File Name: genghis khan his life and legacy by paul ratchnevsky .zip
I teach a variety of Asian civilization courses, and when we come to the Mongol world empire, students invariably question my credibility.
Of the making of biographies of Chinggis Khan there seems to be no end. I have eighteen on my own shelves—by no means an exhaustive collection. The author of this most recent life was for long the head of the Department of Political Science at Aligarh Muslim University; and his previous books have been on politics and recent history.
He came to power by uniting many of the nomadic tribes of Northeast Asia. After founding the Empire and being proclaimed Genghis Khan an honorary title ascending possibly from the Turkic "tengiz" — sea ,  meaning "the oceanic, universal ruler" , he launched the Mongol invasions that conquered most of Eurasia , reaching as far west as Poland in Europe and the Levant in the Middle East.
These campaigns were often accompanied by large-scale massacres of the civilian populations, especially in the Khwarazmian and Western Xia -controlled lands. Because of this brutality, which left millions dead, he is considered by many to have been a brutal ruler. Due to his exceptional military successes, Genghis Khan is often considered to be the greatest conqueror of all time. Later his grandsons split his empire into khanates. By his request, his body was buried in an unmarked grave somewhere in Mongolia.
Many of these invasions repeated the earlier large-scale slaughters of local populations. As a result, Genghis Khan and his empire have a fearsome reputation in local histories. Beyond his military accomplishments, Genghis Khan also advanced the Mongol Empire in other ways.
He decreed the adoption of the Uyghur script as the Mongol Empire's writing system. He also practised meritocracy and encouraged religious tolerance in the Mongol Empire, unifying the nomadic tribes of Northeast Asia.
Present-day Mongolians regard him as the founding father of Mongolia. This brought relatively easy communication and trade between Northeast Asia, Muslim Southwest Asia, and Christian Europe , expanding the cultural horizons of all three areas.
This position was contested by the rival Tayichi'ud clan, who descended directly from Ambaghai. When the Tatars grew too powerful after , the Jin switched their support from the Tatars to the Keraites. Little is known about Genghis Khan's early life, due to the lack of contemporary written records. The few sources that give insight into this period often contradict. There existed a tradition which viewed Genghis Khan as a blacksmith. Paul Pelliot saw that the tradition according to which Genghis was a blacksmith was unfounded though well established by the middle of the 13th century.
While heading home, his father ran into the neighboring Tatars , who had long been Mongol enemies, and they offered him food that poisoned him. But the tribe refused this and abandoned the family, leaving it without protection. With the help of a sympathetic guard, he escaped from the ger yurt at night by hiding in a river crevice.
Soon, Jelme and Bo'orchu joined forces with him. They and the guard's son Chilaun eventually became generals of Genghis Khan. At this time, none of the tribal confederations of Mongolia were united politically, and arranged marriages were often used to solidify temporary alliances. As was common for powerful Mongol men, Genghis Khan had many wives and concubines. Each camp also contained junior wives, concubines, and even children.
It was the job of the Kheshig Mongol imperial guard to protect the yurts of Genghis Khan's wives. The guards had to pay particular attention to the individual yurt and camp in which Genghis Khan slept, which could change every night as he visited different wives.
This left doubt as to who the father of the child was, because her captor took her as a "wife" and could have possibly impregnated her. However, the poor survival of Mongol records means it is unclear whether she gave birth to all of them.
Genghis Khan took Yesui with him when he set out on his final expedition against the Tangut empire. However, Dayir Usan later retracted his surrender but he and his subjects were eventually subdued, his possessions plundered, and he himself killed. She was a renowned beauty on the plains. She was originally a favored concubine of Inanch Bilge khan and after his death, she became the consort of his son Tayang Khan.
Since Tayang Khan was a useless ruler, Juerbiesu was in control of almost all power in Naiman politics. After Genghis Khan destroyed the Naiman tribe and Tayang Khan was killed, Juerbiesu made several offensive remarks regarding Mongols, describing their clothes as dirty and smelly.
