Genghis Khan

Genghis Khan, who lived from 1162 to 1227, started the Mongolian Empire, which stretched from the Pacific Ocean in the east to the Danube River and the Persian Gulf in the west 800 years ago. Genghis Khan, also called Chinggis Khan, Chingis Khan, Jenghiz Khan, or Jinghis Khan, was the emperor of Mongolia from the 12th to the 13th century. Genghis Khan was born in Mongolia near Lake Baikal in 1162, and he died on August 18, 1227.

Who was Genghis Khan and What did he do

Temüjin, which can also be spelled Temuchin, was his given name when he was a child. A Mongolian warrior-king who united nomadic tribes into a single country and fought from China’s Pacific coast to Europe’s Adriatic Sea, laying the foundation for one of the world’s largest continental empires.

Genghis Khan Historical Fiction

Temüjin was the leader of a poor tribe. He defeated many rival clans and started the Mongol confederacy. In 1206, the Mongols called him Genghis Khan, which means “Universal Ruler.” The United Mongols were ready to move beyond the steppes by that year.

Genghis changed his military strategy. Instead of only using cavalry, he started using sieges, catapults, ladders, and other tools and methods for taking and destroying cities. In less than ten years, he took over most of the parts of China that were controlled by the Juchen. He then overthrew the Muslim Khwarezm-Shah empire while his generals stole from Iran and Russia.

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Genghis Khan History

He is infamous for killing whole communities of people and destroying farmland and irrigation systems, but he is also known for being a good soldier and being able to learn quickly. When he died on a military mission, his sons and grandsons took over his territory.

Early Life of Genghis Khan

Genghis Khan was born to Temüjin, who was part of a Mongol royal clan. When he was nine years old, his father, Yesügei, was killed by poison, and Temüjin was held prisoner by his father’s former supporters. Later, he got away, killed his half-brother, and started gathering supporters and soldiers when he was a teenager.

When Did Genghis Khan Rule

What was the path to power for Genghis Khan? Genghis Khan made deals with other clans after he became the leader of his clan. He also got rid of the old clan nobles and defeated hostile tribes like the Tatars. An assembly of chiefs named him Chinggis Khan (universal ruler) of the Mongolian steppe in 1206.

Genghis Khan Greatest Accomplishments

Genghis Khan is best known for making a huge empire out of the Mongolian steppe. It was strong enough to stand up to China’s powerful Jin dynasty and take over land as far west as the Caspian Sea.

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Why Was Genghis Khan Important

Genghis Khan (who lived from about 1162 to 1227) and the Mongols are always linked to terrible stories of war, destruction, and death. This famous clan leader and his immediate successors built the world’s biggest empire, which stretched from the Pacific Ocean to what is now Hungary in Europe.

This kind of empire could not have been built without leaders with a clear vision, excellent organizational skills, and the fastest and toughest cavalry ever seen. An army of great archers (called “the devil’s horsemen” in Western accounts), politically weak states all over Asia, and, of course, chaos and destruction.

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But Genghis Khan, his sons, and his grandsons also left behind a rich culture, great works of art, a courtly way of life, and a continent at peace, known as Pax Mongolica (“Mongolian Peace”). Few people know that Genghis Khan’s grandson Khubilai Khan, who ruled from 1260 to 1295, started the Yuan dynasty in China (1271–1368).

Two generations after Genghis Khan, the Mongol empire was at its largest. It was split into four main parts, with the Yuan (the empire of the Great Khan) being the most important and central one. The Chagatai khanate was in Central Asia from about 1227 to 1363. The Golden Horde was in southern Russia and reached into Europe from about 1227 to 1502. The Ilkhanid dynasty was in Greater Iran from about 1256 to 1353.

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When and How did Genghis Khan died

Genghis Khan died while fighting against the Tangut kingdom of Xixia on August 18, 1227. Chinggis Khan died in 1227. He was on his way back to Mongolia after a successful campaign against the Central Asians. One story says that a funeral procession took Chinggis’s body to northeastern Mongolia and buried 40 virgins and 40 horses with him.

