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Searches for an Imaginary Kingdom

The trefoil of the Barrow

Lev Gumilev


sik03 3. Distribution of Religions in the Mid-Twelfth Century (168 KB)

9. Dealing with the Conquerors (1259-1312)

The Yellow Crusade

The next kuriltai of the Mongol people and troops took place on the green banks of the meandering upper reaches of the Onon in 1253 It was decided to complete the war in China, for which prince Kubilai was appointed, and to free Jerusalem from the Muslims, and this was entrusted to prince Hulegu

The selection of candidates for these most responsible operations seems surprising Kubilai's Christian sympathies were a secret to no one, [+104] but he was sent to a country where dominance over men's minds was divided between Confucians, Taoists and Buddhists Hulegu was an open worshipper of Maitreya, [+105] a mystical trend in Buddhism which was particularly patronised by the Mongol khans, [+106] and he was ordered to defend the Christian faith! One can imagine that Mongke, a skilful and intelligent politician, did not make these appointments by chance The phantom of secession by the borderlands had already begun to alarm the expanding Mongol Empire and it was extremely important that contact between a regent and his subjects should not be entirely complete A khan of another faith must always seek support from the central authority and this hindered his secession very much indeed Therefore, Kubilai received Kipchak and Alan troops to conquer the south Chinese empire, [+107] and Hulegu was accompanied by a retinue of Buddhist monks, Uighurs, Tibetans and Chinese, [+108] linked with their native lands and their sovereign, the great khan Mongke.

On the other hand, however, measures were taken to forestall a {195} possible defeat of the army as a result of lack of contact with the local population. Hulegu-khan's wife, the Kerait Dokuz-Qatun, was a Christian and a protectress of the Christians. The chief of staff, the Naiman Kit-Buka-noyan, was a fervent Nestorian and he chose his assistants from his co-religionists. Finally, Hetoum I, the king of Armenia Minor, who had personally been to Mongke's headquarters in 1253 and asked the khan to review seven articles of their treaty, allied himself to the Mongols. These articles are so curious that it is worthwhile to adduce them, though in brief. The king asked the khan (1) to be baptised with all his people; (2) to establish friendship between Christians and Tatars; (3) to free the clergy from taxes; (4) to return the Holy Land to the Christians; (5) to have done with the Caliph of Baghdad; (6) that, at the king's request, all the Tatar military commanders should without delay offer him help; (7) to return the lands formerly taken from the Armenians by the Muslims. Evidently the khan was weighing up the difficulties of the enterprise he had ventured on, because he agreed to the Armenian king's conditions and thus ensured himself of his active support. [+109] Moreover, Hetoum brought the Antioch prince Boemund, whom he had bound to himself by giving him his daughter in marriage, into the alliance with the Mongols.

The preparation of the military expedition was carried out exceedingly carefully. In order to preserve the pastures untouched, the nomad population was driven off from the army's route, pontoon bridges were constructed across rivers, provisions were prepared and a thousand specialists in machines for projectiles were summoned from China. [+110] The army moved without haste and only crossed to the left bank of the Amu Darya in January 1256. Then, at the end of 1257 it liquidated all the Ismaili fortresses in Iran and occupied Baghdad in February 1258.

The fall of Baghdad was taken by the eastern Christians as heavenly retribution on the oppressors for a century of humiliation and arbitrary rule. Dokuz-hatun's intercession was enough for Hulegu to forbid the killing and plundering of Christians of all creeds. The khan even gave the Nestorian Patriarch the Caliph's palace as his residence. This won for him the hearts of the Armenians and Syrians who, in the words of the Armenian historian {196} Kirakos, had languished under the Muslim yoke for 647 years. [+111] The Armenian Patriarch blessed the khan in his holy war and the king of Armenia Minor (Cilicia), Hetoum I, and his son-in-law the prince of Antioch, Boemund VI, united their forces with those of the Mongols. The road to Syria was open to the Mongols.

The Ayyubid sultans in Mesopotamia and Syria, despite their undoubted prowess, fell victims to the Mongol and Christian alliance. The descendants of the valorous Yusuf Sala ad-Din, who had taken Jerusalem from the Crusaders in 1187 and repulsed Richard the Lionheart in 1192, plundered the Kurds, but lacked the abilities of the founder of the dynasty and spent their time in internecine wars, even making alliances with the Crusaders against their co-religionists and relatives. Greater bitterness than ever was shown in this war, because the Mongols began to practise torture in executing prisoners, something that had not hitherto taken place. It looks as if they borrowed certain little-esteemed usages from their Near Eastern allies. The mosques in Aleppo, Damascus, Hama, Homs, Baniyas were burnt and the Christian churches decorated with trophies. The spring of 1259 found the Mongol force near Gaza. It seemed that the days of Islam's dominance were numbered.

New Enemies of the Christians

The last refuge of fervent Muslims in 1259 was Egypt where Sala ad-Din's descendants were considered the legal rulers, but, in fact, they had not been such for many years. Egypt was a rich country, but it was worse than useless to mobilise the fellahin or the Arab traders of the Cairo bazaar for war service. They paid their taxes to the sultan's treasury, but did not know how to fight and did not want to. Therefore, the Ayyubids bought prisoners of war in the Sudan and Crimea, taught them the art of war and used them for military service. As these slaves belonged to the state they were called Mamluks (state slaves).

The economic and social position of the Mamluks was incomparably higher than that of the free tax payers. They were organised and coherent and were the only real power in the land. They had conquered the enemies of Islam, the Crusaders, and it had been {197} they who made Louis IX throw himself on the mercy of the conqueror. But when it seemed to them that they were being badly led they took power into their own hands.

On 2 May 1250 the Mamluk Baybars stirred up his comrades and, taking the palace of the sultan Turan-shah, killed this stupid child. The Mamluks put a child on the throne, Kamil, on whose behalf the sultana Shejeret ad-durr ruled with the Turkmen Mamluk, Aibek, who became her husband. In 1257 the jealous sultansha poisoned her husband for infidelity, but the Mamluks put her in prison, and in 1259 another Mamluk, Kuttuz, ordered that allegiance be sworn to himself. [+112] This evoked not the least murmur, because it was clear to everyone in Egypt that only the Mamluks could save the country from the Mongols.

