Nomadic Empires

Steppes are large plains, grasslands in Central Asia. Mongol tribes inhabited these regions. They shared similar language, social customs and ethnicity. Some of the Mongols were pastoralists while others were hunter-gatherers in the Siberian forests. Genghis Khan united all different tribes into a heterogeneous mass of people and created a Mongol Confederacy. He captured Bukhara in 1221, and next to be annexed was Samarqand. Batu Khan, Genghis Khan’s grandson, captured Russian lands up to Moscow. The Mongol lineages allied to invade the Chinese territories to enhance profit. The rulers of China built the Great Wall to protect from the attacks. After the Pax Mongolica(Mongol conquest), trade connections matured. The Silk Route was the busiest under the Mongols. Traders were given a pass called Gerege in Mongolia. The descendants of Tolui ruled over China and Iran. Descendants of Jochi formed the Golden Horde and ruled over the Russian Steppes. Chaghatai’s successors ruled the Steppes of Transoxiana and Turkistan. The Tolui branch of the descendants of Genghis khan recorded the family history. In 1270, the Mongols defeated the Sung Dynasty, and the grandson of Genghis Khan, Kublai Khan became a protector. Ghazan Khan was the first Mongol to convert to Islam. In 1206, Genghis Khan promulgated the Yasa (decree or order). The Yasa was used as an authoritative code of law. Genghis Khan was compared to Moses and Solomon, a lawgiver. Mongols belonged to different faiths– Shaman, Buddhist, Christian and Islam. Mongolia is recreating its identity after decades of Soviet rule. Genghis Khan is a celebrated national hero.

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