Ghengis Khan: Barbarian Monster, or Glorious Emperor?

Discuss historical events and information concerning any culture, time, or location in our world (or even the frontier beyond).

Ghengis Khan?

Barbarian Monster
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36%
Glorious Emperor
14
64%
 
Total votes : 22

Ghengis Khan: Barbarian Monster, or Glorious Emperor?

Unread postby Da_Chicago_Jigalo » Sat Nov 06, 2004 1:03 am

When I was little, my dad used to tell me, whoever wins the fight, writes the history books. With Ghengis Khan this is certainly true. He rampaged throughout Asia and had to have ordered more deaths than any of those dictators. Hitler, Saddam, all of them. As the Mongolians won and took most of Europe, they wrote the history books saying that Ghengis Khan was a hero. Tell me though. What intent did he have. What was so important that Asia had to be conquered. Was he trying to save his own nation by causing trouble for everyone else. No. I am not sure what he wanted. Maybey he just wanted what Alexander the Great wanted. To conquer the known world. But he did nothing to help the people he conquered. He let them keep their ways, as long as they gave him tax money. Unlike conquerors like Napoleon who spread nationalism and ideas, and Alexander the Great who spread the Greek Culture, he only spread the Mongol flag across Asia. If u ask me he was a barbarian. Ghengis Khan slaughtered women children, the whole 9 yards man. He ruined the Persian Empire to virtually nothing, kill chinese people like hell, and made other villagers watch as their freinds and family were mutilated into a pile man.

Was this guy really a conquering hero, or an Evil Savage?
Last edited by Da_Chicago_Jigalo on Tue Dec 28, 2004 7:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postby Zhuge Zhao » Sat Nov 06, 2004 2:55 am

No doubt, Genghis Khan was one of the most reknown conqueror in history. His empire was the biggest empire to ever be built by anyone. Ghengis Khan was savage conqueror, but he was a smart conqueror he had many strategies that help him win many battles like ambushes, traps, false movements. The only thing that I didn't like about him is how babarious he was, When he was marching towards a city he warned them if they do not surrender he would kill everyone in the city. This led to many cities to surrender to him. Those who did not surrender were all killed as he warned them. When Genghis Khan invade China and won many battles and when he drove his enemies into the capital, he layed siege in that city until the city would starved to death. The Chinese later surrendered and his grandson Kublai Khan established the Yuan dynasty in China.

I really think he was a great Conqueror, but I did not like how he treated his defeated enemies.
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Unread postby Kong Wen » Sat Nov 06, 2004 3:11 am

It's tough to classify GK into one of those extreme categories. He was certainly ruthless, but does that necessarily make him an evil monster?
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Unread postby Zhuge Zhao » Sat Nov 06, 2004 3:16 am

Kong Wen wrote:It's tough to classify GK into one of those extreme categories. He was certainly ruthless, but does that necessarily make him an evil monster?


Master Kong Wen what is your view about Ghengis Khan and the empire he created.
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Unread postby Kong Wen » Sat Nov 06, 2004 3:27 am

I think he did some good things, historically speaking, like creating roads, establishing a postal system, and showing the Europeans that the Asians could (should?) be feared.

However, he was particularly brutal in his conquests, slaughtering entire populations of defeated cities, showing no mercy, etc. I am hesitant to call him totally evil, but I don't think he was entirely heroic either.
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Unread postby Han Liang » Sat Nov 06, 2004 4:01 am

The thing is, standards of that time are not the standards of today, and the kindest and greatest of yesteryear may be considered cruel for doing what they did. Morals are hard to define; they evolve with humanity.
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Re: Ghengis Khan: Barbarian Monster, or Glourious Emperor?

Unread postby zhaozilong158 » Sat Nov 06, 2004 9:59 am

Da_Chicago_Jigalo wrote:When I was little, my dad used to tell me, whoever wins the fight, writes the history books. With Ghengis Khan this is certainly true.


This is true for almost all armies, not just those of Genghis.

Da_Chicago_Jigalo wrote:He rampaged throughout Asia and had to have ordered more deaths than any of those dictators. Hitler, Saddam, all of them.


I am entirely sure on this, but I think percentage-wise, Genghis may have killed more than Hitler or Stalin considering the world population in the 13th century was probably a lot smaller than the 20th century population due to the limited technology at the time. However, if it was numbers alone, I think Hitler or Stalin could've achieved more deaths than Genghis.

Da_Chicago_Jigalo wrote:As the Mongolians won and took most of Europe, they wrote the history books saying that Ghengis Khan was a hero.


No, the Mongols did not take most of Europe although they achieved stunning and crushing victories there. The farthest west the Mongols reached was at the gates of Vienna, Austria but due to Ogadai's death and the Mongol custom for royal family members to go back to Karakorum and take part in the selection of the new Khan as recorded in Genghis Khan's Great Yasa, Subotai reminded the 3 princes of that fact, and so the Mongol army retreated back to the Russian and Ukrainian steppes, where Batu established the Khanate of the Golden Horde that was to rule Russia for the next 250+ years.

