Genghis Khan and Mongol Rule ( Greenwood Guides to Historuc Events of the Medieval World Series)

Hardcover (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $32.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 40%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (4) from $32.99   
  • New (3) from $57.57   
  • Used (1) from $32.99   


The Mongols are often associated with the arts of warfare and annals of horror, but a more realistic association would be their contribution to international trade and cultural exchange during the medieval age. Thematic chapters, biographical sketches, a glossary, maps, illustrations, and selected primary documents provide fresh insight on a regretfully underexamined period.

The legacy of the Mongols has often been associated with their contributions to the arts of warfare and annals of horror. A more realistic association would be their contribution to international trade and cultural exchange. Spawning an empire ranging from Persia to China, Genghis Khan united a nomadic warrior culture that had lived with their agrarian neighbors through controlled and limited extortion. It was a society whose leaders waged successful war and increased the tribe's prosperity. But the Mongols also understood it would serve their purposes to maintain commerce and agriculture, and to cultivate the arts in order that the luxuries they coveted would be all the more readily available. It was to this end that, after the first decades of destruction and rampage, the Mongols' policy changed to one of cooption and governance. The Mongols became effective cultural brokers as they forced, urged, bribed and coerced the movement of artists and artisans, scientists and scholars around their empire.

Thematic chapters provide an accessible overview of the Steppe people from which Genghis Khan emerged, and chronicle his ascent as the Great Khan, as he subdued enemies and then conquered lands to the east and west. Following are excellent overviews of the founding and cementing of Mongol rule in China—the Yuan Dynasty—and Persia, centered in Iran. A concluding chapter provides a fresh perspective of the Mongol empire and makes clear the relevance of this vast and influential period to the contemporary world. Useful endmatter for students and researchers includes sixteen biographical sketches of figures ranging from Yuan Dynasty founder Qubilai Khan to famed Italian merchant and traveler Marco Polo. A score of annotated primary documents provide immediate access to the issues of the period through the eyes of the people living through them. Five maps, an annotated timeline, a glossary and annotated bibliography and several illustrations round out this engaging and valuable resource.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

Meet the Author

GEORGE LANE, Department of History, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Dr. Lane spent twenty years seeking work, wisdom, and adventure in the Middle East and Far East, and returned to London and serious academic study in 1991, where he has been ever since. His focus is Islamic history, particularly in the Iran-Afghanistan-Central Asia regions, though more recently he has focused on relations between Iran and China during the 13th and 14th centuries. He is a contributor to The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Daily Life Through History (Greenwood, 2004), and author of Early Mongol Rule in 13th Century Iran (2003).

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Introduction : historical overview
Ch. 1 Overview of the steppes 1
Ch. 2 The fall and rise of Temujin (1167-1206) 13
Ch. 3 Chinggis Khan : the world conqueror 29
Ch. 4 China and the founding of the Yuan dynasty (1260-1370) 45
Ch. 5 The Mongols in Iran : the Il-Khanate 55
Ch. 6 History repeated 77
Ch. 7 The legacy : China and Iran 83
Biographies 101
Arghun Aqa 101
'Ata Malik Juwayni 103
Gregory bar Hebraeus Abu al-Faraj 104
Batu Khan 106
Bolad (Po-lo) Aqa 108
Ch'ang Ch'un 110
Hulegu Khan 111
The Juwayni family 113
Marco Polo 115
Quidu Khan 117
Qubilai Khan 118
Rashid al-Din al-Talib Fazlallah Hamadani 121
Jalal al-Din Rumi, Mawlana 122
Qutlugh Terkan Khatun of Kirman 125
Nasir al-Din Tusi 127
Wang Yun 128
Primary documents 131
1 A brief description of the Tatars appearance 132
2 Grigor of Akanc's history of the nation of archers 135
3 Friar Carpini and the Mongols 136
4 Chinngis Khan on wine 142
5 Chinngis Khan's spiritual adviser, Ch'ang-Ch'un 143
6 The Armenians of Cilicia, Southeast Anatolia 145
7 Vardan, a spiritual adviser to the Queen 148
8 Marco Polo at the court of Qubilai Khan 151
9 The Nerge, or chase 157
10 The hunt as witnessed by Friar Oderic 159
11 The Nerge and rubruck 161
12 The travels of the Franciscan Friar Oderic 161
13 The fall of Baghdad 165
14 The earthly paradise of the assassins 167
15 Friar Oderic of Pordenone 170
16 The death of the Caliph Musta'sim 171
17 Nasir al-Din Tusi's account of the fall of Baghdad 172
18 Kirakos and the fall of Baghdad 174
19 Grigor of Akanc's account of the fall of Baghdad 178
20 Aftermath of the siege of Baghdad 179
21 The battle of 'Ayn al-Jalut in 1260 183
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 23, 2014

