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''Chinggis Khaan''
͡ʃʰiŋɡɪs xaːŋbr>
Mongol script The classical or traditional Mongolian script, also known as the , was the first Mongolian alphabet, writing system created specifically for the Mongolian language, and was the most widespread until the introduction of Cyrillic script, Cyrillic ...
:
''Chinggis Qa(gh)an/ Chinggis Khagan'' , birth_name = Temüjin ; xng, Temüjin, script=Latn; ., name=Temujin , successor =
Ögedei Khan Ögedei (also Ogodei; mn, Өгэдэй, translit=Ögedei, Mongolian Mongolian may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Mongolia, a country in Asia * Mongolian people, or Mongols * Mongolia (1911–24), the government of Mongolia, 1911 ...
, spouse = , issue = , house =
Borjigin A Borjigin; ; russian: Борджигин, Bordžigin; ; English plural: Borjigins or Borjigid Middle_Mongolian">/nowiki>Middle_Mongolian_plural.html" ;"title="Middle_Mongolian.html" ;"title="/nowiki>Middle Mongolian">/nowiki>Middle Mongolian ...
, dynasty =
Genghisid A Borjigin; ; russian: Борджигин, Bordžigin; ; English plural: Borjigins or Borjigid
plural The plural (sometimes abbreviated An abbreviation (from Latin ''brevis'', meaning ''short'') is a shortened form of a word or phrase, by any method. It may consist of a group of letters, or words taken from the full version of the word or ph ...

plural
translit. ''Borǰigit'';''Histoire des campagnes de Gengis Khan'', p. 119. plural? is a member of the sub-clan, which started with ...
, temple name = Taizu (太祖) , posthumous name = Emperor Fatian Qiyun Shengwu (法天啟運聖武皇帝) , father =
Yesügei Yesugei Baghatur or Yesükhei ( Traditional Mongolian: ; Modern Mongolian: Есүхэй баатар, ''Yesukhei baatar''), was a major chief of the Khamag Mongol Khamag Mongol ( mn, Хамаг монгол, ''lit. "Whole Mongol"''; ) was a ...
, mother =
Hoelun Hoelun (also Hoelun Üjin, Mongolian Cyrillic: Өэлүн үжин, Өэлүн эх, ''Mother Hoelun'', Öülen/Oulen; ) was the mother of Genghis Khan ''Chinggis Khaan'' ͡ʃʰiŋɡɪs xaːŋbr>Mongol script The classical or tradition ...
, religion =
Tengrism Tengrism (also known as Tengriism, Tengerism, or Tengrianism) is an ancient ethnic and state Turko- Mongolic religion originating in the Eurasian steppes The Eurasian Steppe, also simply called the Great Steppe or the steppes, is the vast ste ...
, birth_date = , birth_place =
Khentii Mountains The Khentii Mountains ( mn, Хэнтийн нуруу) are a mountain range A mountain range is a series of mountains ranged in a line and connected by high ground. A mountain system or mountain belt is a group of mountain ranges with simil ...
,
Khamag Mongol Khamag Mongol ( mn, Хамаг монгол, Khamag mongol, lit=the whole Mongol; ) was a major Mongolic tribal confederation (khanlig) on the Mongolian Plateau The Mongolian Plateau is the part of the Central Asia, Central Asian Plateau lyi ...
, death_date = (aged approximately 65/72) , death_place =
Yinchuan Yinchuan is the capital of the Ningxia, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, China, People's Republic of China. and historically it was the former capital of the Western Xia, Western Xia Empire of the Tangut people, Tanguts. It has an area of and a ...

Yinchuan
,
Western Xia The Western Xia or the Xi Xia (), officially the Great Xia (), also known as the Tangut Empire, and known as ''Mi-nyak''Stein (1972), pp. 70–71. to Tanguts and Tibetans, was a Tangut people, Tangut-ruled empire and a Dynasties in C ...

Western Xia
Genghis Khan (August 18, 1227), born Temüjin, was the founder and first
Great Khan Khagan or Qaghan ( otk, 𐰴𐰍𐰣, Kaɣan, mn, Xаан or ᠬᠠᠭᠠᠨ, Khaan, ota, خواقين, Ḫākan, or خان ''Ḫān'', tr, Kağan or ''Hakan'', ug, قاغان, Qaghan) ''Khāqān'', alternatively spelled Kağan, Kagan, Kh ...
(
Emperor An emperor (from la, imperator The Latin word "imperator" derives from the stem of the verb la, imperare, label=none, meaning 'to order, to command'. It was originally employed as a title roughly equivalent to ''commander'' under the Roma ...

Emperor
) of the
Mongol Empire The Mongol Empire of the 13th and 14th centuries was the List of largest empires, largest contiguous land empire in history and the second largest empire by landmass, second only to the British Empire. Originating in Mongolia in East Asia, the ...
, which became the largest contiguous empire in history after his death. He came to power by uniting many of the
nomadic tribe A nomad ( frm, nomade "people without fixed habitation") is a member of a community without fixed habitation which regularly moves to and from the same areas. Such groups include hunter-gatherer A hunter-gatherer is a human Humans (''Hom ...
s of
Northeast Asia Northeast Asia or Northeastern Asia is a geographical subregion of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere, Eastern and Northern Hemisphere, Northern Hemisphere of the Eart ...
, and, after being proclaimed the universal ruler of the Mongols, or ''Genghis Khan'', he launched the
Mongol invasions The Mongol invasions and conquests took place during the 13th and 14th centuries, creating history's largest contiguous empire - The Mongol Empire The Mongol Empire of the 13th and 14th centuries was the List of largest empires, largest conti ...
, which ultimately conquered most of
Eurasia Eurasia () is the largest continent A continent is any of several large landmass A landmass, or land mass, is a large region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a ...

Eurasia
, reaching as far west as
Poland Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 Voivodeships of Poland, administrative provinces, covering an area of , and has a largely Temperate climate, temperate seasonal cli ...
and as far south as
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identi ...

Egypt
. His major campaigns include those against the
Qara Khitai The Qara Khitai or Kara Khitai (; mn, Хар Хятан; literally "Black Khitan people, Khitan") empire (1124–1218), also known as the Western Liao () dynasty, officially the Great Liao (), was a Sinicization, sinicized dynastic empire in C ...
,
Khwarezmia Khwarazm , or Chorasmia (Old Persian Old Persian is one of the two directly attested Old Iranian languages (the other being Avestan language, Avestan) and it is the ancestor of Middle Persian (the language of Sasanian Empire). Like other O ...
, and the
Western Xia The Western Xia or the Xi Xia (), officially the Great Xia (), also known as the Tangut Empire, and known as ''Mi-nyak''Stein (1972), pp. 70–71. to Tanguts and Tibetans, was a Tangut people, Tangut-ruled empire and a Dynasties in C ...

Western Xia
and Jin dynasties, and raids into medieval Georgia, the
Kievan Rus' Kievan Rus' ( orv, , Rusĭ, or , , "Rus' land") or Kyivan Rus', was a loose federation A federation (also known as a federal state) is a political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a ...
, and
Volga Bulgaria Volga Bulgaria ( tt, Идел Болгар, chv, Атӑлçи Пӑлхар) or Volga–Kama Bulghar, was a historic Bulgar state that existed between the 7th and 13th centuries around the confluence of the Volga The Volga (; russian: Во ...
. Genghis Khan and his empire have a fearsome reputation in local histories.Ian Jeffries (2007).
Mongolia: a guide to economic and political developments
'' Taylor & Francis. pp. 5–7. .
Many medieval chroniclers and modern historians describe Genghis Khan's conquests as wholesale destruction on an unprecedented scale, causing great
demographic Demography (from prefix ''demo-'' from Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the used in and the from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the following periods: (), Dark Ages (), the period ...

demographic
changes and a drastic decline of population as a result of mass exterminations and
famine A famine is a widespread scarcity of food Food is any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for an organism In biology, an organism (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ὀργανισμός, ''organismos'') is any individual con ...

famine
. A conservative estimate amounts to about four million civilians (whereas other figures range from forty to sixty million) who lost their lives as a consequence of Genghis Khan's military campaigns. In contrast,
Buddhist Buddhism (, ) is the world's fourth-largest religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it or not, an ...

Buddhist
Uyghurs The Uyghurs ( or ; ; ; zh, s=, t=, p=Wéiwú'ěr, IPA: ), alternatively spelled Uighurs, Uyghers, Uygurs or Uigurs, are a Turkic peoples, Turkic ethnic group originating from and culturally affiliated with the general region of Central Asi ...
of the kingdom of
Qocho Qocho (, Mongolian language, Mongolian ' "id."), also known as Idiqut, ("holy wealth"; "glory"; "lord of fortune") was a History of the Uyghur people, Uyghur kingdom created in 843, with strong Chinese Buddhism, Chinese Buddhist and Tocharians ...
, who willingly left the Qara Khitai empire to become
Mongol The Mongols ( mn, Монголчууд, , ''Mongolchuud'', ; russian: Монголы, ) are an East Asian East Asia is the eastern region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") ...

Mongol
vassals A vassal or liege subject is a person regarded as having a mutual obligation to a lord Lord is an appellation for a person or deity who has authority, control, or power (social and political), power over others, acting as a master, a chief ...
, viewed him as a liberator. Genghis Khan was also portrayed positively by early
Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. is a period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full stop (or period), a punctuation mark Arts, entertainment, and media * Period (music), a concept in ...

Renaissance
sources out of respect for the great spread of culture, technology and ideas under the Mongol Empire. By the end of the Great Khan's life, the Mongol Empire occupied a substantial portion of
Central Asia Central Asia is a region in Asia which stretches from the Caspian Sea in the west to China and Mongolia in the east, and from Afghanistan and Iran in the south to Russia in the north, including the former Soviet Union, Soviet republics of the Sov ...

