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The Great Khan
July 10th, 2009, 06:18 PM
The short lived Mongol conquest of Europe was an awesome success, with the Mongols conquering much of Eastern Europe from 1235-1241. Had it not been for Ogodei Khan's, (son of Genghis Khan) death in 1241, some scholars believe that the Mongols would have conquered all of Europe.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%96gedei_Khan#Europe

When the Mongols conquered the Middle East a generation later, they did away the Caliph, (albeit respectfully).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Baghdad_(1258)

The Mongols usually destroyed the heads of the societies they conquered to prevent rebellions from forming around these rulers, and also to put governors in charge who would remain loyal to them. Seeing as this was their policy, it is entirely feasible that, upon their conquest of Europe, the Mongols would execute the members of the European royal houses, as well as the Pope, high ranking members of the Papacy, and the leaders of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Islam suffered a huge blow after the Abbasid Caliphate ended, and the "shadow Caliphate" after the sacking of Baghdad was quite weak. The Caliphate was not powerful until the title was merged with that of Ottoman Sultan centuries later. Islam was not, of course permanently destroyed, but its future was changed forever.

My question is: How do you think Christianity would have weathered the Mongol invasion, had it happened? What do you think would have happened to the balance of power in Europe, with the Christian religious leaders, and their royal patrons gone? Would both Churches fall completely, and Christianity continue leaderless? Would both Churches (Eastern Orthodox or Catholic) survive as "shadow" religious organizations and revive later? Would they not revive and retain only ceremonial power? Would one survive better than the other and wipe it out, spreading into the others' former territory? Or would the survivor remain barely alive as a shadow with merely ceremonial power, and remain the only organized remnant of Christianity? Or would something completely different happen? Any thoughts?

JohnLocke
August 19th, 2009, 12:26 PM
I think, personally, that Europe, and thus Christianity in general, would have been absolutely flattened by the Mongols. The Europeans had heard tales of these fierce invaders from the east, and in fact the Mongols got very close to capturing Vienna.

Historically, Europe has shown a tendency to be unable to resist anything that comes from the east. The Huns came before and wrecked Europe. The plague came from the east and killed millions. The Turks came from their steppe homeland and began a European power.

Neither of the aforementioned invasions had anywhere near the power that the Mongols did, plus, at the time, Europe was fiercely divided and nations were frequently at war. Europe has always been vulnerable from the East, with little defense from invasion after the enemy passes the Urals, the Caucasus, or the Bosporus.

The Mongolian system of war was radically different than that of the Europeans at the time. Their system would have shocked the Europeans. The Europeans favored nice army vs. army clashes, full charges, and large battlefields. The Mongols used hit-and-run tactics with horse archers, along with deception and frequent ambushes.

It is my personal belief that the Mongols could have beaten nearly any European army, even if outnumbered. The only army that I think would have a chance against theirs was not made until after their conquests had ended. This is the English army and its superb longbowmen, who were not used often until after the Mongols.

The Mongols would simply sweep through Europe, heading west, wiping out and destroying every nation quickly. They would have difficulty with the sea, however, having rarely, if ever, used ships before, so England and Sicily would escape relatively unscathed.

The Great Khan
August 19th, 2009, 12:48 PM
I think, personally, that Europe, and thus Christianity in general, would have been absolutely flattened by the Mongols. The Europeans had heard tales of these fierce invaders from the east, and in fact the Mongols got very close to capturing Vienna.

Emphasis needed on flattened. But the Mongols never actually imposed a religion on conquered people. Is it possible that Christianity would have survived among Europeans without leadership, like a papacy or patriarchy?


Historically, Europe has shown a tendency to be unable to resist anything that comes from the east. The Huns came before and wrecked Europe. The plague came from the east and killed millions. The Turks came from their steppe homeland and began a European power.

Really makes you wonder how Europe managed to get ahead and ravage the East later on.


Neither of the aforementioned invasions had anywhere near the power that the Mongols did, plus, at the time, Europe was fiercely divided and nations were frequently at war. Europe has always been vulnerable from the East, with little defense from invasion after the enemy passes the Urals, the Caucasus, or the Bosporus.

Yep, it makes you wonder why no one ever tried to ravage Europe before.


The Mongolian system of war was radically different than that of the Europeans at the time. Their system would have shocked the Europeans. The Europeans favored nice army vs. army clashes, full charges, and large battlefields. The Mongols used hit-and-run tactics with horse archers, along with deception and frequent ambushes.

You know it! :knuppel2:


It is my personal belief that the Mongols could have beaten nearly any European army, even if outnumbered. The only army that I think would have a chance against theirs was not made until after their conquests had ended. This is the English army and its superb longbowmen, who were not used often until after the Mongols.

Even longbowmen would have gotten pwned. They need years of training to get the accuracy that Mongols are raised with to this day. Plus, even superb longbowmen are not enough to cope with the speed and agility of Mongol cavalry. Long bowmen, recall, have little mobility.


The Mongols would simply sweep through Europe, heading west, wiping out and destroying every nation quickly. They would have difficulty with the sea, however, having rarely, if ever, used ships before, so England and Sicily would escape relatively unscathed.

I doubt even this. The Mongols were extremely flexible, easily integrating new military equipment into their army when they found it. For instance, they adopted Chinese siege engines to batter down walled cities. Khublai Khan even used cannons! The only reason he lost against Japan was because of a hurricane.

However, I've heard that the weather might have affected the health of the army and weakened the Mongol bows, and the lack of steppe grass might have lessened the infamous mobility of the Mongol cavalry.

Apokalupsis
August 19th, 2009, 01:57 PM
Historically, Europe has shown a tendency to be unable to resist anything that comes from the east.
History actually shows this statement to be false...consider...


The Huns came before and wrecked Europe.
Yet Europe resisted annihilation...

The plague came from the east and killed millions.
Yet the destruction of Europe was resisted...


The Turks came from their steppe homeland and began a European power.
Yet Europe remains as strong as ever...resisting destruction.

Just because something is attacked, or even has a devastating result, doesn't mean that what was attacked, cannot resist. Europe did indeed resist.

Using these as examples as to how it couldn't "resist" a Mongol invasion is fallacious. It actually defeats your own argument.

The Mongols were defeated in battles...they were not an undefeated force. In 1284, a Marmeluke army from Egypt met a Mongol army at Ayn Jalut, in the Holy Land, and defeated them there. The Japanese and the Vietnamese repulsed Mongol invasions in the distant east. While revolutionary in their tactics and strategy, they were not invincible.

Could they have changed history by invading Europe? It's probably safe to take that bet. But it's a good thing that the Mongols were not any more successful than they already were. Considering they razed every city, practically killing every individual, merciless, destroying history, culture, technology, the world would be a far different place than it is today, and not in a good way.

Historical people who influenced the world as we know it today like Dante, Michelangelo, Da Vinci may not have existed or may not have been inspired enough to create what they did.

And while brilliant conquerors, role models the Kahn's, were not.

A good essay about the Mongol Invasion, their ruthlessness, success, and finally their demise: http://www.johnsearles.com/mongols.htm

The Great Khan
August 19th, 2009, 02:36 PM
Yet Europe resisted annihilation...

Because Atilla died, and the leaderless Huns dissipated.


Yet the destruction of Europe was resisted...

Through improved sanitation? No. Because the plague ran its course.


Yet Europe remains as strong as ever...resisting destruction.

Only because the Turks could only control so much while centered in Istanbul. Had they been able to control more, then more of Europe would conquered.


The Mongols were defeated in battles...they were not an undefeated force. In 1284, a Marmeluke army from Egypt met a Mongol army at Ayn Jalut, in the Holy Land, and defeated them there.

Only because the Mongol Khan Mongke died and Hulagu, the commanding officer of the force about to attack Egypt, had to turn back to attend the election of his successor, taking the majority of his men with him. He left a subordinate named Kitbogha in charge with a token force that was defeated by the Mamluks who were, by the way, specifically trained to fight Mongols. Europeans lacked this training.


The Japanese and the Vietnamese repulsed Mongol invasions in the distant east. While revolutionary in their tactics and strategy, they were not invincible.

The Japanese won via "divine intervention" in the form of a hurricane. The Vietnamese did engage in frustrating guerrilla tactics, but the Mongols also suffered from disease, heat, and naval setbacks due to the the loss of ships in the Japanese campaigns.


Could they have changed history by invading Europe? It's probably safe to take that bet. But it's a good thing that the Mongols were not any more successful than they already were. Considering they razed every city, practically killing every individual, merciless, destroying history, culture, technology, the world would be a far different place than it is today, and not in a good way.

The Mongols were not quite the rapacious monsters history usually portrays them as. Genghis Khan instituted a meritocratic (rather than bloodline based) promotion system in his army. He allowed complete freedom of religion for his subjects (religious institutions were even exempt from taxes). He financed trade and the exchange of ideas, granted diplomatic immunity for ambassadors (whom other cultures usually executed for bearing bad news) and abolished torture. He even adopted war orphans into his own family. Plus, ever heard of the Pax Mongolica? Once the Mongols conquered territory, the place was usually peaceful. It was said that a virgin carrying a sack of gold could ride unharmed from one border of the empire to the other during this period. They certainly would have ended the squabbling between European states.

They were also not discriminatory against a particular race or religion. Mongke Khan, for instance, had a religious debate held between Buddhists, Muslims, Catholics, and other religious ambassadors. At around the same time, King Loius IX of France was busy burning Jewish religions texts and expelling and killing Jews in a bloody (but not unusual or even original for Europe) purge to finance his crusades.


Historical people who influenced the world as we know it today like Dante, Michelangelo, Da Vinci may not have existed or may not have been inspired enough to create what they did.

Don't worry, the Mongols usually spared artists and other people with useful skills.

Apokalupsis
August 19th, 2009, 02:59 PM
Because Atilla died, and the leaderless Huns dissipated.
He didn't have the capacity to do more (his life ended). Thus, it successfully resisted. Point stands.



Through improved sanitation? No. Because the plague ran its course.
It was not powerful enough to annihilate the population. Thus, successful resistance. Point stands.



Only because the Turks could only control so much while centered in Istanbul. Had they been able to control more, then more of Europe would conquered.
The Turks had shortcomings. They could not do more. Thus, successful resistance. Point stands.

The point is, try as you/it/they might, it isn't enough, therefore, total destruction is resisted. If there was less resistance, it wouldn't require more than what was available.



Only because the Mongol Khan Mongke died and Hulagu, the commanding officer of the force about to attack Egypt, had to turn back to attend the election of his successor, taking the majority of his men with him. He left a subordinate named Kitbogha in charge with a token force that was defeated by the Mamluks who were, by the way, specifically trained to fight Mongols. Europeans lacked this training.
Point still stands. They weren't invincible. they had shortcomings.

You keep making excuses, but it doesn't change the facts of the matter.



The Japanese won via "divine intervention" in the form of a hurricane.
An example of how the Mongols failed to adapt. Point stands. They were defeated.


The Vietnamese did engage in frustrating guerrilla tactics, but the Mongols also suffered from disease, heat, and naval setbacks due to the the loss of ships in the Japanese campaigns.
Unable to overcome specific obstacles. Point stands.



The Mongols were not quite the rapacious monsters history usually portrays them as.
Sort of like "Hitler really was a nice guy." ?

Give me a break. They were brilliant soldiers, but had complete disregard for human life. They were plunderers, rapists and butchers...responsible for the killings of near 40 million people! Millions died by their sword (most non-combatants), many more died from the mass killings and famines that their raids left behind.


Genghis Khan instituted a meritocratic (rather than bloodline based) promotion system in his army.
This is an example of expertise in warfare, not civility or mercy.


He allowed complete freedom of religion for his subjects (religious institutions were even exempt from taxes).
Truly, the ambassador of human rights. :idiot2:


He financed trade and the exchange of ideas, granted diplomatic immunity for ambassadors (whom other cultures usually executed for bearing bad news) and abolished torture.
Who was there to torture? He was a butcher of millions of innocent lives.



Once the Mongols conquered territory, the place was usually peaceful.
...that's because all opposition was crushed. :idiot2:


It was said that a virgin carrying a sack of gold could ride unharmed from one border of the empire to the other during this period. They certainly would have ended the squabbling between European states.
100% pure conjecture, completely unprovable. Therefore, dismissed.



Don't worry, the Mongols usually spared artists and other people with useful skills.
Artisans he liked, were shipped to Samarkand, his capital. And keeping some of these great minds with great talent alive, does not necessitate them creating the works they did or having the influence on the rest of history as they did. There would be no inspiration from classicism for these particular artisans that would allow them to create their masterpieces in Samarkind in such a culture.

Regardless, why would I worry? He died before any other cities could be utterly destroyed and innocent lives lost in the name of human greed.

The Great Khan
August 19th, 2009, 04:27 PM
He didn't have the capacity to do more (his life ended). Thus, it successfully resisted. Point stands.

The failure of the Huns, then can be attributed not to military losses or Roman resilience, but the health of one man. The Romans were no more resilient than they had been during his life.


It was not powerful enough to annihilate the population. Thus, successful resistance. Point stands.

The Europeans resisted not through their own actions (which included the usual blaming of Jews and persecuting of witches) but because of the weakness of the plague itself.


The Turks had shortcomings. They could not do more. Thus, successful resistance. Point stands.

...that can be attributed, not entirely to European resistance, but Turkish weakness.


The point is, try as you/it/they might, it isn't enough, therefore, total destruction is resisted. If there was less resistance, it wouldn't require more than what was available.

I never said total destruction wasn't resisted. I said the Europeans got lucky.


Point still stands. They weren't invincible. they had shortcomings.

...that can be attributed partially to Mamluk strength, but also due to the health of one man: Mongke. The Mamliuks, though powerful, were no more resilient when Mongke was alive than when he was dead.


You keep making excuses, but it doesn't change the facts of the matter.

The same could be said for you. What I'm pointing out isn't exactly false.


An example of how the Mongols failed to adapt. Point stands. They were defeated.

The Mongol loss here can be attributed not to Japanese victories, diplomacy, or anything else done under their own power (except perhaps prayer), but a force of nature.


Unable to overcome specific obstacles. Point stands.

Partially due to the reverberation of the Japanese loss (a chance event) and some Vietnamese grit, I'll admit.


Sort of like "Hitler really was a nice guy." ?

No, Hitler was a maniac who killed Jews. Kind of like "Saint" Loius, remember?


Give me a break. They were brilliant soldiers, but had complete disregard for human life. They were plunderers, rapists and butchers...responsible for the killings of near 40 million people! Millions died by their sword (most non-combatants), many more died from the mass killings and famines that their raids left behind.

Hey, they spared cities who surrendered without a fight. How many armies did that? I'm not saying that the Mongols were saints. But other armies that don't conjure such a bloodthirsty visage in the minds of people were not exactly merciful, either.


This is an example of expertise in warfare, not civility or mercy.

He looked after war orphans and gave a share to the wives and children of defeated men. Most generals don't do that either. He divided plunder fairly.


Truly, the ambassador of human rights. :idiot2:

Um...how exactly is complete religious freedom a bad thing? And why did you bold the bit about "his subjects"? Its not like he could grant religious freedom to people who were not under his rule.


Who was there to torture? He was a butcher of millions of innocent lives.

