Ögedei was the third son of Genghis Khan and second Great Khan of the Mongol Empire, succeeding his father. He continued the expansion of the empire that his father had begun, was a world figure when the Mongol Empire reached its farthest extent west and south during the Mongol invasions of Europe and East Asia. Like all of Genghis' primary sons, he participated extensively in conquests in China and Central Asia. Ögedei was the third son of Börte Ujin. He participated in the turbulent events of his father's rise; when Ögedei was 17 years old, Genghis Khan experienced the disastrous defeat of Khalakhaljid Sands against the army of Jamukha. Ögedei was wounded and lost on the battlefield. His father's adopted brother and companion Borokhula rescued him. Although married, in 1204 his father gave him Töregene, the wife of a defeated Merkit chief; the addition of such a wife was not uncommon in steppe culture. After Genghis was proclaimed Emperor or Khagan in 1206, myangans of the Jalayir, Besud and Khongqatan clans were given to him as his appanage.
Ögedei's territory occupied the Hobok rivers. According to his father's wish, the commander of the Jalayir, became Ögedei's tutor. Ögedei, along with his brothers, campaigned independently for the first time in November 1211 against the Jin dynasty. He was sent to ravage the land south through Hebei and north through Shanxi in 1213. Ögedei's force drove the Jin garrison out of the Ordos, he rode to the juncture of the Xi Xia and Song domains. During the Mongol conquest of Eastern Persia, Ögedei and Chagatai massacred the residents of Otrar after a five-month siege in 1219–20 and joined Jochi, outside the walls of Urganch; because Jochi and Chagatai were quarreling over the military strategy, Ögedei was appointed by Genghis Khan to oversee the siege of Urganch. They captured the city in 1221; when the rebellion broke out in southeast Persia and Afghanistan, Ögedei pacified Ghazni. The Empress Yisui insisted that Genghis Khan designate an heir before the invasion of Khwarezmid Empire in 1219. After the terrible brawl between two elder sons Jochi and Chagatai, they agreed that Ögedei was to be chosen as heir.
Genghis confirmed their decision. Genghis Khan died in 1227, Jochi had died a year or two earlier. Ögedei's younger brother Tolui held the regency until 1229. Ögedei was elected supreme khan in 1229, according to the kurultai held at Kodoe Aral on the Kherlen River after Genghis' death, although this was never in doubt as it was Genghis' clear wish that he be succeeded by Ögedei. After ritually declining three times, Ögedei was proclaimed Khagan of the Mongols on 13 September 1229. Chagatai continued to support his younger brother's claim. Genghis Khan saw Ögedei as a generous character, his charisma is credited for his success in keeping the Empire on his father's path. Thanks to the organization left behind by Genghis Khan, to the personality of Ögedei, the affairs of the Mongol Empire remained for the most part stable during his reign. Ögedei was an pragmatic man, though he made some mistakes during his reign. He had no delusions that he was his father's equal as a military commander or organizer and used the abilities of those he found most capable.
After destroying the Khwarazmian empire, Genghis Khan was free to move against Western Xia. In 1226, Jalal ad-Din Mingburnu, the last of the Khwarizm monarchs, returned to Persia to revive the empire lost by his father, Muhammad ‘Ala al-Din II; the Mongol forces sent against him in 1227 were defeated at Dameghan. Another army that marched against Jalal al-Din scored a pyrrhic victory in the vicinity of Isfahan but was unable to follow up that success. With Ögedei's consent to launch a campaign, Chormaqan left Bukhara at the head of 30,000 to 50,000 Mongol soldiers, he occupied two long-standing bases of Khwarazmian support. Crossing the Amu Darya River in 1230 and entering Khorasan without encountering any opposition, Chormaqan passed through quickly, he left a sizable contingent behind under the command of Dayir Noyan, who had further instructions to invade western Afghanistan. Chormaqan and the majority of his army entered the northern section of Persia known as Mazandaran in the autumn of 1230, thus avoiding the mountainous area south of the Caspian Sea.
