Mongols

Rabban Bar Sauma 4: Ilkhanid End Times

Ghazan Khan

This episode is the conclusion of the Rabban Bar Sauma series. It's his return to the Ilkhanate and the results of his journey. It's the end of the line for him and the catholicus, and it's the changes that were going on in the Ilkhanate and how they affected the Church of the East and our main characters. (MP3)

If you like what you hear and want to chip in to support the podcast, my Patreon is here, my Ko-fi is here, and Paypal is here.

Sources:

  • The Monks of Kublai Khan, translated by Sir E. A. Wallis Budge. The Religious Tract Society, 1928.

  • Aigle, Denise. The Mongol Empire between Myth and Reality: Studies in Anthropological History. Brill, 2014.

  • Grousset, René. Empire of the Steppes: A History of Central Asia. Rutgers University Press, 1988. 

  • Jackson, Peter. The Mongols and the Islamic World. Yale University Press, 2017.

  • Jackson, Peter. The Mongols and the West: 1221-1410. Pearson Longman, 2005.

  • Kolbas, Judith. The Mongols in Iran: Chingiz Khan to Uljaytu 1220–1309. Routledge, 2006.  

  • Lambton, Ann K. S. Continuity and Change in Medieval Persia. SUNY Press, 1988.

  • Rossabi, Morris. Voyager from Xanadu: Rabban Sauma and the First Journey from China to the West. Kodansha International, 1992.


Rabban Bar Sauma 3: Barbazoma, Tartarus, Orientalis

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This is Rabban Bar Sauma part 3 of 4: the story of the Mongol envoy's diplomatic efforts in Paris, Bordeaux, and Rome, his experience as a pilgrim to the sites and saints of Italy and France, and his attempts to improve the Ilkhanid cause against the Mamluks. (MP3)

If you like what you hear and want to chip in to support the podcast, my Patreon is here, my Ko-fi is here, and Paypal is here.

Sources
:

  • The Monks of Kublai Khan, translated by Sir E. A. Wallis Budge. The Religious Tract Society, 1928.

  • Epstein, Steven. Genoa and the Genoese, 958-1528. University of North Carolina Press, 2001.

  • Jackson, Peter. The Mongols and the Islamic World. Yale University Press, 2017.

  • Jackson, Peter. The Mongols and the West: 1221-1410. Pearson Longman, 2005.

  • Kolbas, Judith. The Mongols in Iran: Chingiz Khan to Uljaytu 1220–1309. Routledge, 2006.

  • Lower, Michael. The Tunis Crusade of 1270: A Mediterranean History. Oxford University Press, 2018.  

  • Nicol, Donald M. Byzantium and Venice: A Study in Diplomatic and Cultural Relations. Cambridge University Press, 1992. 

  • Prestwich, Michael. Edward I. Yale University Press, 2008.

  • Rossabi, Morris. Voyager from Xanadu: Rabban Sauma and the First Journey from China to the West. Kodansha International, 1992.


Rabban Bar Sauma 2: Ilkhanid Infighting, Ilkhanid Envoy

Arghun Khan of the Ilkhanate

In this episode, our monkish friends attempt to navigate the violent waters of Ilkhanid Mongol politics, and Bar Sauma himself embarks on another long journey, this time heading for Rome.(MP3)

Sources:

  • The Monks of Kublai Khan, translated by Sir E. A. Wallis Budge. The Religious Tract Society, 1928.

  • Aigle, Denise. The Mongol Empire Between Myth and Reality: Studies in Anthropological History. Brill Academic Pub, 2014.

  • Benjamin, Sandra. Sicily: Three Thousand Years of Human History. Steerforth Press, 2010.

  • Grousset, René. The Empire of the Steppes: A History of Central Asia, translated by Naomi Walford. Rutgers, 2002. 

  • Jackson, Peter. The Mongols and the Islamic World. Yale University Press, 2017.

  • Jackson, Peter. The Mongols and the West: 1221-1410. Pearson Longman, 2005.

  • Kolbas, Judith. The Mongols in Iran: Chingiz Khan to Uljaytu 1220–1309. Routledge, 2006.

  • Pfeiffer, Judith, "Reflections on a 'Double Rapprochement': Conversion to Islam among the Mongol Elite during the Early Ilkhanate," in Beyond the Legacy of Genghis Khan, edited by Linda Komaroff. Brill Academic Pub, 2006.

  • Rose, Susan. Medieval Naval Warfare, 1000-1500. Routledge, 2002.

  • Rossabi, Morris. Voyager from Xanadu: Rabban Sauma and the First Journey from China to the West. Kodansha International, 1992.


