The Mongol Empire & the Near East


By Dr Nicholas Morton, published 2nd December 2022

In this podcast, Dr Nicholas Morton of Nottingham Trent University, looks at the rise of Chinggis Khan and the Mongol Empire and the impact it had on the civilisations of the Near East. The podcast examines some of the themes and perspectives that he covers in his book: The Mongol Storm: Making and Breaking Empires in the Medieval Near East.

You can also listen to his linked podcast on The Mongol Empire & the Near East: Consolidation and Division, 1258-1353.

1. What nations represented the major powers of the Near East one the eve of the Mongol invasions? How diverse were the communities they ruled?
2. What were relations like between these powers? How interconnected was trade and culture at this point?
3. Who was Chinggis Khan and what was he like? Was there any reason to think that his arrival meant the rise of a new major power?
4. How different was Mongol culture to the cultures they were about to invade?
5. What triggered the first invasion?
6. How and why were the Mongol forces able to conquer much of the Khwarezmian Empire so quickly? In what way did news of Khwarezmian defeats initially influence the politics of the Near East?
7. Who was Jalal al-Din? How did his arrival in the Near East disrupt the status quo?
8. How deep into Europe did the Mongol army advance? How real was the possibility of western Europe and the Byzantine Empire falling?
9. How were the Mongols able to defeat the Seljuks, the Ayyubids and the Caliphate?
10. What did this mean for the cultures they now controlled?

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