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
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
Mugan plain is a plain in northwestern Iran and the southern part of the Republic of Azerbaijan. The highest density of irrigation canals is in the section of the Mugan plain which lies in the Republic of Azerbaijan, it is located on the bank of the Aras river extending to Iran. The Mugan plain consists of five cities: Bilehard, Jafarabad and Aslan Duz. One third of the plain is located in Iran and the rest is in Azerbaijan. From 1353 to 1372, Garmi was the center of this city. After that, Mugan was divided into three cities, Bilehayar and Parsabad; the soil of this plain is fertile. The ancient settlement of Alikemek-Tepesi, dating to c. 5000 BC, is located in the Mugan plain, covers an area of over 1 hectare. Early levels belonged to Shulaveri-Shomu culture. Arran MOḠĀN in Iranica
Acre, known to locals as Akko or Akka, is a city in the coastal plain region of the Northern District of Israel. The city occupies an important location, sitting in a natural harbour at the extremity of Haifa Bay on the coast of the Mediterranean's Levantine Sea. Aside from coastal trading, it was an important waypoint on the region's coastal road and the road cutting inland along the Jezreel Valley; the first settlement during the Early Bronze Age was abandoned after a few centuries but a large town was established during the Middle Bronze Age. Continuously inhabited since it is among the oldest continuously-inhabited settlements on Earth, it has, been subject to conquest and destruction several times and survived as little more than a large village for centuries at a time. In present-day Israel, the population was 48,303 in 2017, made up of Jews, Christians and Baha'is. In particular, Acre is the holiest city of the Bahá'í Faith and receives many pilgrims of that faith every year; the mayor is Shimon Lankri, reelected in 2011.
The etymology of the name is unknown, but not Semitic. A folk etymology in Hebrew is that, when the ocean was created, it expanded until it reached Acre and stopped, giving the city its name. Acre seems to be recorded in Egyptian hieroglyphics being the "Akka" in the execration texts from around 1800 BC and the "Aak" in the tribute lists of Thutmose III; the Akkadian cuneiform Amarna letters mention an "Akka" in the mid-14th-century BC. On its native currency, Acre's name was written ʿK, it appears once in Biblical Hebrew. Other transcriptions of these names include Acco, Accho and Ocina. Acre was known to the Greeks as Ákē, a homonym for Greek word meaning "cure". Greek legend offered a folk etymology that Hercules had found curative herbs at the site after one of his many fights; this name was latinized as Ace. Josephus's histories transcribed the city into Greek as Akre. Under the successors of Alexander the Great, the Egyptians called the city Ptolemais and the Syrians Antioch or Antiochenes.
As both names were shared by a great many other towns, they were variously distinguished. The Syrians called it "Antioch in Ptolemais", the Romans Ptolemais in Phoenicia. Others knew it as "Antiochia Ptolemais". Under Claudius, it was briefly known as Germanicia in Ptolemais; as a Roman colony, it was notionally refounded and renamed Colonia Claudii Caesaris Ptolemais or Colonia Claudia Felix Ptolemais Garmanica Stabilis after its imperial sponsor Claudius. During the Crusades, it was known again as Acre or as St. John of Acre, after the Knights Hospitaller who had their headquarters there; the remains of the oldest settlement at the site of modern Acre were found at a tell located 1.5 km east of the modern city of Acre. Known as Tel Akko in Hebrew and Tell el-Fukhar in Arabic, its remains date to about 3000 BC, during the Early Bronze Age; this farming community endured for only a couple of centuries, after which the site was abandoned after being inundated by rising seawaters. Acre was resettled as an urban centre during the Middle Bronze Age and has been continuously inhabited since then.
During the Iron Age, Acre culturally affiliated with Phoenicia. In the biblical Book of Judges, Akko appears in a list of the places which the Israelites were not able to conquer from the Canaanites, it is described in the territory of the tribe of Asher and, according to Josephus's account, was reputed to have been ruled by one of Solomon's provincial governors. Around 725 BC, Acre joined Sidon and Tyre in a revolt against the Neo-Assyrian king Shalmaneser V. Strabo refers to the city as once a rendezvous for the Persians in their expeditions against Egypt. According to historians such as Diodurus Siculus and Strabo, King Cambyses II attacked Egypt after massing a huge army on the plains near the city of Acre. In December 2018 archaeologists digging at the site of Tell Keisan in Acre unearthed the remains of a Persian military outpost that might have played a role in the successful 525 B. C. Achaemenid invasion of Egypt; the Persian-period fortifications at Tell Keisan were heavily damaged during Alexander's fourth-century B.
