Genghis Khan – The Conqueror Who Loved Women (Like, A Lot)
You all know Genghis Khan as the badass conqueror and pillager (such a fascinating word. You just never get to use that anymore). But for approximately 0.5% of you, let me introduce you to your great-great-great (to the power of like 20 – this guy was pretty ancient) grandfather. Yup, he saw, he fought, he killed, and then he boned himself into the gene-pool that is all of humanity (or 0.5% of it anyway). That’s how badass he really was!
The Beginning Of The Conqueror
So Chengiz Khan aka Genghis Khan aka The Big K, was born Temujin, which literally means ‘blacksmith‘, around 1162 AD to a military chief in present-day Mongolia, right under the chilly Siberian forests.
Temujin’s father, Yesugei, was murdered when the kid was nine, apparently while he was trying to find his son a wife. After lots of Game of Thrones power-grabbing within the tribe and specifically within the family, he rose to the top after killing his half-brother Begter. Our boy was an early starter.
His epic journey to world Domination (capital D, because, you know), which plunged the world into centuries of latent penis envy, properly began when he reached maturity. He was married off to his first wife Borte when he was 16 (think about what you were doing when you were 16). Borte was later kidnapped by a rival Mongol clan, which apparently was a pretty common occurrence. Temujin’s mom was also a kidnappee (?).
Temujin proved his mettle with the pursuit and rescue of his wife, and soon became the leader of the tribe. The whole fratricide thing helped. Fratricide doesn’t mean murdering every member of a fraternity, but killing your brother. Learn that word. It’s useful. Temujin was an ambitious lad though, and through some shrewd politicking, united the other Mongol tribes under his rule. He had three main policies, which you’d do well to learn in case you want to unite a few tribes under you. I’m sure that happens to you all the time. Anyway, he did this by :
- Promoting people based on merit and not family positions. This helped establish loyalty amongst his troops
- Assimilating the defeated warriors of tribes he conquered instead of, you know, executing them.
- Including the poor, lowly members of the defeated tribes into his tribe, while massacring the rich members.
So the peasants loved him, and the rich hated him, but the rich weren’t rich anymore, so who cares?
The Wrath of (Genghis) Khan
So you’re the absolute(-ish) ruler of a few thousand Mongols who aren’t quite past the Borat level of social development. What do you do? Develop a stable monarchy to end constant tribal warfare? Settle down and create a proper city-state? Do the Denaerys thing and try to ‘be a good ruler’? If you chose any of those options, congratulations! You’re a decent and well-adjusted member of society. Also, your name will wind up in anonymity with the thousands of other such rulers.
Genghis Khan was not one of those people. He was a bundle of testosterone-fuelled crazy. And unfortunately for the people of China, he was the ‘let’s invade a huge country against terrible odds and kick the shit out of them’ crazy. That, my friend, was just the beginning.
How To Kill Friends and Conquer People
In 1206, Temujin was given the honorific name Genghis Khan. While we aren’t quite sure what Genghis means, we know that Khan means ‘leader’.
So what regions did he conquer? I’m glad you asked.
Why China? Because sometimes being the first Mongol Emperor in the history of the world doesn’t get you enough street cred. So Genghis marched through the Great Wall, took over the Three Kingdoms of China, and then collected more money than a Rothschild at his bar mitzvah (oops!). Men defending the Chinese kingdoms would often just surrender at the first chance at his sieges, simply because of his reputation as someone who enjoyed a casual genocide.
At the siege of Beijing though, his army looked a bit small *insert penis joke*
So. What does Genghis do? He gets his army to spread out and then gets his troops to light more camp fires than they need. The Chinese, thinking they’re against a massive horde, or just thinking they’re facing an army of giants who need lots of sleeping room, decide to surrender, because hey, either option is quite bad. The French will always be the butt of surrender jokes but not Beijing inhabitants. And bam! Genghis shoots, he scores! And suddenly he’s taken China.
Though one of history’s overwhelming lessons has been to not mess with Mongol hordes, Persia hadn’t quite learnt that lesson when they executed a messenger sent by some Genghis Khan dude. Probably too busy learning poetry and arts and non-manly stuff like that. Our boy Genghis didn’t like having his messengers executed and was probably just bored of not having people to kill. So he decided to fuck shit up. And that he did, exterminating large parts of Persia, destroying Baghdad, destroying cultural treasures and making the streets and rivers run red with the blood of the vanquired. Ah yes, Genghis had fond memories of Spring Break, Persia, 1220.
Who’s your daddy?
Genghis Khan enjoyed sex. But he enjoyed sex the way Tiger Woods enjoys the odd round of golf. Or sex. He had to get it at least four times a day, plus bits on the side (Genghis, not Tiger Woods. Actually we don’t know). He went through half the world’s ‘most beautiful virgins’, along with his many wives. He was like Tiger Woods, except instead of hitting balls, he was hitting other men, with arrows, in the balls. And then doing the other Tiger Woods thing. That’s a lot of Tiger Woods jokes. Anyway, our point is that Genghis Khan has an estimated 16 million male descendants today. Do you live anywhere between China and the Middle East? Hey, you could be a Genghis Khan descendent!
Featured image: http://cdn.history.com/sites/2/2014/02/khan-H.jpeg