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Department of Social Anthropology


MIASU Seminar - Christopher Atwood (University of Pennsylvania)

Why the Mongol Conquests? Sources and Explanations of the 1211 Campaigns against North China

The Mongol conquest of North China was the beginning of the Mongol Empire. Its success laid the foundation of the empire; its failure would have made Chinggis (“Genghis Khan”) a mere footnote in history. Compared to the great campaigns in Central Asia or Eastern Europe, however, the origins and course of the Mongols’ almost quarter-century of warfare to finally conquer and subdue North China has been little studied. At the time of the first attack in 1211, North China was ruled by the Jin or “Golden” dynasty, founded about a century previously by the Jurchens, ancestors of the later Manchus. Chinggis Khan’s unification of Mongolia show that it grew out of a Jin frontier strategy gone awry and only slowly evolved into an all-out conquest, laying the foundation of the Mongol Empire.


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Tuesday, 9 February, 2021 - 16:30 to 18:00
Event location: 
Online - Zoom