Genghis Khan

Genghis Khan


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Genghis Khan

Un chamán mongol dijo que el cielo azul eterno dejó el mundo a un lado para Genghis Khan. Esa afirmación suena bastante cierta, ya que en sus 65 años de vida, Genghis Khan unió al fragmentado pueblo mongol, conquistó la mayor parte del norte y oeste de China y subyugó casi toda la estepa euroasiática. En el momento de su muerte, el imperio se extendía desde el Mar Caspio hasta el Mar de Japón, convirtiéndolo en el imperio contiguo más grande de la historia.

Historia

Genghis Khan nació con el nombre de Temüjin, en 1162. Era hijo de un líder de tribu, que vivió una vida cómoda hasta los 10 años, cuando su padre fue asesinado. Tras el asesinato, su familia fue condenada al ostracismo por la tribu, se vieron obligados a valerse por sí mismos. Durante muchos años la familia vivió en la pobreza, buscando y buscando lo poco que podían. Fue durante este tiempo que Temüjin & # 8217s se convirtió en el patriarca de la familia, después de que asesinó a su hermano mayor por una disputa de caza. En algún momento durante este período, la familia de Temüjin logró reconectarse con un viejo amigo de su padre, el Khan de los Keraítas, quien le ofreció protección a la familia. Este vínculo se puso a prueba en 1178, cuando la primera esposa de Temüjin fue secuestrada por una tribu rival, los Merkits. Con la ayuda de los keraítas, la misión de rescate tuvo éxito y le dio gran renombre a Temüjin. En algún momento entre 1178 y 1186, Temüjin regresó a su tribu, donde fue elegido Khan de los mongoles. Con una tribu propia, Temüjin pudo comenzar a expandir su poder. La primera oportunidad, llegó cuando su viejo amigo convertido en enemigo, el Khan de Jadaran, le declaró la guerra. Utilizando su ejército de 20.000 hombres recién reunido, Temüjin pudo derrotar a los Jadarán. Esta primera victoria, permitió a Temüjin iniciar su política de asimilación, en la que incorporaría tribus derrotadas a las suyas. En términos prácticos, esto significaba que cada vez que conquistaba una tribu, su poder aumentaba sustancialmente. En 1197, tanto los mongoles como los keraítas declararon una guerra conjunta a la tribu tártara. Fue durante esta guerra que los mongoles emplearon por primera vez nuevas tácticas militares (principalmente relacionadas con la señalización y la estructura de mando), que ayudaron enormemente en la derrota de los tártaros. Siendo que fueron los tártaros los que habían asesinado a su padre, Temüjin aprovechó la oportunidad para representar su venganza. Lo hizo ejecutando a cualquier macho de más de 3 pies. Tras la derrota de los tártaros, Temüjin se distanció de los keraítas, lo que conduciría a una guerra en 1206. Pero mientras tanto, Temüjin conquistó las tribus mongolas restantes (los merkits, naimanes y toghrul). Después de derrotar a los keraítas en 1206, Temüjin recibió el título de Genghis Khan (& # 8220Universal Ruler & # 8221), por parte del pueblo mongol. Con Mongolia completamente unida, Genghis comenzó a mirar hacia el sur, con la esperanza de expandirse a China. Comenzó este proceso atacando el reino de Xi Xia. Aunque superados en número, las tácticas avanzadas y la brutalidad de los mongoles les permitieron derrotar al reino, lo que llevó a su gobernante a someterse al dominio mongol en 1211. Genghis luego centró su atención en el otro reino del norte de China, el reino de Jin. Al principio de la guerra, los mongoles pudieron destruir al ejército principal de Jin, dejándolos indefensos. Los mongoles sacaron provecho de esto iniciando una campaña de asedios, que terminó con la captura de Beijing en 1215. La caída de Beijing marcó un final temporal de la guerra (la guerra continuará librándose intermitentemente durante los próximos veinte años), y la rendición del norte de China a los mongoles. La siguiente y discutible guerra más grande librada por los mongoles fue contra el Imperio Khwarazmian, un Imperio en el área actual de Turkmenistán, Irán y Afganistán. Este imperio había provocado a los mongoles cuando un gobernador mató a un enviado de diplomáticos comerciales mongoles. Cuando el Sha del imperio se negó a entregar el gobernador a los mongoles, los mongoles respondieron con una invasión de 100.000 hombres. La guerra duró de 1219 a 1221, y se considera en gran medida un asunto unilateral en el que los mongoles sitiaron y masacraron ciudad tras ciudad (matando a toda la población de ciudades que no se rindieron inmediatamente a ellos). Al concluir la guerra, Genghis se vio obligado a regresar al Este para lidiar con el repugnante reino de Xi Xia que se había aliado con los restos del Imperio Jin. Los Xi Xia se vieron obligados a rendirse en 1227 después de que su capital fuera tomada. Genghis Khan murió poco después de su rendición el 18 de agosto de 1227.

Significado

Genghis Khan es conocido en la historia por sus conquistas. Pero, algunas de sus contribuciones más oscuras a la historia en realidad empequeñecen el significado de sus conquistas. Estos aportes son la apertura del comercio de Este a Oeste, la propagación de la enfermedad y, por último, la cantidad de personas que mató en sus conquistas.

Con la Ruta de la Seda firmemente bajo el control de los mongoles, el comercio pudo aumentar drásticamente entre Oriente y Occidente. Esto ocurrió por múltiples razones, pero pueden simplificarse en protección, promoción del comercio y construcción de infraestructura. Los mongoles pudieron brindar protección a los comerciantes, porque patrullaban las rutas comerciales y mataban a los hombres de la carretera y a los bandidos que encontraban. Dado que las rutas eran más seguras, había más incentivos para que los comerciantes se desplazaran por las rutas comerciales. Además de la protección, Genghis Khan hizo todo lo posible para promover el comercio. Lo hizo porque reconoció que además del boom económico que trae el comercio, también hace que las partes dependan de unos y otros. Esperaba que esta interdependencia condujera a una mayor lealtad entre sus súbditos. Por último, los mongoles de hecho aumentaron la accesibilidad de las rutas comerciales mediante la construcción de carreteras. Originalmente construyeron estas carreteras para que sirvieran como rutas de comunicación a través de su vasto imperio. Pero también tuvieron el efecto de hacer que el terreno fuera más transversal para los comerciantes y otros viajeros.

El problema con el aumento del comercio entre Oriente y Occidente fue un aumento en la propagación de enfermedades. A medida que más y más personas viajaban entre China y Europa, se intercambiaron una serie de enfermedades mortales. La más notable de estas enfermedades fue la Peste Negra, que se dice que los mongoles llevaron al Imperio Bizantino. La peste negra acabaría con la vida de aproximadamente el 50% de la población de Europa, lo que provocaría una gran cantidad de trastornos sociales que reestructuraron por completo la sociedad europea.

Lo peor para lo que Genghis Khan es significativo es la muerte de unos 40 millones de personas. A lo largo de sus conquistas, Genghis empleó una política de crueldad severa si un enemigo no se rindió inmediatamente. Esta crueldad llevó al completo exterminio de las ciudades, es decir, a la ejecución de todos los hombres, mujeres, niños e incluso animales. Hay algunas regiones que estaban en el apogeo de su civilización cuando llegaron los mongoles, y después de que se fueron eran meros páramos. Algunos historiadores creen que hay algunas áreas que nunca se recuperaron por completo de las invasiones de Genghis & # 8217s.

En última instancia, Genghis Khan es importante para la historia, porque pudo conquistar grandes extensiones de territorio, promovió el comercio de este a oeste, lo que marcó el comienzo de la Ruta de la Seda, sus ejércitos trajeron nuevas enfermedades de Asia al Mediterráneo y sus conquistas. diezmó regiones enteras del mundo en formas de las que nunca se recuperaron.


Tesoros de Genghis Khan

De todas las maravillas del Palacio del Gran Khan, la fuente de plata cautivó más al monje visitante. Tomó la forma de & # 8220 un gran árbol plateado, y en sus raíces hay cuatro leones de plata, cada uno con un conducto a través de él, y todos eructando leche blanca de yeguas, & # 8221 escribió William of Rubruck, un fraile franciscano que recorrió la capital mongol, Khara Khorum, en 1254. Cuando un ángel plateado en la parte superior del árbol trompeó, aún más bebidas brotaron de las pipas: vino, yegua clarificada & # 8217s leche, una bebida de miel, aguamiel de arroz & # 8211 toma tu selección.

