Научная статья на тему 'Монголы в XIII-XIV веках и монгольское нашествие на Русь'

Монголы в XIII-XIV веках и монгольское нашествие на Русь Текст научной статьи по специальности «История и археология»

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МОНГОЛЫ / ЧИНГИСХАН / КИЕВСКАЯ РУСЬ / А. НЕВСКИЙ / ЗОЛОТАЯ ОРДА

Аннотация научной статьи по истории и археологии, автор научной работы — Вайссман М., Ярыгин А.А.

Данная статья является частью совместного курса лекций по истории России, который был прочитан профессором М. Вайсманом и профессором А. Ярыгиным осенью 2016 года на историческом факультете университета Колорадо Колорадо Спрингс, США. Статья посвящена истории возникновения и развития Монгольской империи в XIII-XIV веках, особенностям формирования монгольской империи, роли Чингисхана в объединении разрозненных монгольских улусов в единое централизованное государство. Особое внимание уделено нашествию монгол на Русь и отношениям Монгольской империи с европейскими государствами и папским престолом. В статье рассматривается общественный строй монгол той эпохи, основные направления их завоевательной политики, дается характеристика монгольской армии и ее наиболее видных военных лидеров. Значительное место уделено героическое сопротивление русских княжеств монгольскому нашествию и причины их поражения, которое прежде всего заключается в феодальной раздробленности на Руси и отсутствии единства в противостоянии с монголами. В статье также анализируется влияние монгольского нашествия на последующее развитие Русского государства. Рассматриваются попытки христианизации монгольской империи Римской католической церковью.

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Текст научной работы на тему «Монголы в XIII-XIV веках и монгольское нашествие на Русь»

УДК 94(517)»12/13»

МОНГОЛЫ В XIII-XIV ВЕКАХ И МОНГОЛЬСКОЕ НАШЕСТВИЕ НА РУСЬ М. Вайссман1, А. А. Ярыгин2

1Университет Колорадо Колорадо Спрингс, г. Колорадо Спрингс, США 2Марийский государственный университет, г. Йошкар-Ола

MONGOLS IN THE XIII-XIV CENTURIES AND MONGOLIAN INVASION OF RUS

12 M. Vaissman , A. A. Yarygin

1University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, Colorado Springs, USA 2Mari State University, Yoshkar-Ola

Данная статья является частью совместного курса лекций по истории России, который был прочитан профессором М. Вайсманом и профессором А. Ярыгиным осенью 2016 года на историческом факультете университета Колорадо Колорадо Спрингс, США. Статья посвящена истории возникновения и развития Монгольской империи в ХШ-ХГУ веках, особенностям формирования монгольской империи, роли Чингисхана в объединении разрозненных монгольских улусов в единое централизованное государство. Особое внимание уделено нашествию монгол на Русь и отношениям Монгольской империи с европейскими государствами и папским престолом. В статье рассматривается общественный строй монгол той эпохи, основные направления их завоевательной политики, дается характеристика монгольской армии и ее наиболее видных военных лидеров. Значительное место уделено героическое сопротивление русских княжеств монгольскому нашествию и причины их поражения, которое прежде всего заключается в феодальной раздробленности на Руси и отсутствии единства в противостоянии с монголами. В статье также анализируется влияние монгольского нашествия на последующее развитие Русского государства. Рассматриваются попытки христианизации монгольской империи Римской католической церковью.

Ключевые слова: монголы, Чингисхан, Киевская Русь, А. Невский, Золотая Орда.

This article is part of a joint course of lectures on the history of Russia that was read by Professor M. Wiseman and Professor A. Yarygin during the fall of 2016 at the history Department at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, USA. The article is devoted to the history and development of the Mongol Empire in the 13 th and 14th centuries, the peculiarities of the formation of the Mongol Empire, Genghis Khan's role in bringing together disparate Mongolian ulus into a single centralized state. Special attention is paid to the Mongol invasion of Rus and the relations of the Mongol Empire with the European States and the Papal Throne. The article discusses the social structure of the Mongols of that era, the main directions of their aggressive policy, gives characteristic of the Mongol army and its most prominent military leaders. Considerable space was devoted to the heroic resistance of the Russian principalities for the Mongol invasion and the reasons for their defeat, which primarily is the feudal fragmentation in Rus and the lack of unity in the confrontation with the Mongols. The article also analyses the impact of the Mongol invasion on the subsequent development of the Russian state. Also discusses the attempts of Christianization of the Mongolian Empire by the Roman Catholic Church.

Keywords: mongols, Genghis Khan, Kievan Rus, Alexander Nevsky, the Golden Horde.

One of the most vivid pages in the history of the Eurasian civilization is the formation and development of the Mongol Empire in the Xllth and XlVth centuries. In a short time Genghis Khan was able to create from disparate regions one of the largest and most powerful State in Eurasia in the Middle Ages. The Mongol Empire had a huge impact not only on

the fate of the actual Mongol peoples, but also on the development of many countries in Europe and Asia. It was a striking phenomenon in the world history.

The lack of written source material on the Mongols of the thirteenth century frustrates the scholar. There is the Secret History of the Mongols, a document that reflects more myth than substance, and therefore

© Вайссман М., Ярыгин А. А., 2017

of marginal historic significance. There are also the Yasa (laws) written during the life of Genghis Khan (Timujin) that are of value in the investigation of Mongol customs. How frustrating and challenging are the topics of the Eurasian steppes'. Foreign travelers, especially Muslim, have observed and recorded the behavior and history of Mongol expansion through the mideast and into Europe. The stories from these random travelers, all, of differing backgrounds, were uncommon people. All were entrenched in their own cultural clichés. All had their own peculiar agendas.

Among these men are 'Ala-as-Din 'Ata-Malik Juvaini and ibn Battutah. The papacy, with hopes of conversion, sent a mission to Mongolia led by the Franciscan John of Plano Carpini and William of Rubruck. Plano Carpini was a papal envoy, a sacred person of sorts, who probably received support from rulers nearby. As such, his treatment was majestic and he never talked about the "nitty gritty" of travel. William of Rubruck, on the other hand, as an envoy of the less important and definitely not as a sacral leader, the French king, "hassled" his way to the Mongol court.

