Genghis Khan

Genghis Khan

Overview
Genghis Khan (ˈ or ˈ, tʃiŋɡɪs xaːŋ; 1162?August 1227), born Temujin and occasionally known by his temple name
Temple name
Temple names are commonly used when naming most Chinese, Korean , and Vietnamese royalty. They should not be confused with era names. Compared to posthumous names, the use of temple names is more exclusive...

 Taizu (太祖), was the founder and Great Khan
Khagan
Khagan or qagan , alternatively spelled kagan, khaghan, qaghan, or chagan, is a title of imperial rank in the Mongolian and Turkic languages equal to the status of emperor and someone who rules a khaganate...

 (emperor) of the Mongol Empire
Mongol Empire
The Mongol Empire , initially named as Greater Mongol State was a great empire during the 13th and 14th centuries...

, which became the largest contiguous empire in history after his death.

He came to power by uniting many of the nomadic tribes of northeast Asia. After founding the Mongol Empire
Mongol Empire
The Mongol Empire , initially named as Greater Mongol State was a great empire during the 13th and 14th centuries...

 and being proclaimed "Genghis Khan", he started the Mongol invasions
Mongol invasions
Mongol invasions progressed throughout the 13th century, resulting in the vast Mongol Empire which covered much of Asia and Eastern Europe by 1300....

 that resulted in the conquest of most of Eurasia.
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Quotations

Be of one mind and one faith, that you may conquer your enemies and lead long and happy lives.

As quoted in The Mongol Empire : Its Rise and Legacy (1940) by Michael Prawdin, p. 224

Conquering the world on horseback is easy; it is dismounting and governing that is hard.

As quoted in The Gigantic Book of Horse Wisdom (2007) by Thomas Meagher and Buck Brannaman, p. 408

In the space of seven years I have succeeded in accomplishing a great work and uniting the whole world in one Empire.

As quoted in The Tyrants : 2500 Years of Absolute Power and Corruption (2006) by Clive Foss, p. 55 ISBN 1905204965
Encyclopedia
Genghis Khan (ˈ or ˈ, tʃiŋɡɪs xaːŋ; 1162?August 1227), born Temujin and occasionally known by his temple name
Temple name
Temple names are commonly used when naming most Chinese, Korean , and Vietnamese royalty. They should not be confused with era names. Compared to posthumous names, the use of temple names is more exclusive...

 Taizu (太祖), was the founder and Great Khan
Khagan
Khagan or qagan , alternatively spelled kagan, khaghan, qaghan, or chagan, is a title of imperial rank in the Mongolian and Turkic languages equal to the status of emperor and someone who rules a khaganate...

 (emperor) of the Mongol Empire
Mongol Empire
The Mongol Empire , initially named as Greater Mongol State was a great empire during the 13th and 14th centuries...

, which became the largest contiguous empire in history after his death.

He came to power by uniting many of the nomadic tribes of northeast Asia. After founding the Mongol Empire
Mongol Empire
The Mongol Empire , initially named as Greater Mongol State was a great empire during the 13th and 14th centuries...

 and being proclaimed "Genghis Khan", he started the Mongol invasions
Mongol invasions
Mongol invasions progressed throughout the 13th century, resulting in the vast Mongol Empire which covered much of Asia and Eastern Europe by 1300....

 that resulted in the conquest of most of Eurasia. These included raids or invasions of the Kara-Khitan Khanate
Kara-Khitan Khanate
The Kara-Khitan Khanate, or Western Liao was a Khitan empire in Central Asia. The dynasty was founded by Yelü Dashi, who led the remnants of the Liao Dynasty to Central Asia after fleeing from the Jurchen conquest of their homeland in North and Northeast of modern day China...

, Caucasus
Caucasus
The Caucasus, also Caucas or Caucasia , is a geopolitical region at the border of Europe and Asia, and situated between the Black and the Caspian sea...

, Khwarezmid Empire
Mongol invasion of Khwarezmia
The Mongol invasion of Khwarezmia from 1219 to 1221 marked the beginning of the Mongol conquest of the Islamic states, in the Mongol expansion would ultimately culminate in the conquest of virtually all of Eurasia, save for Western Europe, Fennoscandia, the Byzantine Empire, Arabia, Indian...

, Western Xia
Western Xia
The Western Xia Dynasty or the Tangut Empire, was known to the Tanguts and the Tibetans as Minyak.The state existed from 1038 to 1227 AD in what are now the northwestern Chinese provinces of Ningxia, Gansu, eastern Qinghai, northern Shaanxi, northeastern Xinjiang, southwest Inner Mongolia, and...

 and Jin dynasties. These campaigns were often accompanied by wholesale massacres of the civilian populations – especially in Khwarezmia. By the end of his life, the Mongol Empire occupied a substantial portion of Central Asia and China.

Before Genghis Khan died, he assigned Ögedei Khan
Ögedei Khan
Ögedei Khan, born Ögedei was the third son of Genghis Khan and second Great Khan of the Mongol Empire by succeeding his father...

 as his successor and split his empire into khanate
Khanate
Khanate, or Chanat, is a Turco-Mongol-originated word used to describe a political entity ruled by a Khan. In modern Turkish, the word used is kağanlık, and in modern Azeri of the republic of Azerbaijan, xanlıq. In Mongolian the word khanlig is used, as in "Khereidiin Khanlig" meaning the Khanate...

s among his sons and grandsons. He died in 1227 after defeating the Western Xia. He was buried in an unmarked grave
Tomb of Genghis Khan
The location of the tomb of Genghis Khan has been the object of much speculation and research. As of 2011, the site remains undiscovered.- Historical accounts :Genghis Khan asked to be buried without markings...

 somewhere in Mongolia at an unknown location. His descendants went on to stretch the Mongol Empire across most of Eurasia
Eurasia
Eurasia is a continent or supercontinent comprising the traditional continents of Europe and Asia ; covering about 52,990,000 km2 or about 10.6% of the Earth's surface located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres...

 by conquering and/or creating vassal
Vassal
A vassal or feudatory is a person who has entered into a mutual obligation to a lord or monarch in the context of the feudal system in medieval Europe. The obligations often included military support and mutual protection, in exchange for certain privileges, usually including the grant of land held...

 states out of all of modern-day China, Korea
Korea
Korea ) is an East Asian geographic region that is currently divided into two separate sovereign states — North Korea and South Korea. Located on the Korean Peninsula, Korea is bordered by the People's Republic of China to the northwest, Russia to the northeast, and is separated from Japan to the...

, the Caucasus
Caucasus
The Caucasus, also Caucas or Caucasia , is a geopolitical region at the border of Europe and Asia, and situated between the Black and the Caspian sea...

, Central Asian countries, and substantial portions of modern Eastern Europe, Russia and the Middle East. Many of these invasions resulted in the large-scale slaughter of local populations, which have given Genghis Khan and his empire a fearsome reputation in local histories. Mongol campaigns may have resulted in the deaths of 40 million people.

Beyond his military accomplishments, Genghis Khan also advanced the Mongol Empire in other ways. He decreed the adoption of the Uyghur
Old Uyghur alphabet
The Old Uyghur alphabet was used for writing the Old Uyghur language, a variety of Old Turkic spoken in the Tarim basin, which is an ancestor of the modern Uyghur language. It was descendant of the Sogdian alphabet, used for texts with Buddhist, Manichaean and Christian content for 700–800 years in...

 script as the Mongol Empire's writing system. He also promoted religious tolerance in the Mongol Empire, and created a unified empire from the nomadic tribes of northeast Asia. Present-day Mongolians regard him as the founding father of Mongolia
Mongolia
Mongolia is a landlocked country in East and Central Asia. It is bordered by Russia to the north and China to the south, east and west. Although Mongolia does not share a border with Kazakhstan, its western-most point is only from Kazakhstan's eastern tip. Ulan Bator, the capital and largest...

.

Lineage



Temujin was related on his father's side to Khabul Khan
Khabul Khan
Khabul Khan was the first known Khan of the Khamag Mongol confederation and great-grandfather to Genghis Khan.Khabul Khan was a son of Tumbinai Setsen and great-grandson of the Khaidu....

, Ambaghai
Ambaghai
Ambaghai Khan was a khan of Khamag Mongol in 1149-1156, one of the great grandson Khaidu Khan and the cousin and predecessor of Hotula Khan. During his rule, he was captured by the Tatars under the commands of the Chinese Jin Dynasty in response to the Mongols' growing power.In 1211 Genghis Khan...

 and Hotula Khan who had headed the Khamag Mongol confederation
Khamag Mongol
Khamag Mongol was a major tribal confederation in Mongolian plateau in 12th century. It is sometimes also considered a predecessor state to the Mongol Empire....

. When the Chinese Jin Dynasty switched support from the Mongols to the Tatars in 1161, they destroyed Khabul Khan. Temujin's father, Yesukhei (leader of the Borjigin
Borjigin
Borjigin , also known as the Altan urug , were the imperial clan of Genghis Khan and his successors....

 clan and nephew to Ambaghai and Hotula Khan), emerged as the head of the ruling clan of the Mongols, but this position was contested by the rival Tayichi’ud
Tayichiud
The Tayichiud were one of the three core tribe Khamag Mongol confederation in Mongolia in 12th century. Though Khiyad Borjigids and Tayichiuds were closely related and shared a common ancestry Bodonchar, at times they were arch rivals for the rule of Khamag Mongol...

 clan, who descended directly from Ambaghai
Ambaghai
Ambaghai Khan was a khan of Khamag Mongol in 1149-1156, one of the great grandson Khaidu Khan and the cousin and predecessor of Hotula Khan. During his rule, he was captured by the Tatars under the commands of the Chinese Jin Dynasty in response to the Mongols' growing power.In 1211 Genghis Khan...

. When the Tatars grew too powerful after 1161, the Jin switched their support from the Tatars to the Kerait
Kerait
The Kereit tribe was one of the five major tribal confederations in Mongolian plateau in the 12th century, and dominant in the area and, as allies of Genghis Khan, influential in the rise of the Mongol Empire...

s.

Birth



Because of the lack of contemporary written records, there is very little factual information about the early life of Temujin. The few sources that provide insight into this period often conflict.

Temujin was born in 1162 or 1155 in Delüün Boldog near Burkhan Khaldun mountain and the Onon
Onon River
The Onon is a river in Mongolia and Russia of length 818 km and watershed 94,010 km². It originates at the eastern slope of the Khentii Mountains. For 298 km it flows within Mongolia...

 and Kherlen
Kherlen River
Kherlen River is a river of 1,254 km length in Mongolia and China.-Course:The river has its origin in the south slopes of the Khentii mountains, near the Burkhan Khaldun mountain in the Khan Khentii Strictly Protected Area, about 180 km northeast of Ulaanbaatar...

 Rivers in modern-day Mongolia
Mongolia
Mongolia is a landlocked country in East and Central Asia. It is bordered by Russia to the north and China to the south, east and west. Although Mongolia does not share a border with Kazakhstan, its western-most point is only from Kazakhstan's eastern tip. Ulan Bator, the capital and largest...

, not far from the current capital, Ulaanbaatar
Ulaanbaatar
Ulan Bator or Ulaanbaatar is the capital and largest city of Mongolia. An independent municipality, the city is not part of any province, and its population as of 2008 is over one million....

. The Secret History of the Mongols
The Secret History of the Mongols
The Secret History of the Mongols is the oldest surviving Mongolian-language literary work...

 reports that Temüjin was born with a blood clot grasped in his fist, a traditional sign that he was destined to become a great leader. He was the third-oldest son of his father Yesükhei
Yesugei
Yesügei Baghatur , was major chief of the Kiyad-Borjigin clan and the father of Temüjin , Hasar, Hachiun, Temüge, Temülen, Behter, and Belgutei. Yesügei was the son of Bartan Baghatur, who was the son of Khabul Khan, who was recognized as a khagan by the Jin Dynasty...

, a Khamag Mongol
Khamag Mongol
Khamag Mongol was a major tribal confederation in Mongolian plateau in 12th century. It is sometimes also considered a predecessor state to the Mongol Empire....

's major chief of the Kiyad and an ally of Toghrul Khan
Wang Khan
Wang Khan, also Ong Khan, was the title given to the Kerait ruler Toghrul by the Jurchen Jin Dynasty of China. Like the rest of their tribe he may have been Nestorian Christian...

 of the Kerait
Kerait
The Kereit tribe was one of the five major tribal confederations in Mongolian plateau in the 12th century, and dominant in the area and, as allies of Genghis Khan, influential in the rise of the Mongol Empire...

 tribe, and the oldest son of his mother Hoelun
Hoelun
Hoelun was the mother of Genghis Khan and the wife of his father Yesugei, the chief of the Khamag Mongol confederation.-Early life:...

. According to the Secret History, Temujin was named after a Tatar
Tatars
Tatars are a Turkic speaking ethnic group , numbering roughly 7 million.The majority of Tatars live in the Russian Federation, with a population of around 5.5 million, about 2 million of which in the republic of Tatarstan.Significant minority populations are found in Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan,...

 chieftain, Temujin-üge, whom his father had just captured. The name also suggests that they may have been descended from a family of blacksmiths (see section Name and title below).

Yesukhei's clan was called Borjigin
Borjigin
Borjigin , also known as the Altan urug , were the imperial clan of Genghis Khan and his successors....

 (Боржигин), and Hoelun was from the Olkhunut
Olkhunut
Olkhunut was the tribe of Hoelun, the mother of Temüjin, more widely known as Genghis Khan. They helped Genghis to defeat the Naimans. The Olkhunut people were very closely related to the Khunggirad clan. Their descendants still live in Khovd Province of Mongolia and in Inner Mongolia....

, the sub-lineage of the Onggirat
Onggirat
The Hongirat , also known as Qongirat is a Central Asian tribe, one of the major divisions of the Mongols. Variations on the name include Onggirat, Wangjila , Yongjilie , and Guangjila in Chinese sources and Ongrat or Kungrat in Turkish.The original pastures of the Hongirats were in eastern...

 tribe. Like other tribes, they were nomad
Nomad
Nomadic people , commonly known as itinerants in modern-day contexts, are communities of people who move from one place to another, rather than settling permanently in one location. There are an estimated 30-40 million nomads in the world. Many cultures have traditionally been nomadic, but...

s. Because his father was a chieftain, as were his predecessors, Temüjin was of a noble background. This higher social standing made it easier to solicit help from and eventually consolidate the other Mongol tribes.

Early life and family


Temujin had 3 brothers named Hasar, Hachiun, and Temüge
Temüge
Temüge was the youngest full-brother of Genghis Khan. As the youngest sibling, Temüge and his mother, by Mongol traditions, were allotted the most land and people by Genghis Khan during his coronation...

, and one sister named Temülen, as well as two half-brothers named Behter and Belgutei
Belgutei
Belgutei was the son of Yesugei and half-brother to Genghis Khan.He also became general to Genghis Khan.-Ancestry:...

. Like many of the nomads of Mongolia, Temujin's early life was difficult. His father arranged a marriage
Arranged marriage
An arranged marriage is a practice in which someone other than the couple getting married makes the selection of the persons to be wed, meanwhile curtailing or avoiding the process of courtship. Such marriages had deep roots in royal and aristocratic families around the world...

 for him, and at nine years of age, he was delivered by his father to the family of his future wife Börte
Börte
Börte was the first wife of Genghis Khan, the founder of the Mongol Empire. Börte became the head of the first Court of Genghis Khan, and Grand Empress of his Empire. Little is known about the details of her early life, but she was betrothed to him at a young age, married at 17, and then...

, who was a member of the tribe Onggirat
Onggirat
The Hongirat , also known as Qongirat is a Central Asian tribe, one of the major divisions of the Mongols. Variations on the name include Onggirat, Wangjila , Yongjilie , and Guangjila in Chinese sources and Ongrat or Kungrat in Turkish.The original pastures of the Hongirats were in eastern...

. Temujin was to live there in service to Dei Sechen, the head of the new household, until he reached the marriageable age
Child marriage
Child marriage and child betrothal customs occur in various times and places, whereby children are given in matrimony - before marriageable age as defined by the commentator and often before puberty. Today such customs are fairly widespread in parts of Africa, Asia, Oceania and South America: in...

 of 12. While heading home, his father ran into the neighboring Tatars
Tatar confederation
Tatar was one of the five major tribal confederations in Mongolian plateau in 12th century. The name "Tatar" was first recorded in history in 732....

