Spring 2005
Professor Christopher P. Atwood, Central Eurasian Studies, Indiana University
Days and Time: 1:00-2:15 TR

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Asked about Mongolia, the average person knows only about the world empire built by Genghis Khan. Recent visitors to Mongolia may have heard about the 1990 democratic transition, the previous Communist rule, and Russo-Chinese rivalries. But what happened in between the fall of the Mongol empire in 1368 and the twentieth century? This class “fills in the gaps” in our common knowledge of Mongolia.

In fact traditional Mongolia was made in these “Middle Ages.” The “Second Conversion” to Buddhism after 1575, the aristocratic society established under Batu‑Möngke Dayan Khan (c. 1480‑1518), and Manchu‑Chinese rule in Mongolia formed the ancien regime against which twentieth‑century revolutionaries revolted. Likewise, Buriats and Kalmyks were profoundly transformed by Russian rule from 1605 to 1771. Mongolia’s traditions of epics, oral poetry, and folk tales assumed their modern form from the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries. The great Oirat confederacies, first of Esen who captured the Chinese emperor in 1449, and then of the seventeenth‑eighteenth century Zunghars, Kalmyks, and the Upper Mongols, first rose to dominate Inner Asia from Tibet to Crimea but then were virtually destroyed by foreign attacks and insurrections of their former Kazakh and Tibetan subjects. Mongolia’s Middle Ages treats all of these topics and more in a combination of lecture and discussion.

Class Format

In general, the class will be 2/3 lecture, 1/3 discussion. Students will be expected to do the reading before the discussion. If discussion falls on Thursday, it will include the readings for the same week, but if it falls on Tuesday, it will only not include them.

Assignments and Grades (Undergraduate)

Assignments for the class consist of three map quizzes (15%), a quiz on terms (5%), a midterm (20%), and a final (45%). Attendance and participation count for 15%. The midterm will consist of a take-home essay, while the final will be two take-home essays. There is no paper.

Graduate Requirements

Graduate students have additional required reading, which will be discussed during four extra sessions of the class (time and place TBA). Undergraduates are welcome also to do this reading and attend the discussion sessions if they chose. Graduates will have no choice on the questions for the midterms and finals. In addition graduates will write a 15-20 page research paper, due on April 26. For graduates the percentages are: attendance and participation 10%; quizzes 10%, quiz on terms 3%; midterm 12%, paper 35%, and a final 30%.

Basic Textbook

The basic textbook for the class is Encyclopedia of Mongolia and the Mongol Conquest, by myself. It is on reserve at the library and also available for purchase at TIS and the IU Bookstore. Readings for the articles are listed in the book. In a few cases, large articles are spread out between two or three weeks’ readings. In that case, I have included a reminder of the section to be read in its appropriate place.

A number of the articles cover events either before or after the period dealt with in our class. I do expect you to read those portions covering the period before AD 1368 (when our class picks up), but only as background. You will not be responsible for any particular event or fact from the period before 1368, but you should read to understand how the background of the empire influenced the Mongolian peoples after 1368. Our class covers the period up to roughly 1860, and I do not require that you read sections of articles dealing with periods after that, although you may find it interesting to see how the legacy of “ Mongolia’s Middle Ages” was in its turn built on, repudiated, or neglected in the modern period.

Other Readings

Two books are available for purchase at the IU bookstore and TIS and two (more pamphlets, really) are available for purchase from the Mongolia Society (Goodbody Hall 322, open 9-5 Monday through Thursday). The relevant section of the Travels in Tartary . . . (fortunately in the public domain) is available in a separate binding at the IU bookstore and TIS. A course packet will be available (after enrollments stabilize) at Goodbody Hall 157. Copies of all books assigned are on reserve at the Main Library; one is unfortunately under copyright but out of print and available there only.

