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I was wondering if there are any primary sources on the letter that the Mongol Khan Hulagu wrote to the Mamluk Sultan Qutuz (from Wikipedia: "Hulagu intended to continue southward through Palestine towards Cairo to fight the Mamluks. He sent a threatening letter to the Mamluk Sultan Qutuz in Cairo. He demanded that Qutuz open Cairo or it would be destroyed like Baghdad.") Everywhere I looked they didn't give a concrete source, is there maybe the letter preserved or maybe a transcript written during that time? Thanks.
I believe that this is John Woods' translation of Rashid al-Din Fazlallah 'Conquest of Bagdad'. (quoted at Conquest of Baghdad (1258) by Rashid al-Din Fazlallah (d. 1318)).
It should be noted that Rashid-al-Din Hamadani was a Jewish Muslim working for the Ilkhanids and also their Grand vizier before he was executed. So it is a moot point as to whether he ever actually saw the original letter, of which no copies exist, made it up entirely, 'improved' the original or a copy, or embroidered tales that he had heard for political impact.
You can read the original here, and it is worth taking just a few minutes as it is a beautiful example of medieval illustrated calligraphy.
The Fall of Baghdad. the first time
Hulagu Khan (also known as and Hulegu 1217- 8 February 1265 near Tabriz) was the grandson of Genghis Khan and the brother of Mongke and Kublai Khan, and the first khan of the Ilkhanate.
Hulagu, the child of Tolui and a Christian woman, was given domination over dispatched by his brother Mongke in 1255 to accomplish the destruction of the remaining Muslim states in southwestern Asia. First, the subjugation of the Lurs, a people of southern Iran second, the destruction of the sect of the Assassins third, the destruction of the Abbasid caliphate and lastly, the destruction of the Ayyubid states in Syria and the Mamluk state in Egypt.
Hulagu marched out with perhaps the largest Mongol army ever assembled. Hulagu easily destroyed the Lurs, and his reputation so frightened the Assassins that they surrendered their impregnable fortress of Alamut to him without a fight.
Hulagu probably always intended to take Baghdad, which the Mongols had been meaning to get around to for over ten years, (see Eljigidei) but he used the caliph's refusal to send troops to him as a pretext for conquest. Hulagu sent a message to the caliph containing the following (trans. John Woods)
"When I lead my army against Baghdad in anger, whether you hide in heaven or in earth
I will bring you down from the spinning spheres I will toss you in the air like a lion. I will leave no one alive in your realm I will burn your city, your land, your self.
If you wish to spare yourself and your venerable family, give heed to my advice with the ear of intelligence. If you do not, you will see what God has willed."
The caliph was not sure what to do about Hulagu's invasion, but weakly defended the city. Hulagu ordered various sections of Baghdad's population spared, like learned men and Christians, but killed at least 250,000 people (contemporary sources say 800,000). Hulagu killed the caliph by wrapping him in a rug and having him either "beaten to a pulp" or trampled by horses. Marco Polo reports that Hulagu starved the caliph to death, but there is no corroborating evidence for that.
Thus was the caliphate destroyed, and Iraq ravaged--it has never again been such a major center of culture and influence. The smaller states in the region hastened to reassure Hulagu of their loyalty, and the Mongols turned to Syria in 1259. conquering the Ayyubids and sending advance patrols as far head as Gaza. Egypt's turn seemed next, but the death of Mongke forced Hulagu and most of his army to withdraw, for the succession crisis that followed was the most ruinous to date.
In the meantime, the Mongols had fallen out with the crusaders holding the coast of Palestine, and the Maluks took advantage to ally with them, pass through their territory, and destroy the Mongol army at the Battle of Ain Jalut. Palestine and Syria were permanently lost, the border remaining the Tigris for the duration of Hulegu's dynasty.
Hulagu returned to his lands by 1262, but instead of being able to avenge his defeats, was drawn into civil war with Batu Khan's brother Berke, suffering severe defeat in an attempted invasion north of the Caucasus, in 1263. He died in 1265, and was succeded by his son Abaqa, thus establishing his line.
The Battle of "Ain Jaloot"
A Turning Point in History
In the 7th Hijri century, the Tatars launched one of their largest assaults on the land of the Islamic Khilafah, resulting in the seizure of the Khilafah capital, Baghdad, the killing of the Khalifah, and the occupation of three quarters of the Muslim land. At that time, one of the greatest Muslim leaders in the Islamic history emerged. He had pride in his religion and in the fact that he rescued his Ummah. This was in one of the most decisive battles in history back then. The leader was the "Victorious King" Mahmood Sayfu-d-Deen Qutuz, and the battle was that of "Ain Jaloot".
The Tatarian Invasion
The Tatars started breaking into the Muslim land towards the end of 656 Hijri. When the Khalifah, Abu Ahmad Al-Musta'sim Billah, began preparing his armies to block the invasion, his minister "Al-`Alkami" hoaxed him by convincing him to make peace with the invaders. Al-Alkami, who was a non-Arab Shia`, had secret correspondence with the Tatars, promising them to halt any resistance against them given that they appoint him as Khalifah and allow him to establish his own Shia` state in Baghdad.
When Al-Alqami deceived the leader of the believers and made him think that a peace agreement was finally reached with the Tatars, Al-Musta'sim departed along with his ministers and the scholars and leaders of Baghdad to meet the leader of the Tatars, who killed them all, and then occupied Baghdad and violated the honor of its Muslim occupants in a hideous manner.
The traitorous Al-`Alqami could not achieve his dream, however, because the Tatars, who knew that the person who betrays his leader wouldn't spare his enemy, killed him too.
Following the takeover of Baghdad, Muslims encountered a large number of defeats, and many more cities were captured. The Tatars, after seizing all of Iraq, started the demolition of the land of Shaam (which represents Syria, Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon and parts of Egypt and Iraq), seeking retaliation from its people because of their refusal to surrender.
With the downfall of Damascus, the Tatars headed towards Egypt and Morocco, the last stronghold of Muslims on the face of earth at that time, which, if seized, the whole Muslim Ummah would have collapsed.
After that, the leader of Tatars "Katabgha" sent, as usual, a letter full of threats to the Ameer of Egypt. Some of what he said was: "We have demolished the land, orphaned the children, tortured the people and slain them, made their honored despised and their leader a captive. Do you think that you can escape from us? After a while you will know what's coming to you. "
Despite the linguistic weakness of the Tatars' letters, it had a great influence on Muslims back then because of their weakness and low morals.
Our Ameer Qutuz, who was raised according to the prophet's teachings, had a different reply to that of the other Muslim leaders: he killed the Tatarian delegation and left their corpses hanging in his capital, lifting his soldiers and people's spirit on the one hand, and putting down his enemy's and that of their spies and loyalist on the other hand. His action was in accordance with the poetry:
When Qutuz's reply reached the Tatars through their spies in Egypt, they realized that they were facing a different type of leader, with whom they have not dealt before.
Had they studied the history, they would have noticed that our victorious leader copied the example of Haroon Ar-Rashid and his reply to the Roman leader "Nakfoor", and that of "Al-Mu'tasim" to the governor of "Amouriyah", and they would have avoided clashing with him.
Qutuz did not forget that making such a critical reply will result in a severe and brutal war against him and his people, for which they must prepare.
So he started preparing his people with the weapon of belief and unity, prior to arming them with the weapons of steel. To achieve unity, he sent to the dispersed leaders and Ameers of Mamaleek, such as "Beebers Al-Bandakari" who was later known as "Beebers the superior", asking them to discard their marginal differences and unite to defeat their main enemy, the enemy of Islam.
Qutuz, knowing the important role scholars play and their influence on the masses, sought their help and support, asking them to supplicate for victory, and to urge the people to stand for their religion, taking the scholars as his close counselors and advisers.
The most renowned scholar who contributed to this cause was the "Sultan of Scholars" Al-`Izz Bin Abdis-Salam. Qutuz sought a fatwah (verdict) from Bin Abdis-Salam which would allow him to impose more taxes on the public in order to equip the Muslim army. The honest scholar of Islam made it clear that the governor can not impose new taxes, unless the governor's own wealth, and that of his leaders and close-by's, is all spent. Al-`Izz even forced the selling of the Mamaleek army leaders, because they were not legally set free from their slavery (the Mamaleek were mostly slaves who participated in the armies, and gained power gradually until they controlled the armies).
The needed money was obtained without forcing extra taxes on the people, who, witnessing the complete compliance and submission of their leader to the Laws of Allah as illustrated by the sincere scholars of Islam, woke up to the reality and were convinced with the legality of their leaders, and realized their duties in Jihad and sacrifice for Allah's Cause to stop the invaders from occupying their Muslim land.
Observing the saying of Allah's Messenger (s.a.w.) "the people who are attacked in the center of their land (i.e. are on the defensive) will be dishonored", Qutuz ordered his army to start moving to confront the foe. He also sent an exploitative battalion under the leadership of Beebers towards Gazza in Palestine, which confronted parts of the Tatarian army at small scales and beat them, covering the movements of the main army under the leadership of Qutuz, which finally arrived near the Palestine coastline where the crusaders had some strongholds. Qutuz warned the crusaders and made it clear to them that he could smash them before he meets the Tatars, if they do not stay neutral in this war. Realizing the authenticity of this threat and seeing the power of the Muslim army, the crusaders were forced to stay neutral, especially that their numbers and the weakness of their armies would not allow them to clash with the Muslims.
When the main Muslim army came close to the enemy, Qutuz, may Allah have mercy on him, selected the battle's field, in a valley surrounded by mountains, and he stabilized some of his soldiers on the mountains to protect the back of the army against any possible crusade, Tatarian or other treachery from within.
The Tatarian army finally reached the area in which it would face its deadly end. Fighting erupted and the balance drifted towards the Tatars their army's right wing started overcoming the left wing of the Muslim army. When the Muslims started retreating, Qutuz climbed on a rock, throwing his helmet away, shouting "Wa Islamah.. Wa Islamah..", urging the army to keep firm and fight Allah's enemies. The frustrated leaders of the army looked towards that voice to see their leader's flushed face, hitting angrily with his sword, infiltrating between the Tatars' rows leaving behind dozens of dead corpses. Qutuz's courage stunned his leaders who promptly followed his footsteps, lifting the morality of the Muslim army.
Minutes later, the battle became in favor of the Muslims, until the Tatarian army was shattered, many of its soldiers being killed or captivated, and the defeated troops ran away, following the death of their leader and the captivation of his son. No one in the Tatarian army escaped death or capture, because those who ran away were slain by the people in Shaam.
When the glorious news reached Damascus city and its surroundings, the Muslims rejoiced and regained their honor and esteem, and began to attack the Tatars. They also attacked those who supported the Tatars, including some crusaders, Batini (`Alawi), Shi`a, and some deviated Sufis.
When the Tatars realized that their state in the Islamic East was fading, and that Muslims regained their power, they escaped towards their homeland, which eased Qutuz's efforts to liberate all of Shaam in a few weeks.
Qutuz rewarded the Muslim Ameers who helped achieve this victory, by returning to some of the Ayyoubi kings their states, and appointing some of his bravest chiefs as governors.
If we are to inspect what led to this great victory, we will find that these reasons did not -and will not- change since the first revelation, until the Day of Judgment.
The first condition is to have the right belief, and the legitimate and truthful scholars whom we refer to, who do not fear a ruler or a governor in defense of Allah's religion. This was represented by the "Sultan of Scholars" Al-Izz Bin Abdis-Salam, may Allah have mercy on him.
The second condition is to have a sincere leader who works to uplift the Word of Allah and to defend His religion solely for His Sake. This was represented by the "Victorious King" Qutuz, may Allah have mercy on him too.
The third and most important cause was the unity of Muslims under the one true banner of Tawheed, sharing the same concern and responsibility, disregarding the minor differences between them.
The direct outcome of this battle was the liberation of the Muslims from the Tatarian rule and their corrupt creed, lifting the spirit and esteem of Muslims, and spreading the correct pure creed which teaches Jihad and forbids laziness and surrender.
Before this battle, some narrations say that a Tatarian woman would pass by a group of Muslim men, she would command them to wait for her until she could find a knife to slay them, and they would follow her orders obediently, waiting for hours, and even days, until someone comes and slays them! However, after this victory, Muslims started hunting the vanquishing troops of Tatars slaying them wherever they could meet them.
Another major outcome was the establishment of a powerful Islamic state after it was about to vanish. This state stood for centuries defending Islam and Muslims against anyone's avidity and greed.
This battle also proves to Muslims the ever-lasting norm: no matter how weak and fragmented Muslims get, once they go back to the pure and straight Path of Allah's Prophet and his rightly guided successors, they will be victorious.
It also proves that, no matter how strong and superior the banner of disbelief and tyranny might become, it will be defeated one day.
It is also a warning to those apostate rulers dominating the Muslims, whose fate will not differ from that of their predecessors, when their rule and power vanish.
By Br. Muhammad El-Halaby
The following are two accounts of the invasion of Cyprus by Richard I in 1191. The Seljuk Turk under Saladin had recaptured Jerusalem in 1187 and Cyprus’ geographical position placed her on the route of the Crusaders from Western Europe &hellip Continue reading &rarr
After the Crusader’s disastrous defeat at the Battle of Hattin in 1187, the Christian forces regrouped under Guy de Lusignan, king of Jerusalem, and Conrad, marquis de Montferrat, and went back on the offensive. In 1189, the crusaders laid siege &hellip Continue reading &rarr
HULĀGU (Hülegü) KHAN, fifth son of Tolui (and thus grandson of Čengiz Khan) and Sorqoqtani Ḵā-tun, and founder of the Il-khanid dynasty (b. ca. 611/1215, d. 19 Rabiʿ II 663/8 February 1265). His name is derived from the Mongolian word for &ldquosurplus&rdquo (see Pelliot, II, pp. 866-67) and was written in the Muslim sources in various ways, reflecting both different pronunciations and the problems encountered in rendering Turco-Mongolian names into foreign languages: Hulāku, Hulāwu (cf. Marco Polo&rsquos Ulau, Alau, etc.), and even Hulāʾun (e.g., Ebn al-ʿAmid, passim). Virtually nothing is known of his childhood and early adulthood a solitary anecdote relates that, in 621/1224 at the age of nine, he and his eleven-year-old brother Qubilai met their grandfather, on his return from his campaign in Transoxania and Iran. Showing them freshly killed game, Čengiz Khan is said to have anointed the bowstring fingers of his grandsons with the fat of the slain animals (Smirnova, I/2, pp. 229-30).
In 1251 Hülegü&rsquos oldest brother, Möngke, was proclaimed Qāʾān (< Qaghan), or Great Khan, and soon after-wards he held a quriltai (assembly), in which Hülegü and Qubilai were ordered to campaign in Muslim territories and China respectively. Literally, each prince was ordered to take with him &ldquotwo out of every ten men&rdquo of the Mongol army (Jovayni, III, pp. 90 Boyle, II, p. 607 Ra&scaronid-al-Din, III, p. 21), an expression which should be understood as indicating both the large size of each expeditionary force and the fact that they were composed of contingents from various tribes and princely houses. After careful preparations both at home and along the projected route, Hülegü&rsquos army, which would join up with the Mongol forces already stationed in the Middle East, departed in 1253 and reached Transoxania in 1255. The large size of the army, together with families and herds, necessitated a slow and deliberate march across Central Asia. The sources are not completely clear as to Hülegü&rsquos exact goals, and this lack of clarity has led to some disagreement among modern scholars on the matter. Ra&scaronid-al-Din speaks of Möngke Qāʾān&rsquos order to his brother to eliminate the Nizari Ismaʿilis, conquer the rebellious Kurds and Lors, and subjugate the caliph, before enforcing the laws of Čengiz Khan in all territories from the river Oxus (Jayḥun) as far as the borders of Egypt (Ra&scaronid-al-Din, III, pp. 23-24). He adds that Möngke publicly ordered Hülegü to return to Mongolia upon completing his mission, while secretly informing him that he and his descendants were to remain in Persia. While there is no explicit mention of a mandate to establish a dynasty there, it has been suggested that Möngke planned for Hülegü to set up a sub-khanate, which would (together with Qubilai&rsquos parallel project in China) strengthen the Toluid branch of the royal family while limiting the influence of the Jochid Khans of the so-called Golden Horde (Allsen, pp. 48-49). On the other hand, one must remember Ra&scaronid-al-Din&rsquos obvious pro-Toluid and pro-Il-khanid bias, together with the lack of any confirmation from the contemporary (and no less biased) Jovayni, while Mamluk sources, primarily Ebn Fażl-Allāh al-ʿOmari, raise the possibility that Hülegü was exceeding his original brief, in order to establish gradually a kingdom for himself and his progeny (Jackson, &ldquoDissolution,&rdquo pp. 220-22). Whatever his original mission, in the next few years Hülegü laid the groundwork for what was to become an all but independent Mongol state in Persia that was to last for some three-quarters of a century.
Even before crossing the Oxus at the end of 1255, Hülegü had called upon all the local rulers who had previously submitted to the Mongols to come and reaffirm their loyalty. The purpose behind this, beyond the consolidation of the previous Mongol conquests in the region, was to order these lords to contribute to the Mongol war effort against enemies such as the Ismaʿilis. Although some kind of expression of submission had been previously made by al-Mostaʿṣem, the ʿAbbasid caliph, he did not present himself in response to this summons, a decision he was later to rue. In the first few months of 1256, Hülegü and his generals systematically subdued the majority of the Ismaʿili fortresses in Kuhestān and south of the Caspian Sea, culminating in the capture of Alamut (q.v.) on 29 &Scaronawwāl 654/19 November 1256. The Ismaʿili leader, Rokn-al-Din Ḵur-&scaronāh, was sent to Möngke Qāʾān, but was executed together with his entourage en transit. A happier fate awaited many of the scholars residing apparently against their will at Alamut, the most famous of whom was Naṣir-al-Din Ṭusi he became a trusted advisor to Hülegü in both religious and practical matters, and among other things he encouraged the khan to attack Baghdad.
