Ars Bellica


A quick look at the overall Afro-Asian continent between X and XIV century shows, compared to the seventh through ninth centuries, some significant elements of continuity, albeit in a context of change rather garish. One of those factors is the consistency of the Islamic domains: so vast that only the Mongol Empire, in the thirteenth century, can overcome the same extension.
In this world, after centuries of significant territorial stability and of great cultural development, started, after the year 1000, a period of great mobility, characterized by the contact with the Turks and with the Mongolian people of Central Asia, the expansion in India and in Black Africa, and increasing the military-political confrontation and trade with the West that had regained control of the Mediterranean.
At the center of these developments we notice facts of decisive importance, such as the marginalization of the political, cultural and military role of Arabs, gradually more reduced to mere witnesses of the historical processes that were changing the face of the Afro-Asian world, and the challenge of their monopoly religion, culture and language of Islam. A fundamental characteristic of the Muslim world, compared to the great season of its first expansion and centralized structure Abbasid Empire, was, from the ninth century, the lack of political cohesion. The Muslim society in fact did not find the appropriate means to reconcile the differences within it. The political structures of the Asian world were undermined and reassembled in the thirteenth century by the conquests of a mosaic of nomadic peoples from the steppes of Mongolia. Under the command of Genghis Khan, one of the greatest conquerors in history, they raise, in about twenty years, an empire stretching from Beijing to the shores of the Volga and that extended further with the ventures of his descendants so to endanger the same countries of central Europe.
This immense domination, however, did not survive very long after the death of its founder. In 1259 it divided into four empires not bound together by some form of political and administrative coordination: the empire of the Great Khan (China), the Chagatai one (Turkestan), the one of Ilkhan (Persia), and finally the Qipciaq or the Golden Horde (the great plains of southern Russia). Their strength was essentially based on the army. It was precisely the army to ensure that stable peace that allowed the reopening of the Silk Road through northern Asia Minor and Persia, a business thoroughfare that, however, was probably less important than the one which passed through the Red Sea and ocean Indian.
The "Mongol pax", which must not be overestimated, however, opened to everyone, Christians and Muslims, new routes, such as those followed by the Venetian Marco Polo.



Battle of Liegnitz

9 april 1241

Also known as the battle of Legnica or battle of Wahlstatt, was a collision with the aim to stop the relentless advance of the Mongol Horde. Despite the victory, this was the most advanced point reached in Europe by the Tartars, later, the political destabilization of the Mongol Empire led to the retreat of the Horde.

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