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New Saray, Capital Of The Golden Horde

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Chapter Summary

All traces of the urban civilization of the Khazar period have long since disappeared, from the time when the Mongols invaded the Caspian steppes. The inhabitants of those steppes, the Cumans lived by stock-breeding and by war. Al-Omari's account is of immense value. It confirms that the economy of the Golden Horde was primitive, fragile, and unbalanced. It lacked an agricultural basis, the prerequisite condition of prosperity and progress in medieval societies. The available sources concerning Old Saray and Hadji Tarkhan being insufficient for forming any coherent picture of their distant past, the author confines to examine certain features of the history of New Saray. The fact that the powerful khans of the Golden Horde resided along the banks of the Volga or its environs and kept control of the road networks was of supreme importance for the widespread commerce of the towns of that region.

Keywords: Al-Omari; Cumans; Golden Horde; Khazar period; New Saray; Volga



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