According to this story, the horses’ hooves pressed down on the grave to hide the location of his grave. Chinggis’s body could have also been left where it fell, which is a second possibility. At this time in their history, the Mongols had not yet developed a tomb culture. In fact, they would not develop a tomb culture until they had more contact with the Chinese and the Persians. So, Chinggis’s body might have been left for the animals to eat.

Genghis Khan Facts

How many people were killed by Genghis Khan

Genghis Khan is assumed to have killed about 40 million people. There’s no way to know for sure how many people died during the Mongol conquests, but many historians think it was between 40 and 50 million. Censuses from the Middle Ages show that China’s population dropped by tens of millions during the Khan’s rule, and experts think that he killed three-quarters of the people living in what is now Iran during his war with the Khwarezmid Empire. Overall, the Mongol invasions may have caused as much as an 11% drop in the world’s population.

Genghis Khan Birth Name

The name Genghis Khan was given as a child was not Genghis Khan. The man who would become the Mongols’ “Great Khan” was born around 1162 on the banks of the Onon River. He was given the name Temujin, which means “of iron” or “blacksmith.”

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He didn’t get the honorific name Genghis Khan until 1206, when he was crowned Mongol leader at a “kurultai,” or tribal meeting. “Khan” is a common title that means “leader” or “ruler,” but historians don’t know where the name “Genghis” came from. Even though it could have meant “ocean” or “just,” it is usually translated as “supreme ruler” or “universal ruler” in this context.

Genghis Khan Childhood

Genghis Khan’s childhood was hard. From a young age, Genghis had to deal with the harshness of life on the Mongolian Steppe. When he was nine years old, his father was poisoned by rival Tatars. Eventually, his tribe kicked him and his family out, leaving his mother to raise her seven children on her own. Genghis was raised to hunt and find food for himself.  He may have killed his own half brother in a fight over food as a teenager.

When Genghis was a teenager, he and his young bride were taken by other clans. He was a slave for years before making a spectacular escape. Even with all of these problems, he was a strong warrior and leader by the time he was in his early twenties. After getting a lot of people to help him, he started talking to the leaders of important tribes. By 1206, he had successfully brought the steppe confederations together under his banner and had begun to work on taking over the rest of the world.

Genghis Khan Appearance

There is no definitive record of Genghis Khan’s appearance. Genghis Kahn’s personal life, as well as his physical appearance, are unknown for such a powerful guy. There are no contemporary portraits or sculptures of him, and historians’ knowledge of him is sometimes inconsistent or untrustworthy. Most versions describe him as tall and powerful, with a big, bushy beard and a flowing mane of hair.

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Rashid al-Din, a Persian historian from the 1400s, said that Genghis had red hair and green eyes. This may be the most surprising description of Genghis. The narrative of Al-Din is dubious because he never met the Khan in person. These striking characteristics, however, were not uncommon among the ethnically diverse Mongols.

Some of his most trusted generals used to be his enemies

Some of Genghis’s enemies turned out to be some of his most reliable generals. The Great Khan was very good at finding talented people. Most of the time, he promoted his officers based on their skills and experience, not their class, lineage, or even who they had been loyal to in the past. In 1201, during a fight against the opposing Taijut tribe, this ideology of meritocracy was put to the test in a way that stood out.

In battle, Genghis was almost killed when an arrow shot out from under his horse. Later, when he confronted the Taijut prisoners and asked who had done it, a brave soldier stepped forward and said he was the shooter. Genghis was so impressed by the bravery of the archer that he made him an officer in his army.

In honor of the fact that they met for the first time on the battlefield in 1201, Genghis gave him the name “Jebe,” which means “arrow.” Jebe became, along with the famous general Subutai, one of the Mongols’ best military leaders during their invasions of Asia and Europe.

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Genghis rarely left things undone

Genghis Khan often gave other countries the chance to give up peacefully and come under Mongol rule. But he didn’t think twice about using the sword against any community that fought back. In 1219, he started one of his most famous revenge campaigns. The Mongols did this after the Shah of the Khwarezmid Empire broke a deal with them.