Central Asia
and
China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere ...
. Due to his exceptional military successes, Genghis Khan is often considered to be one of the greatest conquerors of all time. Beyond his military accomplishments, Genghis Khan also advanced the Mongol Empire in other ways. He decreed the adoption of the
Uyghur script
Uyghur script
as the Mongol Empire's writing system. He also practised
meritocracy Meritocracy (''merit'', from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" o ...
and encouraged
religious tolerance Toleration is the allowing, permitting, or acceptance of an action, idea, object, or person which one dislikes or disagrees with. Political scientist Andrew R. Murphy explains that "We can improve our understanding by defining "toleration" as a ...
in the Mongol Empire, unifying the nomadic tribes of Northeast Asia. Present-day
Mongolians The Mongols ( mn, Монголчууд, , ''Mongolchuud'', ; ) are an East Asian people, East Asian ethnic group Indigenous peoples, native to Mongolia and to China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. They also live as minorities in other regi ...
regard him as the founding father of
Mongolia Mongolia (, mn, Монгол Улс, Mongol Uls, Mongolian script, Traditional Mongolian: '; literal translation, lit. "Mongol Nation" or "State of Mongolia") is a landlocked country in East Asia. It is bordered by Russia Mongolia–Russia ...

Mongolia
. He is also credited with bringing the
Silk Road The Silk Road () was and is a network of trade routes connecting the Eastern world, East and Western culture, West, from the 2nd century BCE to the 18th century CE. It was central to the economic, cultural, political, and religious interactions ...

Silk Road
under one cohesive political environment. This brought relatively easy communication and trade between Northeast Asia,
Muslim Muslims () are people who follow or practice Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", ...

Muslim
Southwest Asia, and Christian
Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmass A landmass, or land mass, is a large region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of scienc ...
, expanding the cultural horizons of all three areas.


Name and spelling

According to the ''Secret History'', Temüjin was named after the
Tatar The Tatars (; tt, , , , crh, tatarlar; otk, 𐱃𐱃𐰺, Tatar) is an umbrella term for different Turkic peoples, Turkic ethnic groups bearing the name "Tatar." Initially, the ethnonym ''Tatar'' possibly referred to the Tatar confederation ...
chief Temüjin-üge whom his father had just captured. The name Temüjin is also equated with the Turco-Mongol ''temürči(n)'', "
blacksmith A blacksmith is a metalsmith A metalsmith or simply smith is a craftsperson fashioning useful items (for example, tools, kitchenware, tableware, jewellery, and weapons) out of various metal A metal (from Ancient Greek, Greek μέτ ...

blacksmith
", and there existed a tradition that viewed Genghis Khan as a smith, according to
Paul Pelliot Paul Eugène Pelliot (28 May 187826 October 1945) was a French Sinologist and Oriental studies, Orientalist best known for his explorations of Central Asia and his discovery of many important Chinese texts among the Dunhuang manuscripts. Early ...
, which, though unfounded, was well established by the middle of the 13th century. The honorary title ''Genghis Khan'' is possibly derived from the
Turkic Turkic may refer to: * anything related to the country of Turkey * Turkic languages, a language family of at least thirty-five documented languages ** Turkic alphabets (disambiguation) ** Turkish language, the most widely spoken Turkic language * T ...

Turkic
''tengiz'', meaning
sea The sea, connected as the world ocean or simply the ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of salt water which covers approximately 71% of the surface of the Earth.
sea
,ЧИНГИСХА́Н
Big Russian Encyclopedia, 2010
making his title literally "oceanic ruler", interpreted figuratively as "universal ruler". Genghis Khan is spelled in a variety of ways in different languages such as
Mongolian Mongolian may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Mongolia, a country in Asia * Mongolian people, or Mongols * Mongolia (1911–24), the government of Mongolia, 1911–1919 and 1921–1924 * Mongolian language * Mongolian alphabet * Mongo ...

Mongolian
Chinggis Khaan, English ''Chinghiz'', ''Chinghis'', and ''Chingiz'', ,
Turkic Turkic may refer to: * anything related to the country of Turkey * Turkic languages, a language family of at least thirty-five documented languages ** Turkic alphabets (disambiguation) ** Turkish language, the most widely spoken Turkic language * T ...

Turkic
: ''Cengiz Han'', ''Çingiz Xan'', ''Chingizxon'', ''Shın'g'ısxan'', ''Çingiz Han'' ''Çıñğız Xan'', ''Şıñğıs xan'', ''Çiñğiz Xaan'', ''Çiñğizhan'',
Russian Russian refers to anything related to Russia, including: *Russians (русские, ''russkiye''), an ethnic group of the East Slavic peoples, primarily living in Russia and neighboring countries *Rossiyane (россияне), Russian language term ...
: Чингисхан (''Čingiskhan'') or Чингиз-хан (''Čingiz-khan''), etc. Temüjin is written in Chinese as . When
Kublai Khan Kublai (; also spelled Qubilai or Kübilai; mn, Хубилай, Khubilai ; ; 23 September  1215 – 18 February 1294), also known by his temple name as Emperor Shizu of Yuan, was the fifth khagan-Emperor of China, emperor of the Mongol Empir ...

Kublai Khan
established the
Yuan dynasty The Yuan dynasty (), officially the Great Yuan (; xng, , , literally "Great Yuan State"), was a successor state Successor is someone who, or something which succeeds or comes after (see success and succession) Film and TV * ''The Succ ...
in 1271, he had his grandfather Genghis Khan placed in official records and accorded him the
temple name Temple names are posthumous titles accorded to monarchs of the Sinosphere The East Asian cultural sphere, also known as the Sinosphere, the Sinic world, the Sinitic world, the Chinese cultural sphere or the Chinese character sphere, e ...
''Taizu'' () and the
posthumous name A posthumous name is an honorary name given to royalty, nobles, and sometimes others, in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern He ...
''Emperor Shengwu'' ().
Külüg Khan Külüg Khan (; mn, Хөлөг хаан, Hülüg Khaan, Külüg qaγan), born Khayishan (also spelled ''Khayisan'', , mn, Хайсан, meaning "wall"), also known by the temple name Temple names are posthumous titles accorded to monarchs o ...
later expanded Genghis Khan's title to ''Emperor Fatian Qiyun Shengwu'' (). Genghis Khan is thus also referred to as ''Yuan Taizu'' (Emperor Taizu of Yuan; ) in
Chinese historiography Chinese historiography is the study of the techniques and sources used by historians to develop the recorded history of China The earliest known written records of the history of China date from as early as 1250 BC, from the Shang dynasty ...
.


Early life


Birth and lineage

Genghis Khan was probably born in 1162 in Delüün Boldog, near the mountain
Burkhan Khaldun The Burkhan Khaldun (Mongolian Cyrillic alphabet, Cyrillic: Бурхан Халдун) is one of the Khentii Mountains in the Khentii Province of northeastern Mongolia. The mountain or its locality is believed to be the birthplace of Genghis Kh ...
and the rivers
Onon Onon may refer to: * Onon (river), river in Mongolia and Russia * Onon, Khentii, town in the Khentii Province of Mongolia * Onon (crater), crater on Mars named after the river {{disambig ...
and in modern-day northern
Mongolia Mongolia (, mn, Монгол Улс, Mongol Uls, Mongolian script, Traditional Mongolian: '; literal translation, lit. "Mongol Nation" or "State of Mongolia") is a landlocked country in East Asia. It is bordered by Russia Mongolia–Russia ...

Mongolia
, close to the current capital
Ulaanbaatar Ulaanbaatar (; mn, Улаанбаатар, , "Red Hero"), previously anglicised as Ulan Bator, is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that ar ...

Ulaanbaatar
. ''
The Secret History of the Mongols ''The Secret History of the Mongols'' (Middle Mongol Middle Mongol or Middle Mongolian, was a Mongolic languages, Mongolic koiné language spoken in the Mongol Empire. Originating from Genghis Khan's home region of Northeastern Mongolia, it di ...
'' reports that Temüjin was born grasping a blood clot in his fist, a traditional sign that he was destined to become a great leader. He was the first son of
Hoelun Hoelun (also Hoelun Üjin, Mongolian Cyrillic: Өэлүн үжин, Өэлүн эх, ''Mother Hoelun'', Öülen/Oulen; ) was the mother of Genghis Khan ''Chinggis Khaan'' ͡ʃʰiŋɡɪs xaːŋbr>Mongol script The classical or tradition ...
, second wife of his father
Yesügei Yesugei Baghatur or Yesükhei ( Traditional Mongolian: ; Modern Mongolian: Есүхэй баатар, ''Yesukhei baatar''), was a major chief of the Khamag Mongol Khamag Mongol ( mn, Хамаг монгол, ''lit. "Whole Mongol"''; ) was a ...
, who was a Kiyad chief prominent in the
Khamag Mongol Khamag Mongol ( mn, Хамаг монгол, Khamag mongol, lit=the whole Mongol; ) was a major Mongolic tribal confederation (khanlig) on the Mongolian Plateau The Mongolian Plateau is the part of the Central Asia, Central Asian Plateau lyi ...
confederation and an ally of
Toghrul Toghrul ( mn, Тоорил хан ''Tooril han''; ), also known as Wang Khan or Ong Khan ( ''Wan han''; ; died 1203) was a Khan (title), khan of the Keraites. He was the blood brother (anda (Mongol), anda) of the Mongol chief Yesugei and served ...