Los Khan habían recorrido un largo camino en solo unas pocas décadas. Como el resto de sus feroces jinetes, Genghis Khan, cuya caballería atravesó la estepa para conquistar gran parte de Asia Central, nació nómada. Cuando Gengis tomó el poder en 1206, las tribus mongolas vivían en tiendas de campaña, que trasladaban mientras migraban a través de los pastizales con su ganado. Sin embargo, a medida que el imperio continuaba expandiéndose, los Khan se dieron cuenta de la necesidad de un centro administrativo permanente. & # 8220Tuvieron que dejar de hacer estragos y empezar a gobernar & # 8221, dice Morris Rossabi, quien enseña historia asiática en la Universidad de Columbia. Entonces, en 1235, el hijo de Genghis, Ogodei, comenzó a construir una ciudad cerca del río Orkhon, en las llanuras abiertas.

& # 8220Fue como si pusieras Venecia en Kansas & # 8221, dice Don Lessem, productor de una nueva exhibición de Genghis Khan que ahora recorre el país.

Las ruinas ahora se encuentran debajo de la arena y la vegetación cubierta de maleza, pero últimamente se ha renovado el interés por Khara Khorum. Un libro de nueva erudición, & # 8220 Genghis Khan and the Mongol Empire, & # 8221, que se publicará en junio, detalla los principales hallazgos que los arqueólogos han realizado en los últimos años, que arrojan luz sobre cómo era la vida en la ciudad cuando los mongoles dejaron de ser invasores. a los gobernantes. La exhibición itinerante, en el Museo de Ciencias Naturales de Houston en Texas hasta el 7 de septiembre de 2009, y luego en el Museo de Naturaleza y Ciencia de Denver durante tres meses a partir del 10 de octubre de 2009, exhibirá algunos de esos artefactos por primera vez en American tierra.

Ahora los arqueólogos que han trabajado en el sitio creen que podrían haber localizado el Palacio del Gran Khan, hogar de la legendaria fuente de plata.

El nombre Khara Khorum significa & # 8220 tienda negra & # 8221 Rossabi. Rodeada de altos muros de barro, la capital mongol surgió de las llanuras en blanco.

& # 8220 No era & # 8217t El Cairo, pero la gente lo comparó con las ciudades europeas & # 8221, dice William W. Fitzhugh, arqueólogo del Museo Nacional de Historia Natural y coeditor del nuevo libro.

Gente de muchas nacionalidades caminaba por sus laberintos de calles estrechas: chinos, musulmanes, incluso un francés solitario: Guillaume Boucher, el orfebre que diseñó la fuente. Muchos de estos extranjeros vivieron involuntariamente en Khara Khorum, reclutas de ciudades conquistadas. El diseño de la ciudad reflejaba su diversidad: había mezquitas, & # 8220idol templos & # 8221 e incluso una iglesia cristiana nestoriana. Los arqueólogos han encontrado tejas de estilo chino y decoraciones de torretas que probablemente adornaban los techos de los edificios.

Khara Khorum también fue un centro comercial y allí se han recuperado bienes de todas partes: monedas musulmanas de plata, piezas de cerámica china. El espectáculo de Texas incluye una máscara de obsidiana que probablemente viajó a Khara Khorum desde Egipto, dice Lessem.


Los secretos del éxito de Genghis Khan

En Bukhara, una de las grandes ciudades del Imperio Khwârazmian, la mezquita del Viernes se llenó un día en el año 1220, la multitud se reunió para escuchar al hombre que acababa de capturar su ciudad. El guerrero que subió al púlpito después de desmontar de un pequeño caballo era un extranjero, con ropa y armadura que indicaban que había venido de una tierra lejana. La audiencia de líderes religiosos, médicos, eruditos y otros hombres eminentes esperaba que el extraño guerrero hablara. Finalmente lo hizo, hablando a través de un traductor:

Oh pueblo, sepan que han cometido grandes pecados, y que los grandes entre ustedes han cometido estos pecados. Si me preguntas qué prueba tengo de estas palabras, te digo que es porque soy el castigo de Dios. Si no hubieras cometido grandes pecados, Dios no te habría enviado un castigo como el mío.

Sin embargo, el autodenominado azote de Dios no vino simplemente para sermonear a los ciudadanos de Bujará. Sus soldados habían saqueado la ciudad de forma muy organizada. Luego, la gente fue reunida en grupos y los que no fueron asesinados de inmediato fueron obligados a marchar con los conquistadores. Estos hechos desconcertaron a los habitantes, porque muchos de los reunidos en la mezquita tenían poca idea de quién era el guerrero o por qué su ejército había aparecido ante los muros de Bujará. Poco después, su conquistador y su ejército de mongoles conquistarían el resto de la región y mucho más. Fue llamado Chinggis Khan.

El Imperio mongol fundado por Chinggis Khan (también conocido como Genghis Khan en Occidente) se convirtió en el imperio contiguo más grande de la historia, que se extiende desde el Mar de Japón hasta el Mar Mediterráneo y los Cárpatos. En su apogeo, más de un millón de hombres se inscribieron en los ejércitos del khan, o emperador del Imperio mongol. Los khans mongoles estaban decididos a conquistar el mundo y, de hecho, con los recursos a su disposición, había pocas razones para que fracasaran. El imperio finalmente colapsó, parcialmente por su propio peso, pero durante más de un siglo los khans mongoles estuvieron cerca de conquistar el mundo, gracias a su liderazgo y a la eficacia de sus tácticas, armas y estrategias.

Si bien muchas de las tácticas utilizadas por los mongoles eran comunes en la estepa, los mongoles las transformaron en conceptos operativos sofisticados que eran característicos de un ejército permanente. Las tácticas y estrategias que desarrollaron les permitieron luchar en varios frentes y permitieron una expansión planificada y constante del Imperio mongol en lugar de conquistas fortuitas sobre vastos territorios. A medida que los métodos de guerra y conquista de los mongoles se volvieron cada vez más bien organizados, el ejército mongol evolucionó de una fuerza tribal a un verdadero ejército.

Como la mayoría de los ejércitos de la estepa, los mongoles eran principalmente arqueros a caballo ligeros. Sus tácticas explotaban sus habilidades con el tiro con arco y su movilidad: generalmente se mantenían fuera del alcance de las armas de sus oponentes y usaban tácticas de golpe y huida en oleadas mientras arrojaban flechas al enemigo. Al igual que las tropas turcas que los cruzados encontraron en Anatolia, los mongoles iniciaron el combate a tiro de arco. Cerraron para el combate solo para el encuentro decisivo una vez que la formación del enemigo se había roto. A menudo se retiraban ante el enemigo, utilizando el famoso "disparo parto" (un disparo realizado durante una retirada fingida). En el momento adecuado, normalmente cuando las fuerzas enemigas se retiraron, los mongoles dieron media vuelta y los aniquilaron. Estos métodos de guerra se incrementaron con ataques sorpresa, emboscadas y cercos, y tales tácticas aseguraron que los mongoles no necesitaran números superiores para obtener la victoria.

Arrow Storm y Rolling Barrage

La tormenta de flechas era la táctica más común practicada por los mongoles: envolvieron a su enemigo, luego dispararon una lluvia de flechas en tal número que parecía un fenómeno de la naturaleza. El rango al que atacaron de esta manera varió: a 200 o 300 yardas, sus disparos aún eran lo suficientemente precisos como para interrumpir una formación enemiga, y una vez que se rompió, los mongoles cargaron. En el curso de una tormenta de flechas, los arqueros no apuntaron a un objetivo específico, sino que lanzaron sus flechas en una trayectoria alta hacia una "zona de muerte" predeterminada o un área objetivo. Si bien esta práctica probablemente causó pocas heridas mortales, sin duda impactó la moral ya que los soldados tuvieron que ver las flechas herir a sus camaradas sin poder tomar represalias.

