(Dzhuchi-Ulus; Djuqi-Ulus, Kipqak Horde; Western Mongols; Tatars)
as a Component of Mongol Empire(s),
particularly in Russia

This page is a "Narrative Extension" of the SAC chronology devoted to Mongols

Alan Kimball <kimball@uoregon.edu>
Editor of SAC [ID]
with the essential help of other instructors and students in the
2011wi:University of Oregon History Department Graduate Colloquium on the Mongols,
Professor Andrew Goble, lead instructor

Table of Contents

Chronology (when, with SAC links to some where, who, what, why, and how do we know?)
Geography (where)
Peoples; Social Structures
Secondary Sources (non-primary documentary contribution to "how do we know?")



<>1067:Kievan Rus’ | Polovtsy raids began [ID]

<>1204:Constantinople captured and sacked by Crusaders from "The West" [ID]

<>1206:Altai plateau, near Lake Baikal | Mongol tribesmen gathered in kurultai [assembly] to "elect" Chinggis [Genghis] as khan [ID]
*--Mongolian art in the Saint-Petersburg Ermitazh Museum [Hermitage W]

<>1223:Eastern Rus’, Kalka River basin | Mongol raids gave old Kievan princely powers the first hints of the catastrophe to follow [SAC LOOP on "Golden Horde" and Moscow]

<>1236:Volga River, below the confluence with the Kama River | Bolgar administrative capital taken by Chinggis-khan's great general Subutai at the head of the new Golden Horde [ID]

<>1237:1242; Eurasian “Pontic” steppes [MAP] | After initial successes northward up the Volga River at Bolgar Batu-khan and his cavalry launched unstoppable assault westward across the Yaik, Syr Darya and Volga rivers
*--Carpini [ID] described this now famously vicious campaign, based on what was held to be true in his clerical world and what he learned on his trip [old-English translation here not yet fully re-Englished] =

[Ugedei-khan] sent his nephew Batu-khan against the country of Altisoldan [Kipchak lands, along NW shores of Caspian, in region of Yaik (Ural) River], and against the people called Bisermini [Moslems], who were Saracens [Arabs, remains of the earlier Arabic empire (huge LOOP) in communities of merchants] but spoke the language of Comania [ID]. The Tatars invading their country, fought with them and subdued them in battle. But a certain city called Barchin [on the Syr Darya River, perhaps modern-day Tashkent] resisted them a long time. For the inhabitants had excavated many ditches and trenches around their city. As a result, the Tatars could not take it until they filled those ditches. When the inhabitants of Sarguit heard this, they came forth to meet the Tatars and surrendered to them of their own accord. As a result, their city was not destroyed. Still, the Tatars killed many of them, and others they carried away into captivity [slavery]. Taking spoils, Tatars filled the city with other inhabitants, and so marched forth against the city Orna.

This town [near mouth of the Don River near the Sea of Azov, an inlet of the Black Sea] was very populous and exceeding rich. Many Christians lived there, as namely Gasarians, Russians, and Alans, with others, and Saracens also. The government of the city was in Saracen hands. It stands on a mighty riuer, and is a kind of port town in which a great market takes place. And when the Tatars could not otherwise overcome it, they diverted the river that runs through the city out of his banks and so flooded the city and drowned the inhabitants and their goods.

That completed, the Tatars set forth against Russia, and made foul havoc there, destroying cities and castles and murdering the people. They laid siege a long while to the chief city of Russia, Kiev. Finally they took it and killed the inhabitants. Traveling through that country, we later found lying upon the earth an innumerable multitude of dead men's skulls and bones. For it was a very large and populous city, but it is now essentially destroyed. Scarcely 200 houses remain, and the inhabitants are kept in extreme bondage.

Then they proceeded out of Russia and Comania against Hungarians and Polonians. Many in these territories were slain in the manner described earlier. If the Hungarians had manfully withstood them, the Tatars would have been confounded and driven back. Returning from there, Tatars invaded the country of the pagan Mordvins and conquered them in battle. Then they marched against the people called Byleri, or Bulgaria magna [south of the Danube River], and utterly wasted the country. From hence they proceeded [again?] towards the North against the people called Bastarci or Hungaria magna, and conquered them also.