The Mamluks had personal accounts to settle with the Mongols. They had all in their time been taken prisoner by the Mongols and sold in the slave bazaars. They perceived their purchase almost as liberation, and this was quite right. In Egypt they encountered their fellow countrymen, Kipchaks, Cherkes, Turkmen who had only been sold earlier and had managed to set themselves up. These supported the new arrivals and together they cursed the Mongols who had deprived them of their homeland and freedom. Now, in 1259, the Mongols again threatened them ... and the Mamluks knew with what. Again to stand naked and fettered in the slave bazaar, to wait until you are bought and sent to dig irrigation ditches in the burning sun - this, perhaps, was worse than death in battle. Therefore, the Mamluks decided to fight to the last drop of blood, and they knew how to fight no worse than the Mongols themselves. They, too, were steppe dwellers like those who were attacking them, and the Kipchak Kuttuz and Baybars did not cede to the Naiman Kit-Buka in military talent.

The Mamluks had certain advantages in the impending encounter. As the base for their offensive, the wealth of Egypt was closer to Palestine than Iraq ruined by the war. The Mongol troops were tired from their campaign, while the Mamluks carefully prepared men and horses. The Syrian Muslims awaited the sultan Kuttuz as eagerly as a year before the Christians had awaited khan Hulegu. Finally, the Mamluks had an unexpected ally, while the {198} Mongols had two unenvisaged enimies. Thus, the balance of victory began to shift.

The Kingdom of Jerusalem lay on the right flank of the advancing Mongol army, it had lost the holy city, but retained the whole coastal belt with strong fortresses Tyre, Sidon and Acre Real power here lay with the Templars and Order of St. John, and control of the sea with the Venetians and Genoese. While the whole of Western Europe was rejoicing at the victories of the eastern Christians and comparing Hulegu and Dokuz-hatun with Constantine and Helena, the Crusader knights and monks declared that "if the Mongol devils come, they will find Christ's servants on the field ready for battle", [+113] and the Papal Legate excommunicated Boemund from the church for his alliance with the Mongols. [+114]

This was an open betrayal of the matter they had promised to pursue. But still more surprising, 600 years later a German historian justified the Crusaders" treachery, claiming that "it was clear to the knights that to struggle with the Turks with such barbarian allies was as much to drive out the devil by the power of Beelzebub". [+115] He does not even trouble to explain to himself why the steppe "barbarians" converted to Islam are dearer to him than the steppe dwellers who for two hundred years had professed the Christian faith! No, it is easier to understand the greed of the Venetians and the treachery of the Templars than the arrogance of the civilised. European for whom everything east of the Vistula is savagery and mediocrity. Yet it was this conception, accepted without proof, that satisfied the most active section of the medieval knights and merchants from the thirteenth century onwards. This was a serious misconception, but it played a decisive part in the events which took place in the second half of the thirteenth century.

The second unforeseen complication arose in Georgia. Until 1256 this country counted as an ulus of the Golden Horde, but on Batu's death it passed within the competence of the Ilkhan Hulegu. The population of Georgia had grown to 5 million, [+116] i.e. it almost equalled the population of Rus` at that time. The wounds inflicted by the Muslim Turks of Jalal ad-Din had been forgotten.

The Mongols considered the Georgians their natural allies and so {199} did not deprive them of self-government. Two Georgian kings called David (David Narin and Ulu David - Little and Big) sat simultaneously in Tbilisi, and Ulu David was married to a Mongol princess. Georgia was only liable to pay taxes (the Mongols themselves also paid a poll tax) and to participate in war with the Muslim, the age-old enemies of Georgia. Then, in 1259 the Georgians rebelled!

They did this without any due consideration. At first David Narin rebelled but, not having any success, he sacrificed his country to the enemy and took off to the mountain castles of Imeretia. Then Ulu David rebelled, was defeated and also fled, leaving his people to be punished. In 1262 he returned and begged forgiveness, and thus restored his original situation. The royal foolhardiness cost Georgia much blood and it was tragic for the Christian cause since the Mongols, instead of relying on the Georgian troops, expended their reserves on slaughtering them at the very moment when each man was precious in Palestine. Only the warlike Mamluks gained from this concatenation of circumstances.


In the autumn of 1259, in the heat of the Syrian campaign, Hulegu-khan was informed of the death of his brother, the supreme khan Mongke. In the Mongol Empire an interregnum always led to a halt in all affairs and demanded the personal presence of the Chinggisids at a kuriltai. Apart from that, Hulegu did not get on with Berke, a Muslim and enemy of the Nestorian church. Therefore, the Ilkhan hurriedly returned to Iran leaving only 20,000 troops in Palestine commanded by Kit-Buka-noyan. Then it started!

Julien count of Sidon, without cause or warning, fell on a Mongol patrol. Kit-Buka's nephew was among the dead. The infuriated Mongols slaughtered Sidon, and the Crusaders trumpeted Mongol ferocity to the whole world.

The Mamluk advance guard left Egypt on 26 July 1260 without the baggage train and passed the Sinai desert at a trot, destroyed a small Mongol covering force at Gaza and then entered the lands of the Franks and received the provisions necessary to the troops under the walls of Acre. There the Mamluks rested, regrouped and, passing through the territory of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, came into Galilee in the rear of the Mongol army. At Ain-Jalud on {200} 3 September 1260 the Mongol and Armenian force was smashed and Kit-Buka himself taken prisoner. The latter, a true paladin of the cross, bore himself extremely manfully. He asked no mercy, but accused the victorious Kuttuz of the murder of the legal sultan, contrasting Mongol fidelity to the crimes of the Mamluks. They cut off his head without delay.

Kuttuz marked his triumphant entry into Damascus by a slaughter of the Christians living there. Hulegu tried to help his allies and flung a new army into Syria which should have taken Aleppo, but a few days later was smashed by the Mamluks at Horns on 10 December 1260 and retreated beyond the Euphrates. This victory was won by the new Mamluk sultan, Baybars, who had just murdered his best friend and comrade, Kuttuz, in October of the same year, 1260, so rich in events. The conqueror of Kit-Buka outlived his prisoner by only two months.

Subsequent events followed like an avalanche which you can push or not push, but which you cannot stop. After betraying the Mongols and Armenians whom they did not allow to mount a counter-offensive until 1263, the Crusaders remained alone with the Mamluks. The death throes of the Kingdom of Jerusalem lasted 31 years, until 18 May 1291 when the last Crusaders left the shores of Syria. The consequences of what they had done, however, stretched into beautiful France where the Templars fell a victim to the cunning of those they sincerely considered their best friends, the King of France and the Pope.

