- NAME: Genghis Khan
- OCCUPATION: Warrior
- BIRTH DATE: c. 1162
- DEATH DATE: c. 1227
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Mongolia
- PLACE OF DEATH: Mongolia
- Originally: Temujin
- AKA: Chinggis Khan
- AKA: Jingis
- AKA: Genghis Khan
Best Known For
Mongolian warrior and ruler Genghis Khan created the largest empire in the world, the Mongol Empire, by destroying individual tribes in Northeast Asia.
Genghis Khan's childhood was fundamental in his rise to power. From an early age, he was ruthless in the protection of his family and his dismissal of outsiders.
Genghis Khan came to the time in his life where he needed a wife.
Genghis Khan died in 1227 soon after the submission of the Xi Xia. The exact reason is uncertain.
Genghis Khan founded the Mongol Empire and raided most of Eurasia. He developed the most advanced professional army ever seen in Asia. He was known as "the Great Khan."
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Genghis Khan was born "Temujin" in Mongolia around 1162. He married at age 16, but had many wives during his lifetime. At 20, he began building a large army with the intent to destroy individual tribes in Northeast Asia and unite them under his rule. He was successful; the Mongol Empire was the largest empire in the world before the British Empire, and lasted well after his own death in 1227.
"I am the flail of God. If you had not committed great sins, God would not have sent a punishment like me upon you."
"I am the punishment of God. If you had not committed great sins, God would not have sent a punishment like me upon you."
"Mother Earth is broad and her rivers and waters are numerous. Make up your camps far apart and each of you rule your own kingdom."
"I leave you the greatest empire in the world, but your preserving it depends upon your remaining always united. If discord steals in among you all will most assuredly be lost."
"Every man has his use, even if only to gather dried cow dung in the Gobi for fuel."
"How can one withdraw? Even if we die, let us challenge their boasts. Eternal Heaven, you be the judge!"
"[A leader] can never be happy until his people are happy."
"The greatest joy a man can know is to conquer his enemies and drive them before him."
"If you insult the mother who gave you your life from her heart, if you cause her love for you to freeze up, even if you apologize to her later, the damage is done."
"Without the vision of a goal, a man cannot manage his own life, much less the lives of others."
"People conquered on different sides of the lake should be ruled on different sides of the lake."
Born in north central Mongolia around 1162, Genghis Khan was originally named "Temujin" after a Tatar chieftain that his father, Yesukhei, had captured. Young Temujin was a member of the Borjigin tribe and a descendant of Khabul Khan, who briefly united Mongols against the Jin (Chin) Dynasty of northern China in the early 1100s. According to the "Secret History of the Mongols" (a contemporary account of Mongol history), Temujin was born with a blood clot in his hand, a sign in Mongol folklore that he was destined to become a leader. His mother, Hoelun, taught him the grim reality of living in turbulent Mongol tribal society and the need for alliances.
When Temujin was 9, his father took him to live with the family of his future bride, Borte. On the return trip home, Yesukhei encountered members of the rival Tatar tribe, who invited him to a conciliatory meal, where he was poisoned for past transgressions against the Tatars. Upon hearing of his father's death, Temujin returned home to claim his position as clan chief. However, the clan refused to recognize the young boy's leadership and ostracized his family of younger brothers and half-brothers to near-refugee status. The pressure on the family was great, and in a dispute over the spoils of a hunting expedition, Temujin quarreled with and killed his half-brother, Bekhter, confirming his position as head of the family.
At 16, Temujin married Borte, cementing the alliance between the Konkirat tribe and his own. Soon after, Borte was kidnapped by the rival Merkit tribe and given to a chieftain as a wife. Temujin was able to rescue her, and soon after, she gave birth to her first son, Jochi. Though Borte's captivity with the Konkirat tribe cast doubt on Jochi's birth, Temujhin accepted him as his own. With Borte, Temujin had four sons and many other children with other wives, as was Mongolian custom. However, only his male children with Borte qualified for succession in the family.
When Temujin was about 20, he was captured in a raid by former family allies, the Taichi'uts, and temporarily enslaved. He escaped with the help of a sympathetic captor, and joined his brothers and several other clansmen to form a fighting unit. Temujin began his slow ascent to power by building a large army of more than 20,000 men. He set out to destroy traditional divisions among the various tribes and unite the Mongols under his rule.
Through a combination of outstanding military tactics and merciless brutality, Temujin avenged his father's murder by decimating the Tatar army, and ordered the killing of every Tatar male who was more than approximately 3 feet tall (taller than the linchpin, or axle pin, of a wagon wheel). Temujin's Mongols then defeated the Taichi'ut using a series of massive cavalry attacks, including having all of the Taichi'ut chiefs boiled alive.
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