In the 13th and 14th centuries, the Mongol horde exercised control over an unfathomably large empire, spanning thousands of miles from Europe to Russia, Central Asia, and the Middle East. History has often not looked kindly upon these nomadic civilizations, which has led to some major blindspots regarding astonishing achievements, explosive growth in trade, commerce, and communications, and even a certain level of resilience and tolerance of governing very different and often opposing groups.
Prof. Marie Favereau joins the Departures with Robert Amsterdam podcast this week to discuss her fascinating new book, “The Horde: How the Mongols Changed the World.”
As Favereau argues in her book, the Mongol empire had its own unique political regime, including a complex power-sharing arrangement among the khan and the nobility which rewarded the best administrators and diplomats and fostered an economic order that was mobile, organized, and innovative.
The success of this empire provided a early governance model for Russia, influenced social practice and state structure across Islamic cultures, and disseminated a sophisticated knowledge of nature across vast territories. This enjoyable conversation with Favereau will make you rethink past assumptions about the Mongol empire, and better understand how it influenced the world which followed.