Mongol Asia and Its Legacy


The military expansion of the Mongols in the thirteenth century followed by a century of so-called Pax Mongolica (the Mongolian Peace) resulted in unprecedented cross-regional movement of people, goods, and ideas. Asia, Europe, and parts of Africa were integrated through these movements that shaped local and world histories through to the fifteenth century and even later. 

Genghis Khan

This course examines the significance of the Mongols and the integrated world they created through the study of primary sources and secondary literature. The Secret History of the Mongols and Marco Polo’s The Description of the World will be the key primary texts used for the course. 

Marco Polo

 In addition to focusing on important Mongol leaders, such as Genghis Khan, Mongke Khan, and Kubilai Khan, the course will also analyze the impact of Mongol expansion and integration on the transmission of religious ideas, knowledge circulation, maritime warfare, the environment, and the spread of diseases.

The Mongol Khanates

This course takes a historical approach to examine cross-cultural interactions in the Eurasian world between the twelfth and fourteen centuries. It focuses on how various people, societies, and cultures encountered and were transformed by the creation of the Mongol Empire.

Primary Sources

Emphasizing the analysis of primary texts, the course provides a critical perspective on empire formation, intra-ethnic interactions, and the long-distance spread of ideas, technologies, and diseases. 

Student Websites

 It also examines environmental matters, gender aspects, and methodological issues pertaining to studying cross-cultural interactions and exchanges. These aspects of the course satisfy the “Cultures and Contexts” requirements of NYU’s Core curriculum.

Professor Tansen Sen

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