On sale at the book store:

Christopher Atwood, Encyclopedia of Mongolia and the Mongol Empire. New York: Facts on File, 2004. Call number: DS798.4 .A88 2004

Michael Khodarkovsky, Where Two Worlds Met: The Russian State and the Kalmyk Nomads, 1600-1771. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1992. Call number: DK34.K14 K48 1992

Selections from Evariste R. Huc and Joseph Gabet, Travels in Tartary, Thibet, and China, 1844-1846. New York: Dover, 1987. Call number: DS709 .H8 v. 1

Available from the Mongolia Society (Goodbody Hall 322):

Johann Christian Schnitscher, trans. John R. Krueger, An Account of the Kalmyk Land under Ayuki Khan (Bloomington: Mongolia Society, 1996). Call number: DS798 .M74 no.20

Hans S. Kaarsberg, trans. John R. Krueger, Among the Kalmyks of the Steppe (Bloomington: Mongolia Society, 1996). Call number: DS798 .M74 no.19

Available from the Central Eurasian Studies office (Goodbody Hall 157):

Available at Kinkos as a copy:

Johan Elverskog, The Jewel Translucent Sutra: Altan Khan and the Mongols in the Sixteenth Century Leiden: Brill, 2003. Call number: DS798.65 .E45 2003

In readings packet:

Altan Tobchi, trans. C.R. Bawden, edited by Christopher P. Atwood; Bawden, “Tale of Ubashi Khungtayiji of the Mongols,” from Mongolian Traditional Literature: An Anthology, pp. 89-96; Todd Gibson, “Manuscript on Oirat Buddhist History,” Central Asiatic Journal 34 (1990), 83-96; Uspensky, Prince Yunli (1697-1738): Manchu Statesman and Tibetan Buddhist (Tokyo, 1997), pp. 1-37; Christopher Atwood, “Marvellous Lama in Mongolia: The Phenomenology of a Cultural Borrowing,” Acta Orientalia 46 (1992/3), 3-30; Yakhontova, trans. “The Oyun Tülkigür or Key to Wisdom,” Mongolia Society, 23 (2000), pp. 69-137; Bawden, “Conversation Between a Sheep, a Goat, and an Ox” New Orient 5 (1986), 9-11; “A Brief History of the Six Tribes and Eight Clans,” translated by Rinchen in Four Mongolian Historical Records (New Delhi, 1959), 141-155.

Available only on Reserve at the Main Library

Patricia Berger and Theresa Tse Bartholomew, Mongolia: The Legacy of Chinggis Khan (San Francisco: Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, 1995). Call number: N7349.7 .B47 1995b

Weekly Schedule

Week 1: January 10 (lecture), January 12 (lecture)

The Legacy of the Mongol World Empire

Readings: Articles from Encyclopedia of Mongolia and the Mongol Empire: History; Animal Husbandry and Nomadism; Hunting and Fishing; Farming; Yurt, Family; Kinship System; quda; Clan Names; Mongol Empire (skim); Yuan Dynasty (skim); khan; khatun; noyan; Buddhism and the Mongol Empire; Military of the Mongol Empire.

Week 2: January 17 (discussion), January 19 (lecture)

The Ming Tribute System and the First Rise of the Oirats

Readings: Encyclopedia of Mongolia and the Mongol Empire: Northern Yuan Dynasty; Esen Taishi; Tumu Incident; taishi; Ming Dynasty; Tribute System; Three Guards; Yogur Languages and People; Tu Language and People; Mandukhai Sechen Khatun; Dayan Khan, Batu-Möngke; Six Tümens; otog; taiji

Map Quiz 1 in class, Tuesday, January 17.

Week 3: January 24 (lecture), January 26 (lecture)

The Chinggisid Idea and the Dayan Khan’s Reunification of the Mongols

Readings: Encyclopedia of Mongolia and the Mongol Empire: Uighur-Mongolian Script; Religion; Eight White Yurts; tenggeri; Second Conversion; Two Customs; Shamanism; ongghon; Altan Khan; Code of Altan Khan; Fourth Dalai Lama; Abatai Khan; Erdeni Zuu; Jewel Translucent; Chaghan Teüke; Seventeenth Century Chronicles; “Lament of Toghan Temür”; Altan Tobchi; Erdeni-yin tobchi.

Terms Quiz in class, Thursday, January 26

Week 4: January 31 (discussion), February 2 (lecture)

Altan Khan and the Second Conversion:

Readings: Altan Tobchi excerpts (in readings packet); begin Elverskog, Jewel Translucent Sutra

Map Quiz 2 in class, Thursday, February 2

Week 5: February 7 (lecture), February 9 (discussion)

Culture in the Northern Yuan Dynasty

Readings: Elverskog, Jewel Translucent Sutra, to p. 214

First Graduate Session this week.

