|Note: All that is known
about Genghis Khan originated from The Secret History, a
book compiled by the Mongols. Secret History is therefore
extremely biased and often clouds unsavory points in Genghis Khan's
Genghis Khan, probably one of history's most feared rulers, is famed for establishing and expanding the legendary Mongol Empire. Genghis Khan was only his title. His real name was Temujin. He was born some time in the 1160's although an exact date is not known. He was born in the Royal Borjigh clan of the Mongols. At the age of nine, Temujin's father died and the clan was controlled by a rival family who exiled Temujin's family from the clan. For a while, the family was very poor and helpless.
It is said that Temujin's greatest power was in his personality, as this was why many of his supporters joined him. Temujin's rise to power took place when the rival clan, the Merkit, captured his wife, Borte. He approached Toghril, Khan of the Kereit tribe and sworn brother of Temujin's father, for help. Toghril provided Temujin with 20,000 soldiers and persuaded one of Temujin's childhood friends, Jamuka, to also provide an army. Temujin complete destroyed the Merkit. At one time, one of his allies abandoned him during his raid and plundered his property. He exterminated them and turned their people into his soldiers and servants. Then one by one, he started to destroy other clans, taking their people as his soldiers and servants.
When his alliance with Toghril eventually collapsed, he too was destroyed with the rest of his clan. In the end, Temujin's friendship with Jamuka broke down and a split occurred. Soon, Mongol clans where gathering around Temujin and Jamuka. A lot of Jamuka's own men deserted him and joined Temujin, as they believed he was the winner. Eventually Jamuka was crushed and Temujin was crowned Genghis Khan which meant "Universal Ruler." Temujin started unifying Mongolia and his son eliminated the old nomadic and clan system with something closer to a feudal system. Temujin appointed loyal subjects as his generals and people of power.Once the new Mongolia was formed, Temujin was ready for world conquest.
Originally, his soldiers were equipped with Mongol ponies which could attack nomads, but these were no use against cities or stronger forces. At this time, Temujin possessed an arsenal of catapults, spears, burning oil and other such weapons which could be used during invasions and to stage sieges. Temujin soon possessed the power to start conquests. The first campaign was against the Tangut Kingdom of Hsi Hsia, a state bordering china. It soon fell and Temujin turned his attention toward china. China was invaded and Peking was occupied.