Khan, ruler of the Mongol Empire.

  • 1260 - 1264

    Kublai Khan fights a civil war with his brother Ariq Boke for control of the Mongol Empire.

  • 1260 - 1265

    Hulegu rules the Ilkhanate.

  • 1260 - 1335

    The Mongol Ilkhanate rules in Iran and neighbouring territories.

  • 1262

    Kublai Khan captures Karakorum after his rival nAriq Boke (1219-1266 CE) used it as his base.

  • 1263 - 1273

    Xanadu is the capital of the Mongol Empire.

  • 1265 - 1282

    Abaqa rules the Ilkhanate.

  • 1268

    Kublai Khan resumes the Mongol attacks on Song Dynasty China.

  • 1270

    Part of northern Korea is conquered by the Mongol Empire.

  • 1270

    Abaqa, ruler of the Ilkhanate, defeats Baraq, ruler of the Chagatai Khanate, at the battle of Herat.

  • 1271 - 1368

  • 1271

    The Ilkhanate signs a trade agreement with Venice.

  • 1272 - 1301

    The Mongol leader Qaidu II dominates Central Asia and nominates khans to rule the Chagatai Khanate.

  • 1273

    Xiangyang falls into Mongol hands.

  • 1273

    Abaqa, ruler of the Ilkhanate, sacks the city of Bukhara in the Chagatai Khanate.

  • 1274 - 1364

    Xanadu is the summer capital of the Mongol Empire.

  • 1275 - 1279

    The Mongols led by Kublai Khan attack and conquer the last remnants of Song China.

  • c. 1275 - 1292

  • 28 Mar 1276

    Lin'an, the capital of the Song Dynasty, is captured by a Mongol army.

  • 1277

    The Mongols/Yuan Dynasty invade Burma.

  • 1277

    The Ilkhanate defeats a Mamluk army in Lesser Armenia.

  • 19 Mar 1279

    The Mongols complete their conquest of Song Dynasty China with victory at the naval battle at Yaishan.

  • 1281

    The Mongols/Yuan Dynasty China invade Vietnam for a second time.

  • 1282 - 1284

    Ahmad Teguder rules the Ilkhanate.

  • 1284 - 1291

    Arghun rules the Ilkhanate.

  • 1286

    The Mongols/Yuan Dynasty China re-invade Vietnam.

  • 1287

    The Mongols/Yuan Dynasty China re-invade Burma.

  • Dec 1288

    The Ilkhanate agrees a trade deal with Genoa.

  • 1291 - 1295

    Gaikhatu rules the Ilkhanate.

  • 1292

    A Mongol/Yuan Dynasty naval force attacks Java.

  • 1295

    Baidu rules the Ilkhanate.

  • 1295 - 1304

    Ghazan rules the Ilkhanate.

  • 1295

    Ghazan, ruler of the Ilkhanate, converts to Islam.

  • Nov 1299

    The Ilkhanate briefly captures Mamluk-controlled Aleppo and Damascus.

  • 1303

    The Mamluks defeat an Ilkhanate army in Syria at Marj al-Suffar.

  • 1304 - 1316

    Oljeitu rules the Ilkhanate.

  • 1316 - 1335

    Abu Said rules the Ilkhanate.

  • 1322

    The Ilkhanate and Mamluk Sultanate sign a peace treaty.

  • 1335

    The Ilkhanate disintegrates into smaller states following dynastic disputes.

  • 1347 - 1363

    Tughlugh Timur rules as the last Khan of the Chagatai Khanate. Upon his death, the state disintegrates.

  • 1370

    The last Yuan Dynasty emperor, Toghon Temur (r. 1333-1368 CE), dies at Karakorum.

  • 1430

    The city of Xanadu, once the capital of the Mongol Empire, is definitively abandoned.


1911 - The Qing dynasty falls and Outer Mongolia declares its independence. Russia and the Republic of China recognise its autonomy.

1919 - The Chinese army occupies Outer Mongolia.

1920 - Mongolian revolutionaries found the Mongolian People's Party and open contact with Bolsheviks in Siberia.

1921 - With Red Army support, Mongolian revolutionaries drive out Chinese and Tsarist forces and install the Mongolian "people's government".

1924 - The People's Party chooses Lenin's "road to socialism bypassing capitalism" and renames itself the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party (MPRP). The Mongolian People's Republic is proclaimed.


Contents

Genghis Khan, through political manipulation and military might, united the nomadic, previously ever-rivaling Mongol-Turkic tribes under his rule by 1206. He quickly came into conflict with the Jin Dynasty empire of the Jurchens and the Western Xia of the Tanguts in northern China. Under the provocation of the Muslim Khwarezmid Empire, he moved into Central Asia as well, devastating Transoxiana and eastern Persia, then raiding into Kievan Rus' (a predecessor state of Russia, Belarus and Ukraine) and the Caucasus. Before dying, Genghis Khan divided his empire among his sons and immediate family, but as custom made clear, it remained the joint property of the entire imperial family who, along with the Mongol aristocracy, constituted the ruling class.