People survived. Or else there would have been no one else to govern. His Yassa law code placed restrictions on the power of even the Great Khan. Everyone from the lowest herder to Genghis himself was under the Yassa. Contrast that with the "divine right of kings" used later in Europe.


...that's because all opposition was crushed. :idiot2:

...and trade flourished as a result! Remember Marco Polo? He couldn't have reached China without the Pax Mongolica. Christopher Columbus sailed to re-establish connections with the Khan's court in China and re-create the lucrative trade that had been present during the Pax Mongolica.


100% pure conjecture, completely unprovable. Therefore, dismissed.

Which bit? The maiden part? Or the stopping squabbles in Europe part? The Pax Mongolica occurred because the Mongols unified all of the land they conquered and prevented the kingdoms of Asia from fighting, resulting in a trade route that stretched from Eastern Europe to the coasts of China. They would have certainly done the same to Europe, had they conquered it. In fact, Georgia was one of the Mongols' most loyal conquered states (indicating how much life must have sucked under native rule).


Artisans he liked, were shipped to Samarkand, his capital.

Eh, no. Genghis never had a permanent capital. In fact, he abhorred permanent structures, seeing them as evidence of sedentary softness. The Mongol capital of Karakorum (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karakorum), wasn't built until after his death. You are thinking of Tamerlane (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tamerlane), a Muslim warlord who admired Genghis Khan, but was not the same. He, for instance, sacked Delhi and stacked the skulls of the dead into pyramids, something Genghis never did. He was the one who copied Genghis' artisans policy and shipped them back to Samarkand, his capital. (By the way, Europe got lucky again during this period because the Turks had conquered all of the Byzantine Empire save for Constanstinople. They would have done so had Tamerlane not showed up and beat them in battle, capturing their sultan, Bayezid, and sparing the Byzantine Empire from complete destruction. Can this be attributed to Byzantine resilience. No, they were no more resilient than they had been before Tamerlane showed up. They got lucky...again.)


And keeping some of these great minds with great talent alive, does not necessitate them creating the works they did or having the influence on the rest of history as they did. There would be no inspiration from classicism for these particular artisans that would allow them to create their masterpieces in Samarkind in such a culture.

You act as if there would be no other artists. The Mongols conquered China, for instance, but there is still art from the Yuan period.


Regardless, why would I worry?

My apologies. It seemed like you thought that the Mongols would extinguish all art and culture, something they definitely did not do (though they did do a great deal of damage, I won't deny that).


He died before any other cities could be utterly destroyed and innocent lives lost in the name of human greed.

Pretty much everyone is driven by some sort of greed. The American colonists, for instance, saw no harm in destroying the native population and stealing their land. An entire culture was destroyed so that we could type these messages to each other, but I don't see you mourning that or calling the Founders murderers. Genghis himself, though, eschewed personal wealth and finery (that's why he never had a permanent capital, or throne) and viewed gold as worthless (and from a pragmatic perspective, it is. Too soft to be used for military or construction purposes, as the Incas found out, to their peril). He could have easily set himself up as the ruler of Jin or Xi Xia China, but did not. He ate the same food as his men (raw meat and perhaps some curds) and, despite having a huge army and several extremely skilled generals, commanded troops himself and fought in battle alongside his men.

Squatch347
August 20th, 2009, 08:12 AM
I think, personally, that Europe, and thus Christianity in general, would have been absolutely flattened by the Mongols. Well likely militarily they would have been crushed, Europe was not united enough to defend itself in an effective way. However, culturally the Mongols were never effective, even in China where they ruled the longest, at imposing cultural constraints or for that matter even leaving behind cultural legacies after leaving. Likely they would have come, conquered, perhaps extracted some treasure and left, just as they did in the middle east.


Historically, Europe has shown a tendency to be unable to resist anything that comes from the east. The Huns came before and wrecked Europe. The plague came from the east and killed millions. The Turks came from their steppe homeland and began a European power. Whoa, this seems to be a bit of an overstatement, espeically in the latter section, the Turks were rutiounely routed in Eastern Europe by vastly numerically inferior forces.

The Great Khan
August 20th, 2009, 09:20 AM
Well likely militarily they would have been crushed, Europe was not united enough to defend itself in an effective way. However, culturally the Mongols were never effective, even in China where they ruled the longest, at imposing cultural constraints or for that matter even leaving behind cultural legacies after leaving. Likely they would have come, conquered, perhaps extracted some treasure and left, just as they did in the middle east.

You're right in saying that they did not impose cultural restrictions or impose their own culture onto conquered people. This allowed native culture, arts, trade, etc. to remain and even increase due to the Pax Mongolica, I doubt that if the Mongols invaded Europe that they would have just sacked it and left. They did not leave the Middle East; it was ruled by Il-Khans.


Whoa, this seems to be a bit of an overstatement, espeically in the latter section, the Turks were rutiounely routed in Eastern Europe by vastly numerically inferior forces.

But the Mongols conquered Eastern Europe.

Squatch347
August 20th, 2009, 12:54 PM
You're right in saying that they did not impose cultural restrictions or impose their own culture onto conquered people. This allowed native culture, arts, trade, etc. to remain and even increase due to the Pax Mongolica, I doubt that if the Mongols invaded Europe that they would have just sacked it and left. They did not leave the Middle East; it was ruled by Il-Khans. Remain might be a strong word, the Mongols were not some kind of enlightened cosmopolitans. They were thugs and did not have long term conquest ambition. The Ilkhans ruled for less than 80 years and had assimilated fully into Persian culture before the decade was out. Either way can we agree that they certainly wouldn't have stamped out western culture?


But the Mongols conquered Eastern Europe.Only in the most broad sense, they militarily routed all forces against them. They did not however annex or really rule eastern europe in the more traditional conquering sense, not like the Romans conquered gaul.

The Great Khan
August 20th, 2009, 05:49 PM
Remain might be a strong word, the Mongols were not some kind of enlightened cosmopolitans.

Allowing freedom of religion, encouraging trade, sponsorship of sciences, little racial discrimination, and no torture sounds pretty enlightened to me.


They were thugs and did not have long term conquest ambition. The Ilkhans ruled for less than 80 years and had assimilated fully into Persian culture before the decade was out.

This doesn't make sense; the very fact that they set up an Ilkhanate rather than burning and leaving shows that they did indeed intend to rule. Had the empire not split up due to power struggles within the Golden Family, the would have ruled for a longer period of time. Ogodai intended to rule from China to the "Great Western Ocean" (Atlantic). Though Genghis abhorred permanent cities, his descendents did not, and indeed the concept was more prudent given the heterogenity of their empire and armies. A nomadic lifestyle would not have suited an army made partially of non-Mongols.


Either way can we agree that they certainly wouldn't have stamped out western culture?

I never said they would destroy western culture. That's what makes them different, and in a sense, benevolent masters. They didn't interfere much at a local level; only a few rules: follow the Yassa, send taxes, and don't raise any armies...or else :knuppel2:

This, in a way, kept order better than a standing garrison ever could. The original OP was what would happen to Christianity with its religious leaders and royal sponsers gone.


Only in the most broad sense, they militarily routed all forces against them. They did not however annex or really rule eastern europe in the more traditional conquering sense, not like the Romans conquered gaul.

True, they did not "Mongolize" the areas they conquered like the Romans "Romanized" the Mediterranean. However, had they conquered more of Europe, there would have had to have been a Khan of some sort in charge; the area's too big to leave unorganized.

Apokalupsis
August 20th, 2009, 07:14 PM
The failure of the Huns, then can be attributed not to military losses or Roman resilience, but the health of one man. The Romans were no more resilient than they had been during his life.
They were resilient enough to disallow the Khan further success. They outlasted him. Thus resistance. Point stands.



The Europeans resisted not through their own actions (which included the usual blaming of Jews and persecuting of witches) but because of the weakness of the plague itself.
The plague was weaker than the Europeans. Thus, resistance. Point stands.



...that can be attributed, not entirely to European resistance, but Turkish weakness.
Same as above.



I never said total destruction wasn't resisted. I said the Europeans got lucky.
Same as above.


...that can be attributed partially to Mamluk strength, but also due to the health of one man: Mongke. The Mamliuks, though powerful, were no more resilient when Mongke was alive than when he was dead.
Same as above.



The same could be said for you. What I'm pointing out isn't exactly false.
Of course it's false. And of course the same could not be said of me. Your argument (in defense of another poster) is that Europe lacks the ability to resist. Yet history shows otherwise. It did.

Your argument is like saying at the end of a boxing match, that the last man standing isn't really the winner...instead, the guy who got knocked out is the winner because he got in more punches. It's absurd. The one left standing, even if he took more punches, outlasted the opponent. He resisted the fall, resisted going down despite all those punches. The opponent was not powerful enough to do what he intended to do. The boxer left standing, was powerful enough to remain the last man standing.

Everyone watching the match knows who won...the last man standing. But because the knocked out loser on the ground is of Mongol descent, you insist that he must be the true winner. It's illogical.



The Mongol loss here can be attributed not to Japanese victories, diplomacy, or anything else done under their own power (except perhaps prayer), but a force of nature.
Mongols were land warriors. They had the advantage in mass engagements with tactics and overwhelming force, especially at long distance. The Japanese were specialists at man to man combat, close quarters. The Mongols were winning the islands because they refused to engage in this type of warfare, and instead, stick to what worked for them.

However, the Japanese ships were smaller, faster, and could outmaneuver the Mongols. In Hakata Bay (in the first invasion in 1274), the Japanese boarded the Mongol ships and engaged in close quarters combat, which completely decimated the Mongols. They didn't have a chance.

Immediately after the first invasion, Japan prepared. They changed their training accordingly, recruited reinforcements, build forts and towers and walls along the coast. 2 sets of 5 emissaries were sent over the next few years. All were beheaded when they arrived.

In the Spring of 1281, the Mongols got their ass handed to them at Tsushima when they attacked. They retreated. Gathered a much larger force, and defeated the Japanese at Tsushima in the Summer.

After taking a few minor islands, the Mongols once again approached Hakata Bay, landed, but got their asses kicked due to the reinforcements waiting for them, the defensive infrastructure and the adapted strategy.

The Mongols retreated back to their ships...and it is there that a typhoon all but finished them off. In this 2nd invasion, weather was merely the nail in the coffin. They were beaten and in retreat.

In a number of individual skirmishes, known collectively as the Battle of Kōan (弘安の役), or the Second Battle of Hakata Bay, the Mongol forces were driven back to their ships. The Japanese army was again heavily outnumbered, but had fortified the coastal line, and was easily able to repulse the auxiliaries that were launched against it. The now-famous kamikaze, a massive typhoon, assaulted the shores of Kyūshū for two days straight, and destroyed much of the Mongol fleet.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mongol_invasions_of_Japan

And to add insult to injury, the Mongols may have been "played" by the Chinese who were of course, ruled by the Mongols. The Chinese built the boats for the Mongols. They may have intentionally built the boats to be easily sunk.

Furthermore, it is now believed that the destruction of the Mongol fleet was greatly facilitated by an additional factor. Most of the invasion force was composed of hastily-acquired flat-bottomed Chinese riverboats and ships built in Goryeo of a similar type. According to Goryeosa, Southern Song type ships were too costly and their construction was too slow, so the traditional types were constructed.[7] Such ships (unlike ocean-going ships, which have a curved keel to prevent capsizing) were difficult to use on high seas, let alone during a massive typhoon. It is also speculated that the Chinese who built the boats and ships might have intentionally made weaker boats because they disliked their Mongol rulers.



No, Hitler was a maniac who killed Jews. Kind of like "Saint" Loius, remember?
No. And we are talking about the maniac Genghis Kahn (and others who led the Mongol invasions). They were butchers of mankind, a disease, a cancer to the world. They were ruthless, merciless, cutting down women and children, non-combatants.

In their assault against the Japanese, they ravaged the islands of Tsushima and Iki, and pierced piercing women's hands and hung them on their boats.

That's the type of maniac your beloved Mongols were. Why do you think it is a good thing to pierce women's hands and hang them on boats to terrorize the enemy? What is peaceful about that? What is loving about that? Is that what Hinduism teaches is "good"? Explain this concept to me please. Why is pain and suffering of innocents, something that ought to be worshiped or admired?



Hey, they spared cities who surrendered without a fight. How many armies did that? I'm not saying that the Mongols were saints. But other armies that don't conjure such a bloodthirsty visage in the minds of people were not exactly merciful, either.
This is the tu quoque fallacy. Simply because other armies were vicious, does not excuse the Mongols for being vicious.

As far as sparing cities...

A surrender meant handing over one tenth of everything, including people, and pay constant tribute. While the Mongols offered this quite often, it is not the case that it was offered every time.

Furthermore, if a city did not surrender, then practically EVERYTHING and EVERYONE was destroyed. The elderly, women, children, etc...



People survived. Or else there would have been no one else to govern.
Those who surrendered and agreed to be subject to his rule survived. Those who wished to keep their identity, defend what is theirs...were massacered.


Eh, no. Genghis never had a permanent capital. In fact, he abhorred permanent structures, seeing them as evidence of sedentary softness. The Mongol capital of Karakorum (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karakorum), wasn't built until after his death. You are thinking of Tamerlane (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tamerlane), a Muslim warlord who admired Genghis Khan, but was not the same.
Yes, I meant Tamerlane. He was married into Genghis' family. He was a Mongol. A butcher.



He, for instance, sacked Delhi and stacked the skulls of the dead into pyramids, something Genghis never did.
Doesn't matter. He's a Mongol. You don't get to have your cake and eat it too. The Mongols were brutal savages. Brilliant strategists and worthy soldiers, but brutal.


By the way, the Mongols were forced out of China by the Ming, in 1368. Was it because too many daffodils sprouted up unexpectedly and the Mongols were allergic, so they left voluntarily? Or perhaps, the Mongols, despite being fierce warriors, weren't gods as you would have everyone believe?



You act as if there would be no other artists. The Mongols conquered China, for instance, but there is still art from the Yuan period.
That's like saying "Bin Laden isn't such a bad guy...he built hospitals and schools for people."



Pretty much everyone is driven by some sort of greed. The American colonists, for instance, saw no harm in destroying the native population and stealing their land. An entire culture was destroyed so that we could type these messages to each other,
Another to quoque fallacy. Another erroneous and unsupported claim as well, but that's probably saved for a separate thread.


but I don't see you mourning that or calling the Founders murderers.
....that's because a) this is a thread about the Mongols. :idiot2: It's also because it isn't true. See above re: new thread.


He ate the same food as his men (raw meat and perhaps some curds) and, despite having a huge army and several extremely skilled generals, commanded troops himself and fought in battle alongside his men.
Yup...Genghis...the humanitarian. We know, we know. :grin:

The Great Khan
August 21st, 2009, 05:59 AM
Of course it's false. And of course the same could not be said of me. Your argument (in defense of another poster) is that Europe lacks the ability to resist. Yet history shows otherwise. It did.

It was Locke that said Europe lacked the ability to resist anything from the East, not me. Before we got horribly sidetracked, we were wondering what would have happened to Europe in general and Christianity in particular. Note: before you think I'm anti-Christian or something, the reason I created the thread was because I studied the Mongols for a term paper recently, and wondered what would have happened had their conquest continued. To be honest, I'd forgotten about it really because, after a while I didn't expect anyone to respond (least of all, you).


