The Best Threatening Letters Written By The Mongol Empire


The Muslim world wasn’t alone in feeling the wrath of the Mongols. Europe also got their turn. In his scholarly article The Unstoppable Horde: The Mongol Conquest of Hungary, Peter Konieczny explains after the death of Genghis Kahn in 1227, the idea of global domination became “their mantra”.

After decimating Russia, Genghis’s grandson Batu began conquering a nomadic steppe people called the Qipchaqs or Cumans. Their refugees ran to Hungary. King Bela IV allowed them to move into his land if they converted to Christianity and swore loyalty. The Mongols didn’t approve and sent a letter around 1240.

“I have learned that you keep the Qipchaqs, my slaves, under your protection…Do not keep them with you, and…Do not make me your enemy on their account. For it is easier for them to escape than you. Since they, having no house and continually on the move with their tents may possibly escape. But you, living in houses and possessing fortresses and cities, how can you flee from my grasp?”

The letter asked for submission of the Hungarians, which of course didn’t happen. Their fate followed that of Baghdad. At some point afterwards, the Pope actually sent the Mongol Kahn a letter. This note asked why the Mongols chose to slaughter the Hungarians, along with their neighbors.

It also instructed the Kahn to immediately convert to Christianity. Yup, not a good idea. Güyük Khan, the leader of the Mongols at the time replied with a terrifying letter of course.

“…You wonder at so great a slaughter of men, especially of Christians and in particular Poles, Moravians and Hungarians…Because they did not obey the word of God and the command of Chingis Chan and the Chan, but took council to slay our envoys, therefore God ordered us to destroy them and gave them up into our hands. For otherwise if God had not done this, what could man do to man?

But you men of the West believe that you alone are Christians and despise others. But how can you know to whom God deigns to confer His grace? But we worshipping God have destroyed the whole earth from the East to the West in the power of God. Therefore if you accept peace and are willing to surrender your fortresses to us, You Pope and Christian princes, in no way delay coming to me to conclude peace and then we shall know that you wish to have peace with us.

But if you should not believe our letters and the command of God nor hearken to our counsel then we shall know for certain that you wish to have war. After that we do not know what will happen, God alone knows.”

Imperial Seal Of Güyük Khan In Letter To Pope Innocent IV, 1246 — Wikimedia Commons [Public Domain]

The Mongols also wrote a long letter to the King of France, which was passed on by a few monks who visited their court. The letter meandered a bit. However, in Mongol fashion, it also reminded the French far distances, mountains, and oceans wouldn’t protect them if the Kahn’s forces chose to move — best to send their envoys immediately. Would you expect anything less?

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