This Mongol Empire timeline features such information as the life of Genghis Khan, the major achievements of the Mongol military, and the growth of the empire and expanse of its massive trade networks.
Mongol Empire Timeline
- 1162(?) Genghis Khan was born into the Borjigin tribe under the name Temujin. His childhood was poor and his family struggled to survive. Temujin, however, thrived and made many political alliances among other Mongol tribes.
- 1177? Temujin was captured by a rival tribe and imprisoned. With the help of a guard, he escaped by hiding in a river crevice.
- 1178? At around the age of 16, Temujin married Borte who became his empress.
- 1178-1206 Temujin makes allies and works to unite the disparate Mongol tribes under his rule. Mongolian tribes had never united before. The various Chinese dynasties usually schemed to keep them divided and fighting each other.
- 1206 Mongol and Turkic tribes united under Temujin, proclaiming him Genghis Khan, the Oceanic or Universal Ruler of all the Mongols.
- 1207-1210 Mongol wars against the western Xia which ruled northwest China and parts of Tibet. The Xia surrended to Genghis in 1210.
- 1209 The Uyghur Turks joined Genghis peacefully and many of them became administrators of the new and growing empire.
- 1211 Genghis and his army cross the Gobi Desert to battle the Jin Dynasty in northern China.
- 1215 The Mongol army conquers Zhongdu, the Jin Dynasty capital.
- 1218 Genghis sends an envoy to the Khwarezmid empire under Shah Muhammad. The Shah has all the envoys put to death.
- 1219 Genghis and his army go to war against the Khwarezmid Empire. He sent special troops to find and kill Shah Ala al-Din Muhammad II, the shah who murdered Genghis’ envoys. The Mongol army split its forces in order to attack from many directions at once.
- 1219 Mongols begin a campaign against Transoxiana, comprising parts of Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan.
- 1221 Khwarezmid Empire destroyed.
- 1223 While Genghis led the main Mongol army through Afghanistan back to Mongolia, a Mongol army division of 20,000 under the generals Jebe and Subutai headed over the Caucasus. They attacked the kingdom of Georgia and won. They spent the winter on the Black Sea. On the way back to Mongolia, the generals attacked and won over an 80,000 strong army of the Kievan Rus at the Battle of the Kalka River. They then headed back to Mongolia.
- 1227 Genghis and his army went on campaign against the rebellious Tangut, Xia and Jin, capturing the city of Lingzhou and putting its leaders to death. In August, still on campaign, Genghis Khan died. He was 65 years old, a ripe old age for a military commander who spent his life at war.
- 1227 Mongol leaders all return to Mongolia for a mass meeting, the kuriltai, where the next khan would be elected. Before his death, Genghis had already chosen his son Ogedai as his successor. His other sons, Jochi, Chagatai and Tolui would be khans with Ogedai as the Great Khan.
- 1229 Ogedai elected Great Khan. At this point, the Mongol Empire comprised almost 24 million square kilometers, four times as large as the Roman Empire.
- 1229-1234 Under Ogedai, the war in northern China continues with sieges at Kaifeng and Caizhou against the Jin dynasty. Fire arrows or missiles were launched against the Mongols by the Jin.
- 1235-1238 Ogedai constructs a Mongol capital city at Karakhorum.
- 1236 Mongols invade Korea and begin a war against the southern Chinese Song dynasty.
- 1237 Batu Khan, a son of Jochi, Genghis’ first son, begins campaign to conquer the Kievan Rus.
- 1237-1242 Mongols sack Kiev, invade Armenia, Georgia, Hungary and Bulgaria.
- 1241 Battles of Sajo and Legnica, with Mongols crushing all enemies.
- 1241 Ogedai dies.
- 1241-1246 Odegai’s wife, Toregene, becomes regent. Toregene works in the background to get Ogedai’s eldest son, Guyuk, elected as Great Khan.
- 1246 Guyuk elected Great Khan.
- 1247 First census of the empire.
- 1248 Guyuk dies.
- 1251 Mongke, eldest son of Tolui, Genghis’ fourth son, elected Great Khan. Some of his relatives rebel and Mongke kills all who would challenge him from the Ogedied and Chagataid families. Mongke sends his brothers Hulagu to war in the Middle East and Kublai to war in China. His other brother, Ariq Boke remains in Karakhorum.
- 1256 Hulagu attacks the Hashshashins, an order of assassins, establishes the Ilkhanate.
- 1257 Mongols invade Vietnam.
- 1258 The Abbasid Caliphate falls to the Mongols, who capture Baghdad.
- 1259 Mongols invade Syria. Mongke dies.
- 1260 Mongols defeated by Egyptian Mamluks in the battles of Ain Jalut and Homs.
- 1260 Both Ariq Boke and Kublai, grandsons of Genghis Khan, declared Great Khans. Civil war between the two breaks out.
- 1262 Golden Horde (Russia) and Ilkhanate (Iraq) go to war in Caucasus.
- 1264 Kublai becomes the Great Khan.
- 1269 Mongolian language school founded by Kublai Khan.
- 1271 Yuan Dynasty established and paper money issued by Kublai Khan.
- 1274 Japan invaded by Mongols for the first time.
- 1276 Song Dynasty (southern China) falls to Yuan Dynasty.
- 1281 Mongol’s second invasion of Japan.
- 1281 In Western Syria, Mongols again defeated by Eqyptian Mamluks.
- 1284 Second invasion of Vietnam fails.
- 1288 Third invasion of Vietnam fails.
- 1293 Mongols raid Java.
- 1294 Kublai Khan dies. Oljeitu Temur, Kublai’s grandson, becomes khan of the Yuan Dynasty.
- 1295 Ghazan, ruler of the Ilkhanate, converts to Islam.
- 1299 Mongols win over the Mamluks in Syria.
- 1303 Mamluks defeat Mongols at Battle of Marj al-Saffar, Mongols leave Syria.
- 1305 The Yam postal routes and trade routes reopened between the Khanates, which had been closed when the Khanates warred with each other.
- 1315 Golden Horde turns to Islam. Ozbeg Khan persecutes non-Muslim Tartars.
- 1323 Mamluks make a truce with the Ilkhanate, ending a long war.
- 1327 Rebellion in Golden Horde against Mongol rule. Ozbeg crushes the rebellion.
- 1335 Ilkhanate dissolves.
- 1368 Ming Dynasty overthrows the Mongol Yuan Dynasty. End of Mongol Empire, although elements of it continues to the 1600s.
For more information similar to this Mongol Empire timeline, please see our comprehensive resource on the Mongol Empire.
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