That region was controlled by the Ismailis. Upon reaching the city of Rey, Chormaqan made his winter camp there and dispatched his armies to pacify the rest of northern Persia. In 1231, he led his army southward and captured the cities of Qum and Hamadan. From there, he sent armies into the regions of Fars and Kirman, whose rulers submitted, preferring to pay tribute to Mongol overlords rather than having their states ravaged. Meanwhile, further east, Dayir achieved his goals in capturing Kabul and Zawulistan. With the Mongols in control of Persia, Jalal al-Din was isolated in Transcaucasia where he was banished, thus all of Persia was added to the Mongol Empire. At the end of 1230, responding to the Jin's unexpected defeat of the Mongol general Doqulkhu, the Khagan went south to Shanxi province with Tolui, clearing the area of the Jin forces and taking the city of Fengxiang. After passing the summer in the north, they again campaigned against the Jin in Henan, cutting through territory of South China to assault the Jin's rear.
By 1232 the Jin Emperor was besieged in his capital of Kaifeng. Ögedei soon departed. After taking several cities, the Mongols, with the belated assistance of the Song dynasty, destroyed the Jin w
Möngke was the fourth khagan of the Mongol Empire, ruling from July 1, 1251, to August 11, 1259. He was the first Khagan from the Toluid line, made significant reforms to improve the administration of the Empire during his reign. Under Möngke, the Mongols conquered Syria as well as the kingdom of Dali. Möngke was born on January 11, 1209, as the eldest son of Genghis Khan's teenaged son Tolui and Sorghaghtani Beki. Teb Tengri Khokhcuu, a shaman, claimed to have seen in the stars a great future for the child and bestowed on him the name Möngke, "eternal" in the Mongolian language, his uncle Ögedei Khan's childless queen Angqui raised him at her orda. Ögedei instructed Persian scholar Idi-dan Muhammed to teach writing to Möngke. On his way back home after the Mongol conquest of Khwarezmia, Genghis Khan performed a ceremony on his grandsons Möngke and Kublai after their first hunting in 1224 near the Ili River. Möngke was fifteen years old, with his brother, killed a rabbit and an antelope, their grandfather smeared fat from the killed animals onto their middle fingers following the Mongol tradition.
In 1230, Möngke went to war for the first time, following Ögedei Khan and his father Tolui into battle against the Jin dynasty. Tolui died in 1232, Ögedei appointed Sorghaghtani head of the Toluid appanage. Following the Mongol custom, Möngke inherited at least one of his father's wives, Oghul-Khoimish of the Oirat clan. Möngke loved her and gave special favor to her elder daughter, Shirin. Ögedei dispatched him along with his relatives to attack the Kipchaks and Bulgars in the west in 1235. When the most formidable Kipchak chief, fled to an island in the Volga delta. Möngke captured him; when he ordered Bachman to bend down on his knees, Bachman refused and was executed by Möngke's brother Bujek. Möngke engaged in hand-to-hand combat during the Mongol invasion of Rus'. While his cousins, Shiban and Büri, went to Crimea, Möngke and Kadan, a son of Ögedei, were ordered to reduce the tribes in the Caucasus; the Mongols massacred its inhabitants. Many chiefs of the Alans and Circassians surrendered to Möngke.
After the invasion of Eastern Europe, Möngke would bring them back to Mongolia. He participated in the Siege of Kiev. Möngke was taken by the splendour of Kiev and offered the city surrender, but his envoys were killed. After Batu's army joined Möngke's soldiers, they sacked the city, he fought alongside Batu at the Battle of Mohi. In the summer of 1241, before the premature end of the campaign, Möngke returned home after his uncle Ögedei recalled him in the winter of 1240–41. However, Ögedei died. In 1246, Temüge, Genghis Khan's sole remaining brother, unsuccessfully tried to seize the throne without confirmation by a kurultai; the new Khagan Güyük entrusted the delicate task of trying the Odchigin to Möngke and Orda Khan, the eldest brother of Batu. Güyük died en route to the west in 1248 and Batu and Möngke emerged as main contenders.. Following his mother Sorghaghtani's advice, Möngke went to the Golden Horde to meet Batu, afflicted with gout. Batu called a kurultai at Ala Qamaq; the leader of the families of Genghis Khan's brothers, several important generals, came to the kurultai.
