Halperin and Sacharaov on The Ideology of Silence

The Ideology of Science, as defined by Halperin, is the refusal to acknowledge the genuine achievements of the conquerors (the Golden Horde).  Halperin is critical of this viewpoint, as none of the benefits of Mongol rule come to light, giving new researchers a skewed look at this era of Rus’ history.

Halperin begins be describing the Mongol’s ability to rework the social and political order in the region with great success.  However, they allowed them to retain their original political infrastructure.  This kept the Mongol core policies untainted by Russian influences, but allowed the Mongols to impress their systems upon Russia. This gave Russians access to a number of benefits, such as being able to use the unrivaled Mongol postal system, and later, a plethora of blueprints on how to create effective political, military, administrative, and fiscal institutions in the future.

However, the religious prejudice refuse to acknowledge these achievements.  They viewed the Mongols with much less favor.  The Mongols, having their own set of beliefs, were tolerant of other religions.  However, this did not mean that all religions were equal, which the religious prejudice noticed.  They hated the notion that they were had the less popular religion, despite, to them, having a clearly superior religion.   Halperin claims that these individuals are what bring about the Ideology of Silence.

Unlike Halperin, Sakharov does not see any major cultural benefits the Mongols provide the Russian region.  While there is a cultural revival during the Mongol’s occupation, it is largely brought about by the Moscow principality.

One of the major blows to culture the Mongols deal is the systematic capturing of most skilled laborers and artisans.  This leaves little for Russia to use to develop its arts and other cultural points.  The Mongols also set back the architecture of the region, as the ability to combine materials such as limestone, brick, and stone, was lost as a result of the Mongols.Sakharov also cites the destruction of written word during the pillaging of towns and cities at the hand of the Mongols as a part of their destruction of Russian culture.  Sakharov states that many cultural advances occurred after the majority of the Mongol influences had already taken effect.

Why does Sakharov believe that the cultural advances in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries have little to do with the Mongol’s occupation?  How can a historian simply refuse to believe in the benefits of Mongolian rule, when they are so present?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *