MONGOLS, a group of tribes from the eastern Eurasian steppe, north of China, which were welded by Genghis   (Chinggis) Khan in the late 12th and early 13th centuries into a state that created the largest land-based empire in history. Mongol successor states ruled much of Eurasia well into the 14th century, and smaller states of Mongol provenance ruled more restricted areas even longer. In contemporary sources, the Mongols are often referred to as Tatars/Tartars, and modern day Tatars, although speaking Turkic languages, are of at least partial Mongol descent. The Mongols touched upon and influenced the history of the Jews in Central and Eastern Europe as well as the Islamic world. At the beginning of 1260 Mongol forces invaded syria , and their raiders reached as far as jerusalem , hebron , and gaza . A report of the arrival of the Mongols in Jerusalem and their depredations in the area is found in the famous letter of Naḥmanides to his son from 1267. Mongol advanced forces, however, were defeated by the mamluks at the battle of ʿAyn Jalut in northern palestine in August 1260, and the Euphrates River became the frontier between the two hostile states. Mongol raiders again reached Palestine, including Jerusalem, in 1300 after their defeat of the Mamluks near Homs at the end of 1299. In Western Asia, including the Middle East, Central Asia, and Eastern Europe the Mongols eventually underwent a double process of Islamization and Turkification, i.e., conversion to Islam and the replacement of Mongolian by Turkish, the language of many of their soldiers and officers. The Mongols played an important role in world history, not the least in facilitating cultural contact between east and west Asia, as well as creating the conditions by which western Europe learned about China and East Asia, thereby contributing to European seaborne expansion. Latin Christian writers, such as Matthew of Paris, saw them as descendants of the Ten Tribes. Some Jews themselves in Central and Eastern Europe appear to have harbored messianic expectations of the Mongol advance, which combined with a desire for revenge against the Christians. Again, Matthew of Paris saw the Jews as encouraging and abetting the Mongols. This perceived "cooperation," together with a more concrete understanding of a contemporary messianic upsurge among the Jews, may have contributed to increased antisemitic feelings among Christians. The situation of the Jews in the Islamic countries conquered and ruled by the Mongols appears to have dramatically improved. Jews, as well as Christians, enjoyed relative religious freedom and the restrictive laws derived from the so-called covenant of omar were abolished for several decades. The activity of the free-thinking Jewish philosopher and scholar of comparative religion Ibn Kammūna (d. 1285) in baghdad can be attributed to some degree to the relatively tolerant atmosphere in the realm of religion introduced by the Mongols. One prominent Jewish personality was Saʿd al-Dawla, who rose to become the wazir of the Ilkhan Arghun in 1289. His efficiency in raising funds is noted in the sources, as are the many enemies that he made. His being a Jew certainly exacerbated the dissatisfaction with him. He was removed and executed in 1291 when his patron was on his deathbed. Another important individual of Jewish origin, albeit one who converted to Islam, was Rashīd al-Dīn (al-Dawla) al-Hamadānī, who served as the co-wazir to three Ilkhans until his final dismissal and execution in 1318. Besides his success as a senior bureaucrat, Rashīd al-Dīn has gained fame as the author of the great historical work, Jāmiʿ al-Tawārīkh ("Collection of Chronicles") written in Persian, although some parts have come down to us in Arabic. Not only is this the most important extant source on Mongol history, it is perhaps the earliest attempt at writing a comprehensive history of humankind. This may reflect the open atmosphere prevalent under the Mongols, the communication between all of Asia, and the fact that Rashīd al-Dīn himself was living on a frontier of two cultures. In any event, his Jewish origins were not forgotten. After his death, his head was paraded around, and common people shouted: "This is the head of the Jew who abused the name of God; may God's curse be upon him." In spite of these outbursts, there was much to commend Mongol rule to the Jews who came under their control, compared to many contemporary rulers in both the Muslim and Christian countries. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: R. Amitai, "Mongol Raids into Palestine (A.D. 1260 and 1300)," in: Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society (1987), 236–55; J.A. Boyle (ed.), The Cambridge History of Iran, vol. 5: The Saljuq and Mongol Periods (1968); W.J. Fischel, The Jews in the Economic and Political Life of Mediaeval Islam (1937); S.D. Goitein, "Glimpses from the Cairo Geniza on Naval Warfare in the Mediterranean and on the Old Mongol Invasion," in: Studi orientalistici in onore di Giorgio Levi della Vida (Rome, 1956), vol. 2, 393–408; P. Jackson, "Medieval Christendom's Encounter with the Alien," in: Historical Research, 74 (2001), 347–69; D.D. Leslie, "The Mongol Attitude to Jews in China," in: Central Asiatic Journal, 39 (1995), 234–46; S. Menache, "Tartars, Jews, Saracens and the Jewish-Mongol 'Plot' of 1241," in: History, 81 (1996), 319–42; D.O. Morgan, The Mongols (1986); J.J. Saunders, The History of the Mongol Conquests (1971). (Reuven Amitai (2nd ed.)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

Игры ⚽ Поможем сделать НИР

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Mongols MC — Gründung 1969 in Montebello, Kalifornien Vertreten in USA Mexiko Italien Deutschland Australien Schweden Spanien Mitglieder 1.000 1.500 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Mongols — nom générique donné à des ethnies originaires de l Asie centrale. Peuples de la steppe, les nomades turcs et mongols parlent des langues de la famille altaïque. Un peuple proto turc, les Xiongnu (ou Hiong nou, les Puants ), dès le IXe s. av. J. C …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Mongols — Mon gols, Mongolians Mon*go li*ans, n. pl. (Ethnol.) One of the great races of man, including the greater part of the inhabitants of China, Japan, and the interior of Asia, with branches in Northern Europe and other parts of the world. By some… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Mongols — For other uses, see Mongols (disambiguation). Mongol Монгол …   Wikipedia

  • Mongols — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Mongol (homonymie). Mongols Gengis Khan, représentant notable des Mongols …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Mongols —    A Mongol (Tartar of European parlance) horde first ap peared in India when Chingez Khan came up to the western bank of the Indus River in pursuit of Jalal al Din Mingbarni in 1221. After the Mongols had established their control in Central… …   Historical dictionary of Medieval India

  • Mongols —    By 1240, when the Mongols (also called Tartars) conquered Kiev (q.v.), the Mongol empire extended across the Eurasian steppe (q.v.). They indirectly aided the Empire of Nicaea (q.v.) by defeating the Seljuks of Asia Minor (qq.v.) in 1243.… …   Historical dictionary of Byzantium

  • MONGOLS —    a great Asiatic people having their original home on the plains E. of Lake Baikal, Siberia, who first rose into prominence under their ruler Genghis Khan in the 12th century; he, uniting the three branches of Mongols, commenced a career of… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Mongols (motorcycle club) — Mongols MC Mongols vest with patch Founded 1969 In Montebello, California Years active 1969 present Territory …   Wikipedia

  • Mongols (gang motards) — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Mongol (homonymie). Mongols MC Date de fondation 1969 Lieu …   Wikipédia en Français

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”