Sure! Why should the world know about Genghis Khan?
In fact, what is there to know about a man whom historians established as a terrifying tyrant who exterminated millions, wiped out complete cities and was a barbarian bringing death and destruction on the thundering hooves of his horse?
Recent research has revealed much about him was unacknowledged by most historians for the simple reason that the so-called civilized world of the 12 th century could not accept the humiliation of being outwitted and defeated by a nomad from the boondocks.
In March 2003, geneticists studying DNA discovered a typical genetic pattern running through population groups scattered from the Caspian to the Pacific pinpointing to a common ancestor. The finger pointed to Genghis Khan from Mongolia of the 12 th century. He and his heirs had spread their genetic signature across half of Eurasia resulting in nearly 16 million men being of one extended family! Apparently, one in every 200 men today bears Genghis Khan’s genes.
You never know, he could be your great, great, great….grand-dad! How is that? Wouldn’t you like to know more about Genghis Khan rather than believe some historian’s interpretation?
Conqueror of the world
He was the real conqueror of the world. Nobody has ever ruled such a mammoth empire. At the time of his death, the Mongolian Empire was four times the size of Alexander’s and twice the size of Rome’s and it was only half complete. By 1300 CE, his descendants had added what is now known as China, Tibet, Korea, Pakistan, Iran, most of Turkey, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, most of habitable Russia, Ukraine, and half of Poland. They had explored breaching the borders of western Europe, Egypt, India, Vietnam, Indonesia and Japan. One-sixth of the world’s land area was the Mongolian Empire. There has never been or will be another world conqueror such as Genghis Khan.
Genghis Khan was an extraordinary leader. He commanded his men by demanding loyalty and rewarding that loyalty. At a time when social status and advancement all over the world was decided by birth, Genghis Khan let his men climb the social ladder solely on merit. It was no wonder that people from the lower rungs of society (not just Mongols, even people from regions he conquered) flocked to join him. In him, they saw the redemption of their aspirations. Many herders, shepherds, carpenters or blacksmiths were raised from obscurity only due to this policy of Genghis Khan.
His many leadership qualities could become a learning for today’s leaders. Genghis was notorious for his brutality, but his ruthlessness was focused. He achieved what others could only dream of: annihilation of those who opposed him.
The extent of his genocides was unthinkable yet unlike modern genocides, his were not ideological. While Mongols truly believed that they were the best, Genghis’ aim was purely strategic—total capitulation through terror. His purpose was clear: oppose me and die, surrender and you become part of my heaven-backed Empire.
Genghis Khan brought about a revolution in the status of women of his Empire. These changes are remarkable given that during the 11th and 12th century women were little more than chattels of males across the rest of the world and especially in the so-called civilized Europe. Possibly, it was the female influence throughout his growing years that made Genghis especially benevolent towards the fair sex. He bestowed women with equal rights as men so that they were respected as matriarchs of their families. Property of widows remained with their families. His men went into battle with an assurance that their families will not be deprived on their death. Even a share of the war plunder was handed over to the bereaved families. Genghis Khan encouraged women to train in warfare and often during his campaigns they carried out administrative roles in his army. It is recorded that the conquest of Nishapur during his campaign of Khwarezm was spearheaded by Genghis’ daughter whose husband had just been killed.
Now if I ask you why the world should know about Genghis Khan, what will your reply be?
There is so much more to the incredible phenomena that is Genghis Khan. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Believe me, once you begin to read about him, it is impossible to stop.
Author(s): Sutapa Basu
Release: September 2018
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