, who had long been enemies of the Mongols, and he was subsequently poisoned by the food they offered. Upon learning this, Temujin returned home to claim his father's position as chieftain of the tribe; however, his father's tribe refused to be led by a boy so young. They abandoned Hoelun
Hoelun
Hoelun was the mother of Genghis Khan and the wife of his father Yesugei, the chief of the Khamag Mongol confederation.-Early life:...

 and her children, leaving them without protection.

For the next several years, Hoelun and her children lived in poverty, surviving primarily on wild fruits and ox carcasses, marmot
Marmot
The marmots are a genus, Marmota, of squirrels. There are 14 species in this genus.Marmots are generally large ground squirrels. Those most often referred to as marmots tend to live in mountainous areas such as the Alps, northern Apennines, Eurasian steppes, Carpathians, Tatras, and Pyrenees in...

s, and other small game hunted by Temujin and his brothers. It was during one hunting excursion that 10-year-old Temujin killed his half-brother, Behter, during a fight which resulted from a dispute over hunting spoils. This incident cemented his position as a prisoner for manslaughter.
In another incident in 1182 he was captured in a raid and held prisoner by his father's former allies, the Tayichi'ud. The Tayichi'ud enslaved Temujin (reportedly with a cangue
Cangue
A cangue is a small device that was used for public humiliation and corporal punishment in China and some other parts of East Asia and Southeast Asia, until the early years of the twentieth century....

), but with the help of a sympathetic watcher, the father of Chilaun
Chilaun
Chilaun was a general in the Mongol Empire, known as one of Genghis Khan's four "talented men". His relatives, specifically his father, helped young Genghis escape from captivity at the hands of the Tayichiuds. His descendants include Chupan . His name "Chuluun" means "rock/rocky" in the Mongolian...

 (who later became a general of Genghis Khan), he was able to escape from the ger
Yurt
A yurt is a portable, bent wood-framed dwelling structure traditionally used by Turkic nomads in the steppes of Central Asia. The structure comprises a crown or compression wheel usually steam bent, supported by roof ribs which are bent down at the end where they meet the lattice wall...

 in the middle of the night by hiding in a river crevice. It was around this time that Jelme
Jelme
Jelme was a general of Genghis Khan. He was the older brother of Subutai and was given to Temujin to be his slave....

 and Bo'orchu, two of Genghis Khan's future generals, joined forces with him. Temüjin's reputation also became widespread after his escape from the Tayichi'ud.

At this time, none of the tribal confederations of Mongolia were united politically, and arranged marriages were often used to solidify temporary alliances. Temujin grew up observing the tough political climate of Mongolia, which included tribal warfare, thievery, raids, corruption and continuing acts of revenge carried out between the various confederations, all compounded by interference from foreign forces such as the Chinese dynasties to the south. Temujin's mother Olen taught him many lessons about the unstable political climate of Mongolia, especially the need for alliances.

As previously arranged by his father, Temujin married Börte
Börte
Börte was the first wife of Genghis Khan, the founder of the Mongol Empire. Börte became the head of the first Court of Genghis Khan, and Grand Empress of his Empire. Little is known about the details of her early life, but she was betrothed to him at a young age, married at 17, and then...

 of the Onggirat
Onggirat
The Hongirat , also known as Qongirat is a Central Asian tribe, one of the major divisions of the Mongols. Variations on the name include Onggirat, Wangjila , Yongjilie , and Guangjila in Chinese sources and Ongrat or Kungrat in Turkish.The original pastures of the Hongirats were in eastern...

 tribe when he was around 16 in order to cement alliances between their respective tribes. Börte had four sons, Jochi
Jochi
Jochi was the eldest of the Mongol chieftain Genghis Khan's four sons by his principal wife Börte. An accomplished military leader, he participated in his father's conquest of Central Asia, along with his brothers and uncles.-Early life:...

 (1185–1226), Chagatai
Chagatai Khan
Chagatai Khan was the second son of Genghis Khan and first khan and origin of the names of the Chagatai Khanate, Chagatai language and Chagatai Turks....

 (1187—1241), Ögedei
Ögedei Khan
Ögedei Khan, born Ögedei was the third son of Genghis Khan and second Great Khan of the Mongol Empire by succeeding his father...

 (1189—1241), and Tolui
Tolui
Tolui, was the youngest son of Genghis Khan by his chief khatun Börte...

 (1190–1232). Soon after Börte's marriage to Temujin, she was kidnapped by the Merkit
Merkit
The Mergid was one of the five major tribal confederations in Mongolian plateau in the 12th century.The Mergids inhabited in basins of the Selenge River and lower Orkhon River...

s, and reportedly given away as a wife. Temüjin rescued her with the help of his friend and future rival, Jamuha, and his protector, Toghrul Khan of the Kerait
Kerait
The Kereit tribe was one of the five major tribal confederations in Mongolian plateau in the 12th century, and dominant in the area and, as allies of Genghis Khan, influential in the rise of the Mongol Empire...

 tribe. She gave birth to a son, Jochi
Jochi
Jochi was the eldest of the Mongol chieftain Genghis Khan's four sons by his principal wife Börte. An accomplished military leader, he participated in his father's conquest of Central Asia, along with his brothers and uncles.-Early life:...

, nine months later, clouding the issue of his parentage. Despite speculation over Jochi, Börte would be his only empress, though Temujin did follow tradition by taking several morganatic
Morganatic marriage
In the context of European royalty, a morganatic marriage is a marriage between people of unequal social rank, which prevents the passage of the husband's titles and privileges to the wife and any children born of the marriage...

 wives. Genghis Khan also had many other children with his other wives, but they were excluded from the succession. While the names of sons were documented, daughters were not. The names of at least six daughters are known, and while they played significant roles behind the scenes during his lifetime, no documents have survived that definitively provide the number or names of daughters born to the wives and consorts of Genghis Khan.

Temujin valued loyalty above all else and also valued brotherhood.
Jamuha was one of Temujin's best friends growing up. But their friendship was tested later in life, when Temujin was fighting to become a khan. Jamuha said this to Temujin before he was killed, "What use is there in my becoming a companion to you? On the contrary, sworn brother, in the black night I would haunt your dreams, in the bright day I would trouble your heart. I would be the louse in your collar, I would become the splinter in your door-panel...as there was room for only one sun in the sky, there was room only for one Mongol lord."

Religion


Genghis Khan's religion is widely speculated to have been Shamanism
Shamanism
Shamanism is an anthropological term referencing a range of beliefs and practices regarding communication with the spiritual world. To quote Eliade: "A first definition of this complex phenomenon, and perhaps the least hazardous, will be: shamanism = technique of ecstasy." Shamanism encompasses the...

 or Tengriism
Tengriism
Tengriism is a Central Asian religion that incorporates elements of shamanism, animism, totemism and ancestor worship. Despite still being active in some minorities, it was, in old times, the major belief of Turkic peoples , Bulgars, Hungarians and Mongols...

, which was very likely among nomadic Mongol-Turkic
Turkic peoples
The Turkic peoples are peoples residing in northern, central and western Asia, southern Siberia and northwestern China and parts of eastern Europe. They speak languages belonging to the Turkic language family. They share, to varying degrees, certain cultural traits and historical backgrounds...

 tribes of Central Asia. But he was very tolerant religiously, and interested in learning philosophical and moral lessons from other religions. To do so, he consulted Buddhist
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

 monks, Muslims, Christian missionaries, and the Taoist
Taoism
Taoism refers to a philosophical or religious tradition in which the basic concept is to establish harmony with the Tao , which is the mechanism of everything that exists...

 monk Qiu Chuji
Qiu Chuji
Qiu Chuji was a Daoist disciple of Wang Chongyang. He was the most famous among the Seven True Daoists of the North...

.

Uniting the confederations



The Central Asian plateau (north of China) around the time of Temüjin (the early 13th century) was divided into several tribes or confederation
Confederation
A confederation in modern political terms is a permanent union of political units for common action in relation to other units. Usually created by treaty but often later adopting a common constitution, confederations tend to be established for dealing with critical issues such as defense, foreign...

s, among them Naimans
Naimans
The Naimans, also Naiman Turks or Naiman Mongols, was a Mongolian name given to a group of people dwelling on the steppe of Central Asia, having diplomatic relations with the Kara-Khitan, and subservient to them until 1177...

, Merkit
Merkit
The Mergid was one of the five major tribal confederations in Mongolian plateau in the 12th century.The Mergids inhabited in basins of the Selenge River and lower Orkhon River...

s, Tatars
Tatar confederation
Tatar was one of the five major tribal confederations in Mongolian plateau in 12th century. The name "Tatar" was first recorded in history in 732....

, Khamag Mongol
Khamag Mongol
Khamag Mongol was a major tribal confederation in Mongolian plateau in 12th century. It is sometimes also considered a predecessor state to the Mongol Empire....

s, and Keraits, that were all prominent in their own right and often unfriendly toward each other as evidenced by random raids, revenge attacks, and plundering.

Temujin began his slow ascent to power by offering himself as an ally (or, according to others sources, a vassal
Vassal
A vassal or feudatory is a person who has entered into a mutual obligation to a lord or monarch in the context of the feudal system in medieval Europe. The obligations often included military support and mutual protection, in exchange for certain privileges, usually including the grant of land held...

) to his father's anda (sworn brother or blood brother
Blood brother
Blood brother can refer to one of two things: two males related by birth, or two or more men not related by birth who have sworn loyalty to each other. This is usually done in a ceremony, known as a blood oath, where the blood of each man is mingled together...

) Toghrul
Wang Khan
Wang Khan, also Ong Khan, was the title given to the Kerait ruler Toghrul by the Jurchen Jin Dynasty of China. Like the rest of their tribe he may have been Nestorian Christian...

, who was Khan of the Kerait
Kerait
The Kereit tribe was one of the five major tribal confederations in Mongolian plateau in the 12th century, and dominant in the area and, as allies of Genghis Khan, influential in the rise of the Mongol Empire...

, and is better known by the Chinese title "Wang Khan
Wang Khan
Wang Khan, also Ong Khan, was the title given to the Kerait ruler Toghrul by the Jurchen Jin Dynasty of China. Like the rest of their tribe he may have been Nestorian Christian...

", which the Jin Empire granted him in 1197. This relationship was first reinforced when Börte was captured by the Merkits; it was Toghrul to whom Temujin turned for support. In response, Toghrul offered his vassal 200,000 of his Kerait warriors and suggested that he also involve his childhood friend Jamuha, who had himself become Khan (ruler) of his own tribe, the Jadaran. Although the campaign was successful and led to the recapture of Börte and utter defeat of the Merkits, it also paved the way for the split between the childhood friends, Temujin and Jamuha. Temujin had become blood brother
Blood brother
Blood brother can refer to one of two things: two males related by birth, or two or more men not related by birth who have sworn loyalty to each other. This is usually done in a ceremony, known as a blood oath, where the blood of each man is mingled together...

 (anda) with Jamuha earlier, and they had vowed to remain eternally faithful.

The main opponents of the Mongol confederation (traditionally the "Mongols") around 1200 were the Naimans
Naimans
The Naimans, also Naiman Turks or Naiman Mongols, was a Mongolian name given to a group of people dwelling on the steppe of Central Asia, having diplomatic relations with the Kara-Khitan, and subservient to them until 1177...

 to the west, the Merkits to the north, Tanguts to the south, and the Jin and Tatars
Tatars
Tatars are a Turkic speaking ethnic group , numbering roughly 7 million.The majority of Tatars live in the Russian Federation, with a population of around 5.5 million, about 2 million of which in the republic of Tatarstan.Significant minority populations are found in Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan,...

 to the east. By 1190, Temujin, his followers, and their advisors, had united the smaller Mongol confederation only. In his rule and his conquest of rival tribes, Temujin broke with Mongol tradition in a few crucial ways. He delegated authority based on merit and loyalty, rather than family ties. As an incentive for absolute obedience and following his rule of law, the Yassa
Yassa
Yassa was a secret written code of law created by Genghis Khan. It was the principal law under the Mongol Empire even though no copies were made available...

 code, Temujin promised civilians and soldiers wealth from future possible war spoils. As he defeated rival tribes, he did not drive away enemy soldiers and abandon the rest. Instead, he took the conquered tribe under his protection and integrated its members into his own tribe. He would even have his mother adopt orphans from the conquered tribe, bringing them into his family. These political innovations inspired great loyalty among the conquered people, making Temujin stronger with each victory.

Toghrul's (Wang Khan) son Senggum was jealous of Temüjin's growing power, and his affinity with his father. He allegedly planned to assassinate Temujin. Toghrul, though allegedly saved on multiple occasions by Temujin, gave in to his son and became uncooperative with Temüjin. Temüjin learned of Senggum's intentions and eventually defeated him and his loyalists. One of the later ruptures between Toghrul and Temüjin was Toghrul's refusal to give his daughter in marriage to Jochi
Jochi
Jochi was the eldest of the Mongol chieftain Genghis Khan's four sons by his principal wife Börte. An accomplished military leader, he participated in his father's conquest of Central Asia, along with his brothers and uncles.-Early life:...

, the eldest son of Temüjin, a sign of disrespect in the Mongolian culture. This act led to the split between both factions, and was a prelude to war. Toghrul allied himself with Jamuha, who already opposed Temujin's forces; however, the internal dispute between Toghrul and Jamuha, plus the desertion of a number of their allies to Temujin, led to Toghrul's defeat. Jamukha escaped during the conflict. This defeat was a catalyst for the fall and eventual dissolution of the Kerait
Kerait
The Kereit tribe was one of the five major tribal confederations in Mongolian plateau in the 12th century, and dominant in the area and, as allies of Genghis Khan, influential in the rise of the Mongol Empire...

 tribe.


The next direct threat to Temüjin was the Naimans
Naimans
The Naimans, also Naiman Turks or Naiman Mongols, was a Mongolian name given to a group of people dwelling on the steppe of Central Asia, having diplomatic relations with the Kara-Khitan, and subservient to them until 1177...

 (Naiman Mongols), with whom Jamuha and his followers took refuge. The Naimans did not surrender, although enough sectors again voluntarily sided with Temujin. In 1201, a khuruldai
Kurultai
Kurultai is a political and military council of ancient Mongol and Turkic chiefs and khans. The root of the word "Khural" means political "meeting" or "assembly" in the Mongolian language, it is also a verb for "to be established"...

 elected Jamuha as Gür Khan
Khan (title)
Khan is an originally Altaic and subsequently Central Asian title for a sovereign or military ruler, widely used by medieval nomadic Turko-Mongol tribes living to the north of China. 'Khan' is also seen as a title in the Xianbei confederation for their chief between 283 and 289...

, "universal ruler", a title used by the rulers of the Kara-Khitan Khanate
Kara-Khitan Khanate
The Kara-Khitan Khanate, or Western Liao was a Khitan empire in Central Asia. The dynasty was founded by Yelü Dashi, who led the remnants of the Liao Dynasty to Central Asia after fleeing from the Jurchen conquest of their homeland in North and Northeast of modern day China...

. Jamuha's assumption of this title was the final breach with Temüjin, and Jamuha formed a coalition of tribes to oppose him. Before the conflict, however, several generals abandoned Jamuha, including Subutai
Subutai
Subutai was the primary military strategist and general of Genghis Khan and Ögedei Khan...

, Jelme's well-known younger brother. After several battles, Jamuha was finally turned over to Temujin by his own men in 1206.

According to the Secret History, Temujin again offered his friendship to Jamuha, asking him to return to his side. Temujin had killed the men who betrayed Jamuha, stating that he did not want disloyal men in his army. Jamuha refused the offer of friendship and reunion, saying that there can only be one Sun in the sky, and he asked for a noble death. The custom is to die without spilling blood, which is granted by breaking the back. Jamuha requested this form of death, despite the fact that in the past Jamuha had been known to have boiled his opponent's generals alive. The rest of the Merkit
Merkit
The Mergid was one of the five major tribal confederations in Mongolian plateau in the 12th century.The Mergids inhabited in basins of the Selenge River and lower Orkhon River...

 clan that sided with the Naimans
Naimans
The Naimans, also Naiman Turks or Naiman Mongols, was a Mongolian name given to a group of people dwelling on the steppe of Central Asia, having diplomatic relations with the Kara-Khitan, and subservient to them until 1177...

 were defeated by Subutai
Subutai
Subutai was the primary military strategist and general of Genghis Khan and Ögedei Khan...

