God’s Favored Man of the Time—Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan, whose name is Tie Muzhen (also called Te Meizhen, Te Mujin), is a member of Nilunmengguqiyan Boerzhijin clan. He was born in Dieliwen Boledahe (today, it is in Dadale, Kent province, Mongolia). When he was born, his father Yesugaibaatuer (1125—1171) had just defeated the Tatars, and seized their leader Tie Muzhen Wuge. To memorize this victory, his father named him Tie Muzhen (transliteration of Mongol, meaning “iron”, “like iron”). According to Mongol Secret History, when Tie Muzhen was born, he held a big gore in his hand, which indicated his extraordinary fate and future.
When Tie Muzhen was 9 years old, his father was poisoned by the Tatar nationality. The Boerzhijin clan lost their leader, and Tie Muzhen lost his backer. The clansman dispersed one after another, and their properties were ransacked. The family had to make their livings by fishing, mousing, and picking wild fruits. Still, some forces like Taiyichiwu didn’t let them pass, and they were afraid that when the Tie Muzhen brothers grew up, they would revive their family force, and that would be a threat to their status and interests. Thus, they sent arms to capture Tie Muzhen, and wanted to “cut the weeds and dig up the roots” and put an end to the future trouble. Fortunately, Tie Muzhen was saved by a kind-hearted man Suoerhanshila, and escaped from danger. In such difficult and dangerous environment, Tie Muzhen’s family had endured all hardships, but at the same time, his willpower was tempered, and his brave and fearless spirit in fighting was cultivated.
The adamant mother Keelun always told Tie Muzhen brothers the importance of tenacity and diligence, and let them know the truth that “Solidarity is force”. Thus, Tie Muzhen made up his mind that he would avenge his father and build upon his ancestral achievement. Later, with the help of his father’s sworn brother Wang Han, he gathered his men, accumulated his forces and started his carving out process. In 1185, he defeated Mieerqi. In 1189, he was elected as Khan by the noble class of Qiyan family. After that, he spent more than ten years on expedition; in 1205, he finally united the whole Mongolian Grassland. In 1206, all the clans of Mongol held a Huliletai in the riverhead of Hunan River, and Tie Muzhen was elected as Khan of the whole Mongols. He was called Genghis (meaning prosperous, grandeur) Khan, who set up the Mongolian Nation.
Then, on one hand, Genghis Khan began to constitute the systems in politics, laws and taxes, and established the organs of the nation; on the other hand, he also deployed large-ranged operations, and fought westward and southward. From 1207 to 1227, he was engaged in wars, and destroyed Xiliao, Hualazimo, and Western Xia dynasty. He also defeated Jin’s army and seized hold of its capital Zhong du. In 1227, he died of illness on the way to fighting against Western Xia dynasty, at the age of 66. In the third year of Yuan Shizu’s reign (1266), he was given the posthumous title of “Shengwu Emporer”. In the second year of Yuan Wuzong’s reign (1309), he was again given the posthumous title of “Fatianqiyun Shengwu Emporer”, and the posthumous title of honor of “Taizu”.
Genghis Khan is “self-possessed, skillful in using ruses, and talented in tactics”, and he is a great politician and militarist. He went with the tide of social development and satisfied people’s desire for peace. He unified the whole Mongol grassland, and set up a powerful Mongol nation. He also constituted some effective systems of politics, economy, culture and military affairs. The Mongol grassland was no longer in chaos and the people there no longer live in dire poverty, which accelerated the formation and development of the Mongol nationality, and laid a foundation for Kublai Khan’s final unification of the whole country. His life was spent on horsebacks and in wars.
The scale of his foreign war, the distance of his expedition journey and the vastness of the area he seized are all unprecedented in history, which has also shocked the whole world. He was once called “Emperor of the World”, and “Khan Who Conquered the World”. His expedition towards the west also brought great disasters to the people of those countries, and obstructed the development of local society and thus the war was not righteous. However, it also has some positive influence on the opening of the traffic way between east and west, and facilitated the communications between eastern and western culture and economy. After his expedition towards the west, the ancient China’s four great inventions (the compass, gunpowder, paper-making and printing) were brought to Europe, which became an impulse to the development of the European economy.
The Arabian calendar system was also introduced to China, which speeded up the prosperity of our culture and economy. In terms of history, there are merits and demerits in Genghis Khan’s life, but generally speaking, he did have made great contributions to the Mongol nationality, to China and to the world. Therefore, he is still yearned, extolled and praised today. Not only the Mongols offer sacrifices to him and hold memorial ceremonies for him, but also the U.S. Washington Post awarded him the “Man of the millennium” Laurel in its “best of the millennium” selection, on Dec. 31, 1995, with such a comment: he has combined humanistic civilization and barbarism in one body perfectly.