Great Khan

Mongol empire had a female Great Khan

Did you know that the Mongol empire had a female Great Khan (Khatun) for several years, probably the most powerful woman in history.

“Soon after Ogodei died in 1241, at first power passed to the hands of Moqe, one of Genghis Khan’s wives, who Ögedei inherited. With the support of Chagatai and her sons, Töregene assumed complete power as regent in spring 1242 as Great Khatun and dismissed her late husband’s ministers and replaced them with her own, the most important of whom was another woman, Fatima, a Tajik or Persian captive from the Middle Eastern campaign. She was a Shiite Muslim who deported Shiite shrine of Meshed to Mongolia.
She tried to arrest several of Ögedei’s main officials. Her husband’s chief secretary, Chinqai, and the administrator, Mahmud Yalavach fled to her son Koden in North China while Turkestani administrator Masud Begh, fled to Batu Khan in Russia. In Iran Töregene ordered Korguz arrested and handed over to the widow of Chagatai, whom he had unwisely defied. The Chagatayid Khan Qara Hülëgü executed him. Töregene appointed Arghun aqa of the Oirat as governor in Persia.
She put Abd-ur-Rahman in charge of general administration in North China and Fatima became even more powerful at the Mongol court. These actions led the Mongol aristocrats into a frenzy of extortionate demands for revenue.”

 

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