GENGHIS KHAN; my own words #72 The Great Wall of China

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In the year 1211, that is, about five years after my election as The Most Glorious Khan, I became involved in a war with the Chinese, which led, in the end, to very important consequences. The kingdom of China lay to the southward of the Mongol territories, and the frontier was defended by the famous Chinese wall, which extended from east to west, over hills and valleys. The wall was defended by towers, built here and there in commanding positions along the whole extent of it, and at certain distances there were fortified towns where powerful garrisons were stationed, and reserves of troops were held ready to be marched to different points along the wall, wherever there might be occasion for their services.

 

The wall continued from the great Gobi Desert to the sea, for many hundred miles

 

The wall was not strictly the Chinese frontier, for the territory on the outside of it to a considerable distance was held by the Chinese government, and there were many large towns and some very strong fortresses in this outlying region, all of which were held and garrisoned by Chinese troops. The inhabitants, however, of the countries outside the wall were generally of the Tartar or Mongol race. They were of a nation or tribe called the Kitan, and were somewhat inclined to rebel against the Chinese rule. In order to assist in keeping them in subjection, one of the Chinese emperors issued a decree which ordained that the governors of those provinces should place in all the large towns, and other strongholds outside the wall. This regulation greatly increased the discontent of the Kitan, and made them more inclined to rebel. Besides this, there had been for some time a growing difficulty between the Chinese government and myself. We Mongols had been for a long time accustomed to pay some sort of tribute to the Emperor of China, and many years before, while Genghis Khan, under the name of Temujin, was living at Karakorom, a subject of Vang Khan, the emperor sent a certain royal prince, named Yong-tsi, to receive what was due. While Yong-tsi was in the Mongol territory he and I had met, but we did not agree on even the slightest point.

 

The Chinese prince insulted me several times, which I deeply resented. My character, at that time, was marked with a great deal of pride and spirit; therefore, I opposed the payment of the tribute. Yong-tsi became very displeased with me, and, on his return, made serious charges against me to the emperor, and urged that I should be seized and put to death. But the emperor declined engaging in so dangerous an undertaking. . Yong-tsi’s proposal, however, became known to me, and I secretly resolved that he would one day have my revenge.

At length, about three or four years after I became the All Powerful and Great Genghis Khan, the emperor of the Chinese died, and Yong-tsi succeeded him. The very next year Yong-tsi sent an officer to me with a demand for the usual tribute. When the officer came into my presence and made his demand, I asked him who was the emperor that had sent him with such a message. The officer replied that Yong-tsi was at that time emperor of the Chinese.

 

Yong-tsi

“Yong-tsi?” I repeated in a tone of great contempt. I continued on with “The Chinese have a Proverb that such people as Chinese ought to have a God for their emperor; but it seems they do not know how to choose even a decent man.”

It was true that they had such a proverb. They were as remarkable, it seems, in those days as they are now for their national self-importance and vanity.

” Go and tell your emperor,” I added, “that I am a sovereign ruler, and that I will never acknowledge him as my master.”

When the messenger returned with this defiant answer, Yong-tsi was very much enraged, and immediately began to prepare for war. I commenced at once for my war preparations. I sent envoys to the leading khans who occupied the territories outside the wall inviting them to join me. I raised a great army, and put several divisions of it under the charge of my most able generals. Yong-tsi raised a great army too. It amounted to three hundred thousand men. He put this army under the command of a great general named Hujaku, and ordered him to advance with it to the north, to intercept my army on its way, and to defend the wall and the fortresses on the outside of it from my attacks.

 

In the campaign which ensued I was most successful. My Mongols took possession of a great many towns and fortresses beyond the wall, and every victory that they gained made the tribes and nations that inhabited those provinces more and more disposed to join them. Many of them revolted against the Chinese authority, and turned to my side. One of these was a chieftain so powerful that he commanded an army of one hundred thousand men. To bind himself solemnly to the covenant which he was to make with me, he ascended a mountain in company with the envoy and with others who were to witness the proceedings, and there performed the ceremony customary on such occasions. The ceremony consisted of sacrificing a white horse and a black ox, and then breaking an arrow, at the same time pronouncing an oath by which he placed himself under the most solemn sanctions to be faithful to me.

