What on Earth Happened to the Mongols?

mongolian surnames
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wherever you live today 800 years ago I can almost guarantee your ancestors not only knew but feared the Mongols from Korea to Pakistan Ukraine China Syria and everything in between the Mongol horde held vast sway over such an utterly massive amount of territory they interacted with nearly every single established civilization in the known world almost always terrorizing the masses of Eurasia through the pillaging of country sites sacking of cities and genocide of entire populations however contrast this with the quiet sleepy country of Mongolia today a country with the population the size of Armenia in an area the size of Iran officially making it the least densely populated country in the world most of Mongolias inhabitants today work as farmers or miners as a seemingly unassuming landlocked country in between China and Russia but of course looks can be deceiving the mongols of the past and even today are not a homogeneous groups in terms of culture language or ethnicity with the family often dubbed Mongolia and is considered to be chiefly tied to another North East Asian people that Turks not these Turks but the original Turks located around the lake baikal and all thai region and Siberia in modern-day Russia this has led to many linguists and historians of the past grouping these two together as having a common linguistic and genetic origin known as Altaic which certainly seems very plausible however others have argued that they actually have separate origins and the linguistic and genetic similarities are merely due to a high degree of contact and integration between the two for thousands of years ties have also been drawn to the Tunguska kamilly further east which includes the Manchurians and other smaller groups and more controversially korean-japanese and I know although there are many popular proponents of this hypothesis it has yet to be confirmed or accepted by mainstream linguist or historians however its actually been found through genetic studies that ethnic Mongols are actually the most disparate East Asian population having a strong link to others in northern Asia and even have a small but variable Western Eurasian component of up to seven or eight percent in the West although this approach is almost zero the further east you go but more on that later Ill save some of this for a future video but the Altai ik peoples have had a long history of incursions into the West as well

as the East but most Westerners would be more familiar with historic powers like the Huns a multi-ethnic confederation with conscripts from Central Asia and Eastern Europe but strongly believed to have a Turkic to gusik or other Altai ik origin the Huns quickly established one of the largest empires ever seen in the steppes of Eurasia but similar to Alexanders Empire once Attila the Hun unexpectedly died prematurely in circumstances eerily similar to that of Alexander which suggests a poisoning the Hunnic empire collapsed immediately and the cultural and linguistic impact of the Huns on East and Central Europe was actually fairly inconsequential in the long run but the same cannot be said for the Turks and Mongols who basically reshaped an entire region one of the first large empires to originate from the Mongol homeland was the Xiong nu Confederation around 2,000 years ago a multi-ethnic conglomeration consisting of Mongolia Turkic tongu cick and possibly indo-european tribes as well and this band from modern-day Kazakhstan to Manchuria and after the collapse of this massive power it opened the floodgates for Altai groups to migrate to Europe such as the Huns or VARs the latter of which settled in the Pannonia region north of the Byzantine Empire and were eventually assimilated by neighbouring Slavic groups as I discussed in a video over the old indo-europeans of Central Asia large numbers of turkic tribes began settling from North Asia into the Terra basin Central Asia the Ural region and the steppes not entirely replacing the previous population but creating vast empires over these lands such as the dr. keyes Seljuks ghaznavids or a multitude of others most of whom had converted to Islam after contact with the Middle East but focusing on the main event of todays video most are aware of how the Mongols spread out of the majority of Eurasia barring most of South and Southeast Asia Arabia the Levant the majority of Europe and Siberia and of course Japan who managed to avoid a full-scale invasion by the Mongols multiple times due to a miraculous series of torrential weather that struck the Mongol army every time they attempted to cross from Korea similar to other unfathomably large empires such as the Romans Greeks British the Mongol army consisted of the dominant Mongol horsemen as well as auxiliaries of local conscripts who were normally given a choice of joining in the ranks of the Horde or death

and similar to the Greeks small numbers of Mongols settled in areas such as China Central Asia and other parts of North Asia although the largest demographic shift from the Mongol invasion was the destruction of the last of the steppe indo-european civilizations like the Scythian still Koreans Orbach treants and complete assimilation into the evolving Turkic population now interestingly enough it is common knowledge that Genghis Khan himself is the ancestor of quite a relatively large chunk of the human population due to his and his sons constant lets say frenetic activity in conquered territories however a common misconception is that anyone with the surname Khan as a direct descendant of Genghis himself when in fact Genghis Khans real name was actually Temujin with Khan simply being a title referring to the leader of a tribal region with the nation being referred to as a cognate the surname of khan was popularized in west central and south asia among muslim groups under various empires most notably the Mughals and became one of the more popular surnames in these regions however the descendants of Genghis and his close confidants did largely marry into the ruling class of the areas he conquered as the Mongols traditionally had no qualms with inter marrying into local populations and hence China Central Asia and the Middle East were heavily linked to Terkel Mongol traditions meaning a fusion of Turkic and mongolic lineages and culture for generations even after the fall of the Mongol Empire these successor states largely became a Turko Mongol cultural and political fusion similar to how the Greeks created Hellenic style kingdoms in West Central Asia after Alexanders conquests although the yuan dynasty of the east obviously had more Chinese influence than the other successors early on in the mongol invasion of the Middle East some Christians praised the Mongols as the mythical Eastern Christian kingdom that I come to aid in their quest of the reclamation of the Holy Land however those in the leaven quickly realized they were indeed the greater threat when compared to the neighboring Muslims and hence had an uneasy alliance of sorts until the Mongols were defeated while conversely other Christian kingdoms such as Silesia and Armenia welcomed the mongols and submitted without resistance in Persia the Turco Mongol elite were largely absorbed into the prevailing population while in Russia there was hardly any Mongol settlement at all although some Russian Nobles did marry

