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Document-Based Question: The Mongol Terror, Mongol Peace
The following question is based on the accompanying documents (1-6). The documents have been edited for the purpose of this exercise.
What was the significance of Mongol expansion and rule in Eurasia during the 13th and 14th Centuries? How did the settled societies of Eurasia respond to the Mongols and what were the consequences of the interaction between sedentary peoples and the Mongols?
Be sure your essay accomplishes each of the following:
* provides a complete answer to all parts of the question
* has a relevant 3 part thesis that is supported by evidence from the documents
*includes a contextualization/background paragraph
* uses all of the documents
*includes at least 2 groups for the documents
* refers to the source of the document and the author's point of view for each document
* includes 1 example of outside evidence
*includes a synthesis
"In the whole world there are to be found no more obedient subjects than the Tartars [Mongols] …. They pay their lords more respect than any other people, and would hardly dare lie to them…. dispute hardly ever leads to blows…. and there are no large-scale thieves or robbers among the….
…. they regard each other almost as members of one family, and, although they do not have a lot of food, they like to share it with one another….No one holds his fellow in contempt, but each helps and supports the other to the limit of his abilities.
They are extremely arrogant toward other people and look down on all others with disdain. In fact, they regard them, both noble and humble people alike, as little better than nothing…. they are the greatest liars in the world in dealing with other people….
They are messy in their eating and drinking and in their whole way of life….At the same time they are mean and greedy, and if they want something, they will not stop begging and asking for it, until they have got it. They cling fiercely to what they have, and in making gifts they are extremely miserly. They have no conscience about killing other people."
- Giovanni de Piano Carpini, Franciscan envoy to the "Great Khan" from
Pope Innocent IV ca. 1246
"The people of Tabriz live by trade and industry; for cloth of gold and silk is woven here in great quantity and of great value. The city is so favorably situated that it is a market for merchandise from India and Baghdad, from Mosul and Hormuz, and from many other places; and many Latin merchants come here to buy merchandise imported from foreign lands…. It is a city where good profits are made by traveling merchants. The inhabitants are a mixed lot and good for very little….
Among the people of these kingdoms there are many who are brutal and bloodthirsty. They are for ever slaughtering one another; and, were it not for fear of the government, that is, Tartar lordship…they would do great mischief to travelling merchants. The government imposes severe penalties upon them…"
- Marco Polo, reporting on his travels through Persia, as recorded by Rusticiano, The Travels of Marco Polo, ca. 1300
"Having taken counsel for making peace with us, You Pope and all Christians have
sent an envoy to us….The contents of your letters stated that we ought to be baptized and become Christians. To this we answer briefly that we do not understand why we should do this….you wonder at so great a slaughter of men, especially of Christians and in particular Poles, Moravians, and Hungarians, we reply….
"Because they did not obey the word of God and the command of Chingis Chan and the Chan, but took council to slay our envoys, therefore God ordered us to destroy them and gave them up into our hands. For otherwise if God had not done this, what could man do to man? ….But we worshipping God have destroyed the whole earth from the East to the West in the power of God….Therefore if you accept peace and are willing to surrender your fortresses to us, You Pope and Christian princes, in no way delay coming to me to conclude peace….But if you should not believe our letters ….nor hearken to our counsel then we shall know for certain that you wish to have war. After that we do not know what will happen: God alone knows.
- letter from Guyuk Khan to Pope Innocent IV, ca. 1247
"At Karakorum, [the Great Khan] has a large orda close by the city walls….there assemble at his court all the nobles anywhere within a two months' journey; and then he bestows on them garments and presents and displays his great glory. There are many buildings there… and in these are stored his provisions and treasures.
"At the entrance to this palace… Master William of Paris has made for him a large silver tree, at the foot of which are four silver lions….
" The palace is like a church….and the Khan himself sits at the northern end high up so that he can be seen by everyone…. like a god."
- William of Rubrick, envoy of King Louis IX of France, ca. 1255
"The Chinese are infidels. They worship idols and burn their dead as the Indians do. The king is a Tatar of the lineage of Chinggis khan. In every city in China is a quarter where the Muslims live separately and have mosques for their Friday prayers and other assemblies. They are highly regarded and treated with respect.
" The Chinese are of all peoples the most skillful in crafts and attain the greatest perfection in them.... No one, whether Greek or any other' rivals them in mastery of painting. They have prodigious facility in it. One of the remarkable things I saw in this connection is that if I visited one of their cities, and then came back to it I always saw portraits of me and my companions painted on the walls and on paper in the bazaars…. It is their custom to paint everyone who comes among them. They go so far in this that if a foreigner does something that obliges him to flee from them, they circulate his portrait throughout the country and a search made for him. When someone resembling the portrait is found, he is arrested.
"China, for all its magnificence, did not please me. I was deeply depressed by the prevalence of infidelity and when I left my lodging I saw many offensive things which distressed me so much that I stayed at home and went out only when it was necessary.
- Ibn Battuta, North African Muslim Traveler, The Travels of lbn Battuta 1325-1354
"For some years I continued averse from mentioning this event, deeming it so horrible that I shrank from recording it and ever withdrawing one foot as I advanced the other. To whom, indeed, can it be easy to write the announcement of the death-blow of Islam and the Muslims….
"For even Antichrist will spare such as follow him, though he destroy those who oppose him, but these Tatars spared none, slaying women and men and children, ripping open pregnant women and killing unborn babes….these Tatars conquered most of the habitable globe, and the best, the most flourishing and most populous part thereof, and that whereof the inhabitants were the most advanced in character and conduct, in about a year; nor did any country escape their devastations which did not fearfully expect them and dread their arrival.,,,
"It is now time for us to describe how they first burst forth into the lands. Stories have been related to me, which the hearer can scarcely credit, as to the terror of the Tatars, which God Almighty cast into men's hearts; so that it is said that a single one of them would enter a village or a quarter wherein were many people, and would continue to slay them one after another, none daring to stretch forth his hand against this horseman. And I have heard that one of them took a man captive, but had not with him any weapon wherewith to kill him; and he said to his prisoner, "Lay your head on the ground and do not move," and he did so, and the Tatar went and fetched his sword and slew him therewith. Another man related to me as follows: "I was going," said he, "with seventeen others along a road, and there met us a Tatar horseman, and bade us bind one another's arms. My companions began to do as he bade them, but I said to them, "He is but one man; wherefore, then, should we not kill him and flee?' They replied, 'We are afraid.'
- Ibn al-Atir, 1220-1221, Muslim historian
DBQ Outline Sheet
3 Part Thesis
Who, What, When (Topic)
Final Thesis (put it all together)
The point of view in doc #__ is
Third Grouping (optional):_______________________________________________________________
"It is now time for us to describe how they first burst forth into the lands. Stories have been related to me, which the hearer can scarcely credit, as to the terror of the Tatars, which God Almighty cast into men's hearts; so that it is said that a single one of them would enter a village or a quarter wherein were many people, and would continue to slay them one after another, none daring to stretch forth his hand against this horseman. And I have heard that one of them took a man captive, but had not with him any weapon wherewith to kill him; and he said to his prisoner, "Lay your head on the ground and do not move," and he did so, and the Tatar went and fetched his sword and slew him therewith. Another man related to me as follows: "I was going," said he, "with seventeen others along a road, and there met us a Tatar horseman, and bade us bind one another's arms. My companions began to do as he bade them, but I said t