Toghrul
of the Keraite tribe. Yesukhei's clan was
Borjigin A Borjigin; ; russian: Борджигин, Bordžigin; ; English plural: Borjigins or Borjigid Middle_Mongolian">/nowiki>Middle_Mongolian_plural.html" ;"title="Middle_Mongolian.html" ;"title="/nowiki>Middle Mongolian">/nowiki>Middle Mongolian ...
(Боржигин), and
Hoelun Hoelun (also Hoelun Üjin, Mongolian Cyrillic: Өэлүн үжин, Өэлүн эх, ''Mother Hoelun'', Öülen/Oulen; ) was the mother of Genghis Khan ''Chinggis Khaan'' ͡ʃʰiŋɡɪs xaːŋbr>Mongol script The classical or tradition ...
was from the sub-lineage of the
Khongirad The Khongirad (Mongolian language, Mongolian: Хонгирад/Khonghirad), also known as QongiratCentral Asia: Foundations of Change'', by R. D. McChesney, pub Darwin Press, 1996, p202. was one of the major divisions of the Mongol tribes. Varia ...
tribe. Like other tribes, they were
nomad A nomad ( frm, nomade "people without fixed habitation") is a member of a community without fixed habitation who regularly moves to and from the same areas. Such groups include hunter-gatherer A hunter-gatherer is a human Humans (''Homo ...

nomad
s. Temüjin's noble background made it easier for him to solicit help from and eventually consolidate the other Mongol tribes. Genghis Khan was related on his father's side to
Khabul Khan Khabul Khan ( mn, Хабул хан; ), also rendered as Qabul Khan, Kabul Khan and Khabul Khagan, was the first known Khan of the Khamag Mongol Khamag Mongol ( mn, Хамаг монгол, Khamag mongol, lit=the whole Mongol; ) was a major Mon ...
,
Ambaghai Ambaghai or Hambaqai Khan (; ) was a Khan (title), khan of Khamag Mongol, one of the great grandsons of Khaidu Khan and the cousin and predecessor of Qutula Khan, Hotula Khan. Life Ambaghai was born to Sorqaduqtu China, a son of Charaqai Lingqu ...

Ambaghai
, and
Hotula Khan Hotula Khan or Qutula Khan (; Traditional Mongolian:) was a Khan of Khamag Mongol Khamag Mongol ( mn, Хамаг монгол, Khamag mongol, lit=the whole Mongol; ) was a major Mongolic tribal confederation (khanlig) on the Mongolian Plateau ...
, who had headed the
Khamag Mongol Khamag Mongol ( mn, Хамаг монгол, Khamag mongol, lit=the whole Mongol; ) was a major Mongolic tribal confederation (khanlig) on the Mongolian Plateau The Mongolian Plateau is the part of the Central Asia, Central Asian Plateau lyi ...
confederation and were descendants of
Bodonchar Munkhag Bodonchar Munkhag (c. 850 – 900 AD) was a renowned Mongol warlord and a direct ancestor of Genghis Khan as well as of the Barlas The Barlas ( mn, Barulās, script=Latn;Grupper, S. M. ‘A Barulas Family Narrative in the Yuan Shih: Some Negl ...
(c. 900). When the
JurchenJurchen may refer to: * Jurchen people, Tungusic people who inhabited the region of Manchuria until the 17th century ** Haixi Jurchens, a grouping of the Jurchens as identified by the Chinese of the Ming Dynasty ** Jianzhou Jurchens, a grouping of t ...
Jin dynasty switched support from the Mongols to the
Tatars The Tatars (; tt, , , , crh, tatarlar; otk, 𐱃𐱃𐰺, Tatar) is an umbrella term for different Turkic peoples, Turkic ethnic groups bearing the name "Tatar". Initially, the ethnonym ''Tatar'' possibly referred to the Tatar confederation ...
in 1161, they destroyed
Khabul Khan Khabul Khan ( mn, Хабул хан; ), also rendered as Qabul Khan, Kabul Khan and Khabul Khagan, was the first known Khan of the Khamag Mongol Khamag Mongol ( mn, Хамаг монгол, Khamag mongol, lit=the whole Mongol; ) was a major Mon ...
. Genghis Khan's father,
Yesügei Yesugei Baghatur or Yesükhei ( Traditional Mongolian: ; Modern Mongolian: Есүхэй баатар, ''Yesukhei baatar''), was a major chief of the Khamag Mongol Khamag Mongol ( mn, Хамаг монгол, ''lit. "Whole Mongol"''; ) was a ...
(leader of the
Kiyat A Borjigin; ; russian: Борджигин, Bordžigin; ; English plural: Borjigins or Borjigid iddle Mongolian plural translit. ''Borǰigit'';''Histoire des campagnes de Gengis Khan'', p. 119. anchu language, Manchu plural? is a member ...
-
Borjigin A Borjigin; ; russian: Борджигин, Bordžigin; ; English plural: Borjigins or Borjigid Middle_Mongolian">/nowiki>Middle_Mongolian_plural.html" ;"title="Middle_Mongolian.html" ;"title="/nowiki>Middle Mongolian">/nowiki>Middle Mongolian ...
clan and nephew to
Ambaghai Ambaghai or Hambaqai Khan (; ) was a Khan (title), khan of Khamag Mongol, one of the great grandsons of Khaidu Khan and the cousin and predecessor of Qutula Khan, Hotula Khan. Life Ambaghai was born to Sorqaduqtu China, a son of Charaqai Lingqu ...

Ambaghai
and
Hotula Khan Hotula Khan or Qutula Khan (; Traditional Mongolian:) was a Khan of Khamag Mongol Khamag Mongol ( mn, Хамаг монгол, Khamag mongol, lit=the whole Mongol; ) was a major Mongolic tribal confederation (khanlig) on the Mongolian Plateau ...
), emerged as the head of the ruling Mongol clan. This position was contested by the rival Tayichi'ud clan, who descended directly from
Ambaghai Ambaghai or Hambaqai Khan (; ) was a Khan (title), khan of Khamag Mongol, one of the great grandsons of Khaidu Khan and the cousin and predecessor of Qutula Khan, Hotula Khan. Life Ambaghai was born to Sorqaduqtu China, a son of Charaqai Lingqu ...

Ambaghai
. When the Tatars grew too powerful after 1161, the Jin switched their support from the
Tatars The Tatars (; tt, , , , crh, tatarlar; otk, 𐱃𐱃𐰺, Tatar) is an umbrella term for different Turkic peoples, Turkic ethnic groups bearing the name "Tatar". Initially, the ethnonym ''Tatar'' possibly referred to the Tatar confederation ...
to the
Keraites The Keraites (also ''Kerait, Kereit, Khereid''; ; ) were one of the five dominant Mongol or Turco-Mongol tribal confederations ( khanates) in the Altai-Sayan region during the 12th century. They had converted to the Church of the East ( Nestor ...
.


Tribal upbringing

Little is known about Genghis Khan's early life, due to the lack of contemporary written records. The few sources that give insight into this period often contradict. Temüjin had three brothers
Hasar Qasar (also spelled Hasar or Khasar, and also known as Jo'chi Qasar; Mongolian Mongolian may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Mongolia, a country in Asia * Mongolian people, or Mongols * Mongolia (1911–24), the government of Mongo ...
,
Hachiun Hachiun ( mn, Хачиун), also known as Hachiun Alchi ( mn, Хачиун Алчи) was a full-brother of Genghis Khan ''Chinggis Khaan'' ͡ʃʰiŋɡɪs xaːŋbr>Mongol script The classical or traditional Mongolian script, also known ...
, and Temüge, one sister Temülen, and two half-brothers Begter and
Belgutei Belgudei ( – ) was the son of Yesugei and Sochigel and half-brother to Genghis Khan. He also became general to Genghis Khan. Belgutei was considered a wise counselor and skilled diplomat, and was often used as a messenger by Genghis Khan. With Ge ...
. Like many of the
nomad A nomad ( frm, nomade "people without fixed habitation") is a member of a community without fixed habitation who regularly moves to and from the same areas. Such groups include hunter-gatherer A hunter-gatherer is a human Humans (''Homo ...

nomad
s of Mongolia, Temüjin's early life was difficult. His father arranged a marriage for him and delivered him at age nine to the family of his future wife
Börte Börte (simply Borte, also Börte Üjin; Cyrillic , bg, кирилица , mk, кирилица , russian: кириллица , sr, ћирилица, uk, кирилиця , fam1 = Egyptian hieroglyphs Egyptian hieroglyphs () were the forma ...

Börte
of the tribe
Khongirad The Khongirad (Mongolian language, Mongolian: Хонгирад/Khonghirad), also known as QongiratCentral Asia: Foundations of Change'', by R. D. McChesney, pub Darwin Press, 1996, p202. was one of the major divisions of the Mongol tribes. Varia ...
. Temüjin was to live there serving the head of the household Dai Setsen until the
marriageable age Marriageable age (or marriage age) is the general age, as a legal age or as the minimum age subject to parental, religious or other forms of social acceptance, social approval, at which a person is legitimately allowed for marriage. Age and othe ...
of 12. While heading home, his father ran into the neighboring
Tatars The Tatars (; tt, , , , crh, tatarlar; otk, 𐱃𐱃𐰺, Tatar) is an umbrella term for different Turkic peoples, Turkic ethnic groups bearing the name "Tatar". Initially, the ethnonym ''Tatar'' possibly referred to the Tatar confederation ...
, who had long been Mongol enemies, and they offered his father food which poisoned him. Upon learning this, Temüjin returned home to claim his father's position as chief, but the tribe refused him and abandoned the family, leaving it without protection. For the next several years, the family lived in poverty, surviving mostly on wild fruits, ox ,
marmot Marmots are relatively large ground squirrels in the genus ''Marmota'', with 15 species living in Asia, Europe, and North America. These herbivores are active during the summer when often found in groups, but are not seen during the winter when ...

marmot
s, and other small game killed by Temüjin and his brothers. Temüjin's older half-brother Begter began to exercise power as the eldest male in the family and would eventually have the right to claim Hoelun (who was not his own mother) as a wife. Temüjin's resentment erupted during one hunting excursion when Temüjin and his brother Khasar killed Begter. In a raid around 1177, Temüjin was captured by his father's former allies, the Tayichi'ud, and enslaved, reportedly with a cangue (a sort of portable stocks). With the help of a sympathetic guard, he escaped from the Yurt, ger (yurt) at night by hiding in a river crevice. The escape earned Temüjin a reputation. Soon, Jelme and Bo'orchu joined forces with him. They and the guard's son Chilaun eventually became generals of Genghis Khan. At this time, none of the tribal confederations of Mongolia were united politically, and arranged marriages were often used to solidify temporary alliances. Temüjin's mother Hoelun taught him many lessons, especially the need for strong military alliance, alliances to ensure stability in Mongolia.


