How to pronounce Genghis Khan

health : Genghis Khan - the first global player

The Americans came back empty-handed in August 2000. They had invested $ 1.2 million, searched for a month with high tech and overflowing optimism - and still not found Genghis Khan's grave. The emperor of the Mongols remains entranced.

That was intentional: The chronicle “The Secret History of the Mongols”, written around 1240, reports extravagantly and flowery about the origins, rise and heroic deeds of Genghis Khan. But there is only one sentence about his death and his funeral: “In the pig year, Genghis Khan rose to heaven.” This obviously deliberate concealment by his chroniclers polishes the aura of the ancestor of all Mongols to a shine. After more than 70 years of foreign control by the Soviet Union, the nomadic state between Russia and China is now returning to its history with a waving standard: Genghis Khan above everything.

This means that one of the most colorful figures in world history is enjoying a new appreciation not only among the population, but also in science. Rightly so, because Genghis Khan created "Eurasia" and thus brought two worlds together for the first time and permanently. The cultural exchange - customs and traditions, architecture and music, religions and literature, weapons technology and medicine - fertilized all countries from the Pacific Ocean to the Mediterranean. For almost two centuries, the “Pax Mongolica” secured the route from the Far West to the Far East - long-distance trade flourished and was close to the heart of the great Khan. After the collapse of his world empire in 1335, Europe and Asia moved far apart again. Only the history of colonization of the Europeans, which was also written with a lot of blood, brought new contacts.

Whether or not they really want to find the grave of their superfather or not - the Mongols of today are not entirely sure themselves. “It's better if you don't find it,” says Secretary General Galbaatar of the Mongolian Academy of Sciences. Otherwise he fears that the myth will wear out. After all, he still has an urgent task today. Galbataar: "Genghis Khan is what holds us together."

Something else is problem-free: In search of the roots of their culture and history, the Mongols are currently digging up their mythical capital Karakoram together with German archaeologists. Genghis Khan had commissioned it, but no longer used it as a control center himself. He resided, completely nomad, even at the height of his power in a magnificent palace-ger - the traditional felt tent of the Mongols. Until then, of course, it was a long way for him - lined with poverty, women, betrayal, cowardice, loyalty to men, blood and war.

Like all ancestors in history, Genghis Khan was of mythical origin. The “Secret Story” reports: “The ancestor of Genghis Khan was a gray wolf created by the Eternal Heaven and destined for fate. His wife was a white doe. They came across Lake Tenggis and at the source of the Onan River near the Burhan Haldun mountain they chose their camp site, where a child was born to them. "

Genghis Khan was initially called Temüdschin. His family belonged to the nomad aristocracy, who drew their reputation from the number of voluntary and involuntary followers, the size of the herds and the goodness of the grazing grounds. This tribal society was subject to major changes in its composition. So Temüdschin was rejected by the rest of the family with his mother and brothers, which usually meant death or slavery.

Not so with the coming emperor of the world: Gradually, Temüdschin, apparently endowed with charisma, courage and wisdom, gathered so many friends and followers around him that he was able to successfully join other clans by force. But the united Mongols were only one of the many people in the Asian steppes: the neighboring Naiman and Merkit were subjugated, the Tatars subjugated with the help of the Chinese. In the “Secret History” it is noted: “With man's vengeance we emptied their breasts, tore their livers. We emptied their bed and exterminated their relatives. We stole what was left. ... The tribe was divided among the winners until nothing was missing. "

In the year of the tiger (1206) the assembly of the princes (khans) elected the successful tribal brother to the khagan to the great khan - Temüdschin became Genghis Khan. He was 44 years old then - research has agreed on 1162 as the year of his birth.

Campaigns against other steppe tribes followed. And after careful preparation, Genghis Khan also gave in to the elementary lure of all Asian nomads: he reached for the treasures of China. In several attempts he brought the north of the empire, which had just been split up again, temporarily under his control; the permanent conquest of the gigantic empire was only achieved by his successors.

