Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Uzbekistan | Chingis Khan Rides West | Otrar to Bukhara

While the Siege of Otrār was in progress Chingis Khan and his youngest son Tolui led the main Mongol army southwest to Bukhara. With them were Turkish auxiliaries who by then had sided with Chingis. “These fearless Turks,” according to the Persian historian Juvaini, “knew not clean from unclean [i.e., were not Muslims], and considered the bowl of war to be a basin of rich soup, and a held a mouthful of sword to be a beaker of wine.” No mention is made in any of the sources about crossing the Syr Darya, usually a intimidating operation, which leads the Russian Orientalist Barthold to opine that the river was frozen over by the time the Mongol army reached it and that they crossed over on the ice. This could have occurred no earlier than late November or early December. The first major town the Mongols encountered south of the Syr Darya was Zarnuq. “When the king of planets raised his banner on the eastern horizon [at sunrise, to the more prosaic-minded],” Chingis and his army appeared before the city walls, according to Juvaini. The inhabitants retired into the Citadel, closed the gates, and at first were determined to resist the Mongol attack. A man named Danishmand (danishman means “consultant”), either a commander of one of the Turkish auxiliary units or a Khorezmian trader who had attached himself Chingis’s army, was sent into the city to talk some sense into the local panjandrums. After they threatened him with bodily harm, he shouted at them:
 I am . . . a Moslem and a son of a Moslem. Seeking God’s pleasure I am come on an embassy to you, at the inflexible command of Chingiz-Khan, to draw you out of the whirlpool of of destruction and the trough of blood . . . If you are incited to resist in any way, in an hour’s time your citadel will be level ground and the plain a sea of blood. But if you listen to advice and exhortation with the ear of intelligence and consideration and become submissive and obedient to his command, your lives and property will remain in the stronghold of security.
After this verbal onslaught the local dignitaries thought it wise to surrender . . . Continued.

12 comments:

  1. You are a very prolific blogger. You take spectacular and optically clear photos. You write like a University professor. Your use of English and its grammar is impeccable. I have never met anyone like you who has such incredible tenacity and incredible desire to inform the world about your travels in and around Mongolia.
    I look forward every day to visiting your website to breathe in the history of all your sojourns.
    Splendid. You deserve the Queen's Order of Merit.
    David. dap_dap2001@yahoo.com.au

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  2. Don, how much did you pay David to write his comment? : ) Just kidding. I agree with David.

    -a mes

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  3. I did not pay David, but perhaps you and I could come to some sort of arrangement. Then again, why buy the cow when you get the milk for free?

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  4. Misser Don, you am de bes cow in alla Asia. De way you writes is an inspiration to me and all de others what can't write worth a lick. You is bettah than hiskory on a stick. You makes it come alive. I thinks you went to university somewheres.

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  5. Great idea. From now on, I'll comment for a price!

    -a mes

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  6. Oh, this comment's a freebie, too, because I forgot to pass along this interesting story.

    http://www.salon.com/2013/01/20/how_to_buy_a_fake_girlfriend/

    Perhaps one can purchase a fake fan base on blogger, as well.

    -a mes

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  7. Anonymous Commenter: Obviously you are from the White Trash-Capped Allegheny Mountains of Western Pennsylvania. I would recognize that dialect anywhere.

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  8. Thanks for the tip, a mes, but I am already signed up for GirlfriendHire.com. At the moment someone claiming to be from Richmond, Virginia (yea, right, didn’t they burn down Richmond during the Civil War? Or was that Atlanta?) is deluging me with comments. But who knew GirlfriendHire.com could provide Sumerians and Assyrians? But for some reason they are short on Sogdians.

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  9. Sumerian women are total prudes, and I hear that Assyrian women are... the opposite. It's probably best to stick with Sogdian women. Just make sure she's really a she, unless you're into trannies or the whole men-posing-as-women-on-the-internet thing.

    -a mes

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  10. Also, good luck with your Richmond girlfriend for hire! Maybe she'll deluge you with more comments than me? : )

    -a mes

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  11. Glad to report that GirlfriendHire.com has come up with a Sogdian!

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  12. Before I get in any more trouble about this, allow me to point out that any commenters from Richmond do not, repeat DO NOT, work for GirlfriendHire.com! I was just joking!

    ReplyDelete