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Just how much the Great Khan was aware of the sacral leadership in Europe and its claims to universal rule over lay rulers may be indicated in Khan Guyuk's response to the Bull of Innocent IV in 1245. In the Khan's response he informs the Pope that he awaits his arrival to kowtow and serve him. (Ah well, so much for understanding). The Chronicles of the English Benedictine Monk Matthew Paris recount tales of Mongol fury. Other contemporary accounts of Mongol culture are in the travel chronicles of Ata-Malik Juvaini, Ibn Battutah and Rabbi Petachia of Ratisbon. In his travels, Rabbi Petachia observed Mongol culture. Unfortunately, there is little in these accounts or those of others that furnish new avenues of study. Mongols, he observed, live in tents made of horse hide, they eat raw meat warmed between saddle and horse, drink mares' milk (indicating lactose intolerance), and are excellent bowmen, "bringing down birds whilst on the wing. " While such accounts are of interest, they relay the same events, whether war or more peaceful visits to Mongol centers. Their lands are in the steppe where "all is level". They eat no bread [hard to accept] .. .but rice and millet boiled in milk. There area includes the Black Sea and Ukraine. The Rabbi's travels among the Mongols and Slavs included the Crimea, the Dnieper, and its tributaries, the Putrid Sea, and Armenia1.

1 Jewish Travellers in the Middle Ages, ed. by Elkan N. Adler. Account of Rabbi Petachia of Ratisbon (New York: Dover Publications Inc., 1987), pp. 64-65. Hereafter cited as Jewish Travellers.

We would be somewhat remiss if the Roman historian Ammianus Marcellinus was not investigated when describing, not the Mongols, but the Huns of the fourth century. They are nomadic and crude to the extreme, dwell in the open without even crude huts, vicious in battle, and excellent with the bow. According to Marcellinus, they cannot be trusted and, as with the Mongols in the future, will turn upon those who thought them allies. The Huns' appetite for gold and the possessions of others is unquenchable and thus the marauding within Asia and into the Roman Empire.

There are some similarities to the Mongols of the future, but aside from horsemanship, viciousness in war, expertise with the bow and reliance upon the horse, there seems little else for comparison. Their reliance on the horse is notable, as they seem physically attached to the animal. They will even sit female style and so relieve themselves. They sleep and do all business from the back of their horses.2 Mongolia in the thirteenth century - and now - is a vast territory with few inhabitants. Over the centuries little has changed. The land encouraged a pastoralist society. In the thirteenth century it is estimated that the population ranged between 700,000 and one million.

A major primary source that describes Mongol expansion is that of Ata-Malik Juvaini. A keen observer of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, we might anticipate much from Juvaini. Here is the primary source of a contemporary viewing the Mongol onslaught. Surely there would be insightful commentary and information concerning their appearance and irresistible expansion into Russia. We are met with disappointment as Juvaini only comments on the Rus without significant detail. The Rus were a side issue as the real significance lay in the civilized world of the Fertile Crescent, the Islamic world. John of Plano Carpini noted some years later, that at the court of the Khan "we saw the Grand Duke of Russia, the son of the King of Georgia, numerous sultans, and other great lords, but to none of them was paid any particular respect..."3 Carpini proceeds to note that They are quickly roused to anger with other people. no truth is to be found among them. they get around everyone with their cunning. They are exceedingly grasping and avaricious ... They consider the slaughter of other people as nothing. Their food consists of everything that

2 Ammianus Marcellinus, The Later Roman Empire (A. D. 354-378). Selected and translated by Walter Hamilton with an Introduction and Notes by Andrew Wallace-Hadrill (England: Penguin Books, 1986), book 31, 2-3 pp. 411-415.

3 Michael Prawdin, The Mongol Empire and its Rise and Legacy, with new introduction by Gerard Challand (London: Aldine Transaction, 2010), 87. Hereafter cited as Prawdin, Mongol Empire.

can be eaten... They do not wash their clothes... They drink mares' milk. The men to no make anything at all, with the exception of arrows... they are all, big or little, excellent archers..

Unfortunately, modern scholarship does little to add to the reports of contemporaries of the thirteenth century. Studying the Mongol expansion, there are many hypotheses, assumptions, and possibilities, while there are too few conclusions. In the beginning of the thirteenth century there rose to leadership a remarkable man; Genghis Khan. We know that the Mongols were comprised of pastoralists who followed their flocks and horses as they moved in search of pasturage. If there had been no Genghis Khan, a man of brilliant leadership and organization, the Mongols would receive little attention, other than as another tribe of the steppes.

Initially there was nothing unique about Temujin. as he bore the same racial heritage as other Turkish nomads. Their religion was animistic, relying on the interpretations of shamans. Temujin and his tribe, rather than succumb to the aggression of other tribes, moved first, defeated them and absorbed them into his growing army. His success in acquiring treasure, and pasturage for thousands of horses, led to increased prestige as "victories bred in him [Temujin] an ambition for conquest which, as always with nomads, scorned political frontiers."2

The impact of the explosion of pastoralists from the steppes of central Asia rippled across the Eurasian continent. The planned and deliberate movement of the Mongols westward caused anxiety long before their appearance. They cut a destructive path from Korea, in the east, to the plains of Hungary in the west. The Mongols, however, noted the value of commerce. The Pax Mongolica (Mongol peace) ensured the safe travel of merchants and their goods throughout their empire. Travelling through Syria, Ibn Battutah commented that travel and accommodations along his route were well maintained. "At each of these [post stations] there is a hostelry. where travelers alight. and outside. is a public watering place and a shop at which the traveler may buy what he requires."3 Battutah also noted that passports were essential in traveling to Egypt and from there to Syria. In his travels, Battutah came to Sarai. He commented that a day's march from "al Sara"

1 John of Plano Carpini, in Brundage, Crusades, pp. 255-257.

2 Claude Cahen, "The Mongols and the Near East" in A History of the Crusades, edited by R. L. Wolff and H. W. Hazard (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1969), II, p. 716. Hereafter cited as Cahen, "The Mongols and the Near East."

