Describes many different aspects of mongol life

1. Carpini describes many different aspects of Mongol life and politics in the The Story of the Mongols Whom We Call the Tartars, but not with equal attention. In your judgment, what feature of Mongol society was Carpini most interested in? Taking that feature, analyze Carpini’s description and explain what he was telling his readers.

2. In light of your analysis in part 1, explain what Carpini’s book can tell us about Carpini and the Western European medieval society he was part of. In your judgment did Carpini really understand the Mongols, or was he (partly) blinded by his own preconceptions and priorities? Should we trust his account?

3. What can modern readers conclude about the Mongols from all of Carpini’s description? Does Mongol society fit into the picture of ‘post-Classical societies’ that we have been developing, or do they require us to rethink the importance of contact and the nature of relationships between societies in this period?

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