Bad as all this is, let’s be grateful Genghis Khan isn’t still ...

Ideas

Bad as all this is, let’s be grateful Genghis Khan isn’t still around

If you got on the wrong side of him, the next thing you knew victims of the plague were catapulting towards you

Features editor

If you lived in the city of Caffa in the 1300s, chances are when an enemy came sniffing around the neighbourhood the Mongols would be the guys you would fear most.

Caffa was a fortified city on the northern coast of the Black Sea and a port for the Genoese, one of the most important trading city states in the Middle Ages. In 1343 their worst nightmare came true, when the Mongols arrived on their doorstep banging metal pots and rattling bells, their terrifying way of announcing they meant trouble.

The Mongols ruled the largest contiguous land empire in history and it’s not difficult to see why. Rate the Vikings against the Mongols and you’re talking about an army as menacing as Rio’s beach bums. Caesar’s legionnaires would be no more scary than poodles...

This article is reserved for Times Select subscribers.
A subscription gives you full digital access to all Times Select content.

Times Select

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems?
Email helpdesk@timeslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00.

Next Article