And so going on further North, they came to the Parossitæ, who having little stomachs and small mouths, eat nothing at all. When they cook meat, they stand or sit over the pot, receiving the steam or smoke thereof, and are only therewith nourished. If they eat anything it is very little. From there they came to the Samogetæ, who live only by hunting, and use to dwell in tabernacles only, and to wear garments made of animal skins. From there they proceeded to a country on the shores of an Ocean sea [Baltic?], where they found certain monsters, who in all things resembled the shape of men, saving that their feet were like the feet of an ox. Indeed they had men's heads but dogs' faces. They spoke, as it were, two words like men, but at the third they barked like dogs.

From [that monster-infested northern sea shore] the Tatars returned to Comania where some of them remain to this day.

*--Carpini described an episode involving Russian noble hostages in Batu-khan's camp [old text re-Englished] =

Accusations were presented to Batu-khan that a certain Russian prince named Andrei rustled Tatar horses from designated pastures and sold them to others. Although it could not be proved, he was nonetheless put to death. The younger brother and the wife of the executed prince heard of this and came to Batu-khan in order to plea that the Russian princely throne not be taken from them. Following Tatar custom, Batu-khan commanded the younger brother to marry his deceased brother's wife. He also commanded the widow to take the younger brother as her husband. She answered that she would rather die than so heinously to transgress her law. However, Batu delivered her unto the younger brother, although they both refused as much as they could. Carrying them to bed, the Tatars forced the lamenting and weeping younger brother to lie down and commit incest with his brother's wife.

<>1246:Karakorum, via Batu-khan's pre-Sarai camp| Giovanni of Pian del Carpini [ID] dispatched by Pope Innocent IV as ambassador to the Great Khan Güyük
*--Carpini's extensive report contained valuable first-hand observations but also fanciful accounts based on credulous hearsay [EG] [Here is full Old English TXT | Here is a more modern Englished E-TXT | Excerpts = VSB,1:46|  DMR2:114-28 | DMR3:153-67 | RRH,1:85-8]
*--At Karakorum, Carpini met the Russian goldsmith Cosmas [?Kuz'ma] who built the throne of the Great Khan [ch31]
*--Carpini carried back a reply from the Great Khan Güyük to Pope Innocent IV. The main body of the khan's letter was written in Persian, the preamble in Turkish, the date entered in Arabic [TXT]. The magisterial khan was miffed by the pope's presumptuous letter. The khan scoffed at the suggestion that he be baptized and rejected outright the suggestion that the Mongols retreat from Hungarian lands. The khan therefore dismissed the pope’s request for peaceful relationships between them. The khan said that peace was impossible until the pope himself and other Christian princes came before the khan's throne to pay due tribute to him. In summary, the issue was "who's in charge here?"

<>1250:”Holy Lands” (IE=modern-day Jordon and Israel) | Mamluks [ID] stopped Mongol advance to the SW

<>1252:1263; Novgorod elected Aleksandr Nevskii their prince [kniaz]. Made treaty w/ Mongols

