April 30, 2021

Marie Favereau

Harvard Book Store's virtual event series welcomes MARIE FAVEREAU—associate professor of History at Paris Nanterre University and author of the graphic novel Genghis Khan—for a discussion of her latest book, The Horde: How the Mongols Changed the World. She will be joined in conversation by BRYAN MILLER, a lecturer in History of Art and Researcher at the Museum of Anthropological Archaeology of the University of Michigan.


The Mongols are widely known for one thing: conquest. In the first comprehensive history of the Horde, the western portion of the Mongol empire that arose after the death of Chinggis Khan, Marie Favereau shows that the accomplishments of the Mongols extended far beyond war. For three hundred years, the Horde was no less a force in global development than Rome had been. It left behind a profound legacy in Europe, Russia, Central Asia, and the Middle East, palpable to this day.

Favereau takes us inside one of the most powerful sources of cross-border integration in world history. The Horde was the central node in the Eurasian commercial boom of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries and was a conduit for exchanges across thousands of miles. Its unique political regime—a complex power-sharing arrangement among the khan and the nobility—rewarded skillful administrators and diplomats and fostered an economic order that was mobile, organized, and innovative. From its capital at Sarai on the lower Volga River, the Horde provided a governance model for Russia, influenced social practice and state structure across Islamic cultures, disseminated sophisticated theories about the natural world, and introduced novel ideas of religious tolerance.

The Horde is the eloquent, ambitious, and definitive portrait of an empire little understood and too readily dismissed. Challenging conceptions of nomads as peripheral to history, Favereau makes clear that we live in a world inherited from the Mongol moment.

About Author(s)

Marie Favereau is Associate Professor of History at Paris Nanterre University. She has been a member of the French Institute of Oriental Archaeology, a visiting scholar at the Institute for Advanced Study, and a research associate at the University of Oxford for the major project Nomadic Empires. Her books include La Horde d’Or et le sultanat mamelouk and the graphic novel Gengis Khan.

Bryan Miller is a Lecturer in History of Art and Researcher at the Museum of Anthropological Archaeology of the University of Michigan. He has been a research fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation at Bonn University and of the Faculty of History at the University of Oxford. In addition to conducting archaeological fieldwork in Mongolia, he is currently completing a book on the Xiongnu: The World’s First Nomadic Empire for Oxford University Press.