“KING” GODAN: STATUS OF THE RULING CHINGGISID IN MONGOLIAN AND TIBETAN SOURCES
Research objectives: Analyzing characteristics of the legal status of Prince Godan, son of Ögedei Khan, who was often mentioned in different imperial, Tibetan, and late medieval Mongolian sources; clarifying the reasons why he was given the title of khan in some sources, though he never possessed this title. The author attempts to define the status, level of power, and real position of Godan among the Chinggisids and in the political structure of
the Mongol Empire.
Research materials: The basis for research comprises three groups of historical sources – Mongolian imperial historiography (works of Juwayni and Rashid al-Din, “Yuan shih”, etc.), Tibetan historical works (“The Blue Annals”, “Pagsam-jonsan”, “Debterchjamtso”), and late medieval Mongolian chronicles created under the influence of Tibetan
Buddhist historiography (“Golden Tale”, “Crystal Mirror”, “Yellow History”, “White History”, “Jewel beads”, etc.). The author also used the works of specialists on Mongolian and Tibetan historiography (such as Sh. Bira, R.E. Pubaev, Yu.N. Rerikh, A.D. Tsendina) as well as the works of researchers of political and religious history of the Mongol Empire (such as V.L. Uspenskiy, H. Franke, C.P. Atwood, etc.).
The novelty of the study: It offers a systematization of historical sources of different origins to clarify some aspects of the political biography of Prince Godan, identifying his legal status as a Chinggisid and the ruler of an ulus. At the same time, the author tries to not refute sources with contradicting statements but to clarify the reasons behind such contradictions and to find information which could clarify and complement the data of other sources.
Research results: The author tries to systematize different sources on the status of Prince Godan as one of the key political figures in the history of the Mongol Empire from the 1240s to the beginning of the 1250s and the ruler of a large ulus with substantial level of power, which could be compared with that of rulers of the Golden Horde, the
Chaghadaid Ulus, etc. Also, the reasons behind the brief existence of Godan’s ulus and loss of his status already by the time of his direct descendants are analyzed.