Reviews

In this informed article, replete with translations from sources and secondary works, A. Arslanova relates the conflict between the Jöchids and the Ilkhanate not to its propaganda casus belli, religion, Hulagu’s destruction of the Abbasid Caliphate of Baghdad, but to economic and strategic considerations, control of the caravan routes and rich pastures of Azerbaijan. While this analysis is hardly novel, Arslanova deftly relates the Jöchid-Hulayguid conflict to kinship, the theme of the anthology. Berke, the Khan of the Jöchid ulus, thought Hulagu had poisoned several Jöchids who had participated in the conquest of Iran under his command, which became a major cause of tension between them. So did Hulagu’s resentment of Berke’s family seniority. The creation of the Mongol Empire was a family affair, so questions of kinship shed much light on political relations among the Golden Kin. A. Arlsanova’s more original observation that the Jöchids did not want the Hulayguids to secure control of the Syrian ports and their direct access to European trade, which facilitated their alliance with the Mamluk Sultanate of Egypt, deserves further discussion. Given the role in particular of Italians in Mediterranean and Black Sea trade, this assertion is plausible, but A. Arslanova does not cite any direct evidence to confirm it. Footnotes 16 and 19 appear to repeat the same information. Non-Russian readers will have to use their imaginations to infer standard equivalents of A. Arslanova’s transliterated proper names; in addition, she does not standardise spellings in different texts.

Charles J. Halperin, Indiana University, Bloomington
CER: II-3.1.B-104