The terrible case against the Templars accused of worshipping Baphomet, cursing sacred objects and many other sins of which they were unwilling to consider themselves guilty, dragged on from 1307 to 1313. But, in the intervals between tortures, did they, fettered to the walls of the French dungeons, recall that it was thanks to their order, to the deeds of their predecessors, that the Christian population of Syria had been destroyed, the allies coming to their aid had been killed by the enemy and that, thanks to all this, the aim of the Crusades - the Holy Land - had once and for all been lost? But even if these thoughts never entered their heads, the logic of events was such that the enemies of their friends went to the stake that had been prepared for them by their deeds.

The position of the Mongols in Iran became no less tragic. The idea of founding a Christian kingdom in the Near East had been lost as the lands occupied by Christians fell into the hands of the enemy.

{201} At the same time Baybars entered into relations with his fellow tribesmen in the Golden Horde and won Berke-khan over to his side. Enmity had long been growing between Hulegu and Berke on account of differing cultural and political trends. About 1256, when the Yellow Crusade began, Berke had exclaimed: "We put Mongke-khan on the throne, but how does he reward us for that? He repays us with evil against our friends, violates our treaties ... and covets the possession of the caliph, my ally ... There is something foul in this!" [+117] Berke did not count it foul to murder his nephew and execute his brother's wife.

In accordance with the Mongol Yasa, however, the Golden Horde detachments fought in the forces of the Ilkhan during the campaigns against Baghdad and Damascus. But after the defeat of Kit-Buka, Berke sent orders to his commanders to leave Hulegu's army and, if they could not manage to return home, to go to Egypt. This they did, increasing the number of the Mamluk troops (1261). [+118] After this, war between the Golden Horde and Iran was only a matter of time. It was evidently not by chance that Berke founded an Orthodox bishopric in Sarai in the same year. The friend of the Mamluks and enemy of the Nestorians sought support in the Orthodox church and in Rus`. [+119]

In essentials, the fifth act in the tragedy of the Kingdom of Prester John ended in 1261, but it had an epilogue which developed in the Far East. Now China, inundated with blood, and the Mongol steppe, illuminated by the sun in the years up to and after Mongke's death, will be the scene of action.

War in China

In 1253 Kubilai outflanked the Song empire on the west. He led his troops from Shaanxi to Sichuan and conquered the independent kingdom of Nanzhao in the south of China. Unlike Hulegu, Kubilai forbad that the inhabitants of the capital that had surrendered be killed and thus strengthened Mongol power in Sichuan. [+120] This was {202} so unusual that Mongke summoned Kubilai to explain, [+121] and command of the southern army passed to Uriyangqadai, son of the famous Sube-'etei; he subdued the Tibetan and Burmese troops, took Hanoi in 1257 and came out in the rear of the Song empire.

Yet, despite many individual successes, final victory eluded the Mongols. Therefore, in September 1258 Mongke again convoked a kuriltai and himself took command in China. He entered Sichuan with a new specially selected army and began a systematic siege of the Chinese forts, i.e. the enemy's support points. Many of them were taken, but the town of Hezhou resisted and dysentery among the Mongols made them withdraw their forces.

The great khan of the Mongols himself died beneath the walls of Hezhou on 11 August 1259 leaving his brother Kubilai, who at that time was advancing on China from the north, an army, huge by the Mongol scale, and Uriyangqadai's detachment, a reinforced levy gathered from the conquered Burmese and Annamites. In this army the Mongols formed an absolute minority, but its conventions were Mongol and fidelity to the khan was guaranteed because desertion in China was equivalent to an agonised suicide. Thanks to this turn of events, Kubilai became the most powerful of all the Mongol princes.

The dead khan had been "staid, decisive, spoke little, did not like feasting and used to say of himself that he followed the example of his ancestors. He had a passion for hunting and believed to an insane degree in wizards and soothsayers. He summoned them at every enterprise and passed not a single day without them." [+122] On the other hand, his younger brother, Arik-Boke, who had publicly asserted that "The Messiah is God", was a fervent Christian. The intelligent and restrained Kubilai had for the time being not declared his views. The fourth of their contemporaries, Berke-khan of the Golden Horde, had not only accepted Islam, but, as noted above, also arranged the slaughter of Nestorians in Samarkand. Incidentally, his antipathy to Christianity did not extend to the Orthodox and he did not break off the friendship with Aleksandr Nevskii. [+123]

{203} Such was the disposition of forces in Mongke's lifetime, but after his death it became evident that there was no one to maintain the old traditions. The comrades of Chinggis had become old and died. [+124] Their children had spent their entire life on campaign and were tired. Now, the grandchildren should have their say. But they had been won round, as we have seen, some by Nestorians, some by Buddhists, some by the Muslims. The old Mongol tradition had been poured out too widely to remain of a piece and the streams formed from this source could not, and did not wish to, flow along one course. Unavoidable events meant a delay of only half a year.

Two Kuriltais

According to Mongol law, the Yasa, on the death of a khan the troops and princes should gather for a kuriltai in their native Mongol steppe. There, again in agreement with custom, Tolui's youngest son, Arik-Boke, ruled. Immediately on learning the news of his brother's death, Arik-Boke began the preparations for calling a kuriltai in Karakorum which should put him on the throne.

There was nothing to show that Arik-Boke himself possessed outstanding abilities or excessive energy, but even had he had these qualities, they would have been insufficient to incline the sympathies of the entire Mongol people and troops to his side. So we have to find the groupings which supported his candidature or, more accurately, put this prince forward as a candidate for the throne in order then to rule the country with the help of his name and title. This is not so difficult. The Nestorian sympathies and support of the first minister, Bulgai, a Kerait and Nestorian, show quite clearly what force gathered around the name of Arik-Boke.

Moreover, strict legality inclined the majority of the Chinggisid princes to his side, including Alqui, khan of the Chagatai ulus, and Qaidu, ruler of the Mekrin region (in the Eastern Tianshan). Even the troops Mongke had brought into Shaanxi and Sichuan [+125] were ready to support Arik-Boke, but Kubilai was able to seize the initiative.

{204} On 4 June 1260 in the new Mongol town of Shangdu (Shandu) [+126] (Kaipinfu, founded by Kubilai in 1256) by Lake Dolonnor, on the borders of China and Mongolia (Chakhar and Zhekhe), Kubilai gathered his warriors for a kuriltai and proclaimed himself great khan with their agreement. This was a direct violation of the law, for which the death penalty was laid down What guided the mutinous prince and, what is still more important, those who chose him?