Everyone watching the match knows who won...the last man standing. But because the knocked out loser on the ground is of Mongol descent, you insist that he must be the true winner. It's illogical.

I never said the Mongols didn't lose. I said they could've won.


No. And we are talking about the maniac Genghis Kahn (and others who led the Mongol invasions). They were butchers of mankind, a disease, a cancer to the world. They were ruthless, merciless, cutting down women and children, non-combatants.

There is no medieval army that didn't butcher unarmed people, women, children etc. Like when the Crusaders captured Jerusalem, they committed slaughter on an extreme scale, in the name of a religion preaching peace and love. Does this make them horrible people? Not quite.


What is peaceful about that?

I never said they were peaceful


What is loving about that?

Never said they were loving, either.


Is that what Hinduism teaches is "good"?

This is garbage, and you know it. I expected better from you.


This is the tu quoque fallacy. Simply because other armies were vicious, does not excuse the Mongols for being vicious.

I never said they weren't vicious. You act like I'm saying they wouldn't hurt a fly. I never said that; they were conquerors. But you have to admit there were positive aspects to their conquest.


Furthermore, if a city did not surrender, then practically EVERYTHING and EVERYONE was destroyed. The elderly, women, children, etc...

Tell me... is there any army that didn't kill defenseless people? Yes, the Mongols did, I never denied it. But you act like they're the only army who ever ravaged anything.


Those who surrendered and agreed to be subject to his rule survived. Those who wished to keep their identity, defend what is theirs...were massacered.

Well, what would you do? If word got out that one city successfully resisted, the rest would be harder to take. Besides, cities that surrendered got to keep their identity. They didn't have to adopt Mongol language, culture, religion, or anything else. Heck, they didn't even have to house a Mongol garrison. The only thing they needed to do was send tribute.


Yes, I meant Tamerlane. He was married into Genghis' family. He was a Mongol.

No, he was a Turk who married a Mongol. His conquest happened after the Mongol empire was long gone.


A butcher.

Yes, though he did improve Samarkand and make it more of a science and culture center.


By the way, the Mongols were forced out of China by the Ming, in 1368. Was it because too many daffodils sprouted up unexpectedly and the Mongols were allergic, so they left voluntarily? Or perhaps, the Mongols, despite being fierce warriors, weren't gods as you would have everyone believe?

When did I say the were invincible? The Yuans of China became soft and corrupt near the end of their reign. (Which is why Genghis never founded a permanent settlement).


That's like saying "Bin Laden isn't such a bad guy...he built hospitals and schools for people."

Did he? I didn't know that. That doesn't make him any less of a terrorist. But you have to admit that hospitals and schools are not bad things. They did help people, whether a terrorist built them or not. Look at things from a more objective view.


Another to quoque fallacy. Another erroneous and unsupported claim as well, but that's probably saved for a separate thread.

So, you're saying the colonists didn't destroy native culture? Yes they did. Were there good things about what they did? Yes. Were there bad things also? Of course. Same goes with the Mongols. You can't single them out and say that they alone were brutal, and the rest of the world was nice and peaceful always.


Yup...Genghis...the humanitarian. We know, we know. :grin

I never said he was a humanitarian either. But you have to admit he was not like most of his contemporaries. European monarchs, for instance, sent peasants cheerfully sent peasants to their deaths and wasted lives to save the aristocracy. Genghis, who only had about 100,000 men at any given time, never sacrificed a single one willingly.

Squatch347
August 21st, 2009, 09:22 AM
Allowing freedom of religion, encouraging trade, sponsorship of sciences, little racial discrimination, and no torture sounds pretty enlightened to me. You are confusing inability with intent. They Mongols were pillagers, not conquerers.



This doesn't make sense; the very fact that they set up an Ilkhanate rather than burning and leaving shows that they did indeed intend to rule. Had the empire not split up due to power struggles within the Golden Family, The weakness of the ilkhanate was not due to family struggles, but a lack of support. They set it up for tribute, not rule.
Hence the lack of mongol administration, laws, etc.



I never said they would destroy western culture. That's what makes them different, and in a sense, benevolent masters. Are you serious? The mongols as benevolent masters? They massacred thousands repeatedly!



This, in a way, kept order better than a standing garrison ever could. The original OP was what would happen to Christianity with its religious leaders and royal sponsers gone. It would have survived, just as it did in Italy, Ireland, Gaul and other places without such support, rather against persecution. Christianity showed a remarkable ability to survive persecution, almost undoubtedly it would have made the religion stronger as was true in the Roman empire. Especially, as we have discussed, in relation to the utter cultural and religious vacuum the mongols offered after their conquests of other regions.




True, they did not "Mongolize" the areas they conquered like the Romans "Romanized" the Mediterranean. However, had they conquered more of Europe, there would have had to have been a Khan of some sort in charge; the area's too big to leave unorganized. Fine lets assume that (and I don't buy that they had any intent of remaining), but just as with the middle east the khan would have been nothing more than a tribute gatherer. The Mongols were directly in charge of China for an incredibly long period of time, but they left almost no legacy at all. Why would Europe be any different?

The Great Khan
August 21st, 2009, 10:09 AM
You are confusing inability with intent. They Mongols were pillagers, not conquerers.

This has nothing to do with their enlightenment, or lack thereof.


The weakness of the ilkhanate was not due to family struggles, but a lack of support. They set it up for tribute, not rule.
Hence the lack of mongol administration, laws, etc.

I said the empire collapsed because of internal power struggles, not that the Ilkhanate was weak because of them. It only collapsed because the last ruler died heirless, and the competing families split the kingdom into successor states.


Are you serious? The mongols as benevolent masters? They massacred thousands repeatedly!

I was referring to the lack of interference. They didn't make anyone do anything forcefully other than pay tribute.


It would have survived, just as it did in Italy, Ireland, Gaul and other places without such support, rather against persecution. Christianity showed a remarkable ability to survive persecution, almost undoubtedly it would have made the religion stronger as was true in the Roman empire. Especially, as we have discussed, in relation to the utter cultural and religious vacuum the mongols offered after their conquests of other regions.

Yeah but this wouldn't have been persecution since it wouldn't be a targeted attack specifically against Christians.


Fine lets assume that (and I don't buy that they had any intent of remaining), but just as with the middle east the khan would have been nothing more than a tribute gatherer. The Mongols were directly in charge of China for an incredibly long period of time, but they left almost no legacy at all. Why would Europe be any different?

Really?


A rich cultural diversity developed during the Yuan Dynasty. The major cultural achievements were the development of drama and the novel and the increased use of the written vernacular. The political unity of China and much of central Asia promoted trade between East and West. The Mongols' extensive West Asian and European contacts produced a fair amount of cultural exchange. The other cultures and peoples in the Mongol World Empire permanently influenced China. Tibetan-rite Tantric Buddhism also took permanent root in Chinese Buddhism. The Muslims of the Yuan Dynasty introduced Middle Eastern cartography, astronomy, medicine, clothing, and diet in East Asia. Middle Eastern crops such as carrots, turnips, new varieties of lemons, eggplants, and melons, high-quality granulated sugar, and cotton were all either introduced or successfully popularized by the Yuan Mongols.

Western musical instruments were introduced to enrich Chinese performing arts. From this period dates the conversion to Islam, by Muslims of Central Asia, of growing numbers of Chinese in the northwest and southwest. Nestorianism and Roman Catholicism also enjoyed a period of toleration. Buddhism (especially Tibetan Buddhism) flourished, although Taoism endured certain persecutions in favor of Buddhism from the Yuan government. Confucian governmental practices and examinations based on the Classics, which had fallen into disuse in north China during the period of disunity, were reinstated by the Yuan court, probably in the hope of maintaining order over Han society. Advances were realized in the fields of travel literature, cartography, geography, and scientific education.

Certain Chinese innovations and products, such as purified saltpetre, printing techniques, porcelain, playing cards and medical literature, were exported to Europe and Western Asia, while the production of thin glass and cloisonné became popular in China. The Yuan exercised a profound influence on the Chinese Ming Dynasty. The Ming Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang (1368-97) admired the Mongols' unification of China and adopted its garrison system.

The first recorded travels by Europeans to China and back date from this time. The most famous traveler of the period was the Venetian Marco Polo, whose account of his trip to "Cambaluc," the capital of the Great Khan, and of life there astounded the people of Europe. The account of his travels, Il milione (or, The Million, known in English as the Travels of Marco Polo), appeared about the year 1299.

The Yuan undertook extensive public works. Road and water communications were reorganized and improved. To provide against possible famines, granaries were ordered built throughout the empire. The city of Beijing was rebuilt with new palace grounds that included artificial lakes, hills and mountains, and parks. During the Yuan period, Beijing became the terminus of the Grand Canal of China, which was completely renovated. These commercially oriented improvements encouraged overland and maritime commerce throughout Asia and facilitated direct Chinese contacts with Europe. Chinese travelers to the West were able to provide assistance in such areas as hydraulic engineering. Contacts with the West also brought the introduction to China of a major food crop, sorghum, along with other foreign food products and methods of preparation.

So it's possible they would have influenced European culture.

Squatch347
August 21st, 2009, 11:44 AM
This has nothing to do with their enlightenment, or lack thereof. Nor does your statement reflect their enlightenment, a lack of religious crackdowns could be from tolerance or impotence.



I said the empire collapsed because of internal power struggles, not that the Ilkhanate was weak because of them. It only collapsed because the last ruler died heirless, and the competing families split the kingdom into successor states. But you said this in response to my noting that the ilkhanate rulers were assimilated within ten years and only lasted 80, my point being that their ability to defeat an army was clearly not correlated to their ability to retain control of an area.



I was referring to the lack of interference. They didn't make anyone do anything forcefully other than pay tribute. Well that is certainly true. But that was largely because they were plunderers, not conquerers if you follow my meaning.



Yeah but this wouldn't have been persecution since it wouldn't be a targeted attack specifically against Christians. Just as there wasn't in Ireland, so to answer the OP, nothing would have happened except perhaps that Christianity would have divorced itself from the state a bit earlier.





So it's possible they would have influenced European culture. Most of the advances mentioned were Chinese in origin and while they took place under (assimilated) Mongol rule, they were not from Mongol traditions.

The exceptions of course are the tantric buddhism, which was a mongol adaptation and the trade routes. The former, which I will grant was a legacy (I did say almost no trace, not no trace) of the Mongols. The latter was a consequence of their actions and I would agree that potentially the trade routes would have opened earlier for Europeans than otherwise, but that is unclear as they market system that supported such trade was not as developed yet.

The Great Khan
August 21st, 2009, 12:22 PM
Nor does your statement reflect their enlightenment, a lack of religious crackdowns could be from tolerance or impotence.

Given the actions of their contemporaries, religious tolerance is enligtening.


But you said this in response to my noting that the ilkhanate rulers were assimilated within ten years and only lasted 80, my point being that their ability to defeat an army was clearly not correlated to their ability to retain control of an area.

True, they didn't rule for long; however, it seems the intended to rule; they had a system of government in place, laws etc, and set the stage for later kingdoms that indisputably did rule, like the Safavids.


Well that is certainly true. But that was largely because they were plunderers, not conquerers if you follow my meaning.

No, it was because the Yassa allowed for the free practice of any religion. They would have been tolerant no matter what happened, since it was Genghis' will.


Just as there wasn't in Ireland, so to answer the OP, nothing would have happened except perhaps that Christianity would have divorced itself from the state a bit earlier.

Ah, so you're saying the presence of a Pope or royal patrons wasn't strictly necessary for Christianity to survive?


Most of the advances mentioned were Chinese in origin and while they took place under (assimilated) Mongol rule, they were not from Mongol traditions.

True, but it was Mongol tolerance that allowed it to happen.


The exceptions of course are the tantric buddhism, which was a mongol adaptation and the trade routes. The former, which I will grant was a legacy (I did say almost no trace, not no trace) of the Mongols. The latter was a consequence of their actions and I would agree that potentially the trade routes would have opened earlier for Europeans than otherwise, but that is unclear as they market system that supported such trade was not as developed yet.

But with Mongol rule (pillaging or otherwise) wouldn't the trade develop? I mean Europe wasn't closed to Eastern trade at the time.

Squatch347
August 24th, 2009, 08:35 AM
Given the actions of their contemporaries, religious tolerance is enligtening. You assume the lack of action is due to tolerance rather than apathy, do you have support for that assumption?



True, they didn't rule for long; however, it seems the intended to rule; they had a system of government in place, laws etc, and set the stage for later kingdoms that indisputably did rule, like the Safavids. Can you support this? The ilkhanate rulers did not give any laws or establish a bureacracy for long term control, they were largely funnels for tribute.


No, it was because the Yassa allowed for the free practice of any religion. They would have been tolerant no matter what happened, since it was Genghis' will. If you are going to use the Yassa as a source document then you will have to provide support for it. It is largely aprocraphal and no copies have survived.



Ah, so you're saying the presence of a Pope or royal patrons wasn't strictly necessary for Christianity to survive? Absolutely, they did not have much of that in early Ireland and it survived quite well. A pope further did not have to live in the vatican and Peter (the first pope) was largely a wandering bishop.




True, but it was Mongol tolerance that allowed it to happen. Again, please see above, is the result of explicit tolerance or an apathy/inability towards control? The latter seems much more in line with a nomadic peoples.

Further it only strengthens my point that western europe would have survived and done pretty much what it did anyway under mongol rulers.




But with Mongol rule (pillaging or otherwise) wouldn't the trade develop? I mean Europe wasn't closed to Eastern trade at the time.
Trade at the time was lacking not because it was cut off from the rest of the world, but because Europe didn't yet have the skills to produce much of value, even raw materials were largely consumed domestically with little excess capacity. It wasn't until the population density increased that such skills and specializations warranted export and import of goods.

The Great Khan
August 27th, 2009, 06:42 AM
You assume the lack of action is due to tolerance rather than apathy, do you have support for that assumption?

Well, Mongol religious tolerance was first made official law in the Yassa. Though the Yassa itself does not say why there was religious freedom, the actions of Genghis and his successors shows that they weren't apathetic but truly encouraging of the presence of various faiths.

Genghis himself consulted with Christians and Muslims to learn the morals and philosophies of their faiths, and even personally requested that the Taoist monk Qiu Chuji (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qiu_Chuji) teach him Taoist philosophy. Genghis even allocated a portion of the Imperial Garden grounds in Beijing to build a monastery that exists to this day. Had he been apathetic, he wouldn't have done this. Furthermore, the Yassa ensured that religious people, like priests and monks were not obligated to work for the army, or pay taxes. This is important, seeing everyone had to do something to support the army and further conquest. Given that the Yassa is extremely practical, (it even insists on the exact method of killing animals so as to waste nothing) Genghis' sacrificing the labor and money of all religious leaders means that he thought that they were something special.

Genghis' son, Ogodai built temples, churches, and mosques for his multi-faith empire. Had he been apathetic, he wouldn't have wasted his resources on buildings that had no role in conquest.

Genghis' grandson, Mongke, and other Mongol Great Khans arranged religious debates, which they viewed as just as much fun and sportive as wrestling and archery. Had Mongke been apathetic, he wouldn't have wasted time arranging debates, and would've just ignored, rather than actively supported, religious differences.