Potencia de fuego concentrada

Si bien la práctica de concentrar la potencia de fuego ciertamente existió antes de los mongoles, fueron quizás los primeros en usarla con el máximo efecto en todos los aspectos de la guerra, desde la tormenta de flechas hasta las baterías de armas de asedio. En el sitio de Nishapur en 1221, los mongoles acumularon suficiente armamento para intimidar a sus defensores, quienes, según los informes, fueron defendidos por 300 ballestas y catapultas, junto con 3.000 ballestas. Si bien esos números probablemente son exagerados, indican que los mongoles desplegaron una gran cantidad de armas de asedio para demoler muros y aplastar ciudades o fortalezas hasta someterlas.

Tácticas de Caracole

Los mongoles combinaron la tormenta de flechas con tácticas de golpe y fuga: Aproximadamente 80 hombres en cada Jaghun, o compañía, participaron los 20 restantes actuaron como caballería pesada. Cada Jaghun envió 20 hombres por ola de atacantes. Las olas dispararon varias flechas mientras cargaban y luego volvieron en círculos a las líneas de los mongoles después de completar su carga. Lanzaron su último disparo a unos 40 o 50 metros de las líneas enemigas antes de dar la vuelta. Esta distancia era lo suficientemente cercana para perforar la armadura, pero lo suficientemente distante como para evadir una contracarga. Mientras daban vueltas hacia atrás, los mongoles a menudo usaban el tiro parto antes mencionado. Cambiaban de caballo con frecuencia para mantener frescas sus monturas. Dado que cada hombre estaba equipado con 60 flechas, los mongoles podían mantener este bombardeo durante casi una hora, y tal vez más.

Utilizaron esta técnica a lo largo de su era de dominio, como observó Marco Polo a finales del siglo XIII:

Cuando lleguen a un enfrentamiento con el enemigo, obtendrán la victoria de esta manera. [Nunca se dejan meter en un popurrí regular, sino que siguen dando vueltas perpetuamente y disparando al enemigo. Y] como no consideran que sea una vergüenza huir en la batalla, lo harán [a veces fingirán] hacerlo, y al huir se voltean en la silla y disparan duro y fuerte al enemigo, y de esta manera hacen grandes estragos.

Retirada fingida

La retirada fingida fue una táctica clásica de la guerra de estepas practicada desde la antigüedad: una fuerza simbólica cargó contra el enemigo y luego se retiró, arrastrando al enemigo tras ellos en su persecución. La retirada podría extenderse una gran distancia para estirar las filas y formaciones del enemigo. Luego, en un lugar preestablecido, otras fuerzas mongoles atacaron desde los flancos mientras la fuerza inicial giraba y atacaba el frente enemigo.

Quizás el uso más famoso de la retirada fingida tuvo lugar en 1223, cuando los generales mongoles Jebe y Sübedei se encontraron con un ejército combinado de turcos kipchak y rus 'a lo largo del río Dnieper. Los mongoles se retiraron, atrayendo a los kipchaks y rus varios días más profundamente en la estepa hasta que llegaron al río Kalka. Aquí la principal fuerza mongol esperó y rápidamente destruyó a la fuerza aliada.

Marco Polo también comentó sobre la efectividad de la retirada fingida:

Así luchan con tan buen propósito al huir como si se pusieran de pie y se enfrentaran al enemigo, debido a las vastas andanadas de flechas que disparan de esta manera, volviéndose hacia sus perseguidores, que se imaginan que han ganado la batalla. Pero cuando los tártaros ven que han matado y herido a muchos caballos y hombres, dan media vuelta y regresan a la carga en perfecto orden y con fuertes gritos y en muy poco tiempo el enemigo es derrotado.

Tácticas fabianas

A veces, los mongoles evitaban el combate con el enemigo hasta que encontraban un lugar ideal para la batalla o habían reagrupado fuerzas lejanas para enfrentarse a su oponente. Esta táctica difería de la fingida retirada Fabián que implicaba evitar todo contacto directo con el enemigo. El ejército mongol a menudo se dividía en pequeños grupos para evitar ser rodeado, pero luego se reagrupaba y lanzaba un ataque sorpresa al enemigo en un momento más oportuno. Las tácticas fabianas también agotaron al enemigo al evitar el combate, particularmente cuando las fuerzas enemigas mantuvieron una fuerte postura defensiva, ya sea al aire libre o en una fortaleza. Mientras los mongoles permanecieran en las cercanías, el estrés constante de anticipar un ataque desgastaba al enemigo.

Cuando los mongoles se enfrentaron a un enemigo que, por ejemplo, plantó lanzas en el suelo para evitar cargas de caballería, respondieron retirando la mayor parte de sus fuerzas, dejando atrás algunos destacamentos para hostigar al enemigo. Finalmente, su enemigo, habiendo decidido que la principal fuerza mongola se había retirado por razones estratégicas o se había alejado debido al hambre o la sed, emergió de sus defensas. Entonces, la principal fuerza mongola volvería para destruirlos.

Tácticas de flanqueo y doble envolvimiento

Chinggis Khan utilizó tácticas de cerco en varias ocasiones. Intentó rodear a sus enemigos, especialmente si sus flancos y retaguardia estaban expuestos o, en el caso de asedios, si los defensores eran débiles. Cuando se enfrentó a un ejército enemigo que estaba usando características del terreno —un río, por ejemplo— en su beneficio, intentó rodearlo a ambos lados de la orilla del río.

Los mongoles a veces confundían a su enemigo haciendo una finta en el frente y luego desatando el ataque principal en su retaguardia. Al atacar desde varias direcciones, los mongoles dieron al enemigo la impresión de que estaban rodeados. Al dejar un espacio en el cerco, los mongoles permitieron al enemigo lo que parecía un medio de escape. En realidad, la brecha sirvió como trampa. En su pánico y deseo de escapar, el enemigo rara vez mantuvo su disciplina y, a menudo, descartó sus armas para huir más rápido. Los mongoles luego atacaron por la retaguardia como lo hicieron con los húngaros en Mohi en 1241. El erudito mongol Dalantai llamó a esto la "táctica abierta al final" y señaló que los mongoles la usaban si el enemigo parecía ser muy fuerte y podía luchar hasta la muerte cuando está atrapado.

La práctica del doble envolvimiento o incluso del cerco, si bien es un método tradicional empleado en la estepa, también se deriva del entrenamiento de los mongoles en el nervio o la batida estilo de caza. Al igual que en el nervio, los guerreros estrecharon gradualmente su círculo alrededor de su presa, formando una densa masa de la que era difícil escapar. Los mongoles no siempre requerían un gran número de tropas para lograr esto, sus habilidades de tiro con arco y movilidad les permitían rodear una fuerza enemiga incluso cuando eran superados en número.

los nervio utilizado en operaciones militares esencialmente sirvió como una táctica de doble envoltura, en la que las alas del ejército mongol envolverían a un ejército contrario. En ocasiones, los mongoles lo utilizaron como estrategia en un frente más amplio durante una invasión, como lo hicieron cuando atacaron las tierras rus. Después de la captura de la ciudad de Vladimir en 1237, “Se dieron la vuelta desde allí y celebraron un consejo, decidiendo que procederían tümän por tümän en järge formación y tomar y destruir todas las ciudades, provincias y fortalezas a las que llegaron ". De esta manera, los mongoles rodearon un área, luego se cerraron gradualmente de modo que las avenidas de escape se estrecharon como lo harían en una batalla.

En algunos casos, los mongoles enviaron una fuerza de prisioneros y reclutaron levas para atacar el frente enemigo, respaldados por supuesto por tropas mongoles para garantizar que la leva cumpliera con su deber. Mientras tanto, las columnas mongolas marcharon fuera de la vista hasta que reaparecieron en los flancos o en la retaguardia del enemigo.

Guerra de asedio

En los primeros días de las conquistas mongolas, la guerra de asedio era una debilidad que Chinggis Khan y sus generales tenían que superar si querían mantener el territorio. A medida que aumentaba su éxito contra sus oponentes sedentarios, los mongoles incorporaron ingenieros —reclutados o voluntarios— en sus ejércitos. Durante toda la existencia del Imperio mongol, dependieron de ingenieros musulmanes y chinos que tripulaban y fabricaban artillería y otros equipos de asedio.