This can only be answered after looking at the composition of Kubilai's army Whoever did it lack? Jurchen and northern Chinese, Ongut (descendants of the Turkic Shato) and Tangut, Burmese, Tibetans, Muao, Lolo, A-vu and Annamites brought from the south by Unyangqadai, Kipchak and Yasy, Turks from Central Asia and Russians recruited by the baskaks, Mongols were the fewest of all. Only two princes from the Chinggisids were mentioned Kadan, Ogedei's son, and Togachar, Temugeotchigin's son. But this assemblage, bound by an iron discipline, had been tested in battle Here, what was common to all was not one's creed, love of one's homeland, traditions inherited from one's ancestors, but an understanding of one's own advantage and an ability to use one's strength. By the last should be understood not only the number of spears and sabres, but also the presence of a deep, rich and pacified rear North and West China which had come to terms with the conquerors twenty years before, thanks to the measures taken by Ye-lu Chu-cai. Though the great chancellor had died in disgrace, the fruits of his labours had ripened and Mongolia was again face to face with China, though now the latter was headed by an honourable Mongol prince.

Sometimes personal advantage was stronger than principle. The Ongut princes, the Nestorians Kun-buka and Ai-buka (Sun bull and Moon bull), joined Kubilai's side. However, their children broke with their ancestors' religion and went over to Catholicism, as we shall see below It cannot be ruled out that at this time the split in the Far Eastern Christian Church had taken shape.

According to his ideas, the Ilkhan Hulegu should have been on the side of Arik-Boke, because he was surrounded and guided by Nestorian advisers, the initiators of the Yellow Crusade against the Muslims But, alas, the Ilkhan's hands were tied The Mamluk offensive in Syria and the rising of Ulu David that took place at the {205} same time in Georgia tied down the Mongol forces and chained them to the western frontier. The rising by the Georgians was suppressed, but the occupation of Transcaucasia by the Iranian Mongols created a conflict with the Golden Horde which had hitherto considered these lands its own. Apart from this, the Golden Horde Nestorians tended to look to Iran [+127] which exacerbated Berke's relations with Hulegu. In short, Hulegu, by the force of circumstances, had to side with Berke's enemies.

Berke, however, wanted only one thing: to pay nothing to the great khan. Therefore, at first he recognised the distant Kubilai, but as soon as it became clear that victory was inclining to the latter, Berke changed his sympathies to Arik-Boke. This did not mean at all that he intended to support him actively, but by this action he involuntarily pushed Hulegu into an alliance with Kubilai which was also symbolic. Thus, if we start by looking at the actual events, the Nestorian problem appears as background to them; but if we generalise, we see that religious passions united and divided people along with political considerations, while the background for the former was the development of nomad culture opposed to the sedentary neighbours who had entered their last battle against it. Let us see how it went.



Both sides immediately proceeded to decisive actions. Hardly had news of Kubilai's unauthorised conduct reached Karakorum, when in the autumn of 1260 Arik-Boke was declared khan there. Kubilai flung his forces to the north and routed Arik-Boke's troops on the Ongin; this compelled Arik-Boke to withdraw to the upper Enisei. At the same time, Kubilai's plenipotentiaries were able to suppress a disturbance in Shaanxi. Some of Arik-Boke's adherents were captured and executed, some retreated west to Ganzhou and further, into the valley of Etzingol where a Mongol force led by Alemdar strengthened them. Their attempt to pass to the offensive, however, ended with their complete slaughter in the desert east of Ganzhou. Reassured about his left flank, Kubilai occupied Karakorum with a garrison and returned to Shangdu.

{206} Arik-Boke sent a message to Kubilai that he considered his own conduct madness, repented of it and would lay down his weapons. I see no reason to disbelieve his sincerity, because Kubilai, knowing his brother well, believed him. But the unfortunate prince was needed by his party as a symbol, and at the end of 1261 Arik-Boke's troops seized Karakorum and dashed south, rushing to catch Kubilai unawares.

On the southern border of the Gobi Kubilai's veterans halted the Mongol onslaught, but the khan forbad pursuit of his opponent Probably, he alone in his army did not want the destruction of his country. A second Mongol offensive was also halted. Even then Kubilai restricted himself to stopping the despatch of provisions from China to Mongolia Famine started there and Arik-Boke with his troops, or perhaps, more truthfully, the troops with their khan, retreated to the western edge of Mongolia.

Here a new calamity struck Arik-Boke. The Chagataid Alqui betrayed him and went over to Kubilai. The advance guard of Arik-Boke's troops sent against the traitor were routed in 1262 Alqui, intoxicated by his victory, returned to his headquarters and disbanded part of his troops Arik-Boke took advantage of his carelessness and took Almalik, and then he obliged Alqui to flee to Samarkand But here the "force of circumstances" again appeared. The embittered adherents of Arik-Boke began to deal so harshly with the population of the regions they had seized, and particularly with Alqui's. Mongol troops who had not succeeded in going off to the Tianshan in time, that they made another part of Arik-Boke's troops indignant and they went over to the side of Kubilai.

Meanwhile, Alqui established contact in Samarkand and Bukhara with the Muslim population, received large sums from them to re-form his army and allowed his stepson and heir to go over to Islam. In 1263 Alqui routed Qaidu, Ogedei's grandson, an adherent of Arik-Boke, and jointly with Kubilai's troops caught Arik-Boke and his weakened and demoralised army in a pincer movement.

In 1264 Arik-Boke and the remnants of his adherents threw themselves on Kubilai's mercy. He handed the prisoners over for trial, Arik-Boke was pardoned, but all the others were executed, including Bulgai.

The court's sentence, evidently well founded, although its motives have not survived in our sources, shows that it was not {207} Arik-Boke's ambition which caused the bloody war (otherwise he too would have lost his head), but the bitterness which had arisen in the struggle between the parties into which the Mongol forces had divided. The children of the former conquerors of the world suffered defeat, while the children of the conquered and subjugated were victorious. But this was still not the end of the Mongol tragedy.



Immediately after the victory, in 1264, Kubilai transferred his residence from Kaiping (i.e. Shangdu) to Beijing and deprived Karakorum of the name of capital, and in 1271 he gave his dynasty the Chinese name of Yuan; he himself was converted from khan to Emperor and "Son of Heaven". Mongolia appeared to be turned into a province ... no, not of China, but of an extra-ethnic military monarchy based on the dominance of the subjugated countries by a faithful hired army. After receiving from the west, from the Ilkhan Abaga and khan Berke, numerous reinforcements, Arabs, Persians, Alans, Kipchak and other peoples, [+128] Kubilai renewed the war against the Song empire, which had arrested his emissary, and he completed its subjugation by 1279. In this time his opponents in Western Mongolia managed to reorganise themselves. Prince Qaidu became the last Paladin of Mongol military fame.