[edit] Major events in the Early Mongol Empire

  • 1206: Upon domination of Mongolia, Temüjin from the Orkhon Valley received the title Genghis Khan, thought to mean Oceanic Ruler or Firm, Resolute Ruler
  • 1207: The Mongols began operations against the Western Xia, which comprised much of northwestern China and parts of Tibet. This campaign lasted until 1210 with the Western Xia ruler submitting to Genghis Khan. During this period, the UyghurTurks also submitted peacefully to the Mongols and became valued administrators throughout the empire.
  • 1211: Genghis Khan led his armies across the Gobi desert against the Jin Dynasty of northern China.
  • 1218: The Mongols captured Zhetysu and the Tarim Basin, occupying Kashgar.
  • 1218: The execution of Mongol envoys by the Khwarezmian Shah Muhammad set in motion the first Mongol westward thrust.
  • 1219: The Mongols crossed the Jaxartes (Syr Darya) and begin their invasion of Transoxiana.
  • 1219&ndash1221: While the campaign in northern China was still in progress, the Mongols waged a war in central Asia and destroyed the Khwarezmid Empire. One notable feature was that the campaign was launched from several directions at once. In addition, it was notable for special units assigned by Genghis Khan personally to find and kill Ala al-Din Muhammad II, the Khwarazmshah who fled from them, and ultimately ended up hiding on an island in the Caspian Sea.
  • 1223: The Mongols gained a decisive victory at the Battle of the Kalka River, the first engagement between the Mongols and the East Slavic warriors.
  • 1227: Genghis Khan's death Mongol leaders returned to Mongolia for kuriltai. The empire at this point covered nearly 26 million km², about four times the size of the Roman or Macedonian Empires.
  • 1237: Under the leadership of Batu Khan, the Mongols returned to the West and began their campaign to subjugate Kievan Rus'
  • 1240: Mongols sacked Kiev.
  • 1241: Mongols defeated Hungarians and Croatians at the Battle of Sajo and Poles, Templars and Teutonic Knights at the Battle of Legnica.
  • 1241 and 1242 Mongols under Batu and Khadan invaded Bulgaria and forced them to pay annual tribute as vassal.
  • 1246 Guyuk elected as great khan.

The Rise & Fall:When Did the MongolEmpire Really Begin?

The Mongol empire starts technically in 1206, when the simple Nomad Temujin Borjigin became the great Chinggis Khaan. Is there a lot more to it?

The Mongol empire starts technically in 1206 when the simple Nomad Temujin Borjigin became the great Chinggis Khaan.

In the west, we are often taught that Temujin's rise to power was to occur through a series of personal hardships, but perhaps there is a lot more to it.

There is no doubt that Temujin was a unique character famed amongst Mongolians today for breaking the old ways at that time. He was to respect a man's strength, honour and loyalty above the old tribal solidarity.

As the Mongolians of old kept no written records, it is challenging to know all of the facts from this period. Many of the sources from this time have come from the conquered and defeated, meaning the history we have is none too favourable.

The Secret History of the Mongols is the oldest surviving written Mongolian literature it document's the life of Chengis Khan written shortly after his death.

Young Temujin was to have a tough start in life his father poisoned by the Tatars after which his tribe was to expel him and his immediate family. Temujin and his family lived in poverty for several years looked after by his mother as they survived off the land.

All of these hardships were to help teach Temujin important values for use later in his life. These lessons would become even more critical at a time when tribal unity across the steppe had all but collapsed, and corruption and revenge seemed to rule.

Temujin's roots did help, however, as he not only came from a powerful tribe but could claim noble origins, this, of course, would help with future tribal alliances.

Birth of the Mongol Empire

In 1206 Temujin was to become Chinggis Khaan, the great Khan of the Mongols, succeeding where many before had failed.

He had destroyed whole tribes his enemies defeated, the Tatars, the Kereit, Tai-chiut and the Nalman all gone. The secret histories of the Mongols describe it best "And their entire race was scattered like ashes".

Chinggis had now rallied to his side all the dispersed Mongol and Turkish tribes unifying the Mongol peoples under one banner.

His next aim was to conquer all known lands under the sky.

From his coronation in 1206 the Mongol empire was to begin its expansion. A serious of bloody invasions sweeping out over northern China, laying siege to and eventually taking Beijing. Following this bold move, the Mongol empire was to sweep into Central Asia swallowing Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, and most of Iran.

The Mongolians were to follow up their victories across central Asia by crossing into the Caucasus defeating the Russians and then Turks in the Crimea.

The seemingly invincible march onwards was all to pause in around 1227 as the mighty Chinggis Khaan was to pass away.

