Genghis Khan is a Mongol leader, warrior and ruler, one of the most famous invaders of history, who united the Mongol tribes and was able to establish the Mongol Empire by uniting the nomadic tribes of the Mongols and Tatars.
His empire is the largest in history, and his descendants and wars changed the political order of the world and reduced its population, conquering the Islamic world and causing massive destruction and brutal massacres.
Who is Genghis Khan?
Genghis Khan was born to a family of Mongol nomads on the banks of the Onon River near Lake Baikal in Mongolia, and his original name is Temujin.
Due to the ambiguity of the date of the Mongols at that stage, accounts differ regarding the date of his birth, with some saying that he may have been born in 1155 AD, others saying that this was in 1162 AD, and his birth was auspicious according to the Mongols.
His father, Ysugi, was a descendant of a Mongol royal clan and leader of the Borjigin clan, and before Genghis Khan was born, he defeated a hostile tribe and killed its leader, reportedly naming his son Temujin after the murdered leader.
Temujin's mother was kidnapped on her wedding night by another man, becoming his second wife, and their son Temujin was said to have been born holding a clotted blood ball, which for the Mongols meant he would be a great warrior.
Early life and youth
Temujin's childhood was not easy, as his father took him at the age of nine to a neighboring tribe for work for several years, and then betrothed him to a girl named Borgi.
At that time, the father died of poisoning, caused by a gang of Tatar nomads, a nomadic people in an old feud with the Mongols.
With Yesogi's death, the clan abandoned Temujin, his mother, and seven brothers, and a rival family took over the leadership and expelled them, considering them too weak to lead, so he and his family lived in difficult conditions and suffered from extreme poverty to the extent that they ate plants and fish, while the Mongol nomads lived mainly on lamb meat and mare's milk.
Despite living under these difficult conditions, Temujin was able to garner support by the strength of his character, and it is said that the Taishut tribe captured him and kept him in their camps instead of killing him.
Genghis Khan, aged 16, married the daughter of a hostile tribe and kidnapped his wife, Getty Images.
One night, Temujin noticed that his guard was not tight, so he decided to run away while the guards were eating dinner, and shot down the guard with a blow from his wooden collar.
The Taishut searched for him all night, and one of them spotted him, but he helped him escape risking his life and did not deny him.
On another occasion, thieves stole 8 out of 9 horses belonging to the poor Temujin family, and Timujin chased them, and on his way asked a strange young man who was milking if he had seen them, so the young man left the milking and gave Temujin a horse and set off with him as an assistant in the search for lost horses.
His tribe began to recognize his leadership and family gradually so that his companion in search of horses refused to take a reward from him, and Timujin took him as his companion.
Despite ostracism and poverty, his family maintained a degree of prestige, belonging to the Borjegin royal dynasty.
At the age of 16, Temujin went to search for the fiancée Borgi, the daughter of the tribe living in northern Mongolia, who was not in agreement with Temujin, because his father had kidnapped his wife from one of their men.
Industry of Genghis Khan
As a teenager, Temujin killed his older half-brother, took over the family, and made an alliance with Aung Khan, the leader of a powerful clan.
Aung Khan accepted the alliance, and Temujin's allies were a group of competent warriors rather than his relatives, contrary to what the Mongols used to do.
In retaliation, Tegogen's wife Borje (Temujin's wife) was kidnapped in retaliation for Temujin's father, who retrieved her in a raid with the help of Aung Khan and looted her tribe's camps.
Genghis Khan had a childhood ally and friend named Jamuka, and their relationship went from friendship to conflict and rivalry that lasted two decades and ended in their separation.
Historical sources do not mention exactly what happened after this incident, but it is likely that he took Borgi's advice, and many of Jammuka's men abandoned him and accompanied Genghis Khan, believing that he was more capable of sovereign empire alone.
Genghis Khan killed all his rivals and united the Mongol and Tatar tribes (Reuters)
The separation from Jamuka led to a dispute within the Mongol Empire, which was expected to be resolved by the disappearance of one of the rivals.
Jamuka led a rival alliance of princes to Genghis Khan, and nominated himself as "Ghor Khan", but Genghis Khan's greatness was stronger than the coup d'état, and Aung Khan had given him a high position and supported him.
Genghis Khan had physical strength and military acumen, executing his enemy tribal leaders, integrating subjects into his tribe and making some of them soldiers and slaves, and organizing his warriors into units of 10.
Khan was a pagan and followed some Mongolian shamanic beliefs, which revere the winds, mountains and what they consider the spirits of heaven, but his followers were said to have been of different sects, including Christians, Buddhists and Muslims.
By 1205, he had united the steppe tribes and defeated all his rivals, founding a state the size of present-day Mongolia, called Genghis Khan, which translates from Altai to "world ruler."
He regularly spotted the seeds of rebellion and made sure to kill his nomadic enemies, fought and defeated the Tatars, then slaughtered anyone who was taller than the axis of the chariot, leaving only the children he assumed to be his loyal followers.
In the secret history of the Mongols (one of the most famous historical sources of the period) it is said that Genghis Khan intended to exterminate all his rival aristocratic families.
Genghis Khan rejected tribal loyalties that favored fragmentation, so in 1206 he pledged allegiance as emperor to all the inhabitants of the steppes, and distributed thousands of families in the custody of his relatives and comrades, in a system similar to the feudal structure, replacing the tribal tribal system.