Can you support this? The ilkhanate rulers did not give any laws or establish a bureacracy for long term control, they were largely funnels for tribute.

Well, seeing as the rest of the Mongol empire clearly governed for long-term control, based on their establishment of a law code and supporting permanent influence like buildings, art, science, etc, there is no reason to believe that the il-khans couldn't have done the same. The kingdom didn't collapse due to a lack of a bureaucracy; it collapsed because the last il-khan died heriless, and rival families fought for control. Ibn-Battuta, the famed Muslims traveler was surprised that such a powerful empire had fallen within twenty years. Had the Mongols not planned on permanent settlement, they would not have settled down at all. Genghis himself extracted enormous amounts of tribute while remaining nomadic his entire life. The Il-khans, and the rest of the Mongols, could have easily done the same. They did not, and instead adopted local customs and religion, indicating that they intended to stay and govern the locals.


Absolutely, they did not have much of that in early Ireland and it survived quite well. A pope further did not have to live in the vatican and Peter (the first pope) was largely a wandering bishop.

Ok, so that answers that question.


Again, please see above, is the result of explicit tolerance or an apathy/inability towards control? The latter seems much more in line with a nomadic peoples.

See above.


Trade at the time was lacking not because it was cut off from the rest of the world, but because Europe didn't yet have the skills to produce much of value, even raw materials were largely consumed domestically with little excess capacity. It wasn't until the population density increased that such skills and specializations warranted export and import of goods.

The Mongols could have helped this, possibly. The Middle East and Asia did have the capacity to produce things of value, and the Mongols might have brought the skills over.

cdubs
August 27th, 2009, 04:03 PM
Well, Mongol religious tolerance was first made official law in the Yassa. Though the Yassa itself does not say why there was religious freedom, the actions of Genghis and his successors shows that they weren't apathetic but truly encouraging of the presence of various faiths.
Religion is the opiate of the masses. Allowing the retention of local religions and culture would make people more content to accept Mongol rule.


Furthermore, the Yassa ensured that religious people, like priests and monks were not obligated to work for the army, or pay taxes.
In the Middle Ages in Christian communities, forcing religious to pay taxes, fight in the army, or do labor was unheard of, and if Ghengis likely understood that such a small amount of tax and number of soldiers was not worth the outrage it would have caused.


Genghis' son, Ogodai built temples, churches, and mosques for his multi-faith empire. Had he been apathetic, he wouldn't have wasted his resources on buildings that had no role in conquest.
Religion is the opiate of the masses. The cost to build a church or mosque is worth less then the loyalty it would gain the Mongols from their subjects.

The Great Khan
August 27th, 2009, 04:28 PM
Religion is the opiate of the masses. Allowing the retention of local religions and culture would make people more content to accept Mongol rule.


In the Middle Ages in Christian communities, forcing religious to pay taxes, fight in the army, or do labor was unheard of, and if Ghengis likely understood that such a small amount of tax and number of soldiers was not worth the outrage it would have caused.


Religion is the opiate of the masses. The cost to build a church or mosque is worth less then the loyalty it would gain the Mongols from their subjects.

I'm not saying that it didn't help them control their territory; it did. However, they didn't allow religious freedom and sponsor religious buildings only for the control that doing so offered, as shown by Genghis' genuine interest in diffrent religions, and his the religious debates sposnored by his successors. Mongke Khan even is reported to have said "Just as God gave different fingers to the hand so has He given different ways to men."

czahar
August 27th, 2009, 08:20 PM
My question is: How do you think Christianity would have weathered the Mongol invasion, had it happened? What do you think would have happened to the balance of power in Europe, with the Christian religious leaders, and their royal patrons gone? Would both Churches fall completely, and Christianity continue leaderless? Would both Churches (Eastern Orthodox or Catholic) survive as "shadow" religious organizations and revive later? Would they not revive and retain only ceremonial power? Would one survive better than the other and wipe it out, spreading into the others' former territory? Or would the survivor remain barely alive as a shadow with merely ceremonial power, and remain the only organized remnant of Christianity? Or would something completely different happen? Any thoughts?

Christianity certainly managed to survive its persecutions under Roman emperors such as Diocletian, so I don't see any reason why they couldn't have also survived a persecution under the Mongols. Brutal, violent supression is seldom successful in destroying an institution. Many times, it has done quite the opposite. One famous Christian stated that it was the blood of the martyrs which helped create the power of the church.

CliveStaples
August 27th, 2009, 11:58 PM
I'm not saying that it didn't help them control their territory; it did. However, they didn't allow religious freedom and sponsor religious buildings only for the control that doing so offered, as shown by Genghis' genuine interest in diffrent religions, and his the religious debates sposnored by his successors. Mongke Khan even is reported to have said "Just as God gave different fingers to the hand so has He given different ways to men."

Are you actually glorifying Genghis Khan? I'd be interested to hear your opinion about the notion of an American empire.

Squatch347
August 28th, 2009, 06:48 AM
Well, Mongol religious tolerance was first made official law in the Yassa. Though the Yassa itself does not say why there was religious freedom, the actions of Genghis and his successors shows that they weren't apathetic but truly encouraging of the presence of various faiths. You are going to have to support the Yassa with a citation if you are going to continue relying on it as a basis for your claim, the Yassa has been largely considered alegorical in my experience.


Genghis himself consulted with Christians and Muslims to learn the morals and philosophies of their faiths, and even personally requested that the Taoist monk Qiu Chuji (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qiu_Chuji) teach him Taoist philosophy. Genghis even allocated a portion of the Imperial Garden grounds in Beijing to build a monastery that exists to this day. Support? The wiki article notes its lack of citation and does not support the Christian or Muslim claims.



Well, seeing as the rest of the Mongol empire clearly governed for long-term control, based on their establishment of a law code and supporting permanent influence like buildings, art, science, etc, there is no reason to believe that the il-khans couldn't have done the same. But that also means that there is no actual evidence to support that they did? Please provide some citation or evidence of your claim.

Further, the only place within the mongol empire that rules and administration was laid down was in China, where the Mongols usurped Chinese administration, the Mongols (a nomadic tribe) did not have native institutions of thier own.



The kingdom didn't collapse due to a lack of a bureaucracy; it collapsed because the last il-khan died heriless, That has happened in countless kingdoms, they do not usually engage in civil war but appoint a new ruling dynasty.



The Mongols could have helped this, possibly. The Middle East and Asia did have the capacity to produce things of value, and the Mongols might have brought the skills over. It wasn't skills persay that people lacked it was the excess population that leads to specialization.

The Great Khan
August 28th, 2009, 08:23 AM
You are going to have to support the Yassa with a citation if you are going to continue relying on it as a basis for your claim, the Yassa has been largely considered alegorical in my experience.

First off, how exactly is a law code supposed to be "allegorical"? Allegory is not taken literally, and laws are made to be actually enforced. Unless you meant anecdotal? True, no copies survive, but it is known that the Yassa was enforced, as Genghis appointed Shikhikhutag (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shihihutag), his adopted brother, to enforce it as high judge.

Second, all of the aspects of the Yassa wiki article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yassa)(like election by khuriltai, corvee labor, etc) were crucial to the Mongol's success, and without them, the empire would have fallen apart after Genghis' death, indicating that his rules were followed. In fact the empire fell apart after his successors stopped following the Yassa; they stopped the usual winter hunt, they had state religion, stopped electing khans via khuriltai, etc, something Genghis himself predicted when he said "If the great, the military leaders and the leaders of the many descendants of the ruler who will be born in the future, should not adhere strictly to the Yasa, then the power of the state will be shattered and come to an end, no matter how they then seek Genghis Khan, they shall not find him."


Support? The wiki article notes its lack of citation and does not support the Christian or Muslim claims.

True, but Qiu Chuji's article cites the letter that Genghis sent requesting tutelage, indicating genuine interest, and also appreciation, seeing as he gave the man land in the imperial palace of Beijing for a monastary. You also forget Mongke's religious debates and quote about god giving different religions to men like different fingers on the hand.


But that also means that there is no actual evidence to support that they did? Please provide some citation or evidence of your claim.

The Il-khans were not nomadic; the settled down. Had they intended to loot and leave, they would not have had a capital city and built permanent structures, don't you agree?


Further, the only place within the mongol empire that rules and administration was laid down was in China, where the Mongols usurped Chinese administration, the Mongols (a nomadic tribe) did not have native institutions of thier own.

Yes they did. The Mongols were still people, despite being nomadic, they had customs and societal rules. http://www.biography.com/genghis-khan/genghis-khan-bio.jsp


The empire was governed by a legal code known as Yassa. Developed by Genghis Khan, the code was based on Mongol common law but contained edicts that prohibited blood feuds, adultery, theft, and bearing false witness. Also included were laws that reflected Mongol respect for the environment such as forbidding bathing in rivers and streams and orders for any soldier following another to pick up anything that the first soldier dropped. Infraction of any of these laws was usually punishable by death. Advancement within military and government ranks was not based on traditional lines of heredity or ethnicity, but on merit. There were tax exemptions for religious and some professional leaders, as well as a degree of religious tolerance that reflected the long-held Mongol tradition of religion as a personal conviction not subject to law or interference. This tradition had practical applications as there were so many different religious groups in the empire, it would have been an extra burden to force a single religion on them.

So it had a practical application, like all aspects of the Yassa, but it was spurred by Mongol tradition that held that relgion was a personal belief, and not to be interfered with.


That has happened in countless kingdoms, they do not usually engage in civil war but appoint a new ruling dynasty.

And who would "appoint" this dynasty? Everyone wants to be khan; they would of course fight over the position until one won; in this case, no one was powerful enough to take over, and the kingdom split apart with each family taking a share.


Christianity certainly managed to survive its persecutions under Roman emperors such as Diocletian, so I don't see any reason why they couldn't have also survived a persecution under the Mongols. Brutal, violent supression is seldom successful in destroying an institution. Many times, it has done quite the opposite. One famous Christian stated that it was the blood of the martyrs which helped create the power of the church.

You don't get it; the Mongols would not have persecuted Christianity in the Roman sense. They would have removed political leaders like kings and, unfortunately for him, the pope as well, given his liver-spotted fingers in political pies. However, the general populace would have had religious freedom so long as the other laws were obeyed. I was wondering how essential religious leadership was for Europe at the time.


Are you actually glorifying Genghis Khan? I'd be interested to hear your opinion about the notion of an American empire.

Well the fact is he did do all of the things I said he did. People ignore it and instead equate him with barbarism, while his contemporaries, like "Saint" Louis were doing equally, if not more, terrible thing without the benefits associated with Mongol rule. You also have to understand that the Mongols didn't fight for malicious reasons; they couldn't weave cloth, make pottery, cast iron, write...heck, they couldn't even bake bread. On the steppe, there's nothing but grass, so the fact that fighting for livestock and other essentials was part of their culture isn't entirely their fault.

The Americans, on the other hand, had no reason to obliderate native culture; even when the Cherokee, for instance, adopted American culture for themselves, Jackson still kicked them off their land (disobeying the Supreme Court, I might add) and moved them elsewhere. Were they allowed to live in peace there? No, they were moved again, and again, and again to make way for American settlers.

CliveStaples
August 28th, 2009, 09:00 AM
Well the fact is he did do all of the things I said he did.

I never said he didn't, so this is irrelevant.


People ignore it and instead equate him with barbarism, while his contemporaries, like "Saint" Louis were doing equally, if not more, terrible thing without the benefits associated with Mongol rule.

Irrelevant. I made no claims about people ignoring Khan's actions, or any alleged moral equivalency or disequivalency that exists between Khan and his contemporaries.


You also have to understand that the Mongols didn't fight for malicious reasons; they couldn't weave cloth, make pottery, cast iron, write...heck, they couldn't even bake bread. On the steppe, there's nothing but grass, so the fact that fighting for livestock and other essentials was part of their culture isn't entirely their fault.

Irrelevant. I never claimed the Mongols fought for malicious reasons.


The Americans, on the other hand, had no reason to obliderate native culture; even when the Cherokee, for instance, adopted American culture for themselves, Jackson still kicked them off their land (disobeying the Supreme Court, I might add) and moved them elsewhere. Were they allowed to live in peace there? No, they were moved again, and again, and again to make way for American settlers.

Irrelevant.


Next time if you don't want to respond to my post, please just don't respond, instead of making a completely irrelevant and unresponsive post.


But I'll address one flaw in your list of irrelevant statements: The fact that the Mongols were waging war for natural resources doesn't grant them nobility. The man who kills you for your food, clothing, money, or shelter is still a murderer.

Khan could have engaged in peaceful trade, but instead chose to wage war.

Additionally, the "benefits" of Mongol rule are far outweighed by the fact that this rule is imposed by force on the people. Their subjects were afflicted with Mongol rule, not blessed by it.

Your strange lionization of Eastern hemisphere tyrants and simultaneous scorn of Western hemisphere tyrants leads me to suspect that you're a liberal. Am I right?

The Great Khan
August 28th, 2009, 11:35 AM
I never said he didn't, so this is irrelevant

Well let's take a look at what you did say, shall we?


Are you actually glorifying Genghis Khan? I'd be interested to hear your opinion about the notion of an American empire.

Let's see. You didn't really say anything did you? You made no claims. You asked if I was actually glorifying Genghis Khan. I replied by saying that it isn't really glorification as much as it is re-examination. You'd be "glorifying" him too if you looked beyond the barbaric stereotype attributed to him.


Irrelevant. I made no claims about people ignoring Khan's actions, or any alleged moral equivalency or disequivalency that exists between Khan and his contemporaries.

True, but then again, you didn't make any claims at all. What I was trying to say was that he's not really that bad if you look at him in comparison to "civilized" people of the time period. These other guys are constantly "glorified" but Genghis gets nothing, which is why I'm exposing the lesser-known side of him. It's not "glorification". It's the truth. That's all I was trying to say.


Irrelevant. I never claimed the Mongols fought for malicious reasons.

So then you don't embrace the typical stereotype of the Mongols? Great!


Irrelevant.

Is it? You asked about American imperialism did you not? Kicking people off their land for no reason and taking it sounds as imperialistic as you can get.


Next time if you don't want to respond to my post, please just don't respond, instead of making a completely irrelevant and unresponsive post.

Next time you might want to actually make a claim, Clive.


But I'll address one flaw in your list of irrelevant statements: The fact that the Mongols were waging war for natural resources doesn't grant them nobility. The man who kills you for your food, clothing, money, or shelter is still a murderer.

I never denied it. I just said the man who kills you for thinking differently is too. The difference is that the first guy does it because it's all he knows how to do, and he has no other choice. The second guy's just a fanatic jerk.



Khan could have engaged in peaceful trade, but instead chose to wage war.

For Genghis, it's actually a bit more complicated. The Chinese had been toying with the Mongol tribes for generations, turning one tribe against another and aggravating what was already a fragile political landscape. This ensured that the tribes remained at each other's throats and not at China's. After Genghis' own life was wrecked due to inter-tribal feuds, he decided to unify the tribes and keep China from ever controlling the Mongol steppe again.

With China on its knees, he sent peaceful trading envoys to a city the Khwarezmid Empire with which he shared a border. The governor of the city seized the caravan. Genghis sent more envoys, this time to the Shah himself Ala-din Muhammad. The Shah returned their heads, so this war was unprovoked.


