Mongolian warrior and ruler Genghis Khan was the conqueror who founded the Mongolian empire in the middle ages, which would become the largest contiguous empire in history. Here are 34 ruthless facts about the 13-century warrior that gave him and his empire a fearsome reputation.
1. Genghis Khan was born in Mongolia as “Temujin” around 1162 in a time where Mongolia was ruled by different clans and tribal groups. He is said to be originally named Temujin after the Tatar chief he had just captured, Temüjin-üge. According to the Secret History of the Mongols, he was born grasping a blood clot in his fist, which was an indicator of a future leader in Mongol folklore. Eventually, Temujin would become known as ‘Genghis Khan’ after founding the Empire. The name illustrated his power with Khan meaning ruler, and Genghis being based on the Mongol word ‘Tenggis,’ which means ocean or wide-spreading. While Genghis Khan’s early life isn’t well documented, there are many legends that surround the future Universal Ruler of the Mongol Empire. It’s believed that Temujin was brought up in the difficult and harsh atmosphere of nomadic life and had a lot of responsibility and pressure on him from an early age.
2. Temujin was supposed to live and serve as the head of household Dai Setsen with Börte, his future wife that was arranged at the age of 9. However, Temujin returned home to claim his father’s position as chief after he was poisoned by Tartars, a rival tribe, when he was only 10.