In a discussion about the evil men throughout history, those whose actions have led to the deaths of millions of people, there are some names that are mentioned again and again in mainstream conversations, but among the few, there is only one man whose genocidal record has risen to a significant number compared to the proportion of the world’s population at that time. This man is Genghis Khan, the first Grand Khan of the Mongol Empire.
Genghis Khan reigned between 1206 and 1227 and during this period he achieved a number of achievements, including the creation of the largest empire in world history. History students are most likely familiar with his life and records as a ruler, but for those who are not, here is a brief glimpse of who he was and what made him one of the most feared men in all of history.
Biography of Genghis Khan
Like many great men in history, Genghis Khan was born into a modest home. Before becoming Genghis Khan, he was Temujin, born about 1162 in Khamag Mongol. He was the second son of his father, Yesugei, and the first of his mother, Hoelun. He was born in the Borijigin tribe, one of the Mongolian tribes that were nomads. Genghis Khan was nine years old when he lost his father to the Tartars, who were rivals of the Mongol people. His death led to a life of poverty for his wives and sons, including Genghis.
After escaping after being captured by the Tayichi’ud, Genghis Khan began to develop a reputation as a wild man and leader and soon began his quest to unite the Mongolian people. He began his military career by joining the Khan of Karaites, his father’s blood brother. Under him, he grew in power and influence, but in his first reign as Khan of the Mongols, he was defeated in battle by his best friend Jamukha, who had become his rival as Khan of the Jadran.
After he lost the battle against Jamukha in 1187, he returned to power in 1197 with the help of the Mongols and the Karaites and began his quest to conquer the world. Genghis Khan expanded the Mongol empire through wars and built an empire that stretched from the Adriatic to the Pacific, reaching today’s geographical areas such as Poland, Hungary, Finland, Austria, Croatia, Vietnam, Burma, Japan, and Indonesia.
His empire is believed to have covered 12 million square miles, a number similar to the entire size of the African continent, and to reach such a breadth he recorded a death toll estimated at several hundred million people, a number that probably represented about two percent of the world’s population at the time.
Genghis Khan was able to maintain loyalty and service under his rule during his lifetime by practicing meritocracy and religious tolerance, and he was known for taking his conquered tribes under his protection and distributing spoils of war to civilians and soldiers. As a result, he was able to conquer several dynasties, such as West Xia, Jin, Qara Khitai dynasties, and the Khwarazm Empire. He ruled from the spring of 1206 until his death on August 18, 1227.
Genghis Khan’s Children
Genghis Khan conquered the world with the help of his sons, who all continued to rule after his death. By marrying Borte, a woman who had been arranged for him since he was nine years old, Yisui and Qiguo are some of Khan’s famous wives, but Borte was the most prominent. Genghis is said to have had a total of twelve wives during his lifetime.
Through Borte Genghis had four sons, namely Jochi, Chagatai, Ogedei, and Tolui. It is known that Genghis had several other sons and daughters through his other wives, including at least six daughters born to the Khagan.
After the death of Genghis Khan, his son, Ogedei took his place and ruled after him.
More interesting facts about the Khagan of the Mongolian Empire
Media Adaptations of His Life Story
Throughout history, his life has been the subject of various media adaptations, including several films such as Genghis Khan (1950), The Conqueror (1956), Mongol (2007), which received an Oscar nomination. In addition, novels, television programs, poems, and songs have been written about his empire.
He killed His Brother
One of his first documented murders was his half-brother Better, the eldest son of the family, who began to rule the family and tried to marry Genghis’s mother. Genghis, who was still known as Temujin at that time, killed him during a hunting trip.
The Death of Genghis Khan
The Khagan of the Mongol Empire died in August 1227, and the cause of his death has been suspected for various reasons, but the popular belief is that he died from an injury he had sustained after falling off a horse, an injury that could not heal properly because of his advanced age. He was buried in an unmarked grave in Mongolia.