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3.2. What Happened When? A Chronological View at Mongolian History


This article is from the Mongolia FAQ, by Oliver Corff with numerous contributions by others.

3.2. What Happened When? A Chronological View at Mongolian History

An overview of Mongolian history is given here in tabular manner.
There are still many gaps in this list which are to be filled later.
This is a starter, and should actually be accompanied by the notorious
Site under Construction warning. Since this is an overview only,
neither all geographical nor all personal names can be explained and
commented in detail here. The reader interested in in-depth
information is kindly requested to consult history books on Mongolian
history; an introductory bibliography (see also the last item of this
FAQ) can be found at SROM - Suggested Readings on Mongolia.

Speaking in geopolitical terms, the epicentres of Mongolian history
are the conquest of Central Asia in the 13th century, the Golden Horde
(m. altan orda) in today's Russia lasting to the beginning of the 16th
century, the comparatively shortlived Il Khanate (from 1220 to ca.
1350) and the Yuan Khanate (dynasty, ulus) in China (from 1279 to
1368), and, by the point of view of the Golden Horde, East Mongolia
which is more or less identical with modern Mongolia and Inner
Mongolia. This very brief sketch does not contain the history of
Mongolians in India, nor many other contacts between Mongolia and the
West. Huge volumes have been written about every single of these
subjects, and the researcher who wants to fully understand by own
reading of historical sources the panorama of Mongolian history has to
master, besides Mongolian, a range of about a dozen totally different
languages, from Latin to Chinese as geographical poles, with Arabian,
Persian, Turkish, Armenian etc. etc. in between. Few scholars have
ever achieved this first source knowledge, which is one of the reasons
why we have no all-encompassing history of the Mongols out of the
hands of one author alone.

At this point the onset of this historical overview coincides with
Khabul Khan's activities. Neither the early Hunnu (Xiongnu) nor the
East Turkic empires are included here.

Khabul Khan unites the Mongxol and forms a tribal group.

around 1167
Birth of Temujin, grandson Khabul Khan's, who will later receive
the name Chinggis.

around 1195
Temujin reigns the Mongxol and is entitled Khan besides
receiving the name Chinggis. The etymology of this name could
not yet be clarified in a satisfactory manner.

At the Onon river, clean leaders hold an assembly (m. xuriltai)
at which Chinggis Khan is confirmed as the leader of the Mongol

Mongols invade Xixia, also known as Tangut.

Beijing falls to Mongols.

Mongol campaign towards the West; Karakitai falls in 1218;
Buchara and Samarkand fall in 1220. The latter date is
considered by some as the initial year of the Il Khanate.

Mongols beat a united army of Qipchak Turks (Cumans) and
Russians at the Kalka river (enters the Sea of Azov near Zhdanov
via the Kal'mius river); modern name Kal'qik, it is a tributary
to the Kal'mius river, but some sources give the name Kalec and
point to the modern city of Taganrog as its mouth); this date is
considered by some as the beginning of the Golden Horde.

Death of Chinggis Khan. Fall of the Tangut.

Election of Ögödäi as Great Khan.

The Secret History of the Mongols probably written in this year,
if not 12 years later. Marking the onset of Mongolian
literature, the Secret History of the Mongols of which no truly
original text is preserved (only a transcription of the
Mongolian language with Chinese characters survived) is at the
same time Mongolia's first history, her first genealogy and her
first epos. Besides that, it is as well a piece of poetry as a
piece of lore; until today it is a keystone of Mongolian

Battle of Liegnitz marking the westernmost expansion of the
Mongol empire. Death of Ögödäi.

John of Plano Carpini travels to Mongolia.

Begin of the campaigns against Korea.

William Rubruk travels to the Mongols and is sent to Karakorum.
Carpini's and Rubruk's travelogues belong to the earliest
western sources on medieval Mongolia.

Death of Batu, first Khan of the Golden Horde.

Bagdad conquered by Hülägü.

Death of Möngkä.

Death of Hülägü, the first Il Khan.

Death of Bärkä, Khan of the Golden Horde.

Khubilai adopts Chinese dynastic title Yuan.

First attempt to conquer Japan.

End of Song resistance against Mongols is considered the
founding date of the Yuan dynasty, or Yuan Ulus.

Second attempt to conquer Japan. Fleet defeated prior to landing
in Japan by storms praised by Japanese as ``Winds of Godly
power'' - kamikaze.

Mongols defeated in Java.

Rabban Sauma (also known as Bar Sawma) sent to Europe by Il Khan

Özbäg becomes the last powerful Mongol ruler of the Golden

Death of Abu Sa'id, the last Il Khan of Hülägü's line, probably
by poisoning. Beginning decline of the Il Khanate. No new ruler
powerful enough to govern the whole Khanate emerges. Within a
few years, the Il Khanate collapses.

The Yuan rule in China collapses and yields to the Ming dynasty.

Sheikh Ahmad becomes last Khan of the Golden Horde.

Sheikh Ahmad's troups defeated by Mengli Girai.

The peace between Lituania and Russia is considered as the end
of the Golden Horde.

Alexander of Lituania has Sheikh Ahmad executed.

Ärdänä Zuu founded.

Altan Khan awards the title of Dalai Lama to the Tibetan priest
Bsod-nams Rgya-mcho. Eastern Mongolia embraces Tibetan

Ligdan Khan becomes last of the Mongolian Great Khans.

Mongolian rulers fail to recognize Ligdan Khan's attempts to
unify the Mongolian tribes; at Ligdan's death in 1634 even the
remaining Caxar flee; the collapse of Mongolian power leads to
Manchu claims over southern and east Mongolian territory which
will now be called ``Inner Mongolia''.

Ming toppled with Mongolian assistance; Qing dynasty founded.

Lifan Yuan founded. The equivalent of the ``India Office'' in
some aspects, it was responsible for Mongolian, Tibetan, Uighur
and Russian affairs.

around 1651
Ix Xürää probably founded as a nomadic monastery.

Zanabazar invents Soyombo script.

Manchu-Russian Treaty of Nerchinsk. Russian border defined.

Council of Dolon nor. Xalx Mongol rulers submit formally to the
Manchu Court.

Final organization of the Lifan Yuan.

around 1779
Ix Xürää becoming settled.

End of Qing Dynasty. 8th Yebcundamba Xutugtu enthroned as Head
of Autonomous Mongolia.

Treaty of Kyakhta. Russia and China maintain various privileges
in Autonomous Mongolia (the third partner) without Autonomous
Mongolia being able to decide her own territorial issues.

Baron of Ungern-Sternberg in Xalx.

Provisional Revolutionary People's Government in Xalx.

Death of Süxbaatar, revolutionary hero of modern Mongolia.

Death of the 8th (and last) Zebcundamba Xutugtu. Foundation of
the Mongolian People's Republic (MPR; in Mongolian: BNMAU, Bügd
Naïramdax Mongol Ard Uls); first national assembly, Ardyn Ix
Xural or Great People's Hural held. Örgöö (Urga) renamed

Battle of Xalxyn Gol between Japanese-Manchukuo and Soviet-
Mongolian forces.


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