Monday, January 31, 2005

The Mongol Hammer

This is related to the "Barbarians" post. The Mongol empire was the largest land empire in history. None has rivaled it before or since. Most of this land was conquered by its most superb ruler and its founder, Genghis Khan. Arguably he is the most influential military figure in history. Why? First, he completely altered the demography of his empire. Cities were burned and people were massacred. These are usually highly controversial. But is anything in history completely justified by pure good? Khan completely reshaped the civilizations under him. Whole peoples were moved. One of the most important movements was the speeding up of the Turkish movement to the west. Many other impacts can be listed, and I will touch on them later. These can be categorized as impacts of destruction. However, Genghis Khan also did two things that completely changed the ideas of the world of people in Europe, and brought them together in a rather violent way with the Eastern people. Most Europeans had hardly heard of the great civilizations to the east, they were often told those places were filled with heretics, except for Prester John, who I will again mention later. When the villagers of Russia, Poland, Hungary, etc. saw the waves of Mongol horsemen riding down upon them they knew nothing would be the same. In this moment they almost literally collided with great force with the East. Now the second one has to do with the unification of the Silk Route. Unfortunately, my time is very limited, I have to go now. Follow-up will probably come on Feb. 1. See you!

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