Hulagu's army greatly expanded the southwestern portion of the Mongol Empire , founding the Ilkhanate of Persia, a precursor to the eventual Safavid dynasty, and then the modern state of Iran. Under Hulagu's leadership, the Mongols destroyed the greatest center of Islamic power, Baghdad, and also weakened Damascus, causing a shift of Islamic influence to the Mamluks in Cairo. Sorghaghtani successfully navigated Mongol politics, arranging for all of her sons to become Mongol leaders. She was a Nestorian Christian , and Hulagu was friendly to Christianity. Hulagu's favorite wife, Dokuz Khatun , was also a Christian, as was his closest friend and general, Kitbuqa. It is recorded however that he was a Buddhist  as he neared his death, against the will of Dokuz Khatun.
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Hulagu's army greatly expanded the southwestern portion of the Mongol Empire , founding the Ilkhanate of Persia , a precursor to the eventual Safavid dynasty , and then the modern state of Iran. Hulagu was born to Tolui , one of Genghis Khan's sons, and Sorghaghtani Beki , an influential Keraite princess and a niece of Toghrul in Hulagu's campaign sought the subjugation of the Lurs of southern Iran,  the destruction of the Nizari Ismaili state the Assassins , the submission or destruction of the Abbasid Caliphate in Baghdad , the submission or destruction of the Ayyubid states in Syria based in Damascus , and finally, the submission or destruction of the Bahri Mamluke Sultanate of Egypt.
Hulagu vigorously carried out the latter part of these instructions. He arrived at Transoxiana in He easily destroyed the Lurs, and the Assassins surrendered their impregnable fortress of Alamut without a fight, accepting a deal that spared the lives of their people in early He chose Azerbaijan as his power base, while ordering Baiju to retreat to Anatolia.
Hulagu's Mongol army set out for Baghdad in November Once near the city he divided his forces to threaten the city on both the east and west banks of the Tigris. Hulagu demanded surrender, but the caliph, Al-Musta'sim , refused.
The attacking Mongols broke dikes and flooded the ground behind the caliph's army, trapping them. Much of the army was slaughtered or drowned. The Mongols under Chinese general Guo Kan laid siege to the city on January 29, ,  constructing a palisade and a ditch and wheeling up siege engines and catapults. The battle was short by siege standards.
By February 5 the Mongols controlled a stretch of the wall. The caliph tried to negotiate but was refused. On February 10 Baghdad surrendered. The Mongols swept into the city on February 13 and began a week of destruction. The Grand Library of Baghdad , containing countless precious historical documents and books on subjects ranging from medicine to astronomy, was destroyed. Survivors said that the waters of the Tigris ran black with ink from the enormous quantity of books flung into the river.
Citizens attempted to flee but were intercepted by Mongol soldiers. Death counts vary widely and cannot be easily substantiated: A low estimate is about 90, dead;  higher estimates range from , to a million. Mosques, palaces, libraries, hospitals — grand buildings that had been the work of generations — were burned to the ground.
The caliph was captured and forced to watch as his citizens were murdered and his treasury plundered. Il Milione , a book on the travels of Venetian merchant Marco Polo , states that Hulagu starved the caliph to death, but there is no corroborating evidence for that. Most historians believe the Mongol and Muslim accounts that the caliph was rolled up in a rug and the Mongols rode their horses over him, as they believed that the earth would be offended if touched by royal blood.
All but one of his sons were killed. Baghdad was a depopulated, ruined city for several centuries. Smaller states in the region hastened to reassure Hulagu of their loyalty, and the Mongols turned to Syria in , conquering the Ayyubid dynasty and sending advance patrols as far ahead as Gaza. A thousand squads of northern Chinese sappers accompanied the Mongol Khan Hulagu during his conquest of the Middle East.
This force conquered Muslim Syria, a domain of the Ayyubid dynasty. Many historical accounts describe the three Christian rulers Hetum, Bohemond, and Kitbuqa entering the city of Damascus together in triumph,   though some modern historians such as David Morgan have questioned this story as apocryphal. The invasion effectively destroyed the Ayyubids, which was until then a powerful dynasty that had ruled large parts of the Levant , Egypt , and the Arabian Peninsula.
Hulagu intended to send forces southward through Palestine toward Cairo. So he had a threatening letter delivered by an envoy to the Mamluk Sultan Qutuz in Cairo demanding that Qutuz open his city or it would be destroyed like Baghdad. Then, because food and fodder in Syria had become insufficient to supply his full force, and because it was a regular Mongol practice to move troops to the cooler highlands for the summer,  Hulagu withdrew his main force to Iran near Azerbaijan, leaving behind two tumens 20, men under Kitbuqa, which Hulagu considered sufficient.
But upon receiving news of how few Mongols now remained in the region, Qutuz quickly assembled his well-trained and equipped 12,strong army at Cairo and invaded Palestine. The Mongols, for their part, attempted to form a Frankish-Mongol alliance with or at least, demand the submission of the remnant of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem, now centered on Acre, but Pope Alexander IV had forbidden such an alliance.
Tensions between Franks and Mongols also increased when Julian of Sidon caused an incident resulting in the death of one of Kitbuqa's grandsons.
Angered, Kitbuqa had sacked Sidon. The Barons of Acre, contacted by the Mongols, had also been approached by the Mamluks, seeking military assistance against the Mongols. Although the Mamluks were traditional enemies of the Franks, the Barons of Acre recognized the Mongols as the more immediate menace. Instead of taking sides, the Crusaders opted for a position of cautious neutrality between the two forces.
