Genghis Khan - The Great Mongolian Warrior

Genghis Khan was a great warrior and a leader and during his reign the Mongol Empire stretched from the Sea of Japan to the Caspian Sea. He was criticized for his cruelty but even then he is largely revered in Mongol for his supremacy and intelligence. This article will give you a glimpse into the life of Genghis Khan - The Khan of the Mongols.
| Sunday, December 14, 2008
Genghis Khan said, "If my body dies, let my body die but do not let my country die". This charismatic leader of  the Mongol Empire was born in Mongolian minor nobility and was named Temudjin. He had three brothers named Temuge, Khajiun and Khasar and a sister named Temulin. He also had two other half brothers named Belgutei and Bekhter. Temudjin suffered a personal tragedy at the age of nine years when his father was poisoned and killed by the Tatars. As a child he was taught riding and caring for horses and also shooting arrows. Following the custom of arranged marriage, Temudjin married Börte to cement ties with the Olkuthun tribe. As Temudjin grew older he managed to have the trust of people who respected him for his intelligence and bravery. He also learned the importance of having allies. However he was not completely averse to terminating alliances that weren’t beneficial to him. His reputation as a cruel ruler stemmed from the fact that he even betrayed and murdered his friends such as Ong Khan and Jamukha. His last serious opponent Naiman was defeated in 1204 and in the year 1206 he was declared the leader of Mongol nobility. Following his proclamation as the leader he was given the title of "Genghis Khan" which meant "Fierce Ruler" or "Oceanic Ruler". In 1207 operations against Xi-Xia were started and this continued till 1210.

Genghis Khan’s supremacy as a military leader and his brilliance as an administrator won his many admirers. He was a strict disciplinarian and careful planner. He was also a brilliant tactician and created a highly sophisticated intelligence framework that allowed him to get information. He often used to send his soldiers and envoys to opponents and make them submit to his demands. If they defied they were attacked and defeated. If they submitted they were allowed to continue as rulers as long as they paid taxes and provided military support. Genghis Khan first moved against the Tanguts in northwest China and later moved against the Chin dynasty following commercial and other problems. In 1215 he successfully attacked the Chin capital. Following this success he turned his attention to Central Asia and confronted Khwarazmian Shah with 200000 soldiers. In the next two years he conquered the cities of Heat, Mery, Bukhara and Samarkand. He was successful in military actions conducted in areas as far off as the city of Novgorod in Russia. In this period he lived in the Central Asian region and returned in 1224 following the occurrence of Tangut rebellion. He died in August 1227 following an injury and fever contracted during the Tangut rebellion. Following his death, Genghis Khan was buried in a secret location. Many explorers have tried to find the location of his grave but have been unsuccessful.

While Genghis Khan was largely admired for his tactical strength and feared for his military supremacy and ruthlessness, he was also  admired for his support to the artists and craftsmen. He was also responsible for actively promoting literacy among his people. As a result of his efforts the alphabet of Uighur was adapted as the language of Mongol. He also advocated religious tolerance among people. During his reign people had complete freedom to follow their religions. Trade and travelling was also largely facilitated during his reign and so there was increased cross cultural contact and considerable peace during the rule of Genghis Khan. Even though Genghis Khan was responsible for a lot of destruction he was also one of most charismatic leaders and was responsible for the creation and development of Mongolia.
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