And about the book part. I think all conquering empires do that, not just the Mongols. Hell, in the West, people like Columbus, Pizarro, Andrew Jackson, Cortez are glorified and made into heroes in the history books, yet apparently they are seen as the exact opposite by the Native Americans, who view them as evil conquerors and murderers. There are really no such thing as "heroes" if we are to look at them objectively from neither side.

Da_Chicago_Jigalo wrote:Tell me though. What intent did he have. What was so important that Asia had to be conquered. Was he trying to save his own nation by causing trouble for everyone else. No. I am not sure what he wanted. Maybey he just wanted what Alexander the Great wanted. To conquer the known world. But he did nothing to help the people he conquered. He let them keep their ways, as long as they gave him tax money.


Like I said, the same could be said for all conquering and strong empires, not just the Mongols. Similarly, one could ask why the various European powers (this includes the U.S. of course) colonized most of the world in the 19th century and brought about the extinction of several races of people, and the destruction and chaos in so many of the countries of the world even to this day. One could argue that it was for the dignity and pride of their own people, while another could argue that it was to spread civilization and superior culture, yet another could argue that it was for economic reasons; there is no single answer to this question.


Da_Chicago_Jigalo wrote:Unlike conquerors like Napoleon who spread nationalism and ideas, and Alexander the Great who spread the Greek Culture, he only spread the Mongol flag across Asia.


I don't see what Napoleon and Alexander the Great did necessarily makes up for all the people they have slaughtered and killed in their conquests (not that they have to). I don't think those Persians and Middle Easterners who have fell under Macedonian rule were too happy to have Greek culture forced upon them, nor do I think the various Italians, Poles, Germans, Austrians, or Spanish were too happy to be ruled by a French dictator. Those supposedly positive effects that have been attributed to Napoleon or Alexander the Great are largely the result of later historians looking back at and rethinking the effects these conquerers had on history and are the views of people of later times not affected by these conquerors. I don't think those people affected by these conquerors who are contemporaries of the time viewed this as positive. Similarly, while Genghis was certainly a brutal conqueror, his image has often been villified by the West, much like Attila the Hun, and it is often the first thing people see in him. Looking back from a modern point of view, I could say Genghis benefitted Asia by making the Silk Road trade routes safer for merchants and caravans traveling along them and at the same time Europe, the Islamic world, and the Far East traded and obtained ideas from one another, and this would serve indirectly as one of the factors that would lead to the European lead in technology and subsequently world dominance centuries later.

Da_Chicago_Jigalo wrote:If u ask me he was a barbarian. Ghengis Khan slaughtered women children, the whole 9 yards man. He ruined the Persian Empire to virtually nothing, kill chinese people like hell, and made other villagers watch as their freinds and family were mutilated into a pile man.


I think you mean the Khwarazmian empire and the remnants of the Abbasid Caliphate of the Middle East because there was no "Persian Empire" in the 13th century. And yes, Genghis was brutal to the peoples he subjugated, but like I said, this applies to alot of other empires, not just the Mongols. Was not Pizarro and Cortes brutal when they conquered the Incas and the Aztecs, force slavery on the Indians, and at the same time, killed off the Indian men and babies, rape the Indian woman, producing the mixed race of mestizos that today we call Latinos? And what about Andrew Jackson? He virtually wiped out the Seminole Indians and often invaded Indian territory at the same time not keeping his promises. And the US campaigns into the "Wild West" that have often been so glorified and made into heroes that in actual fact wiped out most of the Indians in the American West? And talking about Africa, the traditional peoples have largely been displaced by the European powers as a result of the official establishment of slavery on the continent; most of the African countries were created by the Europeans. And those that are in the Americas have largely forgotten their African culture, language, and who they are, and all they seem to know is that "the whites did bad things to black slaves in the past". I am prett sure the French and British in India and Indo-China killed alot of people as well, while the Europeans have squeezed all the money and riches out of China, and bully and treat the people like dogs. As we can see, it is not just the Mongols that have been brutal conquerors. Most conquering empires in history must have been brutal in order to forge such strong empires.

Da_Chicago_Jigalo wrote:Was this guy really a conquering hero, or an Evil Savage?


Looking at it objectively, Genghis was neither a hero nor an evil savage. There is no such thing as heroes if we look at it objectively; in order to be a great conqueror, one must at minimum win battles and defeat enemies and this no doubt requires the loss of lives on both sides. Rarely one is a conqueror if lives are not taken on both sides. What one may be seen as a conquering hero to one side, the other side may see him as an evil murderer. In fact, the glorification of a conqueror and his military victories is the glorification in the amazing efficiency and adeptness at how one man took lives and territory from the opposing faction.

Han Liang wrote:The thing is, standards of that time are not the standards of today, and the kindest and greatest of yesteryear may be considered cruel for doing what they did. Morals are hard to define; they evolve with humanity.


