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The Life Of Genghis Khan By Lake Murphy

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Genghis Khan was born in 1162 throughout his life he did a variety of things some may consider evil or great. Ghengis is primarily known now for having over 16 million descendants. However, he did much more.

Genghis Khan born Temüjin was born in Delüün Boldog(Note that I copy and paste names and places because I didn’t know how to write them on my PC). As a young child, he was very timid. He was easily frightened, scared of dogs, and often bullied by his older half-brothers. His father was very neglectful and once forgot Temüjin when the tribe was packing up to move to a new location. When he was eight Temüjin was betrothed to Börte. When Temüjin’s father had died from poisoning by a rival tribe, Temujin and his mother were left with no one to provide for them as well as his father’s other wives and children. When Temüjin’s tribe was on the move they left Temüjin and his mother behind. However, Temüjin and his mother followed the tribe, waiving the father’s banner to keep the memory of the great warrior alive. Along their travels, an old man took pity upon them and chastised the tribe for leaving behind the family of a warrior. For His kindness, the man was stabbed through the chest with a spear. This marked a turning point in Temüjin’s life that would eventually turn this young boy into Genghis Khan. That night the tribe stole the family’s animals and left seemingly condemning them to certain death. However, Temüjin’s mother, Hoelun, spent days foraging for food. The children bent her sewing needles into fish hooks; they also made sticks into arrows to hunt small animals. They learned to tie Bones to their shoes to make ice skates. Both to play and to hunt small animals across the Ice. Temüjin learned not only survival tactics but fundamental tactics. In the isolation, Temüjin had few friends apart from his half-siblings. However, he did manage to befriend another child whose family sometimes camped nearby. The child was a slightly older boy named Jamukha. The boys hunted, played, and explored mountains together. Twice in their childhood, they swore to be blood brothers. The first time, early in their friendship they traded dice made of the knucklebones of sheep. The second time, as young teenagers, they traded handmade arrowheads. After years of surviving as outcasts, Temüjin’s older brother began to assert himself as the leader. To establish dominance he stole a fish Temüjin had caught, later that same day he stole a bird Temüjin had shot while hunting. Upset, Temüjin and his other half-brother went to their mother to tell her what happened. She said that they should worry more about the tribe who had abandoned them than fighting among themselves. This made Temüjin very angry and he stormed out. By this point, Temüjin had had enough of other people stealing from him. He went on to kill the half-brother who had stolen his things and became the oldest male in the family. This made him a criminal, he was promptly captured by the tribe who had abandoned him years before.

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After Temüjin was captured he was made to be a servant to the slaves however he did not resign to this fate. He bided his time waiting for the right moment. One day he was put under the care of a small and easily distracted young boy. The warriors had spent the day drinking and so were intoxicated. When no one was looking Temüjin quickly knocked the boy unconscious, after which he hid in some reeds. He knew his captors would assure he ran away and would chase after him. Once the tribe attempted to follow the trail they presumed he left on he escaped from the reeds into the night. Now 17 years old Temüjin had not seen his intended wife in years. He went to find her and surprisingly she had waited for him to return. Despite knowing of his troubles with other tribes her family allowed the marriage to proceed. According to custom the wives were supposed to give their husband’s fathers gifts on the wedding day. The family offered Temüjin a fine coat of black sable, the finest coat on the steppe. But since Temüjin’s father was long dead, he had a better idea for how to use the coat. He approached an old ally of his father, Ongh Khan, the leader of a prosperous tribe. Yesugei had fought by Ong Khan’s side and helped him overthrow his uncle to become the tribe’s leader. Family ties were very important in steppe culture. Alliances very often were never written down but were more forged in blood. Anyone you were related to was your ally, everyone else was seen as an enemy. By presenting the coat to Ong Khan he was symbolically recognizing Ong Khan as his father. Ong Khan accepted therefore recognizing Temüjin as his son. Which entitled both him and his family to the protection of the Khan. He offered to make Temüjin a local leader over young warriors, but to the Khans’ surprise, Temüjin politely declined. With his family’s protection guaranteed he returned to his home camp to attempt to have a peaceful life at home. He perceived that all his troubles were behind him now that all the children were old enough to work in some way. They had their own camp and they were under the protection of a powerful khan. However, the harsh world of the step would not allow such a life. Learning that Temüjin had married, the tribe from which Temüjin’s father had stolen Temüjin’s mother, Hoelun, decided that the time was ripe to take revenge for Hoeluns abduction.

Although Temüjin’s father was no longer alive revenge was a family obligation. But the Merkits came not to reclaim Hoelun, now a widow who had grown old struggling to raise five children, but for Börte, Temüjin’s young bride. News traveled quickly on the steppe so the stories of Temüjin’s daring escape and the recent alliance with Ong Khan spread far and wide. They saw an opportunity to knock Temüjin down a peg before he got overwhelmingly powerful. An old woman at Temüjins camp was sleeping with her head on the ground and suddenly she was awoken by the sound of hives hitting the ground, quickly approaching the camp. She alerted the camp of this but they had very little time to prepare for the oncoming attack so Temüjin, his allies, mother, and 5-year-old child all mounted horses and took evasive action. However Börte had stayed behind, it is unclear if this was her choice or if Temüjin lost track of her in the confusion, possibly he could have left her behind in a calculated move to escape. If it was on purpose then it was most definitely effective, when the Markets found Börte they immediately halted their pursuit and took her captive. Temüjin had fled to the mountains, lying low and following the elk trails he had known since childhood. After roughly four days he emerged, he saw that the coast was clear, was overcome with gratitude. He vowed to value the mountains as a place that allowed him to survive the pillaging of his tribe. Genghis Khan saw his survival as a sign from spirits that he was special. He was devastated at the loss of his wife.

Months later Genghis Khan would get his wife back from the Markets. Temüjin turned to Toghrul for support, and Toghrul offered 20,000 of his Karaite warriors and suggested that Temüjin involve his childhood friend Jamukha, who had himself become Khan of his own tribe, the Jadaran. The resulting campaign was wildly successful and the markets were completely annihilated. However, during the battle, an argument between Jamukha and Genghis Khan had occurred and it was the beginning of a rift between the two. After the raid, it was discovered that Börte had been raped by the Merkits and 9 months later had a child named John. Genghis Khan always claimed that the child was his but due to the timing of Jochis birth its seems unlikely.

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The Life Of Genghis Khan By Lake Murphy. (2022, February 26). Edubirdie. Retrieved January 27, 2023, from
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