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Born in north central Mongolia around 1162, Genghis Khan was originally named "Temujin" after a Tatar chieftain that his father, Yesukhei, had captured. Young Temujin was a member of the Borjigin tribe and a descendant of Khabul Khan, who briefly united Mongols against the Jin Dynasty of northern China in the early 1100s.Temujin was born with a blood clot in his hand, a sign in Mongol folklore that he was destined to become a leader. His mother, Hoelun, taught him the grim reality of living in turbulent Mongol tribal society and the need for alliances.
When Temujin was 9, his father took him to live with the family of his future bride, Borte. On the return trip home, Yesukhei encountered members of the rival Tatar tribe, who invited him to a conciliatory meal, where he was poisoned for past transgressions against the Tatars.Upon hearing of his father's death, Temujin returned home to claim his position as clan chief. However, the clan refused to recognize the young boy's leadership and ostracized his family of younger brothers and half-brothers to near-refugee status. The pressure on the family was great, and in a dispute over the spoils of a hunting expedition, Temujin quarreled with and killed his half-brother, Bekhter, confirming his position as head of the family.
As a leader
Through a combination of outstanding military tactics and merciless brutality, Temujin avenged his father's murder by decimating the Tatar army, and ordered the killing of every Tatar male who was more than approximately 3 feet tall (taller than the linchpin, or axle pin, of a wagon wheel). Temujin's Mongols then defeated the Taichi'ut using a series of massive cavalry attacks, including having all of the Taichi'ut chiefs boiled alive. By 1206, Temujin had also defeated the powerful Naiman tribe, thus giving him control of central and eastern Mongolia.
Following the victories over the rival Mongol tribes, other tribal leaders agreed to peace and bestowed on Temujin the title of "Genghis Khan," which means " universal ruler." The title carried not only political importance, but also spiritual significance. The leading shaman declared Genghis Khan the representative of Mongke Koko Tengri (the "Eternal Blue Sky"), the supreme god of the Mongols. With this declaration of divine status, it was accepted that his destiny was to rule the world. Religious tolerance was practiced in the Mongol Empire, but to defy the Great Khan was equal to defying the will of God. It was with such religious fervor that Genghis Khan is supposed to have said to one of his enemies, "I am the flail of God. If you had not committed great sins, God would not have sent a punishment like me upon you."
Pros and Cons
Even though Khan was a war monger, his crusade across asia and so forth caused change. The stragedy of war, weapons, leadership. It caused people to flee to new lands and bring new ideas to other areas. It spawned ideas.It mixed races into different cultures. He brought rule to areas that had little. He allowed in many cases for the people he conquered to keep their religion. He devistated whole peoples by butchering them out of existence. Created a dark age for some that stunted growth that took years to recover, if ever. Caused paranoia among the neighbors. Long lasting hatred for his people. Reversed the fortunes of many civilizations by sacking whole cities.
Genghis Khan died in 1227, soon after the submission of the Xi Xia. The exact cause of his death is unknown. Some historians maintain that he fell off a horse while on a hunt, and died of fatigue and injuries. Others contend that he died of respiratory disease. Genghis Khan was buried without markings, according to the customs of his tribe, somewhere near his birthplace—close to the Onon River and the Khentii Mountains in northern Mongolia. According to legend, the funeral escort killed anyone and anything they encountered to conceal the location of the burial site, and a river was diverted over Genghis Khan's grave to make it impossible to find.