The Golden Horde is one of the largest states of the Middle Ages, which existed for several centuries. But at some point, it simply disappeared almost without a trace. Only a few letters of the khan and dust on the roads that crossed the Horde from west to east testify to the former power. There are no archives, chronicles, or any material values. Even legends and stories are missing. What could have happened?
1. There is one country, but two cultures
In the Golden Horde, culture was really not an integral phenomenon. She was, as it were, divided in two. One of them was formed by the Kipchaks and Mongols and, accordingly, by the traditions of nomads, in which there is no place for historical books and libraries. They also did not have cities as such. Nomads put yurts in their camps for a while, and then moved on. Naturally, they simply could not leave any monuments and other objects behind. Although after Uzbek Khan converted to Islam in 1312, some changes in the consciousness of the Mongol nobility took place. Nevertheless, they remained practically the same nomads until the end of their existence.
The second cultural trend was formed under the influence of "foreigners", immigrants from other countries, conquered in the course of numerous battles and battles. These were scribes and artisans, veterinarians, pharmacists and doctors, merchants passing through with goods. All these people filled the cities of the Horde.
2. And now about the cities
There were quite a large number of them in the state. Experts believe that in total there were about 150 of them. Starting from the Irtysh and ending with the Danube, they were located along the trade routes. They flourished in the first fifty years of the fourteenth century. Among them there were also huge rich settlements, which amazed travelers with their own splendor. And it was here that the culture of the state was obliged to originate, which, in principle, happened.
3. Fourteenth century: pandemic
The Black Death was the first serious blow to these amazing cities. That was the name of the plague. A dangerous disease was brought to the Golden Horde through trade routes in the period from 1340 to 1350 from the east. The consequences were dire. Death practically followed on its heels and took many people with it. Only the stately cities that had stood on their feet were rapidly emptied. There was no longer even a talk about their development.
Already by 1346, the disease led to the fact that Saray al-Jedid, the capital of the state, as well as nearby settlements were almost empty. In the annals of 1497 there is a corresponding entry about this event, which says that a massive pestilence began in the Horde, and the number of the dead was so great that there was no one to bury them.
4. Khan Tokhtamysh and his wrong policy
Tokhtamysh, the prince, became the khan of the Horde in 1380. But apart from wars, he had no other goals, therefore, there is no need to talk about the restoration of the former state, the establishment of positions in the field of world trade, which were lost during the years of the pandemic. The new khan dreamed of becoming the second Genghis Khan, and therefore got involved in the war with Tamerlane. The conflict dragged on for a long time. In 1436 Tokhtamysh's army set out on a campaign against Bukhara and Samarkand. The attack was repulsed by Timur, moreover, he took revenge on the Tatars, completely devastating the Horde city of Khorezm. But this did not stop Tokhtamysh either. For another 5 years he attacked Tamerlane, whose patience is not unlimited.
In 1435, the huge army of Tamerlane, monotonously began to erase the centers of this once great state from the earth. Only ruins remained of the cities, and the conqueror took all the material values with him. There were no problems with the capture of cities, since even primitive defensive structures and walls were absent. It turns out that there were two serious reasons for the disappearance of the Golden Horde - a pandemic and a war. Each of them has a unique destructive power.
It will be no less interesting and useful to find out how the Mongols managed to create an empire in ancient times, if modern Mongolia is a small country.