NCERT Solutions for Class 11 History Chapter 5 - Nomadic Empires

Question 1:

Why was trade so significant to the Mongols?


Mongols lived in the steppe region where there was scarcity of resources. That is why trade was important for Mongols. They mainly traded with China.

Question 2:

Why did Genghis Khan feel the need to fragment the Mongol tribes into new social and military grouping?


Many Mongol tribes lived in the steppe region. They had their own different identities. Genghis Khan wanted to unify them by erasing their different identities. That is why, he felt the need to fragment the Mongol tribes into new social and military groupings.

Question 3:

How do later Mongol reflections on the ‘Yasa’ bring out the uneasy relationship they had with the memory of Genghis Khan?


How do later Mongol reflections on the ‘Yasa’ bring out the uneasy relationship they had with the memory of Genghis Khan?

Question 4:

‘If history relies upon written records produced by city-based literati, nomadic societies will always receive a hostile representation.’ Would you agree with the statement? Does it explain the reason why Persian chronicles produced such inflated figures of casualities resulting from Mongol campaigns?


Yes, I agree with the statement that nomadic societies used to plunder the cities. That is why city based societies always hated them. The same thing is applicable on Persian chronicles. They produced inflated figures of casualties resulting from Mongol campaigns.

Question 5:

Keeping the nomadic element of the Mongol and Bedouin societies in mind, how in your opinion, did their respective historical experiences differ? What explanations would you suggest account for these differences?


Bedouins lived in dry desert regions. On the other hand, Mongols were nomadic tribes of the steppes which was a beautiful region. Bedouins obtained water and fodder for their animals at oases in desert. They mainly used date as their food. They had to wander in search of fodder. Camel was their main animal. On the other hand, nomadic Mongols had large green pastures. There was no shortage of water because rivers like Onon and Selenga flowed in their region. In the steppe region, there were also hundreds of springs from the melting snows of the hills.

Bedouins were not hunter-gatherers. They were mainly cattle-rearers. But many Mongol tribes were hunter-gatherers. Trade was their main occupation.

Reason of Differences: The main reason for differences in nomadic characteristics of Mongols and Bedouins were landscape and other geographical conditions of their country.

Question 6:

How does the following account enlarge upon the character of the Pax Mongolica created by the Mongol’s by the middle of the thirteenth century?

The Franciscan monk, William of Rubruck, was sent by Louis IX of France on an embassy to the great Khan Mongke’s court. He reached Karakorum, the capital of Mongke, in 1254 and came upon a woman from Lorraine (in France) called Paquette, who had been brought from Hungary and was in the service of one of the prince’s wives who was a Nestorian Christian. At the court he came across a Persian goldsmith named Guillaume Boucher, ‘whose brother dwelt on the Grand Pont in Paris’. This man was first employed by the Queen Sorghaqtani and then by Mongke’s younger brother. Rubruck found that at the great court festivals the Nestorian priests were admitted first, with their regalia, to bless the Grand Khan’s cup, and were followed by the Muslim clergy and Buddhist and Taoist monks.......


This account enlarges up the secular character of the Pax Mongolica. It shows that all religions were respected in the Mongol regime. Foreigners were also respected there.