Today in European history: the Battle of the Kalka River (1223)

The sudden arrival of the Mongols compelled the Kievan Rus’ confederation, in an increasingly rare moment of solidarity (funny how the perception of an existential threat can bring people together), to muster a large army with contributions from each of its component principalities, including the three most important: Kiev, Galicia–Volhynia (the western part of modern… Continue reading Today in European history: the Battle of the Kalka River (1223)

Today in European history: the Battle of Mohi (1241)

Having already talked about the Battle of Legnica a couple of days ago, I suppose we should mention the larger of the Mongols’ two major April 1241 battles, the Battle of Mohi (also referred to as the Battle of the Sajó River) on April 11 (it technically may have begun on April 10, but close enough). If you’ve… Continue reading Today in European history: the Battle of Mohi (1241)

Today in Middle Eastern history: the Mongols sack Baghdad (1258)

The end of the Abbasid caliphate managed to be both somewhat anti-climactic and historically pivotal at the same time. In any practical sense, the caliphs had stopped being politically relevant in … Source: Today in Middle Eastern history: the Mongols sack Baghdad (1258)

Today in Middle Eastern History: the Battle of Ayn Jalut (1260)

Originally posted on and that's the way it was:
(Reminder: I’m on a break this week) In 1260, the Mongols were riding as high as they’d been at any time since Genghis Khan’s death in 1215. In less than 10 years, their armies had stormed through Iran and Iraq, crushing the notorious “Assassins” sect…

Today in European history: the Battle of the Kalka River (1223)

The astute reader might remember this battle from such blog posts as “Today in European history: the Mongols sack Kiev (1240).” Or not, I wouldn’t blame you. The 1240 siege of Kiev occurred on the Mongols’ second incursion into the eastern European steppe, the one that was intended to conquer territory. The first incursion amounted… Continue reading Today in European history: the Battle of the Kalka River (1223)