Rabban Bar Sauma 1: The Monks of Kublai Khan

Hulagu Khan and Doquz Khatun of the Ilkhanate

First in a series on Rabban Bar Sauma, covering his life from miracle-baby through cave-bound monk and on to pilgrim, with ambassador to the cities of western Europe not far behind. This episode takes us from Yuan China to Jerusalem, or perhaps not quite that far. (MP3)

If you like what you hear and want to chip in to support the podcast, my Patreon is here, my Ko-fi is here, and Paypal is here

Sources:  

  • The History of Yaballaha III Nestorian Patriarch and of his Vicar Bar Sauma Mongol Ambassador to the Frankish Courts at the End of the Thirteenth Century, translated by James A. Montgomery. Columbia University Press, 1927.

  • The Monks of Kublai Khan, translated by Sir E. A. Wallis Budge. The Religious Tract Society, 1928.

  • Nestorian Tablet: Eulogizing the Propagation of the Illustrious Religion in China, with a Preface, composed by a priest of the Syriac Church, 781 A.D. https://sourcebooks.fordham.edu/eastasia/781nestorian.asp 

  • Jackson, Peter. The Mongols and the Islamic World. Yale University Press, 2017.

  • Jackson, Peter. The Mongols and the West: 1221-1410. Pearson Longman, 2005. 

  • Keevak, Michael. The Story of a Stele: China's Nestorian Monument and Its Reception in the West, 1625-1916. Hong Kong University Press, 2010.

  • Rossabi, Morris. Khublai Khan: His Life and Times. University of California Press, 1988. 

  • Rossabi, Morris. Voyager from Xanadu: Rabban Sauma and the First Journey from China to the West. Kodansha International, 1992.


Marco and the Polos 4: Did You Go to China, Marco?

Marco Polo with Bow and Sword

In this episode, I look at the question of whether Marco actually went to China. Some have thought he did not at all or only made it to Kublai's capital. I also talk about what he was actually doing there if/when he reached China, what he tells us, and what he might have told the khan. There's the Siege of Xiangyang, war with the Southern Song, the theories of Frances Wood, and all that Marco does and does not say of his time with the khan and in his capital at Dadu or Khanbaliq. 

(MP3)

If you like what you hear, my Patreon is here, my Ko-fi is here, and Paypal is here.

Sources:

  • The Travels of Marco Polo, the Venetian, translated by William Marsden, edited by Thomas Wright. George Bell & Sons, 1907.

  • The Travels of Marco Polo: The Complete Yule-Cordier Edition, translated by Henry Yule and revised by Henri Cordier. Courier Corporation, 1993.

  • Haw, Stephen G. Marco Polo's China: A Venetian in the Realm of Khubilai Khan. Routledge, 2006.

  • Larner, John. Marco Polo and the Discovery of the World. Yale University Press, 1999.

  • Man, John. Marco Polo: The Journey that Changed the World. HarperCollins, 2009.

  • Olschki, Leonardo. Marco Polo's Asia. University of California Press, 1960.

  • Rossabi, Morris. Khubilai Khan: His Life and Times. University of California Press, 1988.

  • Vogel, Hans Ulrich. Marco Polo was in China: New Evidence from Currencies, Salts and Revenues. Brill Academic Pub, 2012.


Marco and the Polos 3: Marco and the Great, Great Khan

In the Marco Polo text, Kublai Khan is seen carried about, on hunts and at war, by up to 4 elephants.

Marco Polo was a tremendous admirer of Kublai Khan and of his Genghisid legacy more generally. This episode, we explore that admiration, the character of Kublai, and the anecdote of the treacherous minister. You'll hear about the khan at his summer palace of Shangdu, the rebellion of Nayan (with the support of Kaidu), the role of Liu Bingzhong, and the story of Ahmed. I also posted a written addition to this episode here

(MP3)

If you like what you hear, my Patreon is here, my Ko-fi is here, and Paypal is here.

Sources:

  • The Travels of Marco Polo, the Venetian, translated by William Marsden, edited by Thomas Wright. George Bell & Sons, 1907.

  • Larner, John. Marco Polo and the Discovery of the World. Yale University Press, 1999.

  • Man, John. Marco Polo: The Journey that Changed the World. HarperCollins, 2009.

  • Olschki, Leonardo. Marco Polo's Asia. University of California Press, 1960.

  • Rossabi, Morris. Khubilai Khan: His Life and Times. University of California Press, 1988.


Marco and the Polos 2: Of Assassins and Other Things

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The three Polos depart for the summer palace of Kublai Khan. There'll be Assassins, baked corpses, and papal elections along the way! There'll be the conclusion of the longest of interregnums with the election of Gregory X, the threat of Mamluk attacks, the remnants of Alexander the Great, Prester John, Ong Khan, and Shangdu.

(MP3)

If you like what you hear, my Patreon is here, my Ko-fi is here, and Paypal is here.