Hülegü moved next to Azerbaijan, which was to become the center of Il-khanid rule in Iran. Bayju (q.v.), the erstwhile Mongol commander in this area, was ordered to Anatolia with his troops. At the end of 1257, Hülegü directed his generals to converge on Baghdad. Throughout the year there had been inconclusive negotiations between the khan and the caliph al-Mostaʿṣem. The former&rsquos anger had already been piqued by the caliph&rsquos aforementioned refusal to present himself two years before. Early in 1258 the attack on the city commenced. Although the caliph&rsquos troops and the local civilians showed courage, treachery in the caliphal entourage, the lack of any decisive leadership, and the sheer weight of Mongol numbers made the outcome of the campaign a foregone conclusion. The city was taken on 13 February 1258 and subjected to a week of looting and massacre. The caliph was executed, together with most of his family.
From Baghdad Hülegü eventually returned to Azerbaijan, where he was to remain until the end of 1259, when he launched the campaign into Syria. It was around this time that we have contemporary sources which indicate that the title &ldquoIl-khan&rdquo (q.v. Mongolian: ilqan) had been applied to Hülegü (Amitai-Preiss, &ldquoEvidence,&rdquo pp. 353-62). While still in Azerbaijan, and with his sights set firmly on Syria, Hülegü ordered the subjugation of those cities of the Jazira (Upper Mesopotamia) which had yet to submit or had subsequently proved recalcitrant. These were systematically taken, although Mayyāfāreqin, under the Ayyubid prince al-Malek al-Kāmel Moḥammad, resisted Mongol attacks from the late fall of 656/1258 until the spring of 658/1260. It was during this stay in Azerbaijan that Hülegü received both the atabeg Abu Bakr of Fārs and the two aspirants to the throne of the Seljuq sultanate in Anatolia. Several letters were exchanged with the Ayyubid ruler of Aleppo and Damascus, al-Nāṣer Yusof, calling on him to submit in person but al-Nāṣer temporized, thus sealing the fate on his regime and kingdom.
At the end of 1259, Hülegü launched the campaign into northern Syria. Aleppo was taken on 2 Ṣafar 658/18 January 1260 after a week-long siege and was subjected to looting and slaughter. Remaining in the north, the Il-khan dispatched a tümen (= 10,000 troops) size force to the south under Ket-buqa (Ketbuḡā), his most prominent general. The Mongols took control of Damascus, which had now been abandoned by the Ayyubid al-Nāṣer (soon to be captured by the Mongols and eventually executed at Hülegü&rsquos orders) and they raided Trans-Jordan and Palestine, including Jerusalem. Sometime during the spring, Hülegü withdrew from Syria to Azerbaijan. Possibly the news of Möngke Qāʾān&rsquos death (August 1259) had reached him, and he wished to take up position in what was soon to prove to be an area of contention with the khans of the Golden Horde. Alternatively, it has been suggested that the logistical limitations of Syria, that is, the lack of pastureland and water, compelled him to evacuate the country with the approach of summer (Morgan, 1985). Ket-buqa was left in control of Syria with the troops originally assigned to him. In the summer of this year, the Mamluks, under the command of Sultan Qoṭoz, invaded the country and defeated Ket-buqa at ʿAyn Jālut in northern Palestine on 25 Ramażān 658/3 September 1260. The remnants of the Mongol army and their officials fled Syria, and the Mamluks occupied an area extending as far as the Euphrates. This was to remain the border between the Il-khanid state and the Mamluk sultanate during their sixty-year war as well as in the subsequent peace.
The Mongols did not accept this setback lying down. Almost immediately, a smaller raiding force, perhaps numbering 6,000 horsemen, was dispatched to northern Syria. On 5 Moḥarram 659/11 December 1260, these Mongols were defeated by a modest Mamluk army near Homs. Hülegü was prevented from further intervention on the Syrian front by his preoccupations elsewhere. Evidently as early as the winter of 660/1261-62, war erupted in the Caucasus region between the forces of the Golden Horde and the Il-khanate. Tensions had been building for years between Hülegü and his cousin Berke (the son of Joči), khan of the Golden Horde, the origins of which were the perceived infringement of Jochid rights in the Caucasus and Azerbaijan, as well as the failure to send revenues to the Golden Horde from the territory under Hülegü&rsquos control. The anger of Berke, a convert to Islam, was exacerbated by Hülegü&rsquos execution of the caliph in 1258, and the final straw was the execution of several Jochid princes who led contingents from the Golden Horde in Hülegü&rsquos army, as well as attacks against their soldiers themselves (some of whom eventually escaped to Mamluk Syria). Under the command of Hülegü, the Il-khanid army forced the Jochid forces, led by prince Nogai, back into the Qipchaq steppe. Hülegü then sent his son Abaqa (q.v.) with an army to pursue them. The Il-khanid force was defeated in mid-January 1263 while fleeing across the frozen Terek river in the Caucasus the ice broke beneath them, drowning much of Abaqa&rsquos army, although the prince himself survived. Berke and his forces went as far as Darband in pursuit of the Il-khanid troops before returning home. This was only the first round of a war which was to continue for generations, and open conflict was to be resumed upon the death of Hülegü in 1265.
Understanding early on that his preoccupations with the Golden Horde would prevent him from devoting himself to avenging the defeat at ʿAyn Jālut, in 1262 Hülegü sent out a mission to Europe to seek assistance in the war against the Mamluks. An extant letter in Latin shows that at least one of its intended recipients was King Louis IX of France. While calling on the Franks to take up positions on the coasts of Egypt and Syria as part of a concerted campaign against the common Muslim enemy, it still addresses the French king in a haughty manner and &ldquo[b]ehind the request for military help one discerns the threat that if this help is not forthcoming, the French king will one day also experience the fate meted out to the disobedient&rdquo (Meyvaert, p. 249). It would have been interesting to learn of King Louis IX&rsquos response to this message, but it appears that the mission never reached its goal it was seemingly turned back in Sicily by the ruler, Manfred, who was at odds with Pope Urban IV. The latter, however, seems to have learnt of the gist of this missive and in 1263 he sent the short letter Exultavit cor nostrum, in which he expresses his joy at Hülegü&rsquos inclination towards Christianity and desire for instruction in baptism (or so the pope understood) after the verification of the Il-khan&rsquos conversion to Christianity, the pope would gladly send help in the struggle against the Saracens (Lupprian, pp. 216-19).
It is doubtful whether Hülegü really harbored aspirations to become a Christian, but his sympathies for some Christians, at least, is clear. This may have been a result of the influence of his beloved wife Doquz Ḵātun (q.v.), a Nestorian Kereit princess but traditional Mongol tolerance, or perhaps ambivalence and even apathy on religious matters, may have also played a role. In any event, Muslim authors, seeing the disestablishment of Islam as the state religion, accused him and the Mongols of anti-Muslim sentiments. Certainly, Eastern Christians (as well as the smaller Jewish communities) were spared during the massacres in Baghdad and Aleppo. While it is possible that the Mongols perceived the Eastern Christians as allies in the war against the Muslim rulers, this is never explicitly stated. There is also no evidence that this relatively benign attitude towards the Oriental Christians was extended to the Franks in Syria, and it certainly did not influence the aggressive mien of Hülegü and his commanders towards the Frankish &ldquostates&rdquo in the Levant in 1260. Whatever his pro-Christian leanings, it is noteworthy that, upon his death in 1265, in accordance with Mongol tradition he was interred together with several beautiful young women. Boyle has noted that &ldquothis is the last occasion on which human victims are recorded as having been buried with a Chingizid prince&rdquo (Camb. Hist. Iran V, p. 354). Besides the deference to traditional Mongol belief, the erection of a Buddhist temple at Ḵoy testifies to an interest in that religion.
Hülegü paid a certain amount of attention to intellectual matters. His patronage of Naṣir-al-Din Ṭusi, for whom he built an observatory in Marāḡa, is well known. He also surrounded himself with numerous &ldquowise men&rdquo (ḥokamāʾ) devoted to the sciences of the ancients (ʿolum-e awāʾel), including alchemists and others about whom Ra&scaronid-al-Din (III, p. 91) has made some critical comments. Some Mamluk authors mention his intellectual proclivities but make disparaging remarks about what he really understood about these matters (e.g., Ṣafadi, fol. 235b). From 661 /1262-63, &Scaronams-al-Din Moḥammad Jovayni served as his ṣāḥeb-divān and provided a modicum of administrative stability in the realm. His brother, the historian ʿAlāʾ-al-Din ʿAṭāʾ Malek Jovayni, had been appointed governor of Baghdad and the surrounding area as early as 1259, and he had some success in repairing the extensive damage of the Mongol conquest.
The Mamluk sources provide some interesting details for the biography of the first Il-khan. Qerṭāy Ḵaznadāri records the testimony of a young Ayyubid prince, al-ʿAziz ʿOṯmān of Karak, who in the summer of 1260 traveled to Hülegü&rsquos camp and met the Il-khan and Doquz Ḵātun. The transcript of the interview, perhaps fleshed out by the imagination, depicts a taciturn Hülegü and a more gregarious Doquz Ḵātun. Other sources relate the story of Hülegü&rsquos supposed infatuation with the daughter of the king of Georgia and his desire to wed her. She is said to have refused unless he converted to Islam, to which he acquiesced. The story is highly dubious it is not confirmed in any of the Persian, Armenian, and Georgian sources, and it seems most unlikely that a Georgian princess would demand that the Il-khan should convert to Islam. This seems, therefore, to be a story current in the Mamluk sultanate, which tells us more about Mamluk tastes and perceptions than reality in the Il-khanate.
At one point, Ra&scaronid-al-Din (III, p. 8) writes that Hülegü had 14 sons and 7 daughters, but his own genealogical chart (ibid., pp. 18-9) names 15 sons. The fourteenth-century Mamluk writer al-Ṣafadi (fol. 236a) accords him 17 sons plus an unspecified number of daughters this author, however, only names eleven of the male progeny, and two of these do not match Ra&scaronid-al-Din&rsquos list. Hülegü had no children from his chief wife Doquz Ḵātun (Qerṭāy, fol. 65b) upon his death he was succeeded by his eldest son Abaqa (r. 1265-82), who in turn was followed by another son Aḥmad Tegüder (r. 1282-84).
Primary sources. Bar Hebraeus [Ebn ʿEbri], The Chronography of Gregory Abu&rsquol-Faraj, ed. and tr. E. A. W. Budge, London, 1932, I, pp. 433-44.
Marie-Félicité Brosset, Histoire de la Georgie I, St. Petersburg, 1849.
Claude Cahen, &ldquoLa &lsquoChronique des Ayyoubides&rsquo d&rsquoal-Makīn b. al-ʿAmīd,&rdquo Bulletin d&rsquoétudes orientales 15, 1955-57, pp. 109-84.
Ebn al-ʿEbri, Taʾriḵ moḵtaṣar al-dowal, ed. A. Ṣāleḥāni, 2nd ed., Beirut, 1958, pp. 276-85.
Ebn Fażl-Allāh al-ʿOmari, Das Mongolische Weltreich: al-ʿUmarī&rsquos Darstellung der mongolischen Reiche in seinem Werk Masālik al-abṣār fi&rsquol-mamālik al-amṣār, ed. and tr. K. Lech, Wiesbaden, 1968, pp. 1-25, 85-116.
Ebn al-Fowaṭi, al-Ḥawādeṯ al-jāmeʿa wa&rsquol-tajāreb al-nāfeʿa fi&rsquol-meʾa al-sābeʿa, ed. M. Jawād, Baghdad, 1351/1932-33, pp. 267-353.
Robert P. Blake and Richard N. Frye, eds. and trs., &ldquoHistory of the Nation of the Archers,&rdquo HJAS 12, 1949, pp. 327-51.
Hetʿum [Hayton/Hethoum], &ldquoLa Flor des estories de la Terre d&rsquoOrient,&rdquo in Recueil des historiens des croisades, documents arméniens, Paris, 1869-1906, II, pp. 163-76.
Jovayni, ed. Qazvini, III, pp. 1-278 (= tr. Boyle, II, pp. 547-725).
Juzjāni, Ṭabaqāt-e nāṣeri, ed. ʿA. Ḥabibi, Kabul, 1964-65, pp. 189-209 (= Ṭabaqāt-e nāṣeri, ed. and tr. H. G. Raverty, London, 1881, pp. 1125-80).
Kirakos of Gandzak, History of the Armenians, tr. R. Bedrosian, New York, 1986, pp. 323-35.
Kotobi, Fawāt al-wafayāt, ed. E. ʿAbbās, Beirut, 1973-74, IV, pp. 240-41.
Marco Polo, The Book of Ser Marco Polo, ed. and tr. H. Yule, 3rd ed., revised by H. Cordier, London, 1921, index s.v.
&ldquoHulaku&rdquo (= The Travels of Marco Polo, tr. R. E. Latham, London and New York, 1958, index s.v. &ldquoHulagu&rdquo).
Nowayri, Nehāyat al-arab fi fonun al-adab XXIV, ed. F. H. ʿĀ&scaronur, Cairo, 1984, pp. 379-90.
Qerṭāy ʿEzzi Ḵaznadāri, Taʾriḵ al-nawāder memmā jāra le&rsquol-awāʾel wa&rsquol-awāḵer, MS. Gotha 1655, foll. 65b-66b.
Ra&scaronid-al-Din, Jāmeʿ al-tawārikò, Baku, III, pp. 5-94 (= Histoire des Mongols de la Perse, ed. and tr. M. E. Quatremère, Paris, 1836).
Ṣafadi, al-Wāfi be&rsquol-wafāyat, MS. British Library Add. 23359, foll. 235b-236a.
Smbat, La Chronique attribuée au Connétable Smbat, tr. G. Dédéyan, Paris, 1980, pp. 98-114.
Tāriḵ-e Waṣṣāf, pp. 24-52 (= ʿA-M. Āyati, Taḥrir-e Tāriḵ-e Waṣṣāf, Tehran, 1346 &Scaron./1967, pp. 12-30).
O. I. Smirnova, tr., Jāmeʿ al-tawāriḵ, in Sbornik letopiseĭ I/2, Moscow and Leningrad, 1952, pp. 229-30.
R. W. Thomson, &ldquoThe Historical Compilation of Vardan Arewelcʿi,&rdquo Dumbarton Oaks Papers 43, 1989, pp. 216-21.
Studies. Thomas T. Allsen, Mongol Imperialism: The Policies of the Grand Qan Möngke in China, Russia, and the Islamic Lands, 1251-1259, Berkeley, 1987.
Reuven Amitai-Preiss, Mongols and Mamluks: The Mamluk-Īlkhānid War 1260-1281, Cambridge, 1995.
Idem, &ldquoThe Mongols and Karak in Trans-Jordan,&rdquo Archivum Eurasiae Medii Aevi 9, 1995-97, pp. 5-16.
W. Barthold-[J. A. Boyle], &ldquoHūlāgū&rdquo in EI2 III, p. 569.
John A. Boyle, &ldquoThe Death of the Last ʿAbbāsid Caliph: A Contemporary Muslim Account,&rdquo Journal of Semitic Studies 4, 1961, pp. 145-61.
Idem, &ldquoDynastic and Political History of the Īl-Khāns,&rdquo in Camb. Hist. Iran V, pp. 340-55.
F. W. Cleaves, &ldquoThe Mongolian Names and Terms in the History of the Nation of the Archers by Grigor of Akanç,&rdquo Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies 12, 1949, p. 422.
Constantin D&rsquoOhsson, Histoire des Mongols, The Hague, 1834-35, III, pp. 134-412.
ʿAbbās Eqbāl, Tāriḵ-e mofaṣṣal-e Irān az estilā-ye Moḡol tā eʿlān-e ma&scaronruṭiyat: I. Az ḥamla-ye Čengiz tā ta&scaronkil-e dawlat-e Timuri, Tehran, 1341 &Scaron./1962, pp. 170-99.
Jean-Maurice Fiey, &ldquoIconographie syriaque: Hulagu, Doquz Khatuŋet six ambons,&rdquo La Muséon 88, 1975, pp. 59-68.
Stefan Heidemann, Das Aleppiner Kalifat (AD 1261): vom Ende des Kalifates in Bagdad über Aleppo zu den Restaurationen in Kairo, Leiden, 1994.
P. Jackson, &ldquoThe Dissolution of the Mongol Empire,&rdquo Central Asiatic Journal 22, 1978, pp. 186-244.
Idem, &ldquoThe Crisis in the Holy Land in 1260,&rdquo English Historical Review 95, 1980, pp. 481-513.
Dorothea Krawulsky, Mongolen und Ilkhāne: Ideologie und Geschichte, Beirut, 1989, pp. 87-112.
Karl-Ernst Lupprian, Die Beziehungen der Päpste zu islamischen und mongolischen Herrschern im 13. Jahrhundert anhand ihres Briefwechsels, Vatican City, 1981, pp. 216-41.
Paul Meyvaert, &ldquoAn Unknown Letter of Hulagu, Il-Khan of Persia, to King Louis IX of France,&rdquo Viator 11, 80, pp. 245-59.
David Morgan, The Mongols, Oxford, 1986, pp. 145-58.
Idem, &ldquoThe Mongols in Syria, 1260-1300,&rdquo in P. Edbury, ed., Crusade and Settlement, Cardiff, 1985, pp. 231-35.
Manučehr Mortażawi, Masāʾel-e ʿaṣr-e Ilḵānān, Tehran, 1358 &Scaron./1979.
Paul Pelliot, Notes on Marco Polo, Paris, 1959-63, II, pp. 866-67.