Güyük's sons Naqu and Khoja attended but left. Despite vehement objections from Bala, Oghul Qaimish's scribe, the kurultai approved Möngke. Given its limited attendance and location, this kurultai was of questionable validity. Batu sent Möngke under the protection of his brothers and Tuqa-temur, his son Sartaq to assemble a formal kurultai at Kodoe Aral in Mongolia; when Sorghaghtani and Berke organized a second kurultai on July 1, 1251, the assembled throng proclaimed Möngke the Great Khan of the Mongol Empire, a few of the Ögedeid and Chagatayid princes, such as his cousin Kadan and the deposed khan Qara Hülegü, acknowledged the decision. Shortly thereafter, Oghul's son Khoja and Ögedei's favorite grandson Shiremun came to "pay homage" to Möngke as the new ruler, but they brought the entire army of the Ögedei faction with them. Möngke's Kankali falconer, discovered the preparations for the attack and told his lord. At the end of the investigation under his father's loyal servant Menggesar noyan, he found his relatives guilty but at first wanted to give them mercy as written in the Great Yassa.
Möngke's officials opposed it and he began to punish his relatives. The trials took place in all parts of the empire from Mongolia and China in the east to Afghanistan and Iraq in the west. Möngke and Batu's brother Berke therefore arranged to have Oghul accused of using black magic against Möngke. After she was arrested and questioned by Sorghaghtani, Oghul Qaimish was sewn up into a sack and tossed into a river and drowned, the traditional Mongol punishment for using black magic. Estimates of the deaths of aristocrats and Mongol commanders include Eljigidei, Yesü Möngke, Büri, Shiremun and range from 77–300. However, most of the princes descended from Genghis Khan who were involved in the plot were given some form of exile; the anti-Möngke plot of an Uyghur scribe and the Idiqut Salindi was discovered and they were publicly executed. After his accession to the throne in 1251, Möngke announced that he would follow his ancestors but would not imitate the ways of other countries. To increase his legitimacy, in 1252 he retroactively awarded his father the title of Ikh Khagan.
Möngke shared the western part of the empire with his
Genghis Khan was the founder and first Great Khan of the Mongol Empire, which became the largest contiguous empire in history after his death. He came to power by uniting many of the nomadic tribes of Northeast Asia. After founding the Empire and being proclaimed "Genghis Khan", he launched the Mongol invasions that conquered most of Eurasia. Campaigns initiated in his lifetime include those against the Qara Khitai and Khwarazmian, Western Xia and Jin dynasties; these campaigns were accompanied by large-scale massacres of the civilian populations – in the Khwarazmian and Western Xia controlled lands. By the end of his life, the Mongol Empire occupied a substantial portion of Central China. Before Genghis Khan died, his grandsons split his empire into khanates. Genghis Khan died in 1227 after defeating the Western Xia. By his request, his body was buried in an unmarked grave somewhere in Mongolia, his descendants extended the Mongol Empire across most of Eurasia by conquering or creating vassal states in all of modern-day China, the Caucasus, Central Asia, substantial portions of Eastern Europe and Southwest Asia.
Many of these invasions repeated the earlier large-scale slaughters of local populations. As a result, Genghis Khan and his empire have a fearsome reputation in local histories. Beyond his military accomplishments, Genghis Khan advanced the Mongol Empire in other ways, he decreed the adoption of the Uyghur script as the Mongol Empire's writing system. He practiced meritocracy and encouraged religious tolerance in the Mongol Empire, unified the nomadic tribes of Northeast Asia. Present-day Mongolians regard him as the founding father of Mongolia. Genghis Khan was known for the brutality of his campaigns, is considered by many to have been a genocidal ruler. However, he is credited with bringing the Silk Road under one cohesive political environment; this brought easy communication and trade between Northeast Asia, Muslim Southwest Asia, Christian Europe, expanding the cultural horizons of all three areas. Genghis Khan was related on his father's side to Khabul Khan and Hotula Khan, who had headed the Khamag Mongol confederation and were descendants of Bodonchar Munkhag.
When the Jurchen Jin dynasty switched support from the Mongols to the Tatars in 1161, they destroyed Khabul Khan. Genghis Khan's father, Yesügei, emerged as the head of the ruling Mongol clan; this position was contested by the rival Tayichi'ud clan. When the Tatars grew too powerful after 1161, the Jin switched their support from the Tatars to the Keraites. Little is known about Genghis Khan's early life, due to the lack of contemporary written records; the few sources that give insight into this period contradict. Genghis Khan's birth name, Temüjin, was derived from the Mongol word temür meaning "of iron", while jin denotes agency. Temüjin thus means "blacksmith". Genghis Khan was born in 1162 in Delüün Boldog, near the mountain Burkhan Khaldun and the rivers Onon and Kherlen in modern-day northern Mongolia, close to the current capital Ulaanbaatar; the Secret History of the Mongols reports that Temüjin was born grasping a blood clot in his fist, a traditional sign that he was destined to become a great leader.
