Hulegu was the grandson of Chinggis Khan, son of Tolui, and established the Il-Khanate of Persia (also known as the Il-Khan, or  Ilkhan). His bothers included Mongke (r. 1251-1259), Qubilai (r. 1260-1294), Arigh Boke (r. 1260-1264), and Bochek. Three of his brothers Mongke, Qubilai, and Arigh Boke were appointed as Great Khans and served in […]


The Crimea is located on the northern coast of the Black Sea; which almost completely surrounds the peninsula. The smaller Sea of Azov to the northeast also contributes to the coastline of the peninsula. The peninsula’s name originated from the Golden Horde’s provincial capital that was established after the Mongols took control of the territory. […]


Located in present-day Russia, roughly 194 miles outside of Moscow, Sarai was founded as the capital of the Golden Horde. Batu, son of Jochi and grandson of Chinggis Khan, during the thirteenth century had been engaged in a two-pronged assault across Eastern Europe. Batu’s forces defeated the Polish troops in Liegnitz in April 1241 and […]


Transoxania describes the portion of Central Asia that corresponds approximately to modern-day Uzbekistan. The people that originally lived on Transoxania territory were sedentary, meaning that the settlers erected permanent dwellings. These inhabitants long were affiliated with the Islamic traditions. In the 1120s, a semi-nomadic people, possibly from Mongolian lineage and originally from northern China, established a […]

Golden Horde

The Golden Horde, based primarily in Russia, but additionally encompassed the lands of Ukraine and Eastern Europe. The territories that comprised the Golden Horde were originally conquered and then loosely organized by Chinggis Khan. After Chinggis Khan’s death in c. 1227, the territories that would make up the Golden Horde were supposed to be inherited […]

Maragheh (Maragha)

Hulegu Khan, the grandson of Chinggis Khan and son of Tolui, set up his first capital at Khariyat-i-Maragheh in c. 1258. Translated Khariyat-i-Maragheh means “the village of the pastures.” Maragheh was and is still located close to Lake Urumiyeh in Iran; relatively close to the Iranian and Turkish border. Maragheh is located in the region […]


In c. 1236-7 the Mongols, led by Batu Khan crossed the Volga and went after the present-day Russian Ukrainian territories, as they had two decades previous. The peoples that inhabited this area were known as the Rus. The Mongols campaigned to gain an alliance from the city-state or demand a surrender. This campaigning initiative was […]

Xanadu (Shang-tu)

Xandu, a smaller city than Beijing, was the Mongols summer capital. The capital, located in inner Mongolia, was also referred to as K’ai-p’ing by Qublai. Qublai was Genghis (Chinggis) Khan’s grandson.  The summer capital was built to symbolize Qubilai as a ruler rather than as an invader. This site was also symbolic to Qublai for […]


Qaraqorm once stood magnificently at the heart of present-day Mongolia. Situated on the banks of the Orkhon River, Qaraqorm, the first permanent Mongol capital, was established by Ogodei  Khan (r. 1227-41). Unlike Ogodei’s father Chinggis Khan; who believed that the roaming conqueror most also rule on the move, Ogodei did not follow his father’s nomadic […]