J. M. Smith, Jr., &ldquoʿAyn Jālut: Mamluk Success or Mongol Failure,&rdquo HJAS 44, 1984, pp. 307-45.
Siege of Baghdad
Hulagu's Mongol army set out for Baghdad in November 1257. Once near the city he divided his forces to threaten the city on both the east and west banks of the Tigris. Hulagu demanded surrender, but the caliph, Al-Musta'sim, refused. The caliph's army repulsed some of the forces attacking from the west but were defeated in the next battle. The attacking Mongols broke dikes and flooded the ground behind the caliph's army, trapping them. Much of the army was slaughtered or drowned.
The Mongols under Chinese general Guo Kan laid siege to the city on January 29, 1258,  constructing a palisade and a ditch and wheeling up siege engines and catapults. The battle was short by siege standards. By February 5 the Mongols controlled a stretch of the wall. The caliph tried to negotiate but was refused. On February 10 Baghdad surrendered. The Mongols swept into the city on February 13 and began a week of destruction. The Grand Library of Baghdad, containing countless precious historical documents and books on subjects ranging from medicine to astronomy, was destroyed. Survivors said that the waters of the Tigris ran black with ink from the enormous quantity of books flung into the river. Citizens attempted to flee but were intercepted by Mongol soldiers.
Death counts vary widely and cannot be easily substantiated: A low estimate is about 90,000 dead  higher estimates range from 200,000 to a million.  The Mongols looted and then destroyed. Mosques, palaces, libraries, hospitals — grand buildings that had been the work of generations — were burned to the ground. The caliph was captured and forced to watch as his citizens were murdered and his treasury plundered. Il Milione, a book on the travels of Venetian merchant Marco Polo, states that Hulagu starved the caliph to death, but there is no corroborating evidence for that. Most historians believe the Mongol and Muslim accounts that the caliph was rolled up in a rug and the Mongols rode their horses over him, as they believed that the earth was offended if touched by royal blood. All but one of his sons were killed. Baghdad was a depopulated, ruined city for several centuries. Smaller states in the region hastened to reassure Hulagu of their loyalty, and the Mongols turned to Syria in 1259, conquering the Ayyubids and sending advance patrols as far ahead as Gaza.
A thousand northern Chinese engineer squads accompanied the Mongol Khan Hulagu during his conquest of the Middle East.  
Far to the east of Baghdad, meanwhile, a young warrior called Temujin managed to unite the Mongols and took the title Genghis Khan. It would be his grandson, Hulagu, who would push the boundaries of the Mongol Empire into what is now Iraq and Syria. Hulagu's primary purpose was to solidify his grip on the heartland of the Ilkhanate in Persia. He first completely annihilated the fanatical Shiite group known as the Assassins, destroying their mountain-top stronghold in Persia, and then marched south to demand that the Abbasids capitulate.
The Caliph Mustasim heard rumors of the Mongols' advance but was confident that the entire Muslim world would rise up to defend its ruler if need be. However, the Sunni caliph had recently insulted his Shiite subjects, and his own Shiite grand vizier, al-Alkamzi, may have even invited the Mongols to attack the poorly-led caliphate.
Late in 1257, Hulagu sent a message to Mustasim demanding that he open the gates of Baghdad to the Mongols and their Christian allies from Georgia. Mustasim replied that the Mongol leader should return to where he came from. Hulagu's mighty army marched on, surrounding the Abbasid capital, and slaughtering the caliph's army that sallied out to meet them.
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Hülegü, also spelled Hulagu, (born c. 1217—died Feb. 8, 1265, Jazīreh-ye-Shāhī, Iran), Mongol ruler in Iran who founded the Il-Khanid dynasty and, as part of a Mongol program of subduing the Islāmic world, seized and sacked Baghdad, the religious and cultural capital of Islām. Some historians consider that he did more than anyone else to destroy medieval Iranian culture.
Hülegü, a grandson of Genghis Khan, was appointed by his brother Mangu Khan, the fourth great khan of the Mongols, to extend Mongol power in Islāmic areas. Hülegü destroyed the fortress of the Assassins (a militant Islāmic sect) in 1256 at Alāmut in north central Iran. He then defeated the caliph’s army and captured and executed al- Mustaʿṣim, the last of the ʿAbbāsid caliphs, and in 1258 he seized and largely destroyed Baghdad. He captured Syria but was decisively defeated by an Egyptian army in 1260. He then returned to Iran, settling in the province of Azerbaijan.
Are there any primary sources on the letter Hulagu wrote to Qutuz? - History
Hülägü Khan (1258-1263), nephew of Gengis Qan, conquered the territories of Iran and Mesopotamia during the military campaign he led at the head of his army during the years 1256-1260. Hülägü received from his elder brother the Great Qan Möngkä (1252-1259) the order to submit south-western Asia. To achieve this goal, Hülägü was entrusted with a fifth of the Mongol royal army. At the head of this considerable number of soldiers, Hülägü first defeated the moslem sect of the Assassins (Alamut capitulated on the 22nd November 1256), captured then Baghdad (10th February 1258), definitively destroying the decadent Caliphate of the 'Abbasids ruled at the time by the caliph Musta'sim bi'llā (1242-1258). The conquest and devastation of Baghdad had been planned long before by the Mongols. The occupation of the most part of Iraq was facilitated by agreements that many schiite governors had met with the Mongol authorities. The Christians of Mesopotamia also supported the Mongol power. The attack on Baghdad was displayed from three different directions: Hülägü's central wing came from Kermanshah down to the Tigris plain the left wing of the Mongol army had rushed down through Luristan via Khuzistan towards Baghdad while the right wing had proceded from Azerbaijan via Erbil. Tscharmaghan and Baiju noyans had led a separate corp into Mesopotamia from Rum, marching south from Mosul. Moving into Syria, Hülägü's army captured Aleppo and Damascus (1st March 1260). Bohemond VI (approx. 1237-1274), prince of Antioch and count of Tripolis and son-in-law of the best allied of the Mongols Hethum of Lesser Armenia, seeing his territory occupied by the Mongols, offered them almost immediately his submission without rising against the invaders. This act costed him a temporary excommunication from the roman Church which still considered the Mongols as cruel and fearsome barbarians. Hülägü's triumphant campaign was brought to a halt by the Mamluk army on the 3rd of September 1260 in 'Ain Jalut (Palestine), where Hülägüs army was defeated by the Egyptian power. Möngkä Qan's death -occurred probably during the spring 1259- had caused an interruption of the military campaigns his younger brothers Hülägü and Qubilay were simultaneously attending to. After Hülägü had received the news of Möngkä's death, he regained Tabriz with the most part of his troops, leaving the supreme command in Palestine to his general Ketbogha. Under these circumstances took place the battle of 'Ain Jalut, a turning point for the history of the Mongol conquest.
The decision of Möngkä Qan (1252-1259) after his election in 1251 1 to expand the territorial borders of his kingdom was a clear sign of the strong will of the new ruling house of Tului 2 to establish its power according to a precise political pattern of conquest. As a matter of fact, Hülägü took charge of the task to march towards the West, in order to conquer south-western Asia 3 , while his brother Qubilay was given an army of 70 000 men 4 to proceed with the campaign of conquest in south China, which was started in 1211 by his grandfather Genghis Qan (1167-1227). 5
Möngkä himself held in 1256 an Empire Assembly (quriltay) 6 during which he confirmed the conquering tasks that Qubilay and Hülägü were in charge of. In order to constitute the necessary army for Hülägü, Möngkä decided to give him one fifth of the Mongol army. 7
This way, Hülägü could start his campaign in 1253 Ketboġas vanguard had already departed on the 24 th August 1252. 8 Together with Hülägü were his wives Doquz Khātun and Uljaï Khātun, his sons Abaqa and Ya&scaronmut. 9
The official Order of the quriltay instructed Hülägü to destroy the Ismailis fortresses, to bend the Caliph to Mongol submission and always to ask to Doquz Khātun for advice. 10
Hülägü moved forward from Mongolia stage by stage, up to Almaligh and Samarqand, where he arrived with his following in 1255. 11 Here he was welcomed with great honours by his vassal Chems ad-Din Kert, the melik of Herat. 12 On the 2 nd January 1256 13 Hülägü stepped on the other side of 'Amu Darya in a triumphal and celebrative style together with the princes and kings who had decided to fight at his side: the Rūms monarchs brothers Iz-ad-Dīn and Rokn ad-Dīn, Sa'ad -atabeg of Fars- and many other princes from Iraq, Azerbaijan, Arran and Sirwan. 14
From this moment onward, the real campaign could begin.
Hülägü set his military diplomatic activity at work. Many letters were sent in which the diverse monarchs of territories that the Mongols were intended to conquer, were invited to surrender. 15 The kingdoms of Asia Minor since the collapse of Ayyubid power (1171-1250) had had to deal with the Mongols and in several occasions they had already come to previous political agreements with them, for example in the case of Badr ad-Dīn Lu'Lu atabeg of Mosul who had allowed coins to be minted in Hülägüs honour before his arrival 16 and the Shiites of Mesopotamia. 17
Thereupon, Hülägü started to achieve his first goal: the destruction of the Assassins sect.
The master of the Assasins Order was Muhammad II Al ad-Dīn b. Hasan III, who was murdered (1221-1255). 18 Soon after his death, Isma'ili's agitators were already at work in Ray, evidently looking towards winning a new popular following and perhaps arousing a new general revolt. After the death of Shah Jalal ad-Dīn of Khoresm (1231) the sentiment of revolt was aroused. Prophecies of how the Imam was going to conquer the world had long appeared in Isma'Ili works, but we find an unusually detailed prophecy in one of Tusi's works of this period. 19
The main Order's fortresses were situated chiefly in the region of Kuhistan, particularly in the mountains of Mazanderan. The best known fortification was 'Alamut, on a steep mountain in the northeast of Qazwin, surrounded by thick walls. 20
Ketboġa broke into the Taliqan Mountains and decided to attack the fortress of Garde Kuh (named also Derigonbad). 21 The meaning of garde kuh (pers.) is "turning mountain", due to the fortification type of the citadel, which was surrounded by a triple system of thick walls. 22 Ketboġa gave orders to dig a deep ditch near by the citadel surrounded by a high and resistant wall the Mongol army encamped behind this safe construction, and the soldiers erected another wall behind their encampment, so that they could avoid any attack risks from all side. 23
The invading Mongols had brought with them many siege machines (&scaronahdiz) 24 and many references had been made in chronicles to the function of Chinese engineers. 25 The moral effect of a particular engine certainly succeeded in shortening the siege at Garde Kuh.
The kamāni gāv (pers."ox's bow") appears to have been a large crossbow, mounted on a frame and shooting bolts dipped into burning pitch that could reach right into the caves. The kamāni gāv has been credited with a range of 2 500 paces (more than two kilometres). On this occasion, the weapon was used to stop communication between the various galleries. 26 The Ismaili's Great Master, Khūr &Scaronāh Rukn ad-Dīn b. Muhammad III (1255-1256), appeared to have lost his nerves and sent a message claiming that he had intended to surrender all along, but had been prevented by his own men, who had threatened to assassinate him. Khūr &Scaronāh asked Hülägü to give him a years-time to dismantle the fortifications of the Isamili's kingdom and to submit his people to obedience, but the Il-Khān refused these conditions and marched from Bostam towards the Ismaili's territories with his ordu. The right wing (bara'un&gammaar) 27 , led by Köke Ilka and Buġa Timur went down to Mazanderan the left wing (je'ün&gammaar) 28 under the order of prince Tägüdär Aġul and of Ketboġa noyan descended on the way to Xwar and Semnan, while Hülägü rode in the middle (töb or &gammaol) 29 with his tümen 30 towards Firuzkuh, striking the last great attack. 31
On the 18 th November 1256 the astronomer Nasr ad-Dīn Tusi, who had been held as a virtual prisoner in Maymun Diz, came down offering his surrender. 32 On the 19 th November 1256 the Great Master himself emerged. 33 The Mongols destroyed then the extraordinary cave-fortress of Maymun-Diz.
One aspect that has puzzled archaeologists and historians is why the neighbouring Assassin garrison at 'Alamut made no effort to raid the besieging Mongols and thus taking the pressure off their comrades in Maymun-Diz.
The Imam chief of the Assassins, was captured by Hülägü and forced to give the order to surrender to the remaining resisting fortresses. Notwithstanding, the besieged Assassins didn't obey his order and 'Alamut capitulated on the 22 nd November 1256. 34
Initially Khūr&scaronāh was treated with respect, received a païza 35 and a yarliġ 36 and was even married to a Mongolian aristocratic woman, 37 but after the fall of 'Alamut he was sent to the Great Qan and was killed on the way to (or back from?) Qaraqorum. 38
Before the Mongols attacked, Khūr&scaronāh was joined by the usual formal invitation to surrender, which he refused. After this event, some Assassins joined Hülägüs army. 39
At the time of the election of the Great Qan Güyük in 1246, an embassy of the Assassins came to his court, but the Qan refused to give them an audience. 40 This attitude of the Mongols was really unusual, always having being well disposed to those powers, which wanted to establish diplomatic relationships with them. Probably this hostility towards the Ismailis was due to an antecedent fact. The Ismailis are indeed reported to have sent envoys in 1238 to the court of France and England in Western Europe to try to arrange for joint actions by Christians and Muslims against the Mongols. 41
The fierce Order of the Assassins, that had terrified the Seljuk Sultanate and the abbasid Caliphate, was in the end removed by the Mongols. That was an enormous favour, which the Mongols had done for the Islamic community. 42 But the joy of the Caliph could not last any longer, because Hülägü's next target was the Caliphate itself!
During the spring of 1257 Hülägü moved his headquarter from Qazwin to Hamadan, where he received Baidju noyan and reproached him for his laziness. 43
The Baghdad Caliphate had become a decadent reign, territorially restricted to Baghdad and to the region of Iraq 'arabi. 44 Since 1242 the Caliph Musta'sim bi'llā (1242-1258) ruled in Baghdad. 45 From Hamadan, Hülägü sent him a legacy of four people who handed him over an Ultimatum. 46
In the beginning the Caliph seemed willing to recognise Hülägü's rule and to perform the hutba 47 in his name, but he was then convinced by his entourage 48 to send an embassy to Hülägü reminding the Mongol Khan that all the previous attempts to take Baghdad had failed. 49
From then on, Hülägü started to make preparations for the siege of the town. He ordered all his military forces to congregate and to march towards the Abbasid capital from different sides. Baidju and others had to block the west approach to Baghdad and to guard the west side of the river so that nobody could enter or escape. After a five days siege, the Mongol army took Baghdad.
The destruction of the Abbasid army was also due to the lack of help on the part of other Muslim princes. The assault of Baghdad had long been planned. The Round City, built for the Caliph al Mansur on the West bank of the Tigris, had crumbled into ruins. The city, and the small state that the Caliphs had managed to re-establish since the decline of the Saljuqs, had a small army of professional slave-recruited Mamluk soldiers, plus Arab tribes from southern Iraq. To this could be added a citizen militia of dubious reliability and very little training. 50
Hülägü and his central wing left Hamdan in November 1252, ransacking the city of Kerman Shah on their way down to the Tigris plain by that time Ketboġa had already taken the left wing down through Luristan towards Baghdad while the right wing under Baiju marched south from Irbil crossing the bridge of Mosul, establishing his headquarter on the west side of the Tigris river. 51 Here, they were joined by the Princes Bulgha, Kuli, Kotar (Batu's nephew) and by Buqa Timur and Suqundjaq noyan who had come from Schehsor and Daku. 52
After threats and counter threats going between Hülägü and the Caliph, the Mongol army set on a camp on the banks of Hulvan river while Baiju, Suqndjaq and Buka Timur led his men across the Small Tigris, wanting to attack Bagdad from the rear. Suqunjaq with permission from Baidju to be the leader of the vanguard of the western army marching towards Baghdad. 53 When the Caliph's little dawadtar, heard of this threat coming from the rear, he led the Caliph's army across the west bank of the river and attacked Suqunjaq near Anbar, nine parasangs 54 west from Baghdad. 55 The Mongols were at first driven back until rallied by Baiju himself. The Caliph's army was lured into marshy terrain where they were trapped when the Mongols opened a dyke. 56 There the Caliph's men were cut to pieces, only their commander and a few troops escaped back to Baghdad, while other survivors fled south into the desert.
As was Mongol practice, a palisade and a ditch were built around the entire besieged eastern city from riverbank to riverbank. 57 The Mongols used the stones taken from the mountains of Hamrin and Djelula and even palmwood pieces as projectiles for the seige machines. 58
On January 29 th the Mongol final attack began and by the 4 th February a breach had been opened in the southeastern corner of the defences, near the persian tower (burj 'ajami). 59 This appeared to have been a key position for Hülägü's army. On the 5 th February the Mongols attacked again and by dawn next day they controlled a stretch of the defensive wall from the Persian Tower to the neighbouring Bab al Tillism (Racecourse Gate). On the 10 th February 1258 the capital of the Abbasids fell in Hülägüs hands, who promised to spare the God's erudite, the scheïkhs, the descendants of 'Ali (the sajids), the merchants and all of them who had not borne arms against him. 60
On the side of the Sultan's market on which were encamped Bulgha and Tutar, 61 the Mongols had difficulties in seizing the difensive walls. As Hülägü reproached them, they tried a new assault which was successful and by the night on the same day the Mongols had occuppied the entire eastern defensive fortification of the town. The Mongols had blocked the water ways of the Tigris by building up boat-bridges on which were set siege machines and check-points. 62
Some times after the capitulation of Baghdad Hülägü let bring the Caliph before him, he judged him and condemned him to death. He was put in a sacklcloth which was sewed up around him and with kicks of their feet they killed him. 63
On their return from Baghdad Badr-ad-Dīn from Mosul bought the fortress of Irbil from the Mongols for seventy thousend dīnārs and he placed his guards therein. 64
Hülägü then prepared for the third part of his task: the conquest of the Jazira (upper Mesopotamia), Syria and a part of Egypt. 65 Before his start of the concluding part of his campaign, Hülägü asked his vassal Badr ad- Dīn Lu'Lu', from Herat to send to the battlefield his son Ssalih. The Atabeg obeyed Hülägü's order, sending him his son. This fact gave Hülägü great joy and rewarded Ssalih by giving him the hand of the daughter of the last great sultan of Chorezm. 66 After that, the Mongols started the war on the 12 th September 1259. 67 The generals Baidju and &Scaroniqtur were in charge of the right wing, other Emirs were leading the left wing, while Hülägü was riding in the centre. 68
The Kurdish tribe of the Hakkjari, settled in the territory of Aqlat, were wiped away by the passage of the Mongol army. 69 The Lord of Mayyafariqun, Melik Al Kamil Muhammad had allowed the crucifixion of a Syriac priest who had been sent as a Mongol's envoy with a yarliġ from Baghdad. 70
At the time Hülägü's massive invasion force is said to have numbered 120 000 men. 71 It included Turkish, Georgian and Armenian contingents and once again marched in four separate divisions. The Armenian military contingent for the conquest totalled 12 000 cavalrymen and 40 000 infantrymen. 72 They first struck Mayyafaraqin, in the mountains west of lake Van. In light of his recent refusal to take part in the conquest of Baghdad Al Kamil Muhammad, notwithstanding his official submission to Hülägü, made preparations for the defence of the town. 73 Badr ad-Dīn Lu' Lu's son Ssalih was sent to besiege the town of Amid, known today as Dyarbakir. Hülägü himself rode to Roha -the old Edessa- while other Mongol units seized Nisibin, Harran and Urfa.
