Culture and Conquest in Mongol Eurasia / Edition 1

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In the thirteenth century, the Mongols created a vast transcontinental empire that functioned as a cultural 'clearing house' for the Old World. Under Mongol auspices various commodities, ideologies and technologies were disseminated and displayed across Eurasia. The focus of this innovative study is the extensive exchanges between Iran and China. The Mongol rulers of these two ancient civilizations 'shared' the cultural resources of their realms with one another. The result was a lively traffic in specialist personnel and scholarly literature between East and West. These exchanges ranged from cartography to printing, from agriculture to astronomy. Unexpectedly, the principal conduit of this transmission was an obscure Mongol tribesman, Bolad Aqa, who first served Chinggisid rulers of China and was then posted to Iran where he entered into a close and productive collaboration with the famed Persian statesman and historian, Rashid al-Din. The conclusion of the work examines why the Mongols made such heavy use of sedentary scholars and specialists in the elaboration of their court culture and why they initiated so many exchanges across the Eurasian landmass. The book is informative and erudite. It crosses new scholarly boundaries in its analysis of communication and culture in the Mongol empire and promises to become a classic in the field.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This splendid work charts a maze of hitherto unlooked-for circuits and connections, identifying technical fields that warrant further investigation. Erudite, cogent, and original, it serves the Mongols well." International History Review

"This book belongs in all undergraduate and graduate school libraries; indeed, it should be in the libraries of all campuses that offer courses on world history." Choice

"...Culture and Conquest in Mongol Eurasia is a superb book and a model of accurate scholarship. All those interested in late medieval China or Iran, in the Mongol empire, or in international cross-cultural contact before European dominance will profit greatly from reading Professor Allsen's fascinating story." Islamic Studies

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521602709
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/2004
  • Series: Cambridge Studies in Islamic Civilization Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 264
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.59 (d)

Meet the Author

Thomas T. Allsen is Professor in the Department of History, The College of New Jersey, Ewing. His publications include Commodity and Exchange in the Mongol Empire: A Cultural History of Islamic Textiles (1997).

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Table of Contents

1 Introduction 3
2 Before the Mongols 8
3 Formation of the Il-qans, 1251-1265 17
4 Grand Qans and Il-qans, 1265-1295 24
5 Continuity and change under Ghazan, 1295-1304 31
6 Sultans and Grand Qans, 1304-1335 35
7 Economic ties 41
8 Overview of the relationship 51
9 Marco Polo and Po-lo 59
10 Qubilai and Bolad Aqa 63
11 Rashid al-Din and Pulad chinksank 72
12 Historiography 83
13 Geography and cartography 103
14 Agriculture 115
15 Cuisine 127
16 Medicine 141
17 Astronomy 161
18 Printing 176
19 Models and methods 189
20 Agency 193
21 Filtering 203
22 Summation 210
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