|Date of Birth:||c. 1162|
Genghis Khan or Temujin is arguably the most reproductively successful human male to have ever lived. The man was a brutal conqueror, responsible for the deaths of up to 40 million people. Genghis came from a privileged family, but as a boy Genghis's father was killed by a rival tribe, and their family descended into extreme poverty. Ghengis was then briefly enslaved and later escaped thanks to the assistance of a poor servant family, whom Genghis clearly made a favorable impression on. Ghengis became hellbent on revenge. Both Hoelun, Genghis's mother, and Genghis's beloved first wife, Borte, were victims of bridenapping. There are rumors that Genghis was cuckolded by the chief of the rival Merkid clan, during Borte's captivity and that Genghis's oldest son Jochi is not actually Genghis's own. However this is only speculation. In response to the kidnapping of Borte, Genghis raised a raiding party, attacked the Merkid clan and in Genghis's own words "Made an end of the men and their descendants and ravished those that remained".
Genghis was extremely charismatic, a great warrior and strategist, and was awarded the title of khan (chief) by 20 years old. Genghis then went on to solidify the rule of all of Mongolia about 20 years later, in middle age. Implying lifelong ridiculously high testosterone, extremely high IQ, extraordinary attractive looks and behavior. His continued vigor and accomplishments even into old age may imply unusually high testosterone levels.
The figure shows the Statue of Genghis Khan, situated north of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, where he supposedly found a golden whip that spurred him to unite Mongolia.
Character and reign[edit | edit source]
Genghis Khan was a firm believer in logic, reason, and meritocracy. He was also highly domineering and egotistical, and believed he had a god-given right to rule the world, known in China as "the mandate of heaven". For example, at a very young age, Genghis killed his older half-brother to establish leadership and dominance within the family. His brother had attempted to 'pull rank' on Genghis, bullying him by stealing his kill after a hunting session. When he told his mother of this incident, she sided with the older half-brother (her future husband). Incensed at this, Genghis and his brother Khasar swiftly made a plan to ambush the older brother. Showing tactical acumen at an early age, Genghis had his brother (the better shot of the two) approach Begter from the front while Genghis stalked him like prey from behind through tall grass. After a confrontation with his older brother, who made no effort to defend himself, the two brother pelted him with arrows and left him to perish.
He eschewed (somewhat) the tribalism that was common in the steep nomad milieu he was raised in, by recruiting top soldiers from other armies, based on merit and usefulness. This is in contrast to the Big Man system of the tallest guy gets the job, regardless of ability that was in place at the time, or the kinship system of the Mongols which placed family ties above all else. His rule was just but extremely brutal, with him abolishing torture in his realm, but treating criminals and bandits with the utmost severity. This Pax Mongolica (mongol peace) thus established in his empire and that of his descendants established trade links that spanned from China to Western Europe.
He established a universal legal code in his empire, with all being subject to the laws regardless of birth. He established the world's first postal system throughout his empire which utilized a relay system of horseback messages ( similar to the later American pony express). He is also claimed to have been the first to establish the convention of diplomatic immunity, which was in contravention to the common practice at the time of keeping foreign diplomats hostage as bargaining tools.
Regarding family matters, as part of his Great Law, he legitimized all the offspring of concubines in his empire, banned the abduction or enslavement of any Mongol, and abolished the custom of bride-price (paying a women's family to marry her). He also forbade adultery, with wife-swapping and having sex with the wives of one's kin apparently being common among steppe nomads of the region previously. He established a form of elected tribal monarchy, with the Great Khan being from then on elected via a tribal council or khuriltai.
While Genghis continues to have a reputation in Western countries as a notorious rapist and plunderer, there is actually scant historical evidence for this. Historians of the Mongol conquests frequently made use of the words "ravish" or "pillage", but it is not certain if they are referring to acts of mass rape. It is likely that rape occurred, but given the strict discipline of the Mongol forces, it has been argued that spontaneous acts of rape would have been frowned upon.
Conquests and massacres[edit | edit source]
He conquered and despoiled large parts of northern China, central Asia, and utterly destroyed the powerful Turkic Khwarazmian Empire, which governed some of the most important regions of the Silk Road, despoiling the country, killing millions of people, and burning whole cities to the ground. This being his response to the inhospitable murder of envoys Genghis had sent in an effort to establish trade ties. In one of his most brutal deeds, when the wealthy city of Urgench (in modern Turkmenistan) was conquered by the Mongols, Genghis ordered the enslavement of the women, children and artisans of the city, and had the rest of the population of the city executed in a single session. Some figures claim up to 1.2 million inhabitants were massacred.
This brutality was mainly a result of the asymmetric warfare strategy pursued by the Mongols. Frequently facing enemy armies many times their size in numbers, and subduing nations of millions, they could not afford to be bogged down in endless siege warfare. The Mongols relied on their reputation of terror to enforce rapid compliance among the enemies they faced and the people they conquered. This reign of terror allowed them to stay mobile, and use small detachments of men to occupy conquered territory. The men left behind were safe in the knowledge that if they perished in a rebellion, the tumens (Mongol divisions of roughly 10,000 horsemen) would soon be back to slaughter the rebellious population wholesale.
Claims of being the greatest reproductive success[edit | edit source]
Genghis Khan's descendants were known as the Genghisids, and they continued to rule areas that had once been under the sway of the Mongols up to the 18th century, when the last major Genghisid ruler, the Khan of Bukhara, was deposed, though other cite Shahin Khan Girai, the last Khan of Crimea, as the last major descendant of Genghis Khan to be deposed (in the late 18th century).
There were several highly prestigious figures/dynasties that claimed descent from Genghis khan; The Ottoman Turkish ruling dynasty claimed descent from Genghis Khan through his oldest son, Jochi, through one of his Muslim Tatar descendants in the Crimea. A Russian Orthodox saint, Theodore the Black, was also descended from Genghis Khan thanks to his marriage to a Christian Mongol princess. Many other Russian rulers and princes were possibly descended from Genghis Khan.
Timur, the infamous central Asian conqueror, also claimed direct descent from Genghis Khan, though this is highly disputed by historians. If true, the Mughal dynasty which ruled much of India for 200 years was also descended from Genghis Khan.
Many genetic researchers have attempted to infer Genghis Khan's haplogroup to determine how many living descendants he and his ancestors have. Zerjal et al. (2003) claimed that 8% of people in "a large region of Asia" were likely descended from Genghis khan, 0.5% of the world's total population.  This finding has been hotly disputed however, and recent evidence (Wei et al. 2018) could find no evidence that the universal ruler himself belonged to this haplogroup, however, the haplogroup is associated with Genghis' own clan, the Niru’un.
References[edit | edit source]