In the opinion of today's Mongolian researchers, Genghis Khan never had a fixed plan for his conquests, but was guided by current military and political developments, but also by his own personal thirst for revenge. Surely there was also something like the intoxication of power. The successes of the Mongol cavalry were based on a mercilessly demanded discipline, agility and an apparently strategic skill of Genghis Khan. In the run-up to a war campaign, he obtained extensive information about the enemy and waged a kind of psychological warfare by stirring up ethnic or religious tensions in the state of his enemy.

The personality of Genghis Khan cannot be grasped with simple explanations:

The nomad warrior became a statesman who realized that such a huge empire cannot be ruled from the back of a horse. He had Chinese advisors set up an administration for him.

He restructured the unstable tribal society into a tight military aristocracy in which anyone could rise.

He remained illiterate throughout his life, but introduced the script of the resident Uighurs of Turkic origin.

He adhered to traditional Mongolian shamanism, but tolerated any other religion.

His curiosity led to a cosmopolitanism that was missing in Central European Christianity at the time.

Such contradictions of charismatic personalities usually lead to the epithet "the great" in history. With Genghis Khan this was unnecessary - he was unique.

His conquests took on a new thrust around 1219 - and as a result, sustained significance for Europe: the Asian emperor advanced far to the west. The occasion was the murder of a Mongolian trade delegation by the Sultan of Khorasam, an empire southeast of the Aral Sea (today around northern Iran). An unheard-of challenge for the advocate and patron of globalized trade - Genghis Khan took 150,000 men (currently 280,000 in the Bundeswehr) to the field against the Sultan, destroyed him and devastated the flourishing cities of Bukhara and Samarkand. The Great Khan itself turned to Afghanistan and only stopped at the Indus. His sons and generals marched north, crossed the Caucasus, defeated the Russians near Kiev and returned to their home country. The first "Tatar reports" from the barbaric Mongols leaked to Europe around 1223.

There was still a grace period for the hopelessly divided Central Europeans. During a retaliatory campaign against the rebellious Tangut people, Genghis Khan fell from his horse and was seriously injured. The 65-year-old died in 1227, presumably as a result of internal bleeding, and "rose to heaven".

Genghis Khan's empire endured. His sons and grandchildren continuously expanded it. At the apex, Mongolian rule extended from the Pacific (Korea, China) via Tibet, Persia, the Middle East to Hungary and Poland. In 1241 the German-Polish army of knights was defeated near Liegnitz in Silesia, only the death of the great khan Ögödei prevented the armies from marching through to the Atlantic: The Genghis heirs had to return to the capital at the other end of Eurasia to elect a new head.

At this point the first cracks in the family became visible. In the decades that followed, the world empire crumbled into three centers of power that already bore the seeds of disintegration:

The "Golden Horde", which held Russia and Eastern Europe under its thumb and was only defeated by the Russians in 1503.

The Ilkhane in Iranian and Indian areas.

The Mongolian Imperial Dynasty of the Yuan in China.

After almost 200 years, the Genghis Khan Empire ended, which was bigger than any state before or after, and which affected so many people and states, directly or indirectly, than any other until the two world wars of the last century. The Mongols brought their first firearms with them, which later established the military superiority of the Europeans.

At the time of the Dschings, however, there was pure chaos in Central Europe: the princes, kings and emperors were at war across the continent in coalitions that were hardly manageable because they were constantly changing. In 1245 Pope Innocent IV sent the Franciscan monk Johannes von Plano Carpini to the "Tartars", as the West called the Mongols. His mission: To find out how to arm yourself against a renewed advance of the wild hordes, to find the mythical Christian King John, to proselytize the Mongols and thus to consolidate the Pope's claim to world domination.

The collapse of the Mongolian central state ended the tensions. The Mongols ceased to be a power factor in world politics. The uninterrupted land routes to the Far East, previously widely used, fell under countless customs-seeking state robbers. With that, the exchange of ideas between East and West also dried up. Asia and Europe became strangers again. The growing Europeans looked for the sea route to the legendary countries of exotic delicacies. Eventually the obsession was born to reach the West Indies across the Atlantic - America was discovered.

From there the news comes that the grave of Genghis Khan has not been found this time, but will be looked for again next year. Genghis Khan, who ruled the world, continues to preoccupy the world.

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