100 Interesting Facts About Temujin or Genghis Khan

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Who is Temujin? Some people consider him one of the worst conquerors to have ever lived. He is hated by many for the hundreds of thousands of people who were killed during his time. Is he really bad? Do we really have to hate him?

Check this out to find out and be the judge.

1.) Temujin is known in world history as “Genghis Khan. His real name is Borjigin Temujin.

2.) Temüjin was named after a Tatar chieftain whom his father had captured. The name also suggests that they may have been descended from a family of blacksmiths

3.) Physically, Genghis is described as tall, long-bearded, red-haired and bluish-green-eyed.

4.) Kublai Khan, his grand child who ruled China, did not inherit his red hair.

5.) He was probably born in 1162 in Khentii Mountains and died in 1227 CE or Common Era at the age of 65.

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6.) Temujin was born with a blood clot grasped in his fist, a traditional sign that he was destined to become a great leader.

7.) He was the third-oldest son of his father who is a minor tribal chief and the oldest son of Hoelun his mother.

8.) Temujin had 3 brothers – Khasar, Khajiun, and Temuge and his only sister was Temülen. His two half-brothers were Bekhter and Belgutei.

9.) Genghis was the founder, ruler and emperor of the Mongol Empire, which became the largest contiguous empire in history after his death.

N.B. Khan means ruler and Khagan means Emperor.

10.) Genghis Khan is considered as one of the prominent leaders in the history of Mongolia.

11.) When Temujin was 9 years old, his father Yesukhei was poisoned by Tatars, leaving Temujin and his family in extreme poverty.

12.) At age 10, during a hunting excursion, Temüjin killed his half-brother, Bekhter, which was a result of a dispute over hunting spoils.

13.) In 1182, he was captured in a raid and held prisoner by his father’s former allies, the Tayichi’ud. They enslaved Temüjin but with the help of a sympathetic watcher, the father of Chilaun (who would later become a general of Genghis Khan), he was able to escape.

14.) In 1184, Borte, Temujin’s wife was kidnapped by Merkits. Together with his blood brother Jamuka and Wang Khan they rescued Borte.

15.) Jamuka was one of Temujin’s best friends growing up. But their friendship would be tested later in life, when Temujin was fighting to become a khan.

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16.) In 1206, Jamuka was eventually betrayed to Temüjin by his followers. Temüjin executed Jamuka’s betrayers on the principle that betrayal merits the harshest punishment.

17.) Jamuka asked to be executed by a noble death without spilling blood. His request was granted by having his back broken by Temüjin’s soldiers.

18.) In 1185, Jochi, Temujin’s first son was born; leading to doubt about his paternity later among Temujin’s children, because he was born shortly after Borte’s rescue from the Merkits.

19.) For eight months, Börte had been held captive by the Merkits and she gave birth to Jocjhi after she was rescued.

20.) The complete name of Temujin’s first wife is Borte Ujin. She was born in 1161 and perished in 1230.

21.) When Temujin was 16, he married Borte who was 17, to cement alliances between their respective tribes.

22.) Borte became the head of the first Court of Genghis Khan, and Grand Empress of his Empire.

23.) Borte and Temujin have had four sons and five daughters. Their sons were named Jochi, Chagatai, Ogedei and Tolui.

24.) Their five daughters were Khojen Beki, Alaqai Beki, Tümelün, Altalün and Checheyigen.

25.) Genghis Khan also had many other children with his other wives, but they were excluded from the succession, and records of daughters are nonexistent.

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26.) The statue of Temujin on the above photo indicated that he died of wound received in a battle and died later because one hoof of the horse is in the air.

27.) By 1190, Temüjin had united the smaller Mongol confederation.

28.) In his rule and his conquest of rival tribes, Temüjin broke with Mongol tradition in a few crucial ways like delegating authority based on merit and loyalty, rather than family ties.

29.) He motivated civilians and soldiers by promising them wealth from future possible war spoils.

30.) Temujin did not drive away enemy soldiers as he defeated rival tribes but took the conquered tribe under his protection and integrated its members into his own tribe.

31.) Huelon, Genghis mother, undertook the care of war orphans under the orders of Genghis, adopting them and bringing them into the family as a part of an inclusionist policy aimed at creating loyalty among conquered tribes.

32.) In 1202, Temujin was adopted as Wang Khan’s heir after his successful campaigns against Tatars.