, who was by then a member of Temujin's personal guard and later became one of the most successful commander
Commander
Commander is a naval rank which is also sometimes used as a military title depending on the individual customs of a given military service. Commander is also used as a rank or title in some organizations outside of the armed forces, particularly in police and law enforcement.-Commander as a naval...

s of Genghis Khan. The Naimans' defeat left Genghis Khan as the sole ruler of the Mongol plains, which means all the prominent confederations fell and/or united under Temüjin's Mongol confederation.

Accounts of Genghis Khan's life are marked by claims of a series of betrayals and conspiracies. These include rifts with his early allies such as Jamuhha (who also wanted to be a ruler of Mongol tribes) and Wang Khan (his and his father's ally), his son Jochi, and problems with the most important shaman, who was allegedly trying to drive a wedge between him and his loyal brother Khasar. His military strategies
Military strategy
Military strategy is a set of ideas implemented by military organizations to pursue desired strategic goals. Derived from the Greek strategos, strategy when it appeared in use during the 18th century, was seen in its narrow sense as the "art of the general", 'the art of arrangement' of troops...

 showed a deep interest in gathering good intelligence
Intelligence (information gathering)
Intelligence assessment is the development of forecasts of behaviour or recommended courses of action to the leadership of an organization, based on a wide range of available information sources both overt and covert. Assessments are developed in response to requirements declared by the leadership...

 and understanding the motivation
Motivation
Motivation is the driving force by which humans achieve their goals. Motivation is said to be intrinsic or extrinsic. The term is generally used for humans but it can also be used to describe the causes for animal behavior as well. This article refers to human motivation...

s of his rivals as exemplified by his extensive spy network and Yam
Yam (route)
Yam is a supply point route messenger system employed and extensively used and expanded by Genghis Khan and used by subsequent Great Khans and Khans.Relay stations were used to give food, shelter and spare horses for Mongol armies messengers...

 route systems. He seemed to be a quick student, adopting new technologies and ideas that he encountered, such as siege warfare from the Chinese. He was also ruthless, as demonstrated by his measuring against the linchpin
Measuring against the linchpin
Measuring against the linchpin was a method of determining which enemy civilians would be beheaded, used by the Mongols and other tribes that lived in the Mongolian plateau....

 tactic used against the tribes led by Jamukha.

As a result by 1206 Temüjin had managed to unite or subdue the Merkit
Merkit
The Mergid was one of the five major tribal confederations in Mongolian plateau in the 12th century.The Mergids inhabited in basins of the Selenge River and lower Orkhon River...

s, Naimans
Naimans
The Naimans, also Naiman Turks or Naiman Mongols, was a Mongolian name given to a group of people dwelling on the steppe of Central Asia, having diplomatic relations with the Kara-Khitan, and subservient to them until 1177...

, Mongols
Mongols
Mongols ) are a Central-East Asian ethnic group that lives mainly in the countries of Mongolia, China, and Russia. In China, ethnic Mongols can be found mainly in the central north region of China such as Inner Mongolia...

, Keraits, Tatars
Tatars
Tatars are a Turkic speaking ethnic group , numbering roughly 7 million.The majority of Tatars live in the Russian Federation, with a population of around 5.5 million, about 2 million of which in the republic of Tatarstan.Significant minority populations are found in Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan,...

, Uyghurs
Uyghur people
The Uyghur are a Turkic ethnic group living in Eastern and Central Asia. Today, Uyghurs live primarily in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in the People's Republic of China...

 and other disparate smaller tribes under his rule. It was a monumental feat for the "Mongols" (as they became known collectively). At a Khuruldai
Kurultai
Kurultai is a political and military council of ancient Mongol and Turkic chiefs and khans. The root of the word "Khural" means political "meeting" or "assembly" in the Mongolian language, it is also a verb for "to be established"...

, a council of Mongol chiefs, he was acknowledged as "Khan
Khan (title)
Khan is an originally Altaic and subsequently Central Asian title for a sovereign or military ruler, widely used by medieval nomadic Turko-Mongol tribes living to the north of China. 'Khan' is also seen as a title in the Xianbei confederation for their chief between 283 and 289...

" of the consolidated tribes and took the new title "Genghis Khan". The title Khagan
Khagan
Khagan or qagan , alternatively spelled kagan, khaghan, qaghan, or chagan, is a title of imperial rank in the Mongolian and Turkic languages equal to the status of emperor and someone who rules a khaganate...

 was not conferred on Genghis until after his death, when his son and successor, Ögedei, took the title for himself and extended it posthumously to his father (as he was also to be posthumously declared the founder of the Yuan Dynasty
Yuan Dynasty
The Yuan Dynasty , or Great Yuan Empire was a ruling dynasty founded by the Mongol leader Kublai Khan, who ruled most of present-day China, all of modern Mongolia and its surrounding areas, lasting officially from 1271 to 1368. It is considered both as a division of the Mongol Empire and as an...

). This unification of all confederations by Genghis Khan established peace between previously warring tribes and a single political and military force under Genghis Khan.

Military campaigns


Western Xia Dynasty


During the 1206 political rise of Genghis Khan, the Mongol Empire
Mongol Empire
The Mongol Empire , initially named as Greater Mongol State was a great empire during the 13th and 14th centuries...

 created by Genghis Khan and his allies shared its western borders with the Tanguts' Western Xia Dynasty
Western Xia
The Western Xia Dynasty or the Tangut Empire, was known to the Tanguts and the Tibetans as Minyak.The state existed from 1038 to 1227 AD in what are now the northwestern Chinese provinces of Ningxia, Gansu, eastern Qinghai, northern Shaanxi, northeastern Xinjiang, southwest Inner Mongolia, and...

. To its east and south was the Jin Dynasty
Jin Dynasty, 1115–1234
The Jīn Dynasty ; Khitan language: Nik, Niku; ; 1115–1234), also known as the Jurchen Dynasty, was founded by the Wanyan clan of the Jurchens, the ancestors of the Manchus who established the Qing Dynasty some 500 years later...

, founded by the Manchu
Manchu
The Manchu people or Man are an ethnic minority of China who originated in Manchuria . During their rise in the 17th century, with the help of the Ming dynasty rebels , they came to power in China and founded the Qing Dynasty, which ruled China until the Xinhai Revolution of 1911, which...

rian Jurchens, who ruled northern China as well as being the traditional overlords of the Mongolian tribes for centuries.

Genghis Khan organized his people, army, and his state to first prepare for war with Western Xia, or Xi Xia, which was closer to the Mongolian lands. He correctly believed that the more powerful Jin Dynasty's young ruler would not come to the aid of Xi Xia. When the Tanguts requested help from the Jin Dynasty, they were refused. Despite initial difficulties in capturing its well-defended cities, Genghis Khan forced the surrender of Western Xia by 1209.

Jin Dynasty



In 1211, after the conquest of Western Xia, Genghis Khan planned again to conquer the Jin Dynasty. The commander of the Jin Dynasty army made a tactical mistake in not attacking the Mongols at the first opportunity. Instead, the Jin commander sent a messenger, Ming-Tan, to the Mongol side, who defected and told the Mongols that the Jin army was waiting on the other side of the pass. At this engagement fought at Badger Pass the Mongols massacred thousands of Jin troops. In 1215 Genghis besieged, captured, and sacked the Jin capital of Yanjing (later known as Beijing). This forced the Emperor Xuanzong
Emperor Xuanzong of Jin
Emperor Xuanzong of Jin , Jin Xuanzong, was emperor of the Jin Dynasty which ruled most of northern China in the 12th and 13th centuries. His name at birth was Wányán Xún...

 to move his capital south to Kaifeng
Kaifeng
Kaifeng , known previously by several names , is a prefecture-level city in east-central Henan province, Central China. Nearly 5 million people live in the metropolitan area...

, abandoning the northern half of his kingdom to the Mongols.

Kara-Khitan Khanate




Kuchlug
Kuchlug
Kuchlug was a member of the Naiman tribe of western Mongolia. He was defeated by Genghis Khan and fled westward to the Kara-Khitan Khanate, where he became an advisor. In 1210, he took control of the khanate...

, the deposed Khan
Khan (title)
Khan is an originally Altaic and subsequently Central Asian title for a sovereign or military ruler, widely used by medieval nomadic Turko-Mongol tribes living to the north of China. 'Khan' is also seen as a title in the Xianbei confederation for their chief between 283 and 289...

 of the Naiman
Naimans
The Naimans, also Naiman Turks or Naiman Mongols, was a Mongolian name given to a group of people dwelling on the steppe of Central Asia, having diplomatic relations with the Kara-Khitan, and subservient to them until 1177...

 confederation
Confederation
A confederation in modern political terms is a permanent union of political units for common action in relation to other units. Usually created by treaty but often later adopting a common constitution, confederations tend to be established for dealing with critical issues such as defense, foreign...

 that Temüjin defeated and folded into his Mongol Empire, fled west and usurped the khanate
Khanate
Khanate, or Chanat, is a Turco-Mongol-originated word used to describe a political entity ruled by a Khan. In modern Turkish, the word used is kağanlık, and in modern Azeri of the republic of Azerbaijan, xanlıq. In Mongolian the word khanlig is used, as in "Khereidiin Khanlig" meaning the Khanate...

 of Kara-Khitan
Kara-Khitan Khanate
The Kara-Khitan Khanate, or Western Liao was a Khitan empire in Central Asia. The dynasty was founded by Yelü Dashi, who led the remnants of the Liao Dynasty to Central Asia after fleeing from the Jurchen conquest of their homeland in North and Northeast of modern day China...

 (also known as the Western Liao, as it was originally established as remnants of the Liao Dynasty
Liao Dynasty
The Liao Dynasty , also known as the Khitan Empire was an empire in East Asia that ruled over the regions of Manchuria, Mongolia, and parts of northern China proper between 9071125...

). Genghis Khan decided to conquer the Kara-Khitan khanate and defeat Kuchlug
Kuchlug
Kuchlug was a member of the Naiman tribe of western Mongolia. He was defeated by Genghis Khan and fled westward to the Kara-Khitan Khanate, where he became an advisor. In 1210, he took control of the khanate...

, possibly to take him out of power. By this time the Mongol army was exhausted from ten years of continuous campaigning in China against the Western Xia
Western Xia
The Western Xia Dynasty or the Tangut Empire, was known to the Tanguts and the Tibetans as Minyak.The state existed from 1038 to 1227 AD in what are now the northwestern Chinese provinces of Ningxia, Gansu, eastern Qinghai, northern Shaanxi, northeastern Xinjiang, southwest Inner Mongolia, and...

 and Jin Dynasty. Therefore Genghis sent only two tumen
Tumen
Tumen or Tümen was a part of the decimal system used by Turkic and Mongol peoples to organize their armies. Tumen is an army unit of 10,000 soldiers...

 (20,000 soldiers) against Kuchlug, under his younger general, Jebe
Jebe
Chepe Noyan was one of the prominent Noyans of Genghis Khan. His clan was Besud, which belonged to the Taichud tribe, which was at the time of Genghis Khan under Targudai Khiriltug's leadership....

, known as "The Arrow".

With such a small force, the invading Mongols were forced to change strategies and resort to inciting internal revolt among Kuchlug's supporters, leaving the Khara-Khitan khanate more vulnerable to Mongol conquest. As a result, Kuchlug's army was defeated west of Kashgar
Kashgar
Kashgar or Kashi is an oasis city with approximately 350,000 residents in the western part of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China. Kashgar is the administrative centre of Kashgar Prefecture which has an area of 162,000 km² and a population of approximately...

. Kuchlug fled again, but was soon hunted down by Jebe's army and executed. By 1218, as a result of defeat of Kara-Khitan khanate, the Mongol Empire and its control extended as far west as Lake Balkhash
Lake Balkhash
Lake Balkhash is one of the largest lakes in Asia and 12th largest continental lake in the world. It is located in southeastern Kazakhstan, in Central Asia, and belongs to an endorheic basin shared by Kazakhstan and China, with a small part in Kyrgyzstan. The basin drains into the lake via seven...

, which bordered the Khwarezmia (Khwarezmid Empire), a Muslim state that reached the Caspian Sea
Caspian Sea
The Caspian Sea is the largest enclosed body of water on Earth by area, variously classed as the world's largest lake or a full-fledged sea. The sea has a surface area of and a volume of...

 to the west and Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
The Persian Gulf, in Southwest Asia, is an extension of the Indian Ocean located between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula.The Persian Gulf was the focus of the 1980–1988 Iran-Iraq War, in which each side attacked the other's oil tankers...

 and the Arabian Sea
Arabian Sea
The Arabian Sea is a region of the Indian Ocean bounded on the east by India, on the north by Pakistan and Iran, on the west by the Arabian Peninsula, on the south, approximately, by a line between Cape Guardafui in northeastern Somalia and Kanyakumari in India...

 to the south.

Khwarezmian Empire



In the early 13th century, the Khwarezmian Dynasty was governed by Shah
Shah
Shāh is the title of the ruler of certain Southwest Asian and Central Asian countries, especially Persia , and derives from the Persian word shah, meaning "king".-History:...

 Ala ad-Din Muhammad
Muhammad II of Khwarezm
Ala ad-Din Muhammad II was the ruler of the Khwarezmid Empire from 1200 to 1220. His ancestor was a Turkic slave who eventually became a viceroy of a small province named Khwarizm. After his father died, Muhammad inherited his father's lands, and it was from there he began expanding outwards...

. Genghis Khan saw the potential advantage in Khwarezmia as a commercial trading partner using the Silk Road
Silk Road
The Silk Road or Silk Route refers to a historical network of interlinking trade routes across the Afro-Eurasian landmass that connected East, South, and Western Asia with the Mediterranean and European world, as well as parts of North and East Africa...

, and he initially sent a 500-man caravan
Camel train
A camel train is a series of camels carrying goods or passengers in a group as part of a regular or semi-regular service between two points. Although they rarely travelled faster than the walking speed of a man, camels' ability to handle harsh conditions made camel trains a vital part of...

 to establish official trade ties with the empire. However, Inalchuq
Inalchuq
Inalchuq was governor of Otrar in the Khwarezmian Empire in the early 13th century, known mainly for helping to provoke the successful invasion of Khwarezmia by Genghis Khan....

, the governor of the Khwarezmian city of Otrar
Otrar
Otrar or Utrar is a Central Asian ghost town that was a city located along the Silk Road near the current town of Karatau in Kazakhstan. Otrar was an important town in the history of Central Asia, situated on the borders of settled and agricultural civilizations...

, attacked the caravan that came from Mongolia, claiming that the caravan contained spies
Espionage
Espionage or spying involves an individual obtaining information that is considered secret or confidential without the permission of the holder of the information. Espionage is inherently clandestine, lest the legitimate holder of the information change plans or take other countermeasures once it...

 and therefore was a conspiracy against Khwarezmia. The situation became further complicated because the governor later refused to make repayments for the looting of the caravan and handing over the perpetrators. Genghis Khan then sent again a second group of three ambassadors (two Mongols and a Muslim) to meet the Shah himself instead of the governor Inalchuq. The Shah
Shah
Shāh is the title of the ruler of certain Southwest Asian and Central Asian countries, especially Persia , and derives from the Persian word shah, meaning "king".-History:...

 had all the men shaved and the Muslim beheaded
Decapitation
Decapitation is the separation of the head from the body. Beheading typically refers to the act of intentional decapitation, e.g., as a means of murder or execution; it may be accomplished, for example, with an axe, sword, knife, wire, or by other more sophisticated means such as a guillotine...

 and sent his head back with the two remaining ambassadors. This was seen as an affront and insult to Genghis Khan. Outraged Genghis Khan planned one of his largest invasion campaigns by organizing together around 200,000 soldiers (20 tumen
Tumen
Tumen or Tümen was a part of the decimal system used by Turkic and Mongol peoples to organize their armies. Tumen is an army unit of 10,000 soldiers...

s), his most capable generals and some of his sons. He left a commander and number of troops in China, designated his successors to be his family members and likely appointed Ogedei to be his immediate successor and then went out to Khwarezmia.