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GENGHIS KHAN; my own words #71 The Fate of Prince Kushluk

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Another great and powerful khan, named Idikut, whose tribe had hitherto been under the dominion of Gurkhan, the Prince of Turkestan, where Kushluk had sought refuge. Idikut, about this time revolted from Gurkhan and came over to my side, under circumstances which illustrate, in some degree, the peculiar nature of the political ties by which tribes and nations are bound – – – or not bound – – – to each other.

 

Idikut

Idikut, in order to shield himself from the consequences of the killing of Gurkhan’s favorite tax collector, determined to join himself and his tribe at once to the my glorious empire; so he immediately dispatched two ambassadors to the me with his proposals. The envoys, accompanied by a suitable troop of guards and attendants, went into the Mongol country and presently found me while I was on a march toward the country of some tribe or horde that had revolted. They were very kindly received; for, although I was not prepared at present to make open war upon Gurkhan, or to invade his dominions in pursuit of Prince Kushluk, I was intending to at some future day. In the meantime, I was very glad to weaken Gurkhan’s army by drawing off from his empire any tributary tribes that were at all disposed to revolt from him. I accordingly received the ambassadors of Idikut in a very cordial and friendly manner. I readily acceded to the proposals which Idikut made through them, and, in order to give full proof to Idikut of the readiness and sincerity with which I accepted his proposals, I sent back two ambassadors of my own to accompany Idikut’s ambassadors on their return. This was meant to assure Idikut of the cordiality with which I accepted his offers of friendship, and to promise his protection. Idikut was very pleased to learn that his mission had been so successful. He immediately determined to visit me in my camp, in order to confirm the new alliance by making a personal tender to me of his homage and his services. He accordingly prepared some splendid presents, and, placing himself at the head of his troop of guards, he proceeded to my camp. I received him in a very kind and friendly manner. I accepted Idikut’s presents, and, in the end, I was so much pleased with Idikut himself that I gave him one of my daughters in marriage.

 

As for Gurkhan, when he first heard of the murder of his favorite tax collector and the tax collector’s officers, he was in a terrible rage. He declared that he would revenge his servant by laying waste Idikut’s territories with fire and sword. But when he heard that Idikut had placed himself under my protection and especially when he learned that Idikut had married my daughter, Gurkhan thought it more prudent to postpone his vengeance, not being quite willing to draw upon himself the hostility of so great a power as mine.

 

Prince Kushluk remained for many years in Turkestan and in the countries adjoining it. He married a daughter of Gurkhan, his protector. Partly in consequence of this connection and of the high, rank which he had held in his own native land, and partly, perhaps, in consequence of his personal courage and other military qualities, Kushluk rapidly acquired great influence among the khans of Western Asia, and at last he organized a sort of rebellion against Gurkhan, made war against him, and deprived him of more than half his dominions. Kushluk then collected a large army, and prepared to make war upon me, The Great Genghis Khan. I sent one of my best generals, at the head of a small but very compact and well-disciplined force, against him. The name of this general was Jena.

 

Kushluk was not at all intimidated by the danger which now threatened him. His own army was much larger than that of Jena, and he accordingly advanced to meet his enemy without fear. He was, however, beaten in the battle, and, when he saw that the day was lost, he fled, followed by a small party of horsemen, who succeeded in saving themselves with him. Jena set out immediately in pursuit of the fugitive, accompanied by a small body of men mounted on the fleetest horses. The party who were with Kushluk, being exhausted by the fatigue of the battle and bewildered by the excitement and terror of their flight, could not keep together, but were overtaken one by one and slain by their pursuers until only three were left. The three stayed close to Kushluk, and with him went on until Jena’s party lost the track of them. Upon coming to a place where two roads met, Jena asked a peasant if he had seen any strange horsemen pass that way. The peasant said that four horsemen had passed a short time before, and he told Jena which road they had taken.

