Conceptual influences in the Mongol Empire
Beatrice Manz (Tufts University)
Timothy May (University of North Georgia)
Beatrice Manz
Timothy May
Posvar 3800
Start time:
26 October, 2018 at 11:00
Session slots:


The Mongol Empire casts a long shadow in history, most notably in Central Eurasia. Not only the ramifications of the Mongol Conquests and rule affected the region, but many of the institutions carried on long afterwards, extending well beyond the immediate steppe successors but also into successors that formed in sedentary states. Political institutions were not the only type that carried great importance within the Mongol Empire. Well known for their emphasis on trade, the Mongols also developed a commercial entity known as the ortoq. While how it operated is well understood, it origins and similarities with other commercial arrangements in the medieval world is less so. Yet, despite its similarities with other systems, unlike the Mongol political institution, the commercial institution did not survive the Mongol Empire. Additionally, not all institutions are readily identified and remain as underlying concepts that shaped the Mongol Empire, including obligations between the khan and his supporters. These ideas carried great importance not only during the Mongol Empire, but one can see their antecedents in steppe history and their legacy in the post-Mongol world.