As distinct from his predecessor Arik-Boke, Qaidu was ambitious and talented. Unobserved, he allowed certain groups to play their own games, but he was, rather, using them for his own ends. But no aspirant can win without some support, without a certain mood among the masses. Qaidu was no exception: he knew where to look for and how to find comrades.

The Mongols lived on the shores of the Imil and the slopes of Tarbagatai, remaining faithful to their old customs and steppe form of life. They were the antithesis to Kubilai's soldiers who devoted themselves to war and revelry as China was being conquered. "Undoubtedly", writes R. Grousset, "they were staggered by the transfer of the capital to China and the conversion of the khanate {208} into an empire". [+129] These changes were foreign and repellent to them, and it was this mood that Qaidu made use of when he became leader of all the western Mongols.

It is not worthwhile being distracted from our subject by following all the upheavals of the Mongol prince's stormy biography, the more so since it has been done more than once. [+130] Suffice it to say that, after uniting under his banner all the Mongol princes and khans of Central Asia, in 1275 Qaidu began a war with Kubilai and carried it on until his death in 1301. The war did not consist so much of large-scale battles, as of manoeuvres, raids and counter-raids. Kubilai opposed his kinsmen with Kipchak (Polovtsy) cavalry which fought splendidly in steppe conditions. Under Qaidu the religious problem receded into the background, since, apart from Nestorians, Central Asian Muslims and followers of the "Black Faith" were on his side, in other words, all the defenders of the traditions of Chinggiskhan's empire. They were not victorious, but neither did they suffer defeat.

A single episode of this war is of special interest to us since it is linked with our problem. This is a rising by the eastern Chinggisids, descendants of Chinggiskhan's brothers amongst whom the most powerful and energetic was Naya, a descendant of Temugeotchigin. Like Constantine the Great, Naya set forth against Kubilai raising the cross on his banner. [+131]


In order to understand the causes and circumstances for the new outburst of religious war in the Far East we must cast a glance at the history of the build up of such a tense collision. After the Christians had been expelled from China (end of the tenth century), competition between Buddhists and Taoists flared up there. At first the balance seemed to be in favour of the Buddhists whom the Khitan and Tangut bishops supported, then in 1223 Chan-chun, a Taoist monk, was able to obtain from Chinggiskhan the freedom of Taoist {209} monks from al] duties, taxes and dues. [+132] Overjoyed by this high favour, the Taoists began to seize Buddhist monasteries and cast out images of the Buddha, replacing them with statues of Lao-zi.

Under Ogedei, Ye-lu Chu-cai, a former true Buddhist, somewhat limited the activity of the Taoists. [+133] Mongke, too, inclined to the Buddhist side, organising a disputation in 1255 which the Buddhists won. But the cunning politician Mongke openly declared that to him the five religions were like the five fingers of a hand, all equally necessary and dear. [+134] The next step was taken by Kubilai who organised the Buddhist victory at a disputation in the town of Shangdu in 1258. After this the Taoists were driven from the monasteries they had seized and their anti-Buddhist treatises were condemned to the flames by decree in 1258, 1261, 1280, 1281. [+135] This might be called religious persecution.

The Nestorians were the most quarrelsome and obstinate of all the representatives of the Christian creeds. They managed to quarrel with the Greeks who supported the Muslim, and with the Muslim who had acquired influence in the Kara-Khitan khanate, and with the wizards of the "Black Faith", and, finally, with the Buddhists. They only maintained peace with the Taoists whom the Christians esteemed partly for the strictness of their monastic rule, and still more because they did not attempt to propagate their teaching beyond China proper. Therefore, the triumph of Buddhism, damaging to Taoism, offended Nestorianism as well. Naya and his cousins had portions in Eastern Mongolia and Northern Manchuria, dominating warlike tribes whose risings had once used to alarm the Liao Empire. We have no information on the propaganda of Nestorianism in these regions, but the very presence of a Christian movement directed against Buddhism [+136] shows that Nestorian missionaries had not worked here without effect.

The insurgents had no little chance of success. Kubilai's best troops were tied down in Dzungaria by the war with Qaidu and Kubilai had to reinforce the army thrown against Naya with Chinese. The fleet, summoned from the mouth of the Yangzi, carried the army to the mouth of the Liao He where it encountered {210} the Mongol host which had halted for a rest. Kubilai, although he was 72 years old, directed the battle from a tower carried by four elephants. Catching Naya unawares, he surrounded his camp, deprived him of freedom of manoeuvre and obliged the Mongols to engage in hand to hand combat. The battle lasted from dawn to noon, and the Chinese infantry overcame the Mongol cavalry because the latter were unable to deploy. The rebels threw themselves on the mercy of the conqueror. However, they were refused mercy. Naya, being of noble birth, was allowed to die without bloodshed. He was wrapped in a large felt and crushed by twisting the ends. Kubilai transferred command of the troops to his grandson, Temur, and returned to Beijing, but war in the north continued. Prince Kadan, who made an attempt to pass to the offensive, headed the insurgents. Temur flung himself forward to meet him and fierce battles developed in north-western Manchuria on the shores of the Nonni. Temiir won two victories, in 1288 and 1289, and compelled the mutineers to surrender. The punishment was severe: Kadan and the other leaders of the rising lost their heads, while the ordinary soldiers lost their freedom. The prisoners were sent into exile to the Ordos and Amdo where they had a very bad time. [+137]

The Christian religion as such was not liable to persecution, but was merely put under special surveillance: in 1289 Kubilai founded the "Directorate of Christian Affairs". [+138] Evidently, the Ongut had to be dealt with, formerly the most reliable support of the throne. But here, too, the intelligent ruler found a solution.

Let us recall that Kubilai had had a Christian education, though, as a Chinggisid, he had not been baptised. Political, not ideological motives separated him from his coreligionists and so he turned his attention to another creed of the Christian faith, i.e. Roman Catholicism. In the mid sixties, i.e. immediately after the rout of Arik-Boke, Kubilai proposed that the Venetian merchants Nicolo and Maffeo Polo deliver his letter to the Pope. He wanted to establish relations with the Catholics and asked for missionaries to be sent, [+139] evidently in order to establish his own church, looking towards him, not his competitors.

