Another month and another episode of the Mongol Empire Podcast has been released. I just managed to squeeze it out within my own self-imposed deadlines. It is noticeable that the lockdown (UK based) has been affecting my productivity and at times it has been a struggle to maintain focus. But the episode is here and it is 3.6 of the Rise of Temujin, entitled ‘Growing Power’. We re-join Temujin in 1196 having just defeated the Tatar and gained some control over the Kereyid tribe. As the title suggests, we have entered a period where Temujin’s power really grows; he defeats the Merkit, Naiman and a coalition of tribes led by his former anda, Jamugha. I also investigate the role that the Jin played in all of this.
This episode takes us up to the winter of 1202, which means that there are only four more years until Temujin takes the name Chingis Khan. I am now (no point thinking too far ahead!) beginning to think about the next stage of the podcast and how to deal with a subject that will rapidly expand to incorporate a huge area of the world, a larger number of sources and multiple stories taking place at the same time. F.W. Mote (Imperial China 900-1800) sets out the issue fairly well:
One of the historian’s… problems with the coexisting dynasties… is that we must move back and forth in time, carrying the account of one dynasty to a reasonable stopping place only to pick up a different strand and then set forth again through the same period.
And at least to start with, this approach may well be my guide. In addition to the main narrative, I have already identified some additional episodes I want to produce, with a focus on biographies and nation histories so I have a lot to be getting on with.
For now though, we have at least one more episode of the Rise of Temujin (although I suspect it will be two or three – a lot takes place in the next four years), and I’ve got the various site developments I want to continue with, so looks like I’ll be busy.