Mongol Empire

The Mongols | Genghis and his successors | The "Laws" of Genghis Khan | Family trees | Timeline | Maps | Mongolian Culture | Bibliography

The Mongols

The Mongols by Steven Dutch, University of Wisconsin. Although a professor of science, Dutch treats his subject with a historian's care. After some narrative, he focuses in on "Why the Mongols Succeeded" and "Mongol Values," ending with a review of the Mongol successor states. Only four sources are used, but his approach is critically-minded.

The Mongols! Or How the Known World Was Won by Dmitri Chernovolok. Covers some history, but a lot of weaponry and tactics. Courtesy Markland, a medieval reenactment outfit.

The Tartars by an unknown author. There's a lot here, including a long section on pre-Genghis Mongolia, and "a Letter from Peotr Alexeivich Novgorodski to his Slavic brethren," one of the sources of knowledge of the Yasa. As far as I can see, this is all part of the project Mostar the Balkans and Europe.

Much info about Mongol tribes and their neighbors, from a lengthy and dense discussion of Genghis Khan and his achievements. Written by Ah Xiang, whose site has high polemical (but not racist) content.

Men-At-Arms Series: Mongols by Stephen Turnbull. Each book fromthe Men-At-Arms series presents color illustrations of soldiers from one age or another in their respective costumes, each stitch and chain-mail ring checked for accuracy. It is not surprisingly required reading for costume designers the world over.

Genghis and his successors

Brief information on Genghis' sons and grandsons, cultural development, courtly life and the Pax Mongolia, from Metropolitan Museum of Art's exhibit The Legacy of Genghis Khan. Text by Stefano Carboni and Qamar Adamjee.

Amazon. The Empire of the Steppes: A History of Central Asia by Rene Grousset. Ghengis, Kublai and Tamerlane are the main focus (in the title in the original French). Customer reviews largely adulatory.

Amazon. Storm from the East: From Ghengis Khan to Khubilai Khan by Robert Marshall. Book is based on and largely follows a four-part 1994 BBC documentary, not apparently available itself.

Amazon. The Mongol Warlords: Ghengis Khan, Kublai Khan, Hulegu, Tamerlane by David Nicolle.

The Mongol Khans by Kelley L. Ross, a detailed review from Genghis Khan to the 16th century. The unique feature of this website are the number of maps, genealogical stemma and regnal tables.

Amazon. Khubilai Khan: His Life and Times by Morris Rossabi.

The "Laws" of Genghis Khan

"Islamic Law and Genghis Khan's code" by Joe Palmer, a very stimulating article, with a great deal about Genghis Khan's Yasa, or law-code, all linked in with contemporary politics.

"The Mongols apparently understood their subjected peoples nearly as well as the West understands the Japanese, that is, not very well. However, they generally made every effort to get along."

"The Legacy of Chinggis Khan in Law and Politics" by Robert D. McChesney, a scholarly article on Genghis Khan's "laws," the Yasa or Yasak. The first and to my mind most interesting section deals with whether or not Genghis Khan ever promulgated such a thing; the source-critical arguments are pretty damaging.

The Yasa of Chingis Khan. A code of honor, dignity and excellence from The Realm of The Mongols! by Mongol-enthusiast Per Inge Oestmoen, Norway. This is a wonderful omnigatherum of primary sources and passages from scholarship.

Family trees

The Mongol Khans family tree, on page 15 of the teacher's resource guide to The Legacy of Chingiz Khan (Los Angeles County Museum of Art).


Expandible timeline from National Geographic's Genghis Khan site. Click on dates to see more information.

Web Archive: Christy's History Timeline of 1000–1300 puts Genghis Khan in context with other—mostly Western European—events of his time.

Timeline from Genghis Khan, Treasures of Inner Mongolia (The Provincial Museum of Alberta).

Mongol history and chronology from ancient times from The Realm of The Mongols! by Mongol-enthusiast Per Inge Oestmoen, Norway.


Map of the Mongol Empire (large and attractive), from Los Angeles County Museum of Art's exhibit The Legacy of Chingiz Khan. For a printable version download their PDF: Resource Guide for Teachers.

Chinese map of the Mongol Empire from Paul Halsall's Chinese Culture class.

1570 map by Abraham Ortelius , entitled "Tartariae Sive Magni Chami Regni" (Tartary, or the Kingdom of the Great Khan), from Yale's Lanman Map Collection.

Genghis Khan: Project World Conquest by Jean-Claude Rochefort. The maps deserve some praise, but the text is of no interest. The author loudly asserts his best stuff is not online, "and will never be!" This is heartening, as what's online isn't merely bad history, it's hardly English—"One is striked by the extreme slowness with which he began to rise."

Mongolian Culture

Amazon. Mongolian Folktales by Metternich, Pureviin, Baatartsog and Khorloo. The illustrations are apparently very striking.


Suggested Readings on Mongolia: a lengthy annotated bibliography on Mongolia, with good history and primary sources sections, from Infosystem Mongolei.

Mongol bibliography from The Realm of The Mongols! by Mongol-enthusiast Per Inge Oestmoen, Norway. Includes some dross, like Lamb's book.

LibraryThing: Catalog your books online.

If you enjoy this site you may also like these other sites by me:

Alexander the Great on the Web. Over 1,000 sites about Alexander the Great.

Ibn Battuta on the Web. Comprehensive guide to Ibn Battuta, the great 14th century Muslim traveler.