As the title implies, New Approaches to Ilkhanid History explores new methodologies and avenues of research for the Mongol state in the Middle East. Although the majority of the Ilkhanate was situated in Iran, this volume considers other regions within the state and moves away from focusing on the center and the Ilkhanid court. New consideration is given to the source material, particularly how they have been composed, but also how the sources can inform on the provinces of the Ilkhanate. Several authors also examine lower-tier personages, groups, and institutions.
Contributors include: A.C.S. Peacock; Kazuhiko Shiraiwa; Christopher P. Atwood; Stefan Kamola; Qiu Yihao; Koichi Matsuda; Judith Kolbas; Reuven Amitai; Na'ama O. Arom; Timothy May; Michael Hope; Pier Giorgio Borbone; Dashdondog Bayarsaikhan; Dmitri Korobeinikov.
Russian Philosophy in the Twenty-First Century: An Anthology provides the English-speaking world with access to post-Soviet philosophic thought in Russia for the first time. The Anthology presents the fundamental range of contemporary philosophical problems in the works of prominent Russian thinkers. In contrast to the “single-mindedness” of Soviet-era philosophers and the bias toward Orthodox Christianity of émigré philosophers, it offers to its readers the authors’ plurality of different positions in widely diverse texts. Here one finds strictly academic philosophical works and those in an applied, pragmatic format—secular and religious—that are dedicated to complex social and political matters, to pressing cultural topics or insights into international terrorism, as well as to contemporary science and global challenges.
Crossroads of Cuisine provides a history of foods, and foodways in terms of exchanges taking place in Central Asia and in surrounding areas such as China, Korea or Iran during the last 5000 years, stressing the manner in which East and West, West and East grew together through food. It provides a discussion of geographical foundations, and an interlocking historical and cultural overview going down to the present day, with a comparative country by country survey of foods and recipes. An ethnographic photo essay embracing all parts of the book binds it all together, and helps make topics discussed vivid and approachable. The book is important for explaining key relationships that have not always been made clear in past scholarship.
The transition zone between Africa, Asia and Europe was the most important intersection of human mobility in the medieval period. The present volume for the first time systematically covers migration histories of the regions between the Mediterranean and Central Asia and between Eastern Europe and the Indian Ocean in the centuries from Late Antiquity up to the early modern era.
Within this framework, specialists from Byzantine, Islamic, Medieval and African history provide detailed analyses of specific regions and groups of migrants, both elites and non-elites as well as voluntary and involuntary. Thereby, also current debates of migration studies are enriched with a new dimension of deep historical time.

Contributors are: Alexander Beihammer, Lutz Berger, Florin Curta, Charalampos Gasparis, George Hatke, Dirk Hoerder, Johannes Koder, Johannes Preiser-Kapeller, Lucian Reinfandt, Youval Rotman, Yannis Stouraitis, Panayiotis Theodoropoulos, and Myriam Wissa.
Author: Márton Vér

Abstract

Due to its central location the Chaghadaid ulus played a key role in the interregional diplomatic connections in the Mongol period. Unfortunately, comparing to the other three uluses of the Mongol Empire we have a very limited number of written sources concerning the Chaghadaid realm. The aim of the present paper is to show how the new results of the philological study of the Old Uyghur and Middle Mongolian documents can throw new light upon our knowledge about the diplomatic practices in the Chaghadaid ulus. The paper concentrates on the two most important institutions which facilitated diplomatic relations: the chancelleries and the postal system.

In: Eurasian Studies
Author: Jana Valtrová

Abstract

The paper discusses the role of Christian material culture for the encounter between the Franciscan friar William of Rubruck (1220-93) and the Mongol rulers and high officers, as it is narrated in Rubruck’s Itinerarium. The analysis of the amount and nature of the items taken by Rubruck lead us to reconsider his commitment to Christian mission, which is often underestimated in favour of diplomacy. The discourse of Rubruck’s handling of Christian liturgical equipment, its loss and substitution reveals his faithfulness both to the ideals of the Franciscan order, as well as loyalty to the French King Louis IX. The frictions with Mongolian habits regarding gift giving reveal some of the practical troubles of the Franciscan mission among the Mongols.

In: Eurasian Studies

Abstract

When the news of the Mongol invasions in eastern Europe and western Asia reached the European courts in the first half of the thirteenth century, the papal court was the first to send embassies to the Mongols. The reports of missionaries and papal envoys, alongside the famous account of Marco Polo, provided Europeans with the first accounts on these terrible warriors. Italian chroniclers of the period included the information provided by these accounts in their works, including in their local chronicles the achievements and habits of these mysterious warriors from the east. Other chroniclers were eyewitnesses to the first diplomatic contacts between European and Mongolian sovereigns. Their testimonies offer interesting elements to observe the first rudimentary diplomatic approaches between two worlds so far apart. Comparing various medieval chronicles, this paper investigates a fundamental psychological difference in the way how Italian and Central European authors of the time perceived the Mongols. If on the one hand Central European sources describe the Mongol warriors with terror and fear, the Italian ones are more optimistic, as they consider them as a possible resource to definitively drive out the Muslim infidels from the Holy Land.

In: Eurasian Studies
In: Eurasian Studies
Author: Qiu Yihao

Abstract

Gift-exchange is the main element of a long-established tradition in Inner Asian diplomatic practice, representing a kind of political discourse. The Mongol Empire, after its rise in the early 13th century, changed the tradition of diplomatic ideology and practice, and established new principles subsequently. This article, according to multi-lingual sources, summarizes the formal and political aspects of gift-exchange during the pre-Mongol period and, furthermore, discusses the innovation and continuity of gift-exchange in the diplomatic practice of the earlier Mongol Empire.

In: Eurasian Studies

Abstract

By arrows and words, a Mongol Khanate was formed in the Middle East – the Il-Khanate, or Hülegü Ulus. Its continuous efforts of further conquests were accompanied by a bitter struggle against the Mongol sister khanate to the north-west – the Golden Horde, or Jochi Ulus. This article analyses the diplomatic activity of the early Il-Khans – Hülegü (1256-65) and Abaqa (1265-82), on two Jochid fronts: the Golden Horde, headed by Berke (1257-67) and his successors, and the Negüdäri forces, also named Qarāʾūnas, who roamed eastern Afghanistan. A further discussion is dedicated to the early Il-Khanid contacts with the western powers – the Mamluk Sultanate and Latin Europe, including an in depth study of Abaqa’s letter of Pope Clemens IV, written in 1268. This analysis outlines two patterns of diplomacy: one “outer”, aimed at the non-Mongol powers, and one “in-ger”, directed towards the Mongol adversaries. Tracking these patterns, the article’s conclusion attempts to define possible ethical “red lines” in the diplomacy of the early Il-Khans.

In: Eurasian Studies