Yet, she abruptly rescinded her claims and visited Genghis Khan's tent alone. He questioned her about the remarks but was immediately attracted to her beauty. After spending the night with him, Juerbiesu promised to serve him well and he took her as one of his empresses. Her status was only inferior to Khulan and Borte. Ibaqa was the eldest daughter of the Kerait leader Jakha Gambhu, who allied with Genghis Khan to defeat the Naimans in As part of the alliance, Ibaqa was given to Genghis Khan as a wife.
In the early 12th century, the Central Asian plateau north of China was divided into several prominent tribal confederations , including Naimans , Merkits , Tatars , Khamag Mongols , and Keraites , that were often unfriendly towards each other, as evidenced by random raids, revenge attacks, and plundering. Before this, they were blood brothers anda vowing to remain eternally faithful. Threatened by this rise, Jamukha attacked Temujin in with an army of 30, troops. Around the year , the Jin initiated an attack against their formal vassal, the Tatars , with help from the Keraites and Mongols.
Around , the main rivals of the Mongol confederation traditionally the "Mongols" were the Naimans to the west, the Merkits to the north, the Tanguts to the south, and the Jin to the east. He delegated authority based on merit and loyalty, rather than family ties.
When he defeated rival tribes, he did not drive away their soldiers and abandon their civilians. Instead, he took the conquered tribe under his protection and integrated its members into his own tribe.
He would even have his mother adopt orphans from the conquered tribe, bringing them into his family. Senggum , son of Toghrul Wang Khan , envied Genghis Khan's growing power and affinity with his father. He allegedly planned to assassinate Genghis Khan.
Genghis Khan learned of Senggum's intentions and eventually defeated him and his loyalists. One of the later ruptures between Genghis Khan and Toghrul was Toghrul's refusal to give his daughter in marriage to Jochi , Genghis Khan's first son.
This was disrespectful in Mongolian culture and led to a war. Toghrul allied with Jamukha , who already opposed Genghis Khan's forces. However, the dispute between Toghrul and Jamukha, plus the desertion of a number of their allies to Genghis Khan, led to Toghrul's defeat.
Jamukha escaped during the conflict. This defeat was a catalyst for the fall and eventual dissolution of the Keraite tribe. Jamukha's assumption of this title was the final breach with Genghis Khan, and Jamukha formed a coalition of tribes to oppose him.
Before the conflict, several generals abandoned Jamukha, including Subutai , Jelme 's well-known younger brother. After several battles, Jamukha was turned over to Genghis Khan by his own men in Genghis Khan had killed the men who betrayed Jamukha, stating that he did not want disloyal men in his army. Jamukha refused the offer, saying that there can only be one sun in the sky, and he asked for a noble death. The custom was to die without spilling blood, specifically by having one's back broken.
Jamukha requested this form of death, although he was known to have boiled his opponents' generals alive.
The part of the Merkit clan that sided with the Naimans were defeated by Subutai , who was by then a member of Genghis Khan's personal guard and later became one of Genghis Khan's most successful commanders. The Naimans' defeat left Genghis Khan as the sole ruler of the Mongol steppe — all the prominent confederations fell or united under his Mongol confederation.
Accounts of Genghis Khan's life are marked by claims of a series of betrayals and conspiracies. These include rifts with his early allies such as Jamukha who also wanted to be a ruler of Mongol tribes and Wang Khan his and his father's ally , his son Jochi , and problems with the most important shaman , who allegedly tried to drive a wedge between him and his loyal brother Khasar. His military strategies showed a deep interest in gathering intelligence and understanding the motivations of his rivals, exemplified by his extensive spy network and Yam route systems.
He seemed to be a quick student, adopting new technologies and ideas that he encountered, such as siege warfare from the Chinese. He was also ruthless, demonstrated by his tactic of measuring against the linchpin , used against the tribes led by Jamukha. As a result, by , Genghis Khan had managed to unite or subdue the Merkits , Naimans , Mongols , Keraites, Tatars , Uyghurs , and other disparate smaller tribes under his rule.