<>1253: Sarai, in the lower Volga valley, a great nomad metropolis was founded by Batu-khan [ID]
*1253:1255; French King Louis IX sent Catholic Friar Willem van Ruysbroeck [Rubruck (ID)] to Karakorum and Sarai. He published a colorful and informative account, Journey... [TXT | CF=KNIGHT holdings of Rubruck and of the other early ambassador Carpini [ID], etc | Rubruck excerpts = VSB,1:46 | DMR2:129-31 | DMR3:168-70]
*--MAP of Rubruck's route gives excellent geo-physical (but incompletely labeled) sense of the vast, rich and waving feather-grass prairies [Steppes] that stretch west to east (Rubruck's route the reverse of that taken by the Mongols) from the semi-land-locked Mediterranean and Black seas, across the fine rivers Dnepr, Don, Volga and Ural, over the basins of the utterly land-locked Caspian and Aral seas, past Lake Balkhash, up the Ili River through Uyghur lands [ID] via the "Dzhungari Gates" into what is now the far western provinces of  "China" and "Mongolia", and onward to the central urban center of the Mongol khans, Karakorum, located just south of the world's most capacious body of fresh water, Lake Baikal. These are the western and central stretches of the legendary "Silk Road"
*--Especially instructive were Rubruck's observations about how eastern European captives were thriving in Mongol lands. Frenchwoman Paquette was captured and forced to walk from Budapest to the Mongol capital, but was now settled in and happily married to a Russian carpenter
*--In Karakorum, Moengke-khan allowed Rubruck to offer mass and other spiritual services to Catholic and Orthodox subjects of the khan. Rubruck took part in great religious debates between Buddhists, Muslims and Nestorian Christians, sponsored by the delighted and curious khan himself. The khan said to Rubruck, "God has given you [Christians] the Scriptures and you do not obey them; whereas to us he has given soothsayers, and we do as they tell us and live at peace"
*--NB! suggestion that Moengke-khan still adhered to traditional animist paganism and had not joined the trend toward Islam among western Mongol leaders [ID]

*--Johan Elveskog, Buddhism and Islam on the Silk Road (2010)

<>1257:1266; Golden Horde | Berke-khan [Berkh-khan] issued an early decree on free trade [VSB,1:48-9]
*--As khan he made Islam the "official" religion of the Horde
*1258:Baghdad sacked by Golden Horde as Berke turned his swift armies against the Turks
*1260:Damascus taken by Golden Horde, but the Mongols stopped north of Jerusalem and backed off
*--In the more than century-long relief from Mongol power that followed, Ottoman Turkish power waxed strong

<>1270:Novgorod joined Hanseatic League and became trade mediator in NW Europe & Asia [LOOP]

<>1270s:Mongols backed away from their furthest incursions into the Baltic river drainages [ID]

<>1274 and, again, 1281:Japan defended itself against Mongol naval attack, stopping Mongol advance to east

<>1290:1312; Golden Horde power fragmented at the edges | Karakorum increasingly a ceremonial center
*1290s:Eurasia in the era of Marco Polo and the great empire of the Golden Horde -- [MAP]

<>1303:1325; Moscow grand prince Yurii III ruled with his Mongol bride, sister of the khan of the Golden Horde
*--After Kievan disintegration and Mongol destruction, two very different urban strongholds, representing two very different "Russias", rose in power and prominance = Novgorod and Moscow

<>1307:1316; Rashid al-Din [ID] and associates compiled "Compendium of Chronicles" [ID], an account of the Mongols after Chinggis-khan, especially the Il-Khanate [ID]. Rashid was an experienced and important statesman in the service of the Mongols, and he was a gifted historian and pundit

<>1312:1357; Forty-five years of final efforts at re-integration of Golden Horde
*--Uzbek-khan (-1342), followed by Djanibek-khan (-1357) restored power of Djuqi-Ulus and expanded territory of control

<>1328:1341; Moscow prince Ivan Danilovich ruled 14 years as Ivan I Kalita [Moneybag], first Muscovite grand prince [velikii kniaz'] [ID]
*1328:Moscow became Metropolitan See of Russian Orthodox Church. Church hierarchy worked to wean Moscow from Golden Horde and to reconnect with Byzantine heritage, or at least to rebalance the influence of these two powerful models [ID]

<>1341:1353; Moscow grand prince Semyon Ivanovich Gordyi [the proud] confirmed by the Golden Horde [ID]
*--Semyon sojourned with family five times in Sarai [ID]

<>1354:Ottoman Turkish power crossed the straits just south of the Byzantine imperial capital city Constantinople and entered Europe for the first time. It would take another century, but the end was in sight for the Byzantine Empire

