Of all the historical figures whose names and reputations have been unjustly smeared and misrepresented, few are more unjustly maligned than Genghis Khan. It is my hope that the record can now be set straight and that he will no longer be mentioned alongside common curs like Attila the Hun and Timur.
Genghis Khan had a dream of world peace and unity. Genghis Khan invented sharing. Any culture that surrendered to the Khan’s army was allowed equal access to all the scientific and artistic discoveries of other conquered cultures. A lot is made of the fact that those cultures that didnt share were slaughtered. A Chinese writer noted in 1215 that Beijing‘s streets were greasy with the fat of human corpses. A Persian writer estimated that 90 percent of his people were killed by the horde. That, my friends, is the price for not sharing. It just shows how deeply Genghis believed in peace that nothing could stand in the way of his acheiving it.
He invented paper money. Whenever he took over a nation, he replaced their gold and silver coins with paper bills baring his image… the first big faces. Money clips and tipping at strip clubs were now considerably less akward.
Genghis Khan invented representing. He’d send ahead of his conquering army people to act concerned and tell new cultures how they should just surrender since the Golden Horde was invincible. Recognizing followed.
Maybe Al Gore invented the internet, maybe he didn’t. Historians will probably never agree. Genghis Khan, however, invented the information superhighway and the world wide web. His Empirial Pony Riders would travel as far as they could in a day and set up a post office/hostel at each point until his empire was entirely connected by a network of express pony stations. With this network, travel became so safe that a writer noted that one could ride from sunrise to sunset with a gold platter on ones head without threat of robbery. After sunset, however, riding with gold platters on ones read remained a foolish proposition, one suspects.
He suffered his first defeat in Africa. Check a globe if you need to. His empire four times the size of Alexander the Great‘s, run by a culture of just over 1 million Mongolians, covered Asia and spread into Europe where his love of arts and sciences jumpstarted the Renaissance and to Africa in the southwest. The guy that defeated Genghis Khan is STILL sung about to this day in a song that takes a WEEK to perform.
Genghis Khan is loved by the Mongolians, who toss a little mare’s milk to him and the sky god each morning, not unlike poring out some hooch for your dead homies. Maybe he invented that too.