C. campaign to drive the Achaemenids out of the Levant. After Alexander's death, his main generals divided his empire among themselves. At first, the Egyptian Ptolemies held the land around Acre. Ptolemy II renamed the city Ptolemais in his own and his father's honour in the 260s BC. Antiochus III conquered the town for the Syrian Seleucids in 200 BC. In the late 170s or early 160s BC, Antiochus IV founded a Greek colony in the town, which he named Antioch after himself. About 165 BC Judas Maccabeus defeated the Seleucids in several battles in Galilee, drove them into Ptolemais. About 153 BC Alexander Balas, son of Antiochus IV Epiphanes, contesting the Seleucid crown with Demetrius, seized the city, which opened its gates to him. Demetrius offered many bribes to the Maccabees to obtain Jewish support against his rival, including the revenues of Ptolemais for the benefit of the Temple in Jerusalem, but in vain. Jonathan Apphus threw in his lot with Alexander and in 150 BC he was received by him with great honour in Ptolemais.
Some years however, Tryphon, an officer of the Seleucid Empire, who had grow
Battle of Ain Jalut
The Battle of Ain Jalut took place in September 1260 between Muslim Mamluks and the Mongols in the southeastern Galilee, in the Jezreel Valley, in the vicinity of Nazareth, not far from the site of Zir'in. When Möngke Khan became Great Khan in 1251, he set out to implement his grandfather Genghis Khan's plan for world empire. To lead the task of subduing the nations of the West, he selected his brother, another of Genghis Khan's grandsons, Hulagu Khan. Assembling the army took five years, it was not until 1256 that Hulagu was prepared to begin the invasions. Operating from the Mongol base in Persia, Hulagu proceeded south. Möngke Khan had ordered good treatment for those who yielded without resistance, destruction for those who did not. In this way Hulagu and his army had conquered some of the most powerful and longstanding dynasties of the time. Other countries in the Mongols' path submitted to Mongol authority, contributed forces to the Mongol army. By the time that the Mongols reached Baghdad, their army included Cilician Armenians, some Frankish forces from the submissive Principality of Antioch.
The Hashshashin in Persia fell, the 500-year-old Abbasid Caliphate of Baghdad was destroyed, so too fell the Ayyubid dynasty in Damascus. Hulagu's plan was to proceed southwards through the Kingdom of Jerusalem towards the Mamluk Sultanate, to confront the major Islamic power. During the Mongol attack on the Mamluks in the Middle East, most of the Mamluks were Kipchaks, the Golden Horde's supply of Kipchaks replenished the Mamluk armies and helped them fight off the Mongols. In 1260, Hulagu sent envoys to Qutuz in Cairo, demanding his surrender: Qutuz responded, however, by killing the envoys and displaying their heads on Bab Zuweila, one of the gates of Cairo. Shortly before the battle, Hulagu withdrew from the Levant with the bulk of his army, leaving his forces west of the Euphrates with only one tumen, a handful of vassal troops under the Nestorian Christian Naiman Kitbuqa Noyan. Contemporary Mamluk chronicler Al-Yunini's "Dhayl Mirat Al-Zaman" states that the Mongol army under Kitbuga, including vassals, numbered 100,000 men in total, but this was an exaggeration.
Until the late 20th century historians believed that Hulagu's sudden retreat was because the power dynamic had changed due to the death of the Great Khan Möngke on an expedition to China, requiring Hulagu and other senior Mongols to return home to decide upon his successor. However, contemporary documentation discovered in the 1980s reveals this to be untrue, as Hulagu himself claimed that he withdrew most of his forces because he could not sustain such a large army logistically, saying that the fodder in the region had been used up and that it was a Mongol custom to withdraw to cooler lands for the summer. Upon receiving news of Hulagu's departure, Mamluk Sultan Qutuz assembled a large army at Cairo and invaded Palestine. In late August, Kitbuqa's forces proceeded south from their base at Baalbek, passing to the east of Lake Tiberias into Lower Galilee; the Mamluk Sultan Qutuz at that time allied with a fellow Mamluk, who chose to ally himself with Qutuz in the face of a greater enemy, after the Mongols captured Damascus and most of Bilad al-Sham.
