The books have claimed the Mongols to be barbaric, but how barbaric were they? The barbarians have earned the title barbaric. The barbarians were people who didn’t belong to a certain culture or group of people, and pretty much did what they pleased. The Mongols were barbaric with their laws, punishments, and the amount of battles and deaths caused in their presence. The barbarians were barbaric in many different ways. The Mongol Empire was bigger than the continental U.S., being 4,860,000 square miles of conquered land (Doc 1). The Mongol Empire was more that three times bigger that the amount of land Adolf Hitler conquered during his time (Doc 1). With the empire being this big, there would need to be laws. There were laws on hospitality, adultery, drinking, and marriage. With these laws came punishments. For example, if you committed adultery, you would be executed, even if there were no earlier convictions (Doc 10). There were also laws made by Genghis Khan that were enforced during battle situations. If you were a soldier and you got scared and ran away from battle, if you were found, the rest of your group of 10, including you, would be executed. If your whole group of 10 flees, the group of a hundred you were in would all be executed along with you.
You were expected to stay with your group throughout battle, or your consequence would be death (Doc 2). In battle, if you were a prisoner or war, that was not desired to be a slave, or were an artisan, the law was to put you to death with the axe (Doc 3). The number of deaths caused by the barbarians, is not countable. Many people were killed and or captured by the Mongols. Along with the people, their towns were also demolished. Through the years 1220-1258, there were 5,107,000 plus deaths alone (Doc 4). In 1221 in Nishapur, Persia, there were 1,747,000 deaths according to a Persian chronicler (Doc 4). The Mongols tore the city apart and in the process, “severed the heads of the slain from their bodies and heaped them up in piles…” (Doc 4). There weren’t many options for punishments, not that the people got to choose their punishment, and people who were punished were probably a big part of the number of deaths caused the barbarians. Punishment and death was very common in the Mongol Empire. The Mongol leaders might have this punishment to make clear that they are in charge and to intimidate others. There was always a punishment for rule breaking. Most often, the punishment was death.
There were different ways of killing people, or to sound nicer, putting them into a deep sleep in the Mongol Empire. In the Empire there were different forms of being killed, or put to death. You could just be executed, you could have you head chopped off, you could be shot multiple times with arrows, you could even be buried alive upside down (Doc 5,4,3,2). Killing was very common with these peoples. The Mongols overall were very violent. They could be organized at times, but they were more barbaric by following the rules that were organized by the emperor. The Mongols conquered many lands, but killed and lost others they knew in the process. The laws were partially barbaric because of the different parts involved in them. If you committed a crime, there wasn’t anyone to help you get out of your punishment. The most barbaric thing is that mostly everything resulted in death. If you committed a horrible crime, such as adultery, the way you are killed might be worse, but if you got drunk more that three times a month, you could possibly be put to death (Doc 10).
The barbarians were a barbaric people. As you can tell, they did what the pleased. The laws made by Genghis Khan that were used for battle situations were barbaric because if one person or a small group of soldiers left because they were scared, everyone else and them included, were killed (Doc 2). There was pretty much only one punishment in the whole Mongol Empire, and that was death. This punishment is barbaric for the people who didn’t commit huge and serious crimes. Death was a big part in the success of the Mongol Empire. If they, the barbarians, hadn’t killed the people from the cities they captured, there could have been revolts against the Mongols. The Mongols were barbaric because of many things, but mostly for the amount of death they caused. The Mongol Empire set the example for the other empires to follow. Again I ask, how barbaric were the barbarians really? The Mongols were barbaric enough for them to be called barbarians and with the number of deaths caused by them, it would be safe to say that the barbarians were pretty barbaric.
Courtney from Study Moose
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