The same fate occurred to the Syrian Latin city of Antioch (March 1260), 74 who's prince Bohemond VI hurried to surrender to Hülägü, most likely wisely counselled by his father-in-law Hethum, King of Lesser Armenia. Bohemond's decision later cost him an excommunication from St. Peter. 75
In Aleppo Nasser Yusuf's son was beaten on the battlefield and the town surrendered in less than a week, although the huge citadel held out until 25 th February. The Mongol's Armenian allies burnt down the Great Mosque in the city. 76 Hims and Hama were deserted by their rulers who fled to Egypt. Al Nasir Yusuf, Sultan of Damascus, fled towards Gaza leaving the city without defence. Hülägü's general Ketboġa entered Damascus on the 1 st March 1260, 77 but the citadel continued to resist for one more month. Nasir Yusuf was captured eventually in the Jordan and sent to Hülägü.
The Mongol army was near by Gaza, when news reached Hülägü of the death of his brother, the Great Qan Möngkä. 78 Hülägü hurried immediately back to Tabriz, from where he could safely watch the events in Mongolia, taking the main part of the army with him. He left the supreme command to his general Ketboġa who had a reduced army of 20 000 or 10 000 troops. 79 His task was to round up the remaining resistance and establish an administration in the conquered parts of Syria.
In the same period and because of Qan Möngkäs death, Qubilay interrupted his campaign against the southern Song. 80 The election of the new Great Qan was now to be made between Qubilay and his younger brother Ayriq Boġa, governor of Mongolia, both stemming from the house of Tului to which also Hülägü belonged. Qubilay promptly arranged his own irregular election at Shang-du by Dolon-nor on the Luang-he river, where on the 4 th June 1260, a quriltay composed of his own army acclaimed him as Qan of the Khans. 81
In April 1260 82 a papal embassy led by a man named David was sent to Hülägü. 83 The decision to send an embassy to the Mongol ruler was taken by Thomas d'Agni - Bishop of Bethlehem and Legatus Apostolicus in the Holy Land- together with the Regent of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. 84
That was the first diplomatic attempt the Crusader States made to get in contact with the new-founded Il-khanid kingdom of Persia. As we have seen before with Bohemond of Antioch, the Latin Christians of Outremer did not see the Mongols as potential allies. At that time, it seemed to be unclear how the alliance pattern in Syria was going to develop.
Many Crusader States seem to have held a kind of neutrality among the fights between the Saracens and the Mongols. Ketboġa did try to avoid a clash with the Crusaders, but on the 17 th August 1260, his troops ransacked the port of Sidon. The reasons for this attack remain unclear. It seems that the Sidon incident was provoked by Julian of Sidon, a Frankish baron who went out of his way to annoy the Mongols. From his castle in Beaufort he led a wide-ranging foray into the Marj Ayun and brought back considerable spoils. The newly appointed keeper of the frontier over against Sidon was Ketboġa's nephew, who had no intention of putting up with such a violation of Mongol territory. He took a small group of men and pursued Julian, but was defeated and killed. Greatly angered, Ketboġa sent his men to attack the Lordship of Sidon. The Mongols pillaged the town, razing the walls and killing everyone they found, but they did not attack the landward or the seaward castle, which seems to show that they did not mean to annex the coastal colonies. From that time onwards Ketboġa ceased to trust the Franks, perpetrators of an act of aggression, which had touched him personally, and the Franks could never forget the ransacking of Sidon. 85
After this event some barons of the Latin Kingdoms probably adopted a kind of neutral policy towards the Mamluks, who were led at the time by the Sultan Sayf ad-Dīn Qutuz. This policy allowed them to pass through Frankish territory and even to enter Acre. 86
In 1260 Egypt was threatened by a Mongol attack after Sultan Qutuz had rejected Hülägü's demand of an unconditional surrender and had the Mongol ambassadors executed. 87 Despite the opposition of several Emires, Qutuz and his Emire Baybars decided to forestall attack by moving their troops up into Syria. 88
Meanwhile Ketboġa had gathered his forces, crushed a rising by the Muslims of Damascus and marched down into the Jordan valley. The Mamluks struck inland from Acre, and the two armies moved towards each other until they met in &lsquoAin Jalut. According to Rashid ad-Din, Qutuz laid an ambush with the greater part of his army while he himself led only a small detachment. The Mongols attacked immediately Qutuz's force they overwhelmed it with a shower of arrows and then, emboldened by their success, rushed their opponents, killing a large number of Egyptians. Suddenly in their wild pursuit they reached the place where the main part of the Mamluk army laid in ambush. The future Sultan Baybars al-Bunduqdāri was particularly outstanding due to his personal commitment and military leadership.
According to Ibn al- Dawadari, as soon a Ketboġa discovered that the Mamluk army was camping on the plain before Acre, he moved down to the Jordan valley. Sultan Qutuz sent a scouting party under Baybars to approach the Mongols.
Baybars skirmished repeatedly with the Mongol vanguard, attacking them again and again only to retreat on each occasion. 89 In this way, he lured the Mongols to the very place the Mamluks wanted: them &lsquoAin Jalut, an ideal battlefield with its wooded ridges, water supply and adjacent plain.
The Mongols nevertheless fought valiantly, but when they could no longer hold their own, they turned in retreat. Ketboġa himself refused to quit the battlefield and continued fighting until he was taken prisoner. Brought before Qutuz he fell into a vehement argument with the Mamluk Sultan who had him beheaded on the spot. It has been generally assumed that the Mongols forces were fewer than the Mamluk's, but recent studies show that this was probably not the case. The Mamluk army was large, from 15 000 to 20 000 men, but the majority were Turcoman or Arab tribal auxiliaries and poorly equipped cavalry of very mixed origins. The Mamluks themselves formed a small elite of well-armed and highly trained professional warriors. 90 Ketboġa's army equally numbered from 10 000 to 20 000, including Georgian and Armenian auxiliaries.
The two armies met in 'Ain Jalut (Spring of Goliath) 91 on the 3 rd September 1260, where the Mongols suffered a heavy defeat. Ketboġa himself was captured and beheaded. As soon as Hülägü was informed of the death of his general, he had the Sultan of Damascus and other ayyubid princes executed. 92 One of Ketboġas lieutenants, Ilqa noyan, managed to rally together the rest of the Mongol contingent that remained in Syria and led them to Anatolia.
The battle of 'Ain Jalut has a considerable significance for the political and military strategy, which the Mamluks subsequently adopted. Having re-conquered only a small part of the Muslim territory formerly occupied by the Mongols, the Muslim troops could quickly converte the cities of Syria back to Ayyubid or Mamluk control, without that Hülägü could never attempt to avenge the death of his general. This battle represented the high-water mark of Mongol expansion in the Near East. But why did they not stay? Probably because the territory of Syria offered insufficient grassland to sustain the horses necessary for a permanent occupation. The Mongol armies habitually campaigned with several horses for each man. Various figures are given in the sources, but a fair average would be around 5 horses per man 93 moreover, we must count an average of two slaves and thirty sheep and goats for every horseman. 94 But this matter of logistics regarding the provision of food for the horses and camels does not explain everything. We must always keep in mind that at the time of King Hülägü the organization of the military system was not precisely regulated by a salary for each warrior, on the contrary, we know exactly that the main income for each of them consisted of profits coming from the spoils that they had gathered during the campaigns. 95 We think that these continuous "extraterritorial" incursions were due to the structural need of the military-based form of Mongol political system to maintain itself and to provide for the warriors a satisfactory reward after the struggles of war.
After a few months after the facts of 'Ain Jalut, the Il-khanid King could only afford to send some 6 000 men to retake Aleppo. The Mongols then marched south, but outside Hims they met a small defensive army of local ayyubid and ex-ayyubid forces. There, on the 10 th December 1260 they suffered once again a defeat, despite apparently outnumbering the Muslim defenders by almost four to one. 96
The last defeat of Hims determined the end of the Mongol expansion in southwest Asia and at the same time it marked the territorial borders within which the Il-khanid Mongol power would act as a sovereign state. From then on, the Mamluks would fight the Il-Khanids mainly per procura thanks to the alliance with the "rebel cousin" Berke Khan, heir of Batu's Golden Horde. The next decade of was to be determined by an exhausting conflict around the Caucasus region, without the successors of Hülägü being able to forget their Syrian dream, regularly organizing a new campaign to conquer it.
1 B. Spuler, Die Mongolen in Iran, 4th ed., Berlin 1985 p. 43: Erst am 1. Luili 1251 fand in Ködä'ä Aral unter den üblichen Förmlichkeiten die Wahl statt, aus der Möngkä endgültig als Gross-Chan hervorging.
2 The youngest son of Genghis Qan. He had been regent after his father's death in the years 1227-1229. About his name see P. Pelliot, «Quelques mots d'Asie Centrale», in : Journal Asiatique , 1913, I, p. 460.
3 R. Grousset, L'Empire des Steppes, Paris 1939, p. 427 Spuler, Mongolen., p. 44.
4 Spuler, Mongolen., p. 44 Ra&scaronīd ad-Dīn II, 274.
5 See D. Martin, "Chinghiz Khan's First Invasion of the Chin Empire" in: Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 1943.
6 . that is to say, the «Great Assembly» cf. E. A. Wallis Budge, The Cronography of Gregory Abû'l- Faraj (1225-1286), London 1932, I, p. 419. See also Spuler, Mongolen., p. 212-17.
7 Ra&scaronīd ad-Dīn/Quatremère, Histoire des Mongols de la Perse, Paris 1836, I, p.128-130 : . on levât deux hommes sur dix, qui ne seraient point en ligne de compte, et formant le contingent particulier de Houlagou, l'accompagneraient dans son expédition. see also Spuler, Mongolen., p. 44 a. 334.
8 Ra&scaronīd ad-Dīn/Quatremère, I, p. 166 Wallis Budge, Chronography., p. 419.
10 J. von Hammer-Purgastall, Geschichte der Ilchane, das ist der Mongolen in Persien (1200-1350), Textauszüge aus Wassaf u. anderen, p. 86 cf. Ra&scaronīd ad-Dīn/Quatremèrre I, pp. 140-44.
13 Hethum d. G. (42), Wardan (182), Kirakos (217), Ra&scaronīd ad-Dīn/Quatremère, I, p. 149, Hammer-Purgastall/Wassaf , I, p. 87.
14 Hammer-Purgastall/Wassaf, p. 90 Ra&scaronīd ad-Dīn/Quatremère, p. 150.
16 British Museum VI, LIV about this subject see D. S. Rice, "The Brasses of Badr al-Dīn Lu'lu'", in. Bullettin of the School of Orientl and African Studies, XIII/3 (1950), p. 627-634.
17 Seit Hülägü, haben die Schiiten eine andere Richtung eingeschlagen und sind zu einer Zusammenarbeit mit den Mongolen gekommen cf. Spuler, Mongolen., p. 196.
18 About the Isma'ili rule see The Cambridge History of Iran, vol. V, p. 478.
19 Cambridge History of Iran, V, p. 478.
20 G. Altunian, Die Mongolen und ihre Eroberungen in kaukasischen und kleinasiatischen Ländern im XIII. Jahrhundert, Berlin 1911 (Historische Studien, XCI), p. 44.
21 Hammer-Purgastall/Wassaf, p. 93.
23 Cf. Qatremère/Ra&scaronīd ad-Dīn, I, p. 170 Hammer Purgastall/Wassaf, p. 93
24 Hammer-Purgastall/Wassaf, p. 93 Ra&scaronīd ad-Dīn/Quatremère, I, 284-290.
25 The Mongols mainly relied upon Chinese and later Moslems to manufacture and operate siege machines. There is no sign in the Secret History or elsewhere that the Mongols had koweledge of siege machines of every sort. They did, however, learn how to use catapults and organized catapult troops of their own and had not long after their invasion of North China had begun. Cf. Ch'i-ch'ing Hsiao, The military Establishment of the Yuan Dynasty, Harvard 1978, p. 12, n. 79, p. 133 see also Ra&scaronīd ad-Dīn/Quatremère, I, p. 133.
26 D. Nicolle, The Mongol Warlords: Genghis Khan, Kublai Khan, Hülägü, Tamerlane. Plates by R. Hook, Firebird books: Pole 1990, p. 128.
27 Ch'i- ch'ing Hsiao, Military Establishment., p. 10 Spuler, Mongolen., p. 331.
29 Ch'i-ch'ing Hsiao, Military Establishment., p. 10 Spuler Mongolen see also Ra&scaronīd ad-Dīn/Quatremère, I, p. 200, note 52.
30 "Myriarchy" cf. Ch'i-ch'ing Hsiao, Military Establishment., p. 9-10 see also Spuler, Mongolen., p. 330-38.
I basically agree with Mr. Morgan's opinion: It has commonly been assumed that a part from the primary sense of "ten thousand" and more specifically "a unit of ten thousand men", it has the secondary sense of a district that provided ten thousand men for the Mongol armies cf. D. O. Morgan, "The Mongol Armies in Persia", in: Der Islam, 1979, p. 90, note 49.
32 Hammer/Purgastall/Wassaf, p. 95. "it-IT">Ra&scaronīd ad-Dīn/Quatremère, I, p. 176.
33 Hammer-Purgastall/Wassaf, p. 102 Ra&scaronīd ad-Dīn/Quatremère, I, p. 212.
34 Spuler, Mongolen., p. 46 cf. Ra&scaronīd ad-Dīn/Quatremère, I, 182.
35 The païza was a golden, silver or bronze tablet, which was given to high-ranking persons or to anybody who was travelling under the protection of the Qan. For a detailed description of the païza see Spuler, Mongolen., p. 241 a. 244.
36 The meaning of yarliġ (mong.) is "order" . It was a text with the seal of the Qan's chancellery usually accompanying the païza. For more details, see Spuler, Mongolen., p. 245.
37 Hammer-Purgastall/Wassaf, p. 105 Ra&scaronīd ad-Dīn/Quatremère, I, p. 216.
38 Apparently in the Khangai mountains see Cambr. Hist. Iran, p. 480. According to Wassaf, as the Qan Möngkä was informed of Khūr&scaronāh's approaching to his court, he exclaimed: "Why send him here?", after that he sent him an ambassy announcing he was condemned to death. Cf. Hammer-Purgastall/Wassaf, p. 105 See also Ra&scaronīd ad-Dīn/Quatremère, I, p. 218.
40 Ibid see also Cambr. Hist. Iran, p. 478: The breach with Mongols became when the Mongols refused to recognise the Isma'ilis envoys in Mongolia.
41 Cambr. Hist. Iran, vol. V, p. 479.
42 And by the means of these blessed captures God had mercy on all the kings of the Arabs and Christians who lived in terror and trembling through the fear of the Ishmaelites who were carriers of daggers and were shedders of innocent blood Cf. Wallis Budge, Chronography., p. 423.
43 Ra&scaronīd ad-Dīn/Quatremère, I, p. 224 Hammer-Purgastall/Wassaf, pp. 107-8.
44 G. Soranzo, Il Papato, l'Europa cristiana e i Tartari, Milano 1930, p. 170.
45 Ra&scaronīd ad-Dīn/Quatremère, I, p. 226: . le khalife Mostasem était un prince sans capacité, sans talent pour l'administration, et d'un ésprit faible Grousset, Empire., p. 485.
46 Hammer-Purgastall/Wassaf, p. 118 Ra&scaronīd ad-Dīn/Quatremère, p. 231.
47 Politic speech held on every Friday in the mosque.
48 At the head of the &bdquowar party" was the little dewadtdar (porte-écritoire) Mujahid ad-Dīn-Aibeg cf. Ra&scaronīd ad-Dīn/Quatremère, I, p. 226.
49 Hammer-Purgastall/Wassaf, p. 144 Ra&scaronīd ad-Dīn/Quatremère, I, p. 250.
50 Nicolle, Warlords., p. 130. See also map p. 131.
51 Hammer-Purgastall/Wassaf p. 146 Ra&scaronīd ad-Dīn/Quatremère, I, p. 262.
54 1 parasang is 5.25 kilometres.