The Mongols, for their part, attempted to form a Franco-Mongol alliance with the remnant of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem, now centered on Acre. Tensions between Franks and Mongols had increased when Julian of Sidon caused an incident which resulted in the death of one of Kitbuqa's grandsons. Angered, Kitbuqa sacked Sidon; the Barons of Acre and the remainder of the Crusader outposts, contacted by the Mongols, had been approached by the Mamluks, seeking military assistance against the Mongols. Though the Mamluks were the traditional enemies of the Franks, the Barons of Acre recognized the Mongols as the more immediate menace, so the Crusaders opted for a position of cautious neutrality between the two forces. In an unusual move, they agreed that the Egyptian Mamluks could march north through the Crusader territories unmolested, camp to resupply near Acre; when news arrived that the Mongols had crossed the Jordan River, Sultan Qutuz and his forces proceeded southeast toward the spring at Ain Jalut in the Jezreel Valley.
The first to advance were the Mongols, whose force included troops from the Kingdom of Georgia and about 500 troops from the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia, both of which had submitted to Mongol authority. The Mamluks had the advantage of knowledge of the terrain, Qutuz capitalized on this by hiding the bulk of his force in the highlands, hoping to bait the Mongols with a smaller force under Baibars; the two armies fought for many hours, with Baibars most of the time implementing hit-and-run tactics, in order to provoke the Mongol troops and at the same time preserve the bulk of his troops intact. When the Mongols carried out another heavy assault, Baibars – who it is said had laid out the overall strategy of the battle since he had spent much time in that region, earlier in his life, as a fugitive – and his men feigned a final retreat, drawing the Mongols into the highlands to be ambushed by the rest of the Mamluk forces concealed among the trees; the Mongol leader Kitbuqa provoked by the constant fleeing of Baibars and his troops, committed a grave mistake.
When the Mongols reached the highlands, Mamluk forces emerged from hiding and began to fire arrows and attack with their cavalry. The
Kublai was the fifth Khagan of the Mongol Empire, reigning from 1260 to 1294. He founded the Yuan dynasty in China as a conquest dynasty in 1271, ruled as the first Yuan emperor until his death in 1294. Kublai was a grandson of Genghis Khan, he succeeded his older brother Möngke as Khagan in 1260, but had to defeat his younger brother Ariq Böke in the Toluid Civil War lasting until 1264. This episode marked the beginning of disunity in the empire. Kublai's real power was limited to China and Mongolia, though as Khagan he still had influence in the Ilkhanate and, to a lesser degree, in the Golden Horde. If one counts the Mongol Empire at that time as a whole, his realm reached from the Pacific Ocean to the Black Sea, from Siberia to what is now Afghanistan. In 1271, Kublai established the Yuan dynasty, which ruled over present-day Mongolia, China and some adjacent areas, assumed the role of Emperor of China. By 1279, the Mongol conquest of the Song dynasty was completed and Kublai became the first non-Han emperor to conquer all of China.
The imperial portrait of Kublai was part of an album of the portraits of Yuan emperors and empresses, now in the collection of the National Palace Museum in Taipei. White, the color of the royal costume of Kublai, was the imperial color of the Yuan Dynasty. Kublai Khan was the fourth son of Tolui, his second son with Sorghaghtani Beki; as his grandfather Genghis Khan advised, Sorghaghtani chose a Buddhist Tangut woman as her son's nurse, whom Kublai honored highly. On his way home after the Mongol conquest of Khwarezmia, Genghis Khan performed a ceremony on his grandsons Möngke and Kublai after their first hunt in 1224 near the Ili River. Kublai was nine years old and with his eldest brother killed an antelope. After his grandfather smeared fat from killed animals onto Kublai's middle finger in accordance with a Mongol tradition, he said "The words of this boy Kublai are full of wisdom, heed them well – heed them all of you." The elderly Khagan Genghis Khan would die three years after this event in 1227, when Kublai was 12.
