The End of an Era, Seen Through Many Eyes: Eurasian Dimensions of the Great Chinggisid Crisis
2: When the Chinggisids Were (Almost) No More: The Yuan and the Ilkhanid Military during the Fourteenth-Century Crisis
Friday, March 25, 2022
9:30am – 11:00am EST
Location: Conv. Center, Room 313A
University of Bonn, Germany
The dramatic developments that shook the Chinggisid rule in the Ilkhanate (in the 1330s) and in the Yuan domains (1350s-1360s) culminated in the collapse of both imperial spaces in 1335 and 1368 respectively. This paper delves into the history of the two khanates’ military elites during these key years. It aims to map and analyse the change the military top layers of both khanates underwent during the crisis, highlighting their composition and geographical dispersion. Moreover, it will compare the challenges both groups met in the course of the khanates’ fall. The discussion concentrates on the frontier areas, in the Ilkhanid and post-Ilkhanid case looking at the Caucasus beyond Tabriz, at Khurasan and the Artuqid dynasty in Mardin, in south-eastern Anatolia. Zooming in on the late-Yuan and early Northern Yuan realms, the paper highlights the changes and the challenges of the military elites situated between China proper and the northern steppes in today’s Inner Mongolia, in Liaodong (today’s Chinese Northeast), as well as at the frontiers between the Chinese and Chaghadaid realms in Uyghuristan during the Yuan-Ming transition. The comparison aims at a critical re-evaluation of the dynamic between break and continuity of the military elites during the crisis and early post-crisis decades. It stresses the substantial role the Chinggisid past and present played in the way those groups (re)formulated their political and (sometimes) genealogical affiliation amid the shattering of the Chinggisid imperial institutions.