Los mongoles retrasaron los asedios hasta la última parte de una campaña. Comenzaron una campaña con la reducción de lugares periféricos más pequeños antes de concentrar sus ejércitos en un objetivo mayor. Así se aseguraron de tener suficiente mano de obra para sitiar las ciudades más grandes. Cuando se encontraron con una ciudad o fortaleza inaccesible, los mongoles establecieron un bloqueo para hacer que un enemigo se rindiera de hambre. También se ocuparon de las fortalezas evitándolas una vez que estuvieron aisladas, perdieron su importancia estratégica. Si los mongoles descubrieron que no podían reducir la ciudad o la fortaleza, a menudo construían una contrafuerte para bloquearla y esperaban hasta que el enemigo sucumbiera al hambre o accediera a un acuerdo diplomático.

Antes de un asedio, los mongoles recogieron numerosos cautivos y reclutas de ciudades y pueblos previamente conquistados. Estas personas servían como mano de obra forzada y forraje para flechas. Después de tomar una ciudad, pueblo o aldea, los mongoles dividieron a la población en unidades de 10, y cada soldado mongol recibió una unidad. Estos gravámenes recogían hierba, madera, tierra y piedra. Si alguno de los cautivos se quedaba atrás durante la marcha, los mongoles los ejecutaban. Cuando las levas llegaron a la ciudad que iba a ser atacada, rápidamente llenaron el foso o trinchera defensiva con piedras y otros materiales que llevaban — haces de paja, madera y escombros — para que los mongoles pudieran llegar a las murallas. Los cautivos también se vieron obligados a cavar trincheras y erigir defensas y realizar cualquier otra tarea que fuera necesaria.

Durante un asedio, los mongoles obligaron a los prisioneros a construir máquinas de asedio, presumiblemente bajo la dirección de sus ingenieros chinos o persas. Con estos motores y sus propios arcos, los mongoles mantuvieron un bombardeo constante sobre la ciudad para evitar que el enemigo descansara. Los mongoles también usaron nafta y posiblemente fuego griego, y el fraile franciscano John de Plano Carpini notó un combustible más espantoso. Según él, “incluso toman la grasa de la gente que matan y, derritiéndola, la arrojan a la casa, y dondequiera que el fuego caiga sobre esta grasa, es casi inextinguible”.

Los presos se vieron obligados a participar activamente en los asedios. Llevaban arietes que se operaban bajo la cubierta de un dosel o tal vez un refugio más endurecido. Si los cautivos intentaban huir, los mataban. Por lo tanto, tenían la opción de una muerte segura a manos de los mongoles o una muerte probable a manos de los defensores de la ciudad.

Además de usar catapultas y arietes para debilitar los muros de una ciudad, los mongoles cavaron túneles para socavarlos. Si un río corría cerca de una ciudad, como en Xixia, por ejemplo, lo represarían e inundarían las calles. Las levas reclutadas hicieron la mayor parte del trabajo peligroso, y los mongoles solo se expusieron cuando se les pidió que participaran en el combate. Durante un asedio tendían a permanecer fuera del alcance del fuego de la ciudad, conservando así sus propias tropas mientras dejaban que los auxiliares y las levas locales realizaran los trabajos más peligrosos. Finalmente, una vez que se abrió una brecha en el muro, los mongoles se pusieron sus armaduras y atacaron, a menudo de noche.

Estas tácticas fueron un procedimiento operativo estándar para los mongoles durante sus conquistas. La campaña en Rusia demostró la sofisticación y eficiencia de sus técnicas de guerra de asedio, el asedio de Vladimir es un ejemplo particularmente bueno: los mongoles aislaron la ciudad rodeándola con un muro antes de bombardearla con catapultas, flechas, flechas de fuego y ataques con gravámenes. con arietes. Una vez que habían atravesado una muralla de la ciudad, montaron un asalto rápido por la noche para reducir las bajas.

Tácticas psicológicas y medios de engaño

Los mongoles se dieron cuenta de que era más eficaz convencer a una ciudad o fortaleza de que se rindiera sin resistencia en lugar de ser arrastrados a un asedio. Como consecuencia, los mongoles ganaron una notoria reputación por sus masacres. Según algunos cronistas, sobre todo Jûzjânî y los cronistas de la Rus, los mongoles rara vez dejaron un alma viviente dondequiera que conquistaron. Sus masacres generalmente no se llevaron a cabo por lujuria de sangre desenfrenada, sino que sirvieron para varios propósitos: el primero fue desalentar las revueltas de las poblaciones hostiles detrás de los ejércitos mongoles. En segundo lugar, a medida que se difundían las noticias de las masacres, sobre todo en los casos en que los defensores habían opuesto una resistencia decidida, otras ciudades y pueblos fueron intimidados y optaron por rendirse a los mongoles. Finalmente, una masacre sirvió como un poderoso freno a la rebelión. Según el antropólogo Thomas Barfield, los mongoles

… Eran extremadamente conscientes de su reducido número y emplearon el terror como herramienta para desalentar la resistencia contra ellos. Las ciudades ... que se rindieron y luego se rebelaron fueron pasadas a espada. Los mongoles no pudieron mantener guarniciones fuertes y, por lo tanto, prefirieron arrasar áreas enteras que parecían problemáticas. Tal comportamiento era inexplicable para los historiadores sedentarios para quienes la conquista de poblaciones productivas era el objetivo de la guerra.

Además, los mongoles utilizaron propaganda y, a menudo, difundieron rumores de antemano que exageraban el tamaño de su ejército. En 1258 Möngke invadió Szechuan con 40.000, pero difundió rumores de 100.000. Los mongoles recurrieron a otros subterfugios para confundir e intimidar a sus enemigos. Cuando luchó contra los Naiman en 1204, Chinggis Khan ordenó a sus soldados que establecieran un campamento en la estepa de Sa'ari en el oeste de Mongolia, y para ocultar el verdadero tamaño de su ejército, ordenó que cada soldado encendiera cinco fogatas, dando la impresión de un ejército más numeroso. Al enfrentarse a fuerzas numéricamente superiores, los mongoles a menudo enviaban tropas de regreso para levantar polvo detrás de sus propias líneas por medio de ramas atadas a las colas de sus caballos, para crear la ilusión de refuerzos que se acercaban. También montaron maniquíes en sus caballos de repuesto y viajaron en fila india para enmascarar sus números a distancia.

Los mongoles buscaron debilitar a sus oponentes promoviendo la discordia o la rebelión y buscando el apoyo de las minorías oprimidas (o mayorías). Si bien los mongoles hicieron buen uso de su reputación de extrema brutalidad, también se esfuerzan por presentarse a sí mismos como libertadores cuando las circunstancias lo justifican. También enfrentaron a rivales entre sí. Como escribió una vez el caballero francés Jean de Joinville: "Siempre que los mongoles desean hacer la guerra a los sarracenos, envían cristianos a luchar contra ellos y, por otro lado, emplean a los sarracenos en cualquier guerra contra los cristianos".

Tácticas sobrenaturales

Los mongoles recurrieron a medios sobrenaturales para asegurar su éxito. Pidieron favor a Tenggri, o Cielo, en el campo de batalla de la misma manera que los ejércitos musulmanes y cristianos apelaron a su dios antes de la batalla. Los mongoles también emplearon otras tácticas sobrenaturales, la más importante de las cuales fue la magia meteorológica realizada por un chamán conocido como el jadaci. los jadaci usó rocas especiales, que se cree que están imbuidas del poder de controlar el clima y conocidas como "piedras de lluvia", para convocar tormentas de lluvia, o incluso tormentas de nieve en el verano, que atraparon al enemigo mal preparado. Durante la tormenta, los mongoles, que habían alejado a sus oponentes de su base, se refugiarían y luego atacarían mientras el enemigo estaba desorientado.

Las estrategias más efectivas en la guerra aprovechan la fuerza del ejército, y para los mongoles esto significó una estrategia de alta movilidad. Los caballos utilizados por los mongoles fueron superados en fuerza y ​​velocidad por los de los ejércitos sedentarios, pero eran superiores en resistencia, y los mongoles tenían más de ellos. El soldado promedio en el ejército mongol poseía de tres a cinco monturas, por lo que podía permanecer en movimiento incluso si una o dos de sus monturas se perdían o se agotaban. En consecuencia, los mongoles participaron en un estilo de guerra muy móvil que no se volvió a utilizar hasta el siglo XX, cuando se mecanizaron los ejércitos.

