The Queen of the Chaghataids: Orghīna Khātūn and the rule of Central Asia

De Nicola, Bruno. 2016. The Queen of the Chaghataids: Orghīna Khātūn and the rule of Central Asia. Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 26(1-2), pp. 107-120. ISSN 1356-1863 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

When Chinggis Khan died in 1227, his sons inherited different parts of the empire that had been built by their father. Chinggis Khan's second son, Chaghatai (d. c. 1241), became the ruler of the lands of present-day Central Asia, conforming the origin of what became to be known as the Chaghataid Khanate. After the death of its founder, this political entity experienced a long succession crisis that lasted for a decade until a woman, Orghīna Khātūn, took control of the khanate in the name of her son. Although a ruling woman is not an exceptional case in the Mongol empire, she was the first and only woman that ruled over the Chaghataid Khanate, and that did so peacefully and without major upheavals for nine years. Additionally, she did not adopt a passive role but was involved in the running of the khanate, playing her cards in the always-unstable political arena of the Mongol empire. This article looks at the ascension to the throne, the reign and the legacy of this Mongol woman in Mongol Central Asia by contextualising her rule within the history of the region in general and in that of the Mongol empire in particular.

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Women, Mongols, Central Asia

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1 January 2016Published
28 April 2016Published Online
22 September 2015Accepted

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Date Deposited:

17 Nov 2017 16:53

Last Modified:

18 Jul 2019 10:08

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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