Jena and his party rode on in the direction which the peasant had indicated, and, pushing forward with redoubled speed, they soon overtook the unhappy fugitives. They fell upon Kushluk without mercy, and killed him on the spot They then cut off his head, and turned back to carry it to me. I rewarded Jena in the most magnificent manner for his successful performance of this exploit, and then, putting Kushluk’s head upon a pole, I displayed it in all the camps and villages through which I passed, where it served at once as a token and a trophy of my glorious victory against an enemy, and, at the same time, as a warning to all other persons of the terrible danger which they would incur in attempting to resist my power.

 

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GENGHIS KHAN; my own words #70 The Death of Tukta Bey

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The winters in that latitude are very cold, and the country through which I had to march was full of difficulty. The branches of the river which we had to cross were obstructed with ice, and the roads were in many places rendered almost impassable by snow.

I did not really know the way to the fortress where Tukta Bey and his followers were concealed, and it would have been almost impossible for me to find it had it not been for certain tribes, through whose territories I passed on the way. They furnished me with guides. These tribes, perceiving how overwhelming was the force which I, The Great Genghis Khan commanded, knew that it would be useless for them to resist. They yielded submission to me at once, and detached parties of horsemen to go with me along the river to show the way. Under the conduct of these guides I moved forward. In due time we arrived at the fortress of Ardish, and immediately forced Tukta Bey and his allies to  come to an engagement. Tukta’s army was very soon defeated and put to flight.

Tukta Bey himself, and many other khans and chieftains who had joined him, were killed; but the Prince Kushluk was once more fortunate enough to make his escape. He fled with a small troop of followers, all mounted on fleet horses, and after various wanderings, during which he and they who were with him endured a great deal of privation and suffering, the unhappy fugitive at last reached the dominions of a powerful prince named Gurkhan, who reigned over a country which is situated in the western part of Asia, toward the Caspian Sea, and is named Turkestan. This is the country from which the people called the Turks, who afterward spread themselves so widely over the western part of Asia and the eastern part of Europe, originally sprung.

 

Gurkhan received Kushluk and his party in a very friendly manner, and I did not follow them. I thought that the distance was too great, and that the power of Gurkhan was too formidable to make it prudent for us to advance into Gurkhan’s dominions without a stronger force. For the time being I gave up the pursuit, and. after fully securing the fruits of the victory which I had gained at Ardish, and receiving the submission of all the tribes and khans that inhabited that region of country, I set out on my return home.

 

There is a true story that one of the khans who submited to me at this time made me a present of a certain bird called a shongar, according to a custom often observed among the people of that region. The shongar is a very large and fierce bird of prey, which, however, could be trained like the falcons which were so much prized in the Middle Ages by the princes and nobles of Europe. It was customary for an inferior khan to present one of these birds to his superior on great occasions, as an emblem and token of his submission to his superior’s authority. The bird in such a case was very richly decorated with gold and precious stones, so that the present was sometimes of a very costly and magnificent character. I received such a present as this from a chieftain named Urus Inal, who was among those that yielded to my power in the country of the Irtish, after the battle at which Tukta Bey was defeated and killed. The bird was presented to me by Urus with great ceremony, as an act of submission and homage.

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Next post;  #71    The Fate of Prince Kushluk

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GENGHIS KHAN; my own words #69 Tukta Bey, Kushluk and Boyrak

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It was The Year of Your Lord 1206 when Boyrak’s fears of an attack were fully realized. I, after having settled the affairs of my government, and having now become The Great Genghis Khan, took the first opportunity the following season to fit out an expedition against Tukta Bey and Boyrak. I marched into Boyrak’s dominions at the head of a formidable force. Boyrak came forth to meet me. A great battle was fought. Boyrak was entirely defeated. When he found that the battle was lost he attempted to run away. He was, however, pursued and taken, and then brought back to my camp where I had him put to death. I justified this act of cruelty toward the prisoner on the rational that, like Yemuka, he was not an open and honorable foe, but a rebel and traitor, and consequently, the act of putting him to death was the execution of a criminal, and not the murder of a prisoner.