55 In the nearabouts of Dudjel Hammer-Purgastall/Wassaf, p. cfr. Ra&scaronīd ad-Dīn/Quatremére, I, p. 280.
59 Hammer/Purgastall/Wassaf, p. 150 Ra&scaronīd ad-Dīn/Quatremére, I, p. 282.
60 Ra&scaronīd ad-Dīn/Quatremére, I, p. 282 cf. Spuler, Mongolen., p.47.
61 Hammer-Purgastall/Wassaf, p. 149: Enkel Dschudschi's, mit Schiramun und Arktin.
63 Wallis Budge, Chronography., p. 431. Ra&scaronīd ad-Dīn does not mention the way the Caliph was executed. About this subject see also Boyle, "The death of the last Abbasid Caliph: A contemporary Muslim Account", in: Journal of Semitic Studies, VI Nr. 2 (1961).
64 Wallis Budge, Chronography., p. 431.
65 Hammer-Purgastall/Wassaf, p. 167.
66 Hammer-Purgastall/Wassaf, p. 173 Wallis Budge, Chronography., p. 427.
68 Hammer-Purgastall/Wassaf, p. 173.
70 Hammer-Purgastall/Wassaf, p. 174, Grousset, Empire., p. 434.
72 Bar Haebreus ch. 28 Hammer-Purgastall/Wassaf Soranzo, Papato., p. 171.
73 See Amedroz, History of Mayyafariqun, p. 805 f and 805, note 1.
74 Aleppo's and Antioch's siege took place almost at the same time see R. Röhricht, Regesta Regni Hierosolimitani (MXCVII-MCCXCI), Innsbruck 1891, p. 337 Soranzo, Papato., p. 174.
75 About this event, see Soranzo, Papato., note 2, p. 175 P. G. Golubovich, Biblioteca Bio-Bibliografica della Terra Santa e dell'Oriente Francescano, Quaracchi Firenze 1913, vol. I, p. 253-4.
77 See the letter of Thomas d'Agni dated 1 st March 1260 in: Röhricht, Regesta., p. 337, n. 1288.
78 He probably died in 1259 during the siege of the chinese town Ho-chow, affected by a desease cf. Grousset, Empire., p. 351 Ra&scaronīd ad-Dīn I 340 see also Soranzo, Papato., p. 173, Spuler, Mongolen., p.51.
79 Grousset, Empire., p. 437, note 4.
80 He made a temporary truce on the river Yang zi and hurried north cf. Grousset, Empire., p. 352.
81 Grousset, Empire., p. 352 Soranzo, Papato., p. 177.
82 See B. Roberg, &bdquoDie Tartaren auf dem 2. Konzil von Lyon 1274» in: Annuarium Historiae Conciliorum, V, 1973.
83 J. Richard, « Le Début des Rélations entre la Papauté et les Mongols de Perse» , in: Journal Asiatique , CCXXXVII, Paris 1949.
85 Grousset, Empire., p. 438 Hammer-Purgastall/Wassaf, p. 197 J. Richard, The Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem, Amsterdam, New York, Oxford 1979, p. 390.
86 Jestes des Chiprois,Documents arméniens, I, 753 Manuscrit de Rothelin, Historien des Croisades, p. 637. About the safeconduct obtained by Qutuz through frankish territory see also Richard, Kingdom Jerusalem., p. 390 P.Thorau, Sultan Baybars I von Ägypten, Wiesbaden 1987, p. 92, note 10.
87 Qirtāy ta&lsquorih, fol. 59 and 59 Baybars al-Mansūrī, Tuhfa fol. 8 v, and Zubda, fol. 38 r. Maqrīzī, Sulūk I2, p. 427-429 (Quatremère I A, p. 101-103) cfr. Qualqa&scaronandī, Subh VIII, p. 63 f Ra&scaronīīd ad Dīn/Quatremère p. 341-47.
88 Ibn Wāsil, Muffarrij al-kurūb fi akhbar Banī Ayyūb, Paris MS. Bibil. nat., fonds arabe 1703, fol. 159 v.-fol. 160 r. Qirtāy, Ta'rīkh al-nawādir mimmā jarā li'l-awā'il wa'l.
89 Ibn al-Dawādāri, Kanznal-durar, ed. U. Haarmann, Freiburg 1971 Viii, 49, Ibn al-Furat, M.S. Vatican Arab. 726, fol. 245 v.
91 A village between Baysan and Nablus see Encyclopaedia of Islam (2 nd edition), I, 786-87 see also A.S. Marmadji, Textes géographiques arabes sur la Palestine, Paris 1951, p. 152 Le Strange, Palestine under the Moslems, London 1890, p. 386 and 461.
93 According to Wassaf, during Ghazan Khan's invasion of Syria in 1299-1300 each man had five horses see Ta'rih-i Wassaf, ed M.M. Isfahani, litograph, Bombay, 1852-3 (=Wassaf), p. 273. The same is reported by al-'Umarī for the Army of the Golden Horde see Das Mongolische Weltreich, ed. And tr.K. Lech, Wiesbaden, 1968, arabic text p. 79, tr. p. 145. I completely agree with Mr. Morgan's opinion about the subject, see his article "The Mongol Armies in Persia", in: Der Islam, 1979, pp. 85-86.
94 K. Lech, Mongolische Welt., p. 145.
95 Hondamir III 61 Ra&scaronīd ad-Dīn/Wien 314 Ohsson IV-429 see also Spuler, Mongolen., p. 253 Lech, Mongolische Welt., p. 154-5. It seems that by Hülägü's time started a sort of "reform" for the soldier's salary, a sort of 'iqta without much success.
Are there any primary sources on the letter Hulagu wrote to Qutuz? - History
Reasons for the Mongol attack on Islamdom
Many Muslim historians look upon the Mongols as looters and plunderers. They tell us that the Mongols were like the Goths and Vandals, destroying everything in their way with the only aim to loot established rich civilizations. These historians allege that the civilization of the Muslims at Baghdad was the richest in the 13th century. This is wrong, while Baghdad was a rich and well endowed city, the Caliphate owed its riches to the constant looting of Persia, Central Asia, North Africa, Spain which the Muslim armies had been indulging from the beginning of Islam in 630 C.E., till they were checked by Charles Martel in France in 732 C.E. and till their brutal march across Central Asia towards China was reversed with equal brutality by the Mongols from 1200 C.E.
The Man who almost destroyed Islam – Genghis Khan. Genghis Khan attacked the Persian Muslim Khwarazmian empire of Samarkand to avenge the attacks being launched by the Arab and Persian Muslims in to Tartary (Central Asia). His intention was not primarily to loot, but to destroy the enemy. Had the Mongols been motivated purely by intentions of looting the Caliphate (which ironically was itself a center where loot was collected and stored by the Muslims), the Mongols need not have traversed some four thousand miles from their homeland in Mongolia, to reach Baghdad, they could have as well attacked nearby Japan and Korea which were hardly a few hundred miles from their homeland and were more rich and endowed than Baghdad.
Genghis Khan was the man who led the Mongol attack on Islamdom. He was followed by his grandson Hulagu (or Halaku) Khan. These two bold visionaries liberated all of Persia and most of Mesopotamia from the yoke of Islam and almost destroyed Islam.
Genghis Khan had attacked the Persian Muslim Khwarazmian empire of Samarkand to avenge the attacks being launched by the Arab and Persian Muslims in to Tartary (Central Asia). His intention was not primarily to loot, but to destroy the enemy. Had the Mongols been motivated purely by intentions of looting the Caliphate (which ironically was itself a center where loot was collected and stored by the Muslims), the Mongols need not have traversed some four thousand miles from their homeland in Mongolia, to reach Baghdad, they could have as well attacked nearby Japan and Korea which were hardly a few hundred miles from their homeland and were more rich and endowed than Baghdad.
The real reason why the Mongol horsemen made their way from Mongolia and started rolling back the Muslims from areas which are today known as Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, finally reaching Iran, Iraq, and Syria lay in the subterfuge, savage cruelty and other foul tactics which the Muslims had used to convert the Turks and Mongols to Islam This had led to a gradual accumulation of bitterness and a desire for revenge against the Muslims amongst the Turks and their related clans the Mongols.
Foul tactics used by Muslims and their legendary cruelty against the Uzbeks, Tajiks, Kazaks, led to the Mongol invasion of Iran and Iraq
From the seventh to the thirteenth centuries many Persian Zoroastrians, the Persian Nestorian Christians, the Turks, Chinese and the Mongols had nursed within themselves a grievance against the savagery which Muslims used to convert the non-Muslim population of Persia and Central Asia to Islam.
The Mongol attack on Islamdom was a collective expression of resistance to Islam from the pre-Islamic Persians who had settled in China and Mongolia, and the Turks who had been waging a struggle against Islam in the 8th to the 10th centuries. It was a result of historical wrongs committed by the Arab Muslims on the Zoroastrian Persians, and by the Arab Muslims along with the Islamized Persians on the Turks, and in turn, by the Arabs along with the Islamized Persians and the Islamized Turks on non-Islamic Turks, Mongols and Chinese.
It was this accumulation of grievances that led to the burst of the Mongol attack on Islamdom from 1200 that culminated in the sack and slaughter at Baghdad in 1258 under Hulagu Khan who was egged on to this path by his Nestorian Persian Christian wife. Historians have failed to interpret the attack of the Mongols on Muslim Persia, and the Middle East as the Turko-Mongol counterattack on Islam as were the Crusades, which were the Christian counterattack against Islam in the 11th century.
We shall examine this in detail the chapter on the Mongol resistance to Islam, before some of the Mongols themselves succumbed Islam and carried forward the Muslim tradition of subterfuge and savagery to other non-Muslim people. Suffice it to note here that Hulagu’s attack on Islamdom was a collective expression of resistance to Islam from the pre-Islamic Persians who had settled in China and Mongolia, and the Turks who had been waging a struggle against Islam in the 8th to the 10th centuries. It was a result of historical wrongs committed by the Arab Muslims on the Zoroastrian Persians, and by the Arab Muslims along with the Islamized Persians on the Turks, and in turn, by the Arabs with the Islamized Persians and the Islamized Turks on non-Islamic Turks, Mongols and Chinese.
Humble Origins of Genghis Khan
In 1200, a Mongol named Temujin (Temüjin) rose as a khan over his and various other clans by dint of extraordinary bravery and skill at warfare. He was a good manager, collecting under him people of talent. He was vassal to Ong Khan, titular head of a confederacy that differed in its being better organized than the other, normally scattered clans of Mongols. Temujin expressed his loyalty and joined Ong Khan in a military campaign against Tatars to their east. In 1202, Temujin defeated these Tatars, and with this success, the aging Ong Khan declared Temujin his adoptive son and heir.
Ong Khan's natural son, Senggum (Senggüm), had been expecting to succeed his father, and plotted to assassinate Temujin. Someone leaked the plans to Temujin. Those loyal to Temujin defeated those loyal to Senggum, and Temujin became ruler of what had been Ong Khan's coalition. In 1206, Temujin the adopted son, took the title Universal Ruler, which translates to Genghis Khan. Genghis (Changez) Khan’s Invasion of Central Asia and Iran
The Nestorian (Persian) Christian influence on the Mongols
The Mongols had living among them a significant number of descendants from the Zoroastrian and Nestorian (Persian) Christian refugees who had fled the Muslim persecution in Persia since the 7th century and had settled in Western China and Mongolia. Among the Nestorian (Persian) Christian refugees many had intermarried with the Mongols and held powerful positions of influence within the Mongol ruling hierarchy. They had also made many Christian converts among the powerful Mongol clans.
In the 13th century, the Mongols finally decided to repel the Muslims who had been making incursions from Kazakhstan into Western Mongolia and China for six hundred years. But in this interregnum of six hundred years, Nestorian Christianity had also made some headway among the Mongol elite at least, certainly those of Kereit clan in origin, most notably the womenfolk in the royal family. The Persian Christian religious identity and activities of Dokuz Khatun, Hulagu’s wife, is documented. Mention can be made of other notable Christian Mongols, such as Kitbugha and Il-Siban, respectively the military commander of Syria in 1260 and the governor (shihna or na’ib) of Damascus who were also Nestorian Mongol Christians.
We need to realize that the ultimate cause for the Mongol attack on Islamdom were the Muslim attacks on Tartary from Persia from 650 upto 1250.
But the Zoroastrian Persians who lived among the Mongols were not allowed to propagate the Zoroastrian faith according to the tenets of their own faith, and so they dwindled in number over the six hundred years in their adopted homeland of China and Mongolia. It was after a six hundred year interregnum starting from the Muslim occupation of Persia in 650, up to 1250 that the Mongols finally decided to repel the Muslims who were making further incursions from Kazakhstan into Western Mongolia and China.
But in this interregnum of six hundred years, Nestorian Christianity had made some headway among the Mongol elite at least, certainly those of Kereit clan, most notably the womenfolk in the royal family. The Persian Christian religious identity and activities of Dokuz Khatun, Hulagu’s wife, is documented. Mention can be made of other notable Christian Mongols, such as Kitbugha and Il-Siban, respectively the military commander of Syria in 1260 and the governor (Shihna or Na’ib) of Damascus who were also Nestorian Mongol Christians.
The Christian and Zoroastrian influences on the Mongols to attack Islamdom, found an immediate provocation for war when a Mongol caravan of several hundred merchants approached a recently acquired Central Asian provinces of the Persian Muslim Khwarazmian empire at Samarkand. The sultan of this kingdom claimed that there were spies in the caravan. Genghis Khan sent envoys, and the sultan had the chief of the envoys killed and the beards of the others burned, and these others he sent back to Genghis Khan. This affront was the last straw and Genghis retaliated, sending his army westwards towards the Persian Muslim Khwarazmian empire of Samarkand.
President Bush with Mongol horsemen. President Bush can as well learn a lot from the Mongols who were the only ones in History to have come nearest to destroy Islam. The failure of the Mongols to do so was due to the fact that although they hated the Muslims, they did not realize that the brutality of the Muslims originated from Islam and eventually the Mongols themselves embraced Islam to become part of the Muslim psyche they so hated to begin with.
Any one who wants to fight the Muslims, needs to understand Islam, and he needs to fight Islam and not just its practitioners – the Muslims. Or else, like the Mongols, after defeating the Muslims on the battlefield, that leader would end up embracing Islam, and become a part of the problem he started out to unravel.
In the coldest of months the Mongols rode across the desert to Transoxiana with no baggage, slowing to the pace of merchants before appearing as warriors before the smaller towns of the sultan's empire. Their strategy was to frighten their opponents into surrendering without battle, benefiting the Sultan’s own troops, whose lives he valued.
Those frightened into surrender were spared violence, those who resisted were slaughtered as an example for others, which sent many fleeing and spreading panic from the first border towns upto the major city of Bukhara. People in Bukhara opened the city's gates to the Mongols and surrendered. Genghis Khan told them that they, the common people, were not at fault, that high-ranking people among them had committed great sins that inspired God to send him and his army as punishment. Subsequent to the fall of Bukhara, the Sultan's capital city, Samarkand, also surrendered. The Sultan’s army surrendered, and he fled.
Genghis Khan and his army pushed more deeper into the Sultan's empire - into Afghanistan and then Persia. It is said that the Caliph in Baghdad was hostile toward the Sultan and supported Genghis Khan, sending him a regiment of European crusaders who had been his prisoners. Genghis, having no need for infantry, freed them, with those making it to Europe spreading the first news of the Mongol conquests.
The Mongol horsemen came as a whirlwind into Islamdom, and pierced through Islamic countries as a hot knife trough cheese, overwhelming Islam utterly. Initially the Mongols did not torture, mutilate or maim the Muslims, but their Muslims enemies did. Captured Mongols were dragged through streets and killed for sport and to entertain city residents. To begin with the Mongols did not partake in the gruesome displays that Muslim rulers often resorted to elicit fear and discourage the Mongols - none of the patented Muslim torture and mutilation practices that had been happening under Muslim rule happened initially in Bukhara or Samarkand which were overrun by the Mongols. Only after the Mongols were provoked by Muslim torture like stretching, emasculating, belly cutting and hacking to pieces, were the Mongols far more ruthless than their Muslim foes and that led to the wholesale slaughter of Muslims by the Mongols at Baghdad.
Genghis Khan had 100,000 to 125,000 horsemen, with his Uighur and Turkic allies, engineers and Chinese doctors -- a total of from 150,000 to 200,000 men. To show their submission, some Uighurs offered food to the Mongols, and Genghis Khan's force guaranteed them protection. Some cities surrendered without fighting. In cities the Mongols were forced to conquer, after killing its fighting men, Genghis divided the survivors by profession. He drafted the few who were literate and anyone who could speak various languages. Those who had been the city's most rich and powerful he wasted no time and killed them, remembering that the rulers he had left behind after conquering the Tangut and Ruzhen had betrayed him soon after his army had withdrawn.
The Mongol Invasion marks the first successful defeat of the Islamic Caliphate by non-Muslims
Initially the Mongols did not torture, mutilate or maim the Muslims, but their Muslims enemies did. Captured Mongols were dragged through streets and killed for sport and to entertain city residents. To begin with the Mongols did not partake in the gruesome displays that Muslim rulers often resorted to elicit fear and discourage the Mongols - none of the patented Muslim torture and mutilation practices that had been happening under Muslim rule happened initially in Bukhara or Samarkand which were overrun by the Mongols. Only after the Mongols were provoked by Muslim torture like stretching, emasculating, belly cutting and hacking to pieces, were the Mongols far more ruthless than their Muslim foes and that led to the wholesale slaughter of Muslims by the Mongols at Baghdad.
The Mongols were a peace-loving nomadic pastoral people who kept to themselves till they had been provoked by Muslim incursions in to their homeland. Before Islam, there is no record of a Mongol invasion anywhere, neither do we hear of Mongol ruthlessness. But when the Mongols were provoked by the Muslims, their instincts for self-preservation were aroused and they slaughtered their Muslim tormentors by the millions - literally at Tabriz, Shiraz and Baghdad.
But when the Mongols were provoked, they were far more ruthless than their Muslim foes. When the city of Nishapur revolted against Mongol rule and the Genghis Khan's son-in-law was killed, it is said, his daughter asked that everyone in the city be put to death, and, according to the story, they were.