<>1357:1380; Twenty-three years in which 25 khans ruled in Sarai [ID] =
(1) In the SW of Mongol power, Khorezm [Khwarezm-shakh] fell away from centralized control &
(2) In the W, Polish-Lithuanian dual monarchy moved into lower Dnepr basin
(3) And then in the NW =

<>1380:Kulikova fields | Moscow defeated Mongols | In same year at Kalka.R, Tokhtamysh defeated Mamai-khan

<>1380:1395; Tokhtamysh-khan stabilized declining Golden Horde | Attacked and burned Moscow to ground

<>1389:1425; Moscow grand prince Vasilii I reigned for 36 years after being put on throne by Mongol khan [ID]

<>1395:Golden Horde capital city Sarai [ID] burned to the ground when Tamerlane (Timur the Lame) defeated and seized the throne from Tokhtamysh-khan
*--Tamerlane turned all his energies to the SW [ID]
*1399:By this time large numbers of Mongols were fleeing chaos in their midst and settling in Russian lands [ID]

<>1409:prince Edigei of the Golden Horde warned Vasilii I about neglecting his obligations [ID]

<>1425:1462; Moscow grand prince Vasilii II Temnyi [Basil the Blind] reigned on and off for 37 years in tense relationship to Horde [ID]
*1425+:Siberian xanstvo [khan-rule] established
*1438:Nogai xanstvo formed, then Kazan xanstvo | Immediately Moscow was the target of a siege mounted by Kazan tsar Ulumakhmet [ID]
*1443:Crimean xanstvo [rule of Crimean Tatars] formed [ID]
*1453:Ottoman Turks captured Constantinople (“Istanbul” in Turkish) | END OF BYZANTIUM
*1460s:Kazakh, Uzbek & Astrakhan xanstva (pl.) formed

<>1462:1533; The 7-decade era of Ivan III "the Great" and Vasilii III [ID]
*1470:1474; Moscow Prince Ivan III defeated and absorbed Novgorod and its territories
*1480:Golden Horde weakened | Akhmat-khan tried without success to extract tribute from Moscow tsar Ivan III



Vaster territories =
Pontic Steppes
Inner-Asian Frontier
Anatolian Peninsula

Rivers (roughly east to west) =
Ili, Ural [Yaik], Volga, Don, Dnepr, Dnestr, Danube

Vital "sedentary" urban centers in the life of these "nomadic" Mongols (roughly east to west) =

Sarai (#1 & #2) [ID] (opening northward to Bolgar, Kazan, Nizhnii Novgorod and Novgorod)
Nizhnii Novgorod
Novgorod (with Baltic/North Sea Hanseatic contacts and mortal combat with Moscow  [CF=below])


Samarkand [ID] (opening southwestward to Baghdad & Damascus, southward to Herat)
Herat (in modern-day Afghanistan, on western frontier region with Iran)


Great "pools" =
Mediterranean, Black, Caspian. Aral seas, Lake Balkhash & Lake Baikal

Moving MAP illustrates Mongol expansion in Eurasia
MAP of the western and central passages on the great "Silk Road"

Novgorod and Moscow

SAC LOOP on the five great geo-political results of Mongol rule in Old Rus'






"Chingizid" royal lineage not unfamiliar, but absence of aristocracy was a distinctly "un-European" social twist
Merchants were a privileged class, also un-European
Military decimal system -- de-tribalization & implied ethnic egalitarianism but also social pulverization




(1) Mentalities = Theirs (Russians')

Some Films

(2) Mentalities = Ours (historians', yours and mine)

(in addition to those in SAC) =

*--Thomas Allsen, Commodity and exchange in the Mongol Empire : a cultural history of Islamic textiles
*---------------------, Mongol imperialism : the policies of the Grand Qan Möngke in China, Russia, and the Islamic lands, 1251-1259
*--Peter Jackson, Mongols and the West, 1221-1410 [SUMMIT]
*--David Morgan, et al., eds. The Mongol Empire and Its Legacy
*--The Turko-Tatar World [W]

*--Howorth, History of the Mongols [TXT]