I recently saw the movie Mongol, released 2007, and it was fantastic. One of the things I look for in a movie is whether it is visually exciting or as some say – a “visual feast”. This movie no doubt is beautifully crafted and gives a sympathetic view to Genghis Khan – I highly recommend it. I enjoyed it so much it spurred me to do my own research on the great Genghis Khan and share it all with you today.
Genghis Khan is accredited for uniting the Mongolian Empire and ruthlessly conquering vast stretches of Asia during his time. Originally born under the name Temujin to a Mongolian chieftain, he became chief at the age of 13 after his father was murdered. Known to be a charismatic leader, he was eventually able to unify the rest of the Mongol tribes. His nick name Genghis Khan, meaning the “emperor of all emperors”, thus arose.
Not satisfied with ruling all the Mongol tribes, Genghis set out a campaign of conquest which included portions of modern-day China, Russia, Mongolia, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan. At the height of the Mongol Empire, it stretched from Korea to Eastern Europe. Shortly after Genghis’s death, the empire quickly disintegrated under his heirs.
How were Genghis Khan and his army able to conquer such a vast land in such a short time? Not only were the Mongol armies highly disciplined and effective, but they were known to be vicious as well. Typically, they gave an enemy city the opportunity to surrender peacefully. If the offer was not taken, then every resident was killed. This caused such great terror that often times Genghis and his army were able to conquer whole nations without a fight.
Genghis Khan’s Mongol Empire opened up contact between Europe and Asia by opening the Silk Road, the trade route which the Italian Marco Polo used to reach the land of the Khans. The Mongol Empire has inspired writers such as British poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge and his poem “Kubla Khan”.
What are your thoughts and opinions on Genghis Khan?