Wives and concubines

As was common for powerful Mongol men, Genghis Khan had many wives and concubines. These women were often queens or princesses that were taken captive from the territories he conquered or gifted to him by allies, vassals or other tribal acquaintances. Genghis Khan gave several of his high-status wives their own ''ordos'' or camps to live in and manage. Each camp also contained junior wives, concubines, and even children. It was the job of the Kheshig (Mongol imperial guard) to protect the yurts of Genghis Khan's wives. The guards had to pay particular attention to the individual yurt and camp in which Genghis Khan slept, which could change every night as he visited different wives. When Genghis Khan set out on his military conquests, he usually took one wife with him and left the rest of his wives (and concubines) to manage the empire in his absence. Genghis Khan's principal or most famous wives and concubines included:
Börte Börte (simply Borte, also Börte Üjin; Cyrillic , bg, кирилица , mk, кирилица , russian: кириллица , sr, ћирилица, uk, кирилиця , fam1 = Egyptian hieroglyphs Egyptian hieroglyphs () were the forma ...

Börte
, Yesugen, Yesui, Khulan khatun, Möge Khatun, Juerbiesu and Ibaqa Beki.


Uniting the Mongol confederations, 1184–1206

In the early 12th century, the Central Asian plateau north of China was divided into several prominent tribal confederations, including Naimans, Merkits, Tatars,
Khamag Mongol Khamag Mongol ( mn, Хамаг монгол, Khamag mongol, lit=the whole Mongol; ) was a major Mongolic tribal confederation (khanlig) on the Mongolian Plateau The Mongolian Plateau is the part of the Central Asia, Central Asian Plateau lyi ...
s, and
Keraites The Keraites (also ''Kerait, Kereit, Khereid''; ; ) were one of the five dominant Mongol or Turco-Mongol tribal confederations ( khanates) in the Altai-Sayan region during the 12th century. They had converted to the Church of the East ( Nestor ...
, that were often unfriendly towards each other, as evidenced by random raids, revenge attacks, and Looting, plundering.


Early attempts at power

Temüjin began his ascent to power by offering himself as an ally (or, according to other sources, a vassal) to his father's ''anda'' (sworn brother or blood brother)
Toghrul Toghrul ( mn, Тоорил хан ''Tooril han''; ), also known as Wang Khan or Ong Khan ( ''Wan han''; ; died 1203) was a Khan (title), khan of the Keraites. He was the blood brother (anda (Mongol), anda) of the Mongol chief Yesugei and served ...

Toghrul
, who was Khan (title), Khan of the
Keraites The Keraites (also ''Kerait, Kereit, Khereid''; ; ) were one of the five dominant Mongol or Turco-Mongol tribal confederations ( khanates) in the Altai-Sayan region during the 12th century. They had converted to the Church of the East ( Nestor ...
. This relationship was first reinforced when
Börte Börte (simply Borte, also Börte Üjin; Cyrillic , bg, кирилица , mk, кирилица , russian: кириллица , sr, ћирилица, uk, кирилиця , fam1 = Egyptian hieroglyphs Egyptian hieroglyphs () were the forma ...

Börte
was kidnapped by Merkits in around 1184. To win her back, Temüjin called on the support of Toghrul, who offered 20,000 of his Keraite warriors and suggested that Temüjin involve his childhood friend Jamukha, who was Khan of his own tribe, the Jadaran.


Rift with Jamukha and defeat

As Jamukha and Temüjin drifted apart in their friendship, each began consolidating power, and they became rivals. Jamukha supported the traditional Mongolian nobility, Mongolian aristocracy, while Temüjin followed a Meritocracy, meritocratic method, and attracted a broader range and lower class of followers. Following his earlier defeat of the Merkits, and a proclamation by the Shamanism, shaman Kokochu that the Tengrism, Eternal Blue Sky had set aside the world for Temüjin, Temüjin began rising to power. In 1186, Temüjin was elected khan of the Mongols. Threatened by this rise, Jamukha attacked Temujin in 1187 with an army of 30,000 troops. Temüjin gathered his followers to defend against the attack, but was decisively beaten in the Battle of Dalan Balzhut. However, Jamukha horrified and alienated potential followers by Death by boiling, boiling 70 young male captives alive in cauldrons. Toghrul, as Temüjin's patron, was exiled to the Qara Khitai. The life of Temüjin for the next 10 years is unclear, as historical records are mostly silent on that period.


Return to power

Around the year 1197, the Jin initiated an attack against their formal vassal, the
Tatars The Tatars (; tt, , , , crh, tatarlar; otk, 𐱃𐱃𐰺, Tatar) is an umbrella term for different Turkic peoples, Turkic ethnic groups bearing the name "Tatar". Initially, the ethnonym ''Tatar'' possibly referred to the Tatar confederation ...
, with help from the
Keraites The Keraites (also ''Kerait, Kereit, Khereid''; ; ) were one of the five dominant Mongol or Turco-Mongol tribal confederations ( khanates) in the Altai-Sayan region during the 12th century. They had converted to the Church of the East ( Nestor ...
and Mongols. Temüjin commanded part of this attack, and after victory, he and Toghrul were restored by the Jin to positions of power. The Jin bestowed Toghrul with the honorable title of Ong Khan, and Temüjin with a lesser title of ''j'aut quri''. Around 1200, the main rivals of the Khamag Mongol, Mongol confederation (traditionally the "Mongols") were the Naimans to the west, the Merkits to the north, the Tanguts to the south, and the Jin to the east. In his rule and his conquest of rival tribes, Temüjin 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 the Yassa code of law, Temüjin promised civilians and soldiers wealth from future war spoils. When he defeated rival tribes, he did not drive away their soldiers and abandon their civilians. 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 Temüjin stronger with each victory.


Rift with Toghrul

Senggum, son of Toghrul (Wang Khan), envied Genghis Khan's growing power and affinity with his father. He allegedly planned to assassinate Genghis Khan. Although Toghrul was allegedly saved on multiple occasions by Genghis Khan, he gave in to his son and became uncooperative with Genghis Khan. Genghis Khan learned of Senggum's intentions and eventually defeated him and his loyalists. One of the later ruptures between Genghis Khan and Toghrul was Toghrul's refusal to give his daughter in marriage to Jochi, Genghis Khan's first son. This was disrespectful in Mongolian culture and led to a war. Toghrul allied with Jamukha, who already opposed Genghis Khan's forces. However, the dispute between Toghrul and Jamukha, plus the desertion of a number of their allies to Genghis Khan, led to Toghrul's defeat. Jamukha escaped during the conflict. This defeat was a catalyst for the fall and eventual dissolution of the Keraites, Keraite tribe. After conquering his way steadily through the Alchi Tatars, Keraites, and Uhaz Merkits and acquiring at least one wife each time, Temüjin turned to the next threat on the steppe, the Turkic Naimans under the leadership of Tayang khan, Tayang Khan with whom Jamukha and his followers took refuge. The Naimans did not surrender, although enough sectors again voluntarily sided with Genghis Khan. In 1201, a kurultai, khuruldai elected Jamukha as Khan (title), Gür Khan, "universal ruler", a title used by the rulers of the Qara Khitai. Jamukha's assumption of this title was the final breach with Genghis Khan, and Jamukha formed a coalition of tribes to oppose him. Before the conflict, several generals abandoned Jamukha, including Subutai, Jelme's well-known younger brother. After several battles, Jamukha was turned over to Genghis Khan by his own men in 1206. According to the ''Secret History'', Genghis Khan again offered his friendship to Jamukha. Genghis Khan had killed the men who betrayed Jamukha, stating that he did not want disloyal men in his army. Jamukha refused the offer, saying that there can only be one sun in the sky, and he asked for a noble death. The custom was to die without spilling blood, specifically by having one's back broken. Jamukha requested this form of death, although he was known to have boiled his opponents' generals alive.


