‘If history relies upon written records produced by city-based literati, nomadic societies will always receive a hostile representation.’
Would you agree with this statement? Does it explain the reason why Persian chronicles produced such inflated figures of casualties resulting from Mongol campaigns?
How does the following account enlarge upon the character of the Pax Mongolica created by the Mongols by the middle of the thirteenth century?
The Franciscan monk, William of Rubruck, was sent by Louis IX of France on an embassy to the great Khan Mongke’s court. He reached
Karakorum, the capital of Mongke, in 1254 and came upon a woman from Lorraine (in France) called Paquette, who had been brought from Hungary and was in the service of one of the prince’s wives who was a Nestorian Christian. At the court he came across a Parisian goldsmith named Guillaume Boucher, ‘whose brother dwelt on the Grand Pont in Paris’. This man was first employed by the Queen Sorghaqtani and then by Mongke’s younger brother. Rubruck found that at the great court festivals the Nestorian priests were admitted first, with their regalia, to bless the Grand Khan’s cup, and were followed by the Muslim clergy and Buddhist and Taoist monks…