Born around 1165 and first known as Temujin, Genghis was the son of the chief of the Yakka Mongols. When he was 10, his father was poisoned and he became chief. However, the tribe deserted him, and he was forced to live alone, and survived by digging roots for food and keeping sheep.
Three years later, he was able to form alliances and organise an army. He became famous for his strict discipline and training, and for the superiority of his army.
In 1179, Temujin was married to a young woman named Bortei, but had to abandon her when their camp was invaded. Two months later he rescued her.
Genghis’ armies took over neighbouring tribes, and he was soon ruler of Mongolia. He then set out to conquer China. China was made up of three main empires, Xi Xia, the Qin, and Na-Chung. Xi Xia had only 100 warriors and was easily defeated. However, to defeat the Qin Empire it was necessary to break through the Great Wall of China, and to defeat the Qin’s mercenaries, Muhammad and his armies of Khwarazmains.
Genghis’ next battle was against Beijing, capital of the Qin Empire. He demolished much of the city and beheaded its ruler, Guchluk.
Genghis then moved his armies North, defeating the Russian army. When he returned to China he began his greatest challenge, conquering the Empire of Na-Chung. It took three years, and over 60,000 casualties, but he was eventually victorious.
In 1226, Genghis was riding to prevent an uprising of the defeated Chinese tribes. He was successful but on his way home, he fell off his horse and was fatally injured. He died in August 1227.
Genghis Khan’s Empire was the largest ever established, extending from the Caspian Sea to the Sea of Japan, with over 700 tribes and cities under his rule.