The history of the Mongol tribe began with the birth of Temujin,
born in c.1167 AD in the wild steppe-land of Mongolia, which
is bordered by Modern Day China and Russia. When Temujin was
nine years old, tribal rivals poisoned and murdered his father
Yesugei, creating a power vacuum in the tribe that resulted
in the exile of young Temujin and his family as fugitives. In
time Temujin would return to claim his inheritance, forge political
alliances, and vanquish old rivals. In 1204 AD he summoned a
kuriltai war council and proceeded to unite all local nomad
tribes by force. It was at this time he received the title 'Genghis
Khan', meaning 'Great Ruler'.
at the time, was divided by three sects: the Ch'in, who were
the most powerful, reigned in the north at Peking; the Sung
occupied the South; and the Hsi-Hsia, the weakest of the three,
inhabited the western flank of the Great Wall.
The Mongol conquest against China began in 1211 AD when the
consolidated tribes of the Great Khan struck at the Hsi-Hsia,
with tremendous success. Not impressed with the defeat of his
weaker neighbor, the new Emperor of Ch'in insisted on a public
display of servitude from Temujin. Temujin reacted by ordering
a general advance against the Ch'in Empire. The resulting war
lasted for approximately 23 years, and ended in the complete
destruction of the Ch'in. During this campaign Temujin ensured
that the epic war upon the Ch'in did not occupy all of his resources
and time; there were older enemies to address.
Amid the war against the Ch'in the Mongols also rallied against
the Kara-Khitay, one of the original Kuchlug tribes that had
fled from defeat during Temujin's war of unification. Victory
over the Kara-Khitay provided the Mongols a common frontier
with the Shah of Khwarizm, who ruled a large Muslim state that
stretched from modern day Iran to the southern Soviet Union
as far as the Caspian and Aral seas. In 1219 AD the Mongol horde
gathered for the first of several large operations against Muslim
and Persian enemies. After defeating the Shah, the Mongols had
access to Russia. Not content with remaining a peaceful neighbor,
Temujin permitted his generals to lead an extraordinary campaign
into southern Russia, which would be staged largely in the winter
months. Three years, and numerous victories later, they returned
to rendezvous with the main Mongol force and to contribute in
the war against the Ch'in and their Muslim enemies.
Mongol children were taught to ride on horseback from the age
of three, and were given bow and arrows to use for hunting at
the age of five. Horseback became a natural way for the Mongols
to conduct war. When speed was essential, a Mongol rider could
even sleep while in the saddle; and by using a system that consisted
of approximately four remounts, Temujin's army was capable of
traversing 130 miles in two days, with no breaks for food.
Every victory wrought by the Mongols was followed by slaughters
of incredible scale. No citizens, with the exception of those
who were useful to the Mongol war effort, were spared in these
attacks. In 1221 AD, the Islamic city of Merv was captured;
700,000 were murdered, and a rearguard was assembled to dispatch
any citizens who were fortunate enough to have escaped the original
slaughter, this was routine for the Mongol army.
By the end of the 13th century Mongol armies had been involved
in action in countries including: Poland, Japan, Korea, Hungary,
Russia, Palestine, Persia, India, Cambodia, Burma, and Vietnam.
After Temujin's death in 1227 five more Khans would follow,
including, Kublai Khan, whose triumph was the union of all of
China under his rule. However, the death of Kublai Khan in 1294
AD marked the end of an era for Mongol conquests, and the march
of Mongol armies was never again resumed, leaving its populace
to be absorbed into the sedentary life style of the neighboring
In Civilization III: Play the World, the
Mongols are considered a Militaristic and Expansionist civilization,
therefore, they start with Warrior Code and Pottery and have
significant bonuses to military and exploratory activities.
See the developer update on
Civ-specific abilities for more on these bonuses.
The skill of a Mongol on horseback was notoriously keen. Having
been taught to ride on horseback from the age of three, and
by five given bow and arrows to use from horseback for hunting
and war, it was a natural way for the Mongols to conduct war.
The Mongols' harsh, nomadic lifestyle had prepared them well
for the rigors of war; they often thrived in conditions that
would be considered intolerable by any other military of its
time. When the need arose Mongol horsemen could last up to ten
days at a time without cooking food, during which they would
sustain themselves by drinking the blood and milk of their horses.
A Mongol city must have horses to build a Keshik. They replace
the Knight and can cross mountains as if they were grasslands.