China and Inner Asia
Organized Panel Session
In the 14th century Eurasia faced many challenges and changes; the Mongol empire was no different. In the mid-14th century all four Mongol polities were embroiled in crisis, which resulted in the collapse of the Mongol states in Iran and China and the substantial weakening of the steppe khanate, leading to the end of "the Mongol Moment (1206-1368) in world history. This panel examines several aspects of the mid-14th century crisis and its aftermath, across the various Mongol polities.
Vered Shurany analyses aspects of the Yuan dynasty's military decline, by following the function (or disfunction) of late Yuan generals and their divided loyalties; Patrick Wing explores the role of plague in West Asia, and its impact on the final collapse of Chinggisid rule in Iran and Iraq in the mid-14th century; Ishayah Landa compares political reactions to the crisis in different regions of the Jochid ulus (the Golden Horde, stretching from Siberia to Moscow), assessing how this polity managed to survive the crisis; and Marton Ver examines the mid-14th century communication system of East Turkestan on the basis of Uighur and Mongol documents, stressing the crisis' impact on the surviving Eastern Chaghadaids.
Taken together, the panel’s papers shed new light on the mid-14th century crisis throughout Eurasia, and on different patterns of Mongol collapse, putting the Yuan-Ming transition in its full Eurasian context.