The Mongol encounter with the Crusaders
While Genghis Khan was consolidating his conquests in Persia and Afghanistan, a force of 40,000 Mongol horsemen pushed through Azerbaijan and Armenia. They defeated Georgian crusaders, captured a Genoese trade-fortress in the Crimea and spent the winter along the coast of the Black Sea. As they were headed back home they met 80,000 warriors led by Prince Mistitslav of Kiev. The battle of Kalka River (1223) commenced. Staying out of range of the crude weapons of peasant infantry, and with better bows than opposing archers, they devastated the prince's standing army. Facing the prince's cavalry, they faked a retreat, drawing the armored cavalry forward, taking advantage of the vanity and over-confidence of the mounted aristocrats. Lighter and more mobile, they strung out and tired the pursuers and then attacked, killed and routed them.
In 1225, Genghis Khan returned to Mongolia. He now ruled everything between the Caspian Sea and Beijing. He looked forward to the Mongols benefits of caravan trade and drawing tribute from agricultural peoples in the west and east. He created an efficient pony express system. Wanting no divisions rising from religion, he declared freedom of religion throughout his empire. Favoring order and tax producing prosperity, he forbade troops and local officials to abuse people.
But soon again, Genghis Khan was at war. He believed that the Tangut were not living up to their obligations to his empire. In 1227, around the age of sixty-five, while leading the fighting against the Tangut, Genghis Khan, it is said, fell off his horse and died.
A Mongol Horseman who could be unimaginably ruthless if provoked. We have an example of this when Hulagu Khan had asked the Abbasid caliph, al-Muta'sim, to recognize Mongol sovereignty. But the arrogant Khalifah (Caliph) who called himself the prince of the faithful (Ameer-ul-Momeenin) overconfident of his own prestige, sent word to the conqueror that any attack on his capital would mobilize the entire Muslim world, from India to north west Africa (Much like the Jihadis today threaten Bush, Blair and the Western world).
Not in the least impressed by the Caliph’s boastful threats, the grandson of Genghis Khan announced his intention of taking the city of Baghdad by force. Towards the end of 1257 he led hundreds of thousands of Mongol cavalrymen who began advancing towards the Abbasid capital - Baghdad. On their way they destroyed the Assassin’s (Hashishin) sanctuary at Alamut and sacked it’s library where the Assassins had collected techniques of murder and terror, thus making it for impossible for future generations to gain any in-depth knowledge of the evil doctrine and nefarious activities of this sect. Thus the Mongol’s did a service to humankind with this one act.
The massacre of the Assassins at Alamut, presaged what to come soon thereafter at Baghdad, which was then the seat of the Islamic Caliphate (Khilafat).
Taking opportunity of Genghis Khan’s death, the Iranians rose in revolt, overthrew their Mongol overlords and slaughtered the Mongol garrisons. In response the next Padishah (Emperor) Hulagu Khan, grandson of Genghis, launched the second invasion of Iran. It was now onwards that the Mongols became ferocious in their treatment of the Muslim residents of Iran and other countries they overran. (Note: The title Padishah for king was derived from the old Avestan term Pati-Kshatra which means head of the warriors. The use of this term for their King by the Mongols, displays the influence that Persian (Zoroastrian) culture had on the Mongols. This was due to the presence of a significant number of Zoroastrian and Christian (Nestorian) Persian refugees and mercenary soldiers amongst the Mongols from the 7th up to the 13th centuries)
The Mongol's besiege and capture Baghdad in 1258
Prior to his invasion of the Middle East, Hulagu asked the Abbasid caliph, al-Muta'sim, the thirty-seventh of his dynasty, to recognize Mongol sovereignty as his predecessors had once accepted the rule of the Seljuk Turks who were of a clan distantly related with the Mongols.
The Khalifah (Caliph) who called himself the prince of the faithful (Ameer-ul-Momeenin as does Osama Bin Laden today) overconfident of his own prestige, sent word to Hulagu Khan that any attack on his capital would mobilize the entire Muslim world, from India to north west Africa. Not in the least impressed, the grandson of Genghis Khan announced his intention of taking the city of Baghdad by force.
Towards the end of 1257 he lead hundreds of thousands of Mongol cavalrymen who began advancing towards the Abbasid capital. On their way they destroyed the Assassin’s (Hashishin) sanctuary at Alamut and sacked it’s library where the Assassins had collected techniques of murder and terror, thus making it for impossible for future generations to gain any in-depth knowledge of the evil doctrine and nefarious activities of the sect. When the caliph finally realized the extent of the threat, he chickened out and decided to negotiate.
The Caliph’s envoy, Ibn al-Jawzi arrived from Baghdad bearing a message filled with entreaties for Hulagu to turn back, in exchange for which the caliph would remit whatever would be agreed upon to the treasury annually. The Caliph also proposed that Hulagu’s name be pronounced at Friday sermons in the mosques of Baghdad and that he be granted the title “Sultan”. But it was too late, for by now the Mongol emperor had definitely opted for force. After a few weeks of desperate resistance, the “prince of the faithful(sic)” had no choice but to capitulate.
The use of deceit by Hulagu to secure Baghdad and slaughter its defenders and residents
Hulagu Khan had ridden against Baghdad - the capital of the Caliphate from all directions and hemmed in the Abbasid caliph in an impossible position. Fearing that Baghdad would be destroyed, the caliph and his three sons, AbuƇ-Fadl Abdul-Rahman, Abu'l-Abbas Ahmad, and Abu'l-Managib Mubarak, came out on Sunday the 4th of Safar 656 [February 10, 1258]. With him were three thousand Sayyids (nobles), imams (priests), and dignitaries of the city.
When the Caliph shivering with fright approached Padishah Hulagu Khan, the Padishah did not exhibit any anger but asked after his health kindly and pleasantly. This was a leaf that the Khan had taken out of the book of Muslim psychological war of playing a ‘cat-and-mouse’ game with an enemy he had ensnared. After that he said to the Caliph, “Tell the people of the city to throw down their weapons and come out so that we may make a count.” The caliph sent word into the city for it to be heralded that the people should throw down their weapons and come out.
The Muslim defenders of the seat of the Khalifah disarmed themselves and came out in droves to the Mongols.
But Hulagu had given his word to the Caliph in deceit. As soon as they were disarmed, as had been premeditated amongst the Mongols all the Muslim fighters were exterminated. After that the Mongol horde fanned out through the prestigious city demolishing buildings, burning neighborhoods, and mercilessly massacring men, women, and children.
The way in which the victorious Hulagu Khan humiliated the defeated Last Caliph Musta'sim, was history’s ironical way of seeking retribution for the humiliation of the last Persian Emperor Yazdgard in the same city (then known as Ctesiphon) in 637 by the victorious Arab Muslims. In one full swoop the Mongol army went into Baghdad and burned everything except a few houses belonging to Nestorians and some foreigners. On Friday the 9th of Safar [February 15] Hulagu Khan went into the city to see the caliph's palace. He settled into the Octagon Palace and gave a banquet for the commanders. (In a way reminiscent of the way the Muslims had stormed the White Palace of the defeated Sassanid King six hundred years before at the same spot. History had avenged that injustice and humiliation)
Summoning the caliph, Hulagu said, “You are the host, and we are the guests. Bring whatever you have that is suitable for us.” The Caliph – the ruler of all Muslims, trembled in fear. He was so frenzied that he couldn't tell the keys to the treasuries one from another and had to have several locks broken. He brought two thousand suits of clothing, ten thousand dinars, precious items, jewel-encrusted vessels, and several gems. Hulagu Khan paid no attention and gave it all away to the commanders and others present.
Hulagu said to the trembling Caliph “The possessions you have on the face of the earth are apparent,” and added, “Tell my servants what and where your buried treasures are.” The caliph confessed that there was a pool full of gold in the middle of the palace. They dug it up, and it was full of gold, all in huge ingots. An order was given for the caliph's harem to be counted. There were seven hundred women and concubines and a thousand servants. When the caliph was apprised of the count of the harem, he begged and pleaded, saying, “Let me have the women of the harem, upon whom neither the sun nor the moon has ever shone.” Of these seven hundred, choose a hundred,” he was told, “and leave the rest.” The caliph selected a hundred women from among his favorites and close relatives and took them away. That night Hulagu Khan went to the Ordu (Mongol military camp) to ravish some of the Caliph’s most alluring wives and concubines!
All the residents of Baghdad were slaughtered in cold blood. Howsoever, ghastly this act was, with this one act the Mongols repaid all the six hundred years of Muslim bloodshed. Nearly eighty thousand people in all were slaughtered in Baghdad in a matter of two days. Here Hulagu picked a leaf from the tactics of the Muslims and used it against them.
Only the Christian community was spared, thanks to the intercession of the Khan’s Christian wife. According to estimates, nearly 8,00,00 (Eight Hundred thousand) Muslims were slaughtered by the Mongols in and around Baghdad.
The end of the Caliphate with the slaying of the Caliph, and his family
After the carnage at Baghdad was done Hulagu ordered that the Caliph and his sons were to be taken captive and held as prisoners in tents at the Kalwadha Gate at Ket Buqa Noyan's camp. Several Mongols were set over them as guards. The caliph wept over his imminent doom and regretted having abandoned the battlefield and having rejected good advice.
The way Hulagu humiliated the defeated Last Caliph Musta'sim, which was history’s ironical way of seeking retribution for the humiliation of the last Persian Emperor Yazdgard in the same city in 637 (then known as Ctesiphon) by the victorious Arab Muslims
On Wednesday the 7th of Safar [February 13] the pillage and general massacre began. In one full swoop the Mongol army went into Baghdad and burned everything except a few houses belonging to Nestorians and some foreigners. On Friday the 9th of Safar [February 15] Hulagu Khan went into the city to see the caliph's palace. He settled into the Octagon Palace and gave a banquet for the commanders. (In a way reminiscent of the way the Muslims had stormed the White Palace of the defeated Sassanid King six hundred years before at the same spot. History had avenged that injustice and humiliation)
Summoning the caliph, Hulagu said, “You are the host, and we are the guests. Bring whatever you have that is suitable for us.” The caliph, thinking he was speaking seriously, trembled in fear. He was so frenzied that he couldn't tell the keys to the treasuries one from another and had to have several locks broken. He brought two thousand suits of clothing, ten thousand dinars, precious items, jewel-encrusted vessels, and several gems. Hulagu Khan paid no attention and gave it all away to the commanders and others present. Hulagu said to the trembling Caliph “The possessions you have on the face of the earth are apparent,” and added, “Tell my servants what and where your buried treasures are.” The caliph confessed that there was a pool full of gold in the middle of the palace. They dug it up, and it was full of gold, all in huge ingots. An order was given for the caliph's harem to be counted. There were seven hundred women and concubines and a thousand servants. When the caliph was apprised of the count of the harem, he begged and pleaded, saying, “Let me have the women of the harem, upon whom neither the sun nor the moon has ever shone.” Of these seven hundred, choose a hundred,” he was told, “and leave the rest.” The caliph selected a hundred women from among his favorites and close relatives and took them away. That night Hulagu Khan went to the Ordu (Mongol military camp) to ravish some of the Caliph’s most alluring wives and concubines.
Hulagu Killed the Caliph, without spilling a drop of his blood on the ground.
After giving this order to cease all slaughter, Hulagu Khan decamped from Baghdad on Wednesday the 14th of Safar [February 20] on account of the foul air emanating from the rotting corpses and camped in the village of Waqaf-u-Jalabiyya. He sent one of his most fearsome commanders to conquer Khuzistan. Hulagu summoned the Caliph to Waqaf. Having been subjected to such bad commands before, he was extremely afraid.
At the end of the day on Wednesday the 14th of Safar 656 [February 20, 1258], the caliph, his eldest son, and five of his attendants were executed in the village of Waqaf. The next day the others who had camped with the Caliph at the Kalwadha Gate were also martyred. Next came the caliph’s turn. Here Hulagu faced a problem. According to Mongol ethics, no king could have his blood spilled on the ground. This would be ill omen. (The Mongols considered the Caliph to be a king of the Muslims). So Hulagu devised a novel way of killing the Caliph. He wrapped the Caliph in a thick carpet and they with his cavalry stomped the caliph to death. Thus the caliph died due to suffocation and the stomping, without his blood being spilled on the ground!
The next morning Hulagu ordered Su'unchaq to go into the city, confiscate the caliph's possessions, and send them out. The items that had been accumulated over six hundred years, from the treasures of the Zoroastrian Persian Sassanids whom the Arab Muslims had defeated and plundered. These treasures were all stacked in mountainous piles. Most of the Muslim holy places like the caliph's mosque, the Musa-Jawad shrine, and the tombs in Rusafa were burned down.
Hulagu’s first mistake that led to the eventual defeat of the Mongols by the Muslims
While this terrible slaughter and destruction, was proceeding, the people of the city sent Sharafuddin Maragha'i, Shihabuddin Zanjani, and Malik Dilrast to request amnesty.
In response an order was given, saying, “Henceforth the killing and pillaging will cease, for the kingdom of Baghdad is ours. Let them dwell as they were, and let everyone get on with his business. Sheathe your swords, for they are granted quarter.” This was the first mistake that the Mongols did, for taking advantage of this amnesty, the Muslims began to re-organize and re-arm themselves, and waited for the day, when the Mongols would lower their guard, so that the Muslims could lunge at them when they least suspected and take the revenge that they so fervently sought against the Mongols.
How Hulagu Killed the Caliph, without spilling a drop of his blood on the ground
After giving this order to cease all slaughter, Hulagu Khan decamped from Baghdad on Wednesday the 14th of Safar [February 20] on account of the foul air emanating from the rotting corpses and camped in the village of Waqaf-u-Jalabiyya. He sent one of his most fearsome commanders to conquer Khuzistan.
Hulagu summoned the Caliph to Waqaf. Having been subjected to such bad commands before, he was extremely afraid and despaired for his life So to buy time he requested permission to go into the bath to renew his ablutions. Hulagu Khan said he could go in with five Mongols. To which the Caliphh replied “I don't want the companionship of five myrmidons of hell,” he said as he recited two or three lines from the Quran, the first line of which is as follows: We woke up in the morning in a palace like paradise, but we went to bed without a palace with which we could not dispense yesterday. Soon the Caliph’s worst fears were realized. At the end of the day on Wednesday the 14th of Safar 656 [February 20, 1258], the caliph, his eldest son, and five of his attendants were executed in the village of Waqaf. The next day the others who had camped with the Caliph at the Kalwadha Gate were also martyred. Next came the caliph’s turn. Here Hulagu faced a problem. According to Mongol ethics, no king could have his blood spilled on the ground. This would be ill omen. (The Mongols considered the Caliph to be a king of the Muslims). So Hulagu devised a novel way of killing the Caliph. He wrapped the Caliph in a thick carpet and they with his cavalry he stomped the caliph to death. Thus the caliph died due to suffocation and the stomping, without his blood spilling on the ground!
In Iraq, the Mongols paid back the Muslims in the same coin of subterfuge, trickery and cruelty which was till then exclusively the signature of the Muslims. In fact, it was for this reason that the Mongols scored their spectacular victories against the Muslims and were the first non-Muslim power to storm the capital of the Islamic Caliphate of Baghdad. The reasons for the success of the Mongols should be a lesson for us Americans today. We realize that we Americans cannot be as gory as the Mongols were. But the point to note is that the Muslims only understand the language of blood and death, they respect only an adversary more ruthless than themselves, they despise qualities like chivalry, fair play, compassion, and forgiveness. These qualities, are for the Muslims, a signature of an adversary’s weakness and stupidity. We Americans who are the primary foes of the Jihadis today, need to realize what can succeed against the Muslims and use modern day equivalents of mass slaughter like our nuclear and neutron arsenal, to achieve what the blades of Mongol swords achieved in the 13th century.
After the Caliph ws done in for, his other sons and relatives were stuffed into barrels which had nails protruding from the inside and they were rolled down a slope of a hill. This way even their blood was not spilled, and the hoary Mongol custom was honored. After this no Abbasid who could be found was left alive.
Hulagu’s second Mistake led to the gradual conversion of the Mongols to Islam
After this massacre of the Caliph’s family, only the Caliph's youngest son survived. Hulgau decided to spare him and he was given to Oljai Khatun, who sent him to Khwaja Nasiruddin in Maragha. He was married to a Mongol woman who bore him two sons. This was Hulagu’s second mistake. When he allowed the marriage of of Mongol women to captured Muslims and also of Muslim women to Mongol warriors, Islam made a back door entry into the Mongol camp, and influenced by their wives, the Mongol warriors slowly turned towards Islam and in a generation after Hulagu’s death, they openly started professing Islam. In fact it was these Muslim converts among the Mongols who invaded India and established the Mughal (derived from Mongol) kingdom.
By Friday the 16th of Safar [February 22] all the caliph’s sons and relatives were dispatched to their deaths and the reign of the House of Abbas, which had mounted the throne after the Umayyads, came to an end. Their caliphate had lasted five hundred twenty-five years, and there were thirty-seven Caliphs starting with Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, Ali, Abu Muawiya ibn Sufyan of which Musta'sim, was the last one to be killed by Hulagu Khan.
Lessons from the Battle of Baghdad
In Iraq, the Mongols paid back the Muslims in thee same coin of subterfuge, trickery and cruelty which was till then exclusively the signature of the Muslims. In fact, it was for this reason that the Mongols scored their spectacular victories against the Muslims and were the first non-Muslim power to storm the capital of the Islamic Caliphate of Baghdad.
The reasons for the success of the Mongols should be a lesson for us Americans today.
Hulagu’s march onwards from Baghdad and how the surrendered Muslims showed deference to the Mongols
On Friday the 23rd of Safar [March 1] Hulagu Khan left the environs of Baghdad and camped at Shaykh Makarim Dome. From there he proceeded stage by stage to the Mongol camp at Khanaqin established by the advance guard of the Mongol Cavalry. When Baghdad was besieged, several learned Alims had come from Hilla to request a Shahna (royal pardon as an instrument of surrender).
