It is also well known to historians that in 1289 A.D. Jat king Arghun, son of Abaga had proposed to the Christians of Khurasan area, a joint attack on the Muslims who were a new rising power in the Oxus region. It was his successor Ghajan Khan who upon his accession to the throne in 1295 A.D., proclaimed himself a Muslim.
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The Arghun dynasty was a dynasty of either Mongol, Turkic or Turco-Mongol ethnicity, who ruled over the area between southern Afghanistan, and the Sindh province Pakistan from the late 15th century to the early 16th century. The Arghuns claimed their descent and name from Ilkhanid-Mongol Arghun Khan.
Arghun Khan aka Argon (Mongolian Cyrillic: Аргун хан) (c. 1258 – March 7, 1291) was the fourth ruler of the Mongol empire's Ilkhanate, from 1284 to 1291. He was the son of Abaqa Khan, and like his father, was a devout Buddhist (although pro-Christian).
Arghun Khan a.k.a. Argon (Mongolian Cyrillic: Аргун хан; c. 1258 – 7 March 1291) was the fourth ruler of the Mongol empire's Ilkhanate, from 1284 to 1291. He was the son of Abaqa Khan, and like his father, was a devout Buddhist (although pro-Christian).
- Early Life
- Bid For The Throne
- Foreign Relations
Arghun was born to Abaqa Khan and his Öngüd, possibly Christian concubine Qaitmish egechi in 8 March 1259 (although Rashid al-Din states it was in 1262, which is unlikely) near Baylaqan. He grew up in Khorasan under care of Sartaq Noyan (from Jalair tribe) who was his military commander of encampment and Jochigan Noyan (from Bargut tribe) who was his atabeg. He commanded an army at the age of 20 against Negudaris. He left his father's encampment on 14 July 1279 for Seistan where he captured Öljai Buqa (son of Mubarakshah). After Abaqa's death in 1282, he was talked out of running against his uncle Ahmad Tekuder in the kurultai. Tekuder was duly chosen as sultan. He is also known as Sultan Ahmad.
Tekuder's election brought Juvayni brothers to power, who were accused of charges of embezzlement before. However Arghun believed Juvayni brothers were responsible for his father's death by poisoning. He came to Baghdad to spend winter of 1282-1283 and restarted the investigation on embezzlement accusation which may have caused Ata Malik's stroke on 5 March 1283. His hatred grew upon hearing rumors that Shams al-Din Juvayni sent someone to poison him. Another cause of friction was Tekuder's order of arrest of Malik Fakhr ud-Din, governor of Ray, whom Arghun appointed. Tekuder on the other hand began to be suspicious of his half-brother Qonqurtai and Arghun's potential alliance. He sent military contingents commanded by Prince Jushkab, Uruq and Qurumushi (son of Hinduqur) to station in Diyar Bakr, so Qonqurtai and Arghun wouldn't be connected. Qonqurtai was accused of conspiracy and was arrested by Tegüder's son-in-law, Alinaq - the viceroy of Georgia on 17 January 1284 and was execu...
Arghun was informally enthroned on 11 August 1284 following Tekuder's execution. A series of appointments came after coronation, as was custom - His cousins Jushkab (son of Jumghur) and Baydu were assigned to viceroyalty of Baghdad, Buqa's brother Aruq as his emir; while his brother Gaykhatu and uncle Hulachu were assigned to viceroyalty of Anatolia, Khorasan being assigned to his son Ghazan and his cousin Kingshu with Nawruz being their emir. Buqa, to whom he owed his throne was also awarded with dual office of sahib-i divan and amir al-umara, combining both military and civil administration on his hands. Shams al-Din Juvayni was among the executed people as Arghun tried to avenge his father's supposed murder. The official approval by Kublai came only 23 February 1286, who not only confirmed Arghun's position as ilkhan, but also Buqa's new title - chingsang (Chinese: 丞相; lit.'Chancellor'). Following this, Arghun had a second, this time official coronation ceremony on 7 April 1286.
Relations with Golden Horde
As his predecessor, Arghun often clashed with Golden Horde. He repulsed a raiding party near Shamakhi on 5 May 1288. Another attack on Derbent occurred on 26 March 1289. Headed by Taghachar and other commanders, this attack too was prevented. War officially ended when Arghun returned to Bilasuvaron 2 May 1290.
