Family, Home, and Social Sciences
First Faculty Advisor
First Faculty Reader
Mongolia, Women Studies, Typology, Mongol Empire, Chinggis Khan
The Mongol Empire is highly susceptible to great-man history, placing all credit and blame on the figure of Genghis Khan and ignoring the contributions of others. Modern historians often read the primary texts through a patriarchal lens in assuming all decisions are made by men. However, the primary sources support a more feminist approach in emphasizing the importance of individual women, particularly Hö’elün, Börte, and the three regent-empresses. This research looks at how women are depicted in The Secret History of the Mongols. I identified four “types” of women in The Secret History, and therefore in medieval Mongolian culture. These are Great Mothers, Political Actors, Hostages, and Domineering Rulers. Each of these types have specific characteristics and roles in society and are treated as distinctive types by the contemporaneous historians and the other people in the stories of The Secret History.
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Greaves, Aspen, "Women in the Early Mongol Empire: Female Types in The Secret History of the Mongols" (2020). Undergraduate Honors Theses. 122.