33.) Senggum, the son of Toghrul or more popularly known as Wang Khan, was jealous of Temüjin’s growing power and planned to assassinate him.

34.) By 1206, Temüjin had managed to unite all the tribes in Mongolia and was acknowledge as “Khan” of the consolidated tribes and took the title Genghis Khan.

35.) The title Khagan was not conferred on Genghis until after his death, when his son and successor, Ögedei took the title for himself and extended it posthumously to his father.

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36.) Genghis Khan was also posthumously declared the founder of the Yuan Dynasty which was founded by his grandchild – Kublai Khan.

37.) By 1209, he had conquered Western Xia Dynasty and by 1211, he defeated the Jin Dynasty at the battle of Badger Pass were thousands of Jin soldiers were massacred.

38.) In 1215 Genghis besieged, captured, and sacked the Jin capital of Yanjing, the capital of Jin Dynasty. Yanjing is presently known as Beijing. Kara-Khitan Khanate was also conquered the following year.

39.) Genghis Khan wanted to establish official trading relationship with Khwarezmian Empire by sending 500-man caravan. Inalchuq, the governor of the Khwarezmian city of Otar, ordered attacked of the caravan and looted it.

40.) When the empire refused to repay damages and one of the 3 ambassadors sent by Genghis was beheaded, he organized an army of 200,000 and attacked the empire.

41.) Genghis Khan ordered the wholesale massacre of many of the civilians, enslaved the rest of the population of the empire.

42.) He executed Inalchuq by pouring molten silver into his ears and eyes, as retribution for his actions.

43.) Genghis Khan ordered two of his generals and their forces to completely destroy the remnants of the Khwarezmid Empire.

44.) He even diverted a river through the Khwarezmid emperor’s birthplace, erasing it from the map.

45.) Temujin and his men attacked Samarkand in Central Asia using prisoners as body shields and executed every soldier that had taken arms against him.

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46.) The people of Samarkand were brought outside the city and were killed and pyramids of severed heads were raised as a symbol of victory.

47.) Bukhara City was attacked after Samarkand and survivors were executed while artisans and craftsmen were sent back to Mongolia.

48.) Young men of the city of Bukhara who had not fought were drafted into the Mongolian army and the rest of the population was sent into slavery.

49.) Bukhara City was burned down to the ground  and the surviving population of the city assemble in the main mosque of the town and Temujin declared that he was the flail of God, sent to punish them for their sins.

50.) The invasion of Urgench City, a wealthy trading city, was one of the most difficult battles of the Mongolian army because they are not familiar to city fighting.

51.) Artisans were sent back to Mongolia and young women and children were given to the Mongol soldiers as slaves.

52.) The rest of Urgench’s population was massacred with 24 people for each of the 50,000 Mongol soldiers making the sacking of Urgench one of history’s bloodiest massacres.

53.) After Khwarezmian Empire was defeated in 1220, the Mongolians destroyed the kingdom of Georgia and Caffa in Crimea.

54.) In 1227, during the Mongol invasion of China, Genghis Khan ordered the execution of the entire imperial family giving an end of the Tangut lineage.

55.) It was in 1227 that Genghis died, some stories say that he was castrated by a Tangut princess using a knife inserted on her vagina to avenge his treatment of the Tanguts and stop him from raping her.

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56.) The map on the above photo shows the area occupied by the Mongol Empire in 1227 at Genghis Khan’s death.

57.) According to legend, Genghis Khan died after his castration and the Tangut princess committed suicide by drowning in the Yellow River.

58.) Some historians maintain that Genghis Khan fell off his horse during a horseback pursuit from the land of present day Egypt due to battle wounds and physical fatigue and died of his injuries later.

59.) According to the customs of Genghis Khan’s tribe, he was buried without markings.

60.) Prior to his death, to avoid conflict among his sons, Genghis explicitly divided his empire among them and made them all Khan in their own right and by appointing one of his sons as his successor.

61.) Genghis Khan decided to give the throne to Ogedei because he was dependable in character and relatively stable and down to earth and would be a neutral candidate.

62.) Genghis Khan left behind an army of more than 129,000 men; 28,000 were given to his various brothers and his sons.

63.) His youngest son Tolui inherited more than 100,000 men because by Mongolia tradition, the youngest son inherits his father’s property.

64.) Chagatai, Ogedei Khan Gelejian, the son of Kulan received armies of 4,000 men each while his mother and the descendants of his three brothers received 3,000 men each.