Sole ruler of the Mongol plains

The part of the Merkit clan that sided with the Naimans were defeated by Subutai, who was by then a member of Genghis Khan's personal guard and later became one of Genghis Khan's most successful commanders. The Naimans' defeat left Genghis Khan as the sole ruler of the Eurasian Steppe, Mongol steppe – all the prominent confederations fell or united under his 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 Jamukha (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 allegedly tried to drive a wedge between him and his loyal brother Khasar. His military strategy, military strategies showed a deep interest in gathering intelligence (information gathering), intelligence and understanding the motivations of his rivals, exemplified by his extensive spy network and Yam (route), Yam route systems. He seemed to be a quick student, adopting new technologies and ideas that he encountered, such as siege warfare from the Military history of China (pre-1911), Chinese. He was also ruthless, demonstrated by his tactic of measuring against the linchpin, used against the tribes led by Jamukha. As a result, by 1206, Genghis Khan had managed to unite or subdue the Merkits, Naimans, Mongols, Keraites,
Tatars The Tatars (; tt, , , , crh, tatarlar; otk, 𐱃𐱃𐰺, Tatar) is an umbrella term for different Turkic peoples, Turkic ethnic groups bearing the name "Tatar". Initially, the ethnonym ''Tatar'' possibly referred to the Tatar confederation ...
, Uyghur people, Uyghurs, and other disparate smaller tribes under his rule. This was a monumental feat. It resulted in peace between previously warring tribes, and a single political and military force. The union became known as the Mongols. At a ''Kurultai, Khuruldai'', a council of Mongol chiefs, Genghis Khan was acknowledged as Khan (title), Khan of the consolidated tribes and took the new #Name and title, title "Genghis Khan". The title Khagan was conferred posthumously by his son and successor Ögedei who took the title for himself (as he was also to be posthumously declared the founder of the
Yuan dynasty The Yuan dynasty (), officially the Great Yuan (; xng, , , literally "Great Yuan State"), was a successor state Successor is someone who, or something which succeeds or comes after (see success and succession) Film and TV * ''The Succ ...
). According to the Secret History of the Mongols, the chieftains of the conquered tribes pledged to Genghis Khan by proclaiming:
"We will make you Khan; you shall ride at our head, against our foes. We will throw ourselves like lightning on your enemies. We will bring you their finest women and girls, their rich tents like palaces."


Military campaigns, 1207–1227


Western Xia Dynasty

During the 1206 political rise of Genghis Khan, the Mongol Empire created by Genghis Khan and his allies shared its western borders with the of the Tangut people, Tangut
Western Xia The Western Xia or the Xi Xia (), officially the Great Xia (), also known as the Tangut Empire, and known as ''Mi-nyak''Stein (1972), pp. 70–71. to Tanguts and Tibetans, was a Tangut people, Tangut-ruled empire and a Dynasties in C ...

Western Xia
dynasty. To the east and south of the Western Xia dynasty was the militarily superior Jin dynasty, founded by the Manchurian Jurchen people, Jurchens, who ruled northern China as well as being the traditional overlords of the Mongolian tribes for centuries.May 2012, pg. 1211 Though militarily inferior to the neighboring Jin, the Western Xia still exerted a significant influence upon the adjacent northern steppes. Following the death of the
Keraites The Keraites (also ''Kerait, Kereit, Khereid''; ; ) were one of the five dominant Mongol or Turco-Mongol tribal confederations ( khanates) in the Altai-Sayan region during the 12th century. They had converted to the Church of the East ( Nestor ...
leader Ong Khan to Temujin's emerging
Mongol Empire The Mongol Empire of the 13th and 14th centuries was the List of largest empires, largest contiguous land empire in history and the second largest empire by landmass, second only to the British Empire. Originating in Mongolia in East Asia, the ...
in 1203, Keriat leader Nilqa Senggum led a small band of followers into Western Xia before later being expelled from Western Xia territory. Using his rival Nilga Senggum's temporary refuge in Western Xia as a pretext, Temujin launched a raid against the state in 1205 in the Khara-Khoto, Edsin region. The next year, in 1206, Temujin was formally proclaimed Genghis Khan, ruler of all the Mongols, marking the official start of the Mongol Empire, and the same year Emperor Huanzong of Western Xia, Emperor Huanzong of the Western Xia was deposed by Li Anquan in a coup d'état. In 1207, Genghis led another raid into Western Xia, invading the Ordos Loop, Ordos region and sacking Wuhai, the main garrison along the Yellow River, before withdrawing in 1208. Genghis then began preparing for a full-scale invasion, organizing his people, army and state to first prepare for war. By invading Western Xia, Temujin would gain a tribute-paying vassal, and also would take control of caravan routes along the
Silk Road The Silk Road () was and is a network of trade routes connecting the Eastern world, East and Western culture, West, from the 2nd century BCE to the 18th century CE. It was central to the economic, cultural, political, and religious interactions ...

Silk Road
and provide the Mongols with valuable revenue.Kohn 2007, pg. 205 Furthermore, from Western Xia he could launch raids into the even more wealthy Jin dynasty. He correctly believed that the more powerful young ruler of the Jin dynasty would not come to the aid of the Western Xia. When the Tanguts requested help from the Jin dynasty, they were refused. Despite initial difficulties in capturing Western Xia cities, Genghis Khan managed to force Emperor Renzong of Western Xia, Emperor Renzong to submit to vassal status.


Jin dynasty

In 1211, after the conquest of Western Xia, Genghis Khan planned again to conquer the Jin dynasty. Luckily for the Mongols, Wanyan Jiujin, the field commander of the Jin army made several tactical mistakes, including avoiding attacking the Mongols at the first opportunity using his overwhelming numerical superiority, and instead initially fortifying behind the Great wall. At the subsequent Battle of Yehuling, which the Jin commander later committed to in the hope of using the mountainous terrain to his advantage against the Mongols, the general's emissary Shimo Ming'an, Ming'an defected to the Mongol side and instead handed over intelligence on the movements of the Jin army, which was subsequently outmanoeuvred, resulting in hundreds of thousands of Jin casualties. In 1215, Genghis besieged the Jin capital of Zhongdu (modern-day Beijing). According to Ivar Lissner, the inhabitants resorted to firing gold and silver cannon shot on the Mongols with their muzzle-loading cannons when their supply of metal for ammunition ran out. The city was captured and sacked. This forced the Jin ruler, Emperor Xuanzong of Jin, Emperor Xuanzong, to move his capital south to Kaifeng, abandoning the northern half of his empire to the Mongols. Between 1232 and 1233, Mongol siege of Kaifeng, Kaifeng fell to the Mongols under the reign of Genghis's third son, Ögedei Khan. The Jin dynasty collapsed in 1234, after the siege of Caizhou.


Qara Khitai

Kuchlug, the deposed Khan (title), Khan of the Naimans, Naiman confederation that Temüjin defeated and folded into his Mongol Empire, fled west and usurped the khanate of Qara Khitai (also known as the Western Liao, as it was originally established as remnants of the Liao dynasty). Genghis Khan decided to conquer the Qara Khitai and defeat Kuchlug, 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 and Jin dynasty. Therefore, Genghis sent only two Tumen (unit), tumen (20,000 soldiers) against Kuchlug, under his younger general, Jebe, 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 Qara Khitai more vulnerable to Mongol conquest. As a result, Kuchlug's army was defeated west of Kashgar. Kuchlug fled again, but was soon hunted down by Jebe's army and executed. By 1218, as a result of the defeat of Qara Khitai, the Mongol Empire and its control extended as far west as Lake Balkhash, which bordered Khwarezmia, Khwarazmia, a Muslim state that reached the Caspian Sea to the west and Persian Gulf and the Arabian Sea to the south.


Khwarazmian Empire

In the early 13th century, the Khwarazmian dynasty was governed by Shah Muhammad II of Khwarezm, Ala ad-Din Muhammad. Genghis Khan saw the potential advantage in Khwarazmia as a commercial trading partner using the
Silk Road The Silk Road () was and is a network of trade routes connecting the Eastern world, East and Western culture, West, from the 2nd century BCE to the 18th century CE. It was central to the economic, cultural, political, and religious interactions ...