Kublai's father Tolui would serve as regent for two years until Genghis' successor, Kublai's third uncle Ogedei, was enthroned as Khagan in 1229. After the Mongol conquest of the Jin dynasty, in 1236, Ogedei gave Hebei to the family of Tolui, who died in 1232. Kublai received an estate of his own; because he was inexperienced, Kublai allowed local officials free rein. Corruption amongst his officials and aggressive taxation caused large numbers of Chinese peasants to flee, which led to a decline in tax revenues. Kublai came to his appanage in Hebei and ordered reforms. Sorghaghtani sent new officials to help him and tax laws were revised. Thanks to those efforts, many of the people who fled returned; the most prominent, arguably most influential, component of Kublai Khan's early life was his study and strong attraction to contemporary Chinese culture. Kublai invited Haiyun, the leading Buddhist monk in North China, to his ordo in Mongolia; when he met Haiyun in Karakorum in 1242, Kublai asked him about the philosophy of Buddhism.
Haiyun named Kublai's son, born in 1243, Zhenjin. Haiyun introduced Kublai to the Daoist, at the time Buddhist monk, Liu Bingzhong. Liu was a painter, calligrapher and mathematician, he became Kublai's advisor when Haiyun returned to his temple in modern Beijing. Kublai soon added the Shanxi scholar Zhao Bi to his entourage. Kublai employed people of other nationalities as well, for he was keen to balance local and imperial interests and Turk. In 1251, Kublai's eldest brother Möngke became Khan of the Mongol Empire, Khwarizmian Mahmud Yalavach and Kublai were sent to China. Kublai moved his ordo to central Inner Mongolia. During his years as viceroy, Kublai managed his territory well, boosted the agricultural output of Henan, increased social welfare spendings after receiving Xi'an; these acts received great acclaim from the Chinese warlords and were essential to the building of the Yuan Dynasty. In 1252, Kublai criticized Mahmud Yalavach, never valued by his Chinese associates, over his cavalier execution of suspects during a judicial review, Zhao Bi attacked him for his presumptuous attitude toward the throne.
Möngke dismissed Mahmud Yalavach, which met with resistance from Chinese Confucian-trained officials. In 1253, Kublai was ordered to attack Yunnan and he asked the Dali Kingdom to submit; the ruling Gao family killed Mongol envoys. The Mongols divided their forces into three. One wing rode eastward into the Sichuan basin; the second column under Subutai's son Uryankhadai took a difficult route into the mountains of western Sichuan. Kublai met up with the first column. While Uryankhadai travelled along the lakeside from the north, Kublai took the capital city of Dali and spared the residents despite the slaying of his ambassadors; the Dali King Duan Xingzhi himself defected to the Mongols, who used his troops to conquer the rest of Yunnan. Duan Xingzhi, the last king of Dali, was appointed by Möngke Khan as local ruler. After Kublai's departure, unrest broke out among certain factions. In 1255 and 1256, Duan Xingzhi was presented at court, where he offered Möngke Khan maps of Yunnan and counsels about the vanquishing of the tribes who had not yet surrendered.
Siege of Diaoyu Castle
The Mongol Siege of Diaoyu Castle was a battle between Song dynasty China and the Mongol Empire in the year 1259. It occurred at the Diaoyu Fortress in Chongqing. Möngke Khan, the fourth khan of the Mongol Empire, lost his life in this battle, making it the only battle where the Mongols lost their khan during their campaigns of conquest; this battle was preceded by the Siege of Baghdad in 1258. The siege of Diaoyu Castle was a setback for the Mongol conquest; the Mongol Empire under Genghis Khan conquered subjugated nations. Genghis Khan's last battle was fought in Western Xia but his life had come to an end before he was able to conquer it, his successors carried on his ambition. In the year 1234, the Mongols conquered the Great Jin with the assistance of the Song dynasty. In the same year, Song China attempted to take back its northern territories occupied by the Jin. In September 1234, the Mongols responded with the siege of Luoyang; the Song army holding Luoyang was short of food supplies. Additionally, the Mongols led the water of Yellow River into the city causing great casualties among the Song army.