The Mongol army under Genghis Khan, generals and his sons crossed the Tien Shan
Tian Shan
The Tian Shan , also spelled Tien Shan, is a large mountain system located in Central Asia. The highest peak in the Tian Shan is Victory Peak , ....

 mountains by entering the area controlled by the Khwarezmian Empire
Khwarezmian Empire
The Khwarazmian dynasty or Khwarezmian dynasty, also known as Khwarezmids, dynasty of Khwarazm Shahs or Khwarezm-Shah dynasty was a Persianate Sunni Muslim dynasty of Turkic mamluk origin.They ruled Greater Iran in the High Middle Ages, in the period of about 1077 to 1231, first as vassals of...

. After compiling intelligence from many sources Genghis Khan carefully prepared his army, which was divided into three groups. His son Jochi
Jochi
Jochi was the eldest of the Mongol chieftain Genghis Khan's four sons by his principal wife Börte. An accomplished military leader, he participated in his father's conquest of Central Asia, along with his brothers and uncles.-Early life:...

 led the first division into the northeast of Khwarezmia. The second division under Jebe
Jebe
Chepe Noyan was one of the prominent Noyans of Genghis Khan. His clan was Besud, which belonged to the Taichud tribe, which was at the time of Genghis Khan under Targudai Khiriltug's leadership....

 marched secretly to the southeast part of Khwarzemia to form, with the first division, a pincer attack
Pincer movement
The pincer movement or double envelopment is a military maneuver. The flanks of the opponent are attacked simultaneously in a pinching motion after the opponent has advanced towards the center of an army which is responding by moving its outside forces to the enemy's flanks, in order to surround it...

 on Samarkand
Samarkand
Although a Persian-speaking region, it was not united politically with Iran most of the times between the disintegration of the Seleucid Empire and the Arab conquest . In the 6th century it was within the domain of the Turkic kingdom of the Göktürks.At the start of the 8th century Samarkand came...

. The third division under Genghis Khan and Tolui
Tolui
Tolui, was the youngest son of Genghis Khan by his chief khatun Börte...

 marched to the northwest and attacked Khwarzemia from that direction.

The Shah's army was split by diverse internal disquisitions and by the Shah's decision to divide his army into small groups concentrated in various cities. This fragmentation was decisive in Khwarezmia's defeats, as it allowed the Mongols, although exhausted from the long journey, to immediately set about defeating small fractions of the Khwarzemi forces instead of facing a unified defense. The Mongol army quickly seized the town of Otrar
Otrar
Otrar or Utrar is a Central Asian ghost town that was a city located along the Silk Road near the current town of Karatau in Kazakhstan. Otrar was an important town in the history of Central Asia, situated on the borders of settled and agricultural civilizations...

, relying on superior strategy and tactics. Genghis Khan ordered the wholesale massacre of many of the civilians, enslaved the rest of the population and executed Inalchuq by pouring molten silver into his ears and eyes, as retribution for his actions. Near the end of the battle the Shah fled rather than surrender. Genghis Khan charged Subutai
Subutai
Subutai was the primary military strategist and general of Genghis Khan and Ögedei Khan...

 and Jebe with hunting him down, giving them two years and 20,000 men. The Shah died under mysterious circumstances on a small island within his empire.

The Mongols' conquest, even by their own standards, was brutal. After the capital Samarkand
Samarkand
Although a Persian-speaking region, it was not united politically with Iran most of the times between the disintegration of the Seleucid Empire and the Arab conquest . In the 6th century it was within the domain of the Turkic kingdom of the Göktürks.At the start of the 8th century Samarkand came...

 fell, the capital was moved to Bukhara
Bukhara
Bukhara , from the Soghdian βuxārak , is the capital of the Bukhara Province of Uzbekistan. The nation's fifth-largest city, it has a population of 263,400 . The region around Bukhara has been inhabited for at least five millennia, and the city has existed for half that time...

 by the remaining men, and Genghis Khan dedicated two of his generals and their forces to completely destroying the remnants of the Khwarezmid Empire, including not only royal buildings, but entire towns, populations and even vast swaths of farmland. According to stories, Genghis Khan even went so far as to divert a river through the Khwarezmid emperor's birthplace, erasing it from the map.

The Mongols attacked Samarkand
Samarkand
Although a Persian-speaking region, it was not united politically with Iran most of the times between the disintegration of the Seleucid Empire and the Arab conquest . In the 6th century it was within the domain of the Turkic kingdom of the Göktürks.At the start of the 8th century Samarkand came...

 using prisoners as body shields. After several days only a few remaining soldiers, die-hard supporters of the Shah
Shah
Shāh is the title of the ruler of certain Southwest Asian and Central Asian countries, especially Persia , and derives from the Persian word shah, meaning "king".-History:...

, held out in the citadel. After the fortress fell, Genghis supposedly reneged on his surrender terms and executed every soldier that had taken arms against him at Samarkand
Samarkand
Although a Persian-speaking region, it was not united politically with Iran most of the times between the disintegration of the Seleucid Empire and the Arab conquest . In the 6th century it was within the domain of the Turkic kingdom of the Göktürks.At the start of the 8th century Samarkand came...

. The people of Samarkand were ordered to evacuate and assemble in a plain outside the city, where they were killed and pyramids of severed heads raised as a symbol of victory.

The city of Bukhara was not heavily fortified, with a moat and a single wall, and the citadel typical of Khwarezmi cities. The city leaders opened the gates to the Mongols, though a unit of Turkish defenders held the city's citadel for another twelve days. Survivors from the citadel were executed, artisans and craftsmen were sent back to Mongolia, young men who had not fought were drafted into the Mongolian army and the rest of the population was sent into slavery. As the Mongol soldiers looted the city, a fire broke out, razing most of the city to the ground. Genghis Khan had the city's surviving population assemble in the main mosque of the town, where he declared that he was the flail of God, sent to punish them for their sins.

Meanwhile, the wealthy trading city of Urgench was still in the hands of Khwarezmian forces. The assault on Urgench proved to be the most difficult battle of the Mongol invasion and the city fell only after the defenders put up a stout defense, fighting block for block. Mongolian casualties were higher than normal, due to the unaccustomed difficulty of adapting Mongolian tactics to city fighting.

As usual, the artisans were sent back to Mongolia, young women and children were given to the Mongol soldiers as slaves, and the rest of the population was massacred. The Persian scholar Juvayni
Ata al-Mulk Juvayni
Atâ-Malek Jovayni was a Persian historian who wrote an account of the Mongol Empire entitled Ta' rīkh-i jahān-gushā .He was born in Juvain, a city in Khorasan in northeastern Iran...

 states that 50,000 Mongol soldiers were given the task of executing twenty-four Urgench citizens each, which would mean that 1.2 million people were killed. While this is an exaggeration, the sacking of Urgench is considered one of the bloodiest massacres in human history.

In the meantime, Genghis Khan selected his third son Ögedei
Ögedei Khan
Ögedei Khan, born Ögedei was the third son of Genghis Khan and second Great Khan of the Mongol Empire by succeeding his father...

 as his successor before his army set out, and specified that subsequent Khans should be his direct descendants. Genghis Khan also left Muqali
Muqali
Mukhulai was one of the greatest generals under Genghis Khan of Jalayir descent and the first prince of the Mongol Empire. The fact that his father died trying to save Genghis Khan during a battle coupled with his own skills in battle led Muqali to become one of the Khan's most trusted generals...

, one of his most trusted generals, as the supreme commander of all Mongol forces in Jin China while he was out battling the Khwarezmid Empire to the west.

Georgia and Volga Bulgaria



After the defeat of the Khwarezmian Empire in 1220, Genghis Khan gathered his forces in Persia
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

 and Armenia
Armenia
Armenia , officially the Republic of Armenia , is a landlocked mountainous country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia...

 to return to the Mongolian steppes. Under the suggestion of Subutai
Subutai
Subutai was the primary military strategist and general of Genghis Khan and Ögedei Khan...

, the Mongol army was split into two component forces. Genghis Khan led the main army on a raid through Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

 and northern India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 towards Mongolia, while another 20,000 (two tumen
Tumen
Tumen or Tümen was a part of the decimal system used by Turkic and Mongol peoples to organize their armies. Tumen is an army unit of 10,000 soldiers...

) contingent marched through the Caucasus
Caucasus
The Caucasus, also Caucas or Caucasia , is a geopolitical region at the border of Europe and Asia, and situated between the Black and the Caspian sea...

 and into Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 under generals Jebe
Jebe
Chepe Noyan was one of the prominent Noyans of Genghis Khan. His clan was Besud, which belonged to the Taichud tribe, which was at the time of Genghis Khan under Targudai Khiriltug's leadership....

 and Subutai. They pushed deep into Armenia
Armenia
Armenia , officially the Republic of Armenia , is a landlocked mountainous country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia...

 and Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan , officially the Republic of Azerbaijan is the largest country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded by the Caspian Sea to the east, Russia to the north, Georgia to the northwest, Armenia to the west, and Iran to...

. The Mongols destroyed the kingdom of Georgia
Georgia (country)
Georgia is a sovereign state in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the southwest by Turkey, to the south by Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan. The capital of...

, sacked the Genoese
Republic of Genoa
The Most Serene Republic of Genoa |Ligurian]]: Repúbrica de Zêna) was an independent state from 1005 to 1797 in Liguria on the northwestern Italian coast, as well as Corsica from 1347 to 1768, and numerous other territories throughout the Mediterranean....

 trade-fortress of Caffa in Crimea
Crimea
Crimea , or the Autonomous Republic of Crimea , is a sub-national unit, an autonomous republic, of Ukraine. It is located on the northern coast of the Black Sea, occupying a peninsula of the same name...

 and overwintered near the Black Sea
Black Sea
The Black Sea is bounded by Europe, Anatolia and the Caucasus and is ultimately connected to the Atlantic Ocean via the Mediterranean and the Aegean seas and various straits. The Bosphorus strait connects it to the Sea of Marmara, and the strait of the Dardanelles connects that sea to the Aegean...

. Heading home, Subutai's forces attacked the allied forces of the Cuman-Kipchaks and the poorly coordinated 80,000 Kievan Rus'
Kievan Rus'
Kievan Rus was a medieval polity in Eastern Europe, from the late 9th to the mid 13th century, when it disintegrated under the pressure of the Mongol invasion of 1237–1240....

 troops led by Mstislav the Bold
Mstislav the Bold
Mstislav Mstislavich the Bold was one of the most popular and active princes of Kievan Rus' in the decades preceding Mongol invasion of Rus. He was the maternal grandfather of Alexander Nevsky and the prince Leo of Galicia....

 of Halych
Halych
Halych is a historic city on the Dniester River in western Ukraine. The town gave its name to the historic province and kingdom of Kingdom of Galicia–Volhynia, of which it was the capital until the early 14th century, when the seat of the local princes was moved to Lviv...

 and Mstislav III of Kiev
Mstislav III of Kiev
Mstislav Romanovich the Old , Prince of Pskov , Smolensk , Belgorod , Halych and Grand Prince of Kiev...

 who went out to stop the Mongols' actions in the area. Subutai
Subutai
Subutai was the primary military strategist and general of Genghis Khan and Ögedei Khan...

 sent emissaries to the Slavic
Slavic peoples
The Slavic people are an Indo-European panethnicity living in Eastern Europe, Southeast Europe, North Asia and Central Asia. The term Slavic represents a broad ethno-linguistic group of people, who speak languages belonging to the Slavic language family and share, to varying degrees, certain...

 princes calling for a separate peace, but the emissaries were executed. At the Battle of Kalka River in 1223, Subutai's forces defeated the larger Kievan force, while losing the battle of Samara Bend
Battle of Samara Bend
The Battle of Samara Bend or the Battle of Kernek was the first battle between Volga Bulgaria and the Mongols, probably one of the first major battles the Mongols lost. It took place in autumn 1223, at the southern border of Volga Bulgaria....

 against the neighboring Volga Bulgars. The Russian princes then sued for peace. Subutai
Subutai
Subutai was the primary military strategist and general of Genghis Khan and Ögedei Khan...

 agreed but was in no mood to pardon the princes. As was customary in Mongol society for nobility, the Russian princes were given a bloodless death. Subutai had a large wooden platform constructed on which he ate his meals along with his other generals. Six Russian princes, including Mstislav III of Kiev
Mstislav III of Kiev
Mstislav Romanovich the Old , Prince of Pskov , Smolensk , Belgorod , Halych and Grand Prince of Kiev...

, were put under this platform and crushed to death.

The Mongols learned from captives of the abundant green pastures beyond the Bulgar territory, allowing for the planning for conquest of Hungary
Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

 and Europe. Genghis Khan recalled Subutai back to Mongolia soon afterwards, and Jebe died on the road back to Samarkand. Subutai and Jebe's famous cavalry expedition, in which they encircled the entire Caspian Sea defeating all armies in their path, except for that of the Volga Bulgars, remains unparalleled to this day, and word of the Mongol triumphs began to trickle to other nations, particularly Europe. These two campaigns are generally regarded as reconnaissance campaigns that tried to get the feel of the political and cultural elements of the regions. In 1225 both divisions returned to Mongolia. These invasions added Transoxiana
Transoxiana
Transoxiana is the ancient name used for the portion of Central Asia corresponding approximately with modern-day Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, southern Kyrgystan and southwest Kazakhstan. Geographically, it is the region between the Amu Darya and Syr Darya rivers...

 and Persia
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

 to an already formidable empire while destroying any resistance along the way. Later under Genghis Khan's grandson Batu
Batu Khan
Batu Khan was a Mongol ruler and founder of the Ulus of Jochi , the sub-khanate of the Mongol Empire. Batu was a son of Jochi and grandson of Genghis Khan. His ulus was the chief state of the Golden Horde , which ruled Rus and the Caucasus for around 250 years, after also destroying the armies...

 and the Golden Horde
Golden Horde
The Golden Horde was a Mongol and later Turkicized khanate that formed the north-western sector of the Mongol Empire...

, the Mongols returned to conquer Volga Bulgaria and the Kievan Rus in 1237, concluding the campaign in 1240.

Western Xia and Jin Dynasty




The vassal
Vassal
A vassal or feudatory is a person who has entered into a mutual obligation to a lord or monarch in the context of the feudal system in medieval Europe. The obligations often included military support and mutual protection, in exchange for certain privileges, usually including the grant of land held...

 emperor of the Tanguts (Western Xia
Western Xia
The Western Xia Dynasty or the Tangut Empire, was known to the Tanguts and the Tibetans as Minyak.The state existed from 1038 to 1227 AD in what are now the northwestern Chinese provinces of Ningxia, Gansu, eastern Qinghai, northern Shaanxi, northeastern Xinjiang, southwest Inner Mongolia, and...

) had earlier refused to take part in the war against the Khwarezmid Empire after Genghis Khan and the main army marched towards Kharezmian Empire. Plus Western Xia and the defeated Jin Dynasty formed a coalition to resist the Mongols, counting on the campaign against the Khwarezmians to drain the Mongols' ability to respond effectively.

In 1226, immediately after returning from the west, Genghis Khan began a retaliatory attack on the Tanguts. His armies quickly took Heisui, Ganzhou
Ganzhou
Ganzhou is a prefecture-level city in southern Jiangxi province, People's Republic of China. Its administrative seat is at Zhanggong .-History:...

 and Suzhou (not the Suzhou in Jiangsu province), and in the autumn he took Xiliang-fu. One of the Tangut generals challenged the Mongols to a battle near Helanshan, but was defeated. In November, Genghis laid siege
Siege
A siege is a military blockade of a city or fortress with the intent of conquering by attrition or assault. The term derives from sedere, Latin for "to sit". Generally speaking, siege warfare is a form of constant, low intensity conflict characterized by one party holding a strong, static...

 to the Tangut city Lingzhou, and crossed the Yellow River
Yellow River
The Yellow River or Huang He, formerly known as the Hwang Ho, is the second-longest river in China and the sixth-longest in the world at the estimated length of . Originating in the Bayan Har Mountains in Qinghai Province in western China, it flows through nine provinces of China and empties into...

, defeating the Tangut relief army. According to legend, it was here that Genghis Khan reportedly saw a line of five stars arranged in the sky, and interpreted it as an omen of his victory.

