Tolui Khan

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Drawing of Toluys by Raschidoddin Hamadani

Tolui Khan , also Touli or Tuli Chan ( Mongolian ᠲᠥᠯᠦᠢ Cyrillic Толуй ; Chinese 拖雷 Tuōléi , * around 1191 ; † 1232 ) was the fourth son of Genghis Khan . He was the son of Börte , the chief wife of Genghis Khan.


Tolui was appointed at the division of the estate (around 1218, after a dispute between the princes) by the father to be the adviser of his brother Ugedai Khan and Orda-Odchigin , d H. the keeper of the camps and the ancestral lands in Mongolia. He took part several times at the side of his father in the campaigns against the Jin dynasty and the empire of the Khorezm Shahs .

In choosing his successor, Genghis Khan had decided against Tolui's military skills and in favor of Ugedei's political skills. In 1227, after the death of his father, he took over the reign until the election of the new great chan Ugedai Khan in 1229. Nevertheless, he is said to have competed with his brother for the dignity of the great chan before the election and was outplayed by Ugedai's adviser Yelü Chucai .

In 1231/2 he put his military skills to the test when he led the troops who bypassed the defensive positions of the Jin Dynasty on the Yellow River in exhausting skirmishes.

According to the Secret History of the Mongols , Tolui sacrificed himself in 1232 during the campaign in northern China to protect Ugedei from imminent death from disease. The disease is said to have been ceremonially transmitted to him. According to Chinese sources, however, he did not die until he returned home to Mongolia, and Juwaini spoke of death from drinking.

He was married to the Kerait Sorghaghtani Beki and the father of Möngke Khan , Kublai Khan , Hülegü and Arigkbugha .


The rivalries between his sons and those of Jotschis on the one hand and those of Ugedeis and Gujuks on the other led to a period of stagnation in the Mongol Empire in the 1240s. Later power struggles between his sons Kublai Khan and Arigkbugha (in the early 1260s) led to wars between the partial rulers and the final split of the empire.

Individual evidence

  1. See biography of Yelü Chucais in Igor de Rachewiltz et al: In the Service of the Khan: Personalities of the Early Mongol-Yüan Period , p. 148.
  2. Cf. u. a. Jeremiah Curtin: The Mongols: A History , Westport, Conn. 1972, p. 295 ff.
  3. Cf. Taube: Geheime Geschichte der Mongolen , pp. 203f., P. 269, note 204