Mongol Caucasia

Invasions, Conquest, and Government of a Frontier Region in Thirteenth-Century Eurasia (1204-1295)


The work focuses on the Mongol conquest and domination of Caucasia in the 13th century, from the Sea of Azov in the north to present-day Georgia and Armenia.
While sedentary civilizations and nomadic cultures had a long history of interaction in this region, the Mongol conquest made it into a frontier in which Medieval Europe and Asia became more intensely integrated and interconnected. The Mongols made Caucasia into a coherent power based on both European and Asian experiences and traditions. The genesis of this deeply transformational process constitutes the central theme of this book.

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Lorenzo Pubblici, Ph.D. (2005, University of Florence), is Full Professor of History and Anthropology and Chair of the Department of Humanities and Liberal Arts (DHLA) of the Santa Reparata International School of Arts (SRISA) in Florence where he has been a faculty member since 2006. He is the scientific director of CeSecom (Center for Studies on Central and Eastern Europe in the Middle Ages) and the editor in chief of the book series Europe in between. Histories, cultures and languages from Central Europe to the Eurasian Steppes published by the Florence University Press. Prof. Pubblici has published monographs and is author of numerous articles on the Mongol history, especially on the history of the Golden Horde in the 13th and 14th centuries.
Preface to the English Edition
Note on Transliteration
List of Maps


1 The Premises
 1 Before Manzikert. The Caucasia and the Byzantine Failure
 2 The Causes of the Crisis
 3 The Consequences of the Crusade: The Empire of Trebizond

2 North: The Pontic Steppes before the Mongol “Squall”: Cumans, Byzantium and Kievan Rus’
 1 Some Remarks on the Origin of the Cumans
 2 Early Raids
 3 The Relationships with Neighbors: Byzantium and Rus’

3 Caucasia, Nomadism and Immigration
 1 The Cimmerian Bosporus between Byzantium and the Second Nomadic Wave
 2 Nomad Infiltrations into Georgia and Their Consequences

4 Building a People
 1 The Early Altaic Peoples: Acquisitions and Open Issues
 2 Ethnogenesis and Nomadism: The Earliest Mutations
 3 At the Root of Unification
 4 Further Developments: The Concept of “Nomadic Feudalism”
 5 The Instrument of the Army and the Realization of Solidarity
 6 Nomadism and Slavery

5 A New Geography: The Mongol Expansion in the Caucasus and the Azov Basin
 1 Overview
 2 Times and Ways of the Western Invasion
 3 In Pursue of the Sultan: The First Campaign against the Khwarazm-Shah and the Invasion of Turkestan
 4 The First Incursion in Caucasia and the Azov Region (1220–1221)
 5 The Second Mongol Incursion to the West and the Conquest of Caucasia (1230–1236)
 6 The Conquest of the Pontic Steppes and Rus’ (1236–1242)

6 The Political Consequences of the Mongol Conquests and the Caucasian “Separation”
 1 Plundering as a First Response
 2 The Organizational Processes
 3 The Reorganization of the Territory and the New Caucasian Geography
 4 Caucasia and the Ilkhanate
 5 The Ulus Jochi

7 The Religious Factor and the Problem of Integration after the Conquest
 1 Cultural Premises
 2 The Mongols, Islam, and the Armenian-Georgian Christianity until Ghazan’s “Choice” (1220–1295)
 3 The Ulus Jochi and the Azov Region: A Reassessment of the Influences

8 Population and Coexistence. The Demographic Factor between Conquest and Reconstruction
 1 Some Remarks on the Demographic Consequences of the Conquests
 2 The Golden Horde and the Azov Region
 3 Subcaucasia

Conclusions: Results and Perspectives
Historians specialized in medieval history and in Mongol and Asian history, and the relations between Western Europe, the Byzantine region, and Asia in particular.
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