- 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
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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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But the Mongol diplomatic mission was attacked by the governor of Otrar, who possibly believed the caravan was a cover for a spy mission. When Genghis Khan heard of this affront, he demanded the governor be extradited to him and sent a diplomat to retrieve him. Shah Muhammad, the leader of the Khwarizm Dynasty, not only refused the demand, but in defiance sent back the head of the Mongol diplomat.
This act released a fury that would sweep through central Asia and into eastern Europe. In 1219,
Genghis Khan personally took control of planning and executing a three-prong attack of 200,000 Mongol soldiers against the Khwarizm Dynasty. The Mongols swept through every city's fortifications with unstoppable savagery. Those who weren't immediately slaughtered were driven in front of the Mongol army, serving as human shields when the Mongols took the next city. No living thing was spared, including small domestic animals and livestock. Skulls of men, women, and children were piled in large, pyramidal mounds. City after city was brought to its knees, and eventually the Shah Muhammad and later his son were captured and killed, bringing an end to the Khwarizm Dynasty in 1221.
Scholars describe the period after the Khwarizm campaign as the Pax Mongolica. In time, the conquests of Genghis Khan connected the major trade centers of China and Europe. The empire was governed by a legal code known as Yassa. Developed by Genghis Khan, the code was based on Mongol common law but contained edicts that prohibited blood feuds, adultery, theft and bearing false witness. Also included were laws that reflected Mongol respect for the environment such as forbidding bathing in rivers and streams and orders for any soldier following another to pick up anything that the first soldier dropped. Infraction of any of these laws was usually punishable by death. Advancement within military and government ranks was not based on traditional lines of heredity or ethnicity, but on merit. There were tax exemptions for religious and some professional leaders, as well as a degree of religious tolerance that reflected the long-held Mongol tradition of religion as a personal conviction not subject to law or interference. This tradition had practical applications as there were so many different religious groups in the empire, it would have been an extra burden to force a single religion on them.
With the annihilation of the Khwarizm Dynasty, Genghis Khan once again turned his attention east to China. The Tanguts of Xi Xia had defied his orders to contribute troops to the Khwarizm campaign and were in open revolt. In a string of victories against Tangut cities, Genghis Khan defeated enemy armies and sacked the capital of Ning Hia. Soon one Tangut official surrendered after another, and the resistance ended. Genghis Khan hadn't quite extracted all the revenge he wanted for the Tangut betrayal, however, and ordered the execution of the imperial family, thus ending the Tangut lineage.
Genghis Khan died in 1227, soon after the submission of the Xi Xia.
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