Silk Road
, and he initially sent a 500-man camel train, caravan to establish official trade ties with the empire. Genghis Khan and his family and commanders ortogh, invested in the caravan gold, silver, silk, various kinds of textiles and fabrics and pelts to trade with the Muslim traders in the Khwarazmian lands. However, Inalchuq, the governor of the Khwarazmian city of Otrar, attacked the caravan, claiming that the caravan contained spies and therefore was a conspiracy against Khwarazmia. The situation became further complicated because the governor later refused to make repayments for the looting of the caravans and hand over the perpetrators. Genghis Khan then sent a second group of three ambassadors (two Mongols and a Muslim) to meet the Shah himself, instead of the governor Inalchuq. The Shah had all the men shaved and the Muslim decapitation, beheaded and sent his head back with the two remaining ambassadors. Outraged, Genghis Khan planned one of his largest invasion campaigns by organizing together around 100,000 soldiers (10 Tumen (unit), tumens), 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 Ögedei to be his immediate successor and then went out to Khwarazmia. The Mongol army under Genghis Khan, generals and his sons crossed the Tian Shan, Tien Shan mountains by entering the area controlled by the Khwarezmian Empire, Khwarazmian Empire. After compiling intelligence from many sources Genghis Khan carefully prepared his army, which was divided into three groups. His son Jochi led the first division into the northeast of Khwarazmia. The second division under Jebe marched secretly to the southeast part of Khwarazmia to form, with the first division, a Pincer movement, pincer attack on Samarkand. The third division under Genghis Khan and Tolui marched to the northwest and attacked Khwarazmia from that direction. The Shah's army was split by diverse internecine feuds and by the Shah's decision to divide his army into small groups concentrated in various cities. This fragmentation was decisive in Khwarazmia's defeats, as it allowed the Mongols, although exhausted from the long journey, to immediately set about defeating small fractions of the Khwarazmian forces instead of facing a unified defense. The Mongol army quickly seized the town of Otrar, 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. Genghis Khan next advanced on the city of Bukhara, which was not heavily fortified, with just a moat and a single wall, and the citadel typical of Khwarazmian 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. The 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. After the surrender of Bukhara, Genghis Khan also took the unprecedented step of personally entering the city, after which he had the city's aristocrats and elites brought to the mosque, where, through interpreters, he lectured them on their misdeeds, saying: "If you had not committed great sins, God would not have sent a punishment like me upon you." With the capture of Bukhara, the way was clear for the Mongols to advance on the capital of Samarkand, which possessed significantly better fortifications and a larger garrison compared to Bukhara. To overcome the city, the Mongols engaged in intensive psychological warfare, including the use of captured Khwarazmian prisoners as body shields. After several days only a few remaining soldiers, loyal supporters of the Shah, held out in the citadel. After the fortress fell, Genghis executed every soldier that had taken arms against him. According to the Persian historian Ata-Malik Juvayni, the people of Samarkand were then 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. Similarly, Juvayni wrote that in the city Termez, to the south of Samarkand, "all the people, both men and women, were driven out onto the plain, and divided in accordance with their usual custom, then they were all slain". Juvayni's account of mass killings at these sites is not corroborated by modern archaeology. Instead of killing local populations, the Mongols tended to enslave the conquered and either send them to Mongolia to act as menial labor or retain them for use in the war effort. The effect was still mass depopulation. The piling of a "pyramid of severed heads" happened not at Samarkand but at Nishapur, where Genghis Khan's son-in-law Toquchar was killed by an arrow shot from the city walls after the residents revolted. The Khan then allowed his widowed daughter, who was pregnant at the time, to decide the fate of the city, and she decreed that the entire population be killed. She also supposedly ordered that every dog, cat and any other animals in the city by slaughtered, "so that no living thing would survive the murder of her husband". The sentence was duly carried out by the Khan's youngest son Tolui.The Truth About Nishapur
How Stuff Works. Retrieved April 27, 2021
According to widely circulated but unverified stories, the severed heads were then erected in separate piles for the men, women and children. Near to the end of the battle for Samarkand, the Shah fled rather than surrender. Genghis Khan subsequently ordered two of his generals, Subutai and Jebe, to destroy the remnants of the Khwarazmian Empire, giving them 20,000 men and two years to do this. The Shah died under mysterious circumstances on a small island in the Caspian Sea that he had retreated to with his remaining loyal forces. Meanwhile, the wealthy trading city of Konya-Urgench, Urgench was still in the hands of Khwarazmian 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 Ata al-Mulk Juvayni, Juvayni 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. These numbers are considered logistically implausible by modern scholars, but the sacking of Urgench was no doubt a bloody affair.


Georgia, Crimea, Kievan Rus and Volga Bulgaria

After the defeat of the Khwarazmian Empire in 1220, Genghis Khan gathered his forces in Iran, Persia and Armenia to return to the Mongolian steppes. Under the suggestion of Subutai, the Mongol army was split into two forces. Genghis Khan led the main army on a raid through Afghanistan and northern India towards Mongolia, while another 20,000 (two Tumen (unit), tumen) contingent marched through the Caucasus and into Russia under generals Jebe and Subutai. They pushed deep into Armenia and Azerbaijan. The Mongols defeated the kingdom of Georgia, sacked the Republic of Genoa, Genoese trade-fortress of Caffa in Crimea and overwintered near the Black Sea. Heading home, Subutai's forces attacked the allied forces of the Cuman–Kipchak people, Kipchaks and the poorly coordinated 80,000 Kievan Rus' troops led by Mstislav the Bold of Halych and Mstislav III of Kiev who went out to stop the Mongols' actions in the area. Subutai sent emissaries to the Slavs, Slavic 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. They may have been defeated by the neighbouring Volga Bulgars at the Battle of Samara Bend. There is no historical record except a short account by the Arab historian Ibn al-Athir, writing in Mosul some away from the event.John Chambers, ''The Devil's Horsemen: The Mongol Invasion of Europe'', Atheneum, 1979. p. 31 Various historical secondary sources – Morgan, Chambers, Grousset – state that the Mongols actually defeated the Bulgars, Chambers even going so far as to say that the Bulgars had made up stories to tell the (recently crushed) Russians that they had beaten the Mongols and driven them from their territory. The Russian princes then sued for peace. Subutai agreed but was in no mood to pardon the princes. Not only had the Rus put up strong resistance, but also Jebe – with whom Subutai had campaigned for years – had been killed just prior to the Battle of Kalka River. 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, 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 Mongol invasion of Europe, conquest of Hungary and Europe. Genghis Khan recalled Subutai back to Mongolia soon afterwards. The famous cavalry expedition led by Subutai and Jebe, in which they encircled the entire Caspian Sea defeating all armies in their path, remains unparalleled to this day, and word of the Mongol triumphs began to trickle to other nations, particularly in 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 and Iran, Persia to an already formidable empire while destroying any resistance along the way. Later under Genghis Khan's grandson Batu Khan, Batu and the Golden Horde, the Mongols returned to conquer Volga Bulgaria and Kievan Rus' in 1237, concluding the campaign in 1240.


Western Xia and Jin Dynasty

The vassal emperor of the Tanguts (Western Xia) had earlier refused to take part in the Mongol war against the Khwarezmid Empire. Western Xia and the defeated Jin dynasty formed a coalition to resist the Mongols, counting on the campaign against the Khwarazmians to preclude the Mongols from responding effectively. In 1226, immediately after returning from the west, Genghis Khan began a retaliatory attack on the Tanguts. His armies quickly took Heisui, Zhangye, Ganzhou, and Suzhou (not the Suzhou in Jiangsu province), and in the autumn he took Western Liang (Sixteen Kingdoms), Xiliang-fu. One of the Tangut generals challenged the Mongols to a battle near Helan Mountains but was defeated. In November, Genghis laid siege to the Tangut city Lingwu, Lingzhou and crossed the Yellow River, 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 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 County, Gansu 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 royal lineage.


Death and succession

Genghis Khan died in August 1227, during the fall of
Yinchuan Yinchuan is the capital of the Ningxia, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, China, People's Republic of China. and historically it was the former capital of the Western Xia, Western Xia Empire of the Tangut people, Tanguts. It has an area of and a ...

Yinchuan
, which is the capital of
Western Xia The Western Xia or the Xi Xia (), officially the Great Xia (), also known as the Tangut Empire, and known as ''Mi-nyak''Stein (1972), pp. 70–71. to Tanguts and Tibetans, was a Tangut people, Tangut-ruled empire and a Dynasties in C ...

Western Xia
. The exact cause of his death remains a mystery, and is variously attributed to being killed in action against the Western Xia, illness, falling from his horse, or wounds sustained in hunting or battle. According to ''
The Secret History of the Mongols ''The Secret History of the Mongols'' (Middle Mongol Middle Mongol or Middle Mongolian, was a Mongolic languages, Mongolic koiné language spoken in the Mongol Empire. Originating from Genghis Khan's home region of Northeastern Mongolia, it di ...
'', Genghis Khan fell from his horse while hunting and died because of the injury. He was already old and tired from his journeys. The ''Galician–Volhynian Chronicle'' alleges he was killed by the Western Xia in battle, while Marco Polo wrote that he died after the infection of an arrow wound he received during his final campaign. Later Mongol chronicles connect Genghis's death with a Western Xia princess taken as war booty. One chronicle from the early 17th century even relates the legend that the princess hid a small dagger and stabbed him, though some Mongol authors have doubted this version and suspected it to be an invention by the rival Oirats, Oirads. Years before his death, 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 (, mn, Монгол Улс, Mongol Uls, Mongolian script, Traditional Mongolian: '; literal translation, lit. "Mongol Nation" or "State of Mongolia") is a landlocked country in East Asia. It is bordered by Russia Mongolia–Russia ...

Mongolia
and presumably to his birthplace in Khentii Province, Khentii Aimag, where many assume he is buried somewhere close to the Onon River and the
Burkhan Khaldun The Burkhan Khaldun (Mongolian Cyrillic alphabet, Cyrillic: Бурхан Халдун) is one of the Khentii Mountains in the Khentii Province of northeastern Mongolia. The mountain or its locality is believed to be the birthplace of Genghis Kh ...
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. Before Genghis Khan died, he assigned
Ögedei Khan Ögedei (also Ogodei; mn, Өгэдэй, translit=Ögedei, Mongolian Mongolian may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Mongolia, a country in Asia * Mongolian people, or Mongols * Mongolia (1911–24), the government of Mongolia, 1911 ...
as his successor. 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. By tradition, the youngest son inherits his father's property. Jochi, Chagatai Khan, Chagatai,
Ögedei Khan Ögedei (also Ogodei; mn, Өгэдэй, translit=Ögedei, Mongolian Mongolian may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Mongolia, a country in Asia * Mongolian people, or Mongols * Mongolia (1911–24), the government of Mongolia, 1911 ...
, 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. The title of Great Khan based to Ögedei, the third son of Genghis Khan, making him the second Great Khan (Khagan) of the Mongol Empire. Genghis Khan's eldest son, Jochi, died in 1226, during his father's lifetime. Chagatai, Genghis Khan's second son was meanwhile passed over, according to ''
The Secret History of the Mongols ''The Secret History of the Mongols'' (Middle Mongol Middle Mongol or Middle Mongolian, was a Mongolic languages, Mongolic koiné language spoken in the Mongol Empire. Originating from Genghis Khan's home region of Northeastern Mongolia, it di ...
'', over a row just before the invasion of the Khwarezmid Empire in which Chagatai declared before his father and brothers that he would never accept Jochi as Genghis Khan's successor due to questions about his elder brother's parentage. In response to this tension and possibly for other reasons, Ögedei was appointed as successor. Later, his grandsons Division of the Mongol Empire, split his empire into khanates. Genghis Khan died in 1227 after defeating the Western Xia. His Descent from Genghis Khan, descendants extended the Mongol Empire across most of Eurasia by conquering or creating vassal states in all of modern-day China, Korea, the Caucasus, Central Asia, and substantial portions of Eastern Europe and Southwest Asia. Many of these invasions repeated the earlier large-scale slaughters of local populations.


