Khitai and the Mongolians



At the dawning of the 10th Century CE, the Khitai, a cattle- and horse-keeping nation who lived in South-East Mongolia, took over the eastern territories of the steppes, and not long after they conquered Eastern China as well. The ruling class of the Khitai, reigning in this part of China from 907 to 1125, was known as the Liao Dynasty. Their dominion was defeated by a subject south Manchurian tribal alliance, called the Dzsürcsi (?).
Just like their ancestors they took on the ruling title of Khan, if only in the eastern regions, and reigned under the name of the Chin Dynasty from 1115 to 1234. Some of the defeated Khitai moved West, to Turkestan, where they founded the Kara-Khitai empire, which stood for approximately one century.

At the beginning of the 8th Century CE under the leadership of Genghis Khan, the Mongolian tribal alliance had been established, and step by step it took over the entire region of the steppes. In 1211 the Mongolians defeated the Kara-Khitai regime. Under the rule of Genghis’s grandson, Kublai Khan, they took over the Chinese throne, and founded the Yuan Dynasty. The Mongolian empire, though it was at the peak of its power, in this epoch was only nominally united. It had basically fallen into four parts, forming the heritage of Genghis’s four sons. The dynasty dominated the Eastern territories of the steppes and China as a whole. However in 1368 they were constrained to leave China and thus only the steppes remained under their supremacy. In the western regions of Inner Asia, within Jagatai’s portion of inheritance, the Jagatai Khanate was formed,  while in the vicinity of the river Volga, in the area of Batu’s heritage, the reign of the Golden Horde lasted for one or two centuries.

Persia was conquered by Hulegu, Genghis’s grandson, Kublai’s younger brother, and he was the ruler who established himself as Ilkhan of Persia and the Ilkhanate Dynasty.(1258-1335)
The sovereign tribes of this epoch moved to this area (Persia?) from the north-eastern corner of the steppes and the neighbouring woodlands. Originally they had not been dwellers of the steppes, rather they had been hunters of the taiga: this lifestyle was perceptible later among the kindred nations.  Their success in territorial conquests and war campaigns was due to innovations in military technology.