He was the second son of his father Yesügei, a Kiyad chief prominent in the Khamag Mongol confederation and an ally of Toghrul of the Keraite tribe. Temüjin was the first son of his mother Hoelun. According to the Secret History, Temüjin was named after the Tatar chief Temüjin-üge whom his father had just captured. Yesukhei's clan was Borjigin, Hoelun was from the Olkhunut sub-lineage of the Khongirad tribe. Like other tribes, they were nomads. Temüjin's noble background made it easier for him to solicit help from and consolidate the other Mongol tribes. Temüjin had three brothers Hasar and Temüge, one sister Temülen, two half-brothers Begter and Belgutei. Like many of the nomads of Mongolia, Temüjin's early life was difficult, his father arranged a marriage for him and delivered him at age nine to the family of his future wife Börte of the tribe Khongirad. Temüjin was to live there serving the head of the household Dai Setsen until the marriageable age of 12. While heading home, his father ran into the neighboring Tatars, who had long been Mongol enemies, they offered him food that poisoned him.
Upon learning this, Temüjin returned home to claim his father's position as chief. But the tribe abandoned the family, leaving it without protection. For the next several years, the family lived in poverty, surviving on wild fruits, ox carcasses and other small game killed by Temüjin and his brothers. Temujin's older half-brother Begter began to exercise power as the eldest male in the family and would have the right to claim Hoelun as wife. Temujin's resentment erupted during one hunting excursion when Temüjin and his brother Khasar killed Begter. In a raid around 1177, Temujin was captured by his father's former allies, the Tayichi'ud, enslaved with a cangue. With the help of a sympathetic guard, he escaped from the ger at night by hiding in a river crevice; the escape earned Temüjin a reputation. Soon, Jelme and Bo'orchu joined forces with him, they and the guard's son Chilaun became generals of Genghis Khan. At this time, none of the tribal confederations of Mongolia were united politically, an
Yesün Temür (Yuan dynasty)
Yesün Temür was a great-grandson of Kublai Khan and ruled as emperor of the Yuan dynasty from 1323 to 1328. Apart from Emperor of China, he is regarded as the 10th Khagan of the Mongol Empire or Mongols, although it was only nominal due to the division of the empire. In Chinese, Yesün Temür Khan, fond of the traditional ways of the Mongols, is known as the Emperor Taiding from his era's name, his name means "nine iron Khan" in the Mongolian language. He was the emperor visited by the Franciscan friar Odoric, who left an excellent record of his travels. Yesün Temür was born in Mongolia in 1293 to Gammala, the eldest son of Zhenjin, presumed heir to his father Kublai Khan. Gammala was appointed as Jinong in 1292 after Zhenjin's death, but he lost the race for successor to his younger brother Temür. Khanship was assumed by Temür, their sons and grandson, so Gammala and his son Yesün Temür were out of the race; as Jinong, Gammala owned Mongolia north of the Gobi Desert and enshrined Genghis Khan in the Four Great Ordo.
In 1302 Gammala died and Yesün Temür took over as Jinong. During the reigns of Kulug Khan and Gegeen Khan, Yesün Temür, who had a large fief and powerful army in Mongolia, became one of the princes most respected by the court and emerged as the undisputed leader of the princes in the steppe. In 1323 when Shidebala Gegeen Khan was assassinated by Grand Censor Tegshi and Esen Temur, the rebellious group welcomed Yesün Temür since his mother was Buyan Kelmish of the Khunggirad clan. According to the official history of the Yuan, Yesün Temür caused Tegshi's envoy Walus to be seized and sent notice of the plot to Shidebala Khan, but the messengers arrived too late. Yesün Temür was not the principal beneficiary of the conspiracy but was very a participant, it is said. After receiving the imperial seal sent by the conspirators, he ascended to the throne on the bank of the Kherlen River in Mongolia on October 4, 1323. Esen Temur was made the grand councilor of the right, Tegshi the manager of the Bureau of Military Affairs.
