Undoubtedly a great ruler, Genghis Khan enabled the rise of Mongolia in terms of wealth, power, culture, and religion. His path to glory had its sacrifices and was accompanied by the loss of many lives. On one side he was a model ruler and one of the supreme leaders in the history of the world, but on the other, he displayed immense brutality.
Genghis Khan never left an unsettled score. Still, due to his leadership capabilities and cunning tactics he will always be remembered as one of the world’s greatest rulers, and not just in the hearts and minds of the Mongolian people. Let’s take a historical journey with these interesting facts about Genghis Khan…
Born along the banks of the Onon River sometime around 1162, Genghis Khan is the man who would become the “Great Khan” of the Mongols.
It’s believed that he died on the 18th of August, 1227, though the details remain unverified.
A few sources claim he died by falling from a horse, while other sources deny the fact. Another source claims his death was due to malaria, and the deducing game surrounding his death continues to this day.
Allegedly his tomb is situated near a Mongolian mountain called Burkhan Khaldun, but to this day its precise location is unknown.
Genghis was forced to struggle with the brutality of life on the Mongolian Steppe from an early age. His father was poisoned by the Rival Tatars when he was only 9, and his own tribe banished his family and left his mother to raise her seven children alone.
Despite the difficult childhood, by his early 20s, he had proven himself as an impressive warrior and ruler.
After gathering an army of supporters, he began building alliances with the heads of vital tribes.
He had effectively united the steppe confederations under his flag and began to concentrate on outside conquest by 1206.
Genghis Khan had an intense eye for talent, and he usually endorsed his officers on skill and knowledge rather than class, descent, or even past allegiances.
He’s known as the founder of the Mongol Empire which became the largest ever contiguous empire.
He united tribes into an integrated Mongolia and then he expanded his empire across Asia to the Adriatic Sea.
While it’s difficult to know with certainty how many people perished during the Mongol conquests, many historians believe that the number is somewhere around 40 million.
Genghis Khan was a political statesman and a military genius. He effectively joined many nomadic tribes under his guidance.
His real name was “Temujin,” meaning “blacksmith.”
In 1206 he was given the title Genghis Khan when he was announced as the Mongol leader by the “kurultai” tribal council.
The name Khan was assigned to indicate his status as a leader, but the true meaning of the word “Genghis” is still vague. Some historians consider it means “supreme” or “universal” ruler.
How did he look? There are no records that portray how he looked, so very little about his physical appearance is known. Why? Maybe the reason behind this is that none of his sculptures survived.
He gave religious freedom in all of his territories, and he himself was very spiritual.
He always prayed in his tent before important battles.
He organized meetings with the rulers of different religions to debate the mutual interest of their kingdoms and faiths.
The Mongols most potent weapon along with the bow and the horse may have been their enormous communication network.
Ghengis Khan Portrait
One of his earliest laws involved the development of a riding courier service known as the “Yam.”
This medieval express was comprised of a well-organized series of post houses and way stations across the entire Empire.
The riders were fast and could cover up to 200 miles a day. This astonishing system proved to be Khan’s eyes and ears, and he could acquire all the information he needed just by sitting on the throne.
Genghis Khan had a skillful strategy, and his supremacy was well organized and stable.
His military used spy networks to detect and head off any threats to his rule.
With his terrific vision and military genius, Khan built a great and strong Mongolia.
Genghis Khan was famous for his sense of justice among the Mongolians.
He was devoted to his kingdom, but his appreciation of justice wasn’t only limited to the kingdom, he also used it for his sons.
He ensured that after his death, the empire was divided equally among his sons in order to avoid any further conflict or wars between them.
He entered the hearts of millions of people in his kingdom due to his vision and wisdom.
In the 20th century, the Soviets tried to remove Genghis Khan’s name from the history books, believing his legacy to be a great threat to their leadership.
Did they stop there? No, they also constrained people from making any pilgrimages to his birthplace.
In the 1990s when the Mongolians regained independence they restored Genghis Khan’s name as the greatest leader in their illustrious history.
Khan has been extensively represented in art and popular culture, and the nation’s central airport has been named after him.
Even today, the currency of Mongolia has his image, and the people admire their great ruler in all possible compliments without reference to his bloodthirsty repute.
Do you know any interesting or fun facts about Genghis Khan that we’ve missed? Share them here in the comments section below!