Acts of Vengeance Committed by Genghis Khan: Wiping Off Nations, Marrying His Daughters to Enemies, Piling Bones

Fareeha Arshad
The Mongols Empire was the largest contiguous land empire in history and yet was also the most brutalPublic Domain, Source: Wikimedia Commons

Genghis Khan, along with his loyal followers, were known to have caused havoc on the earth — they killed people in millions at one go, erased multiple kingdoms from the face of history, and grazed several invaluable monuments, culture, and properties to the ground.

Under his reign, the Mongols stretched to over twenty-three million square kilometres and yet are still remembered for the atrocious acts they perpetrated. Let’s look at some brutal crimes they committed that made them among the cruelest people in history.

1. The one where Genghis Khan’s mortal enemy became his trusted commander

During one of the wars against the Tayichiguds, the Mongol leader’s horse was shot with an arrow. Because of the sudden injury, the horse fell on Khan and almost killed him. Despite the injures the commander faced, the Mongol army won the war. Furious with the Mongol leader’s injuries, he was thirsty for revenge. Predictably, the Mongols killed every human they came across in the land to avenge the near-death experience of their master. Hundreds of innocent people lost their lives during this battle.

Finally, the person who shot the arrow at Khan, Jebe, came forward and confessed the crime. He made a great impression on the leader — so much so that Genghis Khan didn’t hesitate to appoint him as a commander in the Mongol army. Over the years, Jebe rose in ranks and soon became one of the most trusted men in the Mongol army.

2. The one where the Mongols go on a killing spree to avenge one person
A statue of Genghis Khan in the northeast of Ulaanbaatar, MongoliaPublic Domain, Source: JonasKIM/Pixabay

Most marriages were usually a means of political alliance among the different families in the past. Though such loveless marriages were mainly based on the thirst for more power, more money, and an extended network, some were based on true love — like the marriage of Genghis Khan’s daughter Toquchar. Even the Khan honoured his daughter’s sweetheart like his own son.

In one of the campaigns in the Persian city of Nishapur, Toquchar got killed. This sudden death of his favourite son-in-law riled up the Khan to go on a killing spree and beheaded more than half a million men, women, and children in the city. The bones of the people killed were collected and piled up to show the world that nobody must dare to cross Khan’s paths, or else they’d face severe repercussions.

3. The one where marrying Genghis Khan’s daughters equated to a death sentence

As mentioned before, marriage in the past was not just the coming together of two individuals; it was more like a strategic alliance to increase power. Genghis Khan exploited this and married his daughters to his allies to strengthen his hold and expand his kingdom.

However, though marrying the Khan’s daughters meant being on the good side of the ruthless Mongol and having its perks, there were several things the son-in-law had to take care of. For starters, they could not marry any other woman in their lifetime and divorce the ones they already had. This was to make the Khan happy and ensure that only his descendants were to inherit the ally throne. At the time of the Mongol leader’s death, his daughters’ ruled the land between the Yellow and the Caspian Seas.

4. The one where Mongols made mountains of bones

During one of the many campaigns to expand his kingdom, Genghis Khan steered towards the Chinese Jin Empire in 1211 and faced a very large army. However, the Mongol King easily won against his opponent. Following this grand victory, the Mongol army headed towards modern-day Beijing (Zhongdu). However, the city walls were very high and almost impossible to scale. So, instead of wasting their energy to climb the massive walls, they took the longer route: the army scattered all around the wall and patiently waited for the people of Zhongdu to open the doors of the kingdom.

By 1215, the Mongols had successfully managed to starve those people to death; some civilians were also forced into cannibalism to keep themselves alive. Finally, the Mongol army made its way into the city, burned the town to ashes and killed any human or animal that came across them. They left the city with their signature: white mountains made up of bones of the people they mercilessly slaughtered.

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I am a scientist by profession and a historian by passion. I mostly write about history and science.

Texas State

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