Along the Silk Road, Genghis offered the Shah a good deal for trading goods along the road. When his first diplomats were killed, however, the Khan sent all the power of his Mongol armies against the Khwarezmid domains in Persia. The next war killed millions of people and completely destroyed the Shah’s realm. Khan did not stop there, though.

After he won, he went back to the east and went to war with the Tanguts of Xi Xia. The Xi Xia were Mongol subjects who had refused to do what he asked and sent warriors to help him invade Khwarazm. After defeating the Tangut soldiers and destroying their city, the Great Khan ordered the death of the Tangut royal family as punishment for their rebellion.

Genghis Khan Greatest Achievements

He was tolerant of many religions. Genghis Khan, unlike many other people who built empires, welcomed how different the places he conquered were. He passed laws that gave everyone freedom of religion, and he even stopped taxing places of worship. There is also a political side to this tolerance.

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Khan knew that people who were happy were less likely to rebel. Also, the Mongols were very open-minded when it came to religion. Many people, including Genghis, believed in shamanism and worshiped the spirits of the sky, winds, and mountains. The people who lived on the Steppe were a diverse group. There were Nestorian Christians, Buddhists, Muslims, and people who believed in spirits, among others.

The Great Khan also cared a lot about spiritual things. He was known to pray for many days in his tent before decisive battles. He met with religious leaders often to find out more about their beliefs. In his old age, he also invited the Taoist leader, Qiu Chuji, to his camp. People say that they talked for a long time about death and philosophy.

Good Things Genghis Khan Did

Genghis Khan set up one of the first ways to send mail around the world. Along with the bow and the horse, the Mongols may have had one of their most powerful weapons in their huge network of communication. As for Khan, one of his first orders was to set up the “Yam” mounted messenger service.

This medieval express was made up of a network of post offices and way-stations that were spread out across the whole Empire. Official riders could often cover 200 miles in a day if they stopped every few miles to rest or switch horses. The innovation made it possible for goods and information to move at a rate that had never been seen before. The Khan could also see and hear through the Yam postal system.

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With Yam’s help, Khan could easily keep up with military and political news and stay in touch with his large group of spies and scouts. During their travels, the Yam service also looked out for foreign dignitaries and businessmen. In the years after that, people like Marco Polo and John of Plano Carpini used the Yam service.

Genghis Khan Death

How did Genghis khan died? No one knows how he died or where he’s buried. Khan’s death may be the most well-known mystery in his life. The usual story says that he died in 1227 from injuries he got when he fell off a horse. But other sources say that it could be anything from malaria to an arrow wound in the knee. One of the less likely stories about how he died is that he was killed while attempting to seduce a Chinese princess.

Regardless of how he died, the Mongols were very careful to hide where he was buried. Folklore says that his funeral procession killed everyone they saw along the way before riding horses over his grave many times to hide it. Most likely, the tomb is on or near a Mongolian mountain called Burkhan Khaldun. But its exact location is still not known.

The Soviets tried to erase him in Mongolia

Genghis Khan is now seen as the founder of the country and a national hero. During the Soviet era of the 20th century, however, it was against the law to even say his name. The Soviets tried to get rid of anything that showed Mongolian identity. They tried to erase Khan from history by taking his story out of textbooks.

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Also, they stopped people from going on pilgrimages to Khentii, where he was born. Genghis Khan was put back into Mongolian history in the end. After the anti-communist uprisings of 1989, Mongolia broke away from the Soviet Union’s satellite states. Mongolia had its own democratic revolution at the beginning of the 1990s. It was peaceful.

This led to the creation of a system with more than one party, the passing of a new constitution in 1992, and the move to a market economy. Genghis Khan has since become a popular subject in art and popular culture. The main airport in Mongolia is in Ulan Bator and is named after the Great Khan. His picture is even on the Mongolian currency.

Author: Amitava Ray
I'm a photographer (1979) and a blogger (2006). My future photography and blogging endeavors are contingent on the success of Whizzed Net.