"All who surrender will be spared; whoever does not surrender but opposed with struggle and dissension, shall be annihilated."
- Chingis Khan
The great empires of the world, the grand societies whose actions make up our shared human history, have risen and fallen like the sun and the moon, from their very inception, their eventual downfall was inevitable. For this reason, human history has based it’s judgments of these cultures not on how much time they each managed to survive, but on what they did with this time, on what actions and decisions they made, that would come to forge the path to the world we know now. From the Greeks, who gave birth to early civilization, to the Romans, whose armies claimed land all across the globe, and whose gov’t would come to invent politics still used today, how the past civilizations are remembered relies completely on how remarkable their actions were… except in one big case. The Great Mongol Empire began with only several people to its name, but thanks to wise and brave leadership, in less than a lifetime, it became the largest empire in history, with a fair and civil society, that was only outdone by it’s famous military, which was feared and revered in its time for unique battle strategies, and relentless soldiers. Yet when people think of them today, they’re remembered as filthy disgusting barbarians who got trumped by some stupid wall, and now lie in between Russia and China, like one big commie sandwich.
|The irony of being stuck between the largest country and the most populated country is not lost on Mongolia.|
And their wise and brave leader, Chingis Khan (who dip-shits today call Ghengis)- his most famous cultural reference is in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, a good movie, but in it he just clowns around in a sporting goods store, and as far as speaking lines go, all he does is make a few incomprehensible grunts now and again, not to mention the fact that in the movie he’s apparently so dumb that all Bill and Ted have to do to get him to walk into their mysterious magic phonebox is wave a fucking twinkie at him, and then lead him back, like he’s some kind of super-huge muscle-ridden labradoodle. But the real story real story behind Khan and his people- well, it’s the true underdog story, romantic, emotional, and a genuine tearjerker for any of those who have ever felt like they kind of just want to rule the whole entire world. With that said, allow me to finally begin our tale of conquest, glory, and the man who would change the face of the world: in 1167, the man who would become Chingis Khan was born in a shitty little tent (called a Yurt) in the steppes of Mongolia, basically the boondocks of Asia, to Chief Yesugei, who lead the rather weak Mongol Kiyad-Sub Clan.
|Step 1) Be Born. Step 2)??? Step 3) World Domination.|
To give you an accurate idea of just how weak a dominion our young Chingis, who was then known only as Temujin, his birth name, was born into, allow me to give you a little early Mongol history lesson to suck on for a bit: in the 12th century, many nomadic tribes roamed the mountainous northern steppes of Mongolia, one of these tribes actually being the Mongols, who gained a short term of power around 1130, when they managed to not only defeat a large number of the opposing tribes, but even rough the Jin Empire of Northern China up enough to make them pay tribute to their tribe. Sadly, their MVP status was destroyed when neighboring Tartar tribes finally managed to knock them down a peg, shattering their entire kingdom, splitting them into even smaller clans that resumed fighting between each other as they had before. And Temujin’s clan- well let’s just say they weren’t exactly the cleanest stall in the bathroom, that is to say, they had been shit on so many times by so many other tribes, that just surviving was a pretty optimistic outlook for them, let alone somehow defeating their enemies. Temujin learned just the kind of people he was up against at the young age of nine years old, when his father was poisoned by Tartar chiefs, killing the man, and leaving the Kiyad-Sub Clan without a proper leader. Temujin was his father’s only possible heir, but that was out of the question since, once again, he was fucking nine years old, he had less battle experience than he had hair on his body, so his clan ended up dipping out on him and his family, who were forced to move to the more deserted areas of the steppes.
|Somehow the horse makes him seem even less intimidating.|
Still, even though he was forced to live like some kind of 12th century ghetto motherfucker, eating rats and plants and shit, Temujin managed to grow into a strong, wise, and totally insane force of 100% natural badassitude. Unfortunately, despite the fact that in a fair fight he and his five men could literally destroy any motherfucker who dared to give them a nasty look, the tribal system of the 12th century Mongolian steppes (and correct me if I’m wrong here but actually the tribal system of any time or place in history) wasn’t about playing fair, it was about the same thing our modern High School system is about: getting that ass, and screwing over the weak nerdy guys to do it. So one day, when Temujin was 16, his family was attacked by the Merkid Tribe, who trashed his camp, and then kidnapped his wife for good measure, not realizing that Temujin, who’d been fucked with by tribal dickheads just like the Merkids all his life, had a limit, and when they stole his wife, they didn’t just step over it, they fucking catapulted themselves so far across it that they would pray for death when Temujin got done with them. The first thing he did was call in some old friends of his father’s, the Kereyid Tribe, who in turn called in some help from one of the higher ups, a Mongol coalition leader by the name of Jamugha, who also happened to be a childhood friend of Temujin’s. It was basically like having a High School Reunion, except you and your friends decided to murder everybody.