The khan called the local Christians "ignoramuses" because they {211} did not know how to perform miracles, drive away bad weather and so on, which the Buddhists, allegedly, could easily do. He declared that, if he had enough educated clergy from the west, he and his people would convert to Christianity. [+140] One would think the Papal throne would have to take up such a proposition, but active Catholic propaganda commenced in China only in 1293, when Giovanni Montecorvino, a Franciscan and future Archbishop of China, arrived in Beijing. [+141]

Prince George or Korkuz

The Popes were not guilty of delay. They had no time at all. Over the three decades from the departure of the Polo brothers from Latin Constantinople (1259) to the appointment of brother Giovanni as a missionary to China (1289) the map of the western borderlands of Eurasia had changed beyond recognition. The Holy Land fell into the hands of the Mamluks, except for the fortress of Acre, but even its days were numbered. In place of the Latin Empire a renewed Byzantium proudly arose. In Italy, after the quite considerable successes of the Ghibellines who seized Lombardy and Tuscany, Charles of Anjou got control of the Kingdom of Sicily. The last Hohenstaufens perished either in battle (Manfred), or on the scaffold (Conradin), but the French victors, too, suffered bitter death at the sound of the bells of the Sicilian Vespers (30 March 1282). The intervention of Aragon extended the war in Italy until 1287, when a short armistice was concluded, and Giovanni Montecorvino set off for the east.

In point of fact, the mission was too late. After he had suppressed the Christian risings of Naya and Kadan, Kubilai's sympathies had been replaced by Buddhist ones, and Montecorvino tells us that the khan "had become fixed in paganism", but was cordial towards Christians. [+142] But he straightaway quarrelled with the Nestorians who spread the rumour that Montecorvino was a spy. A legal enquiry, without his being in custody, lasted five years and ended in victory for the Catholic missionary whom the emperor Temur (Kubilai's grandson) himself assisted. It is interesting to know why such good fortune as the monarch's favour befell the Italian monk.

{212} The point was that the enemy of the Chinese Mongols, Qaidu, was not dozing. In 1297 he managed to reach the Selenga. [+143] A little more and Mongolia would have been freed from the dynasty which had linked its fate with China. Only steppe cavalry decided the question, and that which Temur had consisted of Ongut and Kerait, i.e. Nestorians. It was essential for Temur to attract these troops to his own side, and there Montecorvino helped him. He baptised prince Korkuz, a Nestorian, ruler of the Tenduk region, [+144] into the Catholic faith and thus made him an enemy of the Nestorians and a friend of Temur. Korkuz, [+145] also called prince George, took the field with his Nestorian subjects on behalf of the Buddhist emperor, and Qaidu's forces turned away to the sources of the Black Irtysh. There, too, in 1298 [+146] the prince who had betrayed his faith perished. He fell a prisoner to Qaidu and he was beheaded. This means that the war was more than usually fierce, for Korkuz could have counted on death without bloodshed.

In point of fact, the participation of the Ongut and Kerait on the side of the Beijing government decided the fate of the war. Qaidu's offensive was halted and in 1301 the last champion of steppe traditions died. Internecine war died out.

The coincidence in the dates of Korkuz's conversion and the start of Montecorvino's rise affords no doubts but that it was for this that the Catholic missionary obtained his privileges allowing him to found a bishopric in Beijing. But how similar this is to the Templars in Acre! Again the Catholics betrayed the Nestorians, this time to the Buddhists. Here a question arises, what was this, chance, coincidence or a calculated system?

It is the more difficult to answer this question since ill-will on the part of popes and prelates is known to be excluded. They acted according to their consciences and the conceptions of their time. This frees them of moral responsibility. However, the logic of events remains in force and this is caught by our historyscope with a certain distancing and generalisation.

The iron band of dogma and philosophical axioms burst under the {213} pressure of ethnic and cultural development pushing the peoples of Romano-German Western Europe along the road of particularisation. While in the eleventh century they still considered the Greeks their brethren in religion and only wondered at how these brethren differed from themselves, while in the twelfth century they awaited the arrival of the eastern Christians as natural allies, then in the thirteenth century all illusions had disappeared and, for Europeans, the peoples not united under the papal crown had become foreign: heathen and, worse than that, heretics. A deep ethnological meaning was concealed beneath this tightrope walking with theological terms: the Europeans had separated themselves from the rest of mankind and opposed themselves to it as the Arabs and Chinese had once done, and in antiquity the Hellenes, Jews, Persians and Egyptians. Consequently, here we observe a single process of ethnogenesis common to all times and countries, just as undeflectable as is social development along a spiral. Once this is so, we have no right to regard these events either as chance coincidences, or as a political conspiracy of Europeans against Asiatics, but should regard them as a naturally flowing process or regular pattern of mankind's ethnic history in that harsh period when the time came for the crystallisation of peoples alive and effective till now.

Truth Instead of a Tale

Intense activity by the Venetian, Genoese and Roman trade and diplomatic agents who worked exceedingly conscientiously through the second half of the thirteenth century produced its results. The Book of the Great Caan [+147] generalising all the information accumulated by European travellers replaced the Legend of Prester John. The extant text is a translation from a Latin original into very old French. In the opinion of the editor this is a Norman dialect with very free orthography. [+148] But the first sentences of the text give data for an exceedingly precise dating of the lost original.

The great khan of China ('Le grand Caan de cathay') to whom are subordinate all the seigneurs of the land is called the most mighty sovereign; of their number three great emperors are distinguished: {214} the emperor of Khanbalik [+149] (cambabech), Busai (boussay) and Uzbek (usbech). It is later indicated that Uzbek and Busai are at war with one another. It is completely clear that Uzbek is the khan of the Golden Horde ruling in 1312-41, and Busai is Abu Sa`id, [+150] Ilkhan of Iran whose name the Persians pronounced Bu S`aid. Comparing the dates of their reigns we find they coincide for 1316-35 when, evidently, the source we are concerned with was composed. The names of the Far Eastern khans were not known to the compilers of the document. This indicates that the primary information was collected in the Near East.

It is important to note that the compiler of the Book of the Great Caan permitted an anachronism when he stated that all three monarchs are subordinate to a fourth, the greatest, the khan of "Cathay". In the thirteenth century the Seven Streams area, i.e. the former kingdom of Ye-lu Dashi was called Cathay. Here at the end of the thirteenth century was the portion of Qaidu who claimed priority among the other Mongol khans. In the fourteenth century these claims were inherited by the Chagataid Duva; he died in 1306 after which the throne of the Chagatai ulus passed to weak and insignificant rulers whose names, [+151] but not their deeds, have survived. Their claims to dominance, if they made them, were fruitless, but, it seems, the Italian compiler was insufficiently informed of the true situation in Central Asia and expounded the political situation as it had seemed to his informants, travellers at the end of the thirteenth century.

