Genghis Khan: Facts, Trivia, and Stories You Didn't Know About His Life And Legacy

By | August 17, 2020

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A reenactment of the unification of the Mongolian tribes under Genghis Khan using 500 cavalry men in the uniforms of the 13th century. (In Pictures Ltd./Corbis via Getty Images)

On August 18, 1227, ruthless Mongol ruler Genghis Khan was killed in a battle against the Xi Xia kingdom of China. Although his final resting place is not known, historians do know quite a bit about the life of this legendary and fearsome leader. Despite his reputation for bloodshed, military dominance, and barbaric vendettas, Genghis Khan had a good side. Let's look at the extraordinary life of this complex and brutal man.

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Onon River, Mongolia, near the region where Genghis Khan grew up. (Fan111/Wikimedia Commons)

From Humble Beginnings

Genghis Khan was born on April 16, 1162 in a nomadic village in Mongolia. His extraordinary military leadership propelled him quickly through the ranks as he united the different tribes of Mongolia into a formidable force and set his sights on world domination. He got fairly close: He and his armies conquered large portions of China and central Asia and laid the groundwork for his descendants to claim territories as far away as Poland, Syria, and Korea. The Mongol Empire was roughly the size of Africa at its peak. Without the foundation set forth by Genghis Khan, the empire he started would not have achieved such far-reaching control.