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Türaqai Güregen (d. 1296–7) and His Lineage: History of a Cross-Asia Journey

Ishayahu Landa

Abstract

The history of the Mongol conquests in Eurasia was not least the history of the numerous migrations of masses of people across the continent. This essay discusses one specific case study, namely that of the Mongol commander and Chinggisid imperial son-in-law Türaqai of the Oyirad tribe and his lineage throughout the thirteenth century. He himself was probably born in Iran or Iraq. His family, however, came from Mongolia to Iran during the Mongol conquests. The article discusses Türaqai’s life, in particular his (and his army’s) flight from the Ilkhanate to the Mamlūk Sultanate in 1296. He also made an unsuccessful attempt to become part of the Mamlūk military, which costed him and his close supporters their lives. Looking through the lenses of this biographical narrative, the essay presents a broader picture of the military nomadic migrations in Chinggisid Eurasia and their mechanisms. The essay also pays special attention to the position of the Chinggisid sons-in-law, who held a highly respected status in the Mongol political architecture. Additionally, it highlights some main issues related to the migration of the nomadic tribes and their resettlement in the newly conquered areas under the Mongol rule, such as assimilation, conversion to Islam and the different dimensions of their relations with the local populations.

Funding statement: The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Research Council under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP/2007–2013)/ERC Grant Agreement 312397.

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