This observation is extremely valuable for our investigation, because it gives us the opportunity to ascribe the data about the Nestorians quoted below to the end of the thirteenth century, i.e. to the period when they were still struggling for dominance in the Mongol ulus. Nothing is said about the Central Asian Nestorians, but two chapters are devoted to those who lived in Khanbalik (Beijing).

{215} In them it says that the Khanbalik Christian schismatics adhere to the Greek ritual and do not submit to the Roman church, that they are ill-disposed towards the Catholics, exterminate the Catholic monks in the night and do them as much harm as then can. But as the emperor is well disposed to the Catholics, the Nestorians are somewhat frightened. The Nestorians have many very fine churches with crosses and icons, and are very concerned that their congregation should have no dealings with the Catholic missionaries or the lay people converted to Catholicism, because, thanks to the support, both administrative and financial, of the great khan, the Catholics had managed to baptise many local nestorians and certain heathens called by our source "vritanes'(?!) [+152]

This information agrees with data in the letter from the Archbishop of China, Giovanni Montecorvino, to the chief vicar of the Franciscan order in the Crimea written in Beijing on 8 January 1305. The prelate complains a great deal about the Nestorians and indicates that he was saved only by the intervention of the emperor who sent his enemies away from the capital. At the same time he explains that his missionary activity was directed to rebaptising the Nestorians; as for the heathen, he bought 150 children of seven to eleven years and baptised them in the Catholic faith. [+153]

The bitterness of the Nestorians becomes completely understandable. But, you know, only half a century before this they had sought an agreement with the Roman church and saved Europe, with their influence and advice directing the main blow of the Mongol forces, who were not yet spent, against Baghdad in the Yellow Crusade - i.e. they did what had been expected of the pontiff John. All right, not a single good deed goes unpunished!

Catholic Europe refused to support the Ilkhan Abaga, protector of the Christians, who asked Pope Clement IV in 1268 and Nicholas III (1277-80) to organise a Crusade against the Egyptian Mamluks. [+154] As a result the Ilkhan capitulated to the forces of Islam. In 1295 Argun's son, Ghazan, who had gone over to the Muslim faith, came to the throne of Iran; he marked his falling away from ancient Mongol traditions and the Yasa by formally breaking the vassal relationships which bound Iran to the ulus of the Great Khan.

{216} The instability and fluctuations of the Mongol nobility ruling in Iran is reflected in the names selected for the last, though still strong, Ilkhans, Ghazan had the Muslim name Mahmud; his brother and heir, Oljeitu, had in childhood been christened Nicholas by his mother. The Persians mockingly nicknamed him Kharbande (slave of the ass); on going over to Islam he changed this to Khudabande (slave of God), although his official name became that of the Prophet - Muhammed. [+155]

Ghazan and Oljeitu themselves still continued to take account of their Christian subjects, but under the next sovereign, Abu Said, such oppression of the Christians took place that the Mongol Nestorian community was obliged in 1319 to rise in a revolt which was savagely repressed. After this, only local natives remained Christians in Iran and Central Asia; their community was destroyed by Timur. [+156]

The guilt of the Papal throne and the French crown in the tragedy that had taken place is not very great. They had simply deserted the eastern Christians in their troubles; but Europeans do not count a failure to help as a crime. Moreover, in the thirteenth century passions with a religious tinge had flared up to such an extent that the Catholics refused to consider the schismatics as co-religionists; this explains their deep indifference to the eastern Christians who became the victims of a new outburst of Muslim fanaticism.

But, on the other hand, the Catholics spared no efforts to dismantle and weaken the Far Eastern community of "treacherous Christian heretics"; [+157] in this they succeeded. But it was by no means the Roman curia, nor the Catholic kings nor even the Venetian seigniory which gained from this, but only medieval geography; for the fables about the Kingdom of Prester John were replaced by the sober and relatively true information on the Mongol ulus contained in the Book of the Great Caan.

The further fate of the Catholic bishopric in China was not brilliant. In 1304, on a complaint by the Tao Church, the khan forbad the baptising of Chinese, and he ordered prayers for his health to be said after the Taoist and Buddhist services. In 1311 the {217} Buddhists took the churches on the banks of the Yangzi away from the Christians and painted the frescoes of subjects from the Gospels with images of Bodhissatvas and Dharmapala. [+158]

This was evidently a reaction to the attempt by the Catholics to attract khan Haisan, a drunkard and degenerate, [+159] to their faith in 1310, but even here Montecorvino had no success. [+160] After the death of the Archbishop of China which took place in 1328 the Catholic community withered until 1368, i.e. until the overthrow of the Mongol dynasty. The new victorious Ming dynasty was hostile to all trends of Christianity, which gradually died under pressure from the Muslims and Buddhists. [+161] The Nestorian monasteries in Uighuria lasted somewhat longer, but no one considered them the Kingdom of Prester John.

The Author's Approach and Bases for Scepticism

We have looked at the whole history of Middle Asia from the height of an eagle's flight and from the top of a high barrow burial. Something has been made clear, but much has remained a mystery. Worse than that, the number of mysteries has increased it seems.

In fact, when we dealt with the Hun and ancient Turks all was clear: the nomads had their own specific way of life and, consequently, their own ideology adapted to it. But the Uighur kaganate appeared and immediately there occurs the conversion of the nomads to foreign religions brought from the West and the East. In 841-7 the Manichaean theocratic state perishes, clearly lacking vitality since the foreign religion had not been accepted by the people. It would seem that the loss of Uighuria would deprive the nomads of a desire for ideological borrowing. But that was not how it was! The greater part of them accepts Christianity and not unsuccessfully adapts it to their established culture. The value of Christianity to them, evidently, was not to establish contact with the mainstream of this religion, but to oppose Chinese cultural influence with something weighty and as valuable as Buddhism. If this is so, why did the Mongols disdain it? Evidently we need to look into {218} the details of Mongol religion, but you will not do this with a bird's eye view.

Then, it is incomprehensible why the Mongols and the Nestorians, after a few clashes, began to get on peacefully with one another. There were about 13,000 Mongols in Chinggiskhan's army, but in total it amounted to 130,000. Why should 90% of the bold warriors submit to 10%, leaving aside the auxiliaries? And not only submitted, but also fought for the nine-tailed banner to the last drop of their blood. Finally, how did Nestorianism cease to possess their minds and why did it disappear? All is unclear!