Organizational philosophy


Politics and economics

The Mongol Empire was governed by a civilian and military code (law), code, called the Yassa, created by Genghis Khan. The Mongol Empire did not emphasize the importance of ethnicity and Race (classification of human beings), race in the administrative realm, instead adopting an approach grounded in
meritocracy Meritocracy (''merit'', from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" o ...
. 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 the Mongols, Mongol people, Turkic peoples, Turkic peoples, and others. There were Khan (title), Khans of various non-Mongolian ethnicities such as Muhammad Khan (Ilkhan), Muhammad Khan. There were tax exemptions for religious figures and, to some extent, teachers and doctors. The Mongol Empire practiced
religious tolerance Toleration is the allowing, permitting, or acceptance of an action, idea, object, or person which one dislikes or disagrees with. Political scientist Andrew R. Murphy explains that "We can improve our understanding by defining "toleration" as a ...
because Mongol tradition had long held that religion was a personal concept, and not subject to law or interference. Genghis Khan was a Tengrist, but was Religious tolerance, religiously tolerant and interested in learning philosophical and moral lessons from other religions. He consulted Buddhism, Buddhist monks (including the Zen monk Haiyun), Islam, Muslims, Christianity, Christian missionaries, and the Taoism, Taoist monk Qiu Chuji. Sometime before the rise of Genghis Khan, Ong Khan, his mentor and eventual rival, had converted to Nestorianism, Nestorian Christianity. Various Mongol tribes were Shamanist, Buddhist 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 civilian, civil state under the Great Yassa that would have established the legal equality of all individuals, including women's rights, women. However, there is no evidence of this, or of the lifting of discriminatory policies towards Sedentism, sedentary peoples such as the Chinese. Women played a relatively important role in the Mongol Empire and in the family, for example Töregene Khatun was briefly in charge of the Mongol Empire while the next male leader Khagan was being chosen. Modern scholars refer to the alleged policy of encouraging trade and communication as the Pax Mongolica (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 people, Khitan prince, Yelü Chucai, Chu'Tsai, who worked for the Jin and had been captured by the Mongol army after the Jin dynasty was defeated. Jin had risen to power by displacing the Khitan people. 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; also he did not consider his own father his enemy, so the question of revenge did not apply. This reply impressed Genghis Khan. 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, 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. Muqali, a trusted lieutenant, was given command of the Mongol forces against the Jin dynasty while Genghis Khan was fighting in Central Asia, and Subutai and Jebe were allowed to pursue the Great Raid into the Caucasus and Kievan Rus', an idea they had presented to the Khagan on their own initiative. While granting his generals a great deal of autonomy in making command decisions, Genghis Khan also expected unwavering loyalty from them. 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 military tactics, tactic of the Mongol military was the commonly practiced Withdrawal (military), feigned retreat to break enemy formations and to lure small enemy groups away from the larger group and defended position for ambush and counterattack. Another important aspect of the military organization of Genghis Khan was the transport, communications and Materiel, supply route or ''Yam (route), Yam'', adapted from previous Chinese models. Genghis Khan dedicated special attention to this in order to speed up the gathering of military intelligence and official communications. To this end, Yam waystations were established all over the empire.


Impressions


Positive

Genghis Khan is credited with bringing the
Silk Road The Silk Road () was and is a network of trade routes connecting the Eastern world, East and Western culture, West, from the 2nd century BCE to the 18th century CE. It was central to the economic, cultural, political, and religious interactions ...

Silk Road
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 (''merit'', from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" o ...
in his rule, was tolerant of religions and explained his policies clearly to all his soldiers. Genghis Khan had a notably positive reputation among some western European authors in the Middle Ages, who knew little concrete information about his empire in Asia. The Italian explorer Marco Polo said that Genghis Khan "was a man of great worth, and of great ability, and valor", while philosopher and inventor Roger Bacon applauded the scientific and philosophical vigor of Genghis Khan's empire, and the famed writer Geoffrey Chaucer wrote concerning : In Mongolia, Genghis Khan has meanwhile been revered for centuries by Mongols and many Turkic peoples because of his association with tribal statehood, political and military organization, and victories in war. As the principle unifying figure in Mongolian history, he remains a larger-than-life figure in Culture of Mongolia, Mongolian culture. He is credited with introducing the Mongolian script and creating the first written Mongolian code of law, in the form of the Yassa. During the Mongolian People's Republic, communist period in Mongolia, Genghis was often described by the government as a reactionary figure, and positive statements about him were 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 and the dismissal of secretary Tömör-Ochir of the ruling Mongolian People's Party, Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party Central Committee. In the early 1990s, the memory of Genghis Khan underwent a powerful revival, partly in reaction to its suppression during the Mongolian People's Republic period. Genghis Khan became a symbol of national identity for many younger Mongolians, who 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.


Mixed

There are conflicting views of Genghis Khan in China, which suffered a drastic Population decline, decline in population.William Bonner, Addison Wiggin (2006).
Empire of debt: the rise of an epic financial crisis
'. John Wiley and Sons. pp.43–44.
The population of north China decreased from 50 million in the 1195 census to 8.5 million in the Mongol census of 1235–36. However many were victims of plague. In Hebei province alone, 9 out of 10 were killed by the Black Death when Toghon Temür was enthroned in 1333. Northern China was also struck by floods and famine long after the war in northern China was over in 1234 and not killed by Mongols.Yuan Dynasty: Ancient China Dynasties, paragraph 3.
/ref> The Black Death also contributed. By 1351, two out of three people in China had died of the plague, helping to spur armed rebellion, most notably in the form of the Red Turban Rebellions, Red Turban movement. An unknown number of people also migrated to Southern China in this period, including under the preceding Southern Song dynasty. The Mongols also spared many cities from massacre and sacking if they surrendered, including Kaifeng, Yangzhou, and Hangzhou. Ethnic Han and Khitan soldiers defected en masse to Genghis Khan against the
JurchenJurchen may refer to: * Jurchen people, Tungusic people who inhabited the region of Manchuria until the 17th century ** Haixi Jurchens, a grouping of the Jurchens as identified by the Chinese of the Ming Dynasty ** Jianzhou Jurchens, a grouping of t ...
-led Jin dynasty. Equally, while Genghis never conquered all of China, his grandson
Kublai Khan Kublai (; also spelled Qubilai or Kübilai; mn, Хубилай, Khubilai ; ; 23 September  1215 – 18 February 1294), also known by his temple name as Emperor Shizu of Yuan, was the fifth khagan-Emperor of China, emperor of the Mongol Empir ...

Kublai Khan
, by completing that conquest and establishing the
Yuan dynasty The Yuan dynasty (), officially the Great Yuan (; xng, , , literally "Great Yuan State"), was a successor state Successor is someone who, or something which succeeds or comes after (see success and succession) Film and TV * ''The Succ ...
, is often credited with re-uniting China, and there is a great deal of Chinese artwork and literature praising Genghis as a military leader and political genius. The
Yuan dynasty The Yuan dynasty (), officially the Great Yuan (; xng, , , literally "Great Yuan State"), was a successor state Successor is someone who, or something which succeeds or comes after (see success and succession) Film and TV * ''The Succ ...
left an indelible imprint on Chinese political and social structures and a cultural legacy that outshone the preceding Jin dynasty.


Negative

The conquests and leadership of Genghis Khan included widespread devastation and mass murder. The targets of campaigns that refused to surrender would often be subject to reprisals in the form of enslavement and wholesale slaughter. The second campaign against
Western Xia The Western Xia or the Xi Xia (), officially the Great Xia (), also known as the Tangut Empire, and known as ''Mi-nyak''Stein (1972), pp. 70–71. to Tanguts and Tibetans, was a Tangut people, Tangut-ruled empire and a Dynasties in C ...

Western Xia
, the final military action led by Genghis Khan, and during which he died, involved an intentional and systematic destruction of Western Xia cities and culture. According to John Man (author), John Man, because of this policy of total obliteration, Western Xia is little known to anyone other than experts in the field because so little record is left of that society. He states that "There is a case to be made that this was the first ever recorded example of attempted genocide. It was certainly very successful ''ethnocide''." In the Mongol conquest of Khwarezmia, conquest of Khwarezmia under Genghis Khan, the Mongols razed the cities of Bukhara, Samarkand, Herat, Herāt, Tus, Iran, Ṭūs, and Nishapur, Neyshābūr and killed the respective urban populations. His invasions are considered the beginning of a 200-year period known in Iran and other Islamic societies as the "Mongol catastrophe." Ali ibn al-Athir, Ibn al-Athir, Ata-Malik Juvayni, Ata-Malik Juvaini, Seraj al-Din Jozjani, and Rashid-al-Din Hamadani, Rashid al-Din Fazl-Allah Hamedani, Iranian historians from the time of Mongol occupation, describe the Mongol invasions as a catastrophe never before seen. A number of present-day Iranian historians, including Zabihollah Safa, Zabih Allah Safa, have likewise viewed the period initiated by Genghis Khan as a uniquely catastrophic era. Steven R. Ward writes that the Mongol violence and depredations in the Iranian Plateau "killed up to three-fourths of the population... 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." Although the famous Mughal emperors were proud descendants of Genghis Khan and particularly Timur, they clearly distanced themselves from the Mongol atrocities committed against the Khwarizim Shahs, Turkic peoples, Turks, Persian people, Persians, the citizens of Baghdad and Damascus, Nishapur, Bukhara and historical figures such as Attar of Nishapur and many other notable
Muslim Muslims () are people who follow or practice Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", ...