Week 6: February 14 (discussion), February 16 (lecture)

The Fall of the Northern Yuan and the Rise of the Qing

Readings: Encyclopedia of Mongolia and the Mongol Empire: Qing Dynasty (through “Shunzhi and Kangxi, 1644-1723”); Ligdan Khan; Tsogtu Taiji; Saghang Sechen; Eight Banners; banners; sumu; zasag; league; Khorchin; Kharachin; Juu Uda; Chakhar; Shiliin Gol; Tümed; Ordos; Khalkha; Khotoghoid; Incarnate Lamas; Jibzundamba Khutugtu, First; Dolonnuur Assembly; Mongol-Oirat Code; Dariganga

Week 7: February 21 (lecture), February 23 (discussion)

The Khalkha and the Jibzundamba Khutugtu:

Readings: Berger and Bartholomew: Mongolia: The Legacy of Chinggis Khan, pp. 50-87; 117-148; 261-304.

Second Graduate Session

Week 8: February 28 (lecture), March 2 (lecture)

The Second Rise of the Oirats:

Readings: Encyclopedia of Mongolia and the Mongol Empire: Oirats; Zaya Pandita Namkhai-Jamtsu; Clear Script; Upper Mongols; Güüshi Khan; Zünghars; Galdan Boshogtu Khan; Tsewang-Rabtan; Galdan-Tseren; Alashan; Kalmyks (through “Kalmyk Khanate”); Khoo-Örlög; Ayuuki Khan; Russia and Mongolia (through “Diplomatic Relations”); Buriats (through “Russian Conquest and Buriat Migrations, 1628-1727”)

Bawden, trans., “The Tale of Ubashi Khungtayiji of the Mongols”; Gibson, trans.,“A Manuscript on Oirat Buddhist History.” Schnitscher, Account of the Kalmyk Land

Take Home Midterm: due Friday in class, March 2

Week 9: March 7 (lecture), March 9 (lecture)

Russian Expansion and Conquest: Kalmyks and Buriats

Readings: Khodarkovsky, Where Two Worlds Met, pp. 1-99, 243-250 (appendix)

Discussion March 8 and 12

Third Graduate Session.

Week 10: March 21 (lecture)

Qing Institutions Expand

Readings: Khodarkovsky, Where Two Worlds Met, pp. 100-241.

Week 11: March 28 (lecture), March 30 (discussion)

Second Fall of the Oirats

Readings: Encyclopedia of Mongolia and the Mongol Empire: Qing Dynasty (sub-chapter “Resistance and Social Change, 1723-1796”); Lifan Yuan Zeli; Khalkha Jirum; Ambans; Jibzundamba Khutugtu, Second; Galdan-Tseren; Amursanaa; Chinggünjab’s Rebellion; Flight of the Kalmyks; Xinjiang Mongols; Öölöds; Mingghad; Dörböds; Bayad; Khotong; Zakhachin; Khoshuds; Torghuds

Week 12: April 4 (lecture)

Mongolian Culture and Society in the Eighteenth Century

Readings: Encyclopedia of Mongolia and the Mongol Empire: Lamas and Monasticism; Tibetan Language and Script; Tibetan Culture in Mongolia; Education, Traditional; Medicine, Traditional; Bariach; Scapulimancy; Buddhist Art; Soyombo Script; Soyombo Symbol; bKa’-‘gyur and bsTan-‘gyur; Jangjiya Khutugtu; Gombojab; Didactic Literature; Treasury of Aphoristic Jewels; Sutra of the Wise and Foolish; Bolor Erikhe; Mergen Gegeen; Fire Prayer; Oboo; White Old Man; Epics; Geser; Jangghar

Readings: Uspensky, Prince Yunli (1697-1738), pp. 1-37; Bawden, trans. selections from Geser, Atwood, “Marvellous Lama in Mongolia”; Yakhontova, trans. “Key to Wisdom,”; Bawden, trans. ““Conversation Between a Sheep, a Goat, and an Ox,”, and “Poems by Ravjaa” and “Poems by Sangdag”