Although Boyrak himself was thus taken prisoner and put to death, Kushluk and Tukta Bey succeeded in making their escape. They fled to the north-west, scarcely knowing, it would seem, where they were to go. At last, they found a place of refuge on the banks of the Irtysh River. This river rises not far from the center of Asia, joins with the Ob’ River and flows northward into the Arctic Ocean. The country through which it flows lay to the northwest of my dominions, and beyond its confines.

 

Through this country, Prince Kushluk and Tukta Bey wandered on, accompanied by the small troop of followers that still adhered to them, until they reached a fortress called Ardish, where they determined to make a stand. They were among friends here, for Ardish was on the confines of territory that belonged to Tukta Bey.

 

An entire year had passed; it was now 1207. The people of the neighborhood immediately flocked to Tukta’s flag, and the fugitive khan soon found himself at the head of a considerable force. This force was farther increased by the coming in of broken bands that had made their escape from the battle at which Boyrak had been captured and killed. At first, I did not know what had become of the fugitives. It was not until the next year that I attempted to pursue them. Then, hearing where they were and what they were doing, I prepared an expedition to penetrate into the country of the Irtish  River and attack them. It was in the dead of winter when I arrived in the country. I had hurried to prevent Tukta Bey from having time to finish his fortifications.

 

Tukta Bey and those who were with him were amazed when they heard that I was coming during the winter of 1207/1208. The defenses which they were preparing for their fortress were not fully completed, but they were at once convinced that they could not hold their ground against the body of troops that I was leading against them in the open field; so they all took shelter in and near the fortress, and awaited their enemy there

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GENGHIS KHAN; my own words #68 Prince Kushluk

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Prince Kushluk, as you will perhaps recollect, was the son of Tayian, the khan of the Naymans, who organized the grand league of khans against me at the instigation of Yemnka. He was the young prince who was opposed to Jughi, my son, in the great final battle. Youo may also recollect that in that battle Tayian and also Yemuka were killed, but young Prince Kushluk succeeded in making his escape. He was accompanied in his flight by a certain general or chieftain named Tukta Bey. This Tukta Bey was the khan of a powerful tribe. The name of the town or village which he considered his capital was Kashin. It was situated not far from the borders of China. Tukta Bey, taking Kushluk with him, retreated to this place, and there began to make preparations to collect a new army to act against me. I say me, for these circumstances took place immediately after the battle, and before I had received my new title of Genghis Khan.

 

I, having learned that Tukta Bey and the young prince had gone to Kashin, determined at once to follow them there. As soon as Tukta Bey heard that Ihe was coming, he began to strengthen the fortifications of his town and to increase the garrison. He also laid in supplies of food and military stores of all kinds. While he was making these preparations, he received the news that I was advancing into his country at the head of an immense force. My force was so large that he was convinced that his town could not hold out against it. He was greatly perplexed.

 

Now it happened that there was a brother of Tayian Khan’s, named Boyrak, the chief of a powerful horde that occupied a district of country not very far distant from Tukta Bey’s dominions. Tukta Bey thought that Boyrak would be easily induced to aid him in the war, as it was a war waged against the mortal enemy of his brother. He determined to leave his capital to be defended by the garrison which he had placed in it, and to proceed himself to Boyrak’s country to obtain re-enforcements. He first sent off the Prince Kushluk, so that he might be as soon as possible in a place of safety. Then, after completing the necessary arrangements and dispositions for the defense of his town, in case it should be attacked during his absence, he took his oldest son, for whose safety he was also greatly concerned, and set out at the head of a small troop of horsemen to go to Boyrak. Accordingly, when I, at the head of my forces, arrived at the town of Kashin, I found that the fugitives whom I was pursuing were no longer there. However, I was determined to take the town. I commenced the siege. The garrison made a very determined resistance. But the forces under my command were too strong for them. The town was soon taken.

