Essay on The Great Mongol Empire

Essay on The Great Mongol Empire

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Religion has been a stable part of many societies, ancient and modern, throughout all of history. Despite this ringing true in most cases, this was not always the case for the great Mongol Empire. They have had many views ranging from neutral, extreme tolerance, and then to Khans and the Mongols themselves taking on different religions, or bringing in advisors that were monks or religious teachers. Their views ranged from one extreme to the other, changing throughout the years almost as often as the wind changes directions. Even though their views on religion varied throughout their time as an empire, these views are exactly what helped them thrive through the changes made via their expansive world conquest.
Before Chinggis Khan came into power, Mongolia had a loosely defined set religion; the word “set” would also be loosely defined and used in the case. Native Mongolian religion mainly focused on the spiritual powers that came from the heaven and earth. The Mongols worshiped the sky god Tenggiri over all other spirits and gods, though others were important to them as well. This worship was so extreme at times, that the followers of Tenggiri became extremely cult like. Almost like Mormonism. Despite having such devoted followers, there was no priesthood and very few full-time practitioners. Prognostication was common among practitioners of this native religion, most of it coming through the form of divination through the cracks that appeared in the scapula and other bones of sheep. Shaman were also very common within this religion.1
While the unnamed native religion of Mongolian and Shamanism were extremely prevalent throughout the Mongol Empire, this does not mean that the Mongols did not adopt or take on other religions. On...


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...istians, though, he is not worshiped with prayers, praises or ceremonies. The Mongols are also allowed to have idols made of felt. An example of this would be a felt utter which is a way to thank the guardians that protect the cattle that give them milk and foals; Friar John also mentions that these idols are offered the first milk of every mare and cow.
Along with the worship of idols, the Mongols also venerate the sun, moon, fire, water, and the earth. As an offering they give these elements food and drink, especially in the morning time.2 This would greatly reaffirm the fact that the Mongols were still holding on to some of their pagan traditions. They worshiped other idols and spirits, not just the one true God.
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1. John Plano Carpini, History of the Mongols (n.p.: N/A, n.d.), 9.
2. John Plano Carpini, History of the Mongols (n.p.: N/A, n.d.), 10.

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