Al prepararse para la guerra, los mongoles dieron varios pasos. Primero, realizaron un censo para organizar la movilización de sus tropas. También acumularon inteligencia sobre sus oponentes. Solo después de que se obtuviera suficiente información de inteligencia, hicieron una declaración de hostilidades. The declarations of war varied, but by the peak of the empire, they outlined why the Mongols were invading and gave the enemy a few options such as surrendering and providing tribute and troops when requested—or facing destruction. En un quriltai, or Mongol assembly, the strategy for the upcoming war was agreed on and the commanders were chosen. Points of rendezvous were established, and mobilization began in earnest.

Mongol strategy at its best was based on a very careful planning of the military operations to be performed, and the essence of it lay in a very rigid timetable to which all Mongol commanders were expected to adhere strictly.

While timetables were important to Mongol armies, they were not afraid to alter their plans in order to take advantage of favorable weather and other environmental conditions. They sought to attack when their enemies least expected it, even when their own horses were lean or weak, or in the middle of winter. Although campaigns were meticulously planned, the Mongol generals maintained a high degree of independence. They could fulfill their objectives in their own way so long as they abided to the overall timetable.

Travel by Columns

Invading Mongol armies usually followed several routes of advance. Against the Khwârazmian Empire, Chinggis Khan used at least four and perhaps five routes, one of which ran through the Kyzyl Kum desert. During the invasion of Russia, generals Sübedei, Batu and Möngke approached from three directions. Ultimately, as in modern warfare, these columns converged upon a single target, usually the center of power. Against the Khwârazmian Empire it was Samarqand in Europe, Budapest. With their preplanned schedules and their skillful use of scouts, the Mongols marched divided, but fought united. Because their forces marched in small detachments, their advance was not slowed by large columns that stretched for miles, and their opponents were not able to concentrate their forces before the Mongols appeared on many fronts at the same time. While the Mongols were quite capable of concentrating their forces at a critical point in an enemy’s defenses, such as at a strategic fortress or a field army, instead they often overwhelmed their opponents by applying pressure to several points simultaneously.

Annihilation of Field Army

A multi-pronged invasion plan suited the Mongols’ favored method of engaging the enemy—that is, to destroy the opposing field army before moving deep into enemy territory. Screens of scouts ensured that the Mongols could rapidly locate enemy armies. After defeating an army, the Mongols pursued it until it was destroyed. Assaults on enemy strongholds were often delayed by this effort to put the enemy field army out of action. Of course, small fortresses and ones that could be surprised easily were taken in the course of the advance. The Khwârazmian campaign is perhaps the best example of this—smaller cities and fortresses were taken before the capital Samarqand was captured. This strategy had two obvious advantages. First, it prevented the principal city from communicating with other cities that might have come to its aid. Second, refugees from the smaller cities fled to the last stronghold. Reports from the defeated cities and the stream of refugees not only reduced the morale of the inhabitants and the garrison of the principal city, but also strained its resources of food and water. Upon destruction of the field army, the Mongols were then free to lay siege without interference.

Pursuit of Leaders

Once an enemy field army had been defeated, the Mongols concentrated on destroying their opponent’s capacity to rally. They targeted all the enemy leaders and harried them until they were killed. Chinggis Khan first pursued this policy during the wars of unification in Mongolia. In his first few campaigns his failure to eliminate the opposing leaders allowed them to regroup their forces and start the conflict anew. He learned from this experience, and in his later campaigns the merciless pursuit of the enemy commanders evolved into a standard operational procedure.

Key to Success

Altogether, the Mongols possessed a highly developed and complex military structure. This provided them an edge in warfare over their opponents, but a key to Mongol success in war and conquest was the melding of traditional and still effective steppe tactics with new tactics and forms of warfare they encountered. Throughout the expansion of their empire, the Mongols remained pragmatic and open to incorporating new methods of waging war and adopting new weapons and tactics. They ensured their soldiers were properly trained to execute the appropriate tactics when ordered. Finally, due to their extensive planning, the Mongols were better informed about their opponents than most medieval armies. The outcome was that for more than 150 years of conquest from Asia to Europe they suffered no serious defeats.

Originally published in the August 2007 issue of Military History. Para suscribirse, haga clic aquí.


The &aposUniversal Ruler&apos

When Temujin was about 20, he was captured in a raid by former family allies, the Taichi&aposuts, and temporarily enslaved. He escaped with the help of a sympathetic captor, and joined his brothers and several other clansmen to form a fighting unit. Temujin began his slow ascent to power by building a large army of more than 20,000 men. He set out to destroy traditional divisions among the various tribes and unite the Mongols under his rule.

Through a combination of outstanding military tactics and merciless brutality, Temujin avenged his father&aposs murder by decimating the Tatar army, and ordered the killing of every Tatar male who was more than approximately 3 feet tall (taller than the linchpin, or axle pin, of a wagon wheel). Temujin&aposs Mongols then defeated the Taichi&aposut using a series of massive cavalry attacks, including having all of the Taichi&aposut chiefs boiled alive. By 1206, Temujin had also defeated the powerful Naiman tribe, thus giving him control of central and eastern Mongolia.

The early success of the Mongol army owed much to the brilliant military tactics of Genghis Khan, as well as his understanding of his enemies&apos motivations. He employed an extensive spy network and was quick to adopt new technologies from his enemies. The well-trained Mongol army of 80,000 fighters coordinated their advance with a sophisticated signaling system of smoke and burning torches. Large drums sounded commands to charge, and further orders were conveyed with flag signals. Every soldier was fully equipped with a bow, arrows, a shield, a dagger and a lasso. He also carried large saddlebags for food, tools and spare clothes. The saddlebag was waterproof and could be inflated to serve as a life preserver when crossing deep and swift-moving rivers. Cavalrymen carried a small sword, javelins, body armor, a battle-ax or mace, and a lance with a hook to pull enemies off of their horses. The Mongols were devastating in their attacks. Because they could maneuver a galloping horse using only their legs, their hands were free to shoot arrows. The entire army was followed by a well-organized supply system of oxcarts carrying food for soldiers and beasts alike, as well as military equipment, shamans for spiritual and medical aid, and officials to catalog the booty.

Following the victories over the rival Mongol tribes, other tribal leaders agreed to peace and bestowed on Temujin the title of "Genghis Khan," which means "universal ruler." The title carried not only political importance, but also spiritual significance. The leading shaman declared Genghis Khan the representative of Mongke Koko Tengri (the "Eternal Blue Sky"), the supreme god of the Mongols. With this declaration of divine status, it was accepted that his destiny was to rule the world. Religious tolerance was practiced in the Mongol Empire, but to defy the Great Khan was equal to defying the will of God. It was with such religious fervor that Genghis Khan is supposed to have said to one of his enemies, "I am the flail of God. If you had not committed great sins, God would not have sent a punishment like me upon you."


Contenido

Linaje

Genghis Khan was related on his father's side to Khabul Khan, Ambaghai, and Hotula Khan, who had headed the Khamag Mongol confederation and were descendants of Bodonchar Munkhag (c. 900). When the Jurchen Jin dynasty switched support from the Mongols to the Tatars in 1161, they destroyed Khabul Khan. [22] [23]

Genghis Khan's father, Yesügei (leader of the Kiyat-Borjigin [10] clan and nephew to Ambaghai and Hotula Khan), emerged as the head of the ruling Mongol clan. This position was contested by the rival Tayichi'ud clan, who descended directly from Ambaghai. When the Tatars grew too powerful after 1161, the Jin switched their support from the Tatars to the Keraites. [24] [25]

Birth

Little is known about Genghis Khan's early life, due to the lack of contemporary written records. The few sources that give insight into this period often contradict.

Temüjin means "blacksmith". [26] According to Rashid al-Din Hamadani, Chinos constituted that branch of the Mongols which existed from Ergenekon through melting the iron mountain side. There existed a tradition which viewed Genghis Khan as a blacksmith. Genghis's given name was Temüjin was equated with Turco-Mongol temürči(n), "blacksmith". Paul Pelliot saw that the tradition according to which Genghis was a blacksmith was unfounded though well established by the middle of the 13th century. [27]

Genghis Khan was probably born in 1162 [note 2] in Delüün Boldog, near the mountain Burkhan Khaldun and the rivers Onon and Kherlen in modern-day northern Mongolia, close to the current capital Ulaanbaatar. The Secret History of the Mongols reports that Temüjin was born grasping a blood clot in his fist, a traditional sign that he was destined to become a great leader. He was the first son of Hoelun, second wife of his father Yesügei, who was a Kiyad chief prominent in the Khamag Mongol confederation and an ally of Toghrul of the Keraite tribe. [28] According to the Historia secreta, Temüjin was named after the Tatar chief Temüjin-üge whom his father had just captured.