Map Quiz 3 in class, Tuesday, April 4

Week 13: April 11 (lecture), April 13 (discussion)

Qing Mongolia in the Nineteenth Century

Readings: Encyclopedia of Mongolia and the Mongol Empire: Qing Dynasty (end); Social Classes in the Qing; Matrilineal Clans; Chinese Trade and Money-Lending; Chinese Colonization; Jibzundamba Khutugtu; Great Shabi; Shangdzodba; Danshug; Naadam; Gandan-Tegchinling; tsam; Ulaanbaatar; Uliastai; Khowd City; Kyakhta; Höhhot; Chifeng; Confucianism; Chinese Novels; Sangdag Khuulichi; Danzin-Rabjai

Huc and Gabet, Travels in Tartary, Thibet, and China, 1844-1846, pp. 1-158

Week 14: April 18 (lecture), April 20 (lecture): On the edge of Mongolia.

Huc and Gabet, Travels in Tartary, Thibet, and China, 1844-1846, pp. 158-306

Last Graduate Session

Week 15: April 25 (discussion), April 27 (discussion): Russia’s Mongols in Nineteenth Century:

Readings: Encyclopedia of Mongolia and the Mongol Empire: Kalmyks (“In Imperial Russia”); Buriats; Daur Language and People; Ewenkis; Barga; Hulun Buir; Kazakhs; Tuvans; Dukha; Altai Uriyangkhai; Darkhad

Readings: Kaarsberg, Among the Kalmyks of the Steppe; “A Brief History of the Six Tribes and Eight Clans” (in readings packet).

Final Examination due

Map Quiz 1: Given in class, Tuesday, Week 2

Based on the first map in your syllabus entitled: Present-Day Distribution of the Mongols and Related Peoples

On the quiz you will need to locate on that map the following:

1. Mongolia (“ Outer Mongolia”)

2. Ulaanbaatar (Ulan Bator; before 1924 called Khüriye or Urga in Russian)

In present-day China:

3. Beijing ( Peking)

4. Inner Mongolia

5. Daurs

6. Dörbed Mongol Autonomous County

7. Front Gorlos Mongol Autonomous County

8. Kharachin Left-Flank Mongol Autonomous County

9. Xinjiang (Sinkiang)

10. Borotala Mongol Autonomous Prefecture

11. Khobogsair Mongol Autonomous County

12. Bayangol Mongol Autonomous Prefecture

13. Manchuria

14. Qinghai/Kökenuur

15. Haixi Mongol and Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture

16. Yogurs

17. Tu (Monguors)

18. Tibet

In present-day Russia:

19. Buriat Republic

20. Ust’-Orda Buriat Autonomous Area

21. Aga Buriat Autonomous Area

22. Tuvan Republic

23. Altay Republic

24. Kalmyk Republic

25. Lake Baikal

26. Caspian Sea

27. Kazakhstan

28. Uzbekistan

29. Kyrgyzstan

30. Korea

Terms Quiz: Given in class, Thursday, Week 3

Names and terms quiz (quiz on February 18): italics marks the main points, which I expect to see for full credit on the quiz

1. Chinggisid: descendant of Chinggis (Genghis) Khan

2. Yuan: the Mongol dynasty in Chinafounded by Qubilai Khan, and continuing as the Northern Yuan in Mongolia from 1368 to 1636.

3. khan: Mongolian title of the supreme ruler of a dynasty, equivalent to emperor, but also used after 1550 or so for regional Chinggisid rulers.

4. ong: Mongolian title adopted from Chinese meaning prince, used by descendants of Chinggis Khan’s brothers.

5. Jinong: official head of the Eight White Yurts, viceroy (khan’s deputy) first over the Three Western Tümens and later head of Ordos taijis.

6. Eight White yurts: Shrine-complex of Chinggis Khan with a number of tents and relics, kept in Ordos from 1455 or so on.

7. Three Guards: three groups of Mongols in eastern Inner Mongolia, officially tributary to Ming dynasty, but also participating in Northern Yuan politics, ruled by descendants of Chinggis Khan’s brothers and generals. Semi-pastoral, semi-agricultural.

8. Chaghatayids: Dynasty ruling Moghulistan (modern Xinjiang), descended from Chinggis Khan’s second son Cha’adai/Chaghatay, mostly Muslim.