Muslim
s. However, Mughal Emperors directly patronized the legacies of Genghis Khan and Timur; together their names were synonymous with the names of other distinguished personalities particularly among the Muslim populations of South Asia.


Depictions


Medieval

Unlike most emperors, Genghis Khan never allowed his image to be portrayed in paintings or sculptures. The earliest known images of Genghis Khan were produced half a century after his death, including the famous National Palace Museum portrait in Taiwan. The portrait portrays Genghis Khan wearing white robes, a leather warming cap and his hair tied in braids, much like a similar depiction of Kublai Khan. This portrait is often considered to represent the closest resemblance to what Genghis Khan actually looked like, though it, like all others renderings, suffers from the same limitation of being, at best, a facial composite. Like many of the earliest images of Genghis Khan, the Chinese-style portrait presents the Great Khan in a manner more akin to a Mandarin (bureaucrat), Mandarin sage than a Mongol warrior. Other portrayals of Genghis Khan from other cultures likewise characterized him according to their particular image of him: in Persia he was portrayed as a Turkic peoples, Turkic sultan and in Europe he was pictured as an ugly barbarian with a fierce face and cruel eyes. According to sinologist Herbert Giles, Herbert Allen Giles, a Mongol painter known as Ho-li-hosun (also known as Khorisun or Qooriqosun) was commissioned by Kublai Khan in 1278 to paint the National Palace Museum portrait. The story goes that Kublai Khan ordered Khorisun, along with the other entrusted remaining followers of Genghis Khan, to ensure the portrait reflected the Great Khan's true image. The only individuals to have recorded Genghis Khan's physical appearance during his lifetime were the Persian chronicler Minhaj-i-Siraj, Minhaj al-Siraj Juzjani and Chinese diplomat Zhao Hong. Minhaj al-Siraj described Genghis Khan as "a man of tall stature, of vigorous build, robust in body, the hair of his face scanty and turned white, with cats’ eyes, possessed of dedicated energy, discernment, genius, and understanding, awe-striking...". The chronicler had also previously commented on Genghis Khan's height, powerful build, with cat's eyes and lack of grey hair, based on the evidence of eyes witnesses in 1220, which saw Genghis Khan fighting in the Khorasan (modern day northwest Persia). According to Paul Ratchnevsky, the Song dynasty envoy Zhao Hong who visited the Mongols in 1221, described Genghis Khan as "of tall and majestic stature, his brow is broad and his beard is long". Other descriptions of Genghis Khan come from 14th century texts. The Persian historian Rashid-al-Din Hamadani, Rashid-al-Din in ''Jami' al-tawarikh'', written in the beginning of the 14th century, stated that most Borjigin ancestors of Genghis Khan were "tall, long-bearded, red-haired, and bluish green-eyed," features which Genghis Khan himself had. The factual nature of this statement is considered controversial. In the The Georgian Chronicles, Georgian Chronicles, in a passage written in the 14th century, Genghis Khan is similarly described as a large, good-looking man, with red hair. However, according to John Andrew Boyle, Rashid al-Din's text of red hair referred to ruddy skin complexion, and that Genghis Khan was of ruddy complexion like most of his children except for Kublai Khan who was swarthy. He translated the text as “It chanced that he was born 2 months before Möge, and when Chingiz-Khan's eye fell upon him he said: “all our children are of a ruddy complexion, but this child is swarthy like his maternal uncles. Tell Sorqoqtani Beki to give him to a good nurse to be reared”. 14th century Arabic historian Shihab al-Umari also disputed Rashid al-Din's translation and claimed Alan Gua falsified the origin of her clan. Some Historians such as Denise Aigle claimed that Rashid al-Din mythicized the origin of Genghis Khan ancestors (the Borjigin clan) through his own interpretations of
The Secret History of the Mongols ''The Secret History of the Mongols'' (Middle Mongol Middle Mongol or Middle Mongolian, was a Mongolic languages, Mongolic koiné language spoken in the Mongol Empire. Originating from Genghis Khan's home region of Northeastern Mongolia, it di ...
. Italian historian Igor de Rachewiltz claimed that the Mongol origins of the early ancestors of Genghis Khan were animals born from the blue eye wolf (Borte Chino) and the fallow doe (Qo'ai Maral) that was described in the early legends, that their ancestors were animals.


Modern

In Mongolia today, Genghis Khan's name and likeness appear on products, streets, buildings, and other places. His face can be found on everyday commodities, from liquor bottles to candy, and on the largest denominations of 500, 1,000, 5,000, 10,000, and 20,000 Mongolian tögrög (₮). Mongolia's main international airport in
Ulaanbaatar Ulaanbaatar (; mn, Улаанбаатар, , "Red Hero"), previously anglicised as Ulan Bator, is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that ar ...

Ulaanbaatar
is named Buyant-Ukhaa International Airport, Chinggis Khaan International Airport, and there is a 40m-high equestrian statue of Genghis Khan east of the Mongolian capital. There has been talk about regulating the use of his name and image to avoid trivialization. Genghis Khan's birthday, on the first day of winter (according to the Mongolian calendar, Mongolian lunar calendar), is a national holiday. Outside of Mongolia, there have been numerous works of literature, films and other adaptation works based on the Mongolian ruler and his legacy.


Literature

* "The Squire's Tale", one of ''The Canterbury Tales'' by Geoffrey Chaucer, is set at the court of Genghis Khan. * ''The End of Genghis'', a poem by F. L. Lucas, in which the dying Khan, attended by his Khitan people, Khitan counsellor Yelü Chucai, looks back on his life. * ''Conqueror (novel series), The Conqueror'' series of novels by Conn Iggulden * ''Steppe'' by Piers Anthony * ''Genghis Khan'' (Last incarnation) in Metro 2033 (novel), Metro 2033 by Dmitry Glukhovsky * ''White cloud of Genghis Khan'' by Chingiz Aitmatov * ''The Private Life of Genghis Khan'' by Douglas Adams and Graham Chapman


Films

* ''Genghis Khan (1950 film), Genghis Khan'', a 1950 Philippine film directed by Manuel Conde. * ''The Conqueror (1956 film), The Conqueror'', released in 1956 and starring John Wayne as Temüjin and Susan Hayward as Börte. * ''Changez Khan'', a 1957 Indian Hindi-language film directed by Kedar Kapoor, starring Sheikh Mukhtar as the emperor along with Bina Rai and Prem Nath in the lead roles. * ''Genghis Khan (1965 film), Genghis Khan'', a 1965 film starring Omar Sharif. * ''Under the Eternal Blue Sky'', a Mongolian film directed by Baljinnyam, which was released in 1990. Starring Agvaantserengiin Enkhtaivan as Temüjin. * ''Genghis Khan'', an unfinished 1992 film starring Richard Tyson, Charlton Heston and Pat Morita. * ''Genghis Khan – A Proud Son Of Heaven'', a 1998 film made in Mongolian, with English subtitles. * ''Genghis Khan: To the Ends of the Earth and Sea'', also known as ''The Descendant of Gray Wolf'', a Japanese-Mongolian film released in 2007. * ''Mongol (film), Mongol'', a film by Sergei Bodrov released in 2007. (Academy Award nominee for Best Foreign Language Film). * ''No Right to Die – Chinggis Khaan'', a Mongolian film released in 2008. * ''Genghis Khan (2018 film), Genghis Khan'', a Chinese film released in 2018.


Television series

* ''Genghis Khan (TVB TV series), Genghis Khan'', a 1987 Hong Kong television series produced by Television Broadcasts Limited, TVB, starring Alex Man. * ''Genghis Khan (ATV TV series), Genghis Khan'', a 1987 Hong Kong television series produced by Asia Television, ATV, starring Tony Liu. * ''Genghis Khan (2004 TV series), Genghis Khan'', a 2004 Chinese-Mongolian co-produced television series, starring Batdorj-in Baasanjab, Ba Sen, who is a descendant of Genghis Khan's second son Chagatai Khan, Chagatai. *"Aaakhri Chattan", a 1978 Pakistani drama series having Zahoor Ahmed as Genghis Khan.


Music

* West German pop band Dschinghis Khan took its name from the German-language spelling of Genghis Khan. They participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 1979 with Dschinghis Khan (song), their song of the same name. * Heavy metal music, Heavy metal band Iron Maiden (band), Iron Maiden released an all-instrumental track titled "Genghis Khan" on their 1981 sophomore album ''Killers (Iron Maiden album), Killers''. * The band Miike Snow released the song "Genghis Khan (Miike Snow song), Genghis Khan" in 2017. * Mongolian Folk-Rock band The Hu released a song called ''The Great Chinggis Khaan'' in August 2019.


Video games

* ''Temüjin (video game)'', a 1997 computer game * ''Aoki Ōkami to Shiroki Mejika'', Genghis Khan-themed Japanese game series


References


Notes


Citations


Sources

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * Incorrect source cite: ** Cite based on title and URL: . ** Cite based on ISBN: * * * * * * * * * ; Primary sources * ** * * * **


Further reading

* * This Elibron Classics book is a facsimile reprint of an 1888 edition by Trübner & Co., London. * * * * * * * (summary in English) * * * * * * * * * * * , - , - {{Authority control Genghis Khan, 1160s births 1227 deaths People from Khentii Province Great Khans of the Mongol Empire 13th-century Mongol rulers 12th-century Mongol rulers 13th-century Chinese monarchs Year of birth uncertain Deaths by horse-riding accident Genocide perpetrators Mongol Empire people Medieval military leaders Medieval slaves Founding monarchs Tengrist monarchs