Table of Contents
Genghis Khan was born in the North Central Mongolia in 1162. His mother Hoelun, who was from the Merkit community, was kidnapped by his father Yesukhei, the chief of Borijin clan, a nomadic community, as she and her former husband were travelling home after their wedding. She became the second wife of the king. Khan was born few months after the union.
He was the 2nd son in the family and was named Temujin after his birth. He was born bearing a blood clot in his fist, which symbolized leadership. In his community, there was a legend that if a child will born having a clot of some blood in his fist, he would grow up to be a leader. His mother taught him the ways of the tribe and guided him on what was expected from him (Benjamin 12).
At the age of 9 years, his father took him to a neighboring community where he was supposed to work for some years. He was also expected to get himself a bride from this community. Yesukhei, his father, had chosen a girl for him who was slightly older and called Borje.
Unfortunately, his father died on his way home after he was poisoned by his contender who had invited him to their home for an assuaging meal. Temujin returned home to his mother after receiving the sad news. He wanted to be recognized as the new chief. Instead, the Borijins chased their family away from their community leaving them to die. The family went through much trouble and at times used to have lack food to eat. Sometimes, they had to survive eating roots, rodents and fish. Temujin was apprehended as a slave for more than five years (Harold, 43). This was a punishment that was given to him after taking part in the killing of his elder brother, Begter. They argued who had won after a hunting expedition. When the two, failed to agree, Temujin with the help of his brother Khasar performed the ungodly act.
Temujin was released from captivity when he was at the age of 16. He went back to the neighboring community to look for a wife. Luckily he found Borje. Soon after their marriage, the Merkit kidnapped Borje. This was as a revenge on Temujin’s community for what his father did to his mother, Hoelun. With the help of his brother, Jamuka, Temujin rescued Borje who had been given to the clan leader for a wife (Harold, 34).
Temujin lived with Jamuka after the rescue. It did not take long before the two started to argue. Jamuka wanted to be the leader of the group. Temujin did not approve this. The argument ran for two decades. Lastly, then Temujin decided to leave the place for another area. He moved from the camp carrying with him jamuka’s followers and livestock and went to an area where he formed his own empire.
In the year 1190, Jamuka took revenge and raided Temujin's camp. He inflicted a severe punishment and boiled alive his captives. This turned many own followers to turn against him for that inhuman act. Later on, the united Mongols defeated their neighbors, the Tatars and the Jurkins respectively. On the other hand, Temujin Khan made up their mind to assimilate their group rather than having to follow steppe culture of looting and leaving them. Jamuka approached and attacked Temujin and Ong Khan in 1201. Despite being shot by an arrow to his neck, Temujin assimilated the remaining warriors of Jamuka after the defeat.
At 27 years, Temujin was elected khan of the Mongols. He granted his relatives as well as those who were loyal to him well paying jobs in high offices. He became very successful. His empire was the largest and lasted long even after his death.
The Importance that Genghis Khan had for its Time
This great name echoed throughout Asia and Europe especially, due to its drumbeat of horse-hooves. This was accompanied by the wails of doomed townspeople. Incredibly, in a period of only 25 years, Genghis Khan had conquered a big region and greater population than their fellow Romans did in four good centuries. To thousands of people he conquered, he was evil incarnate.
The unification of Mongolia ended up in 1204 when Genghis Khan defeated the powerful clan of Naiman. About two years down that line, he was confirmed as the leader of all Mongolia. Five years later, the Mongols had captured much of modern Chinese Xinjiang and Siberia.
He went on and defeated the Tangut, their tributaries. In 1214, he conquered 50 million citizens of the Jurchens, whereas the army of Mongol just numbered 100,000. The tribes that lived as far away as Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan have heard about Great Khan, and decided to overthrow their Buddhist leaders to join his growing empire. By the year 1219, this great warrior had ruled from Afghan border to the northern China and Tibet to the border of Siberia (John, 45).
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Great Khan sought a trade alliance with the Khwarizm Empire, which held the power in Central Asia from the Black Sea to the Afghanistan. Before that year ended, the wrathful Khan had detained every Khwarizm city, thus, adding lands from Russia to Turkey to his realm. Within Mongolia, he reformed traditional law and revolutionized the social structure.
Genghis Khan held an egalitarian society whereby the humblest slave could come up to be a commander of an army if he showed enough skill or bravery. War booty used to be divided equally among all warriors, in spite of the social status. Unlike many rulers of the time, the warrior trusted loyal followers more than his family members.
The Great Khan made it illegal to kidnap women, probably, due to his wife's experience who had been kidnapped during his early age. Kidnapping of women could lead to warfare among various Mongol groups. He outlawed livestock rustling due to this warfare as well. Genghis Khan also declared that hunting would only take place in winter in order to preserve game for the hot seasons.
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Contrary to his barbaric and ruthless reputation in the west, he promulgated a number of policies that would not commonly be practice in Europe for a number of centuries. Genghis Khan guaranteed religious freedom, thus protecting the rights of Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, and Hindus alike. He worshiped the sky, but did not allow the killing of any priest, mullahs, monks, nuns and any other holy people.
The Great Khan also guarded the enemy ambassadors and envoys, no matter what type of message they brought. Unlike most defeated people, the Mongols eschewed mutilation and torture of prisoners. The united Mongols defeated the neighboring Jurkins and Tatars soon. Genghis Khan opted to assimilate their people instead of following steppe culture of looting and leaving.
Importance of Genghis Khan in our Time
Great Khan is today remembered as a blood-thirsty tyrant, but, in the real sense, he was a practical conqueror who was more interested in goods than killing. He, therefore, had risen from poverty and slavery to ruling the world. Genghis Khan, the brave Mongolian warrior of the thirteenth century, may have achieved more than rule the biggest empire in the world; a recent genetic study has shown that he may have helped populate the empire too.
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An international group of geneticists that carried out the study of the Y-chromosome data discovered that nearly 8 % of the men living in the former Great Khan empire are carrying y-chromosomes that are almost identical. That translates to about a half percent of men population in the global world. Roughly about 16 million descendants live up to date (Stephen, 19).
The spread of this chromosome has resulted to natural selection. In this, a very fit individual is in a position of passing on some biological advantage. The authors tend to think that this scenario is unlikely. They recommend that the set of circumstances that surrounds the Mongol empire establishment led to the spread. To have such an amazing impact on a population a special set of circumstances was needed. These are all met by Genghis Khan and his men (Stanley, 34).
When Khan was dying, his empire extended across the whole of Asia, from the sea of Caspian to the Pacific Ocean. His military were characterized by the vanquished wholesale slaughter. His descendants expanded the empire and maintained this great power in the area for several hundred years, in developments in which concubines and harems were the norm. Human males appeared to be markedly prolific.
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In conclusion, Genghis Khan has presented a clear example that custom plays a great role in genetic variation patterns as well as diversity in human populations. This has been the first case to be documented when the culture of human has lead to a single lineage of genetics to rise to such a huge extent in just a few 100 years.