Chinggis Khan is known for building the largest contiguous land empire to date. From horseback Chinggis’ army of nomadic Mongols conquered great cities from Samarkand to Baghdad across the length of Asia and into Europe, and one by one took control of China’s warring states. And yet, it took Chinggis Khan — more commonly known by the Persian “Genghis” — as long to conquer and unite the disparate Mongolian tribes that would form his army as it took him to conquer almost the whole of Asia.
When he was about 44 years old, Temujin, a man born to a kidnapped mother in one of Mongolia’s poorest tribes, became Chinggis Khan, leader of approximately one million Mongols in the second-ever union of the steppe tribes. Unique aspects of Mongol society made his task a challenge — the Mongols’ emphasis on success in battle over loyalty to compatriots, a nomadic lifestyle and tribal affiliations resistant to a sense of states and borders, and a warrior ethic that equipped them to conquer almost any foe.
It may not be so difficult to believe, then, that a man who could unite such disparate bands into a nation had the skill to conquer almost any nation.
Go To The Steppe Tribes