Additionally, the "benefits" of Mongol rule are far outweighed by the fact that this rule is imposed by force on the people. Their subjects were afflicted with Mongol rule, not blessed by it.

Really? Because they weren't forced to do much more than pay tribute (something they'd be forced to do anyway no matter who ruled them). They didn't have to change their customs or way of life and adopt Mongol culture or religion. They didn't have to house a Mongol garrison. All they had to do was obey the law (something they'd do anyway) and they'd be fine. In exchange, they were extremely safe from invasion (they're under Mongol rule, who'd be stupid enough to attack?) had freedom of religion, strong Eurasian trade opportunities with paper money, less crime and corruption (due to harsh punishments), meritocracy... The connection between the East and the West flourished during the Pax Mongolica (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pax_Mongolica) period.


Your strange lionization of Eastern hemisphere tyrants and simultaneous scorn of Western hemisphere tyrants leads me to suspect that you're a liberal. Am I right?

I don't scorn all Western tyrants and lionize all Eastern ones. Indeed, there are some Western leaders I like better than their Eastern counterparts. The one thing I really don't like is killing for stupid reasons, which is why I picked on "Saint" Loius. Humans kill each other all the time. It's horrible, but no culture has been able to avoid bloody conflict over things like food, land, and other resources. Given this sorry state of affairs, you'd think that killing for idiotic reasons like race and religion would be unthinkable. However, certain individuals killed specifically for these reasons, and are, for some reason, viewed in a positive light, and their actions are, bizarrely, justified somehow. I personally don't like that.

CliveStaples
August 28th, 2009, 03:53 PM
Well let's take a look at what you did say, shall we?



Let's see. You didn't really say anything did you? You made no claims. You asked if I was actually glorifying Genghis Khan. I replied by saying that it isn't really glorification as much as it is re-examination. You'd be "glorifying" him too if you looked beyond the barbaric stereotype attributed to him.

You didn't say you weren't glorifying him. You didn't say you were re-examining him. You said "EVERY SINGLE THING I SAID WAS TRUE".

Unlike you, I don't glorify tyrants just because they happen to tyrannize white people.


True, but then again, you didn't make any claims at all. What I was trying to say was that he's not really that bad if you look at him in comparison to "civilized" people of the time period. These other guys are constantly "glorified" but Genghis gets nothing, which is why I'm exposing the lesser-known side of him. It's not "glorification". It's the truth. That's all I was trying to say.

Wait, so he violently instituted his rule over Europe...but he was, like, a really nice guy and liked religion and stuff, so we should like him?


So then you don't embrace the typical stereotype of the Mongols? Great!

I hate stereotypes.


Is it? You asked about American imperialism did you not? Kicking people off their land for no reason and taking it sounds as imperialistic as you can get.

Violently subjugating people to your will sounds as imperialistic as you can get. Except Genghis Khan wasn't white, and his violently subjugated subjects were, so it was cool, right?


Next time you might want to actually make a claim, Clive.

But it's so fun to watch you make them up and attribute them to me!


I never denied it. I just said the man who kills you for thinking differently is too. The difference is that the first guy does it because it's all he knows how to do, and he has no other choice. The second guy's just a fanatic jerk.

Really? Genghis Khan didn't know how not to kill people to get what he wanted? He's an even greater monster than I've ever seen him portrayed as, then.


For Genghis, it's actually a bit more complicated. The Chinese had been toying with the Mongol tribes for generations, turning one tribe against another and aggravating what was already a fragile political landscape. This ensured that the tribes remained at each other's throats and not at China's. After Genghis' own life was wrecked due to inter-tribal feuds, he decided to unify the tribes and keep China from ever controlling the Mongol steppe again.

With China on its knees, he sent peaceful trading envoys to a city the Khwarezmid Empire with which he shared a border. The governor of the city seized the caravan. Genghis sent more envoys, this time to the Shah himself Ala-din Muhammad. The Shah returned their heads, so this war was unprovoked.

Ah, so because the Shah killed his envoys, it's cool that he attacked Europe? Your reasoning is completely absurd.


Really? Because they weren't forced to do much more than pay tribute (something they'd be forced to do anyway no matter who ruled them). They didn't have to change their customs or way of life and adopt Mongol culture or religion. They didn't have to house a Mongol garrison. All they had to do was obey the law (something they'd do anyway) and they'd be fine. In exchange, they were extremely safe from invasion (they're under Mongol rule, who'd be stupid enough to attack?) had freedom of religion, strong Eurasian trade opportunities with paper money, less crime and corruption (due to harsh punishments), meritocracy... The connection between the East and the West flourished during the Pax Mongolica (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pax_Mongolica) period.

Wow.

Just...wow.

They weren't forced to do much more than pay tribute...or else what, The Great Sycophant of Khan?

He was an imperialist. He was a violent, despotic tyrant. Just because you liked his policies doesn't depreciate the magnitude of his evil deeds.


I don't scorn all Western tyrants and lionize all Eastern ones. Indeed, there are some Western leaders I like better than their Eastern counterparts. The one thing I really don't like is killing for stupid reasons, which is why I picked on "Saint" Loius. Humans kill each other all the time. It's horrible, but no culture has been able to avoid bloody conflict over things like food, land, and other resources. Given this sorry state of affairs, you'd think that killing for idiotic reasons like race and religion would be unthinkable. However, certain individuals killed specifically for these reasons, and are, for some reason, viewed in a positive light, and their actions are, bizarrely, justified somehow. I personally don't like that.

But you love that Khan managed to beat those Europeans, eh?

cdubs
August 28th, 2009, 04:27 PM
Well the fact is he did do all of the things I said he did. People ignore it and instead equate him with barbarism, while his contemporaries, like "Saint" Louis were doing equally, if not more, terrible thing without the benefits associated with Mongol rule. You also have to understand that the Mongols didn't fight for malicious reasons; they couldn't weave cloth, make pottery, cast iron, write...heck, they couldn't even bake bread. On the steppe, there's nothing but grass, so the fact that fighting for livestock and other essentials was part of their culture isn't entirely their fault.
Is lack of technological and cultural developement justification for unparalelled conquer and slaughter?

As for your claims of "Mongol Stereotypes", I think they originate from the estimate of 30 million ( that's 5 Holocausts) people being killed by Mongol rule and expansion, and the fact that complete extermination of cities that resisted Mongol expansion was commonplace.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mongol_Empire



Before the Mongol invasion, Chinese dynasties reportedly had approximately 120 million inhabitants; after the conquest was completed in 1279, the 1300 census reported roughly 60 million people.[42] About half of the Russian population died during the Mongol invasion of Rus.[43] Historians estimate that up to half of Hungary's two million population at that time were victims of the Mongol invasion of Europe.[44]

Between 1220 and 1260, the total population of Persia may have had dropped from 2,500,000 to 250,000 as a result of mass extermination and famine.[41]
http://www.statemaster.com/encyclopedia/Violence#Historical_examples_of_violence

So estimates of Mongol brutality range from roughly 30 million to 65+ million. They may have taken 11 times as many lives as the Holocaust, and you glorify them for their civilization and tolerance.

KevinBrowning
August 28th, 2009, 05:06 PM
The Mongols were extremely brutal, to deny that is quite ignorant. But as for conquering all of Europe, it doesn't really matter. Conquering a very large area is the relatively easy part. Governing all the different regions and preventing rebellion is the hard part. There were leaders who conquered most of the known world, going back to Alexander the Great or before. But once the charismatic leader dies, his successors always start fighting, and they can't hold the empire together. Has been repeated countless times in history.

czahar
August 28th, 2009, 07:49 PM
You don't get it; the Mongols would not have persecuted Christianity in the Roman sense. They would have removed political leaders like kings and, unfortunately for him, the pope as well, given his liver-spotted fingers in political pies. However, the general populace would have had religious freedom so long as the other laws were obeyed. I was wondering how essential religious leadership was for Europe at the time.

And how exactly would the Mongols have reacted to a population that did not stand there, idly by, and let them remove their kings and religious leaders? How would they have reacted to a population that actively refused to obey their laws? You are right to believe that the Mongols probably would have instituted a program of religious tolerance, but the Romans were also a religiously diverse and tolerant population (one which even adopted many of the religions of their conquered peoples), and, like the Mongols, cared only that their conquered populations followed their laws. Nonetheless, persecutions still happened. What makes you think the Mongols would have been any different, especially with a population that may not have taken to kindly to their attacks on their religious institutions?

As far as your question about how essential religious leaders were for this time, they are the glue which hold the beliefs of a particular religion together. Christianity, with its very vague Bible, is especially in need of this. As with any age, religious leadership was necessary to all but a few isolated hermits and heretics.

The Great Khan
September 6th, 2009, 10:41 AM
You didn't say you weren't glorifying him. You didn't say you were re-examining him. You said "EVERY SINGLE THING I SAID WAS TRUE".

Ok...so if its all true, is it glorification, or looking at it from a different angle?


Unlike you, I don't glorify tyrants just because they happen to tyrannize white people.

You're making me sound racist here, and I resent that. I'm not glorifying Genghis because he "tyrannized white people". In fact, before we got horribly side-tracked, the OP was about what would have happened if the Mongols had conquered Europe, since they did not. What I like about Genghis, in fact, is his rags to riches story: he was left to die at the age of 11. Simply surviving under such conditions is noteworthy, the fact that he was able to unify the tribes and build an ass-kicking army out of them is remarkable, given that he had no formal military education, yet was able to beat some of the best Asian armies of the time.


Wait, so he violently instituted his rule over Europe...

No, he didn't. No one did. That's what the thread is about. What might have been.


but he was, like, a really nice guy and liked religion and stuff, so we should like him?

Look at it in perspective. Conquerors by definition violently institute their rule over people. "Liking religion and stuff" is optional, and not all conquerors were even tolerant in that regard. Genghis was.


I hate stereotypes.

Something we agree on, then.


Violently subjugating people to your will sounds as imperialistic as you can get. Except Genghis Khan wasn't white, and his violently subjugated subjects were, so it was cool, right?

No, they were Chinese and Middle-Eastern.


Really? Genghis Khan didn't know how not to kill people to get what he wanted?

Remember the bit with the Shah?


Ah, so because the Shah killed his envoys, it's cool that he attacked Europe? Your reasoning is completely absurd.

When did I say his attacking of Europe was cool? Especially since he really didn't?


Wow.

Just...wow.

They weren't forced to do much more than pay tribute...or else what, The Great Sycophant of Khan?

What exactly do you mean here? Yes, they would have been forced to pay tribute. Everyone is forced to pay tribute of some kind to the government. You and I pay tribute to Uncle Sam on a regular basis. Unlike other subjects, however, paying tribute is the only thing Mongol subjects would be forced to do, unlike subjects of other rulers, who would be forced to pay tribute and change their way of life.


He was an imperialist. He was a violent, despotic tyrant. Just because you liked his policies doesn't depreciate the magnitude of his evil deeds.

I never said it did...


But you love that Khan managed to beat those Europeans, eh?

Well, seeing as he didn't really even fight those Europeans...no.

---------- Post added at 02:41 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:22 PM ----------


Is lack of technological and cultural developement justification for unparalelled conquer and slaughter?

No...but they knew no other way of life. What did you expect?


So estimates of Mongol brutality range from roughly 30 million to 65+ million. They may have taken 11 times as many lives as the Holocaust, and you glorify them for their civilization and tolerance.

Are the Mongols unique here? Tell me, if you gave the power the Mongols had to any other leader at the time, would he not attack his enemies, and destroy them? Would he suddenly set all this power aside? No leader at the time was a pure pacifist. Everyone would rule the world if given the chance. I don't see why the Mongols should be singled out simply for conquering more successfully than other armies, and actually succeeding at something that other rulers were itching to do and would do if given the power to do so. And I doubt they would have even the tolerance that the Mongols had.


And how exactly would the Mongols have reacted to a population that did not stand there, idly by, and let them remove their kings and religious leaders?

Well, would the population rebel? Does the average European peasant have any loyalty to his king? With all the European rulers gone and the power of European kingdoms utterly broken, why would the Europeans bother fighting back? There wouldn't really be much of a difference. Just the usual subservience, as far as they're concerned, right? Peasants usually support the overthrowing of kings they don't like, so there would be no problem there.


How would they have reacted to a population that actively refused to obey their laws?

Punishing subjects who don't obey the law isn't persecution. Persecution is when you attack a religious group simply for belonging to that religious group. The Mongols wouldn't do that. They would only punish lawbreakers, Christian or otherwise.


Nonetheless, persecutions still happened

I don't know a whole lot about Roman persecutions; did they persecute the Christians simply for being Christian, or did they persecute them because they broke the law (and happened to be Christian, thus motivating the lawbreaking)? The Mongols would exact the same punishment to Christian European lawbreakers as they would to any lawbreakers. So is that really persecution of a religious group, or enforcing the law with the lawbreakers happening to belong to a certain religious group?


As far as your question about how essential religious leaders were for this time, they are the glue which hold the beliefs of a particular religion together. Christianity, with its very vague Bible, is especially in need of this. As with any age, religious leadership was necessary to all but a few isolated hermits and heretics

Well that answers that.

czahar
September 6th, 2009, 10:37 PM
Well, would the population rebel? Does the average European peasant have any loyalty to his king? With all the European rulers gone and the power of European kingdoms utterly broken, why would the Europeans bother fighting back? There wouldn't really be much of a difference. Just the usual subservience, as far as they're concerned, right? Peasants usually support the overthrowing of kings they don't like, so there would be no problem there.

Certainly, if the king were unpopular, the average peasant would be less sympathetic to his overthrow. However, what if he were particularly loved?


I don't know a whole lot about Roman persecutions; did they persecute the Christians simply for being Christian, or did they persecute them because they broke the law (and happened to be Christian, thus motivating the lawbreaking)? The Mongols would exact the same punishment to Christian European lawbreakers as they would to any lawbreakers. So is that really persecution of a religious group, or enforcing the law with the lawbreakers happening to belong to a certain religious group?

A little bit of both. The Romans certainly saw this new religion, that worshipped a crucified criminal, as an oddity, and this certainly made it easy to scapegoat, as Nero did for the fires of Rome. In this case, Christianity's religion would have been a reason for its persecution.

However, refusal to follow the law did play a part in Decius' persecution in the third century. Decius made it a law to sacrifice to the emperor (something Christians naturally had a problem with) and threatened torture and death to those who refused.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decius#Persecution_of_Christians

In this case, I would have to disagree with your claim that it is not persecution if you are targetting people for breaking the law. If an entire group refuses to follow laws which it, and most other socities consider arbitrary (and I know I am opening myself up to a "what does it mean to be arbitrary") then could that be considered persecution. If I make it illegal to wear a hijab in society, then begin jailing the Muslims who have lived in my society for continuing their practices, am I persecuting them?

The Great Khan
September 7th, 2009, 06:17 AM
Certainly, if the king were unpopular, the average peasant would be less sympathetic to his overthrow. However, what if he were particularly loved?

Then of course there would be resistance while success was still possible. However, after all the kings were gone and there was no possible way to restore the old monarchies, would the peasants still fight? I doubt it. Sure the average peasant may have fought to the death for a king he loved, but if that lovable king is dead...the peasant loses most of his nationalistic motivation, don't you think? Peasants have families to feed and lives to live; the average peasant, I think, would care more about cooperating with the new regime and living normally, perhaps even prospering under it, rather than rebelling and dying for a lost cause. Grassroots society is usually pragmatic, as the Mongols themselves showed.


