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The 1250s decade ran from January 1, 1250, to December 31, 1259.

Events and trends

The decade was perhaps most dominated by the Mongols, who under the leadership of Möngke Khan continued their rapid expansion throughout Asia both to the east and west of their home territories. The Mongols destroyed the Kingdom of Dali in Laosmarker, and captured the Goryeomarker kingdom in Koreamarker, eastern Galicia in Europe, Anatoliamarker in Turkeymarker, and the Islamic center of Baghdadmarker, where tens or hundreds of thousands were killed as the city was burned to the ground. In Thailandmarker the Lannathai kingdom was founded. In Japanmarker, a new sect of Buddhism was formed, while in Koreamarker the carving of Buddhist scriptures on 81,000 wooden blocks was completed.

Europe noted several important cultural milestones, including the completion of several important cathedrals and the beginning of construction of others, as well as the founding of the Collège de Sorbonne at the University of Parismarker. Significant political developments in Europe included the lack of a Holy Roman Emperor for most of the decade, further erosion of the power of the monarchy in Englandmarker and Portugalmarker, the end of the failed Seventh Crusade in Egyptmarker, and the expulsion of the Jews from Francemarker and the Moors from Portugalmarker. In religion, a papal bull authorized the use of torture in the Medieval Inquisition, and the Roman Catholic church clarified the concept of purgatory. Several important modern cities, including Stockholmmarker and Lvivmarker, were founded in the 1250s.

One of the largest volcanic eruptions of the Holocene epoch is thought to have occurred ca. January, 1258, with ice cores pointing to a tropical location such as El Chichónmarker, Mexicomarker or possibly Quilotoamarker, Ecuadormarker. The aftermath may have led to climatic anomalies in rainfall, effects on agriculture, as well as famine and epidemic disease across Europe.

War and politics

Mongol Empire


Asia and Africa


Science and literature

Art and architecture

Cities and institutions





  1. Emile-Geay, J., Seager, R., Cane, M., Cook, E., Haug, G.H., [The volcanic eruption of 1258 A.D. and the subsequent ENSO event, Geophysical Research Letters, 321, XXXX, doi:10.1029/2006JAXYZW, Mar 2006. (available [ online], pdf file)

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