 

I ordered my soldiers to slay without mercy all who were found in arms against him within the walls, and the walls themselves, and all the other defenses of the place, I caused to be leveled to the ground. I then issued a proclamation, offering peace and pardon to all the rest of the tribe on condition that they would take the oath of allegiance to me. This they readily agreed to do. There were a great many subordinate khans, both of this tribe and of some others that were near, who thus yielded to me, and promised to obey me.

 

All this took place, as I have already said, immediately after the great battle with Tayiaand before I had been enthroned as emperor, or had received my new and glorious title of Genghis Khan.

 

I, while making this expedition to Kashin in pursuit of Kushluk and Tukta Bey, had been somewhat uneasy at the loss of time which the campaign caused me, as I was anxious to go as soon as possible to Karakorom, in order to take the necessary measures there for arranging and consolidating my government. I accordingly now determined not to pursue the fugitives any farther, but to proceed at once to Karakorom, and postpone all farther operations against Kushluk and Tukta until the next season. I went to Karakorom, and there, during the course of the winter, formed the constitution of my new empire, and made arrangements for convening a grand assembly of the khans the next spring.

 

In the meantime, Tukta Bey and the Prince Kushluk were very kindly received by Boyrak, Tayian’s brother. For a time they all had reason to expect that I, after having taken and destroyed Kashin, would continue my pursuit of the prince, and Boyrak began accordingly to make preparations for defense. But when, at length, they learned that I had given up the pursuit, and had returned to Karakorom, their apprehensions were, for the moment, relieved. They were, however, well aware that the danger was only postponed; and Boyrak, being determined to defend the cause of his nephew, and to avenge, if possible, his brother’s death, occupied himself diligently with increasing his army, strengthening his fortifications, and providing himself with all possible means of defense against the attack which he expected would be made upon him in the coming season.

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Next post;  #69    Tukta Bey, Kushlluk and Boyrak

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GENGHIS KHAN; my own words #67 A Short Stay in Karakorom

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The ceremonies of the inauguration were concluded and I returned with the officers of my court and immediate followers, to Karakorom. This town, though nominally the capital of the empire, was, after all, quite an insignificant place.

 

 Karakorom was by no means a great and splendid city. It was surrounded by what was called a mud wall—that is, a wall made of blocks of clay dried in the sun. The houses of the inhabitants were mere hovels.

 

I did not spend a great deal of my time at Karakorom. I was occupied for some years in making excursions at the head of my troops to various parts of my dominion, for the purpose of putting down insurrections, intimidating discontented and insubordinate khans, and settling disputes of various kinds arising between the different hordes. In these expeditions I was accustomed to move by easy marches across the plains at the head of my army, and sometimes would establish myself in a sort of permanent camp, where I would remain, perhaps, as in a fixed residence, for weeks or months at a time. Not only myself, but many of the other great chieftains, were accustomed to live in this manner.

 

These encampments, if you could have seen it, would have been regarded as a great curiosity. The ground was regularly laid out, like a town, into quarters, squares, and streets, and the space which it covered was sometimes so large as to extend nearly a mile in each direction. The tent of the khan himself was in the center.

 

A large portion of the country which was included within the limits of my dominions were fertile ground, which produced an abundance of grass for the pasturage of the flocks and herds. There were, however, several districts of mountainous country, which were the refuge of tigers, leopards, wolves, and other ferocious beasts of prey. It was among these mountains that the great hunting parties which I organized from time to time in which we went in search of game. There was a great officer of the kingdom, called the grand huntsman. My son Jughi, who has already been mentioned in connection with the great council of war, and with the battle which was subsequently fought, and in which he gained great renown, was appointed, by me, to the office of grand huntsman, and, at the same time, I made two of the older and more experienced khans Jughi’s “ministers of hunting”

 

The hunting of wild beasts as ferocious as those that infested the mountains of Asia is a very dangerous amusement even today, notwithstanding the advantage which the modern huntsman derives from the use of gunpowder and rifled barrels. But in those days, when the huntsman had no better weapons than bows and arrows, javelins, and spears, the undertaking was dangerous in the extreme.