A little bit of both. The Romans certainly saw this new religion, that worshipped a crucified criminal, as an oddity, and this certainly made it easy to scapegoat, as Nero did for the fires of Rome. In this case, Christianity's religion would have been a reason for its persecution.

However, refusal to follow the law did play a part in Decius' persecution in the third century. Decius made it a law to sacrifice to the emperor (something Christians naturally had a problem with) and threatened torture and death to those who refused.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decius#Persecution_of_Christians

That was the Roman's fatal mistake: they made a religious law. It seems you contradict yourself. In your previous post, you said:


but the Romans were also a religiously diverse and tolerant population (one which even adopted many of the religions of their conquered peoples), and, like the Mongols, cared only that their conquered populations followed their laws.

Insisting on sacrifice is not tolerant at all.

The Romans were, of course adhering to Roman polytheism, effectively their state religion. The Mongols lacked a state religion concept. They would not make a local law contradict with the Yassa (I mean, they didn't do it in their Chinese and Islamic holdings, so why should Europe be any different?), which guaranteed religious freedom. The Mongol kingdoms only assumed state religions after the empire itself fell (and stopped following the Yassa).


In this case, I would have to disagree with your claim that it is not persecution if you are targetting people for breaking the law. If an entire group refuses to follow laws which it, and most other socities consider arbitrary (and I know I am opening myself up to a "what does it mean to be arbitrary") then could that be considered persecution. If I make it illegal to wear a hijab in society, then begin jailing the Muslims who have lived in my society for continuing their practices, am I persecuting them?

Yes. But if, like the Mongols, you did not make any religious laws, and persecuted Muslims for breaking secular laws (don't kill, don't steal, etc) it would not be persecution, even if all of the people you punished were Muslim, because you're letting them practice their religion freely, and only punishing lawbreakers that happen to be Muslim. Killing and stealing are not fundamental tenets of Islam, and you'd punish anyone who broke the law in such a manner. These law breakers happen to be Muslim, but Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, etc murderers and thieves would be punished the same way without regard to religion.

czahar
September 7th, 2009, 07:46 AM
Then of course there would be resistance while success was still possible. However, after all the kings were gone and there was no possible way to restore the old monarchies, would the peasants still fight? I doubt it. Sure the average peasant may have fought to the death for a king he loved, but if that lovable king is dead...the peasant loses most of his nationalistic motivation, don't you think? Peasants have families to feed and lives to live; the average peasant, I think, would care more about cooperating with the new regime and living normally, perhaps even prospering under it, rather than rebelling and dying for a lost cause. Grassroots society is usually pragmatic, as the Mongols themselves showed.

I would certainly question the pragmatism of a religiously devout, uneducated population. As far as your questions about the peasants continuing to fight after the death of their king, it depends. Sure, they could give into their Mongol overlords and "prosper" (whatever that would mean for a medieval peasant), but they could also be so caught up in the cult-like fervor for the Christendom their king represented and the outright intolerence for the non-Christians taking over their land that a war lasting decades or even centuries could ensue, resulting in the death of hundreds, thousands, perhaps millions of people.

It is almost impossible to talk about what would have happened in history. History is the product of so many variables (environmental factors, charasmatic individuals, the natural capriciousness of mankind) that one minor change can radically alter it in unimaginable ways. Take WWI, for instance. WWI was caused when Archduke Franz Ferdinand's driver took a wrong turn down a street. WWI led to WWII, via the Treaty of Versailles. In other words, one wrong turn down a street led to the Holocaust! If that does not illustrate how the seemingly most insignificant factors of day to day life can radically alter the world we live in, then I do not see what can.


That was the Roman's fatal mistake: they made a religious law. It seems you contradict yourself. In your previous post, you said:
Insisting on sacrifice is not tolerant at all.

I do not necessarily see it as intolerance. Tolerance can simply mean letting someone do something. If you let a person perform a particular action, even if it is contigent upon that person doing something for you, you are still tolerating that action. If I said you could play golf on my green, but only if you paid me five dollars, would you say I was intolerant towards golfers (even if paying were against their philosophy)?

The Great Khan
September 7th, 2009, 10:07 AM
I would certainly question the pragmatism of a religiously devout, uneducated population.

Well, they could still be devout without their pope and kings. The Mongols would have spared the churches.


As far as your questions about the peasants continuing to fight after the death of their king, it depends. Sure, they could give into their Mongol overlords and "prosper" (whatever that would mean for a medieval peasant),

In this case, it would probably mean the continuation of life as it was before the Mongols, since peasants generally lack skills.


but they could also be so caught up in the cult-like fervor for the Christendom their king represented and the outright intolerence for the non-Christians taking over their land that a war lasting decades or even centuries could ensue, resulting in the death of hundreds, thousands, perhaps millions of people.

Yeah, but the Mongols overran the Islamic world, and the Caliph. There was no long, drawn out war over this, despite the fact that Islam mirrored Christianity at the time in intolerance, religious fervor, and union of church and state.


It is almost impossible to talk about what would have happened in history. History is the product of so many variables (environmental factors, charasmatic individuals, the natural capriciousness of mankind) that one minor change can radically alter it in unimaginable ways. Take WWI, for instance. WWI was caused when Archduke Franz Ferdinand's driver took a wrong turn down a street. WWI led to WWII, via the Treaty of Versailles. In other words, one wrong turn down a street led to the Holocaust! If that does not illustrate how the seemingly most insignificant factors of day to day life can radically alter the world we live in, then I do not see what can.

True, the only reason we're talking about this is because Ogodei, Genghis' son died before the invasion took place. One death spared Europe from a Mongol invasion which, whether successful or not, would have greatly impacted European history.


I do not necessarily see it as intolerance. Tolerance can simply mean letting someone do something. If you let a person perform a particular action, even if it is contigent upon that person doing something for you, you are still tolerating that action. If I said you could play golf on my green, but only if you paid me five dollars, would you say I was intolerant towards golfers (even if paying were against their philosophy)?

True, but its not like people who paid a tax or something were exempt from sacrifices according to this law. Everyone had to sacrifice. People who did not were not tolerated. Toleration would be making sacrifices optional, and allowing Christians to abstain from sacrifices if they so chose.

cdubs
September 7th, 2009, 02:53 PM
No...but they knew no other way of life. What did you expect?
How is this even a defense?


Are the Mongols unique here?
Yes.


I don't see why the Mongols should be singled out simply for conquering more successfully than other armies
I admire their ability to conquer. It's their cruel tendency to massacre entire civilians populaces that i don't like.


actually succeeding at something that other rulers were itching to do and would do if given the power to do so
Yes, other countries would have loved to conquer like the Mongols did, but it is highly unlikely that they would have partaken in what we would now call genocide on so many occasions.

The Great Khan
September 7th, 2009, 03:09 PM
How is this even a defense?

Because, for the Mongols, fighting wasn't really optional. They had no domestic industry. They couldn't farm. They could only take from other people.


Yes.

No.


Yes, other countries would have loved to conquer like the Mongols did, but it is highly unlikely that they would have partaken in what we would now call genocide on so many occasions.

No, Genocide the deliberate and systematic extermination of a national, racial, political, or cultural group. The Mongols never destroyed a national group simply for being of that national group, and they never killed for racial or ethnic reasons. They attacked the cities that didn't surrender, and massacred, not because they wanted to exterminate the civilization, but because they wanted to instill fear in neighboring cities which is why survivors were sometimes allowed to flee to other cities, to clog roads, eat up stores of food, and cause general panic by spreading horror stories about the Mongol hordes. Psychological warfare. Genocide would be like Hitler of Saint Louis killing the Jews simply for being Jewish.

cdubs
September 7th, 2009, 04:18 PM
Because, for the Mongols, fighting wasn't really optional. They had no domestic industry. They couldn't farm. They could only take from other people.
This is a reason, not a justification.



No, Genocide the deliberate and systematic extermination of a national, racial, political, or cultural group. The Mongols never destroyed a national group simply for being of that national group, and they never killed for racial or ethnic reasons. They attacked the cities that didn't surrender, and massacred, not because they wanted to exterminate the civilization, but because they wanted to instill fear in neighboring cities which is why survivors were sometimes allowed to flee to other cities, to clog roads, eat up stores of food, and cause general panic by spreading horror stories about the Mongol hordes. Psychological warfare. Genocide would be like Hitler of Saint Louis killing the Jews simply for being Jewish.
The deffinition for genocide has nothing to do with the motive, only the act.

"a legal definition is found in the 1948 United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (CPPCG). Article 2 of this convention defines genocide as "any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genocide

czahar
September 7th, 2009, 10:27 PM
Yeah, but the Mongols overran the Islamic world, and the Caliph. There was no long, drawn out war over this, despite the fact that Islam mirrored Christianity at the time in intolerance, religious fervor, and union of church and state.

But that does not mean it would have the same fate. As I showed with my World War I example, even the slightest alteration in history can change it radically. One charasmatic leader who gained a cult-like admiration or one act that laid heavily on the minds of Europeans are all it would have taken to keep a war going on for decades.


True, the only reason we're talking about this is because Ogodei, Genghis' son died before the invasion took place. One death spared Europe from a Mongol invasion which, whether successful or not, would have greatly impacted European history.

The Mongol invasion would have altered European history. There is no question of that. How radically is the question, and unfortunately, because history can not be reduced to hypothetical formulas, I think it is safe to say we will never know or even have much of an idea.


True, but its not like people who paid a tax or something were exempt from sacrifices according to this law. Everyone had to sacrifice. People who did not were not tolerated. Toleration would be making sacrifices optional, and allowing Christians to abstain from sacrifices if they so chose.

I disagree. Tolerance is defined as:


1. a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward those whose opinions, practices, race, religion, nationality, etc., differ from one's own; freedom from bigotry.
2. a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward opinions and practices that differ from one's own.
3. interest in and concern for ideas, opinions, practices, etc., foreign to one's own; a liberal, undogmatic viewpoint.
(emphasis added)
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/tolerance

The Romans permitted Christianity to exist, albeit only under certain conditions. Perhaps this could be seen as a somewhat underhanded form of tolerance, but it is tolerance nonetheless.

The Great Khan
September 8th, 2009, 09:43 AM
But that does not mean it would have the same fate. As I showed with my World War I example, even the slightest alteration in history can change it radically. One charasmatic leader who gained a cult-like admiration or one act that laid heavily on the minds of Europeans are all it would have taken to keep a war going on for decades.

Entirely possible. The would probably lose, though.


The Mongol invasion would have altered European history. There is no question of that. How radically is the question, and unfortunately, because history can not be reduced to hypothetical formulas, I think it is safe to say we will never know or even have much of an idea.

So that answers that question.


I disagree. Tolerance is defined as:


1. a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward those whose opinions, practices, race, religion, nationality, etc., differ from one's own; freedom from bigotry.
2. a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward opinions and practices that differ from one's own.
3. interest in and concern for ideas, opinions, practices, etc., foreign to one's own; a liberal, undogmatic viewpoint.
(emphasis added)
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/tolerance

The Romans permitted Christianity to exist, albeit only under certain conditions. Perhaps this could be seen as a somewhat underhanded form of tolerance, but it is tolerance nonetheless.

But the Mongols wouldn't have imposed any conditions, restrictions, or other limitations on Christianity.

---------- Post added at 01:43 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:39 PM ----------


This is a reason, not a justification.

Why not? The Mongols had to fight, or starve. I never intended to justify their massacres, only explain why they weren't evil or malicious like you portray them.


The deffinition for genocide has nothing to do with the motive, only the act.

"a legal definition is found in the 1948 United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (CPPCG). Article 2 of this convention defines genocide as "any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genocide

Under this definition, any war is genocide, as any war destroys part of national group. So do you believe war=genocide?

CliveStaples
September 8th, 2009, 11:46 AM
But the Mongols wouldn't have imposed any conditions, restrictions, or other limitations on Christianity.

How can you possibly claim to know this? Sounds more like wishful thinking.

cdubs
September 8th, 2009, 11:57 AM
Why not? The Mongols had to fight, or starve. I never intended to justify their massacres, only explain why they weren't evil or malicious like you portray them.
Mongol tribes survived for thousands of years in Mongolia without the need to expand outwards. Did their food source suddenly run out? No, they were not fighting for their survival, they were fighting for the sake of expansionism.


Under this definition, any war is genocide, as any war destroys part of national group. So do you believe war=genocide?
It is a flawed deffinition, but the fact remains that the Mongolians killed tens of millions of civlians.

The Great Khan
September 8th, 2009, 01:03 PM
How can you possibly claim to know this? Sounds more like wishful thinking.

During the period of the Mongol Empire when the Great Khans (Genghis, Ogodei, Guyuk, Mongke, and Khublai) were elected, and the Yassa observed, Buddhism (popular in China) and Islam (popular in the Middle East) were not persecuted. It was only after the empire broke apart that the rulers of the separate kingdoms began adopting and favoring certain religions. The Mongols had no reason to favor Islam and Buddhism and attack Christians. Indeed, many of them converted (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianity_among_the_Mongols). Why then, would the Mongols, having spared Islam and Buddhism, have any reason to persecute Christianity? Especially when it popular among them before the invasion?


Mongol tribes survived for thousands of years in Mongolia without the need to expand outwards. Did their food source suddenly run out? No, they were not fighting for their survival, they were fighting for the sake of expansionism.

The Mongol tribes fought each other for food and space (pasture for animals, rivers, etc.) Genghis, having had his life ruined by this, put a stop to inter-tribal feuding. Since the Mongols were now one people under one ruler, inter-tribal feuds would be like New York fighting California. But the Mongols still had no industry or means of supporting themselves domestically, but still required goods to sustain themselves. They could only obtain this through conquest, seeing as they had nothing to trade, and people won't just hand over their stuff for no reason.


It is a flawed deffinition,

So choose a different one.


but the fact remains that the Mongolians killed tens of millions of civlians

If the Mongols were genocidal simply for killing then George Washington was genocidal. He wanted to destroy the branch of the British Empire in America and build a new country from the ashes. Lincoln was also genocidal. He wanted to destroy the nation of the Confederate States of America and bring them back under American rule. Both these "genocidal" men are heroes. So, yes, the definition is seriously flawed. I define genocide as "any acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, members of a national, ethnical, racial or religious group who are guilty of nothing except belonging to that group." So Hitler was genocidal. He killed the Jews simply because they were Jews, an "inferior race". Inquisitions were genocides, because inquisitors killed heretics simply for being heretics. However, people like Washington, Lincoln, and the Mongols were not genocidal; they did not kill people simply for being who they were.

CliveStaples
September 8th, 2009, 01:42 PM
During the period of the Mongol Empire when the Great Khans (Genghis, Ogodei, Guyuk, Mongke, and Khublai) were elected, and the Yassa observed, Buddhism (popular in China) and Islam (popular in the Middle East) were not persecuted. It was only after the empire broke apart that the rulers of the separate kingdoms began adopting and favoring certain religions. The Mongols had no reason to favor Islam and Buddhism and attack Christians. Indeed, many of them converted. Why then, would the Mongols, having spared Islam and Buddhism, have any reason to persecute Christianity? Especially when it popular among them before the invasion?