Contra to popular belief, it didn't mean that all Mongolians returned home and the advantage lost. For many historians, this merely marked the end of the first phase of the Mongolian Empire.

Consolidation of the Mongol Empire

Ogodei was not only the third son of Chinggis Khan but his favourite and named successor, which made the transition to Khan relatively easy. After much pomp and ceremony, it wasn't long before Ogodei was to continue the family plan of world empire building. The unfinished conquest of North China (1229-1234) completed with the destruction of the Jin dynasty.

The conquest of western Iran and occupied Armenia and Georgia (1230-1231) was also closed. Ogodei was also to launch a series of campaigns into Russia (1237-1240), subjecting the numerous Russian principalities. He was to destroy the Turkish kingdom of Greater Bulgaria and quell possible unrest in Korea eventually conquering the country in 1241. It was then Ogodei who ordered his unstoppable armies into Poland and Hungary. Through advanced tactics, the Mongolians were to dispose of Duke Silesia and 25,000 polish soldiers at Liegnitz.

At around the same time, Ogodei's Army was also to put an end to Hungarian resistance at Mohi with the loss of around 65,000 men. The actual plans of the Mongolian Army can never be known, Vienna may have beckoned, but all bets were off as late in 1241 due to alcoholic excesses Ogodei Khan died.

The Death of Ogodei was to cause upheaval amongst Mongolians as no strong successor was supported. The armies were pulled back from battlefronts, and Europe was to experience its Pax Mongolica. All wasn't as tumultuous as history books may have us believe as still during this period, even with two khans in short succession Mongolia was to grow.

Tibet was to submit to the mightly Mongol Empire as in turn. The Mongolian Army Sacked Baghdad, pushed through China reaching the borders of Vietnam as if that weren't enough further campaigns in Lithuania and Poland followed.

Marco Polo was to call the next great Khan "the most powerful possessor of people, treasures and lands that have ever been".

Kubilai Khan, the Grandson of Chinggis Khaan, was heir to an already astounding empire reaching from the Yellow River to the Danube, from Siberia to the Persian Gulf. Kubilai was to centralize his capital to Beijing in China, thus founding the Mongol Yuan dynasty. Kubilai Khan not only conquered China but moved on Vietnam, Sakhalin, Burma and Champa.

As he began to lose the respect of Mongolians in his homeland, the Mongolian war machine faltered. Mongol invasions of Japan, Vietnam and Java all failed.

It wasn't all bad news though as many people look at this period as the golden age of the Mongol empire, the commercial trade and intellectual exchange between East and West were as its peak.

The silk road was running with little trouble sharing riches between east and west.

The Decline of the Mongol Empire

With the death of Kubilai in 1294 and continuing civil war across the Mongol Empire, Mongolian dominance was to decline.

The leaders of the Yuan dynasty were to still to be known as Khan's of the Mongol empire although it was now only a nominal title as the Mongol Empire was to splinter with the Yuan empire falling in 1368.

Many Mongolians slowly melted back to their old territory living as they always had done by Ger and herd.


Greatest Empires in the History of the World

Numerous empires in the history of the world have shaped the modern world in more ways than we can imagine. This article describes some of the largest, most powerful, and most influential empires in world history.

Numerous empires in the history of the world have shaped the modern world in more ways than we can imagine. This article describes some of the largest, most powerful, and most influential empires in world history.

Did You Know?
The first empire in the world, the Akkadian Empire, flourished in Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq). It was established in the 3rd century BC, and carried on for more than a hundred years.

Before the onslaught of nationalist movements all over the world in the 19th and 20th century, imperialism was virtually the only mode of governance in the world. In the race to establish global supremacy, European heavyweights such as Britain, Spain, France, and Portugal, spread out in every direction, claiming newfound lands in the name of their Emperor, and adding precious volume to their nation’s maps and coffers.

Even before the medieval European rush, there had been many vast, prosperous, and mighty empires in human history. Some, such as the Mongol Empire, are remembered for the sheer ruthlessness of their expansion some, such as the Achaemenid and Maurya Empires, are remembered for the prosperity and peace they managed to establish and some, such as the Roman and the Spanish Empires, are remembered for their seminal contributions to modern culture.

This is a list of the greatest empires in the history of the world, based primarily on these three criteria.

NOTE: The depictions of empires are anachronous, and include all territories ever held by the relevant nation. The sizes of the empires have been rounded off, since perfect measurement of ancient empires is impossible.

Strongest Era: 19th and 20th Century
Land Area: 33 million sq. km.

The largest empire in human history, the humungous British Empire spanned all 6 habitable continents, as well as the British Antarctic Territory. Due to its size and importance, the sun famously never set on it, both allegorically, signifying its everlasting strength, and practically, because it would always be daytime in at least one of its territories.

