Early Life of Genghis Khan: Birthplace, Background and Biography

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Genghis Khan

Genghis Khan (1162–1227) was the founder and Khagan (Emperor) of the Mongol Empire. After his death, the Mongol Empire became the largest in human history covering a territory from Moscow and Eastern Europe to Beijing and Korea. Today about 8% of Mongolian population is descendant of Genghis Khan.

Genghis Khan (also known as Chinggis Khaan or Chingis Khan) was born in the Mongolian Prairie where people were “on the back of a horse” and ate grilled barbeque. But today his birthplace and where he died are still mysteries even to his descendants.

Birthplace of Genghis Khan: Where is Burkhan Khaldun?

According to a brochure published by the Mongolian government in 2006, Chinggis Khan’s birthplace is located in Dadal Sum (Dadal County), Hentii province, Mongolia. But this hasty conclusion was drawn by Russian and Mongolian experts in 1962 for the ceremony of 800 birth anniversary of Genghis Khan.

According to the Secret History of the Mongols, Genghis Khan was born in Burkhan Khaldun Mountain by the Onon River. But Mongolian people call spleen-shape mountains Burkhan Khaldun, and there are three Burkhan Khaldun Mountains by the Onon River, including one in Dadal Sum.

According to Meng Songlin, a Chinese historian who spent more than five years researching the battlefields of Genghis Khan in Mongolia and China, the real birth place should be located in the Burkhan Khaldun in Binger Sum. His conclusion has been supported by a few renowned Mongolian historians.

Early Life of Chinggis Khan: Kidnapping, Murder and Betray

Genghis Khan (born Temüjin)’s early life began with the kidnapping of his mother Hoelun by his father Yesügei. About 1180 his father Yesügei was murdered and Temüjin had to hide in the mountains with his mother, brothers and sisters. After his marriage his wife was kidnapped, and he had to ask for help from his best friend Jumuka. Then Jumuka betrayed him and tried to kill him. But Temüjin finally defeated Jumuka and killed him. Before he was 40, Temüjin had gone through almost everything in a Mongolian man’s life.

Temüjin rose from the early tough life. In 1206, he united most of the Mongolian tribes and gained the title of Genghis Khan.

The Rise of Chinggis Khaan and Empire: Mongolian Horses and Grill Barbeque

The rise of the Mongol Empire depended on its most important weapons – horses. “It is easy to conquer the world from the back of a horse,” said a Genghis Khan famous quotation. Mongolian horses have small sizes range from 120 to 135 centimeters high. But they are frugal, arduous and very reliable war horses. With them Genghis Khan and his descendants conquered most of the human civilization just in a few decades.

Stable food supply was also an important factor for Genghis Khan’s victory. It’s said that Genghis Khan invented the Mongolian grilling barbeque, which helped Mongolian soldiers overcome the cold winter in Siberia and conquer Russia in 1237.

Sources:

  1. Unknown author, the Secret History of the Mongols (about 1240)
  2. The Mongolian government, the Birthplace of Temüjin Chinggis Khaan (2006)
  3. Song Lian, the History of Yuan (1370)