Genghis Khan – Mongolian war hero, Asian Mustache Icon

http://asianhistory.about.com/od/profilesofasianleaders/p/GenghisKhanProf.htm

Genghis Khan.

The name echoes through the history of Europe and Asia with a drumbeat of horse-hooves, accompanied by the screams of doomed townspeople. Incredibly, in a span of just 25 years, Genghis Khan’s horsemen conquered a larger area and greater population than the Romans did in four centuries.

To the millions of people his Golden Horde conquered, Genghis Khan was evil incarnate. In Mongolia and across Central Asia, though, the Great Khan’s name is revered. Some Central Asians still name their sons “Chinguz,” in hopes that these namesakes will grow up to conquer the world, as their thirteenth century hero did.

Genghis Khan’s Early Life:

Records of the Great Khan’s early life are sparse and contradictory. He was likely born in 1162, though some sources give it as 1155 or 1165.

We know that the boy was given the name Temujin. His father Yesukhei was the chief of the minor Borijin clan of nomadic Mongols, who lived by hunting rather than herding.

Yesukhei had kidnapped Temujin’s young mother, Hoelun, as she and her first husband rode home from their wedding. She became Yesukhei’s second wife; Temujin was his second son by just a few months. Mongol legend says that the baby was born with a blood-clot in his fist, a sign that he would be a great warrior.

Hardship and Captivity:

When Temujin was nine, his father took him to a neighboring tribe to work for several years and earn a bride. His intended was a slightly older girl named Borje.

On the way home, Yesukhei was poisoned by rivals, and died. Temujin returned to his mother, but the clan expelled Yesukhei’s two widows and seven children, leaving them to die.

The family scraped a living by eating roots, rodents, and fish. Young Temujin and his full brother Khasar grew to resent their eldest half-brother, Begter. They killed him; as punishment for the crime, Temujin was seized as a slave. His captivity may have lasted more than five years.

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