Mongol princesses and of course the Russian conquest of Siberia brought them into contact with many Turkic and Mongolian groups as Ill discuss in a later video Terkel Mongol descendants also played a crucial role in the development of other parts of Eastern Europe Central Asia Western Asia China and Korea although in some parts after so many generations they were wiped out or assimilated those in Central Asia Turkey and the Volga region survived to the present day however and evolved into the modern Turkic nations which are actually extremely culturally removed from the original turkic tribes of northern Asia as they have been heavily impacted by Arabs Persians and other Islamic peoples and both language religion culture and genetics the Tuvans a very old turkey group located in modern Russia border Mongolia are very heavily influenced by the Mongols and the kalmyks a group of around 200,000 Mongol descendants are just north of the Caucasus region near the Caspian Sea although theyre not actually a remnant of the Mongol empires one may think but actually the descendants of an entirely different group of Oread Mongols who settled in the region in the 17th century and were eventually annexed to the Russian Empire many Hmong Golic groups and the vicinity are of mixed Mongolia Col gusik Mongol Chinese mongol tibetan mongol to ik or other multi-ethnic heritage and hence are more genetically diverse than most pan ethnicities with mongols proper being around 96% eastern eurasian in DNA while the kalmyks have quite a bit more admixture from the surrounding Turkic peoples as well as Slavic groups and have been heavily integrated into Rush today among Turkic Central Asians ethnic Turkmen generally have the least Eastern Asian admixture of all groups only 30 to 40 percent while the highest is among the Kyrgyz sometimes upwards of 70% and this is certainly apparent in culture as well with the Turkmen culture having much more in common with the Iranians to their south as well as the old indo-europeans of the Eurasian steppe such as the Scythian zorb Austrians the Hazara and most Central Asians are of course overwhelmingly Islamic at over 99% even after decades of Soviet rule with a large resurgence and religion since the Soviet collapse and in fact the great majority of Mongolias Muslim community ostensibly the second largest religious group in the country are of Kazakh descent the traditional religion of the mongols and other all

in the area was known as Tanger ism a shamanistic practice formerly widespread in north and central asia and even the hungarians at one point practices religion but this was gradually replaced by mahayana buddhism from tibet although some estimate that at least a third of the country still practices some form of traditional Mongolian shamanism in addition to Buddhism there are also small Christian minorities among ethnic Mongols who although mostly recent converts the Nestorian sect the same practice by the Assyrians has actually been documented in Mongolia for well over a thousand years although the Christian Mongol tribes have since gone extinct while on the other hand although highly uncommon in Mongolia there are a large number of Mongolia speaking Muslims in China who are mostly of mixed Turkic ancestry and today looking at all mongolic groups the bulk are Buddhists with large numbers of shamaness Muslims and atheists due to the strong communist crackdown on religion but theyve somewhat made a comeback historically because such a large number of Mongol descendants were assimilated in China and Central Asia the number of those with Mongolian ancestry is most likely far higher than the 12 million who identify as such today with there being nearly twice as many ethnic Mongols in China than in Mongolia itself which considering the history shouldnt be too much of a surprise in an ironic twist of fate China and Russia became the dominant powers in the region who competed for influence in Mongolia with Russia actually having a stronger sway which is why the Mongol language in Mongolia and Russia is mostly transcribed in Cyrillic the script used in most of Eastern Europe while the traditional Mongolian script one of the few written top to bottom instead of side to side is still widespread among the ethnic Mongols of China so in conclusion the Mongols are without a doubt one of the most powerful nations to ever exist with the unassuming nature of the modern mongol nation making it rather difficult to grasp just how much of an impact they had on the rest of Eurasia and by extension the rest of the world so go ahead and let me know your thoughts on the historic and modern Mongol people and for todays poll tell me which Mongol or mongolic group you think is the most interesting and as always thanks for watching everyone this has been Mason Ill see you next time

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