3 The Travels of Ibn Battutah, abridged, introduced and annotated by Tim Macintosh-Smith (London: Picador, 1988), p. 25.

"are the mountains of the Rus.they have red hair, blue eyes, and ugly faces, and are treacherous folk. " The Christianity of the Rus is a factor in Battutah's opinion.4 This was the land of "infidelity. " The city of Sarai was impressive, "of boundless size, situated in a plain, choked with the throng of its inhabitants, and possessing good bazaars and broad streets."5

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We are here more concerned with the effect of the Mongol attack and control of Russia where they remained unchallenged for the better part of 270 years: the Mongol Yoke. Good leadership seeks out and acknowledges the exceptional, and utilizes them for mutual objectives. For Genghis Khan, this was the brilliant tactician Subotai. His military genius ranks him among the greatest military leaders of history. Richard Gabriel considers Subotai the equal of Julius Caesar.6

When it comes to Genghis Khan, «formidable opponent» would be an understatement. He was an unlettered man who brought unity and purpose to the people of the great plains of central Asia. He believed that victory was proof of the protection of the gods. How often throughout history have we encountered those whose actions were justified by divine approval? "If you wish me to be your ruler, are you without exception ready and resolved to fulfill all my behests, to come when I summon you; to go whithersoever I send you; and to put to death whomsoever I may indicate?"7 Genghis, hearing the roar of approval, said, "henceforward, then, my simple word shall be my sword."8

What of the Mongol warrior? Hardy, broad shouldered, elongated torso except for short bowed legs. This latter condition was his life on horseback, as from a very early age he rode, slept, and ate on horseback. Maco Polo, in his Travels described the Mongol diet, one high in protein, thus ensuring a warrior of resiliency and stamina, as the world of central Asia, China, and Russia were to discover to their regret.9 Richard Hakluyt observed that the "Tartars never ride without their bow, arrows, and sword.and they are good archers both on horseback, and on foot also.Bread they have none, for they neither till nor sow; they be great devourers of flesh.Their chief drink is mares milk soured."10

4 Battutah, Travels, p. 129.

5 Battutah, Travels, p. 136

6 Thomas Craughwell, The Rise and Fall of the Second Largest Empire in History (New York: Crestline, 2013), p. 114. Hereafter cited as Craughwell, Rise and Fall.

7 Prawdin, Mongol Empire, p. 85.

8 Prawdin, Mongol Empire, p. 85.

9Thomas T. Allen, Culture and Conquest in Mongol Eurasia (England: Cambridge University Press, 2001), pp. 127-128.

10 Richard Hakluyt, Voyages and Discoveries, edited, abridged and introduced by Jack Beeching (London: Penguin Books, 1972), p. 82.

The world of the thirteenth century had never been confronted with warriors possessing the skills so carefully honed by the Mongols. Nurtured by the great distances of Central Asia, the reliance upon the horse was essential. For Mongol horsemen to cover 80 to 90 miles a day was not out of the ordinary. In all conditions, however, the Mongols displayed their adaptability. The winter proved no barrier and thus no respite for the bickering Russian princes. Frozen rivers became highways and their Chinese engineers honed their new lord's knowledge of siege tactics, with exploding missiles, ballista's, mangonels, and catapults. The Chinese were also excellent bureaucrats, especially in establishing the census and intelligence gathering. In the army there were Chinese doctors assigned to units of 1000 warriors. It was the Chinese that introduced silk undershirts that protected against penetrating arrow wounds. As the undershirt would not tear, the arrow could be more easily extracted by gently pulling the shirt, allowing the arrow to come free.1 The tactic of feigned retreat served the Mongols well in encounters with greater forces. The personal relationship of each warrior to his group and commander ensured maximum effort in battle. Genghis' experience, gained in China, moved west along with Mongol attention.

Few natural barriers impose themselves on the vastness of the Eurasian land mass. The only hills of any significance lie north of present-day Afghanistan. These are the Urals, a long ridge of low hills, few over some hundreds of feet that run north-south. They are, therefore, of little effect as a deterrent to movement east/west or the reverse. To the north are the Baltic Sea, Arctic Ocean, White Sea and Scandinavia. In the moderate south, fed by the Danube, Dnieper and Don, is the Black Sea. Within these water systems, the Baltic to the Black Sea, the Urals to the gates of Western Europe, is Russia. Fed by the mighty Volga River and situated east of the Black Sea is the Caspian Sea. The Volga begins in the north and winds its way south and east-ward leaving the forest region flowing across the steppes of grassland and into the Caspian.

As in Western Europe, the Slavic lands that became Russia have likewise been subjected to foreign invasions. The area of southern Russia, the Caucasus and Crimea, witnessed the incursions of Huns, Avars, and Pechenegs. Then in the thirteenth century, Russia was traumatized by the devastating attack of another eastern horde, the Mongols or Tatars. Between 1240 and 1480, the vast territory of Russia was controlled by these Asiatic people. Their control

1 Craughwell, Rise and Fall. 145.

extended over a territory from the Irtysh in the east, the Danube in the west, and from Novgorod in the north, to the Caucasus and Crimea in the south. The major capital of the Mongols lay to the east in Karakorum on the Orkhon River south of Lake Baikal in Mongolia. The area of Russia, however, was controlled from the city of Sarai, the capitol of the Golden Horde initially governed by the grandsons of Genghis Khan Batu and Juchi. The Mongol attack in the thirteenth century left devastation and havoc in its path. Cities, palaces, and churches were completely razed. Countless thousands of men, women and children were either butchered or carried into slavery, to serve their new masters as labor or in the army. For the Mongols, expansion into Slavic Europe meant territory that could be exploited for its natural resources but not as an area for colonization.2 By the time Genghis Khan turned his attention to the West his military skills had sharpened. Added to his armies fighting were siege machines. Chinese engineers had introduced the ballista and mangonel, siege towers, and exploding bombs. City walls could not withstand such whirlwinds of destruction, nor could mounted warriors compete with the Mongol light and heavy cavalry.

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That the Russians considered either defense or withdrawal an option to submission is a moot point. The Mongols moved into and through the Crimea, across the Dnieper and Dniester, into the Black Sea, where to the north lay Russia. Before the onslaught, the uprooted searched for protection bringing to the Byzantine emperor warning of the "devil's spawn." The uprooted were the Cumans, of similar racial makeup to the Mongols. In the Russian principalities there was alarm as Mstislav of Halicz called his fellow princes to meet at Kiev. The Cumans had never been a friend to the Russians but circumstances brought them begging for protection and alliance. At the Battle of the Kalka River the Mongol advance guard led by Jebe and Subotai destroyed first the Cumans and then the Russians. Subotai, however, had not been directed by the Khan to attack the Russians. His force represented a scouting expedition and not an invasion. Duly following those directives, he withdrew into the steppes.3

At the Kalka River on 31 May 1223, Subotai and Jebe destroyed multi-led separate armies of Russians and Cumans. The Mongols noted that the Russians had no center of command but rather each prince led

2 Charles J. Halperin, Russia and the Golden Horde, the Mongol Impact on Medieval Russian History (Indiana University Press: loomington, 1985), pp. 7, 20. Hereafter cited as Halperin, Golden Horde.

3 Prawdin, Mongol Empire, p. 217.

his own army. Princes of Kiev, Suzdal, Kursk, Vladimir and others attacked to no effect. The Russian army fled and while figures in chronicles are never fully reliable, we can believe that tens of thousands fell before the Mongol attack.1 The Russians, as so many others, were ill matched against the Mongols. It was 1223 and the loss was written off as yet another raid from the steppes. After the battle at the Kalka River the Mongols withdrew into the steppes. Their foray had been a reconnaissance probe and the valuable information thus gathered would serve them well in the future. The Mongols withdrew and the Russians considered the threat to be over, and they could return to their own warfare. Little did they know what awaited them within a mere decade!

