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Genghis Khan

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GENGHIS KHAN The name Genghis Khan often conjures the image of a relentless, bloodthirsty barbarian on horseback leading a ruthless band of nomadic warriors in the looting of the civilized world. But the surprising truth is that Genghis Khan was a visionary leader whose conquests joined backward Europe with the flourishing cultures of Asia to trigger a global awakening, an unprecedented explosion of technologies, trade, and ideas. Genghis Khan, who lived probably between 1162–1227, born Temüjin, was the founder, Khan (ruler) and Khagan (emperor) of the Mongol Empire, which became the largest contiguous empire in history after his death. He was born in a Mongol tribe near Burkhan Khaldun mountain and the Onon and Kherlen Rivers in modern-day Mongolia, not far from the current capital Ulaanbaatar. The Secret History of the Mongols reports that Temüjin was born with a blood clot grasped in his fist, a traditional sign indicating that he was destined to become a great leader. He was the third-oldest son of his father Yesükhei, a minor tribal chief of the Kiyad and an ally of Ong Khan of the Kerait tribe and the oldest son of his mother Hoelun. He was called Temüjin because, in the Mongol culture, children were named after the leader of the last tribe to be defeated by the child’s father Childhood was short and difficult for the Mongols, and Temüjin learned how to ride horses when he was three, and hunt and fish before he turned six years old. The Mongols also had very early arranged marriages, and Temüjin was no exception. At the age of nine, his father, Yesükhei, made arrangements to have him wed a girl from a neighboring tribe. As part of the arrangement, Yesükhei left Temüjin with the tribe until he came of age. On his way home, Yesükhei was poisoned by a rival tribe offering him food, and in his last breaths, he expressed his desire to have his son...

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