Some Notes on Revenge and Justice in the Mongol Empire and the Īl-Khānate of Iran

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Michael Hope



This reflection on the social and political role of revenge in the Mongol empire, with a focus on the Īl-Khānate (1258–1335), uses revenge as a means of analyzing the relationship between the khān, his commanders, local officials, the ulema, and the subject population of the Īl-Khānate. It documents the limitations on royal authority and begins a new conversation about the way that juridical power was conceived and practiced in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. This study will contribute to the current debate about the role of the Jasaq (Mongol law) in the Mongol empire and the Middle East, with particular reference to how it was enacted by the Mongol nobility. It is hoped that this paper will be the start of a more detailed investigation into the role of blood-feud and vengeance across Central Asia.

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