This, however, was not the time for a major Mongol offensive, and Subotai and Jebe had not been given instructions to pursue a major attack; that would come in the future. 2 At the Kalka the combined force of Russians and Cumans outnumbered the Mongols ten to one. This did not deter Subotai and Jebe. Using the tactic of controlled withdrawal, the Russian/Cuman army was drawn deeper into the Steppes, a terrain familiar and comfortable for the Mongols. The Russian/Cuman army continued to pursue and finally by 31 May 1223, battle took place. In some ways this battle was forced upon the Mongols as their instructions were to scout Russia while moving against the Bulgars and into the plains of Hungary. The size of the Russian/Cuman army made it impossible to avoid battle. This army was comprised of separate armies led by Mistislav the Daring, Prince of Galicia, princes of Kursk and Chernigov, Grand Prince Mstislav Romanovich of Kiev, and Yuri, Duke of Suzdal.

The Russian attack was disordered, as each prince sought individual glory. None received any, however, as they were all severely defeated. With perfect timing and coordination, the Mongols turned on their pursuers and unleashed a storm of arrows. Quickly deserted by the Cumans, the result for the Russians was a foregone conclusion.3, 4 The Mongols, having successfully studied the terrain of Russia, came in force in 1236-1237. The Mongols now

1 The Chronicle of Henry of Livonia, translation with introduction and notes by James A. Brundage (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1961), p. 205. Hereafter cited as Chronicle of Henry of Livonia.

2 Timothy May, The Mongol Art of War (Pennsylvania: Westholme Publishing, 2007), pp. 128-130. Hereafter cited as May, Art of War.

3 W. B. Bartlett, The Mongols From Genghis Khan To Tamerlane (England: Amberley Publishing, 2010), pp. 80-81.

4 Cameron White, Genghis Khan (Make Profits East, 2015),

p. 101. Stephen Turnbull. Mongol Warrior, 1200-1350 (New

York: Osprey Publishing, 2003), pp. 46-47.

moved towards the West under the generalship of Batu and Subutai. Resistance meant destruction as witness in the squalid remains of Riazin (1237), Suzdal (1238), Chernigov (1239), Yaroslav and Tver, Novgorod (1240). In the thirteenth century, Franciscans John of Plano Carpini and William of Rubruque traveled into the vastness of the Orient to observe and report on the activities of the Mongols. They endured exhausting physical hardships and wrote of their experiences in the land of the Mongols. Their accounts furnish a glimpse of the Mongols' court etiquette and culture.

Describing Mongol behavior, Plano Carpini initially outlined their positive characteristics. It is to be expected that the evidence of what is positive is limited. "Fights, brawls, wounding, murder are never met with among them. Nor are robbers and thieves...They show considerable respect to each other.share their food.On horseback they endure great cold and they also put up with excessive

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heat."5

There is an interesting source that describes the violence in the Baltic and Slavic lands that would soon be visited by the Mongols. The Chronicle of Henry of Livonia, translation with introduction and notes by James A. Brundage, details the rigors of life in the Slavic, German and Scandinavian lands. Henry's accounts follow a set pattern of vivid description of the living conditions for peoples of the east. As an example, one that holds true throughout the Chronicle and is as applicable to the behavior of the Mongols. "The Brothers of the Militia [German]. built up all the forts and fortified them strongly. The Ungannians [Estonians?]. went with an army in the very deep snow of mid-winter. They passed by Wierland, crossed the Narva, pillaged the neighboring land, and brought back captives and loot. They struck the Ingarians [Hungarians] an extremely great blow, killing the men and many people and capturing many of both species. They slaughtered sheep and cattle and many flocks which they could not take away with them.6 In the midst of the bickering and violence, Henry pauses to inform us that "here come the Mongol." This was a danger insufficiently noted by Russia's kings. "Word went out through all of Russia that they should fight against the Tatars [Mongols]. For Russia, as for so many others, there would be neither respite nor escape. The Russians were not strong enough."

Established empires fell. As an example, 1231 witnessed the end of the state that was Khwarazm.

5 John of Plano Carpini, in Brundage, Crusades, pp. 254-255.

6 Chronicle of Henry of Livonia, p. 204.

Before the Mongols. As that wave approached the Russian lands the bickering princes had returned to their comfortable world of small military campaigns and bickering's. Their defeat of 1223 no longer appeared to concern them; it had been written off as just another raid from the steppes. Had they given proper weight to the Mongol threat, they might have noted the increased movement of displaced tribes from the steppes crossing into Rus. The Pecheneges / Cumans, even though enemies for many years, warned the Rus that a vicious horde was over the horizon. The future came in 1236 with Russia cowed within two years. After 1236 Russia's path was one never anticipated in their darkest imagination. The reconnaissance at the Kalka River became a full invasion with the return of the Mongols.

The Mongols returned in 1236 and life within the Slavic world would be traumatized beyond anticipation. A number of Mongol princes were directed to mobilize their armies and prepare for the campaigns. "The earth echoed and reverberated from the multitude of their armies." Bulgar fell and was despoiled where "they slew the people or led them captive."1

The Mongols were aware of conditions within Russia and decided to add that territory to its growing empire. At that time there was no Russian state, but a series of principalities with key centers in each. Russia in the thirteenth century was a fragmented series of princedoms with Kiev the one of greatest significance. Kiev was the lodestone, the ecclesiastical center that drew Russian princes in attempts to gain its throne. To that end there was continual fighting, such that blood on the field was worth more than that which bound family. Military historians Richard A. Gabriel and Donald W. Boorse Jr. estimate that between 1054 and 1224 civil war amongst Russian princes broke out on eighty-three occasions. Conditions were perfect for the Mongol strategy of divide and conquer. Aiding their advance were winter conditions that froze the rivers and provided access for Mongol cavalry. With spring the grasslands would furnish the fodder for the hundreds of thousands of horses. There was, therefore, nothing to obstruct Mongol plans.

Though the forests of Russia were not to the Mongols liking, they adapted to the topography, utilizing their hunting skills to surround forest areas and slowly tighten the circle until there was no escape. Estimates of the Mongol army are 50,000. They were led by senior commanders; the most

1 AtA-Malik Juvaini, The History of the World Conqueror, translated by John Andrew Boyle (Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1958), I, 269.

important being Subotai. As they advanced, the Russians seemed oblivious, as they did little to prepare, even with reports of horror. As the Mongol army advanced, it divided. One portion struck the Kipchak to the south. The other attacked Bulghar, a city and territory that promised a substantial bounty. The city was demolished without significant opposition.