 

Wild beasts more formidable than men in my days; when pikes and spears, and bows and arrows, were the only weapons with which the body of huntsmen could arm themselves for the combat. Indeed, in those days wild beasts were even in some respects more formidable enemies than men. A lion, a tiger, or a panther, once aroused, is wholly insensible to fear. He will rush headlong upon his foes, however numerous they may be, and however formidably armed. He makes his own destruction sure, it is true, but, at the same time, he renders almost inevitable the destruction of some one or more of his enemies, and, in going out to attack him, no man can be sure of not becoming one of the victims of the beast’s fury.

 

Besides the mountainous regions above described, there were several deserts in my country. The greatest of these deserts extends through the very heart of Asia, and is one of the most extensive districts of barren land in the world. Unlike most other ‘great deserts’, however, the land is very elevated, and it is to this elevation that its barrenness is, in a great measure, due. A large part of this desert consists of rocks and barren sands and is totally uninhabitable. It is so cold, too, on account of the great elevation of the land, that it is almost impossible to traverse it except in the warmest season of the year.

 

Such was the country which was inhabited by the wandering pastoral tribes that were now under my control. My dominion had no settled boundaries, for it was a dominion over certain tribes rather than over a certain district of country. Nearly all the tribes composing both the Mongol and the Tartar nations had now submitted to me, though I still had some small wars to wage from time to time with some of the more distant tribes.

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Next post;  #68    Prince Kushluk

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GENGHIS KHAN; my own words #66 Speeches and Gift Giving

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Genghis Khan, or “GREAT KHAN OF ALL KHANS” as you should now call me, having thus been proclaimed by the acclamations of the people under the new title with which the old prophet had invested me, sat upon my throne while my subjects came to pay their homage. First the khans themselves came up, and kneeled nine times before me, in token of their absolute and complete submission to my authority.

 

After the khans had finished paying respect to me the people themselves came, and made their loyalty in the same manner. As they rose from their knees after the last prostration, they made the air resound once more with their shouts, crying ” Long live great Genghis Khan!” in repeated and prolonged acclamations. After this I made my inaugural address.

 

The khans and their followers gathered once more before my throne while I delivered an oration to them, in which I thanked them for the honor which they had done me in raising me to the supreme power, and announced to them the principles by which I should be guided in the government of my empire. I promised to be just in my dealings with my subjects, also to be merciful. I would defend them, I said, against all their enemies. I would do everything in my power to promote their wellbeing and happiness. I would lead them to honor and glory, and would make their names known throughout the world. I would deal impartially, too, with all the different tribes and hordes, and would treat the Mongols and the Tartars, the two great classes of my subjects, with equal favor.

When the speech was finished I distributed presents to all the subordinate khans, both great and small. I also ordered magnificent entertainments, which went on for several days. After this we feasted and rejoiced, the khans one after another said goodbye to me. The great encampment was broken up, and the different tribes set out on their return to their various homes.

 

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Next post;  #67    A Short Stay in Karakorom

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GENGHIS KHAN; my own words #65 The Prophet Named Kokza

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The election was over and one of the oldest and most venerable of the khans was chosen announce the result.

 

He came forward with great solemnity, and, in the presence of the whole assembly, declared that the choice had fallen upon me (of course). He then made a personal address, to me. I was seated during this part of the ceremony upon a carpet of black felt spread upon the ground. In the address the khan informed me that the exalted authority with which I was now invested came from God, and that I was responsible to God. He said “If you govern your subjects well, God will render your reign prosperous and joyful; but if, on the other hand, you abuse your power, you will come to a miserable end.”

