Mongols and their impact upon the Muslim Middle East

This is a video version of episode 26 of the podcast “‘Tis But A Scratch: Fact and Fiction About the Middle Ages,” hosted by Professor Richard Abels. 

In this episode I interview my special guest Dr. Nicholas Morton, author of The Mongol Storm (Basic Books, 2022), about the Mongols and their invasion of and impact upon the thirteenth-century Near East. Our discussion covers who and what the Mongols were; why they were so effective militarily; Mongol religion and religious ‘toleration’; their reputation for horrific brutality; why the Mamluks of Egypt were able to defeat them in battle; and the economic and cultural impact of the so-called Pax Mongolica.


Suggested readings:

Abu-Lughod, Janet L. Before European Hegemony: The World System A.D. 1250- 1350 (Oxford University Press, 1989)

Favereau, Marie. The Horde: How the Mongols Changed the World (Belknap Press, 2021)

Jackson, Peter. The Mongols and the Islamic World: From Conquest to Conversion (Yale University Press, 2017)


May, Timothy. The Mongols Empire (Edinburgh University Press, 2018)

Morton, Nicholas. The Mongol Storm: Making and Breaking Empires in the Medieval Near East (Basic Books, 2022)

Morton, Nicholas. “Life Under the Mongols.” BBC History Magazine. Vol. 24 (April 2023)

Rossabi, Morris. The Mongols and Global History (Norton Documents Reader) (W.W. Norton, 2010)

Check out more video episodes from Tis But A Scratch: Fact and Fiction About the Middle Ages on their YouTube channel.