In 1227, Genghis Khan's army attacked and destroyed the Tangut capital of Ning Hia, and continued to advance, seizing Lintiao-fu, Xining
Xining
Xining is the capital of Qinghai province, People's Republic of China, and the largest city on the Tibetan Plateau. It has 2,208,708 inhabitants at the 2010 census whom 1,198,304 live in the built up area made of 4 urban districts.-History:...

 province, Xindu-fu, and Deshun province in quick succession in the Spring. At Deshun, the Tangut general Ma Jianlong put up a fierce resistance for several days and personally led charges against the invaders outside the city gate. Ma Jianlong later died from wounds received from arrows in battle. Genghis Khan, after conquering Deshun, went to Liupanshan (Qingshui
Qingshui County
Qingshui County is an administrative district in Gansu, the People's Republic of China. It is one of 58 counties of Gansu. It is part of the Tianshui prefecture, with the city of the same name being the county seat. Its postal code is 741400, and in 1999 its population was 299,718 people....

 County, Gansu
Gansu
' is a province located in the northwest of the People's Republic of China.It lies between the Tibetan and Huangtu plateaus, and borders Mongolia, Inner Mongolia, and Ningxia to the north, Xinjiang and Qinghai to the west, Sichuan to the south, and Shaanxi to the east...

 Province) to escape the severe summer. The new Tangut emperor quickly surrendered to the Mongols, and the rest of the Tanguts officially surrendered soon after. Not happy with their betrayal and resistance, Genghis Khan ordered the entire imperial family to be executed, effectively ending the Tangut lineage.

Some accounts say that Genghis Khan was castrated by a Tangut princess using a hidden knife, who wanted revenge against his treatment of the Tanguts and stop him from raping her. After his castration, Genghis Khan died, and the Tangut princess committed suicide by drowning in the Yellow River according to the legend. In some mythical legends, it is claimed that Genghis fell into a trance after being castrated and is waiting to be sent back to the Mongol people.

Succession



The succession topic of Genghis Khan was already significant during the later years of Genghis Khan's reign since he was already reaching his older years. Also the long running paternity discussion about Genghis' oldest son Jochi was already a relatively hot topic behind the scenes, which particularly was contentious because of the seniority of Jochi among the brothers. According to traditional historical accounts, the issue over Jochi's paternity was voiced most strongly by Chagatai. In The Secret History of the Mongols
The Secret History of the Mongols
The Secret History of the Mongols is the oldest surviving Mongolian-language literary work...

, just before the invasion of the Khwarezmid Empire by Genghis Khan, Chagatai declares before his father and brothers that he would never accept Jochi as Genghis Khan's successor. In response to this tension and possibly for other reasons, it was Ögedei who was appointed as successor.

Jochi


Jochi died in 1226, during his father's lifetime. Some scholars, notably Ratchnevsky, have commented on the possibility that Jochi was secretly poisoned by an order from Genghis Khan. Rashid al-Din reports that the great Khan sent for his sons in the spring of 1223, and while his brothers heeded the order, Jochi remained in Khorasan
Greater Khorasan
Greater Khorasan or Ancient Khorasan is a historical region of Greater Iran mentioned in sources from Sassanid and Islamic eras which "frequently" had a denotation wider than current three provinces of Khorasan in Iran...

. Juzjani suggests that the disagreement arose from a quarrel between Jochi and his brothers in the siege of Urgench. Jochi had attempted to protect Urgench from destruction, as it belonged to territory allocated to him as a fief. He concludes his story with the clearly apocryphal statement by Jochi: "Genghis Khan is mad to have massacred so many people and laid waste so many lands. I would be doing a service if I killed my father when he is hunting, made an alliance with Sultan Muhammad, brought this land to life and gave assistance and support to the Muslims." Juzjani claims that it was in response to hearing of these plans that Genghis Khan ordered his son secretly poisoned; however, as Sultan Muhammad was already dead in 1223, the accuracy of this story is questionable.

Genghis Khan was aware of this friction between his sons (particularly between Chagatai and Jochi) and worried of possible conflict between them if he died and therefore he decided to divide his empire among his sons and make all of them Khan in their own right and by appointing one of his sons as his successor. Chagatai was considered unstable due to his temper and rash behavior because of his statements he made that he would not follow Jochi if he were to become his father's successor. Tolui
Tolui
Tolui, was the youngest son of Genghis Khan by his chief khatun Börte...

, Genghis Khan's youngest son was not to be his successor because he was the youngest and in the Mongol culture, youngest sons were not given a huge responsibility due to their age. If Jochi was to become successor, it was likely that Chagatai would engage in warfare with him and collapse the empire. Therefore Genghis Khan decided to give the throne to Ogedei. Ogedei was seen by Genghis Khan as dependable in character and relatively stable and down to earth and would be a neutral candidate and might defuse the situation between his brothers.

Death and burial




In 1227, after defeating the Tangut people, Genghis Khan died (according to The Secret History of the Mongols). The reason for his death is uncertain and speculations abound. Some historians maintain that he fell off his horse during a horseback pursuit from the land of present day Egypt due to battle wounds and physical fatigue, dying of his injuries. Others contend that he was felled by a protracted illness such as pneumonia. The Galician-Volhynian Chronicle alleges he was killed by the Tanguts in battle. Later Mongol chronicles connect Genghis' death with a Tangut princess taken as war booty. One chronicle from the early 17th century even relates that the princess hid a small pair of pliers inside her vagina
Vagina dentata
Vagina dentata is Latin for toothed vagina. Various cultures have folk tales about women with toothed vaginas, frequently told as cautionary tales warning of the dangers of sex with strange women and to discourage the act of rape....

, and hurt the Great Khan so badly that he died. Some Mongol authors have doubted this version and suspected it to be an invention by the rival Oirads.

Genghis Khan asked to be buried without markings, according to the customs of his tribe. After he died, his body was returned to Mongolia
Mongolia
Mongolia is a landlocked country in East and Central Asia. It is bordered by Russia to the north and China to the south, east and west. Although Mongolia does not share a border with Kazakhstan, its western-most point is only from Kazakhstan's eastern tip. Ulan Bator, the capital and largest...

 and presumably to his birthplace in Khentii Aimag, where many assume he is buried somewhere close to the Onon River
Onon River
The Onon is a river in Mongolia and Russia of length 818 km and watershed 94,010 km². It originates at the eastern slope of the Khentii Mountains. For 298 km it flows within Mongolia...

 and the Burkhan Khaldun mountain (part of the Kentii mountain range). According to legend, the funeral escort killed anyone and anything across their path to conceal where he was finally buried. The Genghis Khan Mausoleum, constructed many years after his death, is his memorial, but not his burial site.

In 1939 Guomindang Chinese Nationalist soldiers took the mausoleum from its position at the 'Lord's Enclosure' (Mongolian: Edsen Khoroo) in Mongolia to protect it from Japanese troops. It was taken through Communist-held territory in Yan'an
Yan'an
Yan'an , is a prefecture-level city in the Shanbei region of Shaanxi province in China, administering several counties, including Zhidan County , which served as the Chinese communist capital before the city of Yan'an proper took that role....

 some 900 km on carts to safety at a Buddhist monastery, the Dongshan Dafo Dian, where it remained for ten years. In 1949, as Communist troops advanced, the Nationalist soldiers moved it another 200 km further west to the famous Tibetan monastery of Kumbum Monastery
Kumbum Monastery
Kumbum Monastery is a Buddhist monastery in Qinghai province, China. Kumbum was founded in 1583 in a narrow valley close to the village of Lusar in the Tibetan cultural region of Amdo. Its superior monastery is Drepung, immediately to the west of Lhasa...

 or Ta'er Shi near Xining
Xining
Xining is the capital of Qinghai province, People's Republic of China, and the largest city on the Tibetan Plateau. It has 2,208,708 inhabitants at the 2010 census whom 1,198,304 live in the built up area made of 4 urban districts.-History:...

, which soon fell under Communist control. In early 1954, Genghis Khan's bier and relics were returned to the Lord's Enclosure in Mongolia. By 1956 a new temple was erected there to house them. In 1968 during the Cultural Revolution
Cultural Revolution
The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, commonly known as the Cultural Revolution , was a socio-political movement that took place in the People's Republic of China from 1966 through 1976...

, Red Guards destroyed almost everything of value. The "relics" were remade in the 1970s and a great marble statue of Genghis was completed in 1989.

On October 6, 2004, a joint Japanese-Mongolian archaeological dig uncovered what is believed to be Genghis Khan's palace in rural Mongolia, which raises the possibility of actually locating the ruler's long-lost burial site. Folklore says that a river was diverted over his grave to make it impossible to find (the same manner of burial as the Sumerian King Gilgamesh
Gilgamesh
Gilgamesh was the fifth king of Uruk, modern day Iraq , placing his reign ca. 2500 BC. According to the Sumerian king list he reigned for 126 years. In the Tummal Inscription, Gilgamesh, and his son Urlugal, rebuilt the sanctuary of the goddess Ninlil, in Tummal, a sacred quarter in her city of...

 of Uruk and Atilla the Hun). Other tales state that his grave was stampeded over by many horses, and that trees were then planted over the site, and the permafrost also did its part in hiding the burial site.

Genghis Khan left behind an army of more than 129,000 men; 28,000 were given to his various brothers and his sons. Tolui, his youngest son, inherited more than 100,000 men. This force contained the bulk of the elite Mongolian cavalry
Cavalry
Cavalry or horsemen were soldiers or warriors who fought mounted on horseback. Cavalry were historically the third oldest and the most mobile of the combat arms...

. By tradition, the youngest son inherits his father's property. Jochi
Jochi
Jochi was the eldest of the Mongol chieftain Genghis Khan's four sons by his principal wife Börte. An accomplished military leader, he participated in his father's conquest of Central Asia, along with his brothers and uncles.-Early life:...

, Chagatai
Chagatai Khan
Chagatai Khan was the second son of Genghis Khan and first khan and origin of the names of the Chagatai Khanate, Chagatai language and Chagatai Turks....

, Ögedei Khan
Ögedei Khan
Ögedei Khan, born Ögedei was the third son of Genghis Khan and second Great Khan of the Mongol Empire by succeeding his father...

, and Kulan's son Gelejian received armies of 4,000 men each. His mother and the descendants of his three brothers received 3,000 men each.

Politics and economics




The Mongol Empire
Mongol Empire
The Mongol Empire , initially named as Greater Mongol State was a great empire during the 13th and 14th centuries...

 was governed by a civilian and military code
Code
A code is a rule for converting a piece of information into another form or representation , not necessarily of the same type....

, called the Yassa
Yassa
Yassa was a secret written code of law created by Genghis Khan. It was the principal law under the Mongol Empire even though no copies were made available...

, created by Genghis Khan.
The Mongol Empire did not emphasize the importance of ethnicity and race in the administrative realm, instead adopting an approach grounded in meritocracy
Meritocracy
Meritocracy, in the first, most administrative sense, is a system of government or other administration wherein appointments and responsibilities are objectively assigned to individuals based upon their "merits", namely intelligence, credentials, and education, determined through evaluations or...

. The exception was the role of Genghis Khan and his family. The Mongol Empire was one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse empires in history, as befitted its size. Many of the empire's nomadic inhabitants considered themselves Mongols in military and civilian life, including Turks, Mongols
Mongols
Mongols ) are a Central-East Asian ethnic group that lives mainly in the countries of Mongolia, China, and Russia. In China, ethnic Mongols can be found mainly in the central north region of China such as Inner Mongolia...

, and others and included many diverse Khans
Khan (title)
Khan is an originally Altaic and subsequently Central Asian title for a sovereign or military ruler, widely used by medieval nomadic Turko-Mongol tribes living to the north of China. 'Khan' is also seen as a title in the Xianbei confederation for their chief between 283 and 289...

 of various ethnicities as part of the Mongol Empire such as Muhammad Khan
Muhammad Khan (Ilkhan)
Muhammad Khan was a claimant to the throne of the Ilkhanate. He was a great-grandson of Mengu Timur, who was a son of Hulegu....

.

There were tax exemptions for religious figures and, to some extent, teachers and doctors. The Mongol Empire practiced religious tolerance to a large degree because Mongol tradition had long held that religion was a very personal concept, and not subject to law or interference. Sometime before the rise of Genghis Khan, Ong Khan, his mentor and eventual rival, had converted to Nestorian Christianity. Various Mongol tribes were Buddhist, Muslim, shamanist or Christian. Religious tolerance was thus a well established concept on the Asian steppe.

Modern Mongolian historians say that towards the end of his life, Genghis Khan attempted to create a civil state
Civilian
A civilian under international humanitarian law is a person who is not a member of his or her country's armed forces or other militia. Civilians are distinct from combatants. They are afforded a degree of legal protection from the effects of war and military occupation...

 under the Great Yassa that would have established the legal equality of all individuals, including women
Women's rights
Women's rights are entitlements and freedoms claimed for women and girls of all ages in many societies.In some places these rights are institutionalized or supported by law, local custom, and behaviour, whereas in others they may be ignored or suppressed...

. However, there is no contemporary evidence of this, or of the lifting of discriminatory policies towards sedentary peoples such as the Chinese. Women played a relatively important role in Mongol Empire and in family, for example Töregene Khatun
Töregene Khatun
Töregene Khatun was the Great Khatun and regent of the Mongol Empire from the death of her husband Ögedei Khan in 1241 until the election of her eldest son Güyük Khan in 1246.-Background:...

 was briefly in charge of the Mongol Empire when next male Khagan
Khagan
Khagan or qagan , alternatively spelled kagan, khaghan, qaghan, or chagan, is a title of imperial rank in the Mongolian and Turkic languages equal to the status of emperor and someone who rules a khaganate...

 was being chosen. Modern scholars refer to the alleged policy of encouraging trade and communication as the Pax Mongolica
Pax Mongolica
The Pax Mongolica is a Latin phrase meaning "Mongol Peace" coined by Western scholars to describe the stabilizing effects of the conquests of the Mongol Empire on the social, cultural, and economic life of the inhabitants of the vast Eurasian territory that the Mongols conquered in the 13th and...

 (Mongol Peace).

Genghis Khan realised that he needed people who could govern cities and states conquered by him. He also realised that such administrators could not be found among his Mongol people because they were nomads and thus had no experience governing cities. For this purpose Genghis Khan invited a Khitan
Khitan people
thumb|250px|Khitans [[Eagle hunting|using eagles to hunt]], painted during the Chinese [[Song Dynasty]].The Khitan people , or Khitai, Kitan, or Kidan, were a nomadic Mongolic people, originally located at Mongolia and Manchuria from the 4th century...

 prince, Chu'Tsai, who worked for the Jin and had been captured by the Mongol army after the Jin Dynasty were defeated. Jin had captured power by displacing Khitan. Genghis told Chu'Tsai, who was a lineal descendant of Khitan rulers, that he had avenged Chu'Tsai's forefathers. Chu'Tsai responded that his father served the Jin Dynasty honestly and so did he; he did not consider his own father his enemy, so the question of revenge did not apply. Genghis Khan was very impressed by this reply. Chu'Tsai administered parts of the Mongol Empire and became a confidant of the successive Mongol Khans.

Military




Genghis Khan put absolute trust in his generals, such as Muqali, Jebe and Subutai
Subutai
Subutai was the primary military strategist and general of Genghis Khan and Ögedei Khan...

, and regarded them as close advisors, often extending them the same privileges and trust normally reserved for close family members. He allowed them to make decisions on their own when they embarked on campaigns far from the Mongol Empire capital Karakorum
Karakorum
Karakorum was the capital of the Mongol Empire in the 13th century, and of the Northern Yuan in the 14-15th century. Its ruins lie in the northwestern corner of the Övörkhangai Province of Mongolia, near today's town of Kharkhorin, and adjacent to the Erdene Zuu monastery...