Upon learning that he would incur suspicion as a party to the murders, he reversed his policy and ordered Tegshi, Esen Temur, others to be put to death. Under the leadership of Chang Kuei, the late Khagan's officials sent a letter to Yesün Temür urging him to accept the throne and to punish the conspirators, he sent troops to Dadu and Shangdu and had rebellious officers executed before he entered Dadu because he feared becoming their puppet. The five princes, involved were exiled to Yunnan and other distant places. Chinese officials urged Yesün Temür to extend the purge to all former allies of Temuder and Tegshi and their families, but Yesün Temür Khan refused, he issued an amnesty decree, the confiscated properties of the executed conspirators were returned to their families. As a ruler who had seized the throne by intrigue and violence, Yesün Temür tried to win the widest possible support. To secure support as Emperor of China from the Chinese populace, he duly showed his respect for the Confucian tradition from the beginning of his reign.
Muslim and Mongol officials from the steppe constituted the majority of posts in the Yuan government during this period. Kumeijil and Tas Temur served as grand councillars of the right. In addition to Dawlat Shah, there were two Muslims and Bayanchar, who served as managers of governmental affairs in the Secretariat. Mahumud Shah and Hasan Khoja managed the Bureau of Military Affairs. In contrast with the Muslims, Chinese officials exerted little influence on the administration; the high point of the Mongol partner-merchants' operations came under Yesün Temür, whose administration exempted Christians and Muslims from any corvee payments and guaranteed huge payments promised by the Mongolian nobility in return for luxury goods. Yesün Temür Khan denounced the extravagance of the court in buying costly precious stones, imported by foreign merchants, sold for ten times their value, while the poor were starving. In 1326, Ozbeg Khan of the Golden Horde sent cheetahs to Yesün Temür Khan who responded with grants of gold, silver and silks.
During his reign Yesün Temür Khan divided the empire into eighteen departments controlled by a board called "the Lords of the Provinces". Reports were presented on the condition of the Yuan provinces were full of complaints about the Lamas who, armed with their golden seals, rode about the province making exaction and treating the people in a shameful way, they put up at private houses, drove out their masters, debauched their wives, did pretty much as they wished. The fear of offending the Mongols and the Lamas prevented the Khan from doing anything effectual at first, he forbade the Lamas to enter China. Besides Buddhism, Yesün Temür Khan neglected the ancient worship of the sky of the Mongols. Yesün Temür left the empire's governance to his Muslim aide Dawlat Shah and Khatun Babukhan when he died in Shangdu on August 15, 1328, his son Ragibagh was installed by Dawlat Shah, but he was defeated by his rival Tugh Temür three months during the War of the Two Capitals. List of emperors of the Yuan dynasty List of Mongol rulers List of rulers of China
Toghon Temür known by the temple name Emperor Huizong bestowed by the Northern Yuan dynasty in Mongolia and by the posthumous name Shundi bestowed by the Hongwu Emperor of the Ming dynasty China, was a son of Khutughtu Khan Kusala who ruled as emperor of the Yuan dynasty. Apart from Emperor of China, he is considered the last Khagan of the Mongol Empire, although it was only nominal due to the division of the empire at the start of the Yuan dynasty. During the last years of his reign, the Yuan was overthrown by the Red Turban Rebellion, which established the Ming dynasty, although the Mongols remained in control of Mongolia. Emperor Huizong was a Buddhist student of the Karmapas and is considered a previous incarnation of the Tai Situpas, he notably invited the Jonang savant Dölpopa Shérab Gyeltsen to teach him, but was rebuffed. Toghon Temür was born to Kuśala, known as Khutughtu Khan or Emperor Mingzong, when he was in exile in Central Asia. Toghon Temür's mother was descendant of Arslan Khan, the chief of the Karluks.