Relations with Mamlukes
During Arghun's reign, the Egyptian Mamluks were continuously reinforcing their power in Syria. The Mamluk Sultan Qalawun recaptured Crusader territories, some of which, such as Tripoli, had been vassal states of the Il Khans. The Mamluks had captured the northern fortress of Margat in 1285, Lattakia in 1287, and completed the Fall of Tripoliin 1289.
Relations with Christian powers
Arghun was one of a long line of Genghis-Khanite rulers who had endeavored to establish a Franco-Mongol alliance with the Europeans, against their common foes the Mamluks of Egypt. Arghun had promised his potential allies that if Jerusalemwere to be conquered, he would have himself baptized. Yet by the late 13th century, Western Europe was no longer as interested in the crusading effort, and Arghun's missions were ultimately fruitless. In 1285, Arghun sent an embassy and a letter to Pope Hono...
Arghun had developed a great interest in alchemy towards end of his reign. He gave shelters to Buddhist lamas who would advice him on religious matters. He also befriended a yogi who claimed to have lived longer than anyone and could offer Arghun the same. The way Rashid al-Din described this alchemist who gave a concoction of sulphur and mercury to Arghun was the same substance that Marco Polo described as Indian yogis' experience. After 8 months of taking the substance, Arghun fell ill. Tengriist shamans accused Toghachaq Khatun, Tekuder's widow among other women of witchcraft, who were executed on 19 January 1291 by being thrown into a river. Arghun's health deteriorated on 27 January and was paralyzed. Using opportunity, Taghachar and his allies made another purge with killing Sa'd al-Dawla and his proteges on 2 April. Arghun finally died on morning of March 7 or March 10, 1291 in Arran. He was buried on a secret location in mountains of Sojason 12 March.
In the West, the 13th century saw such a vogue of Mongol things that many new-born children in Italy were named after Genghisid rulers, including Arghun: names such as Can Grande ("Great Khan"), Alaone (Hulagu), Argone (Arghun) or Cassano (Ghazan) are recorded with a high frequency. According to the Dominican missionary Ricoldo of Montecroce, Arghun was "a man given to the worst of villainy, but for all that a friend of the Christians". Arghun was a Buddhist, but as did most Turco-Mongols, he showed great tolerance for all faiths, even allowing Muslims to be judged under Islamic Law. Arghun dynasty later claimed descent from him. Hasan Fasai also claimed his treasure was found during reign of Qajar dynasty, trying to link Qajars to Qajar Noyan, son of his emir Sartaq Noyan.
Arghun had ten consorts, 7 of them being khatun and 3 of them being concubines. From his children, only 2 sons and 2 daughters reached to adulthood: Principal wives: 1. Qutlugh Khatun (d. 13 March 1288) — daughter of Tengiz Güregen of Oirats and Todogaj Khatun, daughter of Hulagu Khan 1.1. Khitai-oghul (also named Sengirges, born between 1282-1288 - d. 24 January 1298) 2. Öljatai Khatun (m. 1288) — daughter of Sulamish, son of Tengiz Güregen and Todogaj Khatun, widow of Tengiz (they married in levirate) 3. Uruk Khatun — daughter of Sarija, sister of emir Irinjin and a great granddaughter of Ong Khan 3.1. Yesü Temür (born between 1271-1282, d. 18 May 1290) 3.2. Öljaitü(b. 24 March 1282 - d. 16 December 1316) 3.3. Öljatai Khatun — married firstly to Qunchuqbal, married secondly to Aq Buqa, married thirdly to her stepson, Amir Husayn Jalayir, son of Aq Buqa 3.4. Öljai Timur — married firstly to Tukal, married secondly on 30 May 1296 to Qutlughshah 3.5. Qutlugh Timur Khatun (died in you...
Mar 31, 2018 · And those who were with Rabban Sauma straightway gave to the king the Pukdana [ i.e. letter of authorisation] of King Arghun, and the gifts which he had sent to him, and the Letter of Mar Catholicus. And [King Edward] rejoiced greatly, and he was especially glad when Rabban Sauma talked about the matter of Jerusalem.
- 1305 embassy
Buscarello de Ghizolfi, or Buscarel of Gisolfe, was a European who settled in Persia in the 13th century while it was part of the Mongol Ilkhanate. He was a Mongol ambassador to Europe from 1289 to 1305, serving the Mongol rulers Arghun, Ghazan and then Oljeitu. The goal of the communications was to form a Franco-Mongol alliance between the Mongols and the Europeans against the Muslims, but despite many back and forth communications, the attempts were never successful.
