13 terrifying facts about Genghis Khan

Genghis Khan, also known as Chinggis Khaan (c. 1162 – August 18, 1227), born in Temüjin, was the Great Khan and founder of the Mongol Empire, which became the largest contiguous empire in history after his death. He came to power by uniting many of the nomadic tribes of Northeast Asia. After founding the Empire and being proclaimed “Genghis Khan”, he launched the Mongol invasions that conquered most of Eurasia. Campaigns initiated in his lifetime include those against the Qara Khitai, Caucasus, and Khwarazmian, Western Xia and Jin dynasties. He is regarded as the father of the Mongols. There have been many tales about the Khan.

Genghis Khan is a name that resonates with all who have heard of his harrowing exploits. History books portray him to be a brutal emperor who massacred millions of Asian and Eastern European people. However, he also practiced religious and racial tolerance, and his Mongolian Empire valued the leadership of women. Khan also brought law and civilization to Mongolia and is regarded as a hero in his native land.

So who was the real Genghis Khan? Western impressions are heavily influenced by negative Persian accounts, whereas Eastern impressions vary. For a balanced perspective, the following list of 13 facts explores the full story of this fascinating historical figure. Here are some Genghis Khan facts you might not know.

1. Genghis Khan History

Genghis Khan (Temüjin) was probably born in 1162 in Delüün Boldog, near the mountain Burkhan Khaldun and the rivers Onon and Kherlen in modern-day northern Mongolia, close to the current capital Ulaanbaatar. The Secret History of the Mongols 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 second son of his father Yesügei who was a Kiyad chief prominent in the Khamag Mongol confederation and an ally of Toghrul of the Keraite tribe. Temüjin was the first son of his mother Hoelun. According to the Secret History, Temüjin was named after the Tatar chief Temüjin-üge whom his father had just captured.

2. Genghis Khan Marital Life

Temüjin married Börte of the Onggirat tribe when he was around 16 in order to cement alliances between their two tribes. He later went on to marry many more wives but she was his only empress.

3. Genghis Khan As A Ruler

In 1206 Genghis Khan became the sole ruler of the Mongol plains after he defeated the naimans.

4. Genghis Khan Religion

Genghis Khan was a tengrist but was religiously tolerant and interested in learning philosophical and moral lessons from other religions. He consulted Buddhist monks, Muslims, Christian missionaries, and the Taoist monk Qiu Chuji.

5. Genghis Khan Trade Establishment

Genghis Khan once sent a trade caravan to the Khwarezmid Empire (ruled by Shah Ala ad-Din Muhammad) to establish official trade ties, but Inalchuq (the governor of one city, Otrar) seized it and killed the traders. Genghis Khan retaliated by invading the empire with 200,000 men and killing the governor by pouring molten silver down his eyes and mouth.

6. Genghis Khan Reaction after his Son-In-Law was killed

Genghis Khan beheaded a wealthy trading city (Ulgench) of over 1.75 million people because one of the citizens killed his son-in-law.

Genghis Khan would marry off a daughter to the king of an allied nation, dismissing his other wives. Then he would assign his new son-in-law to military duty in the Mongol wars, while the daughter took over the rule. Most sons-in-law died in combat, giving him shield and control around the Mongol lands

7. Genghis Khan Relations

Genghis Khan slept with so many women, that about 1 in 200 people are related to him.  Nearly 8% of Asian men are descended from Genghis Khan. That’s nearly 350 million men with one common ancestor.

8. Genghis Khan Reaction After He was shot In a Battle

In 1201, Genghis Khan was shot in the neck during a battle and asked the defeated army who had shot “his horse”, trying to downplay the injury. The archer, Zurgadai, voluntarily confessed to shooting Genghis Khan and refused to beg for mercy, so the Khan spared him and even made him one of his troops and eventually, Zurgadai went on to become one of his high ranking officials.

9. Genghis Khan The Greenest Invader

Genghis Khan is regarded as the “greenest” invader. This is because Genghis Khan was responsible for the death of so many people. He killed enough people (about 40 million people) resulting in a man-made climate change. These Mongol invasions effectively cooled the planet, scrubbing around about 700million tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere by allowing forests to regrow on previously populated and cultivated land.

10. Genghis Khan Resolution After defeating a Tribe

After Genghis Khan defeated rival tribes he would place the conquered tribe under his protection, integrate its members into his own tribe, and even have his mother adopt orphans from the conquered tribe, bringing them into his family.

11. Genghis Khan Chief Adviser

Genghis Khan’s chief adviser was a captured scholar named Yelu Chucai. His contribution to the Mongol Empire was to suggest that the Mongols not kill everyone, but tax them instead. Genghis Khan invented the catapults and started a postal system. Genghis Khan exempted the poor and clergy from taxes, encouraged literacy, and established a free religion, leading many peoples to join his empire before they were even conquered. Under the rule of Genghis Khan pulled the bowstrings of their bows back with their thumb instead of using a “Mediterranean draw” with three fingers, so to protect their thumbs, the Mongols invented a “thumb ring”.

12. Genghis Khan Death

Genghis Khan died in 1227. Though there have been varying reasons for his death. According to a legend, a Chinese princess castrated him with a concealed dagger leading to his death. This was said to be an act of revenge for the death of her family and a way to prevent him from raping her. A more likely theory about his death is that he was thrown from his horse and died from his injuries. Another theory claims that he died from pneumonia and another suggests he was killed In his final battle with the Chinese.

13. Genghis Khan Burial

The burial site of Genghis Khan has not been found. The funeral escorts allegedly killed anyone and anything that could have witnessed the location of the emperor’s final resting place. The slaves that build the tomb were also slaughtered, as were the soldiers that murdered them. In total over 2000 people who attended his funeral were executed, including the 800 executioners.

Those are the 13 facts about the renowned Khan. What do you think of him?






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