The British Empire can be divided in two distinct eras. The first was when Britain was focused on America, and was battling Spain and France for the domination of the two western continents. After the USA became independent in 1783, having first declared independence in 1776, Britain focused on Asia, Africa, and Australia. After Britain quelled the first Indian Rebellion in 1857, the Asian nation became the jewel in Britain’s imperial crown, while their influence in Africa grew without respite. At its height in the 1920s, Britain controlled almost the entire world through military and economic strategy.

After the Second World War, an increasingly strong nationalist movement forced British Prime Minister Clement Attlee to concede its main asset, the Indian subcontinent. The 1950s and 󈨀s also saw the decolonization of Africa. The British left lasting imprints on their territories, including numerous social and technological advancements, and the English language, which is now considered the language of the world.

Strongest Era: 13th Century
Land Area: 33 million sq. km.

The largest contiguous empire ever created by mankind was borne out of one man’s furious desire to conquer the world. Genghis Khan, born as Temujin, stretched the borders of Mongolia to the Mediterranean, creating an unbroken link from the Pacific to the Mediterranean (and thus the Atlantic), and violently conquered the flourishing kingdoms in China, Korea, Persia, and Russia in the process.

The nomadic Mongol hordes relied on their lightning-fast cavalry attacks, developing a terrible reputation after their victory over the strong Persian Empire. Their march to Europe didn’t just etch Genghis Khan’s name in history, but also helped transmit Asian technology to Europe, chief among which was the Chinese invention of gunpowder.

After Genghis Khan’s death, the empire was divided among his sons. The factions couldn’t survive for long without the fierce vision of the Great Khan, but yielded considerable power over Eurasia for a number of years.

Strongest Era: 19th Century
Land Area: 23 million sq. km.

The Tsardom of Russia, renamed as the Russian Empire by Peter the Great, stretched from eastern Europe to Alaska. It is the second-largest contiguous empire in history, and third overall.

It was reduced in 1867, when Alaska was sold to the USA. It became a constitutional monarchy after the 1905 Russian Revolution, and eventually became the Soviet Union after the second Russian Revolution in 1917. Russia, the principal nation of the Soviet Union, is the largest country in the world.

Strongest Era: 17th-18th Century
Land Area: 20 million sq. km.

The first truly global empire, the Spanish Empire was the original land of the eternal sunshine. In its heyday, Spain held South America’s entire Western seaboard, continuing on into North America up to present-day California, Florida, Philippines, and numerous small colonies in Africa.

By the end of the 19th century, Spain was a shattered reflection of its glorious past. Its South and Central American colonies had become independent, and Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines had been taken over by the US. Only its African colonies remained, the last of which was liberated in 1975.

The Spanish Empire’s success introduced the Americas to Christianity, and also promoted the Spanish language. Spanish is now the second-most widely spoken mother tongue in the world, and the third-most widely spoken language. Christianity is now the major religion on both American continents.

Strongest Era: 8th Century
Land Area: 15 million sq. km.

The Umayyad Caliphate created the largest empire the world had ever seen, stretching from Persia, to Andalucia, through North Africa.

Despite their Islamic origin, the Umayyad Caliphate is said to have twisted and bent the tenets of Islam to their benefit. They converted a religious institution (the caliphate) into a dynastic, tyrannical empire. This is best explained by the Umayyad rulers’ referring to themselves as ‘deputies of God’, rather than the traditional (and humbler) ‘successors of the messenger of God’.

Umayyad rule raised the popularity of the Arabic language, and they were also responsible for some famous constructions, such as the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem. Their rule initiated the dominance of Islam in North Africa, seen even today.

Strongest Era: 18th Century
Land Area: 15 million sq. km.

The Qing Dynasty comprised the last emperors of China. This dynasty was formed by the Aisin Gioro tribe of Jurchen people in Manchuria. The tribe formed an alliance with the divided – but still powerful – Mongol tribes in the west, and united Jurchen clans to create a united Manchu political entity. The confederation overpowered the ruling Ming Dynasty in the mid-17th century.

The Manchu Qing Dynasty was successful in mixing the Han-dominated population with the united Manchu people. It was overthrown in 1912, and was replaced by the Republic of China.

Strongest Era: 14th Century
Land Area: 14 million sq. km.

The Yuan Dynasty was formed by Kublai Khan, a grandson of Genghis Khan. This dynasty was the link between the divided and weakened Mongol forces in the rest of Asia, and the imperial system of governance that would continue in China until 1912. It is considered a successor of the 13th-century Mongol Empire, as well as the first royal dynasty of China.

Kublai Khan’s rule was popularized in Europe by the annals of the famous traveler Marco Polo. Kublai Khan was a smart ruler, bringing back the old Chinese system of royal governance, with modifications that made him an absolute monarch. He was a supporter of the exchange of mercantile and technology between the Orient and Europe, and strongly backed the Silk Road. The Yuan Dynasty, notably, was the first Chinese dynasty to use paper notes as the main form of currency.

