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Wanderers, Miraculous Births, and Blacksmiths: Mongol Origin Stories in Mamlūk Histories

Wanderers, Miraculous Births, and Blacksmiths: Mongol Origin Stories in Mamlūk Histories

Paper by Josephine Van den Bent

Given at the Fourth Conference of the School of Mamluk Studies, held in Beirut, on May 11, 2017

Today I want to be talking about origin stories about the Mongols as used in Mamluk sources. For one of the questions that historians in Mamluk times were dealing with was the matter of the Mongols. Not only did they concern themselves with among those activities during their own lifetimes, but they also tried to figure out who it was they were dealing with. Who were the Mongols and where did they come from? Why did they start their extensive conquests?… In an attempt to place the Mongols within the Arab world view many authors mentioned their descend from Noah’s son Japhet but some include more elaborate origin stories in their works.

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Josephine Van den Bent is a Post-Doctoral Researcher at Radboud University Nijmegen. To learn more about her research, please visit her Academia.edu page.

Click here to watch more papers given at the Fourth Conference of the School of Mamluk Studies

Top Image: Genghis Khan as portrayed in a 14th-century Yuan era album; now located in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, Taiwan. 

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