The next step was to move onto the lands of the Rus. In preparation, Mongol commanders supplemented their troops, filing the ranks with conscripts until 120,000 were ready to advance. In December 1237, their war machine began to advance. Subotai's plan was cunning and simple. He intended to drive a wedge, isolating one area from the other and then turning his attention to each in separate campaigns.

On 16 December, the Mongols advanced on Ria-zin, a city located on the Oka River. Its prince Yuri, his family, and the citizens of the city were massacred. Riazin was an important defensive point in the south. Unfortunately, its princes were too busy quarreling with one another to be prepared for a major military encounter. The Mongols appeared before the walls, asked Riazin to surrender and pay tribute. This was refused, and the city was surrounded with a palisade from which the Mongols used their siege engines to deadly effect. Riazin fell, and we can only imagine the callous loss of life at the hands of the Mongols. There was a massacre: all residents of the city were butchered; none survived. This tactic of total destruction continued unabated through the Mongols' entire military campaigns against the Rus.

Next came Moscow. Its prince Yuri, sitting in Vladimir-Suzdal, sent his son Vsevelod to garrison the city. By January 1238 it was over and Moscow had a new overlord. Within a month Vladimir followed suit. In three months Russia was subdued. City after city fell to the Mongols, and resistance was met with massacre. Batu and Subotai had been delayed by Vladimir and the destruction of Torzhok. Novgorod, only by chance, was spared as the coming of spring saved the city from the Mongols. The land around the city became a swamp when the river Ilmen flooded its banks. The siege engines could not be deployed and the troops were hindered by the mud2.

In February 1239, Vladimir was attacked. Before the walls of the city, Prince Vladimir, the son of Yuri, was killed. The city fell the next day, a Sunday (a bad portent), to the Mongols. There was panic in the city as resistance crumbled. The magnates of the city, including the Grand Duchess with her children and grandchildren, fled to the Church and into the sacristy, choosing death over surrender. The Mongols saw

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2 May, Art of War, pp. 18-19.

them as trophies to be held for ransom and broke through the doors. Their victims refused, and so flammables were piled before the sacristy, and the family was consumed.

March came, and with it another major battle at the Sit River. Yuri, the prince of Vladimir, distraught at the loss of his family and city, joined battle. He had little choice as he was surrounded. A fierce engagement ensued, and the prince was killed. The armies, divided at the onset of the campaign, now rejoined and spent the early spring regaining their strength. Refitted and organized, the next objective of the Mongols was to take the south. The first city to stand in the way of their advance was fortified Kozelsk. The garrison successfully attacked the Mongol vanguard and enjoyed a pyrrhic victory. Enraged, the Mongols laid siege to the town. The battle raged for seven weeks. When the town was finally defeated, the Mongols went on a killing frenzy; nothing, no one remained alive.

We come to 1240, and the Mongol campaign was renewed with the prospect of the jewel to had: Kiev. Thirteenth-century Kiev was a city of wealth, beauty in architecture, and Byzantine-inspired churches. The governor of Kiev was Dimitri, a brave yet foolhardy man. The Mongols sent envoys demanding surrender. They were executed by Dimitri and by this act he guaranteed that the fight would be to the death; and it was. Bombardment destroyed walls and buildings as rubble filled the streets. The citizens were horrified as they realized and anticipated their fate. As in all previous attacks, the walls of Kiev were breached and the city suffered for it resistance. Many of the citizens had barricaded themselves in the Church of the Virgin. Unfortunately, the Virgin was unable to save them. The weight and numbers in the Church led to the collapse of the building. The Mongols appreciated Dimitri's bravery and he was spared; not so the city1.

Arriving before the walls of Moscow, at this time a town of meager value, the Mongols found that the garrison had fled. "The men of Moscow ran away having seen nothing."2 In January the walls were breached and all inside the city were slaughtered. The Novgorod Chronicle describes, in vivid details, the fall of Vladimir in February 1238. The brother of Vsevelod and Mystislav witnessed his death before the wall of the city. On February fourteenth the Mongols swarmed into the city, followed by indiscriminate mayhem. As stated earlier, Novgorod was

1 Bartlett, The Mongols From Genghis Khan To Tamerlane, pp. 105-112.

2 The Novgorod Chronicle c. 1275, in Craughwell, Rise and Fall.

saved, not by determined resistance, but a spring thaw that made movement toward the city too difficult. As luck would have it, Batu had paused on his way to Novgorod to destroy the town of Vladimir. During that respite for Novgorod, the ice on Lake Ilman melted, the lake flooded, and the area around Novgorod became a muddy swamp.

Proceeding to their summer quarters Batu, and Subatai passed close to the town of Kozelsk. The Mongol vanguard was attacked by Russian heavy cavalry. When the Mongol army reached the town it was besieged. It proved a vicious encounter as the town resisted for seven weeks and when the walls were finally breached there was house to house and street to street fighting. "The Mongols succumbed to a kind of killing frenzy; they exterminated every living thing in Kozelsk." Chronicles describe the death of the seven-year-old prince, Vasil, "drowned in the blood of his own people."3

In 1238 news of the horde coming from the East is noted in the Chronicle of Matthew Paris. The Mongols had a psychological impact far beyond Central Asia and Russia. Matthew describes them as large headed out of proportion to their bodies. They food is "raw flesh, and even on human beings."4, 5 A good monk, Matthew had a religious explanation for the appearance of the Tatars. They "are very numerous, and are believed to have been sent as a plague on mankind."6 '

The destruction of Russia's cities has been noted. Matthew was apprised of the current events of 1240 when Russia was cowed by the Tatars/Mongols. In 1240 "an immense horde of that detestable race of Satan, the Tartars, burst forth . like demons . overrunning the country, covering the face of the earth like locusts, they ravaged the eastern countries . The razed cities to the ground, burnt woods, pulled downs castles and massacred the citizens and husbandmen."7 Matthew, far to the West, nonetheless portrayed the tragedy being experienced in the East.

The Mongols established themselves at Sarai on the lower Volga River that became the capitol of the Golden Horde and the Great Khan's administrative center. The dynamics of court life at Sarai can be described as full of intrigue and fraught with assassination. Poison was one means of dealing with

3 Craughwell, Rise and Fall, p. 183.

4 Matthew Paris, English History, From the Year 1235-1273 (Bohn' s Libraries), I, 131. Hereafter cited as Paris, History.