The dynasty was plagued by infighting as well as discontent among the populace after Kublai Khan’s death, and were usurped by the Ming Dynasty. The Yuan, meanwhile, emigrated to Mongolia, and became known as the Northern Yuan Dynasty.

Strongest Era: 19th Century
Land Area: 13 million sq. km.

The French Colonial Empire was one of the largest empires in the world at its height, only being hindered first by Spain’s and then Britain’s dominance.

In its first era, France established colonies in North America, India, and the Caribbean, in response to the increasing British influence in the same regions. Thanks to diplomatic ties with the First Nations, France was able to extend a web of influence far beyond their actual territory of Eastern Canada and Louisiana (central North America). After the Napoleonic Wars, France was left with little colonial hold on either American continent, and joined the ‘Scramble for Africa’. The second era of the French Colonial Empire consisted of their large North and sub-Saharan African colonies, Madagascar, small colonies in India, Indochina, and French Guiana which remains an overseas region of France.

Many French colonies were occupied by Axis powers in the Second World War, but were restored afterwards. France was involved in two fierce wars over decolonization, the First Indochina War and the Algerian War. Both regions eventually became independent.

Like the British and Spanish Empires, the large spread of the French Empire helped the French language spread beyond Europe. Today, French is spoken by a significant percentage of the population in Canada, Gabon, Senegal, Algeria, Mauritius, Ivory Coast, etc.

Strongest Era: 16th Century
Land Area: 10.5 million sq. km.

The Portuguese Empire was the very first intercontinental empire in the world. The empire depended largely on Brazil, which even served as the seat of administration of the empire when Napoleon entered Portugal itself. The empire was crippled by Brazil gaining independence in 1825, and turned to Africa as the only other option. In this second era, the Portuguese didn’t call their enterprise an ’empire’, but a ‘pluricontinental nation’. Its African territories, namely Angola, Mozambique, and Benin, were freed in 1975.

Despite being the first Europeans to arrive in the lucrative land of India, Portugal was never the most dominant power in India, and were kept in check first by the Maratha Empire, and then by Britain. Even so, Portugal retained the territory of Goa until 1961, when it was reclaimed through military action by India.

Largely due to Brazil’s large population, Portuguese is among the most-spoken languages in the world, and both Angola and Mozambique have Portuguese as their official language.

Strongest Era: 5th Century BC
Land Area: 8 million sq. km.

The Achaemenid Empire, or the Persian Empire, was the largest empire in history at the time, and lay across three continents – Asia, Africa, and Europe. It was established in the 6th century BC by Cyrus the Great, and prospered till the reign of Darius III in the 4th century BC, when it was defeated and assimilated by the Alexander-led Macedonian Empire.

At its height in the 5th century BC, the Achaemenid Empire housed 44% of the world’s population, the largest percentage of any empire in human history.

Strongest Era: 7th Century
Land Area: 6.5 million sq. km.

The Sassanids, which flourished in the same period as the Romans, was the major power in Caucasus and western Asia. Stretching from Egypt to the outskirts of India, the Sassanids were an important cultural bridge between Europe and the Orient, and were vital in the development of medieval art.

The prosperous empire was defeated and assimilated into the Abbasid Caliphate within 5 years, 632 – 637 AD. The population wasn’t forced to convert to Islam, but gradually accepted it, as the Islamic Caliphate began to exert more influence.

Strongest Era: 2nd Century
Land Area: 6.5 million sq. km.

Centered around the Mediterranean Sea, the Roman Empire became the strongest power in Europe and western Asia. Before its division into the East and West Roman Empires, the unified Roman Empire, under Trajan, stretched from Portugal to Mesopotamia, and from Britain to Egypt.

After the division, the Eastern Roman Empire, better known as the Byzantine Empire, flourished for another 1,000 years, before finally collapsing after the fall of Constantinople in 1453.

The Roman Empire arguably had the most impact on modern culture when compared to contemporaneous empires. Roman law was adapted and adopted in many countries, while Roman art and architecture, which influenced centuries of artistic evolution, is still popular.

Strongest Era: 3rd Century BC
Land Area: 6 million sq. km.

The Maurya Empire is the largest empire in the history of the Indian subcontinent, and was one of the largest and most powerful in the world at the time. Founded by Chandragupta Maurya, it was expanded by Bimbisara and Ashoka the Great, before collapsing after the latter’s reign.

At its peak, the Maurya Empire had a population of 68 million – more than 43% of the global population at the time.

The Mauryan Empire – Emperor Ashoka in particular – played an important role in the spread of Buddhism across Asia. Saddened by the gore and violence in the Kalinga War, Ashoka the Great embraced Buddhism, and sent Buddhist emissaries to all major kingdoms in Asia, as well as some in Europe.

Strongest Era: 4th Century BC
Land Area: 5 million sq. km.

