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Multilingualism and Cultural Interactions in the Golden Horde.

Zolotoordynskoe Obozrenie. 2017;5(1):56-73 DOI 10.22378/2313-6197.2017-5-1/56-73


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Journal Title: Zolotoordynskoe Obozrenie

ISSN: 2308-152X (Print); 2313-6197 (Online)

Publisher: State Institution «Sh.Marjani Institute of History of Tatarstan Academy of Sciences»

Society/Institution: Shigabutdin Marjani Institute of History of Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Tatarstan

LCC Subject Category: Auxiliary sciences of history: History of Civilization

Country of publisher: Russian Federation

Language of fulltext: Russian, English

Full-text formats available: PDF



István Vásáry (Eötvös Loránd University Budapest Н–1053, Hungary E-mail: [email protected])


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Time From Submission to Publication: 20 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

Objectives: to examine linguistic and cultural interaction in the Golden Horde. Research materials: while addressing the issues of linguistic and cultural interaction in the Golden Horde the author analyzes various documentary and narrative sources, numismatic materials and conclusions of Russian and Western historiography. Results and novelty of the research: The author examines these issues in the case of two Western Mongol states: the Golden Horde and the state of Ilkhans in Iran. He defines the time frame of research as extending to the middle of the 14th century. The author concludes that despite the fact that the Mongolian language and writing became the official means of communication in the Empire they never replaced or supplanted the local languages since the established empire was multicultural and conquerors represented a linguistic minority within its boundaries. The author explains in turn the Golden Horde retardation from Iran in the process of Islamization with the fact that most of the conquered Turkic population (excluding the territories of the Volga Bulgars) had not yet undergone the Islamization or had undergone it only superficially, while in Iran, Islam had for centuries been an integral part of Islamic civilization. Therefore, cultural and religious assimilation of the conquerors of Iran, who were in the minority, occurred much earlier. The novelty of the article is displayed in the author’s conclusions that despite the Mongols became Muslims, over time they could not and did not want to give up many of the traditions and customs of their ancestors. They retained the essential elements of the Mongol religious and legal system of Yasa consecrated by its founder – Chinggis Khan. In the first place, the so-called “Golden Branch” (altan uruγ) of Chinggis’ dynasty retained the claim to universal world dominion, which for a long time remained in force even after the fall of the Mongol successor-states in the 14th century.