Welcome to our collection of quotes by Genghis Khan. We hope you enjoy pondering them and please share widely.
Genghis Khan (c. 1158 – August 18, 1227), born Temüjin, was the founder and first Great Khan (Emperor) of the Mongol Empire, which became the largest contiguous empire in history after his death. He came to power by uniting many of the nomadic tribes of Northeast Asia. After founding the Empire and being proclaimed the universal ruler of the Mongols, or Genghis Khan, he launched the Mongol invasions, which ultimately conquered most of Eurasia, reaching as far west as Poland and as far south as Egypt. His major campaigns include those against the Qara Khitai, Khwarezmia, and the Western Xia and Jin dynasties, and raids into medieval Georgia, the Kievan Rus', and Volga Bulgaria.
Medieval and modern sources describe Genghis Khan's conquests as wholesale destruction on an unprecedented scale, causing great demographic changes and a drastic decline of population as a result of mass exterminations and famine. A conservative estimate amounts to about four million civilians (whereas other figures range from forty to sixty million) who lost their lives as a consequence of Genghis Khan's military campaigns. In contrast, Buddhist Uyghurs of the kingdom of Qocho, who willingly left the Qara Khitai empire to become Mongol vassals, viewed him as a liberator. Genghis Khan was also portrayed positively by early Renaissance sources, due to the incredible spread of culture, science and technological ideas by the Mongol Empire. By the end of his life, the Mongol Empire occupied a substantial portion of Central Asia and China. Due to his exceptional military successes, Genghis Khan is often considered to be one of the greatest conquerors of all time.
Before Genghis Khan died, he assigned Ögedei Khan as his successor. Later, his grandsons split his empire into khanates. Genghis Khan died in 1227 after defeating the Western Xia. By his request, his body was buried in an unknown location somewhere in Mongolia. His descendants extended the Mongol Empire across most of Eurasia by conquering or creating vassal states in all of modern-day China, Korea, the Caucasus, Central Asia, and substantial portions of Eastern Europe and Southwest Asia. Many of these invasions repeated the earlier large-scale slaughters of local populations. As a result, Genghis Khan and his empire have a fearsome reputation in local histories.
Beyond his military accomplishments, Genghis Khan also advanced the Mongol Empire in other ways. He decreed the adoption of the Uyghur script as the Mongol Empire's writing system. He also practised meritocracy and encouraged religious tolerance in the Mongol Empire, unifying the nomadic tribes of Northeast Asia. Present-day Mongolians regard him as the founding father of Mongolia. He is also credited with bringing the Silk Road under one cohesive political environment. This brought relatively easy communication and trade between Northeast Asia, Muslim Southwest Asia, and Christian Europe, expanding the cultural horizons of all three areas.
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.
I am the flail of god. Had you not created great sins, god would not have sent a punishment like me upon you.
It is easy to conquer the world from the back of a horse.
All who surrender will be spared; whoever does not surrender but opposes with struggle and dissension, shall be annihilated.
The merit in action lies in finishing it to the end.
One of the joys of travel is visiting new towns and meeting new people.
A man's greatest moment in life is when his enemy lays vanquished, his village aflame, his herds driven before you and his weeping wives and daughters are clasped to your breast.
Happiness lies in conquering one's enemies, in driving them in front of oneself, in taking their property, in savoring their despair, in outraging their wives and daughters.
Despite all expectations, the time of my last campaign and of my passing is near. I wish to die at home. Let not my end disarm you, and on no account weep for me, lest the enemy be warned of my death.
If you had not committed great sins, God would not have sent a punishment like me upon you.
The pleasure and joy of man lies in treading down the rebel and conquering the enemy, in tearing him up by the root, in taking from him all that he has.
In the space of seven years I have succeeded in accomplishing a great work and uniting the whole world in one Empire.
Remember, you have no companions but your shadow.
A man's greatest joy is crushing his enemies.
People conquered on different sides of the lake should be ruled on different sides of the lake.
Conquering the world on horseback is easy; it is dismounting and governing that is hard.
A leader can never be happy until his people are happy.
One arrow alone can be easily broken but many arrows are indestructible.
The strength of walls depends on the courage of those who guard them.
There is no good in anything until it is finished.
If you're afraid -- don't do it, -- if you're doing it -- don't be afraid!
With Heaven's aid I have conquered for you a huge empire. But my life was too short to achieve the conquest of the world. That task is left for you.
An action committed in anger, is an action doomed to failure.