Despite the association of the Macedonian Empire with Alexander the Great, its rise actually began with Alexander’s father, Philip II. He defeated Macedon’s local enemies, a coalition of various Greek city-states, consolidating Macedon’s position in the region, and laying the groundwork for Alexander’s famous march into Asia.

Under Alexander, the Macedonian army conquered Egypt, founding the city of Alexandria in the process, and defeated the impregnable, and numerically superior, Persian army. They conquered various kingdoms on the outskirts of India, but were forced to retreat due to the soldiers being tired and homesick. After Alexander’s death, various regional heads of his empire, called satraps, rebelled against the central Macedonian powers, and declared independence. These fiefdoms were later conquered by the Parthian Empire and the Maurya Empire.

Strongest Era: 17th Century
Land Area: 5 million sq. km.

The history of the Mughal Empire is inextricably linked to the history of India. The empire’s founder, Babur Begh, was a descendant of Timur and Genghis Khan, and ruled the Farghana (Fergana) region in Uzbekistan. After being driven out by treacherous relatives and soldiers in the early 1500s, he came to India, where he beat Ibrahim Lodi in the first battle of Panipat, and established Mughal rule in Delhi and Agra.

The Empire was expanded by a succession of rulers, viz. Humayun, Akbar, Jahangir, Shah Jahan, and Aurangzeb. It reached its zenith under Aurangzeb, stretching from Central Asian plateaus to Assam and Bengal. After Aurangzeb’s death, the Mughal Empire was overrun by the Maratha Empire, who conquered much of India, and was ended after the 1857 Indian Rebellion at the hands of the British.

The Mughal style of architecture, art, and cuisine was crafted through a mutually beneficial cultural exchange with Indian traditions. Traditional Indian music underwent a stunning metamorphosis and assumed its present form, many famous Indian architectural landmarks were constructed in the Mughal period, and Mughlai-Indian cuisine, including the universally popular chicken tikka masala and tandoori chicken, is an evergreen favorite all over the world.

These were 15 of the greatest empires ever. All of these left indelible footprints on the sands of time, and influenced history in more ways than one can imagine.


Weapons [ edit | edit source ]

Military technology in the Mongol Empire has seen even slower development than many other technologies since Pax Mongolica. The fact that there were no other competing empires once the Incan Empire capitulated meant that there was very little need for development of new military technology except in suppressing rebellions, which usually requires a completely different strategy.

As a result the most advanced weapon available in the Mongol Empire is the rifle, which is often used by the foot soldiers who police the cities and keep order in the empire. Most other weapons are taken from ancient Chinese designs which have remained unchanged for thousands of years.


Clothing [ edit | edit source ]

Photograph of buildings in Bombay, India, 1380SH

Though the well known face of the Mongol Empire continues to be the distinctive red and blue uniform of the Mongol soldier (which has remained unchanged for many centuries), there are also Mongol nobles and officials who continue to wear traditional Mongol clothing. This is made up of a padded san (jacket made of quilting) covered by a long fur coat green and brown being predominant colours, with some gold-coloured decoration. However, this type of clothing is most suited for the cold conditions present on the steppes of Mongolia, and other forms of clothing have come about over the years.

Simple clothing made of brightly-coloured woven cloth, a form of dress associated with the Incans, has become popular in many Khanates for its good look, low cost and ease of use a Mongol fur coat can be worn in cold conditions and an Arabian head-dress can be worn to protect against the sun in hot conditions. Despite this, clothing that ranges from togas to suits is still a common sight right across the empire. 


Mongol Empire Timeline - History

The Mongols gave strong support to the peasants and peasant economy of China, believing that the success of the peasant economy would bring in additional tax revenues and ultimately benefit the Mongols themselves.

Relief measures — including tax remissions, as well as granaries for the storage of surplus grain — were thus provided for peasant farmers in North China, in the areas that had been devastated during the war between the Mongols and the Chinese. And early in their reign, in 1262, the Mongols prohibited the nomads' animals from roaming in the farmlands and thereby undermining the peasant economy.

The Mongols also sought to help the peasants organize themselves and initiated a cooperative rural organization — a self-help organization comprising about 50 households under the direction of a village leader.

These rural cooperatives had as their principle purpose the stimulation of agricultural production and the promotion of land reclamation. The village/cooperative leader had the task of guiding and helping his organization through everything from farming, planting trees, and opening up barren areas, to improving measures for flood control and increasing silk production. In addition, the cooperatives conducted a periodic census and assisted in surveillance over recalcitrant Chinese and other possible saboteurs of Mongol rule. They also served as a kind of charity granary to assist the unfortunate during poor harvests or droughts, providing food and other supplies to orphans, widows, and the elderly.

The Mongols also devised a fixed system of taxation for the peasants. Rather than having to anticipate unpredictable and extraordinary levies, as in the past system they had much resented, peasants under the Mongol system could know exactly how much would be required of them.

