In 1167 AD, Temujin was born in the Royal Borjigh clan of the Mongols. His father, Yesugi, was a leader of a small clan in northeastern Mongolia. His father did not know at the time that nine years later he would be poisoned to death and his family orphaned. The suspected assassins were of a rival clan, who, upon the death of Yesugi cast out Temujin and his remaining family. Later after his father's death the young man entered the service of the Toghril Khan, his father's sworn brother. Toghril was Mongolia's most powerful and ruthless leader at the time, but took the boy into his service without a second thought.
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Temujin's military strategies were unmatched and unbeatable. His tactics were an ever-changing form of attack. His armies wore a light form of armor that consisted of a quilted jacket or waterproof leather jacket. Underneath they wore a silk shirt, so if wounded in battle the arrow would not penetrate so deep. The silk cloth would wrap around the arrow, reducing the chance of an infection, and lessening the magnitude of the wound. Genghis Khan, being a very smart man, organized his armies into smaller groups so they would be more affective. He attacked without mercy or prejudice; his only goal was to conquer all who opposed him.
One of his great attributes as a leader was that he united the different clans. He played on the idea of giving their service for Mongolia instead of for their own individual clans. Any opponent facing Genghis Khan had one of two choices: Surrender and be enslaved, or die. This was the basis for his great empire which spanned across two continents. His reign went from 1206 AD to 1227 AD, during which he conquered many nations. His territories extended from Hungary across Asia to Korea, and from Siberia to Tibet. Being no fool, Khan also introduced the first written Mongol language. During his reign he developed a carrier service, a primitive but effective form of communication.
The actual rise to power of this great leader took place in 1206 AD when a rival clan, the Merkit, kidnapped his wife. He went to Toghril for help, and Toghril returned the request by supplying him with 20,000 soldiers and men. He effectively destroyed the Merkit Warriors, they proved little match for his military genius. He had rescued his wife and proved that he was not a force to be reckoned with. In the aftermath Khan took the remaining people into his own as conquered and resumed his conquest of China.
National Geographic. http://www.nationalgeographic.com/genghis/khanmap.html. Map of Mongol Empire in 1227 AD December 1998
Edunet. Edunet's Timemachine, November 1998
The Heritage of Genhgis Khan, Empires Beyond the Wall. November 1998
Edunet. Edunet's Timemachine-700 Years Ago Northeastern Asia, December 1998
Edited by: Farina Chaodry, Von Steuben High School, Chicago, IL
Researched by: Craig Neukirch, Von Steuben High School, Chicago, IL
Written by: Joshuah Galvane, Von Steuben High School, Chicago, IL
13 October 1998