|Class of 1184|
Together, they reclaimed Temujin’s wife, and stuck their fists so far up the individual assholes of each and every Merkid that nobody in the tribe could sit down for weeks. Temujin, Jamugha, and to a lesser extent, the Kereyid Tribe, decided to stick together, and continued to rape the minds of each and every other tribe in the steppes, until they had control over most of the Mongol clans, but as far as Temujin was concerned, being known as “lord of all the peoples dwelling in felt tents,” was like getting first prize in a race against a bunch of fat kids, and he wouldn’t be satisfied until he had control over the entire world. This created a separation between Temujin and Jamugha, which came to a head one day when apparently, while the two were leading their Mongols onto their next conquest, Jamugha bitched about wanting to stop and rest, and stopped to pitch tent, while Temujin, who’d apparently had it with putting up with this pussy, just “kept going.”
|NO! We had bathroom breaks an hour ago, now MOVE YOUR ASS!|
From that day on, the Mongols were divided into two groups, and started fighting, until eventually, Temujin was defeated in battle, and was forced into exile. He took ten years or so to cool his jets, trained himself to somehow become even more badass, so that when he returned, he quickly got back to doing what he did best: conquering the world, one uppity motherfucker at a time. By 1204, Temujin had defeated and subjugated each and every single tribe in the steppes, and in 1206, he took the title of Chingis Khan, which roughly translates to, ‘Firm, Resolute Leader,’ which, call me immature all you want, I have a hard time not seeing as an obvious dick reference. Proving just how great a leader he truly was, his first actions as the new ruler of the Mongolian Empire were to instate laws and customs meant to not only unite the many tribes he had conquered, but to form them into a military superstructure that would strengthen his armies exponentially, as well as protect his claimed people, and insure that should his invasions fail, the entire empire would not once again be disbanded like their ancestors. He also created an administrative hierarchy (with him and his friends at the tippity top of course), and numerous other laws meant to establish order, and end the nomadic society his people had lived for hundreds of years, essentially forming the most advanced form of gov’t ever seen on the steps up to that point. It was also a very just, and peaceful gov’t, that reflected Chingis Khan himself, for while he did show little remorse when it came to murdering his many enemies, he was always known to be very merciful after his enemies defeat, forbidding his men to rape or pillage without his expressed permission, and was also known to give the spoils of his conquests back to the many poor and needy of his people, instead of just the aristocratic few.
|Robin Hood stole from the rich and gave to the poor. Chingis Khan just stole from everybody and gave to the poor.|
These noble traits, as well as many others, are present in the laws he created, that forbade theft, the selling of women, and not only gave religious and social freedom to his people, but exempted those too poor to support themselves, as well as the clergy, from taxation, all of which drew many oppressed and segregated minorities to the Mongol Empire, such as Christians, Muslims, and Buddhists. And most importantly, the result of his applied changes to the military system of the time, The Mongol Hordes, Chingis Khan’s army of pure-bred Mongolian badasses, ferocious and strictly organized soldiers, whose balls were so big that their system for taming the horses they rode into battle, was by just walking around the horse a couple times and emasculating them. Now originally, Chingis was going to be cool, and just raid the Jin Empire of Northern China a couple times every now and again, and force them to pay tribute to the Mongols in return for peace, but the Jin Empire, being made up of spineless, foolish little weasels, always quit paying tribute when they heard that the Mongols had gone back home after a raid. Tired of dealing with their bullshit, Chingis organized his entire army of 65,000 men, and marched their asses across the Gobi Desert, the fourth largest desert in he world, to go give the Jins a piece of their minds (and by minds they meant fists).
|Remind me again why people thought they could somehow be stopped by a wall?|
With the help of the Jin’s neighbors, the Ongguts, The Mongol Hordes easily got past the empire’s defenses, and marched all through the land, pillaging, looting, and destroying anyone or anything in their path, even decimating a force of Jin warriors 150,000 men strong (though more like zero men strong by the time the Mongols were done with them). Chingis used superior tactics and strategy to severely weaken the Jin, until on a siege, he was seriously wounded, and was forced to withdraw back to Mongolia to heal, time that the Jin used to repair their defenses. Which were promptly destroyed once again when the Mongols returned even stronger only one year later, this time with three different army forces attacking at once, one commanded by himself, the other two commanded by his two oldest sons (call it nepotism all you want, Chingis Khan is officially father of the year FOREVER), who helped conquer so much land in only one year, that by 1214 most of the area north of the Yellow River was under Mongolian control, all except for the Jin Empire capital city of Chungdu, which withstood the assault of the Hordes, mostly because the city was very heavily fortified, and gave Chingis’ cavalry forces (which aren’t designed for siege warfare) a huge disadvantage. Still, it was the capital city, it would give the Mongolian Empire an enormous upper-hand in future battles, and would finally end the Jin Empire once and for all- it was like the last level in an old SNES generation videogame, if he gave up now, then all that time and effort was for nothing, and all the butthurt in the world wouldn’t change that.
