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The Mongols: A Very Short Introduction –…
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The Mongols: A Very Short Introduction (alkuperäinen julkaisuvuosi 2012; vuoden 2012 painos)

– tekijä: Morris Rossabi (Tekijä)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioKeskustelut
642316,592 (3.8)-
In the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, the Mongols carved out the largest land-based empire in world history, stretching from Korea to Russia in the north and from China to Syria in the south, and unleashing an unprecedented level of violence. But as Morris Rossabi reveals in this VeryShort Introduction, within two generations of their bloody conquests, the Mongols evolved from conquerors and predators to wise rulers who devised policies to foster the economies of the lands they had subjugated.By adopting political and economic institutions familiar to the local populations and recruiting native officials, they won over many of their non-Mongol subjects. In addition, Mongol nobles were ardent patrons of art and culture, supporting the production of Chinese porcelains and textiles, Iraniantiles and illustrated manuscripts, and Russian metalwork. Perhaps most important, the peace imposed by the Mongols on much of Asia and their promotion of trade resulted in considerable interaction among merchants, scientists, artists, and missionaries of different ethnic groups - includingEuropeans. Modern Eurasian and perhaps global history starts with the Mongol empire.… (lisätietoja)
Jäsen:lostinthecosmos
Teoksen nimi:The Mongols: A Very Short Introduction
Kirjailijat:Morris Rossabi (Tekijä)
Info:Oxford University Press (2012), Edition: 1, 160 pages
Kokoelmat:Oma kirjasto
Arvio (tähdet):
Avainsanoja:mongols, 15e

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The Mongols: A Very Short Introduction (tekijä: Morris Rossabi) (2012)

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Like all of this series, this book tries to condense a big subject into a small space. It does this admirably by outlines Mongol culture, how Chinggis Khan came to power within that culture, how he conquered large parts of Asia, what his descendants did and why it all fell apart after about a century. That's a lot to cover, so the book is necessarily light on some details.

While the section on Mongol culture provides some nice context to Chinggis Khan's rise, the actual rise was more interesting. Rossabi shows that he was a great warrior and a great leader, but he was also a clever politician and completely devoid of scruples. He would betray anyone who was in his way, yet he was still able to get people to make alliances with him. I might have been wary of him after he stabbed a few other allies in the back, but apparently Chinggis was very persuasive.

There isn't as much about Mongol warfare as I would have liked, although the author does point out that they were very flexible and more than willing to use foreigners as a source of expertise. He does show that as Chinggis's descendants settled down, most of them lost their Mongol ways and some of their battle skills. They weren't particularly good administrators and constant warfare between Mongol khanates sapped their strength. The Golden Hoard lasted the longest, but lost its dominance of Russia within a few generations of Chinggis's death.

The Mongols' biggest influences was not intentional. The first was that they tore down the existing political structures in China, the middle east and Russia. They tried to replace them, but when Mongol power faded, each area created a new empire (some tried to be like the pre-Mongol ones), but those new empires were substantially different than those that the Mongols destroyed. Also, the Mongols provided a great deal of security for the Silk Road, making it much safer than at any time in the past. The collapse of the Mongol empires undercut that security, but it had whet the appetite in the middle east and Europe for good from east Asia. To satiate that appetite, Europeans would eventually try to find a way to China and India that cut out the middle east.

This is a great introduction to the Mongols. It isn't as thorough as others, but that is a product of the enforced brevity. I highly recommend it if you want a quick start on the subject. ( )
  Scapegoats | Oct 27, 2014 |
Admit it--you know nothing about the Mongols. I'm pretty sure almost nobody does, which makes this a great edition in the VSI series. You can tell it's written by an academic in a tiny, almost ignored sub-field (i.e., the prose is occasionally awful, because you can get away with that when only 15 people read what you write); on the other hand, it's never too bad and often quite readable. There's some repetition, but nothing too annoying. And the concluding chapter on the Mongols' 'cultural' legacy is (I'm sure unintentionally) hilarious.

But for a great, short, informative read about history's largest contiguous empire, and a convincing argument that we should pay more attention to that empire and its splinters than we do, you can't beat this book. It's incredible to think about how much territory the empire covered, and how it mediated between Europe, the middle east and Asia. ( )
  stillatim | Dec 29, 2013 |
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia (2)

In the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, the Mongols carved out the largest land-based empire in world history, stretching from Korea to Russia in the north and from China to Syria in the south, and unleashing an unprecedented level of violence. But as Morris Rossabi reveals in this VeryShort Introduction, within two generations of their bloody conquests, the Mongols evolved from conquerors and predators to wise rulers who devised policies to foster the economies of the lands they had subjugated.By adopting political and economic institutions familiar to the local populations and recruiting native officials, they won over many of their non-Mongol subjects. In addition, Mongol nobles were ardent patrons of art and culture, supporting the production of Chinese porcelains and textiles, Iraniantiles and illustrated manuscripts, and Russian metalwork. Perhaps most important, the peace imposed by the Mongols on much of Asia and their promotion of trade resulted in considerable interaction among merchants, scientists, artists, and missionaries of different ethnic groups - includingEuropeans. Modern Eurasian and perhaps global history starts with the Mongol empire.

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