History and Geography
Chapter 6 Under the Mongols (1206–1368) and Tamerlane (1370–1405)
Under the Mongols (1206–1368) and Tamerlane (1370–1405)
Under the Mongols (1206–1368), the Church of the East enjoyed a last period of expansion, thanks to the Mongols’ unification of Asia from the Euphrates to the Yellow Sea. During this period the Church of the East planted itself again in China. It was at this time that the Church of the East attained its broadest geographical extent.
In the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries the Mongols came to establish an Asian empire that was transcontinental and even European, one of the most extensive empires in history. In 1258, with their capture of Baghdad, they were for a time the masters of Asia. Beyond the Mongol Empire the principal states in the Middle East at that time were the Byzantine Empire (330–1453) and the Mamluk state in Egypt and Syria (1250–1517).
Even though the Mongols conducted ceaseless warfare, and despite their savage destruction of towns and populations, they also promoted a certain kind of ‘universal’ peace, the so-called Pax Mongolica, over their very vast territories in practically the whole of Asia. This period of stability created favourable conditions for travellers along the Silk Road and permitted the migration of peoples across Central Asia and China. The Mongol conquest resulted in an unprecedented unification of Eurasia that facilitated economic and cultural exchange. Thus from the social, cultural and economic viewpoints, the unified administration of this empire...
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