How the Mongol Empire Conquered Topography

That is to say, the people living within this landlocked area have historically been bestowed with a choice of inhabiting three biomes: Desert, Mountains, or cold Taga. As these are similarly difficult to settle in and survive, the Mongols led nomadic patterns along the steppe – those mid-areas at the cusp of Mountain plateaus, off the lines of parched expanses. This steppe of the Gobi desert can be characterized as rocky lands covered in layers of sand.
The Mongol civilization developed as one of the world’s first nomadic groups, cradled between mountain and desert. But here is where also developed one of Asia’s most powerful empires. The contradiction is intriguing. What would nomadic tribes endlessly wandering undulating terrain have to do with the powerful Mongol Empire, which under the rule of Genghis Khan, moved armies across huge expanses of terrain, despite difficult topography, to conquer adjacent civilizations to the east and west Many maintain that was precisely the work of Genghis Khan and his closest successors, including Kublai Khan. Indeed, the height of the Mongols really only lasted from the 13th to the 14th century. Other factors pertaining to how the Mongols dealt with their geography come into play, for example, the methods they used for centuries to move across terrain, climate patterns, and population density.
For centuries Mongols were known as pastoralists and nomads. Mongol tribes appeared around 500 BC, already carrying their proportion of horses.1 They wandered, while in nearby lands of China, people were beginning their Imperial Era as early as 220 BC.2 On the steppe, the Mongols herded cattle along Gobi oases, seldom traveling in clans larger than one or two families.3 In comparison to the frozen Mongol development, civilization boomed quite effortlessly south of the steppe. Within the fertile river basins of the Yellow and Yangtze Rivers,
China’s multiple units successfully accommodated a mixed economy of commerce, farming, handicrafts and pastoralism. Internal competition also allowed science and technology as well as literature and art to thrive on the East Asian Mainland. This was known as a hundred flowers blossoming (baijia zhengming, literally a grand song contest with one hundred contenders).4
But meanwhile in nomadic ambling across a rocky desert, trudging through shifting sands, the Mongols carried out their civilization, seemingly without a trace. For hundreds of years, up to 600-800 A.D., the Mongols had still left little evidence of their cultural existence, in terms of pottery or cultivation, and settled in not a single village.5
It has been said that Genghis Khan made the Moguls a strong empire by first unifying the Mongolian tribes. Previously known as Tem Jin, then Granted the title Genghis Khan, he reorganized the Mongolian military and established the civil laws of his empire. His reforms included breaking tribal armies, implementing a meritocracy, developing a cavalry and a code of written laws.6 The interesting aspect of this quotation is in the explication of tribal activities. By converting many tribes into a single unified people, and then extinguishing individual clan ties, Genghis Khan ensured that the Mongols would become an empire by removing all

Back To Top