Most of our understanding of the Mongol Empire begins and ends with Chinggis Khan and his sweep across Asia. His name is now included among conquerors whose efforts burn bright and burn out quick: Alexander the Great, Napoleon, and so on.
Except the story doesn’t end with Chinggis’s death. As Professor Marie Favereau notes in The Horde: How the Mongols Changed the World (Harvard University Press: 2021), the empire that he built continued to shape, incubate and grow the political cultures it conquered. Even as the empire formally splintered, the ties that bound together the Mongols continued to play a critical role in the growth of new identities and cultures.
More information can be found in Marie’s article for Quillete: How the (Much Maligned) Mongol Horde Helped Create Russian Civilization.
In this interview Marie and I talk about the empire the Mongols built: how it grew, what it covered, and how it changed. We discuss how the Mongols changed those they ruled and those they bordered against, and the geopolitical system they built.
Marie Favereau is Associate Professor of History at Paris Nanterre University. She has been a member of the French Institute of Oriental Archaeology in Cairo, a visiting scholar at the Institute for Advanced Study, and a research associate at the University of Oxford for the major project Nomadic Empires. Her books include The Golden Horde and the Mamluk Sultanate (published in French) and the graphic novel Gengis Khan.
You can find more reviews, excerpts, interviews, and essays at The Asian Review of Books, including its review of The Horde. Follow on Facebook or on Twitter at @BookReviewsAsia.
Nicholas Gordon is an associate editor for a global magazine, and a reviewer for the Asian Review of Books. He can be found on Twitter at @nickrigordon.
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