Little is known of Buscarello except for his work as an ambassador, and that he was a member of the powerful Ghisolfi family. The first mention of him is in 1274, in relation to the arming of a galley. The next is from 1279, which records that he was in the city of Ayas in Cilician Armenia, at the time a vassal state of the Mongol Empire. He then entered the service of the Mongol ruler Arghun, becoming Officer of his guard, with the title of Qortchi. Buscarello had a son, Argone de Ghizolfi, who
In 1289, Arghun sent a mission to Europe, with Buscarel as ambassador. Other adventurers, such as Tommaso Ugi di Siena and Isol the Pisan, are known to have played similar roles at the Mongol court, as hundreds of Western adventurers entered into the service of Mongol rulers. Buscarel's journey was the third attempt by Arghun to form an alliance with the Europeans. Buscarel was in Rome between July 15 and September 30, 1289, and in Paris in November–December 1289. Via Buscarel, Arghun ...
In April 1305, Ghazan's successor Oljeitu sent letters to King Philip IV of France, the Pope, and Edward I of England, again through an embassy by Buscarel, who himself wrote a translation of Oljeitu's letter. The message explained that internal conflicts between the Mongols were over, and promised the delivery of 100,000 horses to the Crusaders upon their arrival in the Holy Land. Also, as had the previous Ilkhanate rulers, Oljeitu offered a military collaboration between the Christian nations
- Papal Overtures
- Christian Vassals
- Saint Louis and The Mongols
- Relations with The Ilkhanate
- Last Contacts
- Views from Historians
- Reasons For Failure
Among Western Europeans, there had long been rumors and expectations that a great Christian ally would come from the East. These rumors circulated as early as the First Crusade (1096–1099), and usually surged in popularity after the Crusaders lost a battle. A legend arose about a figure known as Prester John, who lived in far-off India, Central Asia, or perhaps even Ethiopia. This legend developed a life of its own, and some individuals who came from the East were greeted with expectations that they might be forces sent by the long-awaited Prester John. In 1210, news reached the West of the battles of the Mongol Kuchlug (d. 1218), leader of the largely Christian tribe of the Naimans. Kuchlug's forces had been battling the powerful Khwarezmian Empire, whose leader was the Muslim Muhammad II of Khwarezm. Rumors circulated in Europe that Kuchlug was the mythical Prester John, again battling the Muslims in the East. During the Fifth Crusade (1213–1221), as the Christians were unsuccessf...
The first official communications between Western Europe and the Mongol Empire occurred between Pope Innocent IV (fl.1243–1254) and the Great Khans, via letters and envoys that were sent overland and could take years to arrive at their destination. The communications initiated what was to become a regular pattern in European–Mongol communications: the Europeans would ask the Mongols to convert to Christianity, and the Mongols would respond with demands for submission. The Mongol invasion of Europe ended in 1242, in part because of the death of the Great Khan Ögedei, successor to Genghis Khan. When one Great Khan died, Mongols from all parts of the empire were recalled to the capital to decide who should be the next Great Khan. In the meantime, the Mongols' relentless march westward had displaced the Khawarizmi Turks, who themselves moved west, eventually allying with the Ayyubid Muslims in Egypt. Along the way, the Turks took Jerusalem from the Christians in 1244. After the subseque...
As the Mongols of the Ilkhanate continued to move towards the Holy Land, city after city fell to the Mongols. The typical Mongol pattern was to give a region one chance to surrender. If the target acquiesced, the Mongols absorbed the populace and warriors into their own Mongol army, which they would then use to further expand the empire. If a community did not surrender, the Mongols forcefully took the settlement or settlements and slaughtered everyone they found.Faced with the option of subjugation to or combat with the nearby Mongol horde, many communities chose the former, including some Christian realms. Christian Georgia was repeatedly attacked starting in 1220, and in 1243 Queen Rusudan formally submitted to the Mongols, turning Georgia into a vassal state which then became a regular ally in the Mongol military conquests. Hethum I of Cilician Armenia submitted in 1247, and over the following years encouraged other monarchs to enter into a Christian-Mongol alliance. He sent his...
Louis IX of France had communications with the Mongols throughout his own crusades. During his first venture to Outremer, he was met on December 20, 1248 in Cyprus by two Mongol envoys, Nestorians from Mosul named David and Marc, who brought a letter from the Mongol commander in Persia, Eljigidei. The letter communicated a more conciliatory tone than previous Mongol demands for submission, and Eljigidei's envoys suggested that King Louis should land in Egypt while Eljigidei attacked Baghdad, as a way of preventing the Muslims of Egypt and those of Syria from joining forces. Louis responded by sending the emissary Andrew of Longjumeau to the Great Khan Güyük, but Güyük died from drink before the emissary arrived at his court. Güyük's widow Oghul Qaimishsimply gave the emissary a gift and a condescending letter to take back to King Louis, instructing him to continue sending tributes each year. Louis's campaign against Egypt did not go well. He captured Damietta, but lost his entire ar...