 

After the conclusion of the address, seven of the khans, who had been designated for this purpose, came and lifted me up and took me to a throne which had been set up for me amid the assembly. All the khans, and their various bodies of attendants, came and offered me their homage.

 

Among these was a certain old prophet, named Kokza, who was held in great esteem by all the people because of his supposed inspiration and the austere life which Kokza led. He walked around very thinly clad, and with his feet bare summer and winter, and it was supposed that his power of enduring these exposures to the climate something miraculous and divine. He had received accordingly from the people a name which signified the image of God, and he was looked upon as inspired. He said, moreover, that a white horse came to him from time to time and carried him up to heaven, where he conversed face to face with God, and received the revelations which he was commissioned to make to men. All this the people fully believed.

 

The man may have been an impostor, or he may have been insane. Often times, in such cases, the inspiration which the person supposes he is the subject of arises from a certain spiritual exaltation, which, though it does not wholly unfit him for the ordinary avocations and duties of life, still verges upon insanity, and often finally lapses into it entirely.

 

This old prophet advanced toward me while I was seated on my black carpet of felt, and made a solemn address to me in the hearing of all the assembled khans. He was charged, he said, with a message from heaven in respect to my kingdom and dominion which had been, he declared, was ordained by God, and had now been established in fulfillment of the Divine will. He was also commissioned, he said, to give to me the title of Genghis Khan, and to declare that my kingdom should not only endure while I lived, but should continue, from generation to generation, forever.

 

The people, on hearing this address, at once adopted the name which the prophet had given me.  and called out to me with it in long and loud acclamations. It was thus that I received the name of Genghis Khan, which soon extended my fame through every part of Asia, and has since then I have become greatly renowned through all the world.

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GENGHIS KHAN; my own words #64 The Central Meeting Place; Dilon Ildak

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At length, the time arrived for the grand assembly of the khans to be convened. I called the meeting, not at Karakorom, the capital, but at a central spot in the interior of the country, called Dilon Ildak. Such a spot was much more convenient than any town or city would have been for the place of meeting, because the great troops of horses and the herds of animals by which the khans were always accompanied in all their expeditions, and which made it necessary that, whenever any considerable number of them were to be convened, the place chosen should be suitable for a grand encampment, with extensive and fertile pasture-grounds extending all around. As the several khans came in, each at the head of his own troop of retainers and followers, they severally chose their ground, pitched their tents, and turned their herds of horses, sheep, and oxen out to pasture on the plains.

 

Thus, during a few days, the whole country in every direction became dotted with villages of tents, among which groups of horsemen were now and then to be seen galloping to and fro, and small herds of cattle, each under the care of herdsmen and slaves, moved slowly,cropping the grass as they advanced along the hill-sides and through the valleys. At length, when all had assembled, a spot was selected in the center of the encampment for the performance of the ceremonies. A raised seat was prepared for me. It was suitable and enabled me to address the assembly from it.

 

Before and around this the various khans and their attendants and followers gathered, and I gave them an grand oration. I explained the circumstances under which they had come together, and announced to them my plans and intentions in respect to the future. I also stated to them that, in consequence of the victories which I had gained through their co-operation and assistance, the foundation of a great empire had been laid, and that I had now called them together in order that they might join with me in organizing the required government for such a dominion, and in electing a prince or sovereign to rule over it.

 

I called upon them first to proceed to the election of this ruler. The khans accordingly proceeded to the election.

 

This was, in fact, only a form, for I myself was, of course, to be chosen.

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Next post;  #65    The Prophet Named Kokza

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GENGHIS KHAN; my own words #63 The Establishment and Control of Provinces

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I determined to make my government a sort of elective monarchy. The grand khan was to be chosen by the votes of all the other khans, who were to be assembled in a general convocation for this purpose whenever a new khan was to be installed.

