*** OUR STORE IS DOWN FOR MAINTENANCE - SORRY ORDERS WILL NOT BE FULFILLED ***

We are all descended from Genghis Khan, well some of us anyway

We are all descended from Genghis Khan, well some of us anyway

We are all descended from Genghis Khan, well some of us anyway

Anyone who has seen “Night at the Museum”, or studied history may know that Genghis Khan, and his descendants once controlled an Empire that held sway over vast parts of Asia and even came close to defeating Europe as well. The image of barbarian hordes at the gates of Europe has come to be represented by the horseback riding  archers of Mongolian legend, and in reality  the Mongols were just as brutal as we have come to believe. In the battles for Persia, Genghis had all the male, and most of the women and children of the city of Urgench killed, with only artisans sparred for use in the Mongol capital.

Scroll painting of Yuan dynasty ancestor go hunting

Seems there was a lot of horsing around…

A contemporary writer, the Persian scholar  Juvayni asserted that 50 thousand Mongol soldiers were told to execute 2 dozen people each after the battle, which roughly translates to over 1.2 million people. He then goes on to state that only a handful of the best women were taken back as slaves for his armies, and the most beautiful of these was given to Genghis himself. Laters writers say this was an exaggeration meant to drum up fear of the Mongol invasion, but current findings may support that this was not far off the mark.

A recent genetic study published in the American Journal of Genetics, has found that a chromosome liked to Genghis himself may be in 1 out of every 5 men in this world and so if this bears out, maybe the stories of Genghis are closer to the reality described by the ancient authors. One thing is certain, that whole areas of Asia were depleted of people after the Mongol invasions ended in the latter part of the 16th century. It was common for Mongols to surround a city, and force out the inhabitants after starving them for sometimes months, and more often than not piles of dead were left behind of any inhabitants who refused to surrender. Even as late as the  18th century, Russian frontiersmen on the Steppes of Asia would use giant white washed markers to identify their routes, these being pyramids of skulls piled up outside of cities that no longer existed as they were rubbed off the face of the earth.

Them bones have a story to tell, The Apotheosis of War by Vasily Vereshchagin

Them bones have a story to tell,
The Apotheosis of War by Vasily Vereshchagin

What this meant was that the Mongol invaders eventually became the dominant population in these areas, and any survivors were quickly assimilated into the Mongol population either as slaves or concubines, as in the case of most women who managed to survive capture. After the Mongols conquered China, and established the Yuan dynasty, they became civilized barbarians, as the Chinese called them and in turn they became assimilated into Chinese culture, which was far older and richer in learning then the Mongol nomadic one. So next time you order Chinese food there’s a good chance that either the fellow serving you, or you yourself, owe some of your genes to the great Khan.

 

Herodotus was a Greek historian who was born in Halicarnassus, Caria (modern-day Bodrum, Turkey) and lived in the fifth century BC (c. 484–425 BC). Widely referred to as "The Father of History" (first conferred by Cicero), he was the first historian known to collect his materials systematically and critically, and then to arrange them into a historiographic narrative. Although some of his stories were fanciful and others inaccurate, he states he was reporting only what was told to him. Little is known of his personal history.

1 Comment

Pingbacks

  1. […] Sources – theancientweb.com […]

Leave a reply