The Mongols had a huge impact on medieval Europe and the Islamic world. This book provides a comprehensive survey of contacts between the Catholic West and the Mongol world-empire from the first appearance of Chinggis Khan's armies in 1221 down to the death of Tamerlane (1405) and the battle of Tannenberg (1410).
This book considers the Mongols as allies as well as conquerors; the perception of them in the West; the papal response to the threat (and opportunity) they presented; the fate of the Frankish principalities in the Holy Land in the path of the Mongol onslaught; Western European embassies and missions to the East; and the impact of the Mongols on the expanding world view of the maturing Middle Ages.
For courses in crusading history and medieval European history.
Note on transliteration
Note on proper names
Note on references
List of maps
1. Latin Christendom and its neighbours in the early thirteenth century
2. A world-empire in the making
3. The Mongol invasions of 1241-1244
4. A remedy against the Tartars
5. The halting of the Mongol advance
6. Images of the enemy
7. An ally against Islam: the Mongols in the Near East
8. From confrontation to coexistence: the Golden Horde
9. Temür (Tamerlane) and Latin Christendom
10. Mission to the infidel
11. Traders and adventurers
12. A new world discovered?
Appendix I: The authenticity of Marco Polo’s book
Appendix II: Glossary
Appendix III: Genealogical tables and lists of rulers
In the thirteenth century, a dynamic and expansive Catholic Christendom, which had been free of major attack from its steppe frontier for over two hundred years, was confronted by a new and alien power in the shape of the vast empire of the advancing Mongols.
Despite the devastation of Hungary and Poland in 1241-2 and ongoing hostilities in Eastern Europe, the advent of the Mongols appeared to offer the West new opportunities. Historically, the failure to exploit these opportunities - by not allying with the Mongols in the Near East against the Muslims, or by not converting the Mongols to Christianity - is usually blamed on the West. This book demonstrates that such possibilities were illusory.
Written in a lively and accessible style, The Mongols and The West reassesses relations between the Catholic West and the Mongols from the first appearance of Chinggis Khan's armies on Europe's horizons in 1221 to the death of Temür or Tamerlane (1405) and the battle of Tannenberg (1410), across the spheres of diplomacy, missionary endeavour and trade. In particular, it:
· evaluates the impact of Mongol-Western contacts on the West's knowledge of the world through to the voyages of Columbus and Cabot
· provides a close study of relations with the Golden Horde in Eastern Europe down to the early 15th century
· investigates Western dealings with Temür, the last 'Mongol' conqueror to figure as a potential ally against the Muslims
· re-examines the failure of the Catholic missionaries to win over the Mongols to Christianity
Peter Jackson is Professor of Medieval History at Keele University. He is editor of The Cambridge History of Iran, vol. 6: The Timurid and Safavid Periods (1986); translator and joint editor of The Mission of Friar William of Rubruck (1990); author of The Delhi Sultanate: a political and military history (1999) and of numerous articles on the Mongols, the Crusades and the eastern Islamic world in the Middle Ages.
Peter Jackson is Professor of History, University of Keele and author of many books, including 'The Delhi Sultanate: A Political and Military History' (CUP 1999).
"...an excellent addition to a distinguished series."
"...a work of careful scholarship and of well sustained arguments which challenge received opinions about the Mongol impact on Europe. I enjoyed reading it immensely, and recommend it unreservedly."
Bernard Hamilton - JRAS, Series 3 - Volume 15/3 - 2005
"Professor Peter Jackson's breadth of reading is admirable and his exact notes are full of precious information about sources and secondary literature. His command of languages is breathtaking, including as it does Persian, Polish and Hungarian."
"It is both a scholarly study and a profound and useful handbook for specialists, and, as such, this clearly written book will be read all over the world. It would also be suitable for a university course book"
Antti Ruotsala - Institute of Historical Research review, April 2006