 

THE RULES:

 

THE RULES or “Ikh Yassa”

 

RULES FOR KHANS:

Any person who should cause himself to be proclaimed grand khan, or who should in any other way attempt to assume the supreme authority without having been duly elected by the other khans, will suffer death.

The country is to be divided into provinces, over each of which a subordinate khan will rule as governor. These governors were, however, to be strictly responsible to the grand khan.

Whenever summoned by the grand khan other khans are required to go at once to the capital and render an account of their administration, and to answer any charges which had been made against them. Whenever any serious case of disobedience or maladministration is proved against them they were to suffer death.

 

AS FOR THE ARMY:

I reorganized the army on the same or similar principles. The men were divided into companies of about one hundred men each, and every ten of these companies was formed into a regiment, which, of course, contained about a thousand men. The regiments were formed into larger bodies of about ten thousand each.

Officers of all grades were appointed to provide and store arms in magazines under the care of the officers, ready to be distributed to the command of these troops, and arrangements were made for having supplies of arms and ammunition delivered to the men whenever they should require.

 

AND FOR PUBLIC STRUCTURES:

I also made provision for the building of cities and palaces, the making of roads, and the construction of fortifications, by ordering that all the people should work one day in every week on these public works whenever required.

Although the country over which this new government was to be established was now at peace, I was very desirous that the people should not lose the martial spirit which had thus far characterized them.  

 

THEREFORE:

I also made laws to encourage and regulate hunting, especially the hunting of wild beasts among the mountains; and subsequently I organized many hunting excursions myself, in connection with the members of my court and the other great chieftains, in order to awaken an interest in the dangers and excitements of the chase among all the khans. I also often employed bodies of troops in these expeditions, which I considered as a sort of substitute for war.

I required that none of the natives of the country should be employed as servants, or allowed to perform any menial duties whatever. For these purposes the people were required to depend on captives taken in war and enslaved. One reason why I made this rule was to stimulate the people on the frontiers to make hostile excursions among their neighbors to supply themselves and the country with slaves.

The right of slave property thus taken was very strictly guarded, and very severe laws were made to enforce it. Without permission from his master, it was forbidden, on pain of death, to harbor a slave, or give him meat or drink, clothing or shelter. The penalty was also death if a person meeting a fugitive slave neglected to seize and secure him, and deliver him to his master.

Every man could marry as many wives as he pleased, and his female slaves were all, by law, entirely at his disposal to be made concubines.

A great importance was attached to the ties of relationship and family connection among my pastoral provinces. Two families could bind themselves together and make themselves legally one, in respect to their connection, by a fictitious marriage. These were arranged between children who had previously died. The contracts were made just as if the children were still alive and the ceremonies were all duly performed. After this the two families were held to be legally allied, and they were bound to each other by all the obligations which would have arisen in the case of a real marriage.

This custom is still continued to the present day. The people think, it is said, that such a wedding ceremony, duly solemnized by the parents of children who are dead, takes effect in the world of spirits, and that thus their union, though arranged and consecrated on earth, is confirmed and consummated in heaven.

In addition to these special enactments, there were the ordinary laws against robbery, theft, murder, adultery, and false witness. The penalties for these offenses were generally severe.

The punishment for stealing cattle was death. For petty theft the criminal was to be beaten with a stick, the number of the blows being proportioned to the nature and aggravation of the offense. The offender could, however, if he had the means, buy himself off from this punishment by paying nine times the value of the thing stolen.

In respect to religion I declared that there was but one God, the creator of heaven and earth, and it acknowledged him as the supreme ruler and governor of all mankind, the being “who alone gives life and death, riches and poverty, who grants and denies whatever he pleases, and exercises over all things an absolute power.”

This one fundamental article of faith was all that was required. For the rest, I left the various provinces and tribes throughout my dominion to adopt such modes of worship and to celebrate such religious rites as they preferred, and forbade that any one should be disturbed or molested in any way because of his religion, whatever form it might assume.

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Next post;  #64    The Central Meeting Place; Dilon Ildak

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