This was a monumental feat. It resulted in peace between previously warring tribes, and a single political and military force. The union became known as the Mongols. At a Khuruldai , a council of Mongol chiefs, Genghis Khan was acknowledged as Khan of the consolidated tribes and took the new title "Genghis Khan". According to the Secret History of the Mongols, the chieftains of the conquered tribes pledged to Genghis Khan by proclaiming:.
We will throw ourselves like lightning on your enemies. We will bring you their finest women and girls, their rich tents like palaces. Genghis Khan was a Tengrist , but was religiously tolerant and interested in learning philosophical and moral lessons from other religions. Muqali then reported on the two to Genghis Khan who issued the following decree on their behalf: "They truly are men who pray to Heaven. I should like to support them with clothes and food and make them chiefs.
I'm planning on gathering many of this kind of people. While praying to Heaven, they should not have difficulties imposed on them. To forbid any mistreatment, they will be authorized to act as darqan possessor of immunity. He thanked Qiu Chuji for accepting his invitation and asked if Qiu Chuji had brought the medicine of immortality with him.
Qiu Chuji said there was no such thing as a medicine of immortality but that life can be extended through abstinence. Genghis Khan appreciated his honest reply and asked Qiu Chuji who it is that calls him eternal heavenly man, he himself or others. Kublai Khan had already met Haiyun in and been swayed towards Buddhism. All the decrees use the same formula and state that Genghis Khan first gave the decree of exemption.
I have given this decree to the Shaolin elder to carry it. According to Juvaini, Genghis Khan allowed religious freedom to Muslims during his conquest of Khwarezmia "permitting the recitation of the takbir and the azan ". Kublai Khan revived the decree in after Muslims refused to eat at a banquet.
He forbade Halal butchering and circumcision.
Access options available:. The reader is reminded again of how international the world of even 'a moderately successful friar' of the fourteenth century could be. Ocker shows how Klenkok was regarded highly as a theologian by his younger contemporaries but then was largely forgotten after his death. His one claim to later fame was his ongoing attack on the Sachsenspiegel as the basis of Saxon law. This brought Klenkok notoreity, threats against his life, and conflict - not only with secular authorities such as the city council of Magdeburg, but also with such clerics as Walter Kerlinger, the powerful Dominican inquisitor, and Herbord of Spangenburg, a member of an Erfurt chapter and Erfurt city scribe.
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Skip to search form Skip to main content You are currently offline. Some features of the site may not work correctly. DOI: Part 1 The origins and boyhood years of Genghis Khan Temuchin : homeland and ancestry Temuchin's birth Temuchin's youth the murder of Bekhter Temuchin in Tayichi'ut captivity horse rustling Temuchin seeks a protector the Merkit attack teh break between Temuchin and Jamuka the road to power. Part 2 Rise to supremacy on the steppe: Temuchin's election as Khan the struggle between Temuchin and Jamuka the quarrel with the Jurkin a gap in Temuchin's life history? View PDF.
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The Mongol empire was practically as large as the British Empire, and lasted nearly as long. Spanning Eurasia from the Pacific to the Mediterranean, it catalyzed the exchange of ideas across vast differences of history and culture, and the thesis of this book is that some of these ideas like religious freedom and technologies like printing, or gunpowder were imported into Europe and formed the basis for the Renaissance. In terms of sheer delight in the narrative, no one has told Genghis Khan 's story as effectively. Texts by other historians like Paul Ratchnevsky's Genghis Khan: His Life and Legacy may consult more primary sources [Weatherford bases his work on the Mongol text "Secret History of the Mongols", and the Persians Juvayni, and Rashid-ad-Din, Ratchnevsky consults some additional Chinese sources like the Shenwu qinzheng lu], or texts such as Saunders may be more conventional in their conclusions, but this book carries the day, in my view, in terms of its lyrical prose and breathless narrative. The footnote-free structure notes are indexed to sentences only at the end also enhances readability; one reviewer observes that it's the kind of writing that, unlike "dusty monographs", can fire ones "love for history".
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