Though few in number (approximately 200,000 people at the height of their empire) , Mongols were important in world history. Under the leadership of [[Genghis Khan]], the Mongols created the largest land [[Mongol empire|empire]] in world history, ruling 13.8 million mile² (36 million km²) and more than 100 million people. At their height, [[Mongol Empire]] spanned from [[Korea]] to [[Hungary]], and included most of the lands in between, such as [[Afghanistan]], [[Georgia (country)|Georgia]], [[Armenia]], [[Russia]], [[Persia]], and much of the [[Middle East]].
The Mongols were a [[nomadic people]] who in the [[13th century]] found themselves encompassed by large, city-dwelling agrarian civilizations. However, none of these civilizations were part of a strong central state. [[Asia]], [[Russia]], and the [[Middle East]] were either declining kingdoms, or divided city states. Taking the strategic initiative, the Mongols exploited this power vacuum and linked all of these areas into a mutually supporting trade network.