Wednesday, January 9, 2008

'History and Historiography of Post-Mongol Central Asia and the Middle East' - Studies in Honor of John E. Woods - J. Pfeiffer, S.A. Quinn, E. Tucker

'History and Historiography of Post-Mongol Central Asia and the Middle East' - Studies in Honor of John E. Woods - Edited by Judith Pfeiffer and Sholeh A. Quinn in Collaboration with Earnst Tucker
Published by Harrassowitz Verlag - Wiesbaden, 2006.

This excellent volume dedicated to Professor John E. Woods contains articles that span a range of historical periods and reigns from the Mongols to the Mamluks, the Mughals, the Aqquyunlu and the Safavids.

Some of the articles of particular interest to students of Mongol History are:

"World-Conquest and Local Accommodation: Threat and Blandishment in Mongol Diplomacy" by Peter Jackson, Keele University, United Kingdom.

This illuminating article by Dr. Jackson provides compelling evidence for the Mongol belief in their divine mandate for world conquest and argues convincingly that previous postulations by some scholars of Mongol history about Mongol ambitions to the contrary were mistaken. The author presents letters from Mongol rulers to European, Chinese and Central Asian monarchs that bear witness to the powerful claims and ambitions of the Mongol court for supremacy over all dominions from early on in the formative period of the Mongol Empire.

" A Closer Definition of Geographical Names in the Secret History of the Mongols" by D. Bazargur and D. Enkhbayar from the Institute of Geography, the Mongolian Academy of Sciences.

The near mythical names and places mentioned in the 'Secret History of the Mongols' have been researched by the authors in this important study which establishes the areas of continuous human movement, ancient nomadic migration routes, spring and summer camps in Mongolia dating from the ancient period to the 20th century. Included in their survey of ancient Mongol historical sites are Chingghis Khan's birthplace and place-name changes after the spread of Buddhism in Mongolia.

Other scholar's articles of interest to Mongolists are Devin Deweese's examination of religious interpretations of the Mongol conquests, R.D. McChesney's article on Timur's biographer's life and work, Isenbike Togan's delineation of the Qongrat tribe and their role as the consort tribe of Chinggis Khan and his descendants, Charles Melville on 'The Early Persian Historiography of Anatolia', Judith Pfeiffer's article on Mongol-Mamluk relations in Eurasia, Beatrice Forbes Manz's overview of Timurid rule and Persian rebellions as well as Eiji Mano article on Babur's lesser-known writings.