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Early Mongol Rule in Thirteenth-Century…
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Early Mongol Rule in Thirteenth-Century Iran: A Persian Renaissance

by George E. Lane

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A major work on Hulegu and the early days of Mongol Iran. Absolutely fascinating, and often new. It isn't 'just' the political history - it casts a wide net. I learnt a great deal about law courts and the operations of law - in an actual how-they-functioned day to day way, with cases. It's this sort of evidence he explores (as I understand, often for the first time) to gain a more in-depth, real idea of what the Mongols in Iran meant. Besides, the Mongol courts are culture-specific and have an interest in their own right. That's just an example...

He does a survey of three provinces, on the outskirts of Mongol Iran - to study their interaction with that centre: Kirman, Shiraz, Herat. Self-governing, independent, in collaboration or cooperation. These are each fascinating tales, too, with personalities - such as the queen of Kirman - worth the acquaintance.

Next there's a chapter on the Juvainis, for a close-up look at Iranians in Mongol government service - attitudes, questions of loyalty and commitment. One of the Juvainis wrote 'Genghis Khan: The History Of The World Conqueror'.

After that, a chapter on an intellectual giant of the times, Khwaja Nasir al-Din al-Tusi, and his dealings with the government; then one on 'Poets and Sufis' wherein we meet Rumi, who I believe is in contention for America's most popular poet.

I'm tempted to say it's a holistic study, except I don't use that word. You can't afford to miss it, whether you wish to know about Mongol Iran or think you do. ( )
  Jakujin | Oct 12, 2012 |
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