According to a story the former Chinese Southern Song Emperor Gong of Song, Zhao Xian, had an affair with Yuan Empress Mailaiti. Zhao Xian fathered Yuan Toghon Temür with Mailaiti as a bastard child. Following the civil war known as the War of the Two Capitals that broke out after the death of Yesün Temür in 1328, Toghon Temür attended his father and entered Shangdu from Mongolia. However, after Kuśala died and his younger brother was restored to the throne as Jayaatu Khan Tugh Temür, he was kept from the court and was banished to Goryeo and to Guangxi in South China. While he was in exile, his stepmother Babusha was executed; when Emperor Wenzong died in 1332, his widow, Empress Dowager Budashiri respected his will to make the son of Kuśala's succeed to the throne instead of Wenzong's own son, El Tegüs. However, it was not Toghon Temür but his younger half-brother Rinchinbal, enthroned as Rinchinbal Khan. However, he died only two months into his reign; the de facto ruler, El Temür, attempted to install El Tegüs as emperor but was stopped by Empress Budashiri.
As a result, Toghon Temür was summoned back from Guangxi. El Temür feared that Toghon Temür, too mature to be a puppet, would take arms against him since he was suspected of the assassination of Toghon Temür's father, Emperor Mingzong; the enthronement was postponed for six months until El Temür died in 1333. In 1333, Toghon Temür first met Lady Ki, a Korean concubine whom he fell in love with. Lady Ki had been sent to China sometime in the late 1320s as "human tribute" as the kings of Goryeo were required to send a certain number of beautiful teenage girls to Yuan to serve as concubines after the Mongol invasions; the new emperor appointed his cousin El Tegüs crown prince as he was ward of El Tegüs' mother Empress Dowager Budashiri, but he was controlled by warlords after El Temür's death. Among them, Bayan became as powerful, he crushed a rebellion by El Temür's son Tang Ki-se. During his despotic rule, he made several purges and suspended the imperial examination system; when Toghon Temür tried to promote Lady Ki to secondary wife, contrary to the standard practice of only taking secondary wives from Mongol clans, it created such opposition at court to this unheard of promotion for a Korean woman that he was forced to back down.
In 1339, when Lady Ki gave birth to a son, whom Toghon Temür decided would be his successor, he was able to have Lady Ki named his secondary wife in 1340. As Toghon Temür matured, he came to disfavor Bayan's autocratic rule. In 1340 he allied with Bayan's nephew Toqto'a, in discord with Bayan, banished Bayan in a coup, he removed El Tegüs and Empress Budashiri from court. With the help of Toqto'a, he managed to purge officials that had dominated the administration. With the dismissal of Bayan, Toqto'a seized the power of the court, his first administration exhibited fresh new spirit. The young leader was quick to distinguish his regime as something wholly different from Bayan's. A new Chinese era name, was decreed to show this. Bayan's purges were called off. Many of the great Chinese literati came back to the capital from voluntary retirement or from administrative exile and the imperial examination system was restored. Toqto'a gave a few early signs of a new and positive direction in central government.
One of his successful projects was to finish the long-stalled official histories of the Liao and Song dynasties, which were completed in 1345. Toqto'a resigned his office with the approval of Toghon Temür in June 1344, which marked the end of his first administration; the several short-lived administrations that followed from 1344 and 1349 would develop an agenda different from Toqto'a's. In 1347, the emperor forced Toqto'a into Gansu with assistance from former officers of Kuśala and Yesün Temür. In 1349, Toghon Temür recalled Toqto'a, which began Toqto'a's second and different administration. Since the late 1340s, people in the countryside suffered from frequent natural disasters, droughts and ensuing famines; the lack of effective government policy led to a loss of support from the people. Illicit salt dealers who were disaffected by the government's salt monopoly raised a rebellion in 1348, triggering many revolts around the empire. Among them was the Red Turban Rebellion, which started in 1351 and grew into a nationwide turmoil.
In 1354, when Toqto'a led a large army to crush the Red Turban rebels, Toghon
Jochi was a Mongolian army commander, the eldest son of Genghis Khan, one of the four sons by his principal wife Börte, though issues concerning his paternity followed him throughout his life. An accomplished military leader, he participated in his father's conquest of Central Asia, along with his brothers and uncles. There is some question as to Jochi's true paternity. Shortly after Börte's marriage to Genghis Khan, she was abducted by members of the Mergid confederation, she was given to a certain Chilger Bökh, the brother of the Yehe Chiledu, as a spoil of war. She remained in Chilger Bökh's captivity for a few months. Shortly afterwards she gave birth to Jochi. By all accounts, Genghis Khan treated Jochi as his first son, but a doubt always remained whether Temüjin or Chilger Bökh was the real father of Jochi; this uncertainty about his paternity was not without consequences. Jochi's descendants, although they formed the oldest branch of Genghis Khan's family, were never considered for the succession in claiming their father's heritage and there were signs of estrangement between Jochi and Genghis Khan.
