What Was Mongolia Called in Ancient Times?

Mongolia is a country located in East Asia, known for its vast landscapes and rich cultural heritage. The history of Mongolia dates back to ancient times, and the region has undergone many changes throughout the centuries.

But what was Mongolia called in ancient times? Let’s take a closer look.

The Early History of Mongolia

The early history of Mongolia can be traced back to the nomadic tribes that inhabited the region over 3,000 years ago. These tribes were known as the Xiongnu, and they established their rule over much of what is now modern-day Mongolia and northern China.

The Xiongnu were a powerful people who were able to maintain their dominance for many centuries. However, in the 3rd century AD, they were defeated by a coalition of Chinese forces and forced to retreat further north.

The Rise of the Mongol Empire

In the 12th century, a new power rose in Mongolia – the Mongol Empire. Under the leadership of Genghis Khan, the Mongols embarked on a campaign of conquest that would eventually see them control much of Asia and parts of Europe.

During this time, Mongolia was known by different names depending on which tribe or group was in control. The early Mongol Empire was known as the Ikh Mongol Uls (Great Mongolian State) or simply as “Mongolia”.

The Yuan Dynasty

In the late 13th century, Kublai Khan – Genghis Khan’s grandson – established himself as ruler of China and founded the Yuan Dynasty. During this time, Mongolia was known as “Outer Mongolia” to distinguish it from “Inner Mongolia”, which was under Chinese control.

The Yuan Dynasty lasted for almost a century before it was overthrown by native Chinese forces under the leadership of Zhu Yuanzhang.

The Qing Dynasty

In the 17th century, the Manchu people – who originated from what is now northeastern China – established the Qing Dynasty and conquered Mongolia. During this time, Mongolia was known as “Outer Mongolia” once again, to distinguish it from “Inner Mongolia”, which was under Manchu control.

The Qing Dynasty lasted until the early 20th century when it was overthrown by a revolution led by Sun Yat-sen.

The Modern Era

After the fall of the Qing Dynasty, Mongolia declared its independence in 1911. However, it was soon occupied by China and later by Soviet forces. It wasn’t until 1990 that Mongolia finally gained true independence and became known as the “Mongolian People’s Republic”.

In 1992, a new constitution was adopted, and the country became known simply as “Mongolia”. Today, Mongolia is a democratic country with a rich cultural heritage and a growing economy.


In conclusion, the history of Mongolia is long and complex. Throughout its long history, it has been known by many names depending on who was in control at any given time.

From the Xiongnu to the Mongol Empire to modern-day Mongolia, this country has undergone many changes over the centuries. However, one thing remains constant – its rich cultural heritage and unique way of life that continues to fascinate people around the world.