Yesukhei's clan was Borjigin (Боржигин), and Hoelun was from the Olkhunut sub-lineage of the Khongirad tribe. [29] [30] Like other tribes, they were nomads. Temüjin's noble background made it easier for him to solicit help from and eventually consolidate the other Mongol tribes. [31]

Vida temprana y familia

Temüjin had three brothers Hasar, Hachiun, and Temüge, one sister Temülen, and two half-brothers Begter and Belgutei. Like many of the nomads of Mongolia, Temüjin's early life was difficult. [32] His father arranged a marriage for him and delivered him at age nine to the family of his future wife Börte of the tribe Khongirad. Temüjin was to live there serving the head of the household Dai Setsen until the marriageable age of 12. [33] [34]

While heading home, his father ran into the neighboring Tatars, who had long been Mongol enemies, and they offered him food that poisoned him. Upon learning this, Temüjin returned home to claim his father's position as chief. But the tribe refused this and abandoned the family, leaving it without protection. [35]

For the next several years, the family lived in poverty, surviving mostly on wild fruits, ox carcasses, marmots, and other small game killed by Temüjin and his brothers. Temüjin's older half-brother Begter began to exercise power as the eldest male in the family and would eventually have the right to claim Hoelun (who was not his own mother) as a wife. [36] Temüjin's resentment erupted during one hunting excursion when Temüjin and his brother Khasar killed Begter. [36]

In a raid around 1177, Temüjin was captured by his father's former allies, the Tayichi'ud, and enslaved, reportedly with a cangue (a sort of portable stocks). With the help of a sympathetic guard, he escaped from the ger (yurt) at night by hiding in a river crevice. [37] The escape earned Temüjin a reputation. Soon, Jelme and Bo'orchu joined forces with him. They and the guard's son Chilaun eventually became generals of Genghis Khan. [38]

At this time, none of the tribal confederations of Mongolia were united politically, and arranged marriages were often used to solidify temporary alliances. Temüjin grew up observing the tough political climate, which included tribal warfare, thievery, raids, corruption, and revenge between confederations, compounded by interference from abroad, such as from China to the south. [39] Temüjin's mother Hoelun taught him many lessons, especially the need for strong alliances to ensure stability in Mongolia. [40]

As was common for powerful Mongol men, Genghis Khan had many wives and concubines. [41] [42] He frequently acquired wives and concubines from empires and societies that he had conquered, these women were often princesses or queens that were taken captive or gifted to him. [42] Genghis Khan gave several of his high-status wives their own ordos or camps to live in and manage. Each camp also contained junior wives, concubines, and even children. It was the job of the Kheshig (Mongol imperial guard) to protect the yurts of Genghis Khan's wives. The guards had to pay particular attention to the individual yurt and camp in which Genghis Khan slept, which could change every night as he visited different wives. [43] When Genghis Khan set out on his military conquests, he usually took one wife with him and left the rest of his wives (and concubines) to manage the empire in his absence. [44]

Börte

The marriage between Börte and Genghis Khan (then known as Temüjin) was arranged by her father and Yesügei, Temüjin's father, when she was 10 and he was 9 years old. [45] [46] Temüjin stayed with her and her family until he was called back to take care of his mother and younger siblings, due to the poisoning of Yesügei by Tatar nomads. [47] In 1178, about 7 years later, Temüjin traveled downstream along the Kelüren River to find Börte. When Börte's father saw that Temüjin had returned to marry Börte, he had the pair "united as man and wife". With the permission of her father, Temüjin took Börte and her mother to live in his family yurt. Börte's dowry was a fine black sable jacket. [48] [49] Soon after the marriage between them took place, the Three Merkits attacked their family camp at dawn and kidnapped Börte. [50] She was given to one of their warriors as a spoil of war. Temüjin was deeply distressed by the abduction of his wife and remarked that his "bed was made empty" and his "breast was torn apart". [51] Temüjin rescued her several months later with the aid of his allies Wang Khan and Jamukha. [52] Many scholars describe this event as one of the key crossroads in Temüjin's life, which moved him along the path towards becoming a conqueror.

“As the pillaging and plundering went on, Temüjin moved among the people that were hurriedly escaping, calling, ‘Börte, Börte!’ And so he came upon her, for Lady Börte was among those fleeing people. She heard the voice of Temüjin and, recognizing it, she got off the cart and came running towards him. Although it was still night, Lady Börte and Qo’aqčin both recognized Temüjin’s reins and tether and grabbed them. It was moonlight he looked at them, recognized Lady Börte, and they fell into each other’s arms.” -The Secret History of the Mongols [51]

Börte was held captive for eight months, and gave birth to Jochi soon after she was rescued. This left doubt as to who the father of the child was, because her captor took her as a "wife" and could have possibly impregnated her. [50] Despite this, Temüjin let Jochi remain in the family and claimed him as his own son. Börte had three more sons, Chagatai (1183–1242), Ögedei (1186–1241), and Tolui (1191–1232). Temüjin had many other children with other wives, but they were excluded from the succession, only Börte's sons could be considered to be his heirs. Börte was also the mother to several daughters, Kua Ujin Bekhi, Alakhai Bekhi, Alaltun, Checheikhen, Tümelün, and Tolai. However, the poor survival of Mongol records means it is unclear whether she gave birth to all of them. [53]

Yesugen

During his military campaign against the Tatars, Temüjin fell in love with Yesugen and took her in as a wife. She was the daughter of a Tatar leader named Yeke Cheren that Temüjin's army had killed during battle. After the military campaign against the Tatars was over, Yesugen, one of the survivors went to Temüjin, who slept with her. According to the Secret History of the Mongols, while they were having sex Yesugen asked Temüjin to treat her well and to not discard her. When Temüjin seemed to agree with this, Yesugen recommended that he also marry her sister Yesui. [54]

Being loved by him, Yisügen Qatun said, ‘If it pleases the Qa’an, he will take care of me, regarding me as a human being and a person worth keeping. But my elder sister, who is called Yisüi, is superior to me: she is indeed fit for a ruler.’

Both the Tatar sisters, Yesugen and Yesui, became a part of Temüjin's principal wives and were given their own camps to manage. Temüjin also took a third woman from the Tatars, an unknown concubine. [56]

Yesui

At the recommendation of her sister Yesugen, Temüjin had his men track down and kidnap Yesui. When she was brought to Temüjin, he found her every bit as pleasing as promised and so he married her. [57] The other wives, mothers, sisters and daughters of the Tatars had been parceled out and given to Mongol men. [56] The Tatar sisters, Yesugen and Yesui, were two of Genghis Khan's most influential wives. Genghis Khan took Yesui with him when he set out on his final expedition against the Tangut empire. [58]

Khulan

Khulan entered Mongol history when her father, the Merkit leader Dayir Usan, surrendered to Temüjin in the winter of 1203–04 and gave her to him. But at least according to the Secret History of the Mongols, Khulan and her father were detained by Naya'a, one of Temüjin's officers, who was apparently trying to protect them from Mongol soldiers who were nearby. After they arrived three days later than expected, Temüjin suspected that Naya'a was motivated by his carnal feelings towards Khulan to help her and her father. While Temüjin was interrogating Naya'a, Khulan spoke up in his defense and invited Temüjin to have sex with her and inspect her virginity personally, which pleased him. [59]

In the end Temüjin accepted Dayir Usan's surrender and Khulan as his new wife. However, Dayir Usan later retracted his surrender but he and his subjects were eventually subdued, his possessions plundered, and he himself killed. Temüjin continued to carry out military campaigns against the Merkits until their final dispersal in 1218. Khulan was able to achieve meaningful status as one of Temüjin's wives and managed one of the large wifely camps, in which other wives, concubines, children and animals lived. She gave birth to a son named Gelejian, who went on to participate with Börte's sons in their father's military campaigns. [60]

Möge Khatun

Möge Khatun was a concubine of Genghis Khan and she later became a wife of his son Ögedei Khan. [61] The Persian historian Ata-Malik Juvayni records that Möge Khatun "was given to Chinggis Khan by a chief of the Bakrin tribe, and he loved her very much." Ögedei favored her as well and she accompanied him on his hunting expeditions. [62] She is not recorded as having any children. [63]

