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8 From ‘Non-Negotiation’ to an Abortive Alliance. Thoughts on the Diplomatic Exchanges between the Mongols and the Latin West

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on the evolution of the diplomatic exchanges between the Great Khans of Mongolia, and later the Ilkhans of Iran, and the Latin West. The unconditional "non-negotiation" of the Great Khans gradually evolved under the Ilkhans, in response to political circumstances, leading them to adopt an apparently more conciliatory attitude towards the West. The chapter briefly considers diplomatic exchanges in Eurasia prior to the creation of the Mongol empire, pointing to the existence of a continuous tradition. Ghazan Khan's victory and the temporary occupation of Syria, including the Holy Land, by the Mongols and the king of Cilicia caused something of a stir in the West. The last Ilkhanid diplomatic communication to the Latin West was sent some years later, in 1305, by Öljeitü, who had also converted to Islam. The diplomatic language of the Ilkhans is much less aggressive than that of the Great Khans.

Keywords: diplomatic exchanges; Ghazan Khan; Great Khans; Holy Land; Ilkhans; Latin West; Mongols



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