Hulagu Khan sent Tukal and Amir Nahli Nakhjiwani there, and on their heels he dispatched Oljai Khatun's brother Buqa Temiir to test the people of Hilla, Kufa, and Wasit. The inhabitants of Hilla, knowing what had happened at Baghdad, surrendered without a fight and came out to greet the Mongol army, made bridges over the Euphrates for the Mongols to cross over, and pretended to be joyous at the arrival of the Mongols.
The Shiites betrayed the Sunni ruling Caliphate and sold their loyalty to the Mongols in return for being spared their lives
In some measure this joy was real, for these Muslims were Shiites and they were happy to be relieved of the yoke of the Sunni Caliph. Much the same way as the Shiites welcome us for having overthrown Saddam.
While fighting and defeating terrorism, we realize that we Americans cannot be as gory as the Mongols were. But the point to note is that the Muslims only understand the language of blood and death, they respect only an adversary more ruthless than themselves, they despise qualities like chivalry, fair play, compassion, and forgiveness. These qualities, are for the Muslims, a signature of an adversary’s weakness and stupidity. We Americans who are the primary foes of the Jihadis today, need to realize what can succeed against the Muslims and use modern day equivalents of mass slaughter like our nuclear and neutron arsenal, to achieve what the blades of Hulagu Khan’s swords achieved in the 13th century.
Hulagu’s march onwards from Baghdad and how the surrendered Muslims showed deference to the Mongols
On Friday the 23rd [March 1] of Safar Hulagu Khan left the environs of Baghdad and camped at Shaykh Makarim Dome. From there he proceeded stage by stage to the Mongol camp at Khanaqin established by the advance guard of the Mongol Cavalry. When Baghdad was besieged, several learned Alims had come from Hilla to request a Shahna (royal pardon as an instrument of surrender).
Hulagu Khan sent Tukal and Amir Nahli Nakhjiwani there, and on their heels he dispatched Oljai Khatun's brother Buqa Temiir to test the people of Hilla, Kufa, and Wasit. The inhabitants of Hilla, knowing what had happened at Baghdad, surrendered without a fight and came out to greet the Mongol army, made bridges over the Euphrates for the Mongols to cross over, and pretended to be joyous at the arrival of the Mongols. In some measure this joy was real, for these Muslims were Shiites and they were happy to be relieved of the yoke of the Sunni Caliph. Much the same way as the Shiites welcome us for having overthrown Saddam.
After the sack of Wasit, Hulagu Khan went to Khuzistan, taking Sharafuddin Ibn al-Jawzi as a hostage with him to get the city of Shushtar to surrender. Some of the caliph's soldiers and Turks fled and others were killed. Basra and other towns like Najaf and Karbala also surrendered without a fight. Ironically, the chief Shiite cleric, Amir Sayfuddin Bitigchi pleaded with Hulagu Khan to send a hundred Mongols to Najaf to guard the shrine of the Commander of the Faithful Ali and the inhabitants there. Imagine Muslim seeking Kafirs to protect a Muslim shrine. This was Muslim morale at its abject lowest, an ebb, which it has rarely reached ever since.
But when faced with a tolerant and liberal adversary, the hallmark of Muslim psyche is their arrogance, cruelty and brazenness, as seen in Netherlands, UK (the Al Mujahiroun) in France and even in the USA (9/11 being just its most dramatic expression). But it was the Mongols under Genghis Khan and Hulagu Khan who taught the Muslims not just humility, but also servility for the short time during which they had trashed the Caliphate into the trashcan of history.
The Mongol commander Buqa Temi saw no threat from the people of Hilla and Kufa and on the 10th of Safar [February 16, 1258] he marched on and set out for The Sunni majority fortress town of Wasit, arriving on the February 23. The people of Wasit did not surrender, so he camped and took the city, massacring and plundering. Nearly forty thousand people were put to death at Wasit, in the same way the Muslims had done when they had ravaged the same area then held by the Zoroastrian Persians in 637.
After the sack of Wasit, Hulagu Khan went to Khuzistan, taking Sharafuddin Ibn al-Jawzi as a hostage with him to get the city of Shushtar to surrender. Some of the caliph's soldiers and Turks fled and others were killed. Basra and other town in the area like Najaf and Karbala also surrendered without a fight. Ironically, the chief Shiite cleric, Amir Sayfuddin Bitigchi pleaded with the court to send a hundred Mongols to Najaf to guard the shrine of the Commander of the Faithful Ali and the inhabitants there. Imagine Muslim seeking Kafirs to protect a Muslim shrine. This was Muslim morale at its abject lowest, an ebb, which it has rarely reached ever since. When faced with a liberal and civilized adversary, the hallmark of Muslim psyche is their arrogance, cruelty and brazenness, as seen in Netherlands, UK (the Al Mujahiroun) in France and even in the USA (9/11 being just its most dramatic expression). But it was the Mongols under Genghis Khan and Hulagu Khan who taught the Muslims not just humility, but also servility for the short time during which they had trashed the Caliphate into the trashcan of history.
The Mongol Invasion of Syria and Palestine
An extract from Hulagu’s letter to the Governor of Damascus “We stopped in Baghdad in the year 656 (of the Muslim Calendar which translates as 1258 of the Gregorian calendar), and an evil morning it was unto those who were warned in vain. We called upon its lord (the Caliph) to surrender, but he refused, so he suffered. We chastised him with a heavy chastisement. Now we call upon you to obey us. If you come, well and good if you refuse, woe betide you. Do not be like one who digs his own grave or bloodies his own nose lest you be one of those whose works are vain, whose endeavor in the present life hath been wrongly directed, and who think they do the work which is right. Neither will this be difficult with God. And peace be with him who follows the right path.”
Hulagu’s letters (rather ultimatums) to the Governor of Damascus and earlier to the Khalifah (caliph) of Islam were quite reminiscent of the letters the Muslim prophet Mohammed-ibn-Abadallah sent to the Persian and Byzantine Emperors to Embrace Islam and be safe, or face a Muslim Invasion. With Hulagu sending similar letters, it was the chickens coming home to roost!
This translation of Hulagu’s letter is from Jumi'u't-Tawarikh (Compendium of Chronicles): A History of the Mongols, translated by W.M. Thackston(Sources of Oriental Languages and Literatures 45, 1998-99).
On the 12th of Rabi` I [March 19] Buqa Temur arrived at the camp, and on the 19th [March 26] the emissaries from Aleppo and Damascus in Syria who had come to Baghdad were sent home carrying a letter to the people of Damascus and Aleppo Khwaja Nasiruddin Tusi had written in Arabic as per Hulagu Khan's order to do so. This letter stated : “We stopped in Baghdad in the year 656 (of the Muslim Calendar which translates as 1258 of the Gregorian calendar), and an evil morning it was unto those who were warned in vain. We called upon its lord (the Caliph) to surrender, but he refused, so he suffered. We chastised him with a heavy chastisement. Now we call upon you to obey us. If you come, well and good if you refuse, woe betide you. Do not be like one who digs his own grave or bloodies his own nose lest you be one of those whose works are vain, whose endeavor in the present life hath been wrongly directed, and who think they do the work which is right. Neither will this be difficult with God. And peace be with him who follows the right path.” Damascus surrendered soon after.
Hulagu’s letter (rather ultimatum) to the Khalifah (caliph) of Islam was quite reminiscent of the letters the Muslim prophet Mohammed-ibn-Abadallah sent to the Persian and Byzantine Emperors to Embrace Islam and be safe, or face a Muslim Invasion. With Hulagu, it was the chickens coming home to roost! This translation of Hulagu’s letter is from Jumi'u't-Tawarikh (Compendium of Chronicles): A History of the Mongols, translated by W.M. Thackston (Sources of Oriental Languages and Literatures 45, 1998-9).
Hulagu’s return to Mongolia and the consequent defeat of the Mongols in Palestine
The Mongol armies were thought to be unstoppable after they were able to overcome the defenses of both Baghdad and Damascus. In 1260 Hulagu sent envoys to Saif ad-Din Qutuz the Mamluk ruler in Cairo demanding his surrender Quduz responded by killing the envoys and displaying their heads on the gates of the city. But unfortunately, as Qutuz prepared for a Mongol invasion, Hulagu returned home to attempt to seize power when his brother the Great Khan Mongke died.
Qutuz allied with a fellow Mamluk, Baubars, who had fled Syria after the Mongols captured Damascus. The Mongols also attempted to ally with the remnant of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem, now centered on Acre, but Pope Alexander IV forbade this. The Christians remained neutral. This was the Cardinal Christian folly for which the Crusaders were to pay dearly very soon after the defeat of the Mongols at Ayn Jalut.
When Hulagu Khan departed from Syria, he sent a Mongol emissary with forty liege men on a mission to Egypt, saying, “God the great has elevated Genghis Khan and his progeny and given us the realms of the face of the earth altogether. Everyone who has been recalcitrant in obeying us has been annihilated along with his women, children, kith and kin, towns, and servants, as has surely reached the hearing of all. The reputation of our innumerable army is as well known as the stories of Rustam and Isfandiar. If you are in submission to our court, send tribute, come yourself, and request a Shahna (royal pardon as an instrument of surrender) otherwise be prepared for battle.”
The Mongol march towards Egypt
After sending this ultimatum, the Mongols overran Damascus and Aleppo, without much of a fight, they began to their march towards Egypt though Palestine. The Egyptians trembled at the thought that they would be the next to be slaughtered by the unstoppable Mongols. They decided to meet the Mongols before the enemy reached Egypt. So they sent out an army in Palestine. Both Muslim and Mongol armies encamped in Palestine in July of 1260.
At that time in Egypt had been ruled by a Muslim dynasty called the Kamilites. But in 1260 there was no one left of Kamilite lineage worthy of ruling, and a Turcoman upstart named Quduz had become ruler when the last Kamilite king had died. The king had left an infant child named Muhammad, who was elevated to his father's position with Quduz as his Atabeg (regent’s protector). But the child prince Muhammad was murdered by Quduz, who proclaimed himself the ruler of Egypt. He curried favor with the people through largesse. Most of the soldiers of the Muslim armies in Syria were the defeated troops of Sultan Jalaluddin who had fled from the gates of Baghdad and fled to Syria and then to Egypt ahead of the advancing Mongols. Their leaders and commanders were Barakat Khan and Malik Ikhtiyaruddin Khan.
When Hulagu Khan set out for Syria, they went into hiding in the surrounding areas, and after he pulled out, they reassembled and headed for Cairo in Egypt, where they told their sad story to Quduz of the merciless Mongol massacre of the Muslims in Baghdad and Damascus. Quduz showed them favor, sympathized with them, and gave them largesse in the form of resources and money. In turn they became wholehearted supporters of the upstart Quduz's rule.
When the Mongol and Muslim armies finally met at Ain Jalut (in today’s Israel)on September 3, with both sides numbering about 20 000 men (the Mongol force was originally much larger, but Hulagu took most of it when he returned home). The Mamluks drew out the Mongol cavalry with a feigned retreat, and were almost unable to withstand the assault. Quduz rallied his troops for a successful counterattack, along cavalry reserves hidden in the nearby valleys. Quduz had stationed his troops in ambush and, himself mounted with a few others, stood waiting. When the unsuspecting, Ket Buqa arrived with the main Mongol cavalry, Quduz pounced on him clashed with him and his several thousand cavalry, all experienced warriors, at Ayn Jalut.
The Mongols attacked, raining down arrows, and Quduz pulled a feint and started to withdraw. Emboldened, the Mongols lit out after him, killing many of the Egyptians, but when they came to the ambush spot, the trap was sprung from three sides. A bloody battled ensued, lasting from dawn till midday.
When the Mongol emissaries arrived, Quduz summoned the Muslim refugees from Baghdad and Damascus and consulted with them on what to do. They told him “Hulagu Khan has proceeded from Turan with a huge army into Iran, and no one, caliph, sultan, or malik, has the ability to withstand his onslaught. Having conquered all lands, he has come to Damascus, and were it not for the news of his brother's death he would have added Egypt to his conquests too. In addition, he has stationed in this area Ket Buqa Noyan, who is like a raging lion and fire-breathing dragon lying in ambush. If he attacks Egypt, no one will be able to contend with him.”
In reply Quduz said, “At the present time, everywhere in Diyarbekir, Diyar Rabi'a, and Greater Syria is filled with lamentation. The land from Baghdad to Anatolia lies in ruins, devoid of farmers and seed. If we don't make a pre-emptive strike and try to repulse them, soon Egypt will be destroyed like the others. Given the multitudes with which he is proceeding in our direction, one of three things must be done: we must make a truce, offer resistance, or go into exile. Exile is impossible, for there is nowhere we can go other than North Africa, and a bloodthirsty desert and vast distances lie between us and there.” “A truce is also imprudent,” said Nasiruddin Qaymari, “for their (Mongol’s) word is not to be trusted.” The other commanders said, “We do not have the power to resist either. You must say what you think the best plan is.” ”My opinion,” said Quduz, “is that we go out to battle together. If we win, fine otherwise, we will not suffer blame from the people.”
After that, the amirs agreed, and Quduz consulted with Bunduqdar, his chief amir, in private. “My opinion,” said Bunduqdar, “is that we should kill the Mongol emissaries and ride as one to attack Ket Buqa. Win or die, in either case we will not be blamed, and we will have people's gratitude.” Quduz approved this plan, and by night he had the emissaries beheaded and stuck their heads on poles at the gates of his capital city Al Fustat (Cairo).
Amir Baidar, who was the leader of the Mongol yazak [advance troop], sent a man to Ket Buqa Noyan to inform him of this outrage and of the movement of the Egyptian troops.
The Battle of Ayn Jalut (September 3, 1260)
When Ket Buqa heard of this he ordered his troops to prepare for battle and commended them to “Stay where you are and wait for me.” But before Ket Buqa arrived, Quduz attacked the Mongol advance guard and drove them to the banks of the Orontes. Ket Buqa Noyan, his zeal stirred, flared up like fire with all confidence in his own strength and might. The two armies finally met at Ain Jalut on September 3, with both sides numbering about 20 000 men (the Mongol force was originally much larger, but Hulagu took most of it when he returned home). The Mamluks drew out the Mongol cavalry with a feigned retreat, and were almost unable to withstand the assault. Quduz rallied his troops for a successful counterattack, along cavalry reserves hidden in the nearby valleys. Quduz had stationed his troops in ambush and, himself mounted with a few others, stood waiting. When the unsuspecting, Ket Buqa arrived with the main Mongol cavalry, Quduz pounced on him clashed with him and his several thousand cavalry, all experienced warriors, at Ayn Jalut.
The Mongols attacked, raining down arrows, and Quduz pulled a feint and started to withdraw. Emboldened, the Mongols rode out after him, killing many of the Egyptians, but when they came to the ambush spot, the trap was sprung from three sides. A bloody battle ensued, lasting from dawn till midday. The Mongols were powerless to resist, and in the end they were put to flight. Ket Buqa Noyan kept attacking left and right with all zeal. Some encouraged him to flee, but he refused to listen and said, “Death is inevitable. It is better to die with a good name than to flee in disgrace. In the end, someone from this army, old or young, will reach the court and report that Ket Buqa, not wanting to return in shame, gave his life in battle.
After the battle of Ayn Jalut, the Muslim armies surged throughout Syria as far as the banks of the Euphrates, overthrowing everyone they found, plundering Ket Buqa's camp, taking captive his wife, child, and retainers, and killing the tax collectors.
Only those Mongols who were warned escaped, and when the news of Ket Buqa Noyan's death and his last words reached Hulagu Khan, he displayed his grief over his death and the fire of zeal flared up to avenge this defeat. But another Mongol invasion of the Muslim world was not to take place. Hulagu remained confined to the affairs of his homeland and could never bring himself to launch another invasion. After his death, the Mongol Golden Horde did rule the largest empire till then, that stretched from China to Muscovy (modern Moscow).
But a tendency that had started to gain hold among the Mongols was the creeping conversion to Islam. This was to put paid any further Mongol attempts to threaten Islamdom. Meanwhile the truculent Muslim armies did not stop at ejecting the Mongols from the Middle East, but they also give the final push to the Crusaders who were in occupation of Acre and Antioch, by capturing the last Crusader bastion in 1291. While they had the chance the Crusaders scorned the Mongols and did not form an alliance with them against the Muslims. Now the Muslims defeated their enemies one after the other, and both the Mongols and Crusaders became history in the Middle East.
Ket Buqa Noyan's last words were “Tell my Padishah Hulagu Khan that he should not grieve over lost Mongol soldiers. Let him imagine that his soldiers' wives have not been pregnant for a year and the mares of their herds have not folded. May felicity be upon the Padishah. When his noble being is well, every loss is compensated. The life or death of servants like us is irrelevant.” Hulagu was told about Ket Buqa Noyan that although many Mongol soldiers left him, he continued to struggle in battle like a thousand men. In the end his horse faltered, and he was captured. Near the battlefield was a reed bed in which a troop of Mongol cavalrymen was hiding. Quduz ordered fire thrown into it, and they were all burned alive. After that, Ket Buqa was taken before Quduz with his hands bound.” Despicable man,” said Quduz, “you have shed so much blood wrongfully, ended the lives of champions and dignitaries with false assurances, and overthrown ancient dynasties with broken promises. Now you have finally fallen into a snare yourself.”