. Genghis Khan expected unwavering loyalty from his generals, and granted them a great deal of autonomy in making command decisions. Muqali, a trusted general, was given command of the Mongol forces against the Jin Dynasty while Genghis Khan was fighting in Central Asia, and Subutai
Subutai
Subutai was the primary military strategist and general of Genghis Khan and Ögedei Khan...

 and Jebe
Jebe
Chepe Noyan was one of the prominent Noyans of Genghis Khan. His clan was Besud, which belonged to the Taichud tribe, which was at the time of Genghis Khan under Targudai Khiriltug's leadership....

 were allowed to pursue the Great Raid into the Caucausus and Kievan Rus, an idea they had presented to the Khagan on their own initiative. The Mongol military was also successful in siege warfare, cutting off resources for cities and towns by diverting certain rivers, taking enemy prisoners and driving them in front of the army, and adopting new ideas, techniques and tools from the people they conquered, particularly in employing Muslim and Chinese siege engines and engineers to aid the Mongol cavalry in capturing cities. Another standard tactic
Military tactics
Military tactics, the science and art of organizing an army or an air force, are the techniques for using weapons or military units in combination for engaging and defeating an enemy in battle. Changes in philosophy and technology over time have been reflected in changes to military tactics. In...

 of the Mongol military was the commonly practiced feigned retreat
Withdrawal (military)
A withdrawal is a type of military operation, generally meaning retreating forces back while maintaining contact with the enemy. A withdrawal may be undertaken as part of a general retreat, to consolidate forces, to occupy ground that is more easily defended, or to lead the enemy into an ambush...

 to break enemy formations and to lure small enemy groups away from the larger group and defended position for ambush
Ambush
An ambush is a long-established military tactic, in which the aggressors take advantage of concealment and the element of surprise to attack an unsuspecting enemy from concealed positions, such as among dense underbrush or behind hilltops...

 and counterattack
Counterattack
A counterattack is a tactic used in response against an attack. The term originates in military strategy. The general objective is to negate or thwart the advantage gained by the enemy in attack and the specific objectives are usually to regain lost ground or to destroy attacking enemy units.It is...

.

Another important aspect of the military organization of Genghis Khan was the communications
Transport
Transport or transportation is the movement of people, cattle, animals and goods from one location to another. Modes of transport include air, rail, road, water, cable, pipeline, and space. The field can be divided into infrastructure, vehicles, and operations...

 and supply
Materiel
Materiel is a term used in English to refer to the equipment and supplies in military and commercial supply chain management....

 route or Yam
Yam (route)
Yam is a supply point route messenger system employed and extensively used and expanded by Genghis Khan and used by subsequent Great Khans and Khans.Relay stations were used to give food, shelter and spare horses for Mongol armies messengers...

, adapted from previous Chinese models. Genghis Khan dedicated special attention to this in order to speed up the gathering of military intelligence
Military intelligence
Military intelligence is a military discipline that exploits a number of information collection and analysis approaches to provide guidance and direction to commanders in support of their decisions....

 and official communications. To this end, Yam waystations were established all over the empire.

The followers of Temujin consisted of several Christians, three Muslims, and several Buddhists. They were united only in their devotion to Temujin and their oath to him and each other. The oaths sworn at Baljuna created a type of brotherhood, and in transcending kinship, ethnicity, and religion, it came close to being a type of modern civic citizenship based upon personal choice and commitment. This connection became a metaphor for the new type of community among Temujin's followers that eventually dominated as the basis of unity within the Mongol Empire.

Khanates


Several years before his death, Genghis Khan divided his empire
Mongol Empire
The Mongol Empire , initially named as Greater Mongol State was a great empire during the 13th and 14th centuries...

 among his sons Ögedei
Ögedei Khan
Ögedei Khan, born Ögedei was the third son of Genghis Khan and second Great Khan of the Mongol Empire by succeeding his father...

, Chagatai
Chagatai Khan
Chagatai Khan was the second son of Genghis Khan and first khan and origin of the names of the Chagatai Khanate, Chagatai language and Chagatai Turks....

, Tolui
Tolui
Tolui, was the youngest son of Genghis Khan by his chief khatun Börte...

, and Jochi
Jochi
Jochi was the eldest of the Mongol chieftain Genghis Khan's four sons by his principal wife Börte. An accomplished military leader, he participated in his father's conquest of Central Asia, along with his brothers and uncles.-Early life:...

 (Jochi's death several months before Genghis Khan meant that his lands were instead split between his sons, Batu
Batu Khan
Batu Khan was a Mongol ruler and founder of the Ulus of Jochi , the sub-khanate of the Mongol Empire. Batu was a son of Jochi and grandson of Genghis Khan. His ulus was the chief state of the Golden Horde , which ruled Rus and the Caucasus for around 250 years, after also destroying the armies...

 and Orda
Orda Khan
Orda Ichen was a Mongol Khan and military strategist who ruled eastern part of the Ulus of Jochi during the 13th century.-First Khan of the Blue Horde:...

) into several Khanates designed as sub-territories: their Khans
Khan (title)
Khan is an originally Altaic and subsequently Central Asian title for a sovereign or military ruler, widely used by medieval nomadic Turko-Mongol tribes living to the north of China. 'Khan' is also seen as a title in the Xianbei confederation for their chief between 283 and 289...

 were expected to follow the Great Khan, who was, initially, Ögedei.


Following are the Khanate
Khanate
Khanate, or Chanat, is a Turco-Mongol-originated word used to describe a political entity ruled by a Khan. In modern Turkish, the word used is kağanlık, and in modern Azeri of the republic of Azerbaijan, xanlıq. In Mongolian the word khanlig is used, as in "Khereidiin Khanlig" meaning the Khanate...

s the way Genghis Khan assigned them:
  • Empire of the Great Khan
    Yuan Dynasty
    The Yuan Dynasty , or Great Yuan Empire was a ruling dynasty founded by the Mongol leader Kublai Khan, who ruled most of present-day China, all of modern Mongolia and its surrounding areas, lasting officially from 1271 to 1368. It is considered both as a division of the Mongol Empire and as an...

    : Ögedei Khan
    Ögedei Khan
    Ögedei Khan, born Ögedei was the third son of Genghis Khan and second Great Khan of the Mongol Empire by succeeding his father...

    , as Great Khan, took most of Eastern Asia, including China; this territory later to comprise the Yuan Dynasty
    Yuan Dynasty
    The Yuan Dynasty , or Great Yuan Empire was a ruling dynasty founded by the Mongol leader Kublai Khan, who ruled most of present-day China, all of modern Mongolia and its surrounding areas, lasting officially from 1271 to 1368. It is considered both as a division of the Mongol Empire and as an...

     under Kubilai Khan.
  • Mongol homeland (present day Mongolia
    Mongolia
    Mongolia is a landlocked country in East and Central Asia. It is bordered by Russia to the north and China to the south, east and west. Although Mongolia does not share a border with Kazakhstan, its western-most point is only from Kazakhstan's eastern tip. Ulan Bator, the capital and largest...

    , including Karakorum
    Karakorum
    Karakorum was the capital of the Mongol Empire in the 13th century, and of the Northern Yuan in the 14-15th century. Its ruins lie in the northwestern corner of the Övörkhangai Province of Mongolia, near today's town of Kharkhorin, and adjacent to the Erdene Zuu monastery...

    ): Tolui Khan
    Tolui
    Tolui, was the youngest son of Genghis Khan by his chief khatun Börte...

    , being the youngest son, received a small territory near the Mongol homeland, following Mongol custom.
  • Chagatai Khan
    Chagatai Khan
    Chagatai Khan was the second son of Genghis Khan and first khan and origin of the names of the Chagatai Khanate, Chagatai language and Chagatai Turks....

    ate
    : Chagatai Khan
    Chagatai Khan
    Chagatai Khan was the second son of Genghis Khan and first khan and origin of the names of the Chagatai Khanate, Chagatai language and Chagatai Turks....

    , Genghis Khan's second son, was given Central Asia and northern Iran
    Iran
    Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

    .
  • Blue Horde to Batu Khan
    Batu Khan
    Batu Khan was a Mongol ruler and founder of the Ulus of Jochi , the sub-khanate of the Mongol Empire. Batu was a son of Jochi and grandson of Genghis Khan. His ulus was the chief state of the Golden Horde , which ruled Rus and the Caucasus for around 250 years, after also destroying the armies...

    , and White Horde to Orda Khan
    Orda Khan
    Orda Ichen was a Mongol Khan and military strategist who ruled eastern part of the Ulus of Jochi during the 13th century.-First Khan of the Blue Horde:...

    , both were later combined into the Kipchak Khanate, or Khanate of the Golden Horde
    Golden Horde
    The Golden Horde was a Mongol and later Turkicized khanate that formed the north-western sector of the Mongol Empire...

    , under Toqtamysh. Genghis Khan's eldest son, Jochi, had received most of the distant Russia
    Russia
    Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

     and Ruthenia
    Ruthenia
    Ruthenia is the Latin word used onwards from the 13th century, describing lands of the Ancient Rus in European manuscripts. Its geographic and culturo-ethnic name at that time was applied to the parts of Eastern Europe. Essentially, the word is a false Latin rendering of the ancient place name Rus...

    . Because Jochi died before Genghis Khan, his territory was further split up between his sons. Batu Khan
    Batu Khan
    Batu Khan was a Mongol ruler and founder of the Ulus of Jochi , the sub-khanate of the Mongol Empire. Batu was a son of Jochi and grandson of Genghis Khan. His ulus was the chief state of the Golden Horde , which ruled Rus and the Caucasus for around 250 years, after also destroying the armies...

     launched an invasion of Russia, and later Hungary
    Hungary
    Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

     and Poland
    Poland
    Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

    , and crushed several armies before being summoned back by the news of Ögedei's death.

After Genghis Khan



Contrary to popular belief, Genghis Khan did not conquer all of the areas of the Mongol Empire. At the time of his death, the Mongol Empire stretched from the Caspian Sea
Caspian Sea
The Caspian Sea is the largest enclosed body of water on Earth by area, variously classed as the world's largest lake or a full-fledged sea. The sea has a surface area of and a volume of...

 to the Sea of Japan
Sea of Japan
The Sea of Japan is a marginal sea of the western Pacific Ocean, between the Asian mainland, the Japanese archipelago and Sakhalin. It is bordered by Japan, North Korea, Russia and South Korea. Like the Mediterranean Sea, it has almost no tides due to its nearly complete enclosure from the Pacific...

. The empire's expansion continued for a generation or more after Genghis's death in 1227. Under Genghis's successor Ögedei Khan
Ögedei Khan
Ögedei Khan, born Ögedei was the third son of Genghis Khan and second Great Khan of the Mongol Empire by succeeding his father...

 the speed of expansion reached its peak. Mongol armies pushed into Persia, finished off the Xi Xia and the remnants of the Khwarezmids, and came into conflict with the imperial Song Dynasty
Song Dynasty
The Song Dynasty was a ruling dynasty in China between 960 and 1279; it succeeded the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period, and was followed by the Yuan Dynasty. It was the first government in world history to issue banknotes or paper money, and the first Chinese government to establish a...

 of China, starting a war that lasted until 1279 and that concluded with the Mongols gaining control of all of China. They also pushed further into Russia and eastern Europe.

Perceptions


Like other notable conquerors, Genghis Khan is portrayed differently by those he conquered and those who conquered with him. Negative views of Genghis Khan are very persistent within histories written by many different cultures, from a number of different geographical regions. They often cite the cruelties and destruction brought upon by Mongol armies, not to mention the systematic slaughter of civilians in the conquered regions; other authors cite positive aspects of Genghis Khan's conquests as well.

Positive



Genghis Khan is credited with bringing the Silk Road
Silk Road
The Silk Road or Silk Route refers to a historical network of interlinking trade routes across the Afro-Eurasian landmass that connected East, South, and Western Asia with the Mediterranean and European world, as well as parts of North and East Africa...

 under one cohesive political environment. This allowed increased communication and trade between the West, Middle East and Asia, thus expanding the horizons of all three cultural areas. Some historians have noted that Genghis Khan instituted certain levels of meritocracy
Meritocracy
Meritocracy, in the first, most administrative sense, is a system of government or other administration wherein appointments and responsibilities are objectively assigned to individuals based upon their "merits", namely intelligence, credentials, and education, determined through evaluations or...

 in his rule, was tolerant of different religions and explained his policies clearly to all his soldiers. In Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

, Genghis Khan is looked on as a great military leader, and it is popular for male children to carry his title as name.

In Mongolia


Traditionally Genghis Khan had been revered for centuries among the Mongols, and also among certain other ethnic groups such as the Turks, largely because of his association with Mongol statehood, political and military organization, and his historic victories in war. He eventually evolved into a larger-than-life figure chiefly among the Mongols and is still considered the symbol of Mongolian culture.


During the communist period, Genghis Khan was often described as a reactionary, and positive statements about him were generally avoided. In 1962, the erection of a monument at his birthplace and a conference held in commemoration of his 800th birthday led to criticism from the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

, and resulted in the dismissal of Tömör-Ochir, a secretary of the ruling Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party
Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party
The Mongolian People's Party formerly the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party is an ex-communist political party in Mongolia. The party is abbreviated MPP in English and ' in Mongolian...

 Central Committee
Central Committee
Central Committee was the common designation of a standing administrative body of communist parties, analogous to a board of directors, whether ruling or non-ruling in the twentieth century and of the surviving, mostly Trotskyist, states in the early twenty first. In such party organizations the...

.

In the early 1990s, when democracy was established in Mongolia, the memory of Genghis Khan with the Mongolian national identity has had a powerful revival partly because of his perception during the Mongolian People's Republic period. Genghis Khan became one of the central figures of the national identity. He is looked upon positively by Mongolians for his role in uniting various warring tribes. For example, it is not uncommon for Mongolians to refer to Mongolia as "Genghis Khan's Mongolia", to themselves as "Genghis Khan's children", and to Genghis Khan as the "father of the Mongols" especially among the younger generation. However, there is a chasm in the perception of his brutality, Mongolians maintain that the historical records written by non-Mongolians are unfairly biased against Genghis Khan, and that his butchery is exaggerated, while his positive role is underrated.
In Mongolia today, Genghis Khan's name and likeness are endorsed on products, streets, buildings, and other places. His face can be found on everyday commodities, from liquor bottles to candy products, and on the largest denominations of 1,000, 10,000, 50,000 and 100,000 Mongolian tögrög (₮). Mongolia's main international airport
International airport
An international airport is any airport that can accommodate flights from other countries and are typically equipped with customs and immigration facilities to handle these flights to and from other countries...

 has been renamed Chinggis Khaan International Airport
Chinggis Khaan International Airport
Chinggis Khaan International Airport is the international airport serving Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. It is 18 km southwest of the capital. It is the largest international air facility in the country...

, and major Genghis Khan statues have been erected before the parliament and near Ulaanbaatar. There have been repeated discussions about regulating the use of his name and image to avoid trivialization.



Genghis Khan is regarded as one of the prominent leaders in Mongolia's history. He is responsible for the emergence of the Mongols as a political and ethnic identity because there was no unified identity between the various tribes that had cultural similarity. He reinforced many Mongol traditions and provided stability and unity during a time of almost endemic warfare
Endemic warfare
Endemic warfare is the state of continual, low-threshold warfare in a tribal warrior society. Endemic warfare is often highly ritualized and plays an important function in assisting the formation of a social structure among the tribes' men by proving themselves in battle.Ritual fighting permits...

 between various tribes. He is also given credit for the introduction of the traditional Mongolian script
Mongolian script
The classical Mongolian script , also known as Uyghurjin, was the first writing system created specifically for the Mongolian language, and was the most successful until the introduction of Cyrillic in 1946...

 and the creation of the Ikh Zasag
Yassa
Yassa was a secret written code of law created by Genghis Khan. It was the principal law under the Mongol Empire even though no copies were made available...

, the first written Mongolian law. In summary, Mongolians see him as the fundamental figure in the founding of the Mongol Empire
Mongol Empire
The Mongol Empire , initially named as Greater Mongol State was a great empire during the 13th and 14th centuries...

, and therefore the basis for Mongolia
Mongolia
Mongolia is a landlocked country in East and Central Asia. It is bordered by Russia to the north and China to the south, east and west. Although Mongolia does not share a border with Kazakhstan, its western-most point is only from Kazakhstan's eastern tip. Ulan Bator, the capital and largest...

 as a country.

In China



There are conflicting views of Genghis Khan in the People's Republic of China with some viewing him positively in the Inner Mongolia
Inner Mongolia
Inner Mongolia is an autonomous region of the People's Republic of China, located in the northern region of the country. Inner Mongolia shares an international border with the countries of Mongolia and the Russian Federation...

 section where there is a monument and buildings about him and where there are considerable Mongols
Mongols
Mongols ) are a Central-East Asian ethnic group that lives mainly in the countries of Mongolia, China, and Russia. In China, ethnic Mongols can be found mainly in the central north region of China such as Inner Mongolia...

 in the area with a population of around 5 million, almost twice the population of Mongolia
Mongolia
Mongolia is a landlocked country in East and Central Asia. It is bordered by Russia to the north and China to the south, east and west. Although Mongolia does not share a border with Kazakhstan, its western-most point is only from Kazakhstan's eastern tip. Ulan Bator, the capital and largest...