Perhaps the one area in which the Mongols did not much take into account the interests of the peasantry was labor obligations. During their rule the Mongols embarked on a series of extraordinary public works projects throughout China, including the extension of the Grand Canal to Daidu (present-day Beijing), a vast postal-station system, and the building of a capital city in Daidu. All these projects required vast investments of labor, and most of this labor was recruited from the peasantry. This policy became one that generated much animosity from the peasant ranks. [Also see The Beginnings of Mongol Collapse: Public Works Failures]

→ NEXT: Artisan Life Under Mongol Rule

Autumn Colors on the Ch'iao and Hua Mountains by Zhao Mengfu (1254-1322), National Palace Museum, Taipei


Silk Road Art

Glimpses of the Silk Road Exhibition

The Silk Road Virtual Art Exhibit

Luxury Arts of the Silk Road

Silk Road Art of the Sogdians

Silk Road Art: Horses and Camels

Nomad Camp, Siyah Qalum, 15 th century,

Dancing Demons, Siyah Qalum, 15 th century

Hunters on Horseback, Siyah Qalum, 15 th century

Lion and Bull About to Engage in Combat, Siyah Qalum, 15 th century

Combat Between Two Fabulous Creatures, Siyah Qalum, 15 th century

Conversation Scene, Siyah Qalum, 15 th century

Two Daoist Immortals, Siyah Qalum, 15 th century, Sarai Collection

Monks and Merchants: Silk Road Treasures from Northwest China

Early Portrait Painting in Tibet

The Silver Jug of Lhasa Jokhang: Central Asian Influences on Tibetan Empire Art, 7 th - 9 th century


23 Interesting Facts About The Mongol Empire

On going back to History, around late 13th and early 14th century, we would come to know that there lied a vast empire of Mongols. An empire that stretched from North-east Asia to as far as Eastern Europe. When Genghis Khan rose to power in 1206, he sowed the seeds of the Mongol Era. Due to their united policies and ruthless wars, Mongols became able to control such an enormous area of land. Reaching the pinnacle in the 14th century, Mongols seized and annexed a number of other great empires in Asia and Europe. To know more, let us know some more interesting facts about the second largest empire in the World: Mongol Empire.

1. One Of The Largest In The World

Mongol Empire at its largest extent in the early 14th century

After the British Empire, the Mongol Empire was the largest Empire in the World. It was the largest contiguous empire in the world. During the time of its largest extent, it covered a vast area of 9.3 square miles or 23 million square km about 16.11% of the total land area of the World.
Source: britannica.com, Image: Wikimedia

2. They Were Nomads

As long as, Mongolian Empire existed, Mongols remained nomads. They used to wander in the search for food and shelter.
Source: britannica.com

3. Who Founded It?

Portrait of Genghis Khan with his army during the Battle of Zhongdu, 1213

Around 1162 AD, Genghis Khan was born as Temujin. His family was poor and struggled to survive. He was captured by a rival tribe and imprisoned, however, he managed to escape and hid in a river crevice. From 1178 to 1206, he united many nomadic tribes of Mongolian plateau in northeast Asia and ultimately founded the empire in 1206 AD.
Source: historyonthenet.com, Image: Wikimedia

4. As Solid As Iron

Genghis Khan spent his childhood on the cold plains of Mongolia. He was known as Temujin in his childhood. Temujin in English means “iron.” Genghis Khan had four sons Ogedei, Tolui, Chagatai and Jochi. Kublai Khan was Tolui’s son who was another great Mongolian ruler.
Source: ipfactly.com, Image: Wikimedia

5. Early Expeditions

Equestrian Statue of Genghis Khan in Mongolia

From 1207 to 1210 AD, Mongols carried out wars against the Western Xia which ruled northwest China and some parts of Tibet. The Xia surrendered to Genghis in 1210. In 1211 Genghis and his army crossed the Gobi Desert and fought against the Jin Dynasty in northern China. In 1215 AD, Mongols conquered Zhongdu, the capital Jin Dynasty.
Source: historyonthenet.com, Image: Pixabay

6. Skilled Warriors

Mongols were excellent horse-riders, swimmers, archers, swordsmen, spear-hunters, etc. Due to their great soldiership, they had a fearsome reputation at that time.
Source: listverse.com, Image: Pixabay

7. They Were Merciless

Mongols were notoriously renowned for their ruthless nature in the battle. Wherever they went, they destroyed everything and mercilessly murdered people to conquer the kingdoms.
Source: listverse.com

8. Successful Campaigns

Portrait of Mongol Warriors

In 1219 AD, Genghis Khan and his army started campaigning against Transoxiana (Now Central Asia). In 1221 AD, Mongols destroyed Khwarezmid Empire. They attacked the Kingdom of Georgia and won it in 1223 AD. When Genghis Khan died in 1227 AD, his son Ogedei Khan acceded to the throne and in 1235 AD, he constructed the capital city of Karakorum, which is now situated in Mongolia.
Source: historyonthenet.com, Image: Pixabay