When the one whose hands were bound heard these words, he reared up like a mad elephant and replied, saying, “O proud one, do not pride yourself on this day of victory.” “If I am killed by your hand,” said Ket Buqa, “I consider it to be God's act, not yours. Be not deceived by this event for one moment, for when the news of my death reaches Hulagu Khan, the ocean of his wrath will boil over, and from Azerbaijan to the gates of Egypt will quake with the hooves of Mongol horses. They will take the sands of Egypt from there in their horses' nose bags. Hulagu Khan has three hundred thousand renowned horsemen like Ket Buqa. In me you may take only one of them away.” Quduz said, “Speak not so proudly of the horsemen of Turan, for they perform deeds with trickery and artifice, not with manliness like us Muslims(sic).” As long as I have lived,” replied Ket Buqa, “I have been the Padishah's servant, not a mutineer and regicide like you! Finish me off as quickly as possible.” Quduz, in typical Muslim style, ordered his head severed from his body and displayed to the retreating Mongol soldiers.
With Ket Buqa dead, the Mongols were forced to retreat, into Syria and then towards Baghdad. But Quduz did not live long to savor his victory. On the way back to Cairo, his troops who were loyal to the old royal dynasty killed Quduz.
After the battle of Ayn Jalut, the Muslim armies surged throughout Syria as far as the banks of the Euphrates, overthrowing everyone they found, plundering Ket Buqa's camp, taking captive his wife, child, and retainers, and killing the tax collectors. Only those Mongols who were warned could escape, and when the news of Ket Buqa Noyan's death and his last words reached Hulagu Khan, he displayed his grief over his death and the fire of zeal flared up to avenge this defeat.
The Lost Opportunity for a Mongol-Crusader Alliance. After the Mongols had destroyed the Muslim Empire of Khwarazmian in Central Asia, they sent feelers to the Crusaders and thru them to the Pope for a broad anti-Muslim alliance. On being informed that the Mongols were well-disposed towards Christianity, Pope Innocent IV sent them Giovanni di Pianocarpini, a Franciscan, and Nicolas Ascelin, a Dominican, as ambassadors. Pianocarpini was in Karakorum 8 April, 1246, the day of the election of the great Khan, but nothing came of this first attempt at an alliance with the Mongols against the Muslims.
But another Mongol invasion of the Muslim world was not to take place. Hulagu remained confined to the affairs of his homeland and could never bring himself to launch another invasion. After his death, the Mongol Golden Horde did rule the largest empire till then, that stretched from China to Muscovy (modern Moscow). But a tendency that had started to gain hold among the Mongols was the creeping conversion to Islam. This was to put paid any further Mongol attempts to threaten Islamdom.
Meanwhile the truculent Muslim armies did not stop at ejecting the Mongols from the Middle East, but they also give the final push to the Crusaders who were in occupation of Acre and Antioch, by capturing the last Crusader bastion in 1291. While they had the chance the Crusaders scorned the Mongols and did not form an alliance with them against the Muslims. Now the Muslims defeated their enemies one after the other, and both the Mongols and Crusaders became history in the Middle East.
The Lost Opportunity for a Mongol-Crusader Alliance
After the Mongols had destroyed the Muslim Empire of Khwarazmian in Central Asia, they sent feelers to the Crusaders and thru them to the Pope for a broad anti-Muslim alliance. On being informed that the Mongols were well-disposed towards Christianity, Pope Innocent IV sent them Giovanni di Pianocarpini, a Franciscan, and Nicolas Ascelin, a Dominican, as ambassadors. Pianocarpini was in Karakorum 8 April, 1246, the day of the election of the great Khan, but nothing came of this first attempt at an alliance with the Mongols against the Muslims.
However, when St. Louis, who left Paris on June 12, 1248, had reached the Island of Cyprus, he received there a friendly embassy from the great Khan and, in return, sent him two Dominicans.
Many other kings, especially that of Hayton, King of Armenia (1307, ed. Armenian Documents, I), considered an alliance between the Christians and the Mongols who had then overrun Persia and Mesopotamia, before making their way into Syria and Palestine. A Christian-Mongol alliance was indispensable for success against the common enemy - the Muslims.
In fact, from the end of the thirteenth century many missionaries had penetrated into the Mongolian Empire in Persia, as well as in China, their propaganda flourished. St. Francis of Assisi, and Raymond Lully had hoped for the conversion of the Mongols to Christianity. Some of the Mongols who were also members of the Nestorian Church, received these delegations willingly.
By thus leading up to an alliance between Mongols and Christians against the Muslims, the crusade had produced the desired effect early in the fourteenth century the future development of Christianity in the East seemed assured. Unfortunately, however, the Mongols met with a defeat at the Battle of Ayn Jalut (Eye of the Goliath) in Palestine (today’s Israel). This led to a gradual ceasing of contacts between Christendom and the great Khan of the Mongols. And so finally, the contemplated alliance with the Mongols was never fully realized and most of the Mongols ultimately turned to Islam making Central Asia a Muslim land.
During the pontificate of John XXII (1316-34) permanent Dominican and Franciscan missions were established in Persia, China, Tatary and Turkestan, and in 1318 the Archbishopric of Sultanieh was created in Persia. In China Giovanni de Monte Corvino, created Archbishop of Cambaluc (Beijing), organized the religious hierarchy, founded monasteries, and converted to Christianity men of note, including the great Khan himself. The account of the journey of Blessed Orderic de Pordenone (Cordier, ed.) across Asia, between 1304 and 1330, shows us that Christianity had gained a foothold in Persia, Central Asia, and Southern China.
By thus leading up to an alliance between Mongols and Christians against the Muslims, the Crusades had produced the desired effect early in the fourteenth century the future development of Christianity in the East seemed assured. Unfortunately, however, the Mongols met with a defeat at the Battle of Ayn Jalut (Eye of the Goliath) in Palestine (today’s Israel) and internal changes which occurred in the West, the weakening of the political influence of the popes. This led to a gradual ceasing of contacts between Christendom and the great Khan of the Mongols and the only Turko-Mongol people to embrace Christianity were the Bulgar Turks (Not many of us know that the Bulgars were Turkic in origin and the word Bulgar is derived from the Turkish word Bulgha which means to mix).
The Mongol Crusader alliance had the potential of wiping off the Islamic threat to civilization in the 13th century itself. But both the Crusaders and mainly the Pope failed to see beyond their immediate interests. The leaders of the Crusade and especially the Pope, insisted on the conversion of the Mongols to Christianity, before an alliance could be formed. This was the main hurdle for the Crusaders joining forces with the Mongols in 1260 at the Battle of Ayn Jalut (Eye of the Goliath). The fallout was that both the Mongols and the Crusaders were individually defeated by the Muslims. At the end both the Mongols and the Crusaders lost to the beastlike Muslims and civilization continued to be under the threat of Islam, as it is up to this day.
So finally, the contemplated alliance with the Mongols was never fully realized. It was in vain that Argoun Khan of Persia, sent the Nestorian monk, Raban Sauma, as ambassador to the Pope and the princes of the West (1285-88) his offers elicited but vague replies from the Pope and most of the Mongols turned to Islam making Central Asia a Muslim land.
Prominent amongst those Mongols who had been converted to Mohammedanism, was Timur the lame who showed his hostility to the Christians by taking Smyrna from the crusaders for the Muslims. This was the final break between the Christians and the pagan Mongols and henceforth most Mongols (except those of Mongolia proper) became Muslims. The Muslim Mongols comprise the Kazaks, Ughirs, Uzbeks, Tajiks, Khirgiz of today. When the Mongols lost to the Muslim enemy, the Crusaders lost their last possible ally and thus by the end of the 13th century, the Crusades came to an end.
Lessons from the Lost Opportunity of a Mongol-Crusader Alliance
A resolute Mongol Warrior.
Today we Americans should realize that apart from mending fences with Russia, a powerful ally in the battle against the Jihad, we need to join up with the Chinese who have been able to tame the Jihad in China. The Chinese symptomatically represent the Mongols of yore. The Chinese come from the same ethnic stock and carry in their genes, the art of war as propounded by Sun Tzu. They along with the Russians, can become our valuable allies in the War against Terror.
We need to remember that after the Crusader and Mongol invasions of Islamdom, the Muslims took only one century to regroup, and they launched their renewed invasion of Europe which culminated in the fall of Constantinople in 1453 and eventually took the Muslims to Vienna in 1683 and up to the borders of Poland and Prussia
The Mongol Crusader alliance had the potential of wiping off the Islamic threat to civilization in the 13th century itself. But both parties failed to see beyond their immediate interests. The leaders of the Crusade and especially the Pope, insisted on the conversion of the Mongols to Christianity, before an alliance could be formed. This was the main hurdle for the Crusaders joining forces with the Mongols in 1260 at the Battle of Ayn Jalut (Eye of the Goliath). The fallout was that both the Mongols and the Crusaders were individually defeated by the Muslims. At the end both lost and civilization continued to be under the threat of Islam, as it is up to this day.
Today we Americans should realize that apart from mending fences with Russia, a powerful ally in the battle against the Jihad, we need to join up with the Chinese who have been able to tame the Jihad in China. The Chinese symptomatically represent the Mongols of yore. The Chinese come from the same ethnic stock and carry in their genes, the art of war as propounded by Sun Tzu.
We need to remember that after the Crusader and Mongol invasions of Islamdom, the Muslims took only one century to regroup, and they launched their renewed invasion of Europe which culminated in the fall of Constantinople in 1453 and eventually took the Muslims to Vienna in 1683 and up to the borders of Poland and Prussia.
Fortunately it was the valiance of the Polish king Jan Sobeiski that kept the Turks from overrunning Vienna. And the unnamed Serb, Croat, Greek, Spanish, Frankish (French), Italian, Bulgar, Romanian, Hungarian Austrian, Russian and Prussian heroes turned back the Muslims from Europe in a struggle lasting over four hundred years from 1350 to 1918.
The Mongol Spirit is personified today in Islam Karimov
Today the Mongol spirit that once expressed itself in the person of Changez Khan and Hulagu Khan expresses itself in the person of is Excellency Islam Karimov, the President of Uzbekistan.
Islam Karimov has terminated the Islamist insurgency in Uzbekistan with an iron hand In Uzbekistan (as in the world over) the Hizb-ut-Tahirir (HUT) wants to unseat the secular regime of Mr. Karimov and replace it with an Islamic Emirate like that of the Taliban. But in Uzbekistan, the HUT develops Cold Sweat, when they realize that they have been and would be vaporized into extinction if they faced the boiling rage of Mr. Karimov (no pun intended on “boiling” here).
Many liberal commentators would castigate Mr. Karimov’s tactics as savage, but all of them would have to grudge Mr. Karimov his success against the beasts of the HUT. This is the only successful way forward the world over with Islam, if we are to win the War on Terror. This is one lesson that we should learn from Hulagu’s sack of Baghdad in 1258 and the policies of Islam Karimov today.
Samson Blinded: A Machiavellian Perspective on the Middle East Conflict, by Obadiah Shoher
Jihad in the West: Muslim Conquests from the 7th to the 21st Centuries (Hardcover) by Paul Fregosi
The Sword of the Prophet: History, Theology, Impact on the World by Srdja Trifkovic
Islam Unveiled: Disturbing Questions About the World's Fastest Growing Faith by Robert Spencer
Studies in Muslim Apocalyptic (Studies in Late Antiquity and Early Islam) by David Cook
Why I Am Not a Muslim by Ibn Warraq
Onward Muslim Soldiers by Robert Spencer
Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis by Bat Ye'Or
Islam and Dhimmitude: Where Civilizations Collide by Bat Yeor
What the Koran Really Says: Language, Text, and Commentary by Ibn Warraq
Islam and Terrorism: What the Quran Really Teaches About Christianity, Violence and the Goals of the Islamic Jihad by Mark A. Gabriel, Mark A. Gabriel
A Concise History of the Crusades by Thomas F. Madden
The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) by Robert Spencer
The Great Divide: The failure of Islam and the Triumph of the West by Marvin Olasky
The Myth of Islamic Tolerance: How Islamic Law Treats Non-Muslims by Robert Spencer
Islam Unveiled: Disturbing Questions About the World's Fastest Growing Faith by Robert Spencer, David Pryce-Jones
The Koran (Penguin Classics) by N. J. Dawood
Don't Keep me Silent! One Woman's Escape from the Chains of Islam by Mina Nevisa
Christianity And Islam: The Final Clash by Robert Livingston
Holiest Wars : Islamic Mahdis, Their Jihads, and Osama bin Laden by Timothy R. Furnish
The Last Trumpet: A Comparative Study in Christian-Islamic Eschatology by Samuel, Ph.D. Shahid
Unleashing the beast: How a fanatical islamic dictator will form a ten-nation coalition and terrorize the world for forty-two months by Perry Stone
Contemporary Muslim Apocalyptic Literature (Religion and Politics) by David Cook
Islam and the Jews: The Unfinished Battle by Mark A., Ph.D. Gabriel
The Challenge of Islam to Christians by David Pawson
The Prophetic Fall of the Islamic Regime by Glenn Miller, Roger Loomis
Prophet of Doom : Islam's Terrorist Dogma in Muhammad's Own Words by Craig Winn
The False Prophet by Ellis H. Skolfield
The Approach of Armageddon: An Islamic Perspective by Muhammad Hisham Kabbani
The Cube and the Cathedral: Europe, America, and Politics Without God by George Weigel
Infiltration : How Muslim Spies and Subversives have Penetrated Washington by Paul Sperry
Unholy Alliance : Radical Islam and the American Left by David Horowitz
Unveiling Islam : An Insider's Look at Muslim Life and Beliefs by Ergun Mehmet Caner
Perfect Soldiers : The Hijackers: Who They Were, Why They Did It by Terry McDermott
Islam Revealed A Christian Arab's View Of Islam by Anis Shorrosh
Leaving Islam: Apostates Speak Out by Ibn Warraq
The Origins of the Koran: Classic Essays on Islam's Holy Book by Ibn Warraq
The History of Jihad site is brought to you by a panel of contributors. This site is co-ordinated by Robin MacArthur with Mahomet Mostapha and Naim al Khoury, New Jersey.
Other contributors to this site include professors and members of the faculty from the Universities of Stanford and Michigan (Ann Arbor), Kansas State University, Ohio State University, and the London School of Economics. We strongly suggest that this site be recommended as additional reading for students of Islamic History.
History of Jihad is against all forms of fanaticism – religious and non-religious. But the emotional appeal of non-religious fanaticism like Nazism, Fascism or Communism is not as pervasive as that of the religious fanaticism. When fanaticism and religion are mixed, we have a very potent and dangerous brew that can sustain itself for centuries unlike non-religious fanaticisms like Nazism and Communism which die out when the ringleaders are defeated.
While all forms of religious fanaticism are negative, Islam is the most vicious and the most pressing danger we face today. This site is dedication to expose the danger of Islam. We support other people taking similar efforts against other religion posing smaller threats.
Date: Wednesday October 24, 2007
Time: 00:08:35 -0700
Ok - I'll accept the history. But what was the reason the Mongols attacked and slaughtered the Rus, and the Europeans - who had done nothing against the Mongols?
Date: Wednesday October 24, 2007
Time: 00:09:37 -0700
The authur has wonderfully picked the historical events with his/her choice, to justifiy his/her opinoins, and hate towards Muslims and Islam. Authur has failed to discuss the massacres and lotting conducted by Mongols in China, Russia, and even Korea for that matter.
Date: Thursday October 25, 2007
Time: 21:55:21 -0700
Hahahaha. indeed. As it turns out Ghengis Khan actually travelled the world (or tried to) to show the people his new recipe for Yack. not to try and rule the world by killing and domination as first thought. He was a peace loving man with friendship in his heart.:)
Date: Tuesday November 06, 2007
Time: 00:11:59 -0700
First Horesim killed 500 merchants of Mongol. This was beginning of the war.
Date: Monday November 26, 2007
Time: 06:53:41 -0700
Pathetic attempt at dishonouring islam, as a berber my ppl were forced to woreship ur sick religion, forcing us to woreship ur naked man naild to a stick, Disgusting, Islam brought light in to our hearts, and i think those who brought it to our ppls with open arms, be it by the sword or by peace, they r right in doing so. lailahailallah.
Date: Wednesday November 28, 2007
Time: 14:42:37 -0700
the europeans also mistreated and slaughtered Mongol diplomats
Date: Sunday December 02, 2007
Time: 14:18:05 -0700
It is fascinating how one can use history and fabrications thereof to create such a wonderful work of fiction - my complements to the imagination and creativity of the author/s.
Date: Tuesday January 01, 2008
Time: 02:31:55 -0700
This article is an incredible waste of my time. I have been studying the real history of the Mongols and cannot believe such and ignorant and mis-informed article has been published on the web - the author should be ashamed. Please do NOT believe that this is a factual account of the mongols. Some of the article is correct (the historical timings of events etc) however, the psychology and reasoning behind certain events written here is total rubbish. This article smells like American propaganda to me.
Name: blasting fat herns
Date: Tuesday January 22, 2008
Time: 23:43:40 -0700
What an incredible piece of racist bullshit.
Date: Saturday February 16, 2008
Time: 00:44:02 -0700
I think, one should not mistake about the utter brutality of the Mongols, which definitely surpassed those of the Islamics. One cannot however disregard the fact that the sustained assault of the Jihadists on Mongols definitely had made a contribution to what the Mongols later became. Pushed to the corner by one assault after another, the Mongols were forced to fortify their defense, and to fight back, build up their own force. And one day, they found they were in a position to overrun the world. Just what could happen to almost any poeople at that time with the kind of power they had in their hand after swallowing decades of assaults, plundering and enslavements at the hands of the Islamic Jihadists. Other than this, the rest of the article should be taken with a good deal of reservation.
Date: Monday February 25, 2008
Time: 07:11:29 -0700
this was great I learned so much you guys are awesome totally cool
Date: Thursday March 06, 2008
Time: 20:06:41 -0700
What a patetic pile of rubbish. There are not good genocides and bad genocides, all the genocides are aborrent and you just can not take an apologetic position on the brutal massacres carried out by the mongols, this is pure anti muslim garbage and sounds to me like fundamentalist nonsense coming from bloodthirsty and deranged christian fanatics. This sounds like nazi antisemitic propaganda.
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