5 David Christian, A History of Russia, Central Asia, and Mongolia (Australia: Blackwell, Publishing, 1998), I, 410-411. Hereafter cited as Christian, History, I.

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6 Paris, History, I, 131.

7 Paris, History, I, 312.

an imagined or real adversary. As an example: The Grand Duke of Suzdal was invited to the tent of the Great Khan's mother where she offered him food and drink. He died within a week "his whole body turned bluish-grey in a strange fashion."1 Thus, if you desired the lands of a conquered prince, an invitation to food and drink could mean death. An established practice of the Mongols during the period of the 270 years of the Yoke was to purposefully turn Russian princes against one another in order to keep them weak and not a threat to Sarai. Facilitating his control, the Khan established a vast bureaucracy headed by his sons, generals (noians) and the native princes of the territory.

For 270 years the land that became Russia was subjected to degrees of control under the Mongol Yoke. The term Mongol Yoke indicates excessive control, but evidence does not support this hypothesis. It would be foolish to contend that the Mongol presence in Russia was absent of control, coercion, and violence, either in fact or in threat. For the most part, however, the Mongols exacted their tribute through the Russian princes. From there were sent tax collectors, census takers, and warriors, if the Russians proved reluctant to pay and be counted. The Mongols likewise recognized their lack of skilled workers. Craftsmen were usually separated from others after capturing a fortified city. Young men were sent to learn Mongol fighting style, pretty girls were made slaves, and the rest were put to the sword. Having said this does not detract from the Mongol scourge to city and countryside. Many population centers never recovered from the trauma of Mongol domination. The Church, however, enjoyed an autonomy that was unique in its history. In return for prayers to ensure the health of the Khan's family, the Orthodox Church received a yarlyk granting a series of privileges that included exemption from the census, taxes, and military service2.

To Sarai came those competing for yarlyk, a warrant that indicated their position, or to explain their behavior. The visit could be rewarded or death. Those who competed most fiercely for the yarlyk were the princes of Russia. The stakes were extremely high as the loser was usually executed3. Exploiting the Russian prince's affinity for intrigue,

1 Dawson, The Mongol Mission (London: Sheed and Ward, 1955), p. 65. Hereafter cited as Dawson, Mission.

2 James Chambers, The Devil's Horsemen, The Mongol Invasion of Europe (Atheneum: New York, 1979), pp. 26-29, 32. Hereafter cited as Chambers, Horsemen.

3 J. J. Saunders, The History of the Mongol Conquests (University

of Pennsylvania Press: Philadelphia, 1971), pp. 82-84, 101.

Hereafter cited as Saunders, Conquests.

the Khan was able to keep to a minimum the use of his own officials. As an example: Mongol Khans, from the mid-thirteenth to the first third of the fifteenth century appointed 130 Russian princes as governors. As the Mongols followed the practice of hereditary succession, where office passed from father to son, they supported that principle when dealing with the many quarrels arising among their Russian subjects. The traditional family of the Rurikids had precedence with son inheriting from parent rather than the earlier tradition of lateral inheritance within a family. Hereditary succession became the norm within Russia because that corresponded to the Mongol principle of inheritance. Thus when dealing with the innumerable quarrels among and within families, the Mongols adhered to a practice that would be adopted by the Russians4. In this territory of the Golden Horde travel was by wagon and journeys could take months. Sarai controlled the Rus. A Russian prince summoned to Sarai could be summoned to his death. The hero Alexander Nevsky may have been poisoned at Sarai, dying along his return journey.

Matthew Paris provides an account of an Englishman at the Mongol court. It appears that this person had fled England because of his debts. His life was one of poor fortune and bad health. Fortune at last presented him an opportunity. He had a quick intellect and became conversant in the Mongol language. He was brought to the Mongol court where he flourished as an interpreter. At their court he reinforced the Mongol belief that the world was theirs to conquer. Matthew's commentary describes the Mongols as vicious beyond adequate description. Matthew did not personally witness what he described but his accounts are corroborated by Muslim, Russian, and Jewish sources. In point of fact Matthew's descriptions are in greater detail than those of immediate witness to Mongol behavior. "The Tatars [Mongols] are extremely duplicitous and untrustworthy in their promises. By these fictions, they prevailed on some simple kings to make a treaty with them, and grant them a free passage through their territories; the Tatars did not keep the treaty, and those princes perished for their trouble."5 Matthew is mightily annoyed at the "Black and White friars" [Franciscans and Dominicans] who are busy preaching a crusade rather than warn that the Mongols are the real menace. "Six Christian kingdoms have already been destroyed, and the same fate hangs over the others whilst the example of those

Halperin, Golden Horde, p. 26. 5 W. Rishanger (n. d.), I, 471-472. Hereafter cited as Paris, English History, I.

who have perished does not serve as a warning...we neglect our worst enemies at home.attack those who are harmless beyond the sea."1

What Matthew was referring to was the unfortunate quarrel between the papacy and the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick. This was a quarrel that would not be put aside, no matter the strength of the appeals. As a result of their inaction they "exhilarated the hearts of the Tartars, ay, of all pagans, and, moreover, of all the enemies of Christ, and made them increase their hopes." Matthew's appetite for visual descriptions never loses its energy. As the following years pass, our chronicler fills the parchment with ever more vivid accounts of cannibalism and pitiless destruction, all at the hands of the anti-Christ Mongols.

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A decade following the Mongol expansion into Russia, Hungary was falling victim to Mongol expansion. Once again Matthew Paris cites a letter from the dethroned King of Hungary to the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick. The King of Hungary asked for protection and against the Tatars. Frederick agreed to help, so long as success would oblige the King of Hungary to become a vassal. Matthew hypothesized that the Emperor may have connived in this matter, especially with a successful campaign against the Mongols2. A year later in 1241 the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick wrote to the English King expressing his concern for the future of Christianity. Frederick bemoans the fate of Christianity as being under great pressure from "Tartars [that have] lately emerged from. the south. for the ruin of the whole of Christianity."

To their great dismay, too many had discounted the threat from the east, and Europe followed that path. Finally, with reality intruding on fantasy the monarchs and Papacy began to take the threat seriously. The warnings had been many, as one after another, Hungary, Bulgar, Poland, Moravia, and Russia succumbed. The Mongol's campaign in Russia made clear that the in-fighting among the Russian princes was part of their undoing. "The diverse tendencies of the Russian princes . were too deeply rooted to be set aside even in so serious an emergen-

1 Paris, English History, I, 473.

2 Letter of the King of Hungary to Emperor Frederick, in Matthew Paris, English History, I, 489-490.

3 David Morgan, The Mongols (Australia: Blackwell Publishing, 2007), p. 121. Hereafter cited as Morgan, Mongols.

4 Edward Gibbon, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell and Company, 1845), V, 272-273.

5 A History of the Crusades, ed. by Kenneth M. Setton, Volume II, The Later Crusades, 1189-1311, ed. By Robert Lee Wolff

and Harry W. Hazard (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1969), 230. Hereafter cited as Setton et al, Later Crusades.

