Today in Chinese history: the Siege of Kaifeng ends (1233)

Chinese history isn’t really what we cover around here, but I’m making an exception for the 1232-1233 Siege of Kaifeng. Why? Well, partly because the Mongols were involved, but also because, from the standpoint of military history, there were some incredible things happening in China in this period. The Jin, who were the ruling dynasty… Continue reading Today in Chinese history: the Siege of Kaifeng ends (1233)

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 945, when the Iranian Buyids seized Baghdad and put the caliphate under their “protection.” Even this was really the end of a process rather… Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the Mongols sack Baghdad (1258)

Today in Middle Eastern history: the Assassin imam surrenders to the Mongols (1256)

If we’re going to talk about the end of the Assassin order, we should probably talk about who they were first. You may already know something about them–of all the topics one can cover in Islamic history, they’re one of the most provocative and interesting to Western audiences. There’s even a whole video game series… Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the Assassin imam surrenders to the Mongols (1256)

Columbus and the Islamic World

Happy Indigenous Peoples Day! As we commemorate the impact that Christopher Columbus had upon the peoples of the Americas, I thought in keeping with the focus of this blog that it would be appropriate to talk about his impact (broadly speaking) on the Middle East. Source: Columbus and the Islamic World

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

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 and ending the over 700 year old Abbasid Caliphate in the process. With the empire also expanding… Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern History: the Battle of Ayn Jalut (1260)

Today in Middle Eastern history: the Battle of Köse Dağ (1243)

As the Mongols pushed west, into the area we now call the Middle East, they began to run into previous Central Asia peoples who had already made that migration and established their own kingdoms in the region. One of those peoples was of course the ex-slave soldiers who created the Mamluk dynasty in Egypt and… Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the Battle of Köse Dağ (1243)