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  • Nomadic horsemen
  • Central Europe - Korea - India
  • Terror

Mass resistance to the Mongols, by both the city’s armed garrison and civilians.

Resistance: if the city resisted the Mongols and lost (as most cities did), its entire garrison would be put to the sword and the city looted.

How to build the world's largest empire?

Avoid fighting, capitulate to the Mongols and join the Mongol army in their continued campaign of conquest.


- Persia, Iraq and Syria- Bukhara- Ancient Balkh; library- Modern-day Iran and Afghanistan- Massacred 1.7 million people in Nishapur and over 2 million people in Herat

The Sack of Bukhara

Europe: 1237 - 1241

Ögedei Khan


The Ayyubid Dynasty--> Mamluks Sultanate

The Abbasid caliphate

The Khwarezmian Empire

Muslim world

Christian Europe + Christian Armenia + Crusader states

100,000 +

Leader: Hulagu

Mongol army

Never before in Islamic history had the caliphate itself fallen, or had the capital been taken (10 Feb 1258)

BAGHDAD- capital of the caliphate since 750

1000s of works on math, science, geography, history, theology and fiqh were lost forever.

House of Wisdom books were dumped into the Tigris River, the ink from hundreds of years of scholarship turning the river black.


Baghdad's entire Muslim population, 200,000 to 1 million, was killed.

It would seem that nothing was going to stop the Mongols from moving south into Egypt, destroying Islamic civilization there, and effectively erasing Islam from the world just as fast as it rose 600 years before.

The young Mamluk Sultanate halted the Mongol advance in 1260 in northern Palestine.