Hulagu Khan, a grandson of Genghis Khan, was an avowed shamanist, but was nevertheless very tolerant of Christianity. His mother Sorghaghtani Beki, his favorite wife Doquz Khatun, and several of his closest collaborators were Nestorian Christians. One of his most important generals, Kitbuqa, was a Nestorian Christian of the Naiman tribe. In 1238, the European kings Louis IX of France and Edward I of England rejected the offer of the Nizari Imam Muhammad III of Alamut and the Abbasid caliph Al...
Hulagu died in 1265, and was succeeded by Abaqa (1234–1282), who further pursued Western cooperation. Though a Buddhist, upon his succession he married Maria Palaiologina, an Orthodox Christian and the illegitimate daughter of the Byzantine Emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos. Abaqa corresponded with Pope Clement IV through 1267 and 1268, sending envoys to both Clement and King James I of Aragon. In a 1268 message to Clement, Abaqa promised to send troops to aid the Christians. It is unclear if...
Abaqa died in 1282 and was briefly replaced by his brother Tekuder, who had converted to Islam. Tekuder reversed Abaqa's policy of seeking an alliance with the Franks, offering instead an alliance to the Mamluk Sultan Qalawun, who continued his own advance, capturing the Hospitaller fortress of Margat in 1285, Lattakia in 1287, and the County of Tripoli in 1289. However, Tekuder's pro-Muslim stance was not popular, and in 1284, Abaqa's Buddhist son Arghun, with the support of the Great Khan K...
In the 14th century, diplomatic contact continued between the Franks and the Mongols, until the Ilkhanate dissolved in the 1330s, and the ravages of the Black Death in Europe caused contact with the East to be severed. A few marital alliances between Christian rulers and the Mongols of the Golden Horde continued, such as when the Byzantine emperor Andronicus II gave daughters in marriage to Toqto'a (d. 1312) and later to his successor Uzbek(1312–1341). After Abu Sa'id, relations between Christian princes and the Ilkhanate became very sparse. Abu Sa'id died in 1335 with neither heir nor successor, and the Ilkhanate lost its status after his death, becoming a plethora of little kingdoms run by Mongols, Turks, and Persians. In 1336, an embassy to the French Pope Benedict XII in Avignon was sent by Toghun Temür, the last Yuan emperor in Dadu. The embassy was led by two Genoese travelers in the service of the Mongol emperor, who carried letters representing that the Mongols had been eigh...
Most historians describe the contacts between the Mongol Empire and the Western Europeans as a series of attempts, missed opportunities, and failed negotiations. Christopher Atwood, in the 2004 Encyclopedia of Mongolia and the Mongol Empire, summed up the relations between Western Europe and the Mongols: "Despite numerous envoys and the obvious logic of an alliance against mutual enemies, the papacy and the Crusaders never achieved the often-proposed alliance against Islam." A few other historians argue there was an actual alliance, but do not agree on the details: Jean Richard wrote that an alliance began around 1263. Reuven Amitai stated that the closest thing to actual Mongol-Frankish military coordination was when Prince Edward of England attempted to coordinate activities with Abaga in 1271. Amitai also mentioned the other attempts towards cooperation, but said, "In none of these episodes, however, can we speak of Mongols and troops from the Frankish West being on the Syrian ma...
There has been much discussion among historians as to why the Franco-Mongol alliance never became a reality and why, despite all the diplomatic contacts, it stayed a chimera or fantasy. Many reasons have been proposed: one was that the Mongols at that stage in their empire were not entirely focused on expanding to the West. By the late 13th century, the Mongol leaders were several generations removed from the great Genghis Khan, and internal disruption was brewing. The original nomadic Mongols from the day of Genghis had become more settled, and had turned into administrators instead of conquerors. Battles were springing up that were Mongol against Mongol, which took troops away from the front in Syria. There was also confusion within Europe as to the differences between the Mongols of the Ilkhanate in the Holy Land, and the Mongols of the Golden Horde, who were attacking Hungary and Poland. Within the Mongol Empire, the Ilkhanids and the Golden Horde considered each other enemies,...