I don't think you're a very serious student of history.

What if the Christians rebelled against Mongol rule? What if the Mongols believed that Christianity contributed to this rebellion?

It might be true that the Mongols had no ardent desire to stamp out religions for the sake of stamping out religions. But if stamping out religions served the larger goal of establishing a Mongol empire, you can bet your ass that they'd do it in a heartbeat. They killed thousands of people for the sake of establishing an empire; if someone threatens the security or stability of the empire, of course the murderous thugs would stamp it out violently.

The Great Khan
September 8th, 2009, 02:27 PM
I don't think you're a very serious student of history.

[QUOTE]
What if the Christians rebelled against Mongol rule?

Then the Mongols would punish them, not for being Christians, but for being rebels who just happen to be Christian.



What if the Mongols believed that Christianity contributed to this rebellion?

Again, then the Mongols would kill the Christians, not because they were Christians, but because they were rebels. If there were Christians who didn't rebel, they'd be spared.


It might be true that the Mongols had no ardent desire to stamp out religions for the sake of stamping out religions. But if stamping out religions served the larger goal of establishing a Mongol empire, you can bet your ass that they'd do it in a heartbeat. They killed thousands of people for the sake of establishing an empire; if someone threatens the security or stability of the empire, of course the murderous thugs would stamp it out violently.

The same could be said of any country threatened by instability. In essence, you then call any rulers who have enforced laws and stamped out dissension for the sake of maintaining unity "murderous thugs".

CliveStaples
September 8th, 2009, 06:21 PM
[QUOTE=CliveStaples;401625]I don't think you're a very serious student of history.



Then the Mongols would punish them, not for being Christians, but for being rebels who just happen to be Christian.



Again, then the Mongols would kill the Christians, not because they were Christians, but because they were rebels. If there were Christians who didn't rebel, they'd be spared.



The same could be said of any country threatened by instability. In essence, you then call any rulers who have enforced laws and stamped out dissension for the sake of maintaining unity "murderous thugs".

Any "ruler" who does not hold legitimate authority--and authority gained by threats of force is not legitimate--is a thug. Even if they're 'merely' killing white people.

The Great Khan
September 8th, 2009, 06:50 PM
[QUOTE=The Great Khan;401639]

Any "ruler" who does not hold legitimate authority--and authority gained by threats of force is not legitimate--is a thug.

All kings either gained power by force or their ancestors did, making all monarchs, in some way, shape, or form, to be "thugs" by your definition. Even the Founding Fathers gained power by force; they overthrow the British Empire with military might; are they too thugs? Preposterous.


Even if they're 'merely' killing white people.

There's nothing mere about killing people. I find it insulting that you think I find the death of white people (or anyone else for that matter) mere or insignificant, when I clearly do not.

CliveStaples
September 8th, 2009, 06:59 PM
All kings either gained power by force or their ancestors did, making all monarchs, in some way, shape, or form, to be "thugs" by your definition. Even the Founding Fathers gained power by force; they overthrow the British Empire with military might; are they too thugs? Preposterous.

You make no distinction between invading another sovereign nation, subjugating it by force, and a rebellion against a tyrannical government? And I'm preposterous?


There's nothing mere about killing people. I find it insulting that you think I find the death of white people (or anyone else for that matter) mere or insignificant, when I clearly do not.

Since you worship Genghis Khan so much, I assume you approve of his legacy--murder, rapine, and destruction. Of those lily-white Europeans.

The Great Khan
September 8th, 2009, 07:11 PM
You make no distinction between invading another sovereign nation, subjugating it by force, and a rebellion against a tyrannical government?

No, you don't. The Founding Fathers used force to get their way. Since you say that rulers who gain authority using force, and thus do not have legitimate authority, are thugs, the Founding Fathers are thugs by your definition, seeing as they gained their authority through force of arms. You never said anything about invasion or subjugation. And you've ignored my other point; your definition makes any monarch or a descendant of a monarch a thug (since they used force to gain power); including the rulers of the very Europeans we're now discussing.


Since you worship Genghis Khan so much, I assume you approve of his legacy--murder, rapine, and destruction. Of those lily-white Europeans.

If there was a rolling eyes smiley, I would use it here. The thread, in case you forgot, involves a hypothetical invasion of Europe that never actually happened. Neither Genghis nor his successors invaded Western Europe, so your saying that Genghis' legacy includes murder rape and destruction of "lily-white Europeans" is false. Just for the record, I admire Genghis' personal characteristics, like charisma, determination, and military genius, for instance. I don't see why Genghis deserves less admiration than, say, Grant (a U.S. president, on our currency), who authorized something as brutal as Sherman's March (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sherman%27s_March).

CliveStaples
September 8th, 2009, 07:21 PM
No, you don't. The Founding Fathers used force to get their way. Since you say that rulers who gain authority using force, and thus do not have legitimate authority, are thugs, the Founding Fathers are thugs by your definition, seeing as they gained their authority through force of arms. You never said anything about invasion or subjugation. And you've ignored my other point; your definition makes any monarch or a descendant of a monarch a thug (since they used force to gain power); including the rulers of the very Europeans we're now discussing.

I uncharacteristically presumed a modicum of common sense. Naturally I should have included the caveat "excepting authority gained by force used to expel an illegitimate authority".


If there was a rolling eyes smiley, I would use it here. The thread, in case you forgot, involves a hypothetical invasion of Europe that never actually happened. Neither Genghis nor his successors invaded Western Europe, so your saying that Genghis' legacy includes murder rape and destruction of "lily-white Europeans" is false. Just for the record, I admire Genghis' personal characteristics, like charisma, determination, and military genius, for instance. I don't see why Genghis deserves less admiration than, say, Grant (a U.S. president, on our currency), who authorized something as brutal as Sherman's March (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sherman%27s_March).

Oh, did I say he invaded Western Europe? I must've missed that part...

And Grant didn't attempt to establish his own empire through subjugation by force.

The Great Khan
September 8th, 2009, 07:33 PM
I uncharacteristically presumed a modicum of common sense. Naturally I should have included the caveat "excepting authority gained by force used to expel an illegitimate authority".

This begs the question of whether the British authority was really illegitimate. Seeing as the colonists were British subjects, their actions were acts of rebellion. How exactly did the British not have authority over them?


Oh, did I say he invaded Western Europe? I must've missed that part...

Seeing as you're accusing Genghis of attacking "white people" that he never actually attacked, yes, you're accusing him of a conquest of Europe he never engaged in. You're also accusing me of being a racist, something I resent. I find it amusing that we have perfectly civil conversation in other threads only for you to descend to mud-slinging here.


And Grant didn't attempt to establish his own empire through subjugation by force.

No, Grant was a general like Subutai (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subutai), not a ruler. He was attempting to invade and subjugate a foreign country (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confederate_states_of_america) for Lincoln (like Subotai invaded for Genghis) and bring it under Lincoln's authority.

CliveStaples
September 8th, 2009, 07:36 PM
This begs the question of whether the British authority was really illegitimate. Seeing as the colonists were British subjects, their actions were acts of rebellion. How exactly did the British not have authority over them?

Have you not read the Declaration of Independence? Seriously?


Seeing as you're accusing Genghis of attacking "white people" that he never actually attacked, yes, you're accusing him of a conquest of Europe he never engaged in. You're also accusing me of being a racist, something I resent. I find it amusing that we have perfectly civil conversation in other threads only for you to descend to mud-slinging here.

If you weren't hagiographing a despotic tyrant whose evil machinations failed not for lack of trying, I'd be nicer to you.


No, Grant was a general like Subutai (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subutai), not a ruler. He was attempting to invade and subjugate a foreign country (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confederate_states_of_america) for Lincoln (like Subotai invaded for Genghis) and bring it under Lincoln's authority.

Except that they were already under Lincoln's authority. Have you not read the Constitution either?

The Great Khan
September 9th, 2009, 08:48 AM
Have you not read the Declaration of Independence? Seriously?

You do realize that King George rejected the Declaration when he recieved it? Had the Revolution failed, the Founding Fathers would have been executed for treason. The point is, the idea of "legitimate" authority is relative.


If you weren't hagiographing

Did I say he was a saint?


a despotic tyrant whose evil machinations failed not for lack of trying, I'd be nicer to you.

Did you not read the bit about the benefits associated with Mongol rule? It seems you think the Mongols did nothing but kill and slaughter; that simply isn't true. Perhaps if you didn't keep calling me racist, I'd ]be nicer to you.


Except that they were already under Lincoln's authority. Have you not read the Constitution either?

Yes, but they rejected the Constitution just as the original Founders rejected British rule. They had their own President, legislature, currency, and most importantly, identity. How were they not a different country? My point again is that the idea of "legitimate" authority is relative.

CliveStaples
September 9th, 2009, 09:01 AM
You do realize that King George rejected the Declaration when he recieved it?

And? You haven't shown that he was right to do so.


Had the Revolution failed, the Founding Fathers would have been executed for treason.

Which doesn't show that they were wrong.


The point is, the idea of "legitimate" authority is relative.

Please support. I agree that people may disagree about what constitutes legitimate authority, but mere disagreement doesn't show that there is no objective definition. (For example, someone might believe that 1+1 =/= 2, but that doesn't mean that their belief is valid.)


Did I say he was a saint?

Pretty much, yeah. "I like him a lot, he was really awesome, he was so much better than those evil white dudes", etc.


Did you not read the bit about the benefits associated with Mongol rule? It seems you think the Mongols did nothing but kill and slaughter; that simply isn't true. Perhaps if you didn't keep calling me racist, I'd ]be nicer to you.

Perhaps if you didn't lionize tyrants, I'd care about what you thought of me.

The benefits of Mongol rule come at the cost of their imposition by coercion.


Yes, but they rejected the Constitution just as the original Founders rejected British rule. They had their own President, legislature, currency, and most importantly, identity. How were they not a different country? My point again is that the idea of "legitimate" authority is relative.

I can "reject" the legitimacy of the U.S. Supreme Court, but just because I believe that their authority is illegitimate does not make it so.

The Great Khan
September 9th, 2009, 10:59 AM
And? You haven't shown that he was right to do so.

His authority was considered legitimate for a long time. Had the revolution failed, it would have remained so. The only reason it isn't is because we Americans say it isn't, and instead, say our President's is to this day.


Which doesn't show that they were wrong.

From your perspective, or mine, they weren't. But from a British perspective at the time, they were. Right and wrong are relative.


Please support. I agree that people may disagree about what constitutes legitimate authority, but mere disagreement doesn't show that there is no objective definition.

What is it then?


(For example, someone might believe that 1+1 =/= 2, but that doesn't mean that their belief is valid.)

You can prove this incorrect. How do you prove someone does not have legitimate authority?


Pretty much, yeah. "I like him a lot, he was really awesome, he was so much better than those evil white dudes", etc.

My point really is that Genghis didn't kill uselessly. He didn't kill people simply for being different. He fought to help his people, which any king does when appropriate. I don't see why he should be singled out and called a monster simply for doing what any ruler would do if given the chance?

"Saint" Louis and Hitler, on the other hand, killed people specifically for being different. No one gained anything from the deaths of the Jews that these men killed, indeed, everyone lost. Did Louis, for instance, even use the loot he took from the Jews to help his subjects, like Genghis did? (an irony, seeing as the Jews were Louis' subjects as well). No. He wasted it on Crusades, killing more people. This death wasn't necessary. Louis had alternative means of procuring wealth other than killing Jews. His was a sedentary, agriculture and trade based society. And what did he use this wealth he stole for? To "save" (something he didn't really do) the "Holy Land" (which may or may not be holy) from "infidels" (who may indeed have been correct, while Louis himself may have been and infidel, there's no way of knowing). So was he not a tyrant as well? He fits your definition.


The benefits of Mongol rule come at the cost of their imposition by coercion.

Do the benefits of any rule (even democratic rule) come without cost? I don't see why the Mongols should be singled out when plenty of rulers and armies thought history have wreaked massive destruction (Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, the Crusaders)


Perhaps if you didn't lionize tyrants, I'd care about what you thought of me.

Based on your definition, everyone who uses force to rule is a tyrant, so this doesn't mean much seeing as all governments must use force in some measure to rule.


I can "reject" the legitimacy of the U.S. Supreme Court, but just because I believe that their authority is illegitimate does not make it so.

So again, what makes authority legitimate or illegitimate?

CliveStaples
September 9th, 2009, 07:00 PM
His authority was considered legitimate for a long time.

By whom?


Had the revolution failed, it would have remained so.

By whom?


The only reason it isn't is because we Americans say it isn't, and instead, say our President's is to this day.

I think you'd agree that saying something doesn't make it true.


From your perspective, or mine, they weren't. But from a British perspective at the time, they were. Right and wrong are relative.

I cannot debate with a person who thinks that right and wrong are relative. Good luck with the rest of your debate here.

The Great Khan
September 10th, 2009, 12:05 PM
By whom?

The colonists who later became Americans.


By whom?

To "Americans" who failed to break away would once again become colonists, and their descendents would see the king's authority as legitimate.


I think you'd agree that saying something doesn't make it true.

Yes...so who's authority is legitimate, and how do you know this?


I cannot debate with a person who thinks that right and wrong are relative.

I'm sorry...do you have a big book of things that are right and wrong that no one ever has, or ever will disagree with? Things we consider "right", like the American Revolution, were viewed as "wrong" simultaneously by other people who disagreed (like the British officials of the time.) There may still be some die-hard British nationalist who still views it as such. Forgive my ignorance, but how can you determine what is "right" or "wrong" objectively without introducing your own opinion (which is subjective)?

cdubs
September 10th, 2009, 01:08 PM
"any acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, members of a national, ethnical, racial or religious group who are guilty of nothing except belonging to that group."
Under this deffinition did the Mongols not commit genocide? They killed entire cities just for resisting. What if there were people in the city who were looking forward to Mongol rule and hated their rulers? What if there were pacifists in the city who couldn't care less about politics as long as there was peace? Would these people not be executed simply for the fact that they were in a city who's leaders decided to resist?

No matter how you choose to define it, the Mongols killed tens of millions of defenseless civilians, and there can be no justification for that.

The Great Khan
September 10th, 2009, 02:50 PM
Under this deffinition did the Mongols not commit genocide? They killed entire cities just for resisting.

Yes, for resisting. Not for being Chinese, or Arabic, or Buddhist, or Muslim. For resisting. People who didn't personally resist were also killed, though often times people were allowed to flee, or were spared if they surrendered. Genghis often adopted war orphans, for instance. The purpose of wholesale slaughter was to convince people to surrender (and live); by promising slaughter (and frequently carrying it out) the Mongols reduced the number of times they actually had to slaughter people.


No matter how you choose to define it, the Mongols killed tens of millions of defenseless civilians, and there can be no justification for that.

I never justified their slaughter of innocent people. I don't like it either. What I also don't like however, is that you single out the Mongols when other armies of the world also practiced total war, and would have done what the Mongols did, and worse, if given a fraction of the power the Mongols had. You also completely ignore any benefits associated with the Mongols, as I've outlined previously. Real, state sponsored genocide would never spare anyone ever. (like Hitler). There would be no benefit in surrendering. There would be no benefits at all, no toleration, no trade, no cross cultural exchange...nothing. Had the Mongols simply rode in, sacked, and left without protecting anyone, I would not regard them with any esteem at all. Same goes for it the Mongols killed for reasons of ethnicity or religion, rather than out of necessity. They did neither of these things; Europe, in fact, benefited most out of the connection between the East and the West that the Mongols created.

