Positive Legacies of the Mongolian Empire: International Trade, Religious Tolerance, Career Opportunities, and Horse Milk
The Mongolian Empire has a well-deserved reputation for its brutality (it did, after all, kill 40 million in the 12th century, enough people to alter planetary climate conditions). But it's positive legacies are nearly as profound, if less well known. In this episode I talk about the lasting influence of Genghis and his descendants on world civilization. The Mongolians patronize the arts on a scale not seen since the height of Rome; the Pax Mongolica consolidated the Silk Road and kicked off a boom in trade where ideas, technologies and goods flowed freely from Europe to Asia (spices, tea, and silk headed west while gold, medical manuscripts, and porcelain headed east; and the Mongolian approach to religious tolerance was so flexible that Buddhists, Muslims, and Christians were invited to debate their ideas before the royal court in Karakorum.
February 08, 2018
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