The Mongols

This reading focused on a more particular aspect of the Mongol horde and their invasions in Rus. Rather it focused on the belief, by the chroniclers of Rus, of the Mongols being a punishment. As a result of the continuos lack in proper leadership by the princes of Rus, such as fighting amongst each other to control more power as opposed to honoring what they, as well as each other, had, the sight of the Mongol invaders quickly became to be believed as a punishment from God. I found this to be the most interesting aspect of the reading particularly due to the impact in which religion, primarily God, plays on society during this time.

This reading also focused on the affect of the Mongol invasions after having occurred. Particularly the affect the invasions had on the Orthodox Church. With the continuous Mongol invasions the Mongol forces, although having destroyed many of the churches, gained control over religion. As a result of this the Orthodox Church was able to successfully establish themselves as “an independent institution” which ultimately allowed the church to become less restricted and more powerful.

4 thoughts on “The Mongols

  1. The Chronicles not only retell the story of the Mongol invasion as a type of punishment, but they also use them to heighten the power of the church against the government. For instance, the Chronicles note that Prince Iurii fled from Volodimir, but stress that the God saved the Bishop from the Mongols’ raid. These specifications present the monarchy as a weak and corrupt source, but highlight the church as both separate from the monarchy and more enlightened. The fact that God saved the Bishop but not the Prince signifies that the Mongols were not sent to punish the Bishop for his sins–just the Prince and his people.

  2. Your last paragraph talks about the Church establishing itself as a more powerful and independent institution as a result of the Mongol invasions. I think that this is a very interesting observation, because it relates to the same topic that I spoke about last week. The Church and the State both were harmed by the Mongol invasions, at least in the south, but the invasions caused a significant power shift in the both institutions. The Church gained significant power and liberty and the State power shifted away from Kiev for good. It’s very cool to me that the power flows of the two institutions overlap so much.

  3. I think that the correlation between the Mongol invasion and the rise in power for the Orthodox Church is a very crucial point which you bring up. It’s fair to say that The Chronicles, likely written by a member of the church, undoubtedly have a good deal of bias involved in their view of the event because of this. Their view of the invasion as a punishment can be viewed as a justification for the church seizing this opportunity. Rather than building on the suffering of their people, the church turned it into a lesson.

  4. This is probably just a nit picky thing, but i would say that the mongols never gained control of the church. While there is record of nuns and priests wives being raped there is no other mention of interference between the two organizations. The church was free to wright whatever they wanted, they could also colect gold and offer sanctuary to people. In other words i think that the Mongols decided to take a completely hands off approach to the church

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