9. Ming dynasty: Ethnically Chinese dynasty ruling China from 1368 to 1644.

10. Eshi Khatun/“First Lady”: the Mongol title for Sorqaqtani Beki, mother of Qubilai Khan; her shrine was kept in Chakhar in the late fifteenth-sixteenth century.

11. Khung-Taiji: Mongolian title adopted from Chinese, meaning heir apparent/successor to the throne, used for children of the khans and later for all descendants of Dayan Khan.

12. Taiji: abbreviated version of Khung-Taiji.

13. Taishi: Mongolian title adopted from Chinese, meaning regent or non-Chinggisid official charged with actually ruling in the name of the khan. Also used for non-Chinggisid official charged with running the Eight White Yurts in the name of the jinong.

14. Qubilaids: Descendants of Qubilai Khan (1260-1294), Chinggis Khan’s grandson and ancestor of the legitimate Yuan emperors/khans.

15. Ariq-Bökids: descendants of Qubilai’s younger brother and rival Ariq-Böke. They remained in Outer Mongolia but disappear after 1440.

16. Ögedeids: descendants of Chinggis Khan’s third son Ögedei Khan, based in SW Inner Mongolia, but disappear after 1440.

17. Qasarids: descendants of Chinggis Khan’s full brother Qasar, ruled the Khorchin Mongols

18. Odchiginids: descendants of Chinggis Khan’s youngest full brother Odchigin, shared rule over the Taining/Ongni’ud Mongols

19. Belgüteids: descendants of Chinggis Khan’s half brother Belgütei, shared rule over the Taining/Ongni’ud Mongols

20. Choros: powerful non-Chinggisid dynasty/lineage among the Oirats, including Mahmud, Toghoon Taishi, and Esen..

Map Quiz 2: Given in class, Thursday, week 4

Based on the second map in your syllabus entitled: Mongolia in the Northern Yuan (around 1550-1600)

On the quiz you will need to locate on that map the following:

1. Buriats

2. Khori (Barga; under Solon rule)

3. Solons (Daur and Ewenki)

4. Khorchin

5. Jurchen

6. Fuyu Guard (Üjiyed)

7. Taining Guard (Ongni’ud)

8. Döyin Guard (Uriyangkhan)

9. Five Otog Khalkha

10. Chakhar, Khuuchin Chakhar

11. Keshigten

12. Yüngshiyebü

13. Kharachin

14. Tümed

15. Guihua (Höhhot)

16. Ordos

17. Ejene (Etzina)

18. Khamnigan Ewenki

19. Yellow Uighurs

20. Chigil Guard

21. Hami

22. Turpan

23. Seven Otog Khalkha

24. Erdeni Zuu

25. Uriyangkhan (annexed by Khalkha in 1538)

26. Khotoghoid

27. Oirats (Torghud)

28. Oirats (Baatud)

29. Oirats (Khoid)

30. Oirats (Dörböd)

Map Quiz 3: Given in class, Tuesday, Week 12

Based on the third map in your syllabus entitled: Mongolia Under the Qing Dynasty, 1820

On the quiz you will need to locate on that map the following:

Four provinces of Khalkha

1. Setsen Khan aimag (province)

2. Tüshiyetü Khan aimag (province)

3. Sain Noyan aimag (province)

4. Zasagtu Khan aimag (province)

Frontier zones

5. Khowd Frontier

6. Tannu Uriyangkhai

Six leagues of Inner Mongolia

7. Jirim league

8. Juu Uda league

9. Josotu league

10. Shiliin Gol league

11. Ulaanchab league

12. Yekhe Juu league

Special banners (not in leagues)

13. Ejene Torghud

14. Alashan Khoshud


15. Beijing

16. Zhangjiakou

17. Suiyuan (modern Höhhot)

18. Khüriye

19. Kyakhta (double city on Russo-Mongolian frontier)

20. Uliastai

21. Khowd (city)

22. Hulun Buir (Hailar city)

23. Verkhneudinsk

24. Irkutsk

25. Xining

Other units

26. Chakhar

27. Tümed

28. Kharachin

29. Khorchin

29. Solon

30. New Barga