With James back from his matrimonial holiday, we return to the theme of our first series — barbarians — with a look at the Khitan. The Khitan were a proto-Mongol people who founded the Liao Empire in 907 AD. The Khitan were one of the first expansive empires to establish their capital in the area around modern Beijing. But two centuries later, caught between a rising Chinese empire in the Song (960-1279) and a new power in Northeast Asia, the proto-Manchu Jurchen, the Liao Empire fell and the Khitan were scattered across Asia.
In this episode of Barbarians at the Gate, James and Jeremiah discuss the history of the Khitans, their empire and their legacy with a little help from the Godfather Trilogy and Dragon Barbie from Game of Thrones.