The Secret History of the Mongols

Definition

The Secret History of the Mongols is a chronicle written in the 13th century CE (with some later additions) and is the most important and oldest medieval Mongolian text. The book covers the origins of the Mongol people, the rise to power and reign of Genghis Khan (r. 1206-1227 CE) and the reign of his son and successor Ogedei Khan (r. 1229-1241 CE). Written from a Mongolian perspective, unlike most other medieval sources on the Mongol Empire, the work is an invaluable record of their legends, oral and written histories and, with its treatment of Genghis Khan and his imperial orders, it gives a unique insight into one of the most important leaders in world history. The title includes the word 'secret' because either only members of the imperial family and those given special favour or only Mongols were permitted to read it, even if other versions were in circulation in some remote places like Tibet.

More about: The Secret History of the Mongols

Timeline

  • 1228 - 1240
    Composition of the Secret History of the Mongols.
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