Juerbiesu

Juerbiesu was an empress of Qara Khitai, Mongol Empire, and Naiman. She was a renowned beauty on the plains. She was originally a favored concubine of Inanch Bilge khan and after his death, she became the consort of his son Tayang Khan. Since Tayang Khan was a useless ruler, Juerbiesu was in control of almost all power in Naiman politics. [64]

She had a daughter named Princess Hunhu (渾忽公主) with Yelü Zhilugu, the ruler of Liao. After Genghis Khan destroyed the Naiman tribe and Tayang Khan was killed, Juerbiesu made several offensive remarks regarding Mongols, describing their clothes as dirty and smelly. Yet, she abruptly rescinded her claims and visited Genghis Khan's tent alone. He questioned her about the remarks but was immediately attracted to her beauty. After spending the night with him, Juerbiesu promised to serve him well and he took her as one of his empresses. Her status was only inferior to Khulan and Borte. [ cita necesaria ]

Ibaqa Beki

Ibaqa was the eldest daughter of the Kerait leader Jakha Gambhu, who allied with Genghis Khan to defeat the Naimans in 1204. As part of the alliance, Ibaqa was given to Genghis Khan as a wife. [65] She was the sister of Begtütmish, who married Genghis Khan's son Jochi, and Sorghaghtani Beki, who married Genghis Khan's son Tolui. [65] [66] After about two years of childless marriage, Genghis Khan abruptly divorced Ibaqa and gave her to the general Jürchedei, a member of the Uru'ut clan and who had killed Jakha Gambhu after the latter turned against Genghis Khan. [65] [67] The exact reason for this remarriage is unknown: According to The Secret History of the Mongols, Genghis Khan gave Ibaqa to Jürchedei as a reward for his service in wounding Nilga Senggum in 1203 and, later, in killing Jakha Gambhu. [65] Conversely, Rashid al-Din in Jami' al-tawarikh claims that Genghis Khan divorced Ibaqa due to a nightmare in which God commanded him to give her away immediately, and Jürchedei happened to be guarding the tent. [65] Regardless of the rationale, Genghis Khan allowed Ibaqa to keep her title as Khatun even in her remarriage, and asked that she would leave him a token of her dowry by which he could remember her. [65] [67] The sources also agree that Ibaqa was quite wealthy. [68]

In the early 12th century, the Central Asian plateau north of China was divided into several prominent tribal confederations, including Naimans, Merkits, Tatars, Khamag Mongols, and Keraites, that were often unfriendly towards each other, as evidenced by random raids, revenge attacks, and plundering.

Early attempts at power

Temüjin began his ascent to power by offering himself as an ally (or, according to other sources, a vassal) to his father's anda (sworn brother or blood brother) Toghrul, who was Khan of the Keraites, and is better known by the Chinese title "Wang Khan", which the Jurchen Jin dynasty granted him in 1197. This relationship was first reinforced when Börte was captured by the Merkits. Temüjin turned to Toghrul for support, and Toghrul offered 20,000 of his Keraite warriors and suggested that Temüjin involve his childhood friend Jamukha, who had himself become Khan of his own tribe, the Jadaran. [69]

Although the campaign rescued Börte and utterly defeated the Merkits, it also paved the way for the split between Temüjin and Jamukha. Before this, they were blood brothers (anda) vowing to remain eternally faithful.

Rift with Jamukha and defeat at Dalan Balzhut

As Jamukha and Temüjin drifted apart in their friendship, each began consolidating power, and they became rivals. Jamukha supported the traditional Mongolian aristocracy, while Temüjin followed a meritocratic method, and attracted a broader range and lower class of followers. [70] Following his earlier defeat of the Merkits, and a proclamation by the shaman Kokochu that the Eternal Blue Sky had set aside the world for Temüjin, Temüjin began rising to power. [71] In 1186, Temüjin was elected khan of the Mongols. Threatened by this rise, Jamukha attacked Temujin in 1187 with an army of 30,000 troops. Temüjin gathered his followers to defend against the attack, but was decisively beaten in the Battle of Dalan Balzhut. [71] [72] However, Jamukha horrified and alienated potential followers by boiling 70 young male captives alive in cauldrons. [73] Toghrul, as Temüjin's patron, was exiled to the Qara Khitai. [74] The life of Temüjin for the next 10 years is unclear, as historical records are mostly silent on that period. [74]

Return to power

Around the year 1197, the Jin initiated an attack against their formal vassal, the Tatars, with help from the Keraites and Mongols. Temüjin commanded part of this attack, and after victory, he and Toghrul were restored by the Jin to positions of power. [74] The Jin bestowed Toghrul with the honorable title of Ong Khan, and Temüjin with a lesser title of j'aut quri. [75]

Around 1200, the main rivals of the Mongol confederation (traditionally the "Mongols") were the Naimans to the west, the Merkits to the north, the Tanguts to the south, and the Jin to the east.

In his rule and his conquest of rival tribes, Temüjin broke with Mongol tradition in a few crucial ways. He delegated authority based on merit and loyalty, rather than family ties. [76] As an incentive for absolute obedience and the Yassa code of law, Temüjin promised civilians and soldiers wealth from future war spoils. When he defeated rival tribes, he did not drive away their soldiers and abandon their civilians. Instead, he took the conquered tribe under his protection and integrated its members into his own tribe. He would even have his mother adopt orphans from the conquered tribe, bringing them into his family. These political innovations inspired great loyalty among the conquered people, making Temüjin stronger with each victory. [76]

Rift with Toghrul

Senggum, son of Toghrul (Wang Khan), envied Genghis Khan's growing power and affinity with his father. He allegedly planned to assassinate Genghis Khan. Although Toghrul was allegedly saved on multiple occasions by Genghis Khan, he gave in to his son [77] and became uncooperative with Genghis Khan. Genghis Khan learned of Senggum's intentions and eventually defeated him and his loyalists.

One of the later ruptures between Genghis Khan and Toghrul was Toghrul's refusal to give his daughter in marriage to Jochi, Genghis Khan's first son. This was disrespectful in Mongolian culture and led to a war. Toghrul allied with Jamukha, who already opposed Genghis Khan's forces. However, the dispute between Toghrul and Jamukha, plus the desertion of a number of their allies to Genghis Khan, led to Toghrul's defeat. Jamukha escaped during the conflict. This defeat was a catalyst for the fall and eventual dissolution of the Keraite tribe. [78]

After conquering his way steadily through the Alchi Tatars, Keraites, and Uhaz Merkits and acquiring at least one wife each time, Temüjin turned to the next threat on the steppe, the Turkic Naimans under the leadership of Tayang Khan with whom Jamukha and his followers took refuge. [60] The Naimans did not surrender, although enough sectors again voluntarily sided with Genghis Khan.

In 1201, a khuruldai elected Jamukha as Gür Khan, "universal ruler", a title used by the rulers of the Qara Khitai. Jamukha's assumption of this title was the final breach with Genghis Khan, and Jamukha formed a coalition of tribes to oppose him. Before the conflict, several generals abandoned Jamukha, including Subutai, Jelme's well-known younger brother. After several battles, Jamukha was turned over to Genghis Khan by his own men in 1206. [ cita necesaria ]

De acuerdo con la Historia secreta, Genghis Khan again offered his friendship to Jamukha. Genghis Khan had killed the men who betrayed Jamukha, stating that he did not want disloyal men in his army. Jamukha refused the offer, saying that there can only be one sun in the sky, and he asked for a noble death. The custom was to die without spilling blood, specifically by having one's back broken. Jamukha requested this form of death, although he was known to have boiled his opponents' generals alive. [ cita necesaria ]

Sole ruler of the Mongol plains (1206)

The part of the Merkit clan that sided with the Naimans were defeated by Subutai, who was by then a member of Genghis Khan's personal guard and later became one of Genghis Khan's most successful commanders. The Naimans' defeat left Genghis Khan as the sole ruler of the Mongol steppe – all the prominent confederations fell or united under his Mongol confederation.

