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Next event - Tuesday 14 April - Speaker John Man on Genghis Khan 

How an ideology of world conquest, started by Genghis,was taken up by his grandson Kublai Khan, which produced not only the world's greatest land empire but also China pretty much with its present-day borders, minus Mongolia itself. 
John Man is an author specializing in Central Asia (in particular Mongolia), north China and Japan,with occasional forays into TV and radio.
John has researching half a dozen books on Central Asia, he has travelled extensively, exploring the Gobi desert (Gobi: Tracking the Desert,1997), the Great Wall, the valley where Genghis Khan died 

in north-west China,the Mongolian mountain on which he may be buried, and Xanadu, Kublai Khan’s first capital. Genghis Khan: Life, Death and Resurrection is a best-seller in 21 languages. Other books on Mongolia and China include Attila the Hun, Kublai Khan, The Terracotta Army, The Great Wall, and Xanadu (on Marco Polo). The Leadership Secrets of Genghis Khan combines history and leadership theory.A more recent interest is Japan. Samurai:The Last Warrior - which took him in the footsteps of Saigo Takamori, the real ‘Last Samurai’ - was followed by Ninja:1,000 Years of the Shadow Warrior (2012). His latest book, The Mongol Empire, was published in June 2014.  Xanadu has just been published in the US as Marco Polo, to accompany a 10-part Netflix TV series. His next book, Saladin, appears in April 2015. 

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Venue: The Golden Phoenix, 37-38 Gerard Street, London W1D 5QB
Schedule:18.45 arrival & networking
19.30 - dinner
21.00 - Talk and Q&A
22.00 - Close

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A forgotten Eurasian empire: the Liao dynasty, 907-1125, Tuesday 17 March 2015 - BOOKING CLOSED (12 March 2015)

Three centuries before the rise of the Mongols,the Liao was the dominant power of its day, but it did not seek world domination.It ranged from present-day Mongolia south to Beijing, including only a small strip of territory within the line of the Great Wall. Rather than push further into ‘China’, Liao emperors achieved a century of peaceful coexistence with their southern neighbour. In the absence of any written evidence Professor and historian, Naomi Standen,from the University of Birmingham, will shed some light on her research of this forgotten Liao empire, a patrimonial political system shared by steppe and sedentary rulers across Northeastern Eurasia. 

Orthodox Chinese historiography omits the dynasty from the legitimist sequence, and historians have scarcely acknowledged its existence. Archaeologists, by contrast, have excavated dozens of Liao tombs, which reveal the wealth of the elite but little about everyone else. 

Join us to hear about early cities in the grasslands built by the Liao and fresh insights into the everyday life and society, politics and economics of a steppe-based empire that became the leading Buddhist society of the region and which developed administrative structures to cope with multicultural populations of pastoralists and farmers.



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