|All we had to do, was conquer the damn city, CK!|
So in a state of almost frenzied madness, Chingis refused to give up, throwing almost everyone of his forces at the city, only to have each one die without making a substantial enough impact. Finally, he was forced to concede, and left one of his generals in charge of the siege, which finally succeeded in 1215, not that it really mattered since by then the Jin capital had changed to Kai-feng. Tired of fucking around with China, Chingis decided to look west, and started sending forces to combat and conquer smaller empires like the Kara Khitai, until Kwarazmian Empire in Persia decided to send a huge middle finger Mongolia’s way by attacking and publicly humiliating the caravan of peace ambassadors Chingis had sent to them. This understandably pissed Chingis off so much, that he assembled almost every available force in his empire, a force of about 90-110,000 men, and lead them to go show the Kwarazm Shah why it would have been in their best interests not to fucking murder their only chance at making him their friend. Now the Kwarazm Shah did posses a military force about two thirds larger than the Mongols, as well as many very well fortified garrisons throughout the empire, but what the Mongols lacked in size, they also lacked in the amount of fucks they gave about the odds, they had discipline and brilliant strategy on their side. The KS learned this firsthand when Chingis lead his branch of troops through the goddamn desert (which they hadn’t exactly expected because it’s considered a bit impractical to march a large group of soldiers through the desert as they’re kind of supposed to fall victim to dehydration, heatstroke, losing their direction, and extreme demoralization. Like regular humans), and completely surprised the city of Bokhara, who just about shit their pants when they woke up one morning to find Chingis and his troops on their doorstep, leaving them too busy trying to change their slacks during the battle to organize, and for such reason, were quickly defeated.
Many others cities fell on their path to the capital, as the KS kept trying to throw troops at them to slow them down, which instead only seemed to make them more pissed off, so much so that by the time they did reach Samarkand, the capital, it became immediately obvious that shit wasn’t the only thing that was going to go down. With the number of Chingis’ forces, and the unheard of number of fortifications in the city, it was expected to take them at least several months to breach the walls, but the Mongols, their hearts filled with rage, and their fists filled with all kinds of swords and knives and shit, breached the walls in just ten goddamn days, officially redeeming them for their incident at Chungdu, and expanding their empire all the way to the edge of Europe and the Middle East. Sadly, Chingis was approaching the old age of sixty, and he was starting to realize when he looked at the map that if he wanted to conquer the world, he still had a ways to go, and it wasn’t looking like he’d have the time to do it. At first Chingis sought an elixir of immortality he’d heard a legendary monk possessed, but instead, he found out from the monk himself that the elixir did not exist, still, the two became close friends, and Chingis was inspired by the monk’s praise of his wisdom to return to his more administrative priorities as leader, setting up a plan for the future of his empire to insure that it would not only stay strong, but continue to grow stronger, and expand long after he had passed.
|I'm pretty sure this was what he was thinking of, but he probably would've preferred death anyway.|
But even age couldn’t weaken Chingis’ completely badass nature, and so, when nearing the end of his life, he heard that the Tangut Xi Xia Empire, which had been one of the first empires defeated by Chingis on his road to world-domination (though it became a tributary to the Mongols, and was never officially annexed), had stopped paying tribute in defiance of the Mongols, he personally rode out with his army to capture the Xi Xia capital in 1226, a fitting final conquest for the man who’d claimed more land in his lifetime than any that has ever lived (especially considering the fact that it all started with just him and like, five other dudes). He finally passed away in August of 1227, at the age of 60, his son Ogedei succeeding him as Khan. Chingis’ descendants would continue to expand the empire, and like their original Khan, would remember to fight those who opposed them mercilessly, but show restraint, and providence to their people, and those who complied to Mongolian subjugation, a trait that not only aided their generation-spanning conquests, but also united the very different, and separated cultures they covered, which, even after the Mongolian Empire receded, created a lasting bond between the different peoples all across Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. Chingis Khan may not be remembered all too kindly for his accomplishments, for whatever benefits they brought about, came very high costs, like, for example, the death of 11% percent of the world population (though to be fair I believe Chingis did what he could to make up for that), and the destruction of hundreds of precious artifacts, tomes of knowledge, and ancient architectural structures we might have been able to see now, in our modern age. At the same time, if he hadn’t, who knows what we would have lost? In the end, we can’t simply crucify the man, and we most certainly can’t dismiss, or forget all the astounding things he did in his lifetime, which still affect us so much to this day.
|I'm just a simple man with dreams of ruling the world.|