Accounts of Genghis Khan's life are marked by claims of a series of betrayals and conspiracies. These include rifts with his early allies such as Jamukha (who also wanted to be a ruler of Mongol tribes) and Wang Khan (his and his father's ally), his son Jochi, and problems with the most important shaman, who allegedly tried to drive a wedge between him and his loyal brother Khasar. His military strategies showed a deep interest in gathering intelligence and understanding the motivations of his rivals, exemplified by his extensive spy network and Yam route systems. He seemed to be a quick student, adopting new technologies and ideas that he encountered, such as siege warfare from the Chinese. He was also ruthless, demonstrated by his tactic of measuring against the linchpin, used against the tribes led by Jamukha.

As a result, by 1206, Genghis Khan had managed to unite or subdue the Merkits, Naimans, Mongols, Keraites, Tatars, Uyghurs, and other disparate smaller tribes under his rule. This was a monumental feat. It resulted in peace between previously warring tribes, and a single political and military force. The union became known as the Mongols. En un Khuruldai, a council of Mongol chiefs, Genghis Khan was acknowledged as Khan of the consolidated tribes and took the new title "Genghis Khan". The title Khagan was conferred posthumously by his son and successor Ögedei who took the title for himself (as he was also to be posthumously declared the founder of the Yuan dynasty).

According to the Secret History of the Mongols, the chieftains of the conquered tribes pledged to Genghis Khan by proclaiming:

"We will make you Khan you shall ride at our head, against our foes. We will throw ourselves like lightning on your enemies. We will bring you their finest women and girls, their rich tents like palaces." [79] [80]

Genghis Khan was a Tengrist, but was religiously tolerant and interested in learning philosophical and moral lessons from other religions. He consulted Buddhist monks (including the Zen monk Haiyun), Muslims, Christian missionaries, and the Taoist monk Qiu Chuji. [81]

De acuerdo con la Fozu Lidai Tongzai written by Nian Chang (b. 1282) Genghis Khan's viceroy Muqali was pacifying Shanxi in 1219, the homeland of Zen Buddhist monk Haiyun (海雲, 1203–1257), when one of Muqali's Chinese generals, impressed with Haiyun and his master Zhongguan's demeanor, recommended them to Muqali. Muqali then reported on the two to Genghis Khan who issued the following decree on their behalf: "They truly are men who pray to Heaven. I should like to support them with clothes and food and make them chiefs. I'm planning on gathering many of this kind of people. While praying to Heaven, they should not have difficulties imposed on them. To forbid any mistreatment, they will be authorized to act as darqan (possessor of immunity)." Genghis Khan had already met Haiyun in 1214 and been impressed by his reply refusing to grow his hair in the Mongol hairstyle and allowed him to keep his head shaven. [82] After the death of his master Zhongguan in 1220, Haiyun became the head of the Chan (Chinese Zen) school during Genghis Khan's rule and was repeatedly recognized as the chief monk in Chinese Buddhism by subsequent Khans until 1257 when he was succeeded as chief monk by another Chan master Xueting Fuyu the Mongol-appointed abbot of Shaolin monastery. [83]

Genghis Khan summoned and met the Daoist master Qiu Chuji (1148–1227) in Afghanistan in 1222. He thanked Qiu Chuji for accepting his invitation and asked if Qiu Chuji had brought the medicine of immortality with him. Qiu Chuji said there was no such thing as a medicine of immortality but that life can be extended through abstinence. Genghis Khan appreciated his honest reply and asked Qiu Chuji who it is that calls him eternal heavenly man, he himself or others. [84] After Qiu Chuji replied that others call him by that name Genghis Khan decreed that from thenceforth Qiu Chuji should be called "Immortal" and appointed him master of all monks in China, noting that heaven had sent Qiu Chuji to him. Qiu Chuji died in Beijing the same year as Genghis Khan and his shrine became the White Cloud Temple. Following Khans continued appointing Daoist masters of the Quanzhen School at White Cloud Temple. The Daoists lost their privilege in 1258 after the Great Debate organized by Genghis Khan's grandson Möngke Khan when Chinese Buddhists (led by the Mongol-appointed abbot or shaolim zhanglao of Shaolin monastery), Confucians and Tibetan Buddhists allied against the Daoists. Kublai Khan was appointed to preside over this debate (in Shangdu/Xanadu, the third meeting after two debates in Karakorum in 1255 and 1256) in which 700 dignitaries were present. Kublai Khan had already met Haiyun in 1242 and been swayed towards Buddhism. [85]

Genghis Khan's decree exempting Daoists (xiansheng), Buddhists (toyin), Christians (erke'üd) and Muslims (dashmad) from tax duties were continued by his successors until the end of the Yuan dynasty in 1368. All the decrees use the same formula and state that Genghis Khan first gave the decree of exemption. [86] Kublai Khan's 1261 decree in Mongolian appointing the elder of the Shaolin monastery uses the same formula and states "Činggis qan-u jrlg-tur toyid erkegü:d šingšingü:d dašmad aliba alba gubčiri ülü üjen tngri-yi jalbariju bidan-a irüge:r ögün atugai keme:gsen jrlg-un yosuga:r. ene Šaolim janglau-da bariju yabuga:i jrlg ögbei" (According to the decree of Genghis Khan which says may the Buddhists, Christians, Daoists and Muslims be exempt from all taxation and may they pray to God and continue offering us blessings. I have given this decree to the Shaolin elder to carry it). According to Juvaini, Genghis Khan allowed religious freedom to Muslims during his conquest of Khwarezmia "permitting the recitation of the takbir y el azan". However, Rashid-al-Din states there were occasions when Genghis Khan forbade Halal butchering. Kublai Khan revived the decree in 1280 after Muslims refused to eat at a banquet. He forbade Halal butchering and circumcision. The decree of Kublai Khan was revoked after a decade. Genghis Khan met Wahid-ud-Din in Afghanistan in 1221 and asked him if the prophet Muhammad predicted a Mongol conqueror. He was initially pleased with Wahid-ud-Din but then dismissed him from his service saying "I used to consider you a wise and prudent man, but from this speech of yours, it has become evident to me that you do not possess complete understanding and that your comprehension is but small". [87]


Ending slavery

Prior to Genghis Khan, it was common practice to capture a man and use him as a slave in Mongolia. As a result, kidnapping a human would eventually lead to retaliation, ensuing in centuries of feuding among the tribes. Genghis himself was a slave for nearly a decade, and like most reformists, his life experiences influenced his decision.

Genghis Khan outlawed the heinous practice of slavery among Mongols. This resulted in peace and harmony. The social fabric remained intact, and humans no longer had to live in fear of being enslaved.

It should be noted, however, that while he abolished slavery among Mongols, captured women from enemy territories were given to Mongol women as personal attendants and servants.


Genghis and his Y-chromosome

In the study of historical genetics, published in 2003, geneticists focused on Y-chromosomes.

The Y-chromosome passes down directly and only from father to son. The chromosome is basically unchanged, except for random, traceable mutations, called markers.

Once geneticists find a marker, they can trace which males are genetically linked. The Y-chromosome that was traced in the study belongs to sixteen million males in Asia.

There is only one man in history who could father a lot of children all over the Middle East to China. The concerned area corresponds with the area of the Mongol Empire at the time of his death.

Obviously, Genghis Khan had plenty of sex with a huge number of women.

The descendants of Genghis ruled across Asia for centuries after his death. Their position in society meant they could have more women and consequently more children.

For example, Genghis’s son Toshi had forty sons. Genghis’s grandson, Kublai Khan, known for hosting Marco Polo, had twenty-two legitimate sons. Also, he added thirty virgins to his harem each year. Babur, the founder of the Mughal Empire in India, was also the direct descendant of Genghis Khan. He had six wives and eighteen children.

For Genghis, a ruler with absolute power and god-like status, getting women was not a problem.


1 Everyone Involved In Burying Him Was Killed

When Genghis Khan died, he wanted to be buried where no one could find his corpse. In honor of his wishes, his body was carried miles into the wilderness by a group of slaves escorted by soldiers.

The slaves buried Genghis Khan in a place no one would ever find. To make sure the slaves would never divulge the secret, the warriors massacred them and threw them into the grave. Then the soldiers rode their horses over it and planted trees on top of it to hide the spot.

When the warriors who buried him made their way back to camp, they were promptly slaughtered as well, just to make sure they would never talk. And so Genghis Khan died in a massacre like the ones that pervaded his life, hidden away in a tomb that has yet to be found.


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