Ata-Malik Juvayni
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Ata-Malik Juvayni
Ata Malik Juvayni
Ruler of Baghdad

Guo Kan[1][2][3][4][5]
Personal details
Juvayn, Greater Khorasan
Military service
AllegianceMongol Empire, Ilkhanate

Atâ-Malek Juvayni (1226–1283) (Persian: ‎), in full, Ala al-Din Ata-ullah ( ), was a Persian historian who wrote an account of the Mongol Empire entitled Tar?kh-i Jah?n-gush? (History of the World Conqueror).

Early life

Juvayni was born in Joveyn, a city in Khorasan in eastern Persia. Both his grandfather and his father, Baha al-Din, had held the post of sahib-divan or Minister of Finance for Muhammad Jalal al-Din and Ögedei Khan respectively. Baha al-Din also acted as deputy c. 1246 for his immediate superior, the emir Arghun, in which role he oversaw a large area including Kingdom of Georgia.


Juvayni, just as his predecessors became an important state official. He visited the Mongol capital of Karakorum twice, beginning his history of the Mongols conquests on one such visit (c. 1252-53). He was with Ilkhan Hulagu in the 1256 campaign at the taking of Alamut and was responsible for saving part of its celebrated library. He had also accompanied Hulagu during the sack of Baghdad in 1258, and the next year was appointed governor of Baghdad, Lower Mesopotamia, and Khuzistan. Around 1282, Juvayni attended a Mongol quriltai, or assembly, held in the Ala-Taq pastures northeast of Lake Van. He died the following year in Mughan or Arran in Azerbaijan.

Siege of Alamut

Juvayni's brother was the powerful Shams al-Din Mohammad Sahib-Divan, who had served as Minister of Finance under Hulagu and Abaqa Khan. A skillful leader in his own right, Shams al-Din also had influential in-laws: his wife Khoshak was the daughter of Avag Mkhargrdzeli, Lord High Constable of Georgia, and Gvantsa, a noblewoman who went on to become queen of Georgia.

Work and legacy

Shahristan of Joveyn, the town of birth of Juvayni

Juvayni's position at court and his family connections made him privy to information unavailable to other historians. For unknown reasons, Juvayni's Tar?kh-i Jah?n-gush? ends in 1260, more than twenty years before his death.

The standard edition of Juvayni's history is published under the title Tar?kh-i Jah?n-gush?, ed. Mirza Muhammad Qazwini, 3 vol, Gibb Memorial Series 16 (Leiden and London, 1912-37). An English translation by John Andrew Boyle The History of the World-Conqueror was republished in 1997.


  1. ^ Colin A. Ronan (1995). The Shorter Science and Civilisation in China. Volume 5 of The Shorter Science and Civilisation in China: An Abridgement of Joseph Needham's Original Text (illustrated ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 250. ISBN 0-521-46773-X. Retrieved . Moreover, many Chinese were in the first wave of the Mongolian conquest of Iran and Iraq - a Chinese general, Guo Kan, was first governor of Baghdad after its capture in ad 1258. As the Mongols had a habit of destroying irrigation and |volume= has extra text (help)
  2. ^ Original from the University of Michigan Thomas Francis Carter (1955). The invention of printing in China and its spread westward (2 ed.). Ronald Press Co. p. 174. Retrieved . The name of this Chinese general was Kuo K'an (Mongol, Kuka Ilka). He commanded the right flank of the Mongol army in its advance on Baghdad and remained in charge of the city after its surrender. His life in Chinese has been preserved
  3. ^ Thomas Francis Carter (1955). The invention of printing in China and its spread westward (2 ed.). Ronald Press Co. p. 171. Retrieved . Chinese influences soon made themselves strongly felt in Hulagu's dominions. A Chinese general was made the first governor of Baghdad,5 and Chinese engineers were employed to improve the irrigation of the Tigris-Euphrates basin
  4. ^ Jacques Gernet (1996). A history of Chinese civilization. Cambridge University Press. p. 377. ISBN 0-521-49781-7. Retrieved .
  5. ^ Lillian Craig Harris (1993). China considers the Middle East (illustrated ed.). Tauris. p. 26. ISBN 1-85043-598-7. Retrieved . The first governor of Baghdad under the new regime was Guo Kan, a Chinese general who had commanded the Mongols' right flank in the siege of Baghdad. Irrigation works in the Tigris-Euphrates basin were improved by Chinese engineers(Original from the University of Michigan)


External links

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