In 1207, Jochi conquered several of the forest peoples in Siberia, extending the northern border of the Mongol Empire for the first time. On behalf of his father, Jochi led two campaigns against the Kyrgyz, in 1210 and in 1218. Jochi played a major role in the Khwarezm war of 1219–1221 in Central Asia – his forces captured the towns of Signak and Yanikant in April, 1220, during this war. Subsequently, he was given the command of operation against the city of Urgench, the capital of the Khwarezmian Empire. Here the siege of the town suffered delays because Jochi engaged in extensive negotiation with the town to persuade it to surrender peacefully and to save it from destruction. Jochi's brother Chagatai regarded this action as militarily unsound: Chagatai wanted to destroy the city but Genghis Khan had promised the city to Jochi after his victory; this difference of opinion on military affairs deepened a rift between Chagatai. Genghis Khan appointed Ögedei as the commander of the operation. Ögedei resumed the operations vigorously – capturing and destroying the town and massacring its inhabitants.
The differences in tactics between Jochi and Chagatai in early 1221 added to their personal quarrel about the succession. To settle the matter, Genghis Khan called the political and military council called a "kurultai" - a formal meeting used both in familial matters and in matters of state. Temüjin had won election/appointment as Khan of his tribe during a kurultai, he called them during his early campaigns to garner public support for his wars – such meetings were key to Genghis Khan's legitimacy. Tribal tradition was critical; as Genghis Khan's first-born son, Jochi was favored to rule the clan and the empire after his father died. At the familial kurultai called in 1222, Chagatai raised the issue of Jochi's legitimacy. At that meeting, Genghis Khan made. However, he worried. By early 1223 Genghis Khan had selected his third son, as his successor. For the sake of preserving the Empire, both Jochi and Chagatai agreed, but the rift between them never healed, their rift would politically divide the European part of the Mongol Empire from its Asian part permanently.
During the autumn of 1223 Genghis Khan started for Mongolia after completing the Khwarezm campaign. Ögedei and Tolui went with him but Jochi withdrew to his territories north of Aral and Caspian Seas. There he would not see his father again in his lifetime. Though the histories are unclear, there is evidence that Jochi conspired against Genghis, that Genghis in return pondered a pre-emptive strike; when Genghis Khan returned home he sent for Jochi. When the latter refused to obey and asked a pardon Genghis Khan sent Chagatai and Ögedei against him, but before it came to open hostilities, news came that Jochi had died in February 1226. Genghis Khan had divided his empire into khanates among his four surviving sons during his lifetime. Jochi was entrusted with the westernmost part of the empire lying between Ural and Irtysh rivers. In the Kurultai of 1229 following Genghis Khan's death, this partition was formalized and Jochi's family was allocated the lands in the west up to'as far as the hooves of Mongol horses had trodden'.
Following the Mongol custom, Genghis Khan bequeathed only four thousand'original' Mongol troops to each of his three elder sons and 101,000 to Tolui, his youngest son. Jochi's descendants extended their empire with the help of auxiliary troops from the subjugated populations which happened to be Turkic; this was the chief reason. Jochi's inheritance was divided among his sons, his sons Orda and Batu founded the White Horde and the Blue Horde and would combine their territories into the Kipchak Khanate or Golden Horde. Another of Jochi's sons, received territories that lay north of Batu and Orda's Ülüs. Genghis Khan had made Jochi responsible for the conduct of the community hunt. Hunting was a large scale military exercise designed for the training of the army, it encompassed thousands of square kilometers o
The Mongol Empire existed during the 13th and 14th centuries and was the largest contiguous land empire in history. Originating from Mongolia, the Mongol Empire stretched from Eastern Europe and parts of Central Europe to the Sea of Japan, extending northwards into Siberia and southwards into the Indian subcontinent and the Iranian Plateau; the Mongol Empire emerged from the unification of several nomadic tribes in the Mongol homeland under the leadership of Genghis Khan, whom a council proclaimed ruler of all the Mongols in 1206. The empire grew under his rule and that of his descendants, who sent invasions in every direction; the vast transcontinental empire connected the East with the West with an enforced Pax Mongolica, allowing the dissemination and exchange of trade, technologies and ideologies across Eurasia. The empire began to split due to wars over succession, as the grandchildren of Genghis Khan disputed whether the royal line should follow from his son and initial heir Ögedei or from one of his other sons, such as Tolui, Chagatai, or Jochi.
