Ancient Mongolian inventions
Historians often emphasize the expansive politics and conquests of Mongolia. The Mongol people did not have a written language until the Middle Ages and most of what we know about their ancient history comes from their oral legends, myths and proverbs...
Historians often emphasize the expansive politics and conquests of Mongolia. The Mongol people did not have a written language until the Middle Ages and most of what we know about their ancient history comes from their oral legends, myths and proverbs. However, there are many written sources that document the affairs of the Mongol Empire. Through these, historians learned that the Mongol Empire was a progressive nation which contributed greatly to the overall development of Western cultures.
From Eastern Asia to the Middle East, the Mongol Empire spread and an important consequence of the expansion was the creation of the Silk Road, which was a crucial economic route that connected the countries of Europe with the farthest corners of Asia. Mongols carried new inventions back and forth across Eurasia, and many of them eventually found their way into Europe.
For instance, China invented the triangular plow and the blast furnace, which improved European metal production, the triangular plow revolutionized agriculture and gunpowder was responsible for the development of modern warfare.
However, Mongols were more than the transporters of important inventions, they were great inventors themselves. Mongols were the first nation to use dried milk, a product that is nowadays used all over the world. Italian explorer Marco Polo spoke of the vicious Mongolian Tatar troops that were active during the reign of Khublai Khaan and mentioned that they carried paste made of sun-dried milk and used it as a dietary supplement. He was speaking of the modern day, aaruul, eezgii and khuruud.
Perhaps one of Mongolia's greatest technological innovation was the “stirrup”. A stirrup is a light frame or ring that holds the foot of a rider attached to the saddle by a strap, often called a stirrup leather. Though seemingly a simple invention, the military success of the Cossacks is often attributed to two loops of leather. The same is with the Goths and the Huns.
Nobody is sure of when the stirrup was first invented, but they are certain that it was beneficial to the armies that used the method. Even the simplest stirrups, a leather loop, let mounted soldiers ride longer distances and stay mounted on their horses during battle.
A general of the Song Dynasty (960-1279) described the Mongols riding long distances standing up in the saddle, with “the main weight of the body upon the calves or lower part of the leg with some weight upon the feet and ankles”. The rider could then maintain hands-free balance on the horse while the horse twisted and turned while the rider himself turned in the saddle. A fluidly mobile rider could then use his hands to fire arrows in any discretion as he rode.
The military success of the forebears of the Cossacks is often attributes to two loops of leather. Some believe that the stirrup even shifted the balance of power in Europe from foot soldiers to mounted knights, dubbed the “armored tanks” of the medieval world by history Roman Johann Jarymowycz.
Some of the greatest military tactics were also invented by Mongols. At the time when most armies won by moving ineluctably forward, Mongols advanced and retreated while never letting up on their assault. When they met their opposition, their cavalry galloped forward with wild agility, shooting arrows continuously, presenting a terrifying united front. As they got within a few yards of the other army, the charging horsemen’s unity broke. They turned and galloped away as quickly as they’d come.
Moreover, the Mongol Empire invented some unique inventions that are still used today. For instance they have created the first hand grenade and laid the foundation for the modernday
grenades that armies use today. Additionally, the Mongol Empire has also invented many other things such as the composite bow and dried milk.
Composite was created using wood, sinew and horn. The bows were a lot more accurate than Europe’s bows, which were short-ranged and not particularly accurate. Mongols used small and precise composite bows that were made of wood, horn and sinew. In addition to the bows, Mongols also designed many types of arrows, including hollow arrows that created distinctive whistling sounds when shot.
The Chinese invented gunpowder. This invention led to the creation of modern warfare. The Mongol Empire took the idea of gunpowder, used it to create the first hand grenades and became the first empire to use them.
The Mongolian horsemen are believed to have invented ice cream more than 700 years ago. When carrying cream in containers on horseback in winter across the Gobi Desert and the trotting of the horse shook the frozen cream into ice cream.
Though Mongols are not directly responsible for bringing new technology to the world, they did influence the world at large including areas outside the control of Mongols, and bridged gaps between people by including them in the empire and spreading different technology across Eurasia.
Mongols also had a policy of religious tolerance and rebuilt, organized and cleared the Silk Road of bandits. There are numerous reasons as to why the empire shrunk in power and size, but even after its collapse, some of their influence stuck, even playing a major role in kick starting the Italian Renaissance.
...Some of the greatest military tactics were also invented by Mongols. At the time when most armies won by moving ineluctably forward, Mongols advanced and retreated while never letting up
on their assault...
Ancient painting of Mongolian horseman