Monthly Archives: November 2017

Hulegu Khan and Goliath’s Well, 1260

Möngke Khan died in 1259. The Mongolian procedure for selecting a new Great Khan was not an automatic succession by Möngke’s son, but a massive family gathering called a kurultai. The kurultai was usually organized with an obvious purpose by one … Continue reading

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The Fall of Baghdad, 1258

The last Caliph of Baghdad ascended to his throne in 1242. The position had been powerless for a long time during the Turkish migrations, ruling in name while the cities were virtually independent, but then a series of energetic Caliphs … Continue reading

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The Ilkhan and the Fall of Alamut, 1256

Between 1251 and 1254, Mongol armies subdued the Goryeo Kingdom of Korea, though not without drama. Under military pressure, the Korean king sent them a hostage who was supposedly his son, but it turned out to be a stepson not … Continue reading

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The Splendor of Karakorum, 1251

In 1251, the Mongol Empire went through an internal coup. Temujin’s son Ögedei had died in 1241, and his widow got their son Güyük installed as Great Khan. But when Güyük died and his widow tried to do as her mother … Continue reading

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