The Toluids prevailed after a bloody purge of Ögedeid and Chagataid factions, but disputes continued among the descendants of Tolui. A key reason for the split was the dispute over whether the Mongol Empire would become a sedentary, cosmopolitan empire, or would stay true to their nomadic and steppe lifestyle. After Möngke Khan died, rival kurultai councils elected different successors, the brothers Ariq Böke and Kublai Khan, who fought each other in the Toluid Civil War and dealt with challenges from the descendants of other sons of Genghis. Kublai took power, but civil war ensued as he sought unsuccessfully to regain control of the Chagatayid and Ögedeid families. During the reigns of Genghis and Ögedei, the Mongols suffered the occasional defeat when a less skilled general was given a command; the Siberian Tumads defeated the Mongol forces under Borokhula around 1215–1217. In each case, the Mongols returned shortly after with a much larger army led by one of their best generals, were invariably victorious.
The Battle of Ain Jalut in Galilee in 1260 marked the first time that the Mongols would not return to avenge a defeat, due to a combination of the death of Möngke Khan, the Toluid Civil War between Arik Boke and Khubilai, Berke of the Golden Horde attacking Hulegu in Persia. Although the Mongols launched many more invasions of the Levant occupying it and raiding as far as Gaza after a decisive victory at the Battle of Wadi al-Khazandar in 1299, they withdrew due to various geopolitical factors. By the time of Kublai's death in 1294, the Mongol Empire had fractured into four separate khanates or empires, each pursuing its own separate interests and objectives: The Golden Horde khanate in the northwest; the Chagatai Khanate in Central Asia. The Ilkhanate in the southwest; the Yuan dynasty in the east based in modern-day Beijing. In 1304, the three western khanates accepted the nominal suzerainty of the Yuan dynasty, but in 1368 the Han Chinese Ming dynasty took over the Mongol capital; the Genghisid rulers of the Yuan retreated to the Mongolian homeland and continued to rule there as the Northern Yuan dynasty.
The Ilkhanate disintegrated in the period 1335–1353. The Golden Horde had broken into competing khanates by the end of the 15th century whilst the Chagatai Khanate lasted in one form or another until 1687. What is referred to in English as the Mongol Empire was called the Ikh Mongol Uls. In the 1240s, one of Genghis's descendants, Güyük Khan, wrote a letter to Pope Innocent IV which used the preamble "Dalai Khagan of the great Mongolian state". After the succession war between Kublai Khan and his brother Ariq Böke, Ariq limited Kublai's power to the eastern part of the empire. Kublai issued an imperial edict on 18 December 1271 to name the country Great Yuan to establish the Yuan dynasty; some sources state. The area around Mongolia and parts of North China had been controlled by the Liao dynasty since the 10th century. In 1125, the Jin dynasty founded by the Jurchens overthrew the Liao dynasty and attempted to gain control over former Liao territory in Mongolia. In the 1130s the Jin dynasty rulers, known as the Golden Kings resisted the Khamag Mongol confederation, ruled at the time by Khabul Khan, great-grandfather of Genghis Khan.
The Mongolian plateau was occupied by five powerful tribal confederations: Keraites, Khamag Mongol, Naiman and Tatar. The Jin emperors, following a policy of divide and rule, encouraged disputes among the tribes between the Tatars and the Mongols, in order to keep the nomadic tribes distracted by their own battles and thereby away from the Jin. Khabul's successor was Ambaghai Khan, betrayed by the Tatars, handed over to the Jurchen, executed; the Mongols retaliated by raiding the frontier, resulting in a failed Jurchen counter-attack in 1143. In 1147, the Jin somewhat changed their policy, signing a peace treaty with the Mongols and withdrawing from a score of forts; the Mongols resumed attacks on the Tatars to avenge the death of their late khan, opening a long period of active hostilities. The Jin and Tatar armies defeated the Mongols in 1161. During