Global history begins with the Mongols. Their empire covered Eurasia and even affected the Americas. This course is about the Mongols, their empire, and its role in the wider history of the world. The purpose of the course is to introduce us to a civilization that transcended political and cultural boundaries and linked East Asia to western Europe for a century and more, ending with Columbus. We will discuss the world-historical role of nomads (including the Plains Indians), the impact of the Silk Routes across Asia from China to Italy, the exchanges of culture, science, politics, cuisine, medicinal arts, women, and military techniques.
The readings will come from contemporary travel accounts and histories, some topical articles, and a textbook. All the course materials will be on CTools with the exception of the textbook, which should cost less than twenty dollars.
The evaluation of student work will be based upon three examinations.
There are no prerequisites for the course beyond intellectual curiosity.
Classwork will include discussions of readings, viewing of art and cinema, lectures, and student responses to the assignments.