. While Genghis Khan never conquered all of China, his grandson Kublai Khan
Kublai Khan
Kublai Khan , born Kublai and also known by the temple name Shizu , was the fifth Great Khan of the Mongol Empire from 1260 to 1294 and the founder of the Yuan Dynasty in China...

 completed that conquest, and established the Yuan Dynasty
Yuan Dynasty
The Yuan Dynasty , or Great Yuan Empire was a ruling dynasty founded by the Mongol leader Kublai Khan, who ruled most of present-day China, all of modern Mongolia and its surrounding areas, lasting officially from 1271 to 1368. It is considered both as a division of the Mongol Empire and as an...

 that is often credited with re-uniting China. There has also been much artwork and literature praising Genghis as a great military leader and political genius. The years of the Mongol-established Yuan Dynasty
Yuan Dynasty
The Yuan Dynasty , or Great Yuan Empire was a ruling dynasty founded by the Mongol leader Kublai Khan, who ruled most of present-day China, all of modern Mongolia and its surrounding areas, lasting officially from 1271 to 1368. It is considered both as a division of the Mongol Empire and as an...

 left an indelible imprint on Chinese political and social structures for subsequent generations with literature during the Jin Dynasty relatively fewer. In general the legacy of Genghis Khan and his successors, who completed the conquest of China after 65 years of struggle, remains a mixed topic, even to this day.

China suffered a drastic decline in population. North China (then the most populous part) is thought to have lost about three- quarters of its population. The Chin census of 1195 showed a population of 50 million people in north China [whereas] the first Mongol census of 1235–36 counted only 18.5 million. Admittedly, some of the population decline in Northern China must also be attributed to the large migration to Southern China, but exact figures are hard to find. Within China many people still retain the more traditional view that Genghis Khan was a barbarian invader, but modern times have seen the latter's official reinvention as a Chinese hero.

Negative


In the Middle East and Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

, he is almost universally looked on as a destructive and genocidal
Genocide
Genocide is defined as "the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group", though what constitutes enough of a "part" to qualify as genocide has been subject to much debate by legal scholars...

 warlord who caused enormous damage and destruction to the population of these areas. Steven R. Ward wrote that "Overall, the Mongol violence and depredations killed up to three-fourths of the population of the Iranian Plateau, possibly 10 to 15 million people. Some historians have estimated that Iran's population did not again reach its pre-Mongol levels until the mid-20th century." Similarly, in Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

 (along with other non-Turkic Muslim countries) he is generally viewed unfavorably though some groups display ambivalence as it is believed that the Hazara of Afghanistan are descendants of a large Mongol garrison stationed therein.

The invasions of Baghdad
Baghdad
Baghdad is the capital of Iraq, as well as the coterminous Baghdad Governorate. The population of Baghdad in 2011 is approximately 7,216,040...

, Samarkand
Samarkand
Although a Persian-speaking region, it was not united politically with Iran most of the times between the disintegration of the Seleucid Empire and the Arab conquest . In the 6th century it was within the domain of the Turkic kingdom of the Göktürks.At the start of the 8th century Samarkand came...

, Urgench, Kiev
Kiev
Kiev or Kyiv is the capital and the largest city of Ukraine, located in the north central part of the country on the Dnieper River. The population as of the 2001 census was 2,611,300. However, higher numbers have been cited in the press....

, Vladimir
Vladimir
Vladimir is a city and the administrative center of Vladimir Oblast, Russia, located on the Klyazma River, to the east of Moscow along the M7 motorway. Population:...

 among others caused mass murders, such as when portions of southern Khuzestan were completely destroyed. His descendant, Hulagu Khan
Hulagu Khan
Hulagu Khan, also known as Hülegü, Hulegu , was a Mongol ruler who conquered much of Southwest Asia...

 destroyed much of Iran's northern part and sacked Baghdad
Baghdad
Baghdad is the capital of Iraq, as well as the coterminous Baghdad Governorate. The population of Baghdad in 2011 is approximately 7,216,040...

 although his forces were halted by the Mamluk
Mamluk
A Mamluk was a soldier of slave origin, who were predominantly Cumans/Kipchaks The "mamluk phenomenon", as David Ayalon dubbed the creation of the specific warrior...

s of Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

. According to the works of the Persian historian Rashid-al-Din Hamadani, the Mongols killed more than 70 thousand people in Merv
Merv
Merv , formerly Achaemenid Satrapy of Margiana, and later Alexandria and Antiochia in Margiana , was a major oasis-city in Central Asia, on the historical Silk Road, located near today's Mary in Turkmenistan. Several cities have existed on this site, which is significant for the interchange of...

 and more than 190 thousand in Nishapur
Nishapur
Nishapur or Nishabur , is a city in the Razavi Khorasan province in northeastern Iran, situated in a fertile plain at the foot of the Binalud Mountains, near the regional capital of Mashhad...

. In 1237 Batu Khan
Batu Khan
Batu Khan was a Mongol ruler and founder of the Ulus of Jochi , the sub-khanate of the Mongol Empire. Batu was a son of Jochi and grandson of Genghis Khan. His ulus was the chief state of the Golden Horde , which ruled Rus and the Caucasus for around 250 years, after also destroying the armies...

, a grandson of Genghis Khan, launched an invasion into Kievan Rus'. Over the course of three years, the Mongols destroyed and annihilated all of the major cities of Eastern Europe with the exceptions of Novgorod and Pskov
Pskov
Pskov is an ancient city and the administrative center of Pskov Oblast, Russia, located in the northwest of Russia about east from the Estonian border, on the Velikaya River. Population: -Early history:...

.

Giovanni de Plano Carpini, the Pope's envoy to the Mongol Great Khan, traveled through Kiev
Kiev
Kiev or Kyiv is the capital and the largest city of Ukraine, located in the north central part of the country on the Dnieper River. The population as of the 2001 census was 2,611,300. However, higher numbers have been cited in the press....

 in February 1246 and wrote:

"They [the Mongols] attacked Rus, where they made great havoc, destroying cities and fortresses and slaughtering men; and they laid siege to Kiev, the capital of Rus; after they had besieged the city for a long time, they took it and put the inhabitants to death. When we were journeying through that land we came across countless skulls and bones of dead men lying about on the ground. Kiev had been a very large and heavily populated town, but now it has been reduced almost to nothing, for there are at the present time scarce two hundred houses there and the inhabitants are kept in complete slavery."


Although the famous Mughal Emperors were descendants of Genghis Khan and Tamerlane, they distanced themselves from the Mongol atrocities against the Khwarizim Shahs, Turks
Turkic peoples
The Turkic peoples are peoples residing in northern, central and western Asia, southern Siberia and northwestern China and parts of eastern Europe. They speak languages belonging to the Turkic language family. They share, to varying degrees, certain cultural traits and historical backgrounds...

, Persian
Persian people
The Persian people are part of the Iranian peoples who speak the modern Persian language and closely akin Iranian dialects and languages. The origin of the ethnic Iranian/Persian peoples are traced to the Ancient Iranian peoples, who were part of the ancient Indo-Iranians and themselves part of...

s, the citizens of Baghdad
Baghdad
Baghdad is the capital of Iraq, as well as the coterminous Baghdad Governorate. The population of Baghdad in 2011 is approximately 7,216,040...

 and Damascus
Damascus
Damascus , commonly known in Syria as Al Sham , and as the City of Jasmine , is the capital and the second largest city of Syria after Aleppo, both are part of the country's 14 governorates. In addition to being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Damascus is a major...

 and historical figures such as Attar of Nishapur.

Among the Iranian peoples
Iranian peoples
The Iranian peoples are an Indo-European ethnic-linguistic group, consisting of the speakers of Iranian languages, a major branch of the Indo-European language family, as such forming a branch of Indo-European-speaking peoples...

, he is regarded along with Tamerlane as one of the most despised conquerors of Iran. In much of Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

, Middle East, Korea
Korea
Korea ) is an East Asian geographic region that is currently divided into two separate sovereign states — North Korea and South Korea. Located on the Korean Peninsula, Korea is bordered by the People's Republic of China to the northwest, Russia to the northeast, and is separated from Japan to the...

, China, Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

, Poland and Hungary
Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

, Genghis Khan and his regime
Regime
The word regime refers to a set of conditions, most often of a political nature.-Politics:...

 are credited with considerable damage, destruction and loss of population.

Descent



Zerjal et al. [2003]
identified a Y-chromosomal lineage present in about 8% of the men in a large region of Asia (about 0.5% of the world total). The paper suggests that the pattern of variation within the lineage is consistent with a hypothesis that it originated in Mongolia about 1,000 years ago. Because the rate of such a spread would be too rapid to have occurred by genetic drift
Genetic drift
Genetic drift or allelic drift is the change in the frequency of a gene variant in a population due to random sampling.The alleles in the offspring are a sample of those in the parents, and chance has a role in determining whether a given individual survives and reproduces...

, the authors propose that the lineage is carried by likely male-line descendants of Genghis Khan, and that it has spread through social selection. In Mongolia alone as many as 200,000 of the country's 2 million people could be Khan descendants. In addition to most of the Mongol nobility up to the 20th century, the Mughal
Mughal Empire
The Mughal Empire ,‎ or Mogul Empire in traditional English usage, was an imperial power from the Indian Subcontinent. The Mughal emperors were descendants of the Timurids...

 emperor Babur
Babur
Babur was a Muslim conqueror from Central Asia who, following a series of setbacks, finally succeeded in laying the basis for the Mughal dynasty of South Asia. He was a direct descendant of Timur through his father, and a descendant also of Genghis Khan through his mother...

's mother was a descendant. Timur
Timur
Timur , historically known as Tamerlane in English , was a 14th-century conqueror of West, South and Central Asia, and the founder of the Timurid dynasty in Central Asia, and great-great-grandfather of Babur, the founder of the Mughal Dynasty, which survived as the Mughal Empire in India until...

 (also known as Tamerlane), the 14th century military leader, claimed descent from Genghis Khan. Genghis Khan was one of the most powerful warlords during his reign, as a result the harem that he kept was of enormous size. It is said that his harem reached anywhere from 2,000–3,000 women. There are so many descendants of Khan not only because of the size of his harem but also because of the size of his sons' harems.

Depictions in modern culture



There have been several films, novels and other adaptation works on the Mongolian
Mongols
Mongols ) are a Central-East Asian ethnic group that lives mainly in the countries of Mongolia, China, and Russia. In China, ethnic Mongols can be found mainly in the central north region of China such as Inner Mongolia...

 ruler.

Films

  • Genghis Khan, a 1950 Philippine film directed by Manuel Conde
    Manuel Conde
    Manuel Conde was born on October 15, 1915 in Daet, Camarines Norte . He was an actor, director and producer. As an actor, he also used the screen name Juan Urbano during the 1930s aside from his more popular screen name. His first film was "Mahiwagang Biyolin" in 1935. He made almost three dozen...

    .
  • The Conqueror
    The Conqueror (film)
    The Conqueror is a 1956 CinemaScope epic film produced by Howard Hughes and starring John Wayne as the Mongol conqueror Genghis Khan. Other performers included Susan Hayward, Agnes Moorehead, and Pedro Armendáriz. Directed by actor/director Dick Powell, the film was principally shot near St...

    , released in 1956 and starring John Wayne
    John Wayne
    Marion Mitchell Morrison , better known by his stage name John Wayne, was an American film actor, director and producer. He epitomized rugged masculinity and became an enduring American icon. He is famous for his distinctive calm voice, walk, and height...

     as Temüjin and Susan Hayward
    Susan Hayward
    Susan Hayward was an American actress.After working as a fashion model in New York, Hayward travelled to Hollywood in 1937 when open auditions were held for the leading role in Gone with the Wind . Although she was not selected, she secured a film contract, and played several small supporting...

     as Börte.
  • Genghis Khan (1965 film)
    Genghis Khan (1965 film)
    Genghis Khan is a 1965 film depicting the life and conquests of the Mongol emperor Genghis Khan. It was released in the United Kingdom and the United States in 1965 by Columbia Pictures, and was directed by Henry Levin, and starred Omar Sharif, who that same year starred in another epic, Doctor...

    starring Omar Sharif
    Omar Sharif
    Omar Sharif is an Egyptian actor who has starred in Hollywood films including Lawrence of Arabia, Doctor Zhivago and Funny Girl. He has been nominated for an Academy Award and has won two Golden Globe Awards.-Early life:...

    .
  • Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure 1989 film starring Keanu Reeves
    Keanu Reeves
    Keanu Charles Reeves is a Canadian actor. Reeves is perhaps best known for his roles in Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, Speed, Point Break and the science fiction-action trilogy The Matrix...

    , Alex Winter
    Alex Winter
    Alexander Ross "Alex" Winter is an English-born American actor, film director, and film writer, best known for his role as Bill S. Preston Esq. in the 1989 film Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure and its 1991 sequel Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey...

     with Al Leong
    Al Leong
    Albert "Al" Leong , aka Al 'Ka Bong', is an American stuntman and actor. Characterised by impressive martial arts skills, long wavy hair, and a prominent Fu Manchu moustache, he has had a number of small but memorable roles as the token long-haired Asian henchman in popular action films, that...

     as Genghis Khan.
  • Under The Eternal Blue Sky a Mongolian film directed by Nyamgavaa released in 1990.
  • Genghis Khan (1992 film)
    Genghis Khan (1992 film)
    Genghis KhanGenghis Khan is a 1992 film, started in Kyrgyzstan by Russian director Tolomush Okeyev but after several weeks of shooting and a lot of money spent in project development, preparation and pre-production the film was stopped since it became clear that was not suitable for an...

    starring Richard Tyson
    Richard Tyson
    Richard Martin Tyson is an American actor.-Biography:His most prominent role was as the villain Cullen Crisp, Sr. in Kindergarten Cop co-starring alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger. He also starred as high school bully Buddy Revell in the 1987 comedy Three O'Clock High...

    , Charlton Heston
    Charlton Heston
    Charlton Heston was an American actor of film, theatre and television. Heston is known for heroic roles in films such as The Ten Commandments, Ben-Hur for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor, El Cid, and Planet of the Apes...

     and Pat Morita
    Pat Morita
    Noriyuki "Pat" Morita was an American actor of Japanese descent who was well-known for playing the roles of Matsuo "Arnold" Takahashi on Happy Days and Mr. Miyagi in the The Karate Kid movie series, for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 1984.-Early life:Pat...

    .
  • Genghis Khan - A Proud Son Of Heaven (1998 film), made in Mongolian, with English subtitles.
  • Genghis Khan: To the Ends of the Earth and Sea
    Genghis Khan: To the Ends of the Earth and Sea
    is a 2007 Japanese - Mongolian historical drama film depicting the life of Genghis Khan.-Cast:*Takashi Sorimachi as Temüjin/Genghis Khan*Rei Kikukawa as Börte*Mayumi Wakamura as Hoelun*Kenichi Matsuyama as Jochi*Yoshihiko Hakamada as Hasar*Go Ara as Khulan...

    , also known as The Descendant of Gray Wolf, a Japanese-Mongolian
    Mongolian language
    The Mongolian language is the official language of Mongolia and the best-known member of the Mongolic language family. The number of speakers across all its dialects may be 5.2 million, including the vast majority of the residents of Mongolia and many of the Mongolian residents of the Inner...

     film released in 2007.
  • Mongol
    Mongol (film)
    Mongol is a 2007 semi-historical film directed by Sergei Bodrov. The storyline was conceived from a screenplay written by Bodrov and Arif Aliev. Producers for the film comprised Bodrov, Sergei Selyanov and Anton Melnik. The film is based on the early life of Temüjin, who later came to be known as...

    , a film by Sergei Bodrov
    Sergei Bodrov
    Sergei Vladimirovich Bodrov is a two-time Academy Award-nominated Russian-American film director, screenwriter, and producer.Bodrov was born in Khabarovsk, Russian SFSR, USSR . In the post-Soviet period he emigrated to the United States. His son, actor Sergei Bodrov, Jr...

     released in 2007. (Academy Award nominee for Best Foreign Language Film).
  • No Right to Die - Chinggis Khaan, a Mongolian film released in 2008.
  • By the Will of Genghis Khan, a Russian film released in 2009.

TV series

Year Production Lead actor Additional information
1987 TVB
Television Broadcasts Limited
Television Broadcasts Limited, commonly known as TVB, is the second over-the-air commercial television station in Hong Kong. It commenced broadcasting on 19 November 1967...

