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Thread: Mongolia - Genghis Khan is Back

  1. #1
    Small Wars Journal SWJED's Avatar
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    Sep 2005
    Largo, Florida

    Default Mongolia - Genghis Khan is Back

    11 July London Daily Telegraph - Genghis Khan, Law Giver, Free Trader and Diplomat, is Back with a New Image...

    The Mongolian capital has been swamped with images of its former potentate, Genghis Khan, in honour of the anniversary of his unification of the nation in 1206.

    At the climax of celebrations in Ulan Bator yesterday, soldiers in traditional uniform and bearing yaks' tail standards heralded the unveiling of an enormous statue of the Great Khan in the main Sukhbaatar Square.

    The monument in which it is set contains earth and stones from the holy and historic places in Mongolia associated with his rule.

    Nambaryn Enkhbayar, the president, addressing a crowd of onlookers and dignitaries, including the Duke of York, said: "May the spirit of the great Genghis Khan inspire the future of the Mongolian people and lead it once again to prosperity."

    Genghis has always had his cultish admirers, those on the remote steppe who believe that he will return 800 years after his death to rescue the world from decay. But the reverence in which he is held by mainstream Mongolians comes as a shock to visitors from the West, where his name is associated with bloodshed and terror.

    To those who still think of themselves as his people, he is a unifying symbol when Mongolia is emerging from 70 years of repression by the Soviet Union.

    "People know his military side but they do not know his philosophy," said Nomch P Davaanyam, a 30th-generation descendant who is trying to revive the sky-worshipping rituals Genghis performed. Mr Davaanyam is not alone in his assessment. In a radical reshaping of Genghis's popular reputation, historians are increasingly taking the Mongolian side.

    "The West was blinded by his conquests," said Jack Weatherford, an American anthropologist and author of Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World. "They overlooked his great impact on law and commerce. He outlawed the kidnapping of women, guaranteed diplomatic immunity to ambassadors and granted religious freedom to all people."

    Historians also point to the introduction to the West of inventions such as gunpowder and paper that his empire made possible.

    "He was an advocate of free trade and a flat tax system," President Enkhbayar told a gathering of journalists. "He changed the whole world."...

  2. #2
    Council Member zenpundit's Avatar
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    Oct 2005

    Default The Yasaq of Ghengis Khan

    An old but really worthwhile book that deals extensively with the history of the Mongols and Turkic peoples is Empire of the Steppes by Rene Grousset. The kind of scholarship that is deep, jargon-free and rare these days.

    Quote Originally Posted by SWJED


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