Along the Silk Roads in Mongol Eurasia: Generals, Merchants, and Intellectuals

Along the Silk Roads in Mongol Eurasia: Generals, Merchants, and Intellectuals

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During the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, Chinggis Khan and his heirs established the largest contiguous empire in the history of the world, extending from Korea to Hungary and from Iraq, Tibet, and Burma to Siberia. Ruling over roughly two thirds of the Old World, the Mongol Empire enabled people, ideas, and objects to traverse immense geographical and cultural boundaries. Along the Silk Roads in Mongol Eurasia reveals the individual stories of three key groups of people—military commanders, merchants, and intellectuals—from across Eurasia. These annotated biographies bring to the fore a compelling picture of the Mongol Empire from a wide range of historical sources in multiple languages, providing important insights into a period unique for its rapid and far-reaching transformations.
Read together or separately, they offer the perfect starting point for any discussion of the Mongol Empire’s impact on China, the Muslim world, and the West and illustrate the scale, diversity, and creativity of the cross-cultural exchange along the continental and maritime Silk Roads.

Features and Benefits:
  • Synthesizes historical information from Chinese, Arabic, Persian, and Latin sources that are otherwise inaccessible to English-speaking audiences.
  • Presents in an accessible manner individual life stories that serve as a springboard for discussing themes such as military expansion, cross-cultural contacts, migration, conversion, gender, diplomacy, transregional commercial networks, and more.
  • Each chapter includes a bibliography to assist students and instructors seeking to further explore the individuals and topics discussed.
  • Informative maps, images, and tables throughout the volume supplement each biography.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780520298750
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 07/28/2020
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 360
Sales rank: 898,370
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Michal Biran teaches Inner Asian, Chinese, and Islamic history at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Jonathan Brack teaches Middle East Studies at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.
Francesca Fiaschetti teaches Inner and East Asian History at the University of Vienna.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations xi

Acknowledgments xiii

Notes on Dates and Transliterations xv

Introduction Michal Biran Jonathan Brack Francesco Fiaschetti 1

Part 1 Generals 25

1 Guo Kan: Military Exchanges between China and the Middle East Florence Hodous 27

2 Baiju: The Mongol Conqueror at the Crossfire of Dynastic Struggle Sara Nur Yildiz 44

3 Qutulun: The Warrior Princess of Mongol Central Asia Michal Biran 64

4 Yang Tingbi: Mongol Expansion along the Maritime Silk Roads Masaki Mukai Francesca Fiaschetti 83

5 Sayf al-Din Qipchaq al-Mansuri: Defection and Ethnicity between Mongols and Mamluks Amir Mazor 102

6 Tuqtuqa and His Descendants: Cross-Regional Mobility and Political Intrigue in the Mongol Yuan Army Vered Shurany 120

Part 2 Merchants 141

7 Ja 'far Khwaja: Sayyid, Merchant, Spy, and Military Commander of Chinggis Khan Yihao Qiu 143

8 Diplomacy, Black Sea Trade, and the Mission of Baldwin of Hainaut John Giebfried 160

9 Jamal al-Din al-Tibi: The Iraqi Trader "Who Traversed Asia Matanya Gill 175

10 Tayduia: A Golden Horde Queen and Patron of Christian Merchants Szilvia Kovács 194

Part 3 Intellectuals 213

11 Rashid al-Din: Buddhism in Iran and the Mongol Silk Roads Jonathan Brack 215

12 Fu Mengzhi: "The Sage of Cathay" in Mongol Iran and Astral Sciences along the Silk Roads Yoichi Isahaya 238

13 Isa Kelemechi: A Translator Turned Envoy between Asia and Europe Hodong Kim 255

14 Padshah Khatun: An Example of Architectural, Religious, and Literary Patronage in Ilkhanid Iran Bruno De Nicola 270

15 Islamic Learning on the Silk Roads: The Career of Jalal al-Din al-Akhawi Or Amir 290

Glossary 315

Chronology 317

List of Contributors 321

Index 323

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