Tuesday, January 20, 2009

reputation for barbarism and cruelty

"The Mongol period is not only noted for its supposed barbarity, but also for the plethora of historians and chronicles it produced. These many scribes, both within the Mongol camp and without, were happy to pander to the Mongols' desire for notoriety and a reputation for barbarism and cruelty. Primary sources in a wealth of languages have survived the so-called Mongol mayhem. Critical analysis and comparison of these various sources yield a more balanced and less sensationalist picture of what actually occurred during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries than the lurid portrait that myths and legends have conjured up. Since Bernard Lewis questioned the basis of the Mongols' tainted reputation in 1995, scholarly opinion has grown more sympathetic toward the legacy of Genghis Khan."

--George Lane, eNotes.com

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