The Secret History of the Mongol Queens: How the Daughters of Genghis Khan Rescued His Empire by Jack Weatherford
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
In 1206 ad after a decades of hard fighting, Genghis Khan unified the Mongol Nation and began the job of empire building. Before they came nation the Mongols were nomadic and semi nomadic tribesmen with no unity to speak of . Oft times they fought among each other and no one took them seriously. The Turks and the Chinese looked down upon them with scorn. They were considered the scum of the Earth. Genghis Kahn, or Temujn would change all that.
Born of the Borjiin clan, he was the son of a warrior and a Turkish woman.. At an early age his father died in battle and his family was far from helpful. All of Genghis Khan’s property was taken by his family and he and his mother were virtually outcast. He took refuge with the Ongudd tribe. Tragedy marred his early life as his first wife was abducted from him and given to another man. When he finally retrieved her and she had a child, Temujin did not waste time debating who the child was. The blue sky gave him birth and so therefore there was no illegitimacy. In 1206 he called all the tribes together at Khuraltai and formed them into a nation. In conquests he was known as both a ruthless conqueror and a fair and open minded ruler. He elevated the position of women to that of equality. They would save his empire.
After conquering territory he would let one of his offspring rule the province. Some he gave to sons like Ogodei and others to his daughers like Altai Kun and other names that are hard to remember. When his daughters took a province they married the heir and he want to the Khans special army. The daughter ruled as queen. The females were often more responsible and the sons were drinking lechers.
After Genghis Khan passed on his empire would begin to unravel 10 years later. His son Ogodei would attack other sons and daughters and take away their property. THi lead to civil wars and infighting. He presided over the abduction of Otriot females of noble birth and had them humiliated in the worst possible fashion. He would pas on 10 years laters and the empire would e fractured.
Central Mongolia was not part of the empire in fact their were now three Mongolian Empires. One Empire was in china after Kublai Khan took it over an established the Yuan Dynasty, Another was Il Khanate which included Iran and present day Iraq. The third was Russia. Eventually they would too would dissolve thanks to infighting and civil wars. Leaders would try to wipe out heir apparent and claim power for themselves. They just made themselves weaker. All would have been lost had it not been for the Mongol Queen who behind the scenes saved sons, fought battle an conducted intrigues to stay alive and inn power. They would never have such a vast empire like they did before but Humadie and Dayan Khan (Last Heir) would slavage the nation and forge an understanding with the Chinese.
Great book and easy to read, Filled with facts yet will not bore you down with excessive details. Worth the read.
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