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Lecture | LUCIS What's New?! Series

Globalizing the Northern Muslim World: the Mongol Exchange and the Horde

Thursday 14 April 2022
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What's New?! Spring Lecture Series 2022
Cleveringaplaats 1
2311 BD Leiden
Kazan, Tatarstan

Under Mongol domination, faraway regions of the globe came into contact more than superficially and, for at least a century (roughly from the 1260s to the 1360s), were linked in a common network of exchange and production. A number of recent publications have transformed our understanding of this world-shaping phenomenon – the ‘Mongol Exchange’. The new historiography on the Mongol empire engages with a plurality of approaches, combining the results of highly specialized studies and the new debates on global history, empirical research and bold interpretations. The aim of this lecture is to highlight the new research tracks on the Mongol Exchange and their radical break from the classical scholarship on the Mongol invasions and the Pax Mongolica. Global historians often focus on the connections between Europe and China, confining the role of the Mongols to acceleration of the links between China and Europe. Yet, as I demonstrate in this lecture, the economic leadership was in fact in the Horde territories, in between Europe and China.

The Jochid khans who ran the Horde were the first Mongol leaders to convert to Islam in the thirteenth century. They oversaw construction of settlements with craft production as well as religious complexes, and created an unprecedented trade network that connected the circuits of the Baltic, the Volga, the Caspian Sea, and the Black Sea in a single operative system, which was itself linked to Central Asia, Middle East, and Europe. This lecture, therefore, raises the question of the weight of the Horde’s agency on the global system, especially on the so-called peripheries of northern Eurasia and Siberia. Indeed, one of the most interesting aspects of the Mongol Exchange lies in the rise of the northern Muslim world.

About Marie Favereau

Marie Favereau is Associate Professor of History at Paris Nanterre University. She has been a member of the French Institute of Oriental Archaeology in Cairo, a Fulbright visiting scholar at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, a post-doctoral researcher at Leiden University for the NWO-project Eurasian Empires, and a research associate at Oxford University for the ERC-project Nomadic Empires. She is the author of La Horde d’Or et le sultanat mamelouk. Naissance d’une alliance (IFAO, 2018) and The Horde. How the Mongols Changed the World (HUP, 2021).

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