- 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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By 1206, Temujin had also defeated the powerful Naiman tribe, thus giving him control of central and eastern Mongolia.
The early success of the Mongol army owed much to the brilliant military tactics of Genghis Khan, as well as his understanding of his enemies' motivations. He employed an extensive spy network and was quick to adopt new technologies from his enemies. The well-trained Mongol army of 80,
000 fighters coordinated their advance with a sophisticated signaling system of smoke and burning torches. Large drums sounded commands to charge, and further orders were conveyed with flag signals. Every soldier was fully equipped with a bow, arrows, a shield, a dagger and a lasso. He also carried large saddlebags for food, tools and spare clothes. The saddlebag was waterproof and could be inflated to serve as a life preserver when crossing deep and swift-moving rivers. Cavalrymen carried a small sword, javelins, body armor, a battle-ax or mace, and a lance with a hook to pull enemies off of their horses. The Mongols were devastating in their attacks. Because they could maneuver a galloping horse using only their legs, their hands were free to shoot arrows. The entire army was followed by a well-organized supply system of oxcarts carrying food for soldiers and beasts alike, as well as military equipment, shamans for spiritual and medical aid, and officials to catalog the booty.
Following the victories over the rival Mongol tribes, other tribal leaders agreed to peace and bestowed on Temujin the title of "Genghis Khan," which means "universal ruler." The title carried not only political importance, but also spiritual significance. The leading shaman declared Genghis Khan the representative of Mongke Koko Tengri (the "Eternal Blue Sky"), the supreme god of the Mongols. With this declaration of divine status, it was accepted that his destiny was to rule the world. Religious tolerance was practiced in the Mongol Empire, but to defy the Great Khan was equal to defying the will of God. It was with such religious fervor that Genghis Khan is supposed to have said to one of his enemies, "I am the flail of God. If you had not committed great sins, God would not have sent a punishment like me upon you."
Genghis Khan wasted no time in capitalizing on his divine stature. While spiritual inspiration motivated his armies, the Mongols were probably driven as much by environmental circumstances. Food and resources were becoming scarce as the population grew. In 1207, he led his armies against the kingdom of Xi Xia and, after two years, forced it to surrender. In 1211, Genghis Khan's armies struck the Jin Dynasty in northern China, lured not by the great cities' artistic and scientific wonders, but rather the seemingly endless rice fields and easy pickings of wealth.
Although the campaign against the Jin Dynasty lasted nearly 20 years, Genghis Khan's armies were also active in the west against border empires and the Muslim world. Initially, Genghis Khan used diplomacy to establish trade relations with the Khwarizm Dynasty, a Turkish-dominated empire that included Turkestan, Persia, and Afghanistan.
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