I get to stumble more and more upon the brighter side of Mongolia history during 13th and 14th centuries in spite of bad publicity of the Mongols’ as ‘barbarians’.
The author of “Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World”, Jack Weatherford states, “In the 13th century, Temujin — better known by his title, Genghis Khan ("world leader") — headed a tribal nation smaller than the workforce of Wal-Mart, yet he conquered and ruled more people than anyone in history.”
We know the fact that the Mongol Empire extended its’ dominion from Korean peninsula in the East to all the to Mediterranean costs, Eastern Europe, all of Russia and to the south to the Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and North India.
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Mongolia History records that Mongols’ policy was not to kill or to burn per se; in fact, Genghis Khan had a decree that anyone who willingly submits to the will of Blue Sky should be spared and in many cases native people were put in charge of their conquered lands.
Weatherford writes, “The Mongols spared anyone with a craft, such as carpentry, writing, pottery, weaving or metal working. They fiercely enforced religious freedom, which created an essentially secular state. In Baghdad, they gave many of the caliph's palaces to Mongol allies for more practical uses. They lowered taxes for merchants and eliminated them for religious, medical and educational professionals. They educated women along with men. For all subjects, they instituted harsh laws enforced equally under nearly incorruptible officials."
Another words, the Silk Road was safe under the Mongol Rule. He goes to write, "Under Mongol rule Christian, Muslim, Jewish and even Buddhist immigrants poured into the newly conquered Iraq to live under the Great Law of Genghis Khan. It was said that during this time a virgin could cross the length of the Mongol Empire with a pot of gold on her head and never be molested.”
The following movie is about one of the greatest Buddhist monks, descendant of Genghis Khan, who was the most noble figure of Mongolia history in 17th century. Sorry, the movie is in Mongolian language but I hope you will see part of real Mongolia.
An independent scholar, Mark Dickens states in his article “The church of the east: The rest of the story” that this was the time of the famous Pax Mongolica, the Mongol Peace, when roads could be traveled from China to Persia without fear of robbers; there was an efficient postal system throughout the Mongol Empire and numerous caravansary (hostels and inns) were constructed for the travelers who continued to travel along the Silk Road. In the wake of their brutal conquests, the Mongols proved to be extremely capable rulers who were very tolerant of other religions.”
Sadly, one of the Genghis Khan’s descendants, a fanatic Muslim Timur, who dreamed of bigger Empire than of his ancestor, brought negative image to true Mongol rule. Timur or better know as Tamer lame, he knew how to conquer but lacked the skills to rule and to build. What a contrast! Ironically, people tend to see the small dots or negative side of the story rather than the bigger and brighter picture of the whole story.
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