Italian traveler Marco Polo, shown in this medieval painting leading his 13th-century caravan across Asia, crossed paths briefly with the much-dreaded Assassins. Unlike many, Polo lived to tell about it.


Blood in the Sand: Shiite Assassins

By Mark S. Longo

Their name has been synonymous with murder for almost a thousand years, but few people know the full truth about the enigmatic organization known as the Assassins. Read more

Genghis Khan and his Mongol hordes attack a Tangut (Xi) fortress in western China in ad 1205 in this highly imaginative 16th-century Indian painting.


The Mongol Hordes Invade China

By Steven M. Johnson

In ad 1205, Mongol ruler Genghis Khan, having completed the unification of his Gobi Desert empire, began looking south toward China for further conquest. Read more

Minamoto Yoshitsune shown riding up a slope to attack the Taira clan. The fighting between clans was ritualized and often called for prescribed combat between archers.


Japanese Mounted Archery

By Brian Todd Carey

In the eyes of the West, the Japanese samurai warrior has traditionally been associated with the long sword that bears his name. Read more