9. Mongol King Of India

First Mughal Emperor Babur hailed from the Barlas tribe, which was of Mongol origin.
Source: Wikipedia

10. Spread Out To Horizon

Between 1236 to 1260 AD, Mongols invaded and defeated Korea and Song Dynasty of China and meanwhile, they defeated the small kingdoms in the regions of Armenia, Georgia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Vietnam, Syria, Egyptian Mamluks, etc. In the late 13th and the early 14th century, they attacked Delhi Sultanate several times but did not achieve considerable success.
Source: historyonthenet.com

11. Master Of Strategies

Mongols were masters of strategies. During the time of battle, they made a perfect strategy to conquer other kingdoms and most of the time, their strategies paid off. Their important step in the battle was to encircle and trigger the fear in the mind of the enemy.
Source: factinate.com

12. Excellent Warriors

Mongols evolved in Eurasian steppes and mountains. They were born in harsh climate varying from very hot to very cold. In childhood, they were taught all war skills by their parents. These all are reasons behind their success in creating a huge empire in Eurasia.
Source: factinate.com, Image: Pixabay

13. Empire Based On Brutality

According to the Guardian report, Genghis Khan and his army killed an estimated 40 million people during their war campaigns. Mongols were afraid of being taken over, so they exterminated many races across Eurasia.
Source: theguardian.com

14. War Of Succession

After the death of Ögedei Khan in 1241 AD, the war of succession started among his family members. Ögedei’s widow wife Töregene Khatun took control of the empire and ruled over five years. At that time, she was the most powerful lady in the world.
Source: unusualhistoricals.blogspot.com

15. Rule Of Kublai Khan

Kublai Khan was the grandson of Genghis Khan who founded Yuan Dynasty and reigned between 1260 AD and 1294 AD. In 1269 AD, he founded the Mongolian language school. The great traveler and explorer, Marco Polo came to his court in the 1270s. He unsuccessfully invaded Japan two times in 1274 and 1281 AD. Temur was his grandson who succeeded him as the next Yuan Emperor and the Great Mongol Khan.
Source: Wikipedia, Image: abcnews.go.com

16. Poem Of Samuel Taylor

In 1797, a renowned English poet and composer, Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote a famous poem titled “Kubla Khan” in the honor of Kublai Khan.
Source: ipfactly.com, Image: Wikimedia

17. The Title “Khan”

The supreme ruler was called “Khan.” This name came from the Turkic empires of 552-734 AD, who were ruled by the ruler called “khaqan.”
Source: factinate.com

18. Law Of Yassa

There was a written law in the Mongolian Society, called “Yassa” which was written by Tatatungo, one of Genghis Khan’s most loyal advisors. Its purpose was to maintain peace and order among Mongols.
Source: ipfactly.com

19. Bit The Dust In The Battle Of Marj al-Saffar

Mamluks of the Middle-east defeated Mongols in the battle of Marj al-Saffar in 1303 AD and caused them to leave Syria.
Source: historyonthenet.com

20. Ruthless Cum Religious

Despite ruthlessness, Mongols were religious. Initially, they believed in Tengrism and Shamanism (Central Asian Religions), however, later, they converted into Buddhism and Islam.
Source: Wikipedia, Image: Wikimedia

21. Conversion To Islam

Golden Horde Map in Dark Yellow

The Northwest part of the Mongol Empire was called ‘Golden Horde.’ The people of the Golden Horde converted to Islam in 1315 AD.
Source: historyonthenet.com, Image: globalsecurity.org

22. Art And Architecture

Miaoying Temple or White Stupa of Dadu or Beijing was constructed in the Mongol Empire


1450-1750 Timeline

Not Holy, Not Roman, Not Empire's Holy Roman Empire. Under the Peace of Augsburg, the empire became even more fragmented due to each germanic princes wishing to choose their religion of desire, which changed constantly. Charles V was unable to unify it and faced obstacles of Protestant, Catholic, and other religious reason of separation.

Ottoman

Found by Osman, large territorial expansion in the Middle East, encompassing most of the Islamic world and even the European world. Muslim Turkics. Jerusalem and Constantinople fell to Ottoman (renamed Istanbul). Engulfs the Byzantium Empire. Christians even encouraged Ottomans for their taxes were lighter.

France

After the Black Death, the French recovered slowly recovered. Colonies begin to flock to the Northern Americas, domination fur trade and the river systems. Grows wealthy on furs which were referred to as soft gold. Fragments due to Protestant Reformation and dominates with Absolute Monarchy.

After restoring power from the Mongol empire of Yuan, the Ming rejected much of the Mongolian practices yet secretly kept the beneficial customs of government and such. Promoted Confucianism and created Encyclopedia to record history. Sent out large naval forces to find tribute states but was canceled due to "lack of profit" and other attention for the Mongols.


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