The Rise of Muscovy

Kievan Rus - Nativity

Kievan Rus which was founded in 880 was made up of a loose knit alliance between small city states in what is today western Russia. The most powerful of these city states was Kiev. During the early thirteenth century the Mongol continued their march west until they conquered Kievan Rus in 1240.

The Trebuchet

Byzantine Trebuchet - 11th century

Recent reconstructions and computer simulations reveal the operating principles of the most powerful weapon of its time

Slavery and Identíty in Mozarabic Toledo: 1201-1320


Román Iberia became thoroughly Romanized early in its existenec. Spain adopted the law, the language, the culture, and eventually the religión of clas- sicat Rome. Moreover, Hispania produced some truly stellar figures in the arena of Latin scholarship, including Séneca, Lucían, Quintilian, Columella, and Prudentius.

A Distant World: Russian Relations with Europe Before Peter the Great


Despite their isolation and poverty, the Slavic plowmen succeeded in settling this unforgiving region, expanding their numbers, and, most importantly, creating the beginnings of a trading network along the many rivers of the region—the western Dvina, the Volkhov, the northern Dvina, and the Dniepr and its tributaries.

Imagining Samarkand: Fruitful Themes in 13th-16th Century Literature on a Silk Road City

Samarkand - Medieval city

… Samarkand was seen as the last great urban Islamic stop.4 Perhaps because of this, the period between the Arab invasion of Samarkand and the Mongol invasion in 1220 fomented many of the mythologies about the city which will feature prominently in this paper.

Sacred Kingship among the Peoples of the Steppes

mongols and horses

eurThe vast belt of the Steppes, located between the Hungarian plains and the Great Wall of China,
runs along the southern edge of the Eurasian arboreal zone. Starting in the 1st millenium B.C. this region has been inhabited by Iranian, Hunnish, Turkish and Mongol mounted nomads who, at various times, unified a large portion of the Steppes into a single empire.

Silk Roads or Steppe Roads? The Silk Roads in World History

Silk Road map

Modern historiography has not fully appreciated the ecological complexity of the Silk Roads. As a result, it has failed to understand their antiquity, or to grasp their full importance in Eurasian history.

East and West: Textiles and Fashion in Eurasia in the Early Modern Period

16th c. Asian fashion

Fashion underpinned the commercial growth and cultural transformation of western society. From at least the sixteenth century, fashion’s demotic stimuli unleashed desires across European social ranks.

The Letters of Eljigidei, Hülegü, and Abaqa: Mongol Overtures or Christian Ventriloquism?

Ghenghis Khan

The Letters of Eljigidei, Hülegü, and Abaqa: Mongol Overtures or Christian Ventriloquism? Aigle, Denise (French Institute for the Middle East – Damascus) Inner Asia 7 (2005) Abstract This paper deals with the Great Khans and Ilkhans’ letters, and with the question of their authenticity. Generally, these letters were written in Mongolian, but very few of […]

The Mongols and the West

Eurasian history proper begins in the second half of the thirteenth century with the Mongols. Though their empire did not last for long – some authorities assert it survived for as little as forty years, and it certainly did not endure for much more than a century – they made a major contribution by inextricably linking Europe and Asia.

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