Genghis Khan

Genghis Khan biography
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Genghis Khan biography

Genghis Khan, his birth name, Temujin. He was born in the northern center of Mongolia around the year 1162. The young Temujin was a member of the Borjigin tribe and a descendant of Khabul Khan. His father Yesukhei was the leader of the Borijin clan of the nomadic Mongols, they lived on hunting and herding. Yesukhei kidnapped a young woman named Hoelun and her first husband. Making her his second wife; Temujin was born out of this forced union. Hoelun taught him the dark reality of living in the unruly Mongol tribal society and the need to create alliances to survive.

The secret history of the Mongols, the oldest work pertaining to the history and literature of Mongolia, tells a great part of Temujin’s life. When he was 9 years old, his father moved him to live with his new wife’s family. Being installed in the new home, his father received an invitation from the rival Tatar tribe to a feast in order to end their conflicts, but everything turned out to be a hoax because he was poisoned. Upon learning of his father’s death, Temujin returned home to demand his position as clan chief. However, the clan refused to legitimize the young man’s leadership, condemning him and his family to exile. This fact generated a hostile environment in his extended family. In a hunting expedition, a dispute arose over the booty, causing Temujin to attack his half-brother and cause him death.

Facing the critical situation experienced by the family because of the exile, Temujin was put into slavery, his captivity lasted approximately five years, and then he was released as a young man. Later Temujin married Borje, the couple used their dowry, to make an alliance with Ong Khan powerful member of the Kereyid clan, who accepted the alliance. From that moment, Temujin’s life changed completely and he began to shape himself as a great warrior who would change the history of the Mongols.

Years later, thanks to his great feats, leadership skills, remarkable courage and tenacity demonstrated in the Kereyid clan, a ritual was held in which they recognized the authority and leadership of Temujin and was named Genghis Khan, which means “universal emperor.”

From the beginning their pitched battles are counted for victories, Genghis Khan’s first campaign outside of Mongolia took place against the Xi Xia kingdom of northwest China, after a series of raids, the Mongols launched a major initiative in 1209 that took them at the gate of Yinchuan, the capital of Xi Xia. In 1211 against the Jurchen in Fuzhou, in 1212 against Xinjiang, in 1213 against the Yizhou. Finally, in 1221 against the juarezmios in the Indus.

Unlike other armies; the army of the Mongols traveled with a large reserve of horses. Composed mostly of expert riders and mortals armed with bow and arrows, the Mongols deployed effective tactics such as the false retreat and then start the rodeo.

In 1219 Genghis Khan was in the war against the Khwarezm Empire in what is now Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Iran, and Afghanistan. Khan had agreed to a trade agreement, but this agreement was not respected when the first caravan arrived, his assets were stolen and his merchants were liquidated. Despite once again being outnumbered, the Mongol horde swept through the city, including Bukhara, Samarkand, and Urgench.

In a short time, Genghis Khan admirably managed to unite the nomadic tribes of the Mongolian plateau, conquered formidable segments of Central Asia and China. Advancing to places as distant as Poland, Vietnam, Korea, and Syria. In their flowering, the Mongols controlled more or less 12 million square miles, similar to the size of the African continent. He was responsible for many deaths due to the invasions but also positively affected its context: he granted religious liberty to his subjects, disqualified the torture, stimulated commerce and established the first international postal system.

At the beginning of the thirteenth century, the Mongol army at the hands of Genghis Khan was encased in great power, staging one of the most prominent military expansions in history. In about twenty years, the Mongols conquered much of northern China, then occupied by the kingdom of Xi Xia and the Jurchen empire and devastated the Muslim empire of Juarez, located in Central Asia. The most admirable thing is that the armies of Genghis Khan did not enjoy any technological advantage over their predecessors. Actually, his main weapon was the powerful compound bow.

On the other hand, the organization of the Mongol army was not new and had been used by many nomadic peoples. A determining element to understand this success is the figure of Genghis Khan, one of the best generals of his time, considered one of the great warriors of history.

The greatness of Genghis Khan is not limited to the military field. The Mongol leader inscribed the pedestals of the new empire, his charisma assured him the loyalty of his soldiers, he created an administration based on meritocracy using councilors and officials from the conquered territories and used the systematic use of terror substantially. In this way, he prevented his conquests from being a stunning operation of looting and succeeded with the help of his successor, Mongke Khan, to constitute the largest land empire in history.

At the end of 1227, Genghis Khan died during a military campaign against the Chinese kingdom of Xi Xia, it is believed that the causes were a previous accident in a horse that threw him brutally to the ground, causing internal injuries, from that moment his health never recovered. Genghis Khan, known as the lord of the Mongols, conquered more than twice as much land as any other person in history, generating contact between Eastern and Western civilizations. Due to his great importance lives in Mongolia his statue, the largest in the world, is located near Ulan Bator.

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