Evidently the approach we have made to the subject is not universal, but it has served its purpose. If we did not have the full range of the historical phenomena, such questions would not have come into our head. We would not even have pondered on the gaps in Asia's history and would have remained in a blissful ignorance hidden by general phrases about development, progress and stagnation. Now, though, we have grounds to turn again to the sources and attempt to extract from them the information that is lacking.

The work on the texts requires a quite different approach. The trivialities, reservations of medieval authors, coincidence or lack of it between different versions, the emotional load and the literary devices - these are a new field for the investigator which, we hope, may prove fruitful; for now we shall not be building brick by brick, but focussing our attention on details of interest unclear to us. But, first of all, the question of reliability. What is the sense in studying someone else's lie, even if it is an ancient one? To solve the new problem we shall look at the same events as if from a mouse-hole, limiting ourselves, of course, to the small landscape which can be seen from there.



[+104] Kniga Marko Polo 47, 281.

[+105] R. Grousset The Empire of the Steppes 358.

[+106] Palladii [Katarov], Starinnye sledy khristianstva v Kitae , 62.

[+107] Russians and Kipchak together formed the troops called Alan-As (ibid. 47).

[+108] R. Grousset, The Empire of the Steppes 367.

[+109] A.G. Galstyan, Armyanskie istochniki o mongolakh, 67-70.

[+110] G.E. Grumm-Grzhimailo, Zapadnaya Mongoliya, 474.

[+111] R. Grousset, The Empire of the Steppes, 357.

[+112] B. Kugler, Istoriya krestovykh pokhodov, 391f.; A. Myuller, Istoriya islama, 181-3.

[+113] B. Kugler, ibid., 404.

[+114] J. Richard, Le debut des relations , 293.

[+115] A. Myuller, Istoriya islama, 259.

[+116] Istoriya Gruzii, 260.

[+117] V.G. Tizengauzen, Sbornik materialov, 245-6.

[+118] S. Zakirov, Diplomaticheskie otnosheniya, 38-9.

[+119] A.N. Nasonov, Mongoly i Rus`, 45.

[+120] [Bichurin] Iakinf, Istoriya pervykh chetyrekh khanov, 324.

[+121] Mongke suspected his brother of wanting to achieve popularity and then independence (G. E. Grumm-Grzhimailo, Zapadnaya Mongoliya, 471).

[+122] [Bichurin] Iakinf, Istoriya pervykh chetyrekh khanov, 353-4.

[+123] A.N. Nasonov, Mongoly iRus`, 51.

[+124] For example, Shigi-qutuqu, adopted son of Chinggiskhan, the first Mongol who learnt to read and write and who sat at Ogedei's feasts, above Mongke himself, died about 1260 at the age of 82 (see Rashid ad-Din, Sbornik letopisei, I, 107).

[+125] R Grousset, The Empire of the Steppes, 285.

[+126] E. Grumm-Grzhimailo, Zapadnaya Mongoliya, 477.

[+127] The queen Boroqchin in 1257 entered into relations with Hulegu to counteract Berke. See V.G. Tizengauzen, Sbornik materialov, 150-1, 378.

[+128] thirty tumans of Mongol troops and eighty tumans of Chinese..." (Rashid ad-Din, Sbornik letopisei, I, 188) The figures are obviously exaggerated but their relationship is instructive, the Mongols were less than a third of this army, despite the general mobilisation of the population.

[+129] R. Grousset, The Empire of the Steppes, 291.

[+130] I offer several general works to the attention of the reader who can select that in the language best known to him: H.H. Howorth, History of the Mongols; C. D`Ohsson, Histoire des Mongols depuis Tchinguizkhan; B. Spuler, Die Mongolen in Iran.

[+131] Kniga Marko Polo, 102.

[+132] Palladii [Kafarov], "Siyu tszi ili opisanie puteshestviya na zapad", 375.

[+133] N.Ts. Munkuev, Kitaiskii istochnik o pervykh mongol'skikh khanakh, 16-17.

[+134] R Grousset, The Empire of the Steppes, 276.

[+135] Ibid., 298.

[+136] P. Pelliot, "Chretiens d`Asie Centeale", 635.

[+137] Ibid., 636.

[+138] Ibid., 637.

[+139] Kniga Marko Polo, 46-7.

[+140] Ibid.,281.

[+141] R. Khennig, Nevedomye strany, III, 150.

[+142] Ibid., 138.

[+143] G.E. Grumm-Grzhimailo, Zapadnaya Mongoliya, 501.

[+144] There are many suppositions about the name Tenduk In this case it evidently refers to the steppe north of the Ordos.

[+145] Korkuz is known as a Kerait prince, heir to Ong-qan P. Pelliot supposes he was an Ongut (P. Pelliot, "Chretiens d`Asie Centrale", 633-5).

[+146] R Khennig (Nevedomye zemli, III, 155) adduces other dates 1299 and 1300.

[+147] M. Jacquet, "Le livre du Grant Caan", 57-72.

[+148] Ibid., Note prehminaire, 59.

[+149] Khanbalik is Beijing, the capital of the Yuan Empire.

[+150] Myuller, Istoriya islama, 277.

[+151] Duva died in 1306, his son Kunchzhek in 1308, after a short but bloody disturbance Duva's son Esenbuk was chosen khan (1309-18) His son Kebek was killed in 1321 and after a disturbance his brother Tarmashirin took power (1326) but was executed in 1334, a new disturbance followed until 1343 when khan Kazan attempted to restore the authority of the khan, but fell in battle with the emir Kazagan, after which anarchy ensued.

[+152] "Le livre du Grant Caan", 69-71.

[+153] R Khennig, Nevedomye zemli, III, 139.

[+154] V.T. Pashuto, "Nekotorye dannye ob istochnikakh po istorii mongol`skoi politiki papstva", 209-13, A Remusat, Memoires, VI, 486f , VII, 340f.

[+155] A Myuller, Istoriya islama, 276-7.

[+156] I.P. Petrushevskn, "K istoni khnstianstva vSrednei Azu".

[+157] This is how the Franciscan monk Paschalius of Vittona calls the Nestorians in a letter written on 10 August 1338 from Almalik to his monastery in his homeland. See R. Khennig, Nevedomye zemli, III, 213.

[+158] Palladii [Kafarov], "Starinnye sledy khristianstva v Kitae", 32, 44-5.

[+159] R. Khennig, Nevedomye zemli, III, 154.

[+160] V.V. Bartol'd, "K voprosu o chmgisidakh-khristianakh", Izbrannye sochineniya, II, 417-18

[+161] I.N.A., Istorincheskii ocherk katolicheskoi propagandy v Kitae, 6.


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