The crusading King of France, Louis XI, entertained a plan to ally with the Mongols against the Muslims. The plan was never realized as the two parties could not understand one another. The Tatars were interested in war and material gain while Louis hope to convert them to to deal with the Tatars. He should not be harshly criticized for ignorance of Oriental subtleties. To the Great Khan Guyuk the French were not submissive, while Louis was not about to accept a vassal's status. In the thirteenth century England, the Benedictine Monk Matthew Paris of St. Albans commented about the Tatars. In his Chronicle, Matthew notes the scourge from the east. Sin has led God to remonstrate against those "believers" seduced by sin. In the fourteenth century the Muslim traveler and commentator Ibn Battutah remarks at the destruction and of Mongol viciousness. The list goes on as in this world of the steppes many were the groups of indigenous people of similar ethnicity. There's was the ancient land of Scythia peopled by loose confederations of Turkish, Cumans, Kipchak, Pecheneges, Polovtsians, Mongols, Naimans, Tatars; to name a few. All lived within the vastness of Central Asia. These were the pastoralists that Bishop Otto of Freising observed that their land showed no evidence of plow. For the west they were all grouped together and identified as Tatars [Mongols].

In 1245, Pope Innocent IV chose the Portuguese Lawrence and John of Plano Carpini to travel to Mongolia. The journey was arduous as the rotund John, upon meeting the Mongols, was made to ride day after day into the vastness of the East. The challenges of his journey would make the American Pony Express uneventful by comparison. Innocent chose John because of his knowledge of Scripture and his years following the monastic regula. At the age of sixty-five, lacking in knowledge of oriental languages and bolstered by his faith, he began his demanding journey. The Pope hoped that John would be successful in missionary activity and interest the Mongols in Christianity.6 They endured exhausting physical hardships and wrote of their experiences in the land of the Tatars. Their accounts furnish a glimpse of the Mongols' court etiquette and culture.

As the crusading states were under constant pressure from Islam, so was Islam under pressure from the Mongols. The shrinking fortunes of the Crusades coupled with reports of Mongol viciousness caused Innocent IV to issue a Bull to the "emperor of the Tatars." From the tone of the Bull, it is apparent that

6 Halperin, Golden Horde, pp. 84-86, 87.

Innocent failed to understand this irresistible force from the East. This is not to be critical of the Pope, as the knowledge of geography and other cultures was in its infancy. The Pope noted that he expects the Tatars "furnishing them with a safe conduct.on both their outward and return journey."1 The Bull indicates some effort to understand who and what represented this menace. How can the European community grasp "fury still unabated. stretching out your destroying hand. breaking the bond of natural ties, sparing neither sex, nor age, you rage against all."2 If this was "diplomacy," it was not a success, as peace was never an option; witness the continued expansion of the Mongols.

The Khan Guyuk responded with a command to the Pope. "Thou thyself, at the head of all the princes, come at once to serve and wait upon us! At that time I shall recognize your submission."3 And so goes diplomacy, as the Mongols continued their military expansion.

Europe's crusading zeal had met with limited success, and by the thirteenth century it appeared predictable that the Crusading states would fall to Islam. The crusading spirit however, continued to be voiced from the pulpits of St. Peters and the lure of gain under the protection of the cross was a powerful stimulus. There again rode a dark beast that destroyed fortresses thought impenetrable. There was no respite from the Mongol armies.

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Europe was beleaguered and only a miracle could be its rescue. Mongol scouting parties were seen in the north of Italy while Hungary and Georgia were over run. A rumor that a grandson of the mysterious Prester John, David, would come out of the East to lend support to Europe, was no more than a myth. Still, the myth had great staying appeal for those whose reality lay in dreams.

In the twelfth century there were declarations by Jacques de Vitry, bishop of Ptolemais, that "a new and mighty protector of Christianity has arisen. King David of India, at the head of an army of unparalled size, has taken the field against the unbelievers." Those who listened to de Vitry wanted to believe that there was a King David, and that this remarkable personage was just over the horizon. This wondrous king would rebuild the walls of Jerusalem and Christian prisoners would be released4.

Prester John, the fabulous monarch residing somewhere in the east, was believed on his way to

aid and succor the bickering Latin crusaders. "We saw there at that time the aforesaid Bishop in Jabala Syria. He said, indeed, that not many years since, one John, and king and priest living in the Far East, beyond Persia and Armenia, and who, with his people, is a Christian, but a Nestorian, had warred upon the so-called Samiards" Samiards may refer to the Seljuk Sultan Sanjar5.

When faith is placed in miracles, divine intervention, and fantasy, we are dealing with loosely raveled cloth. Europe awaited the appearance of this deliverer and his army. Where could they be? Reports circulated that they were encamped between the Caspian Sea and Mesopotamia. "But if they were there, they failed to come to the aid of the crusad-ers."6 The King of Hungary, Duke Leopold of Austria was the first to return to Europe while those remaining saw the possibility of plunder in Egypt. Offers of peace from the Muslims were reflected; in part because of the expectation of the great army from the east. Crusaders expended their energies in plunder only to find themselves besieged and defeated; no army from the east made its appearance, other than the Mongols7. "There was no new and mighty protector of Christianity. There was no King David of India, at the head of an army of unparalleled size, has taken the field against the unbelievers."8 Some versions of the tale have Prester John and David being the same person. This becomes a stretch to accept as Prester John/David would be a hundred years old. Where there is hope, belief supersedes reason and logic9.

European accounts of the Mongols describe carnage and massive loss of life. The Middle East, China and Europe, neither could have anticipated nor prepared for the Mongol attacks. In some respects it would have been remarkable if Europe could have effectively responded. The Latin Empire of Constantinople was a shadow of it previous majesty. The Mongols targeted Hungary, while the papacy quarreled with the Hohenstaufen's. With this the situation there could be little effective military campaign against the Mongols10.

