Genghis Khan: the leader of the largest empire in history


A few kilometres away from Ulaan Baatar, in the infinity of the steppe, appears the massive monument to the national hero Genghis Khan.

Few people know that in just over 25 years, with an army of only 100,000 men, he created the largest empire in human history: a kingdom that extended for 31 million square kilometres from the Balkans to the Pacific Ocean and from India to Nothern Siberia.

monument entrance Genghis Khan - Mongolia


Temüjin, the man who became Chinngis Khaan (known to most as Genghis Khan) was perhaps born in 1162 somewhere in the Mongolian steppe, from a dark leader of a minor tribe.

He spent his adolescence fighting with the neighboring clans and then, thanks to his great victories, he became the supreme Khan of the Mongolian confederation.
On 1206, having defeated all the nomadic populations hostile to him, he became the absolute leader, the Kakhan, the Khan of the Khans.
Gengis instead probably means ocean. And it indicated the size of the area under his control.

Gengis Khan and his army conquered Lake Baikal, northern China, Manchuria, Tibet, up to overcome the Great Wall and take Beijing.
Then he looked westward, conquering the Caspian Sea, Mesopotamia, Samarkand, Baghdad, southern Russia and Afghanistan.

Planning, organization, revenge and ferocity were his invincible weapons.



Small and manageable arches hurled arrows over 300 meters, perfect for men how know hot to ride a horse at very high speed.

They also used special clothing, which stretched without breaking, preventing the enemy arrows from hurting and killing even if they hit the mark.

Before launching the attack they studied for months the defense systems, the supplies, the escape routes.

Often the Mongols made thousands of prisoners in the territories surrounding a fortified city.
Then they used them as human shields in the advance. The defenders of the walls recognized relatives and friends in the first Mongol rows and refused to fight, forcing their city to surrender.

He even built a breakwater to block supplies to the Tibetan capital Erikaia, to then conquer it by flooding it.

In the conquest of the three medieval kingdoms that made up China, he enlisted in his ranks ingegneriexperienced weapons engineers. He then strengthened his army with catapults, giant crossbows and specially explosive, even used as rockets.

monument Genghis Khan - Mongolia steppe


In the conquered Beijing, the Mongols raged for over a month on the population exhausted by the block.
Witnesses reported that the roads had become slippery from human fat and everywhere there were piles of bones of massacred people.

In 1220 it destroyed the Afghan city ofBalkh, leaving only stray dogs alive.

The animals of Nishapur were not so fortunate. To avenge the death of his brother-in-law, the army of Genghis Khan killed every living thing in the city (the population was about 1,750,000 inhabitants) and beheaded them to prevent anyone from being saved.

In 1221 he conquered the Persian city Merv and the Persian historical Al-Joveyni, who lived a generation after the massacre, writed that “only the artisans were left alive. The rest of the population, about one and a half million people, was massacred. Every Mongol warrior killed four hundred Persians, so much that the mountains looked like hills and the plains were soaked with blood “.

Genghis Khan died on August 24th 1227 and was taken to Mongolia by a thousand knights, where he was buried in an unknown place on the top of a mountain.

According to one estimate Genghis Khan was responsible for the death of 37.5 million people.
At the same time, according to a genetic study did on 2003, he and his male relatives had so many children that 16 million menwho currently live in the old Mongol kingdom land (about 0.5% of the world’s male population) are descendants of Genghis Khan, the conqueror of the world.


sunset in the steppes of Mongolia

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