In an unusual move, however, they allowed the Egyptian Mamluks to march northward without hindrance through Crusader territory and even let them camp near Acre to resupply. They met the Mongol army of about 20, in the Battle of Ain Jalut and fought relentlessly for many hours.
The Mamluk leader Baibars mostly implemented hit-and-run tactics in an attempt to lure the Mongol forces into chasing him. Baibars and Qutuz had hidden the bulk of their forces in the hills to wait in ambush for the Mongols to come into range. The Mongol leader Kitbuqa, already provoked by the constant fleeing of Baibars and his troops, decided to march forwards with all his troops on the trail of the fleeing Egyptians.
When the Mongols reached the highlands, Egyptians appeared from hiding, and the Mongols found themselves surrounded by enemy forces as the hidden troops hit them from the sides and Qutuz attacked the Mongol rear. Estimates of the size of the Egyptian army range from 24, to , The Mongols broke free of the trap and even mounted a temporarily successful counterattack, but their numbers had been depleted to the point that the outcome was inevitable. When the battle finally ended, the Egyptian army had accomplished what had never been done before, defeating a Mongol army in close combat.
Almost the whole Mongol army that had remained in the region, including Kitbuqa, were either killed or captured that day. The battle of Ain Jalut established a low-water mark for the Mongol conquest. The Mongol invasion east and south came to a stop after Ain Jalut. After the succession was settled and his brother Kublai Khan was established as Great Khan, Hulagu returned to his lands by When he massed his armies to attack the Mamluks and avenge the defeat at Ayn Jalut, however, he was instead drawn into civil war with Batu Khan 's brother Berke.
Berke Khan, a Muslim convert and the grandson of Genghis Khan, had promised retribution in his rage after Hulagu's sack of Baghdad and allied himself with the Mamluks. He initiated a large series of raids on Hulagu's territories, led by Nogai Khan. This was the first open war between Mongols and signaled the end of the unified empire. In retaliation for his failure, Hulagu killed Berke's ortogh , and Berke did the same in return.
Even while Berke was Muslim, out of Mongol brotherhood he at first resisted the idea of fighting Hulagu. He said, Mongols are killed by Mongol swords. If we were united, then we would have conquered all of the world. But the economic situation of the Golden Horde due to the actions of the Ilkhanate led him to declare jihad because the Ilkhanids were hogging the wealth of North Iran and because of the Ilkhanate's demands for the Golden Horde not to sell slaves to the Mamluks.
Hulagu's mother Sorghaghtani successfully navigated Mongol politics, arranging for all of her sons to become Mongol leaders. She was a Christian of the Church of the East often referred to as "Nestorianism" and Hulagu was friendly to Christianity.
Hulagu's favorite wife, Doquz Khatun , was also a Christian, as was his closest friend and general, Kitbuqa. Hulagu sent multiple communications to Europe in an attempt to establish a Franco-Mongol alliance against the Muslims. From the head of the Mongol army, anxious to devastate the perfidious nation of the Saracens, with the good-will support of the Christian faith Despite many attempts, neither Hulagu nor his successors were able to form an alliance with Europe, although Mongol culture in the West was in vogue in the 13th century.
His funeral was the only Ilkhanate funeral to feature human sacrifice. Hulagu Khan laid the foundations of the Ilkhanate and thus paved the way for the later Safavid dynastic state, and ultimately the modern country of Iran. Hulagu's conquests also opened Iran to both European influence from the west and Chinese influence from the east.
This, combined with patronage from his successors, would develop Iran's distinctive excellence in architecture. Under Hulagu's dynasty, Iranian historians began writing in Persian rather than Arabic. Hulagu also patronized Nasir al-Din Tusi and his researches in Maragheh observatory.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the founder of the Ilkhanate. For the Xiongnu chanyu, see Hulugu.
Shahi Island , Lake Urmia. Mongol invasions and conquests. Main article: Siege of Baghdad See also: Mongol raids into Palestine. Main article: Battle of Ain Jalut. Main article: Berke—Hulagu war. See also: Franco-Mongol alliance. Rutgers University Press. Palgrave Macmillan US. World Digital Library. Retrieved 21 March Meri Josef W. Meri ed.
Medieval Islamic Civilization: An Encyclopedia. Psychology Press. Retrieved This called for the employment of engineers to engage in mining operations, to build siege engines and artillery, and to concoct and use incendiary and explosive devices.
For instance, Hulagu, who led Mongol forces into the Middle East during the second wave of the invasions in , had with him a thousand squads of engineers, evidently of north Chinese or perhaps Khitan provenance.
The large size of the army, together with families and herds, necessitated a slow and deliberate march across Central Asia. Bayju q. Early in the attack on the city commenced. The city was taken on 13 February and subjected to a week of looting and massacre. The caliph was executed, together with most of his family.
Hulagu Khan ca. He also suppressed the Ismaili sect and defeated the last Abbasid caliph. At a kuriltai, or assembly of the Mongol princes, held in at the time of Mangu's accession, it was decided that Hulagu should consolidate the conquests in western Asia by suppressing the sect of the Ismailis, or Assassins of Alamut, in northwestern Persia and then, if necessary, attacking the caliphate. Hulagu left Mongolia in the autumn of at the head of a large army. Traveling slowly along a carefully prepared route, from which all natural obstacles had been removed, he did not cross the Oxus, then the frontier between the Chaghatai Khanate and Persia, until the beginning of