The fall of Luoyang was a prologue of a series of upcoming battles which lasted decades. The Mongols blamed the Song for "breaking the alliance". However, it was more of an excuse for further Mongol expeditions. After 1234, the Mongols launched an all-out war against the Song dynasty, they attacked from both the west flanks, crippling the Chinese defenses. Despite these initial military successes, the Song army managed to retaliate. No significant advancement was made. Under the command of Meng Gong, Yu Jie and other generals, the Song army fended off the advancing Mongols. In Sichuan, Meng Gong led the Song army as it held its position against the Mongols in 1239 and 1240. In the year of 1243, Yu Jie was appointed the commander of the Song army in Sichuan; when he came to Sichuan, he discovered that, due to the Mongol invasion, the Sichuan region was in a state of anarchy. The Song army was able to defend themselves by forming smaller military units that did not have superiority over each other.
In order to reverse the dire situation in Sichuan, Yu sought the advice of the people under his command. Ran Lian and Ran Pu, two hermits of Bozhou came to his office and offered him the plan of building a castle in Hechuan; the plan was to build a castle on Diaoyu mountain of Hechuan. Hechuan sits at the eastern entrance of Sichuan region, the Mongols had to pass it before advancing further into the interior of Sichuan. Thus, the Diaoyu mountain was a great defensive vantage point for the Song army. Yu Jie ordered the construction of dozens of castles in different counties and made these castles the administrative centre of local government. All the castles that were built were situated on the tops of mountains which made them formidable against any offensive. Diaoyu Castle became the administrative center of Hechuan county. Meanwhile, the Mongols began to cultivate lands in occupied territories in Sichuan; this action distressed the Song army since they would not be able to recover these lost territories once the Mongols acquired a permanent source of food and supplies.
The long-term standoff between Song and Mongols lasted till the year of 1258. After receiving the news of Hulagu reporting the demise of Baghdad and its Khalifa, Möngke Khan decided to break the standoff by leading a large army into Sichuan himself, he ordered his younger brother Kublai to march towards Hangzhou, the capital of Song. The offensive consists of three waves of armies. Möngke led his troop crossed Dasan Pass and entered the city of Hanzhong while the other two waves of advancing forces made their way to Micang pass and Mianzhou; the resistance of the Song army in Sichuan was ineffective. By the spring of 1259, Möngke reached the city of Hechuan. In order to take Hechuan, the Mongols had to capture Diaoyu Castle. Möngke's siege of Diaoyu Castle began sometime between 24 February and 25 March 1259; the siege lasted for five months. The commander of the Song forces in the castle was Wang Jian. Möngke sent his general Wang Dechen as the vanguard of the Mongol army; the Mongols tried to break the castle's gates.
When this strategy was proven ineffective, they started night raids on the outer part of the castle on minor defensive structures. Although these raids surprised the Song army at first, the Mongols were not able to break into the castle. During these attempts, Wang Dechen was killed by a Song mangonel. In the seventh month of the first year of Kaiqing, Möngke had given up the plan of capturing the castle before sending the remaining forces to attack Chongqing. In the fifth month, Möngke caught an illness, his illness went on untreated. On August 11, 1259, Möngke died of disease in the Diaoyu Hechuan; the siege ended before his death. After receiving the news that his brother died, Kublai decided to withdraw his troops, he threatened the Song that he would attack Lin'an, the capital of Song, to deter any the possible retaliation by the Song armies. His strategy proved effective; the prime minister of Song Jia Sidao soon sent his ambassador to negotiate a peace treaty. Diaoyu castle remained in the hands of Song armies.
Mongols under Kublai failed again. In the following decade, the Mongols returned to the castle every autumn. In 1279, the garrison of Diaoyu Castle surrendered to the Mongols two months before the end of the Song dynasty. From 1246 to 1279, the Chinese resistance of Mongol conquest in the region of Sichuan lasted 36 years; the unexpected stubborn defense of Chinese garrison in Diaoyu Castle caused the Mongols much trouble, such as the Mongol defeat in Egypt as a result of Hulagu's sudden retre