Nomadic Heritage That Mongolians Gave to the World

Including Mongolia’s 80 years of socialist and 26 years of democratic development, Mongolians has maintained the nomadic lifestyle over millennia since the beginning. In the 20th century, many countries forbade to write positively about Mongolia of the 13th century and Chinggis khan. So, the world began to see Mongolians as ruthless invaders of other nations, burners of towns and cities and slaughterers entire populations. This notion resulted in little current knowledge about the actual influence the Mongolians had in world history and the heritage contributed to the world culture some of which we are briefly describing below: 

Chinggis Khan’s international policy: The Mongols played an important role in advancing the connectedness of peoples and civilizations across Eurasia linking the East and West through cultural an administration ties and free trade, and laid a common foundation on which the modern world has emerged. Connecting Asia and Europe was an impetus for modern globalization and played an essential role in development of international relations. Under this policy, the Silk road and Tea Road were extended into Europe via which Mongolians gave the printing press, the compass, the abacus, and gunpowder to the West and brought steel, iron, eyeglasses, porcelain, and zinc glass from the East.

Laying the foundation for modern diplomacy: the Mongol Empire gave much importance to diplomatic relations. Chinggis khan once said “Diplomatic relations are the golden tie of the State”. Thus, he gave a golden gerege, a tablet confirming privileges and authority of its holder and representing the khan and the Great Empire; over the centuries these have transformed into the visa, an endorsement to enter into a foreign country.  Speaking of this innovation, L.N.Gumilyov, the historian and ethnographer, wrote: “Diplomats of the modern visa era owe Genghis Khan a golden statue.”  

The co-existence of various religions and beliefs: There are still collisions between different religions in the world today.  According to historians, Mongolians from early Hunnu period to the Mongol Empire practiced various religions such as christianity, pantheism, buddhism, confucian tecahings and Nestorianism. Although Mongolians were mostly shamanists, including Chinggis khan himself, the Empire granted religious freedom to all its subject peoples.  This policy, that honored human rights, contributed much to the long-term existence of the Great Mongol Empire. 

There is not a word “if” in the history but some researchers claim that if Mongolians in the 13 century did not invade the world and did not end the internal wars in Russia and China and did not bring them together, if the East and West, Asia and Europe were not connected at that time, the world may have lagged behind development over many centuries. Concluding this article, here is Jack Weatherford’s wise observation: “I think that Genghis Khan moved history forward very quickly by uniting items of all different civilizations of Europe, the Middle East and China. Without Genghis Khan, I think things still would have happened, but it probably would have happened several centuries later”.   

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