 (Hong Kong)
Alex Man
Alex Man
Alex Man , Hong Kong actor who has played leading roles in numerous movies and television serials.Born in Hong Kong, Alex Man joined ATV in 1970s, casting some TV drama. He became popular when joining TVB in 1980s, in which he had been the main character of several TV drama with big production...

 
see Genghis Khan (TVB)
Genghis Khan (TVB)
Genghis Khan is a Hong Kong television series based on the life story of Genghis Khan, founder of the Mongol Empire in the 13th century. The series was first broadcast on TVB in Hong Kong in 1987. Unlike most of the productions in the 1980s by TVB, the series is shot mainly in the plains of Inner...

1987 ATV
Asia Television Limited
Asia Television Limited is one of the two free-to-air television broadcasters in Hong Kong, the other being rival Television Broadcasts Limited . It launched in 1957 under the name Rediffusion Television as the first television station in Hong Kong...

 (Hong Kong)
Tony Liu
Tony Liu
Tony Liu Yung is a Hong Kong actor and martial artist. He often appeared in martial arts films. He debuted in Bruce Lee's The Big Boss and later appeared in Lee's next three films.-Early life:...

 
20 episodes
2004 China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

 
Ba Sen  see Genghis Khan (2004 TV series)
Genghis Khan (2004 TV series)
Genghis Khan is a television series based on the biography of Genghis Khan, founder of the Mongol Empire in the 13th century. The series was first broadcast on CCTV in China in 2004 and was also aired on KBS in South Korea between September and December 2005.-Plot:The 30 episodes long television...



Genghis Khan was discussed in a third season episode of Deadliest Warrior
Deadliest Warrior
Deadliest Warrior is a television program in which information on historical or modern warriors and their weapons are used to determine which of them is the "deadliest" based upon tests performed during each episode...

, first aired on May 26, 2011. The show, which is produced by the American cable channel Spike, pits various figures from history against each other in computer analyzed hypothetical battle scenarios to determine the outcome in a hypothetical confrontation. The show's panel determined that in a hypothetical battle with Hannibal, the Mongol steel armor would be a deciding factor and so Genghis Khan would be the victor.

Novels


• 1 Jenghiz Khan, by Vasili Yan, trans. L. E. Britton, publisher. Hutchinson
• 2 Batu Khan. by Vasili Yan, trans. L. E. Britton, publisher. Hutchinson
  • The Conqueror series of novels by Conn Iggulden
    Conn Iggulden
    Conn Iggulden is a British author who mainly writes historical fiction. He also co-authored The Dangerous Book for Boys.-Background:...

  • "You Can't, But Genghis Khan" from the Time Warp Trio book series

Short stories

  • The Private Life of Genghis Khan by Douglas Adams
    Douglas Adams
    Douglas Noel Adams was an English writer and dramatist. He is best known as the author of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which started life in 1978 as a BBC radio comedy before developing into a "trilogy" of five books that sold over 15 million copies in his lifetime, a television...

     and Graham Chapman
    Graham Chapman
    Graham Arthur Chapman was a British comedian, physician, writer, actor, and one of the six members of the Monty Python comedy troupe.-Early life and education:...


Music

  • West German
    West Germany
    West Germany is the common English, but not official, name for the Federal Republic of Germany or FRG in the period between its creation in May 1949 to German reunification on 3 October 1990....

     pop band Dschinghis Khan
    Dschinghis Khan
    Dschinghis Khan was a West German pop band, created in 1979 to compete in the Eurovision Song Contest. The name of the band was chosen to fit the song of the same name, written and produced by Ralph Siegel with lyrics by Bernd Meinunger....

     took its name from Genghis Khan. They participated in the Eurovision contest of 1979 with a song of the same name
    Dschinghis Khan (song)
    Dschinghis Khan was the West German entry in the Eurovision Song Contest 1979, performed in German by Dschinghis Khan...

    .

  • English Heavy Metal
    Heavy metal music
    Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the Midlands of the United Kingdom and the United States...

     band Iron Maiden
    Iron Maiden
    Iron Maiden are an English heavy metal band from Leyton in east London, formed in 1975 by bassist and primary songwriter Steve Harris. Since their inception, the band's discography has grown to include a total of thirty-six albums: fifteen studio albums; eleven live albums; four EPs; and six...

     titled an instrumental track Genghis Khan on their 1981 album Killers
    Killers (Iron Maiden album)
    Killers is the second album by British heavy metal band Iron Maiden, released on 2 February 1981 in the UK, and 6 June 1981 in the US. The album was their first with guitarist Adrian Smith and their last with vocalist Paul Di'Anno, who was sacked after problems with his stage performance arose due...

    .

  • The band Protest The Hero
    Protest the Hero
    Protest the Hero is a Canadian progressive metal band from Whitby, Ontario. Originally named Happy Go Lucky, the band line-up has remained the same since their formation in 1999. The band changed their name to Protest the Hero shortly before releasing their debut EP, Search for the Truth, in 2002...

    's song bloodmeat references Genghis Khan and the Khanate, and re-tells the tale of a small un-militiarised, and unequiped town fighting off a large, elite enemy, which may also be a reference to Genghis Khan.

  • Ace Frehley
    Ace Frehley
    Paul Daniel "Ace" Frehley is an American musician best known as the lead guitarist of the rock band Kiss. He took on the persona of the "Spaceman" or "Space Ace" when the band adopted costumes and theatrics...

     composed and recorded a song named after Genghis Khan in his 2009 album Anomaly.

Video games

  • Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings
    Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings
    Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings is a real-time strategy video game developed by Ensemble Studios and published by Microsoft. Released in 1999 for the Microsoft Windows and Macintosh operating systems, it was the second game in the Age of Empires series...

  • Aoki Ookami to Shiroki Mejika IV: Genghis Khan
    Aoki Ookami to Shiroki Mejika IV: Genghis Khan
    is a video game developed by Koei. It is part of Koei's Historical Simulation Series of games, and is the sequel to Genghis Khan 2. The game was developed for Windows and PlayStation.-Gameplay:...

  • Sid Meier's Civilization Series
  • Genghis Khan (video game)
    Genghis Khan (video game)
    Genghis Khan, named in Japan, is a NES, Amiga, DOS and MSX turn-based strategy game developed by Koei.-Plot:The game takes the player inside the virtual life of either Genghis Khan or one of his archrivals. The player must arrange marriages, father children, appoint family members to governmental...

  • Genghis Khan II: Clan of the Gray Wolf
    Genghis Khan II: Clan of the Gray Wolf
    Genghis Khan II: Clan of the Gray Wolf, known as in Japan, is a video game developed by Koei. It is part of Koei's Historical Simulation Series of games, and is the sequel to Genghis Khan. Genghis Khan II was developed and published for MSX, NES, DOS, X68000, PC-98, PC-88, Sega Genesis, SNES, Sega...

  • Cengiz Han II: Demir Yumruk (Turkish
    Turkey
    Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

     MMORPG
    MMORPG
    Massively multiplayer online role-playing game is a genre of role-playing video games in which a very large number of players interact with one another within a virtual game world....

    )

Name and title


There are many theories about the origins of Temüjin's title. Since people of the Mongol nation later associated the name with ching (Mongolian
Mongolian language
The Mongolian language is the official language of Mongolia and the best-known member of the Mongolic language family. The number of speakers across all its dialects may be 5.2 million, including the vast majority of the residents of Mongolia and many of the Mongolian residents of the Inner...

 for strength), such confusion is obvious, though it does not follow etymology.

One theory suggests the name stems from a palatalised version of the Mongolian and Turkic
Turkic languages
The Turkic languages constitute a language family of at least thirty five languages, spoken by Turkic peoples across a vast area from Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean to Siberia and Western China, and are considered to be part of the proposed Altaic language family.Turkic languages are spoken...

 word tenggis, meaning "ocean", "oceanic" or "wide-spreading". (Lake Baikal
Lake Baikal
Lake Baikal is the world's oldest at 30 million years old and deepest lake with an average depth of 744.4 metres.Located in the south of the Russian region of Siberia, between Irkutsk Oblast to the northwest and the Buryat Republic to the southeast, it is the most voluminous freshwater lake in the...

 and ocean were called tenggis by the Mongols. However, it seems that if they had meant to call Genghis tenggis they could have said, and written, "Tenggis Khan", which they did not.) Zhèng (Chinese: 正) meaning "right", "just", or "true", would have received the Mongolian adjectival modifier -s, creating "Jenggis", which in medieval romanization would be written "Genghis". It is likely that the 13th century Mongolian pronunciation would have closely matched "Chinggis".

The English spelling "Genghis" is of unclear origin. Weatherford
Jack Weatherford
Jack Weatherford is a former professor of anthropology at Macalester College in Minnesota. He is best known for his 2004 book, Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World...

 claims it to derive from a spelling used in original Persian reports. Even at this time some Iranians pronounce his name as "Ghengiss". However, review of historical Persian sources does not confirm this.

According to the Secret History of the Mongols
The Secret History of the Mongols
The Secret History of the Mongols is the oldest surviving Mongolian-language literary work...

, Temüjin was named after a powerful warrior of the Tatar tribe that his father Yesügei had taken prisoner. The name "Temüjin" is believed to derive from the word temür, meaning iron (modern Mongolian: , tömör). The name would imply skill as a blacksmith.

More likely, as no evidence has survived to indicate that Genghis Khan had any exceptional training or reputation as a blacksmith, the name indicated an implied lineage in a family once known as blacksmiths. The latter interpretation is supported by the names of Genghis Khan's siblings, Temülin and Temüge, which are derived from the same root word.

Name and spelling variations


Genghis Khan's name is spelled in variety of ways in different languages such as , Turkic
Turkic languages
The Turkic languages constitute a language family of at least thirty five languages, spoken by Turkic peoples across a vast area from Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean to Siberia and Western China, and are considered to be part of the proposed Altaic language family.Turkic languages are spoken...

: Cengiz Han, Çingiz Xan, Çingiz Han, Chingizxon, Çıñğız Xan, Chengez Khan, Chinggis Khan, Chinggis Xaan, Chingis Khan, Jenghis Khan, Chinggis Qan, Djingis Kahn, Russian: Чингисхан (Čingiskhan) or Чингиз-хан (Čingiz-khan), etc. Temüjin is written in Chinese as .

When Kublai Khan
Kublai Khan
Kublai Khan , born Kublai and also known by the temple name Shizu , was the fifth Great Khan of the Mongol Empire from 1260 to 1294 and the founder of the Yuan Dynasty in China...

 established the Yuan Dynasty
Yuan Dynasty
The Yuan Dynasty , or Great Yuan Empire was a ruling dynasty founded by the Mongol leader Kublai Khan, who ruled most of present-day China, all of modern Mongolia and its surrounding areas, lasting officially from 1271 to 1368. It is considered both as a division of the Mongol Empire and as an...

 in 1271, he had his grandfather Genghis Khan placed on the official record as the founder of the dynasty or Taizu . Thus, Genghis Khan is also referred to as Yuan Taizu in Chinese historiography
Chinese historiography
Chinese historiography refers to the study of methods and assumptions made in studying Chinese history.-History of Chinese Historians:Record of Chinese history dated back to the Shang Dynasty. The Classic of History, one of the Five Classics of Chinese classic texts is one of the earliest...

.

Timeline


  • Probably 1155, 1162, or 1167: Temüjin was born in the Khentii mountains
    Khentii Mountains
    The Khentii Mountains are a mountain range in the Töv and Khentii Provinces in northern Mongolia. The chain overlaps the Khan Khentii Strictly Protected Area and includes Mongolia's sacred mountain, Burkhan Khaldun, which is associated with the origin of Genghis Khan.The range forms the watershed...

    .
  • At the age of nine, Temüjin's father Yesükhei was poisoned by Tatars
    Tatars
    Tatars are a Turkic speaking ethnic group , numbering roughly 7 million.The majority of Tatars live in the Russian Federation, with a population of around 5.5 million, about 2 million of which in the republic of Tatarstan.Significant minority populations are found in Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan,...

    , leaving him and his family destitute.
  • c. 1184: Temüjin's wife Börte
    Börte
    Börte was the first wife of Genghis Khan, the founder of the Mongol Empire. Börte became the head of the first Court of Genghis Khan, and Grand Empress of his Empire. Little is known about the details of her early life, but she was betrothed to him at a young age, married at 17, and then...

     was kidnapped by Merkit
    Merkit
    The Mergid was one of the five major tribal confederations in Mongolian plateau in the 12th century.The Mergids inhabited in basins of the Selenge River and lower Orkhon River...

    s; he called on blood brother Jamuka and Wang Khan
    Wang Khan
    Wang Khan, also Ong Khan, was the title given to the Kerait ruler Toghrul by the Jurchen Jin Dynasty of China. Like the rest of their tribe he may have been Nestorian Christian...

     for aid, and they rescued her.
  • c. 1185: First son Jochi
    Jochi
    Jochi was the eldest of the Mongol chieftain Genghis Khan's four sons by his principal wife Börte. An accomplished military leader, he participated in his father's conquest of Central Asia, along with his brothers and uncles.-Early life:...

     was born; leading to doubt about his paternity later among Genghis' children, because he was born shortly after Börte
    Börte
    Börte was the first wife of Genghis Khan, the founder of the Mongol Empire. Börte became the head of the first Court of Genghis Khan, and Grand Empress of his Empire. Little is known about the details of her early life, but she was betrothed to him at a young age, married at 17, and then...

    's rescue from the Merkits.
  • 1190: Temüjin united the Mongol tribes, became leader, and devised code of law Yassa
    Yassa
    Yassa was a secret written code of law created by Genghis Khan. It was the principal law under the Mongol Empire even though no copies were made available...

    .
  • 1201: Victory over Jamuka's Jadarans.
  • 1202: Adopted as Wang Khan's heir after successful campaigns against Tatars
    Tatars
    Tatars are a Turkic speaking ethnic group , numbering roughly 7 million.The majority of Tatars live in the Russian Federation, with a population of around 5.5 million, about 2 million of which in the republic of Tatarstan.Significant minority populations are found in Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan,...

    .
  • 1203: Victory over Wang Khan's Keraits. Wang Khan himself is killed by accident by allied Naimans.
  • 1204: Victory over Naimans
    Naimans
    The Naimans, also Naiman Turks or Naiman Mongols, was a Mongolian name given to a group of people dwelling on the steppe of Central Asia, having diplomatic relations with the Kara-Khitan, and subservient to them until 1177...

     (all these confederations are united and become the Mongols).
  • 1206: Jamuka was killed. Temüjin was given the title Genghis Khan by his followers in a Kurultai
    Kurultai
    Kurultai is a political and military council of ancient Mongol and Turkic chiefs and khans. The root of the word "Khural" means political "meeting" or "assembly" in the Mongolian language, it is also a verb for "to be established"...

     (around 40 years of age).
  • 1207–1210: Genghis led operations against the Western Xia
    Western Xia
    The Western Xia Dynasty or the Tangut Empire, was known to the Tanguts and the Tibetans as Minyak.The state existed from 1038 to 1227 AD in what are now the northwestern Chinese provinces of Ningxia, Gansu, eastern Qinghai, northern Shaanxi, northeastern Xinjiang, southwest Inner Mongolia, and...

    , which comprises much of northwestern China and parts of Tibet. Western Xia ruler submitted to Genghis Khan. During this period, the Uyghurs also submitted peacefully to the Mongols and became valued administrators throughout the empire.
  • 1211: After the kurultai, Genghis led his armies against the Jin Dynasty ruling northern China.
  • 1215: Beijing fell; Genghis Khan turned to west and the Khara-Kitan Khanate.
  • 1219–1222: Conquered Khwarezmid Empire.
  • 1226: Started the campaign against the Western Xia for forming coalition against the Mongols, the second battle with the Western Xia.
  • 1227: Genghis Khan died after conquering the Tangut people. Cause of death is uncertain, although legend states that he was thrown off his horse in the battle and contracted a deadly fever soon after.

Further reading

Via the Internet Archive
Internet Archive
The Internet Archive is a non-profit digital library with the stated mission of "universal access to all knowledge". It offers permanent storage and access to collections of digitized materials, including websites, music, moving images, and nearly 3 million public domain books. The Internet Archive...

's copy of the History Channel Web site. (summary in English)
  • Stevens, Keith. Retrieved May 22, 2008.

External links



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