65.) Subutai, Jebe and Muqali were three of Genghis ablest and most trusted generals.

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66.) Many of the invasions conducted by Genghis Khan resulted in the large-scale slaughter of local populations which gave Genghis Khan and his empire a fearsome reputation in local histories.

67.) According to some historians, they estimated that Genghis Khan’s campaigns killed as many as 40 million people.

68.) During his rule, he decreed the adoption of the Uyghur script as the Mongol Empire’s writing system.

69.) Genghis Khan was very tolerant religiously. He was very interested in learning philosophical and moral lessons from other religions.

70.) Genghis Khan also promoted religious tolerance in the Mongol Empire and created a unified empire from the nomadic tribes of northeast Asia.

71.) A civilian and military code known as Yassa, which was created by Genghis Khan, was used to govern the Mongol Empire.

72.) The Mongol Empire practiced religious tolerance and the empire was one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse empires in history, as befitted its size.

73.) The Mongol military were experts in siege warfare and feigned retreat where they defeated much larger enemy armies in employing such tactics.

74.) There were tax exemptions to religious figures, teachers and doctors.

75.) The Mongol Empire capital was Karakorum.

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76.) The Genghis Khan Mausoleum was constructed many years after Genghis Khan’s death as a memorial but not his burial site. It is located in Inner Mongolia, China.

77.) Present-day Mongolians regard Genghis khan highly as the founding father of Mongolia.

78.) In Mongolia today, Genghis Khan’s name and likeness are endorsed on products, streets, buildings, and other places.

79.) Genghis Khan’s face can be found on everyday commodities, from liquor bottles to candy products, and on the largest denominations of 500, 1,000, 5,000 and 10,000 Mongolian togrog.

80.) The main international airport of Mongolia was changed to Chinggis Khaan International Airport.

81.) Major statues were erected before the parliament and near Ulaanbaatar for Genghis Khan.

82.) Mongolians maintain that the historical records written by non-Mongolians against Genghis Khan are unfairly biased and that his butchery is exaggerated, while his positive role is underrated

83.) Based on a study, as many as 200,000 Mongolians of Mongolia’s 2 million population could be Khan’s descendants.

84.) In Iran and the Middle East, Genghis Khan is regarded as a destructive and genocidal warlord who caused enormous damage and destruction to the population of these areas.

85.) It was estimated that the Mongol military killed up to three quarters of the population of the Iranian Plateau, possibly 10 to 15 million people.

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86.) According to some historians, the Mongols killed more than 700,000 people in Merv and more than a million in Nishapur.

87.) In China, Hungary, Korea, Middle East, Poland, Russia and Ukraine Genghis Khan and his regime are credited with considerable damage, destruction and loss of population.

88.) Timur and Babur of the Mughal Empire were descendants of Genghis Khan.

89.) Subutai, one of Gengis Khan’s military general and advisor is regarded as the greatest military commander of all time.

90.) Genghis Khan’s empire lasted more than 150 years after his death. Amil Khan, his last ruling descendant, was deposed by Soviet forces in 1920.

91.) Genghis Khan is featured on the reverse of a Kazakhstan 100 Tenge coin.

92.) The most recent film made about Genghis Khan is the Russian film released in 2009 entitled “By the Will of Genghis Khan”.

93.) Two popular novels were written about Genghis Khan; “The Conqueror” series of novels by Conn Iggulden and “You Can’t, But Genghis Khan” from the Time Warp Trio book series.

94.) A short story about Genghis Khan was also written by Douglas Adams and Graham Chapman and was entitled “The Private Life of Genghis Khan”.

95.) The Film “Mongol” by Sergei Bodrov which was released in 2007 was an Academy Award nominee for Best Foreign Language Film.

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96.)  The equestrian statue of Genghis Khan near Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia, is the largest in the world with a height of 40 meters.

97.) Three films entitled “Genghis Khan” were released in 1950 (Philippines), 1965 and 1992.

98.) A Japanese-Mongolian film entitled “Genghis Khan: To the Ends of the Earth and Sea” was released in 2007.

99.)  A TV Series entitled “Genghis Khan” was first broadcast on CCTV in China and Mongolia in 2004. It was also aired on KBS in South Korea n 2005.

100.) Like King Solomon, Genghis Khan had many wives. He had six Mongolian wives and married many daughters of foreign kings who submitted to his rule.

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