Squatch347
September 15th, 2009, 09:52 PM
First off, how exactly is a law code supposed to be "allegorical"? Allegory is not taken literally, and laws are made to be actually enforced. Unless you meant anecdotal? You are absolutely right, I meant to type apocryphal. It is believed that some kind of legal code existed, but the Yassa has by no mean been historically supported.


Second, all of the aspects of the Yassa wiki article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yassa)(like election by khuriltai, corvee labor, etc) were crucial to the Mongol's success, and without them, the empire would have fallen apart after Genghis' death, indicating that his rules were followed. I don't see how that is supported by the article or is necessarily true. Why is it absolutely necessary that the Yassa be true for the empire to have remained together?



True, but Qiu Chuji's article cites the letter that Genghis sent requesting tutelage, indicating genuine interest, and also appreciation, seeing as he gave the man land in the imperial palace of Beijing for a monastary. You also forget Mongke's religious debates and quote about god giving different religions to men like different fingers on the hand. Could you please cite the link again, I for some reason couldn't find it. Sorry.




The Il-khans were not nomadic; the settled down. Had they intended to loot and leave, they would not have had a capital city and built permanent structures, don't you agree? But the culture that had set them there were nomadic as were the first generation until they assimilated into (as I noted earlier) the conquered culture.



Yes they did. The Mongols were still people, despite being nomadic, they had customs and societal rules. http://www.biography.com/genghis-khan/genghis-khan-bio.jsp I did not question their customs and societal rules, I said they did not have the bureaucratic institutions necessary for a long term empire.




So it had a practical application, like all aspects of the Yassa, but it was spurred by Mongol tradition that held that relgion was a personal belief, and not to be interfered with. OK, I'll go ahead and concede that regardless of the Yassa's validity and actual language (of which we cannot be sure) the Mongols practiced a level of religious freedom. Going back to our argument how does that affect the reality that Christianity would have survived just fine under Mongol rule?



And who would "appoint" this dynasty? Everyone wants to be khan; they would of course fight over the position until one won; in this case, no one was powerful enough to take over, and the kingdom split apart with each family taking a share. Just as with other kingdoms a coalition of nobles or the strongest noble would start the new dynasty, just as happened with Rome, France, England, Egypt and countless other examples. The break down of the empire resulted from a lack of cultural unity at the top and a lack of native bureaucratic systems that would preserve the government as succession was figured out.

The Great Khan
September 19th, 2009, 02:02 PM
You are absolutely right, I meant to type apocryphal. It is believed that some kind of legal code existed, but the Yassa has by no mean been historically supported.

That's because all of the copies were lost; Genghis did have them written down though, and, like I said, had Shikhikhutag (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shihihutag)enforce it.


I don't see how that is supported by the article or is necessarily true. Why is it absolutely necessary that the Yassa be true for the empire to have remained together?

Because Genghis himself said the Yassa was necessary for the empire to stay together- and he was right. After the khans stopped following the Yassa, the empire broke apart into smaller kingdoms. While the Yassa was adhered to, however, the empire was stable.


Could you please cite the link again, I for some reason couldn't find it. Sorry.

Okay (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qiu_Chuji). The article cites Genghis' letter to the monk, requesting tutelage.


But the culture that had set them there were nomadic as were the first generation until they assimilated into (as I noted earlier) the conquered culture.

But they were settled down before the assimilation, while the empire was still whole.


I did not question their customs and societal rules, I said they did not have the bureaucratic institutions necessary for a long term empire.

Yes you did, you said


the Mongols (a nomadic tribe) did not have native institutions of thier own.

They did.


OK, I'll go ahead and concede that regardless of the Yassa's validity and actual language (of which we cannot be sure) the Mongols practiced a level of religious freedom. Going back to our argument how does that affect the reality that Christianity would have survived just fine under Mongol rule?

That's the OP. What do you think would have happened? The religious and political patrons would be gone, but the religion at a local level would be unaffected, really. How necessary is religious leadership?


Just as with other kingdoms a coalition of nobles or the strongest noble would start the new dynasty, just as happened with Rome, France, England, Egypt and countless other examples. The break down of the empire resulted from a lack of cultural unity at the top and a lack of native bureaucratic systems that would preserve the government as succession was figured out.

Not necessarily. If this was the case, no empire with a strong bureaucracy would collapse during a succession crisis. However, plenty of empires with strong bureaucracies have collapsed as dynasties fought for power, like the Chinese for example.

Squatch347
September 22nd, 2009, 09:19 PM
That's because all of the copies were lost; Genghis did have them written down though, and, like I said, had Shikhikhutag (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shihihutag)enforce it. Right, but you can see how that makes it historically problematic. We don't have source material and there are few reliable secondary sources that mention it in any detail.



Because Genghis himself said the Yassa was necessary for the empire to stay together- and he was right. After the khans stopped following the Yassa, the empire broke apart into smaller kingdoms. While the Yassa was adhered to, however, the empire was stable. Can you support that that was causation not correlation?



Okay (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qiu_Chuji). The article cites Genghis' letter to the monk, requesting tutelage. Thank you. My problem is that the article is unverified and does not have the citation the only other link I can find is this one, http://www1.chinaculture.org/library/2008-02/04/content_24919.htm. I wonder if Khan's support might have been to pacify the largely taoist chinese? (note: that is total supposition on my part)




But they were settled down before the assimilation, while the empire was still whole. Could you support this, I am not aware of the Mongols being considered a non-nomadic culture at any point. Regardless, the cultural norms and institutions we were discussing were still nomadic in origin and flavor.




Yes you did, you said



They did. Once again, I noted they did not have native bureaucratic institutions, that is very different from customs and societal rules.




That's the OP. What do you think would have happened? The religious and political patrons would be gone, but the religion at a local level would be unaffected, really. How necessary is religious leadership? Much as taoism, buddhism and others did continue in conquered countries. Christianity would have found patrons amongst the conquerors, the conquest would have been hollow as it was in near asia and the middle east and Christianity would have reasserted itself (probably in a more political form) after they left.




Not necessarily. If this was the case, no empire with a strong bureaucracy would collapse during a succession crisis. However, plenty of empires with strong bureaucracies have collapsed as dynasties fought for power, like the Chinese for example. I disagree, those empires only collapsed (the chinese included) when those bureaucracies were over extended or weak due to cultural decline. I am unaware of any empire with a vibrant bureaucracy collapsing.

The Great Khan
September 27th, 2009, 10:39 AM
Right, but you can see how that makes it historically problematic. We don't have source material and there are few reliable secondary sources that mention it in any detail.

But we do know Genghis' early life, which helped shape the Yassa. We also know his and his descendant's administrative policies, from which we can derive an idea of what the Yassa's laws were.


Can you support that that was causation not correlation?

The empire broke apart after each regional khan refused to cast votes to elect a Great Khan to lead the empire (as mandated by the Yassa). Due to heightened tensions between these regional rulers, there were power struggles and distrust that drew resources away from further conquest. Eventually, each ruler became content to rule his own empire like the former sedentary rulers did, and the unified empire was no more. Due to a lack of a cultural footprint, the Mongols were eventually absorbed by the local populations.


Thank you. My problem is that the article is unverified and does not have the citation the only other link I can find is this one, http://www1.chinaculture.org/library/2008-02/04/content_24919.htm. I wonder if Khan's support might have been to pacify the largely taoist chinese? (note: that is total supposition on my part)

But this was a personal thing; it's not like he advertised that he was taking lessons from a Taoist monk. The easiest way to pacify a large Taoist population would be to make Taoism the state religion.But he didn't do that. Furthermore, not all the Chinese were Taoist; there were plenty of Buddhists and Confucians as well. Is it really that hard to believe that he was genuinely interested in Taoist philosophy?


Could you support this, I am not aware of the Mongols being considered a non-nomadic culture at any point. Regardless, the cultural norms and institutions we were discussing were still nomadic in origin and flavor.

After Genghis, the khans settled down. They had a capital city. They built cultural buildings, supported trade, scientific achievement, etc. All this requires permanence.


Much as taoism, buddhism and others did continue in conquered countries. Christianity would have found patrons amongst the conquerors, the conquest would have been hollow as it was in near asia and the middle east and Christianity would have reasserted itself (probably in a more political form) after they left.

I don't think you get it; it's not a matter of simply sacking and leaving. They couldn't leave. They had no other means of supporting themselves other than conquest and administration. Where would they go? The Mongol steppe doesn't have enough resources to support a nation (which is why the conquest began in the first place). The Mongols needed trade goods, and the only way to get them was conquest.

Squatch347
October 1st, 2009, 02:34 PM
But we do know Genghis' early life, which helped shape the Yassa. We also know his and his descendant's administrative policies, from which we can derive an idea of what the Yassa's laws were. We can guess what they were, you assume they ruled by the Yassa and not by expediency. Either way, without a source to review, we can never be sure historically.




The empire broke apart after each regional khan refused to cast votes to elect a Great Khan to lead the empire (as mandated by the Yassa). Due to heightened tensions between these regional rulers, there were power struggles and distrust that drew resources away from further conquest. Eventually, each ruler became content to rule his own empire like the former sedentary rulers did, and the unified empire was no more. Due to a lack of a cultural footprint, the Mongols were eventually absorbed by the local populations.
Perhaps you can provide a better source than what I can find, it would seem that a combination of continuous infighting amongst the Khans and the Plague ravaged the ability of the Mongols to control their empire, advances by hostile forces in Europe and the Middle East were already shrinking the borders,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mongolian_Empire#Disintegration



But this was a personal thing; it's not like he advertised that he was taking lessons from a Taoist monk. The easiest way to pacify a large Taoist population would be to make Taoism the state religion.But he didn't do that. Furthermore, not all the Chinese were Taoist; there were plenty of Buddhists and Confucians as well. Is it really that hard to believe that he was genuinely interested in Taoist philosophy? Making it the state religion would have offended the other religions within the empire. Instead, taking lessons from a monk would have placated that community without offending the others.
It might have been a personal thing, however it was certainly not so personal that we don't know about it hundreds of years later.




After Genghis, the khans settled down. They had a capital city. They built cultural buildings, supported trade, scientific achievement, etc. All this requires permanence. But that does not mean that the culture was not nomadic, even after the capital city was founded the large part of the mongol forces were mobile and the cultural tenants were those of a nomadic culture not a sedentary culture.




I don't think you get it; it's not a matter of simply sacking and leaving. They couldn't leave. They had no other means of supporting themselves other than conquest and administration. Where would they go? The Mongol steppe doesn't have enough resources to support a nation (which is why the conquest began in the first place). The Mongols needed trade goods, and the only way to get them was conquest.
They would do as they always did, move on, the horde never remained in the same place for long.

In the end you would have to explain how Christianity would have changed when Buddhism, Taoism and others made no change even though they were more directly controlled.

The Great Khan
October 2nd, 2009, 02:15 PM
We can guess what they were, you assume they ruled by the Yassa and not by expediency. Either way, without a source to review, we can never be sure historically.

What do you mean we can never be sure? The Yassa existed. It was enforced. There's proof of that. Just because we don't have an original document doesn't mean that the Mongols themselves didn't. That the Yassa existed and was enforced is proof enough as to what it's laws were. And you claim that we don't have sources to review; however, the Yassa influenced other Asian law codes, indicated that it was in use; otherwise, how could foreigners have adapted it?


Making it the state religion would have offended the other religions within the empire. Instead, taking lessons from a monk would have placated that community without offending the others. It might have been a personal thing, however it was certainly not so personal that we don't know about it hundreds of years later.

I don't see how this could have "placated" anyone. Genghis never attacked Taoism, or any other religion. And taking lessons from a Taoist monk wouldn't suddenly endear him to a people whose lands he ravaged. The general Chinese peasant, I think would care more that the Mongols attacked his farm than that their khan respected a Chinese philosophy.


But that does not mean that the culture was not nomadic, even after the capital city was founded the large part of the mongol forces were mobile and the cultural tenants were those of a nomadic culture not a sedentary culture.

Yes...the army was nomadic, of course, and the army was a huge deal. But the adminsitration was quite sedentary. Ogodei, Guyuk, and Mongke all ruled from Karakorum, and Kublai ruled from what is now Beijing.


They would do as they always did, move on, the horde never remained in the same place for long.

But there's no support for this. The khans administered the territories they conquered. There would be no building, no cross cultural connections, no religious patronage, no scientific achievement, nothing, had the Mongols simply gone on a looting spree. Neither the wiki article, nor any other source I can find supports your claim that they eventually would have left. Doing so would have been impossible; the reason the conquest started was because the steppe alone could not support the unified tribes. Conquering more territory claimed more people under Mongol protection, and thus made them "un-lootable", requiring more conquest, making more people "un-lootable" creating a vicious cycle.


In the end you would have to explain how Christianity would have changed when Buddhism, Taoism and others made no change even though they were more directly controlled.

Well, that's what I'm asking. What would have happened to Christianity? Though neither Buddhism, nor Taoism, nor any other religion was really directly controlled.

Squatch347
February 15th, 2010, 06:40 PM
What do you mean we can never be sure? The Yassa existed. It was enforced. c But we have no proof of what it contained do we? We can try to infer from the actions of the Khans, but it is just as likely that much of that was political expediency. No surviving copies exist and as I pointed out earlier it is seen in many circles as apochraphal.


That the Yassa existed and was enforced is proof enough as to what it's laws were. Not at all, certainly you can agree that governments, especially empires of this nature act as is convenient to them not always in accordance with their law.



I don't see how this could have "placated" anyone. Genghis never attacked Taoism, or any other religion. And taking lessons from a Taoist monk wouldn't suddenly endear him to a people whose lands he ravaged. The general Chinese peasant, I think would care more that the Mongols attacked his farm than that their khan respected a Chinese philosophy. No, he just conquered and taxed its adherents. You underestimate the support they have over the community.



Yes...the army was nomadic, of course, and the army was a huge deal. But the adminsitration was quite sedentary. Ogodei, Guyuk, and Mongke all ruled from Karakorum, and Kublai ruled from what is now Beijing. The Mongols from the Steppes are a nomadic group, because their descendants (some of them anyway) assimilated into the cultures they ruled does not lessen the nomadic origins.



But there's no support for this. I have already offered support in several posts for this.


There would be no building, no cross cultural connections, no religious patronage, no scientific achievement, nothing, had the Mongols simply gone on a looting spree. Building done by the locals which did not reflect Mongol style, there was no scientific Mongol achievements of any note and certainly virtually no cross cultural connection in the vast, vast majority of conquered area. There are no cultural legacies of the Mongols outside of China of any note.

This comes back down to your opinion that they would have annexed Europe, which seems incredibly unlikely given their inability or unwillingness to effectively annex Persia (as we have shown) or SE Asia. At best they left client vassals that funneled tribute back to the Khans, and that assimilated into the conquered culture exceedingly quickly.

There are of course no documents saying that the Mongols would have for certain left Europe, we can only draw inferences from the similar invasions mentioned above.