World History

“Upon their arrival they were honorably and graciously received by the grand Khan, in a full assembly of his principal officers. When they drew nigh to his person, they paid their respects by prostrating themselves on the floor. He immediately commanded them to rise, and to relate to him the circumstances of their travels, with all that had taken place in their negotiation with his holiness the pope. To their narrative, which they gave in the regular order of events, and delivered in perspicuous language, he listened with attentive silence. The letters and the presents from pope Gregory were then laid before him, and, upon hearing the former read, he bestowed much commendation on the fidelity, the zeal, and the diligence of his ambassadors; and receiving with due reverence the oil from the holy sepulchre, he gave directions that it should be preserved with religious care. Upon his observing Marco Polo, and inquiring who he was, Nicolo made answer, This is your servant, and my son; upon which the grand Khan replied, “He is welcome, and it pleases me much,” and he caused him to be enrolled amongst his attendants of honor. And on account of their return he made a great feast and rejoicing; and as long as the said brothers and Marco remained in the court of the grand Khan, they were honored even above his own courtiers. Marco was held in high estimation and respect by all belonging to the court. He learnt in a short time and adopted the manners of the Tartars, and acquired a proficiency in four different languages, which he became qualified to read and write.”

Marco Polo’s Travels, ca. 1300 C.E.

Which of the following best characterizes one way in which the Mongol Empire was very different from the other major empires of the ancient and medieval worlds?

(A) The Mongols generally ignored or assimilated to the cultural identities of the people whom they conquered.
(B) The Mongols often took over territory without major destruction or bloodshed.
(C) The Mongols imposed their religious beliefs on the people whom they conquered.
(D) The Mongols had little interest in trading with their geographic neighbors.
  1. Correct Answer: A


    One of the unique characteristics of the Mongols was that unlike other major civilizations of the ancient and medieval worlds, the Mongols conquered vast territories of diverse peoples without imposing their own cultural imprint upon the people whom they conquered. Generally, after the initial conquest had taken place, the Mongols left people alone to pursue their own cultural and religious practices as before. Choice (A) is therefore the best answer.

Test ID: 1131
Source: AP World History Practice Tests