Chormaqan Noyan, the first Mongol Military Governor in the Middle East
By Timothy May
MA Thesis, Indiana University (1996)
Abstract: In the year 1230, the Mongol Empire was essentially the same size as it had been when Chinggis Khan died in 1227. After Ogodei Khan came to throne, the Mongol Empire expanded at a fairly rapid pace. By 1241 the empire reached from the Sea of Japan to the Danube River. While the conquest of Russia normally is the focal point of attention for scholars of this era, another campaign of equal importance took place to the south of the Kipchak steppe. It was led by a general named Chormaqan.
This work is an examination of Chormaqan’s career. The first section discusses the possible origins of Chormaqan including why he was selected to lead the campaign into Western Asia, his ethnic identity, as well as his position in the military hierarchy and the nature of his command. The second chapter discusses the invasion of Iran, the pursuit of the last Khwarazmian sultan, Jelal al-Din, and the method which the Mongols used in order to conquer new territories. In the third chapter, an examination of the conquest of Transcaucasia is made, including its position in the scope of the Mongol conquests. The fourth chapter is an examination of the military rule of Chormaqan and how it was carried out. Within this chapter, I also challenge the idea that Chormaqan’s authority was reduced in order to limit his power. Instead, there was a gradual transfer of power from military to civil control. This allowed the Mongols to maintain their military supremacy on several fronts. In the final chapter a summatuon of Chormaqan’s campaigns as well as the strategy of conquest by the Mongols is provided.