The Religious Toleration Policy of the Mongols and its Diplomatic Significance for Relations with the Holy See in the Thirteenth Century




Mongols, Tolerant, Religious Policy, Vatican


The appearance of the Mongols on the international arena was met with mixed reactions. The Catholic world was no exception. In the West, the fact that the Mongols put an end to the Muslim, Khwarazm Shahs state was positive towards the new people, and they thought about creating a joint anti-Muslim coalition. Nevertheless, of course, there were serious doubts about the identity and intentions of the Mongols. In this article, we will try to find out what is the phenomenon of "Pax Mongolica" and its causes are. What is the role of religious tolerance policy for Mongols, in relations with the Catholic world? In addition, the purpose of the article is to explain the mission of Georgia in regulational process of the Union between Vatican and the Mongol Empire. XIII century is time of major changes in the international politics. We believe that its fundamental study, especially in the context of such a special issue for the modern society, as a religious tolerance is, will be useful not only for Georgian, but also for non-Georgian historiography. For the purposes of the article, the research used mainly the historical-system method. In addition, historical-comparative and critical methods of analyzing sources will be used. Using the hermeneutical method, we studied the reliability of the information provided in the source, the mentality of the authors of the source and the purpose of its creation. The scientific novelty of the article can be considered not only a new interpretation of the reason for religious tolerance of the Mongols, but also the definition and assessment of the role of Georgia in relations between the Tatars and the Vatican. The study concludes that the religious tolerance of the Mongols was dictated not only by religious, but also by political, trade and economic motives. Their tolerant policy confused the Catholic world: the West hoped to eventually practice the Catholic religion in the Ilkhan and the Golden Horde. At the same time, the Vatican and Hulaguians had a common enemy - the Sultanate of Egypt. Accordingly, these factors contributed to the establishment of friendly relations between them. As for the second Mongol state, the Ulus of Jochi, the peaceful coexistence between them and the Catholic world was mainly due to economic factors. Georgia- a vassal of the Ilkhanate, which, despite its split, maintained good relations with the Vatican, automatically became a mediator between the two allies. Thus, the religious policy of the Mongols further simplified relations with the West and the conquered people. "Pax Mongolica" contributed not only to the long existence of the conquered people in the Empire, but also to the deepening of trade and economic relations between the West and the East.

Author Biography

Gvantsa Evaniseli /Sakartvelo, Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University

Currently Gvantsa Evaniseli is PHD student and invited teacher at department of medieval studies at Tbilisi State University. From 2013 to 2017 she studied and completed Bachelor's degree in history of the same university, as well she gained master's degree in 2017-2019. She has published two articles. In 2021, In the collection of works from the history and archeology brench of Gori Teaching University, the article is titled: On the matter of the nationality of the ambassadors sent by Abaqa Khan to the West. Also, in the collection of scientific conference reports (Medieval Georgia in the Context of European and Oriental Culture) she has published the article entitled: Great Schism and Georgia - George the Hagiorite. She researches the relations between the Mongols, the Vatican and Georgia in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. She is also interested in the Crusades and the ecumenical and diplomatic relations of the Holy See.  


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How to Cite

/Sakartvelo, G. E. (2022). The Religious Toleration Policy of the Mongols and its Diplomatic Significance for Relations with the Holy See in the Thirteenth Century. TSU-TI — THE INTERNATIONAL SCIENTIFIC JOURNAL OF HUMANITIES, 1(1).