    A comprehensive and engaging book covers the entire Mongol Empir

    A comprehensive and engaging book covers the entire Mongol Empire, with special attention paid to the Ilkhanate. There are three parts to the book, the first is a basic outline of the history of the Mongols, the second is a novel collection of biographies, and the third is a compilation of translated passes from primary sources. George Lane studied under David Morgan, and parts of the book read like a critical response to Morgan's own theories, so I recommend reading Morgan's The Mongols before tackling this one. The tone is dryer than Jack Weatherford's book on the Mongols, Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World, and more scholarly. It's fine for what it is, but this book is more comprehensive than the standard introductory text and may not be for students who are completely unfamiliar with the history of the Mongols

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2012

    Weak in Every Way

    This book is poorly conceived, badly written and so filled with errors of fact and interpretation that it might take another book of equal length to chronicle them all. It's a shame that the field of Mongol history attracts so many incompetent hacks (Timothy May being another one) because it is a vitally important area for study with profound implications for understanding the developmnent of the modern world. Unfortunately lame comparisons of George W. Bush to Hulegu are neither accurate nor worthwhile and serve only to encourage students to make similarly ridiculous and uninformed analogies. Dr. Lane should perhaps have spent less time adventuring and more time studying his subject.

    The problems begin in the introduction, where the author ignorantly states that there is no standard system of transliterating Chinese. In fact there has been a standard system developed in the PRC since the 1950s and regularly used in academic circles since 1980. It's called Hanyu pinyin and is quite easy to master if one takes the time. True, there are other systems (most notably Wade-Giles), but pinyin is common enough now that it's used in pretty much all academic texts. So the author's assertion that names for peoples or places changed is just wrong. It's the Xi Xia (Western Xia) George! Not that difficult...Things are made worse by the fact that Lane isn't even consistent in his rendering (often misrendering) of terms and names and jumbles up romanization systems like a confused first semester undergraduate.

    The majority of the text is based almost entirely on secondary materials and evinces barely the slightest knowledge or current debates and issues in the field. It is written at about a 10th grade level and contains more oversimplifications than your typical college level world history text. The author's knowledge of the Mongol realm outside of the Ilkhanate is weaker than if he had just read a bunch of Wikipedia articles. Consider, for example, the frequent references to the Great Wall of China, which did not exist in its present form during the Mongol era. Nor does he bother to mention the spirited debate in the academic community about the veracity of Marco Polo's story and the argument that he never in fact went to China. Coverage of the Central Asian khanates and the Golden Horde is also lacking.

    Moreover, there's nothing new at all in here about Genghis (Chinggis) Khan or Mongol rule. One would be better served reading the enjoyable popular biography by Jack Weatherford.

    The biographies at the end are only marginally useful because of their haphazrd coverage. No explanations are offered for why these individuals were selected and no gloss is provided by the author with respect to highlighting their particular significance. Academics can figure this out, of course, but students will be left scratching their heads. The same can be said for the translated primary documents at the end. While they are nice to have, more in the way of analysis and introduction would be very heplful. The annotations in the bibliography are so terse as to be useless.

    In summation, I made the mistake of trying to use this book for a college class, based on some apparently misinformed positive reviews. Don't make the same mistake!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)