I agree. I think it is kind of pointless to look at conquerors morally since no impartial conclusion could be reached.
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Unread postby Devilrai » Tue Nov 16, 2004 6:52 pm

Genghis Khan, though the "monster" that he was, I still believe he was a great military leader that shined Mongolia. Hence that I mentioned military but politically he was not so great...

Because of his rampage throughout and his "tyranny" he didn't care about his people as a great leader should and thus ruling all that massive land was impossible.

Some may disagree with me, but I still believe that Genghis Khan was a great leader in the history of our world and a monster? Yes he was a monster but a famous monster such as Hitler, Stalin, Napolean, etc.
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Unread postby Mistelten » Wed Nov 17, 2004 2:55 am

I have to say Genghis is more of a hero than Alexander and certainly more of a hero than Napoleon. He's been one of my favorite historical figures for 8 years now. Genghis Khan was better to those he conquered than they were to their captives. In fact, the wholesale slaughter of villages was only BEFORE a province was taken and after it had refused to surrender. Torture wasn't given indiscriminately but to those deemed to have 'earned' it. The most famous torture of foreign enemies; the turks being forced to swallow molten lead, was what had previously been done to THEIR prisoners. Also, the Mongols were often liked more by the populace because of their fairness in laws and reasonable taxing, compared to the corrupt rulers before them. Most interesting of all, I think, is that Genghis Khan had one law that all who lived in his empire had to obey; it was forbidden to kidnap women. A law like this was unprecedented now(and some lack this civilization today). I don't think that Genghis was a typical barbarian, but a man who was civilized in his own way.
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Unread postby ???? » Sat Dec 18, 2004 9:36 am

Temhuchin
Now known as Gengis Khan or Chengji Sihan...

He ate grass when he was small...together with his oath brother he ride the horse,and hunt horses everyday....

It was until he was chosen to be the one to unite Mongol....His first and only obejective was to unite Mongol for his sons and grandsons to live in the best conditions....He prays only to the sky..

He was attacked by Naiman and many other small tribes....With the help of Subotai and Sumu Kang he conquers many tribes...Within 20 years he own half of Mongol,it was then when his oath brother sworn alleggiance to the Nai Man to oppose Gengish...Gengish was much inferior compared to the Nai man but his oath brother purposely helped him by spreading rumor of Subotai's superiority among the Nai Man soldiers...

After successfully uniting Mongol he established commerce and opened Mongol for trade....3 years later Ta Chin was raiding Gengis's small town on the South to enslaved the Mongolian...Burning with hatred Gegnish attacked Ta Chin,with the help of many warriors from Ta Chin...

The people of the city will be divided into 2,blacksmiths and lumberjacker will be taken to the forfront as helpers while all other will be arrowed to death..teh same things repeats until he marched to Ta Chin's capital city,when he met a Taoist,called Ye Lu Tsu Chai,who later became Temhuchin's warlord...

around 2-4 years later he sent 500 men (including Su Li Je is his right hand man) to trade in Sama Er Kan which takes about 18 months of travels to reach the city....The governor (Sultan blood) knows one of the merchants and invited him for a dinner executed all 500 merchants for their belonging....Su Li je was able to survive and travels back to Mongol to inform the news to Temhuchin.

Temhuchin prayed to the sky for 3 days 3 night before sending Yo Fu Me, a merchant to hand over the governor to recieve his punishment in Mongol..The Sultan(rather the maharani) refused to hand over the governur and executed Yo Fu Me....

This enraged Temhuchin and he quickly marched to Sama 'Er kan with 200,000 troops..it wil take 18 months to reach the city,that's what the Sultan tought and the Sultan divided his troops his city to protect his cities...

His son,Chalanting disagree and proposed to fight and attack Gengish once they reach Khwarazmia,utilizing their stamina and optimizing the damages they could deal to Temhuchin,but the Sultan refused (if Chalanting's proposal was accepted then there will be no Gengis Khan)

And so the battle continued for 3 months,Sama 'Er Kan a city which was supposed to be the best of the heavens,the Khwarazmia's Capital fall only within 3 days....The Sultan fled from one city to another planning to continuesly fled to India,invited a farseer only to change his plans to retreat to Iraq....Chalanting insisted on fighting but was,as usual refused...

The Sultan died only with a white cloth as a burial...his corpse was thrown into the sea..before his death he regreted not following Chalanting's advise and promoted Chalanting to become the Sultan...

It was by then TemHuchin executed The Maharani and continued to pursuit Chalanting...Unlike the Sultan,Chalanting fought with bravery and successed in breaking Su Mu Je's front line troop...

Temhuchin believes he is a God equal to Heaven and therefore he cannot die...Invited Taoist Jang Jun (Kuei Cheng's teacher if you ever read Condor Hero)who was known to live up to 300+..Jang Jun was much more wiser than Ye Lu Su Chai and teaches Temhuchin to believe that he is just a normal human who was afraid of death and insited Gengis to retreat to Mongol..leaving Subotai in part of Russia..

Gengish died after waging another war with a small tribe in Mongol he was only 66,one year after he met Jang Jun..
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