Sources:

  • The Travels of Marco Polo, the Venetian, translated by William Marsden, edited by Thomas Wright. George Bell & Sons, 1907.

  • The Mission of Friar William of Rubruck, translated by Peter Jackson. The Hakluyt Society, 1990.

  • Cathay and the Way Thither, Being a Collection of Medieval Notices of China, Vol. III, translated and edited by Henry Yule and Henri Cordier. London, 1916.

  • Ackroyd, Peter. Venice: Pure City. Chatto & Windus, 2009.

  • Daftary, Farhad. The Assassin Legends. I. B. Tauris, 1994.

  • Larner, John. Marco Polo and the Discovery of the World. Yale University Press, 1999.

  • Madden, Thomas F. Venice: A New History. Viking, 2012.

  • Olschki, Leonardo. Marco Polo's Asia. University of California Press, 1960.

  • Steinhardt, Nancy Shatzman. Chinese Imperial City Planning. University of Hawaii Press, 1999.


Marco and the Polos 1: From Venice to the World

the polos.jpeg

The journey of Venice's most famous merchant and traveller begins today, but we won't see much of him in this episode. We'll look at Venice in the early 13th century and touch on the 4th crusade, Mediterranean-Asian trade, and the Pax Mongolica, before following the other Polos, Niccolo and Maffeo, east on their own little adventure. Enjoy! 

(MP3)

If you like what you hear, my Patreon is here, my Ko-fi is here, and Paypal is here.

Sources:

  • The Travels of Marco Polo, the Venetian, translated by Willam Marsden, edited by Thomas Wright. George Bell & Sons, 1907.

  • The Mission of Friar William of Rubruck, translated by Peter Jackson. The Hakluyt Society, 1990.

  • Cathay and the Way Thither, Being a Collection of Medieval Notices of China, Vol. III, translated and edited by Henry Yule and Henri Cordier. London, 1916.

  • Abu-Lughod, Janet L. Before European Hegemony: The World System A.D. 1250-1350. Oxford University Press, 1989.

  • Ackroyd, Peter. Venice: Pure City. Chatto & Windus, 2009.

  • Ciociltan, Virgil. The Mongols and the Black Sea Trade in the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries. Brill Academic, 2012.

  • Larner, John. Marco Polo and the Discovery of the World. Yale University Press, 1999.

  • Madden, Thomas F. Venice: A New History. Viking, 2012.

  • Olschki, Leonardo. Marco Polo's Asia. University of California Press, 1960.


To See the Mongols 7: Mongol Civil War

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It’s a busy episode. We’re catching up on the Mongol world and all that was happening away from the specific journeys of European friars. That means the rise of Hulagu and Kublai, the Mongol expansion into Persia and Syria in the west and Song China in the east, the death of Mongke Khan, and a civil war over the future of the empire. Thanks for listening everybody!

(MP3)

If you like what you hear, my Patreon is here, my Ko-fi is here, and Paypal is here.

Sources:

  • Al-Din, Rashid. The Successors of Genghis Khan, translated by John Andrew Boyle. Columbia University Press, 1971.

  • Asbridge, Thomas. The Crusades: The War for the Holy Land. Simon & Schuster, 2010.

  • Jackson, Peter. The Mongols and the Islamic World. Yale University Press, 2017.

  • Lambert, Malcolm. Crusade and Jihad: Origins, History, and Aftermath. Profile Books, 2012.

  • Man, John. Kublai Khan: From Xanadu to Superpower. Bantam Press, 2006.

  • Marshall, Robert. Storm from the East: From Genghis Khan to Khubilai Khan. University of California Press, 1993.

  • Rachewiltz, Igor de. Papal Envoys to the Great Khans. Faber & Faber, 1971.

  • Rossabi, Morris. Khublai Khan: His Life and Times. University of California Press, 1988.


To See the Mongols 6: The Road from Karakorum

William of Rubruck's route 1253-55.jpg

Friar William wraps up his affairs at the court of Mongke Khan and heads for home. Today, we cover his last audience with the khan, cross the walls of Alexander, and advise King Louis IX as to the future of the crusades. Thanks for listening!

(MP3)

If you like what you hear, my Patreon is here, my Ko-fi is here, and Paypal is here.

Sources: 

  • Carpini, Giovanni. The Story of the Mongols: Whom we Call the Tartars, translated by Erik Hildinger. Branden Books, 1996.

  • The Mission of Friar William of Rubruck, translated by Peter Jackson. The Hakluyt Society, 1990.

  • The Mongol Mission: Narratives and Letters of the Franciscan Missionaries in Mongolia and China in the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries, edited by Christopher Dawson. Sheed & Ward, 1955.

  • Rachewiltz, Igor de. Papal Envoys to the Great Khans. Faber & Faber, 1971.