The goals of the Mongol invaders according to European sources of the middle of the XIII century. Part 2

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The middle of the XIII century - the apogee of power of the unified Mongol Empire. In 1241-1242, the first, bloodiest and most destructive Mongol invasion into Europe took place. Certainly, it was vital for the Europeans to find an answer to the question: what did the invaders want, what goals did they pursue? In this article, the author shows that, due to the abundance of contradictory information and the acute lack of an objective understanding of the new enemy at first, European political and ecclesiastical figures attributed many goals to the Mongols (at least eighteen!), of which only three were fully confirmed - an attack on Russia, Poland, and Hungary, and the rest were either not realized for some reason, or arose in minds of the Europeans themselves. All these “goals”, identified in various official and unofficial European sources, mainly dating from the middle of the XIII century, are discussed here taking into account information from synchronous Eastern sources. Despite well-known ideas of a “world-building monarchy”, perhaps actually hatched by the Mongol khans, events in Europe suggest that their main goal there was to punish the Hungarian king Bela IV, who refused to hand over the Polovtsians hiding in Hungary to the Mongols.

About the authors

Yuliy Ivanovich Drobyshev

Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences

Author for correspondence.

PhD in History, senior researcher of the Department of the History of East

12 Rozhdestvenka str., Moscow, Russia, 107031


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