In the beginning of the thirteenth century, Temugin, the son of a Mogul chief, laid the foundations of a vast empire in the north east of Tartary or Mongolia. His father had reigned over thirteen hordes or tribes of the Moguls, Moals, or Monguls: and as it was not customary for these warlike tribes to submit to be ruled over by a boy, Temugen, who at the death of his father was only thirteen years of age, had to contend with his revolted, subjects, and had to obey a conqueror of his own nation. In a new attempt to recover the command over the subjects of his, father, he was more successful: and under the new appellation of Zingis, which signifies most great, he became the conqueror of an empire of prodigious extent. In person, or by means of his lieutenants, he successfully reduced the nations, tribes, or hordes of Tartary or Scythia, from China to the Volga, and established his undisputed authority over the whole pastoral world. He afterwards subjugated the five northern provinces of China, which were long imperfectly known under the name of Kathay; and successively reduced Carisme or Transoxiana, now great Bucharia, Chorassan, and Persia: and he died in 1227, after having exhorted and instructed his sons to persevere in the career of conquest, and more particularly to complete the conquest of China.
The vast empire established by Zingis, was apportioned among his four principal sons, Toushi, Zagatai, Octai, and Tuli, who had been respectively his great huntsman, chief judge, prime minister, and grand general. Firmly united among themselves, and faithful to their own and the public interest, three of these brothers, and their families and descendants, were satisfied with subordinate command; and Octai, by general consent of the maols, or nobles, was proclaimed Khan, or emperor of the Moguls and Tartars. Octai was succeeded by his son Gayuk; after whose death, the empire devolved successively on his cousins Mangou or Mangu, and Cublai, the sons of Tuli, and the grandsons of Zingis. During the sixty-eight years of the reigns of these four successors of Zingis, the Moguls subdued almost all Asia, and a considerable portion of Europe. The great Khan at first established his royal court at Kara-kum in the desert, and followed the Tarter custom of moving about with the golden horde, attended by numerous flocks and herds, according to the changes of the season: but Mangu-Khan, and Cublai-Khan, established their principal seat of empire in the new city of Pe-king, or Khan-balu, and perfected the conquest of China, reducing Corea, Tonkin, Cochin-china, Pegu, Bengal, and Thibet, to different degrees of subjection, or tribute, under the direct influence of the great Khan, and his peculiar lieutenants.
The conquest of Persia was completed by Holagu, the son of Tuli and grandson of Zingis, who of course was’ brother to the two successive emperors, Mangu and Cublai. From Persia, the Moguls spread their ravages and conquests over Syria, Armenia, and Anatolia, or what is now called Turkey in Asia; but Arabia was protected by its burning deserts, and Egypt was successfully defended by the arms of the Mamalukes, who even repelled the Moguls from Syria.