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Chinggis Khan

Born in 1170s in decades following death of Kabul Khan; elected khagan of all MOngol tribes in 1206; responsible for conquest of northern kingdoms of China, territories as far west as the Abbasid regions; died in 1227 prior to conquest of most of the Islamic world.


Basic fighting units of the Mongol forces; consisted of 10,000 cavalrymen; each unit was further divided into units of 1000, 100 and 10.


Rulers of the Xi Xia kingdom of northwest china; one of the regional kingdoms during the period of Southern Song; conquered by Mongols in 1226.


Capital of the Mongol empire under Chinggis Khan, 1162 - 1227.

Shamanistic religion

Believed in spirits being both good and evil; shaman is a practitioner of this religion; religion of Chinggis Khan's ancestors.


Ruler of the "Golden Horde"; one of Chinggis Khan's grandsons; responsible for the invasion of Russia beginning in 1236.

Golden Horde

Mongol khanate founded by Genghis Khan's grandson Batu. It was based in southern Russia and quickly adopted both the Turkic language and Islam; also known as the Kipchak Horde.

Prester John

In legends popular from the 12th to 17th centuries, he was a mythical Christian monarch whose kingdom was cut off from Europe by Muslim conquests; Chinggis Khan was originally believed to be this ruler.

Ilkhan Khanate

Mongol khanate established by the Persians; one of the four descendent empires of the Mongol Empire; conquered much of the Abbasid empire.


Chingghis Khan's grandson; resumed Mongol expansion westward in a seond invasion in the 1250s.


Under the Islamic system of military slavery, Turkic military slaves who formed an important part of the armed forces of the Abbasid Caliphate of the ninth and tenth centuries. Mamluks eventually founded their own state, ruling Egypt and Syria.

Kubalai Khan

Grandson of Chinggis Khan; commander of Mongol forces responsible for conquest of China; became khagan in 1260 established sinicized Yuan Dynasty in China in 1271.


Mongol capital of Yuan dynasty; present-day Beijing.


A Christian sect found in Asia; tended to support Islamic invasions of this area in preference to Byzantine rule; cut off from Europe by Muslim invasions.

White Lotus Society

Secret religious society in china dedicated to overthrowing Yuan China; peasent resistance to Mongol rule.

Ju Yuanzhang

Chinese peasant who led successful revolt against the Yuan and founded the Ming Dynasty.


Member of a prominent family of the Mongols' Jagadai Khanate, Timur through conquest gained control over much of Central Asia and Iran. He consolidated the status of Sunni Islam as orthodox, and his descendants, the Timurids, maintained his empire.


Title for supreme ruler of all Mongol tribes.


Four divisions of the Mongol world - Chaghadai, Persia, Kipchak (Golden Horde), and Yuan dynasty in China.

Battle of Kulikova

Russian army victory over the forces of the Golden Horde; helped break Mongol hold over Russia.

Ming Dynasty

A major dynasty that ruled China from the mid-fourteenth to the mid-seventeenth century. It was marked by a great expansion of Chinese commerce into East Africa, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia.

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