The Mongol Empire (Mongolian: listen (help·info) Mongol-yn Ezent Güren; Cyrillic: Монголын эзэнт гүрэн, in Russian chronicles also Horde - Russian: Орда) existed during the 13th and 14th centuries AD, and was the largest contiguous land empire in human history. Beginning in the Central Asian steppes, it eventually stretched from Eastern Europe to the Sea of Japan, covering large parts of Siberia in the north and extending southward into Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent, the Iranian plateau, and the Middle East. At its greatest extent it spanned 9,700 km (6,000 mi), covered an area of 24,000,000 km2 (9,300,000 sq mi), 16% of the Earth's total land area, and held sway over a population of 100 million.
The Mongol Empire emerged from the unification of Mongol and Turkic tribes of historical Mongolia under the leadership of Genghis Khan. Genghis Khan was proclaimed ruler of all Mongols in 1206. The empire grew rapidly under his rule and then under the rule of his descendants, who sent invasions in every direction. The vast transcontinental empire which connected the east with the west with an enforced Pax Mongolica allowed trade, technologies, commodities and ideologies to be disseminated and exchanged across Eurasia.