The Mongol tribes then came together and captured much of Siberia and today's modern Chinese province of Xingyang, and Genghis Khan ruled by a civil and military code called the Yasaq.
Genghis Khan had annexed the lands of the Nayman tribe, which had allied with the Jamuka, so Kushluk, the son of the Nayman leader, fled to the Qarakhtai state, married the daughter of its ruler, and later turned against him and proclaimed himself king.
Kushluk attacked a Mongol city, and Genghis Khan sent an army to eliminate him, and annexed the Qarakhtai state to the Mongol Empire, thus bordering it adjacent to the Islamic Algorithmic State.
Conquest of the Islamic world
Genghis Khan wanted to forge a commercial alliance with the Khwarizmi state, which controlled Central Asia at the time and was at war with the rest of the surrounding Muslim states.
Genghis Khan sent a huge caravan loaded with gifts to Sultan Alauddin Muhammad Khwarizm Shah to establish trade relations with the Khwarizmi state.
As the caravan passed through a city belonging to the Khwarizmi state, the governor Enalcik captured the merchants of the caravan, and informed the Sultan of his suspicion that they were spies, so Sultan Jalal al-Din authorized him to kill them and executed them all.
Genghis Khan became angry and sent 3 ambassadors to Sultan Jalaluddin and asked him to hand over Inalcik and pay appropriate compensation, but the Sultan refused and killed one of Genghis Khan's ambassadors and sent his head with the rest of the ambassadors after shaving their faces.
This act was the motive for Genghis Khan's revenge on the Khwarizmi state, and he equipped an army of 100,4 soldiers, divided it into <> groups led by his sons, and sent one group to delude the Khwarizmians that this was the main Mongol army.
He continued his attacks and siege of Islamic cities, and Atrar was the first city to fall into the hands of the Mongols, who destroyed the city, executed the inhabitants and killed Inalcik.
In 1220, Genghis Khan went to Bukhara, and its Mongol army fought outside the city but were defeated, and the Mongols captured the city, burned its mosques, killed the inhabitants and captured some of them.
Then the Mongols went to Samarkand, whose army surrendered, while its inhabitants took up arms, so the Mongols eliminated them and entered Samarkand and looted and destroyed it.
Sultan Alauddin Muhammad Khwarazm Shah fled with his son and the commanders of his army, so Genghis Khan ordered his pursuit, many cities were destroyed in that pursuit, and the Mongols controlled the wealth of the Khwarizm state.
Establishment of a postal system
One of the most prominent things that helped the Mongols in their conquests was their innovative postal system at the time, where they established a quick mail service called "Yam", which relied on a series of sequential stations and well distributed throughout the territory of the empire.
This system was used to transport goods and information quickly, by switching horses and messengers after certain distances.
Genghis Khan's daughters were part of his political plan to expand his empire (Shutterstock)
Genghis Khan's sons and daughters
In 1222, Genghis Khan discussed with his sons the question of succession, and his four sons disagreed over it, and the eldest son Yuchi was excluded from the competition, because they considered him an illegitimate son, as his birth was months after the kidnapping of Burji after her marriage to Genghis Khan.
The second son Jagtai competed for the caliphate, but it was for the third son Ogodi who captured East Asia (now China), his younger brother Tolui ruled Mongolia, and his son Yuchi died in February 1227.
As for his daughters, they were part of his policy, as he married them to the rulers of neighboring tribes, and he sent their husbands on his expansionist campaigns, and often death was their fate, so his daughters were crowned rulers of his nine regions, which increased the power of his influence.
Wives of Genghis Khan
Women had a clear presence in the life of Genghis Khan, as he married 6 times, and had hundreds of concubines and maidservants, as he had laws in choosing them, so he chooses for himself the most beautiful women, and requires that his concubines have small noses, long hair and beautiful voices.
He rated their beauty by points, awarded lower points to his assistants, and was known for cohabiting with the wives of his enemies and defeated opponents.
Genghis Khan, despite his brutality, respected his wives, especially his first wife Borgi, consulted her and appointed her the first empress of the Mongols.
He also loved his second wife, Khawlan, and took her with him on his military campaigns, and also married two Tatar princesses after killing their parents in one of his campaigns.
Due to his many women, Genghis Khan was highly offspring, as were his sons, the rulers of Asia, leading geneticists to estimate that 0.5% of the world's population is genetically related to Genghis Khan.
Published in a 2003 study of historical genetics published in the American Journal of Human Genetics, the study tracked genetically related males with one diligent line, finding that 16 million males in Asia were genetically linked by a single chromosome, all from a geographic area within the former Mongol Empire's borders.
Tomb of Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan died in August 1227 during a campaign against the Tangut people, and his death was said to have been caused by natural causes, which he denied believing he "knew the secret of eternal life."
His death was also said to have been the result of an accident in early 1227, when he fell off his horse, causing internal injuries from which he did not recover.
Sources have not yet identified Genghis Khan's grave, but his body has been transferred to Mongolia.
Some consider Genghis Khan a warrior and a brutal bloodthirsty invader, while the Mongols see him as a unified leader, ruler of the world and a divine symbol.
Genghis Khan never had a portrait or drawing during his lifetime, but historical sources describe him as tall, burly, thick-bearded and with a long lock of hair.