It was not until the fourteenth century that the power of the Golden Horde began to display signs

1 Bull of Innocent IV dated 1245 in Dawson,Mission, pp. 73-75.

2 Bull of Innocent IV dated 1245, in Dawson, Mission, pp. 75-76.

3 Guyuk Khan's reply to Pope Innocent IV, in Dawson, Mission, pp. 85-86.

4 Jacques de Vitry in Prawdin, Mongol Empire, p. 15.

James Brundage, The Crusades, A Documentary Survey (Milwaukee: Marquette University Press, 1962), pp. 83, 85. Sanjar was defeated 9 September 1141 by Gur-Khan of Qara Kithay, Yeh-lu Ta Shih with whom Prester John has been identified by Charles E. Nowell.

6 Prawdin, The Mongol Empire, p. 17.

7 Dawson,Mission, p. 22.

8 Jacques de Vitry in Prawdin, Mongol Empire, p. 15.

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9 Morgan, Mongols, p. 155.

10 Setton et al, Later Crusades, 220.

of weakness. From the reign of Prince Ivan I (1325-1341): Kalita (money bag), to Ivan IV (1547-1584) (Grozny), Mongols were replaced by Russian officials, and Muscovy's autonomy and power increased. As an example, Ivan I, with no Mongol interference, established an army and coerced other princes in northeastern Russia to acknowledge his authority1.

In the mid-fourteenth century, the Golden Horde experienced internal power struggles that further weakened its hold on Russia. In 1380, the Khan Mamai's army was defeated at Kulikovo by Dimitrii Donskoi; it is this event that marks Russia's first success in the struggle to free itself from the "Mongol Yoke." True, the Mongols returned to pillaged and burn Moscow, but their iron control of the Slavic lands had begun to erode. By the first half of the fifteenth century, the Golden Horde had fragmented into seven independent khanates. As the khanates struggled to assert their authority, the ensuing competition for power enabled Moscow to gain increased autonomy, finally ending Mongol control by 1480. Moscow's future would be secured as it absorbed those territories previously controlled by Sarai. As Charles J. Halperin observes: "Though the Mongols had sought above all to prevent the emergence of a single Russian principality strong enough to seriously annoy the Golden Horde, in the end they helped to produce one."2

To what extent the Yoke of the Mongols influenced the history of Russia has been a hot-button topic debated by historians, especially in the twentieth century. Mongol interest concentrated upon exploiting the resources of their conquered territory rather than attempting to assimilate with the indigenous population. Much of Russia's cultural and religious foundation remained, therefore, essentially unaffected. "Muscovite borrowing of Mongol political forms was significant but not wholesale, with profound but not permanent effects on Russian history."3

Two schools of Russian historians dominate the debate on the Mongol legacy in Russia. Lev Gumilev, Professor of Geography and History at the University of St. Petersburg argues, as does George Vernadsky, that the Mongols had both a positive as well as negative impact upon the development of Russia. Professor Gumilev hypothesized that the Mongol period encouraged Russian national consciousness and

1 Halperin, Golden Horde, pp. 61-62, 66, 77. Chambers, Horsemen, pp. 36, 125-126.

2 Halperin, Golden Horde, pp. 145-146. Saunders, Conquests, pp. 105, 161.

3 Halperin, Golden Horde, pp. 100-101. Saunders, Conquests, pp. 165, 166.

strengthened religious institutions. Other schools of Russian and Soviet historians led by Grekov and Rybakov were of the opinion that Russia, ill-prepared and lacking organization, was an easy target for Mongol expansion. The most balanced and clear analysis is that of Charles J. Halperin who points out the effect of the Mongols upon Russia. "The tenacious picture of Russian existence as part of the Golden Horde that has survived is the one that medieval Russian intellectuals could reconcile with Christian ideology-a simplistic vision of brutal oppression and bitter resistance."4 Ignorance and national sentiment has clouded the mosaic of the relationship between the Horde and Russia. Halperin is of the opinion that Russian chroniclers chose to remain silent when addressing the Mongol presence. This becomes increasingly evident following the Mongols' conversion to Islam in 1340, as that made them the implacable enemy, the Hagarenes or Ismai-lites. This silence of the chroniclers lulled future historians into taking them at face value, concluding that the Mongols had either a negative or, at best, a marginal effect upon Russia. This is far removed from the reality of the situation as there was much interaction that was not conflict. There is evidence of intermarriage as well as diplomatic and economic ties between the various Russian princes and the Mongols. Russians who desired to do business with Sarai or Karakorum in Mongolia learned court etiquette, Turkic, and the intricacies of Tatar diplomacy5.

It is challenging to attempt to measure the impact of the Mongols upon the development of Russia. During the period of their dominance of over two centuries they converted to Islam. They sent baskaki (officials) throughout their conquered territory to oversee the organization of taxes and the taking of chislo (census) to ensure the proper levies. The Mongols seem to have abandoned the baskak system sometime in the fourteenth century, replacing them with envoys with the same responsibilities. This modification decreased the administrative costs of the Golden Horde6.

As often as not, the Mongols were active participants in the internal machinations of various Russian princes as they vied with one another for office. Mongol cavalry served as auxiliaries in many a family or dynastic feud acting to keep any one prince from becoming too strong.

It was also a reverse effect, especially after the decline of the Golden Horde, the autonomous part of

4 Halperin, Golden Horde, p. 90.

5 Halperin, Golden Horde, p. 103. Saunders, Conquests, pp. 168-169.

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6 Halperin, Golden Horde, p. 128.

the once mighty Mongol Empire. Many members of the Tatars nobility leaved the Sarai for the military service primarily to the Moscow princes and gave rise to many Russian feudal families. So in 1445 oc-

curs the Kasimov Kingdom within the Russian lands. But finally the "Mongol Yoke" ends in the period of Ivan III in the XV century. Moscow Russia finally becomes an independent state.

Для цитирования: Вайссман М., Ярыгин А. А. Монголы в XIII-XIV веках и монгольское нашествие на Русь // Вестник Марийского государственного университета. Серия «Исторические науки. Юридические науки». 2017. № 3 (11). С. 61-72.

Citation for an article: Vaissman M., Yarygin A. A. Mongols in the XIII-XIV centuries and Mongolian invasion of Rus. Vestnik of the Mari State University. Chapter "History. Law". 2017, no. 3 (11), pp. 61-72.

Вайссман М, Рк D., профессор кафедры истории, университет Колорадо Колорадо Спрингс, г. Колорадо Спрингс, США, mweissma@uccs. edu

Ярыгин Андрей Андреевич, кандидат исторических наук, доцент, Марийский государственный университет, г. Йошкар-Ола, andreiyarygin@yandex. ги

Weissman M., Ph. D., lecture of the department of history, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, Colorado Springs, USA, mweissma@uccs. edu

Iarygin Andrei A., Ph. D. (History), associate professor, Mari State University, Yoshkar-Ola, andreiyarygin@yandex. ru

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