The statistics alone express the horrors of the Mongol leader’s brutality: 40 million killed. This may be hard to fathom the elimination of an estimated 11% of the human population at the time. The Mongol Empire’s destruction is more so than the wipeout of the population of Canada, for comparison. One of the most ruthless men to ever walk the Earth, here is a selection of the most savage killings by the hands of “The Universal Ruler”, Genghis Khan.
Considering these events now are over 800 years old, dates and records are fairly weak so some times of events are up for question.
What we do know is that Khan killed early. Born in about 1165, Khan – as a child – killed his half-brother. After a debate over hunting gains, Genghis told his mother, who took the half-brother’s side; Khan killed him with a bow. had no remorse for the killing. He was thought to be only 10.
The Mongols agreed not to shed noble blood. This meant fellow Mongols were not stabbed, decapitated, or killed in conventional blood-letting methods. They did not get away Scot-free though. Lucky ones had their head snapped – relatively quick and painless. Yet suffocation was common whilst a Russian force was laid under a platform, whilst Mongols on top squashed them to death. Aged 20, Genghis Khan led his Mongols in a win over the enemy Tatar army. He lined up all men and any over three-foot were beheaded – in effect all soldiers except for the infants.
Khan enslaved enemies of other religions to himself, such as Jewish and Muslims.
Khan reportedly was incensed at a noble named Inalchuq who blocked a conquest. Having killed his men, Khan destroyed the city Otrar, owned by Inalchuq, both in population and destination before killing Inalchuq by pouring molten silver into his eyes and ears.
Khan set his eyes on the Khwarezmia Empire, asking the conquered Xi Xia kingdom to send troops. Mass extermination took place in return for the denial. They killed everyone they found.
After this, Khan rampaged the Khwarezmia Empire and came to Samarkand. Claiming he was sent by God, he erased the city off the face of the Earth with some claims his army stabbed pregnant mothers and removed the foetuses. About half a million were killed or fled, with no evidence left of any previous inhabitance, not even ruins.
The most brutal event was the sacking of Urgench. Whilst battles were normally quick with civilian surrender, this battle inside the fortified city lasted six months. Annoyed, the city was entirely burnt down. Genghis Khan had a dam diverted to flood the city, with the ordering any remaining citizens be slaughtered, with no exception. Over a million are said to have been killed.
In 1211, Khan set his sights on the Jin Empire in China. Whilst fighting at a one million to 53 million disadvantage, the Mongols emerged victoriously. Starving out the city after realising they could not enter via the mammoth walls, cannibalism became prevalent before surrender. The group did what they did best: devastation. An eye witness recalled: “the bones of the slaughtered formed white mountains and that the soil was still greasy with human fat.”
Khan was nothing if not fueled by vengeance. An archer from Nishapur killed one of his daughter’s husbands. In revenge, Genghis Khan slaughtered every person there. Literally, any being from babies to women to cats were slaughtered in numbers estimated to be as high as 1,750,000. Their beheaded skulls were piled into pyramids at the request of the daughter.
And for the dominance of a man like Khan, this is only the tip of the iceberg for the man who led his army from Mongolia through what is now Russia, China, Korea, Southeast Asia, Persia, India, the Middle East and Eastern Europe. Khan gave many million innocent people no choice but to, in his own words: “come and sip from the cup of destruction.”
Khan’s burial location is a mystery. Those who buried him were killed and thrown in too by present warriors. When returning after disposing of the leader in an area of wilderness (as were Genghis Khan’s wishes, never to be found), they too were executed.
Not only that but he bought his daughters into royalty, marrying them to kings. By Genghis’s death, his daughters ruled from China’s Yellow Sea to Iran’s Caspian Sea – nearly 4,000 miles. Khan’s descendants only expanded the empire to reach Vietnam, Poland, Syria, and Korea.
Due to Khan’s large-scale pillaging and seizing, he was a significant child-bearer with 8% of Asian men from an area “stretching from northeast China to Uzbekistan” being a descendent of Khan. This is around 16 million, 0.5% of the world population, even nearly a century after his existence.
As mentioned earlier, this is just some of the horrific killings inflicted by one of history’s most prolific killers. The chances are we (hopefully) will never see the likes of Khan again. Although nowhere near Khan-levels, we have seen many dictators slaughtering people in their millions.
Khan was a man with a drive to further his empire. He is remembered for that. Moreover, he is remembered for taking no prisoners and having nothing stand in his way, slaughtering 11% or 1/9 people on planet Earth at the time.
Of all of history, there can be fewer more evil, ruthless, and diabolical figures than Genghis Khan. A man who with so much strength and backing, held the lives of millions in his hands before having them executed in search for land, on the pretence of God, or in revenge.
As the man himself remarked, “Man’s greatest joy is to slay his enemy, plunder his riches, ride his steeds, see the tears of his loved ones and embrace his women.” Truly horrific.