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A day in the life of a Mongolian queen - Anne F. Broadbridge

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As dawn breaks over a moveable city of ten thousand yurts, Queen Boraqchin readies her kingdom for departure to their summer camping grounds. While her husband, the grandson of Genghis Khan, is out raiding, she juggles the duties of managing flocks, family and a city of thousands. Anne F. Broadbridge outlines a day in the life of a Mongolian queen.

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Meet The Creators

  • Educator Anne F. Broadbridge
  • Director Els Decaluwe
  • Narrator Bethany Cutmore-Scott
  • Animator Els Decaluwe
  • Illustrator Els Decaluwe
  • Sound Designer Samuel Chan
  • Music Vincent Groos
  • Content Producer Gerta Xhelo
  • Editorial Producer Alex Rosenthal
  • Associate Producer Bethany Cutmore-Scott
  • Script Editor Iseult Gillespie
  • Fact-checker Joseph Isaac
Additional Resources for you to Explore
The Mongol Empire has inspired tremendous interest among scholars and the general public alike. But the languages required to study the topic are a barrier to research, since they include medieval versions of Mongolian, Chinese, Russian, Persian, Armenian, Georgian, Korean, Tibetan, Japanese, Uighur, Latin, French, Hungarian and Arabic, to name only some. Even if you read only translations, you still need English, German, French and Russian.

Mongol history is therefore fascinating, but a hard nut to crack, and we know less than we want about many subjects. One of these is women. Stories of imperial women like Boraqchin have been largely overlooked for years, despite pioneering efforts by a few scholars. Fortunately two studies have emerged recently: Women in Mongol Iran, by Dr. Bruno De Nicola and Women and the Making of the Mongol Empire, by Dr. Anne F. Broadbridge.

An older (2007) but valuable work is this scholarly collection of articles on women edited by Dr. Veronika Veit.

And for women in China, check out Dr. Bettine Birge’s new English translation (2017) of a chapter on marriage and law from a 1322 Yuan dynasty legal handbook.

But scholars, novelists and filmmakers have persevered on other topics. So for a general history of the Mongol Empire, read Timothy May’s The Mongol Empire (2018), or the older but still good The Mongols by David O. Morgan (2007).

Since the Mongol military and their astonishing conquests were deservedly famous, learn why in Timothy May’s The Mongol Art of War (2007).

And if it’s the Mongols in China you seek, try Dr. Morris Rossabi on Khubilai Khan (2009), who was also made famous by Samuel Tayor Coleridge in his opium-fueled poem, “Kubla Khan.” Take a look at this article for more information about the composition of Kubla Khan.

For novels, see the work of John May or Conn Iggulden.

Or if you prefer movies, check out the trailer for Sergei Bodrov’s Mongol (2007), shot in Inner Mongolia (China) and Kazakhstan.

By contrast, The Conqueror (1955), starring John Wayne and Susan Hayward, is universally described as the worst movie on the Mongols ever produced. Darker still, for years, ugly rumors have linked it to the premature deaths from cancer of most of the cast and crew, including Wayne and Hayward themselves, which might have been caused by filming downwind from nuclear test sites in Nevada. Here is a 2015 take from the UK newspaper, The Guardian and another take from Medical Bag.

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About TED-Ed Animations

TED-Ed Animations feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Anne F. Broadbridge
  • Director Els Decaluwe
  • Narrator Bethany Cutmore-Scott
  • Animator Els Decaluwe
  • Illustrator Els Decaluwe
  • Sound Designer Samuel Chan
  • Music Vincent Groos
  • Content Producer Gerta Xhelo
  • Editorial Producer Alex Rosenthal
  • Associate Producer Bethany Cutmore-Scott
  • Script Editor Iseult Gillespie
  • Fact-checker Joseph Isaac