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Genghis Khan

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January 1, 1227
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Mirza Firuz Shah
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People
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Mongols 1206-1368

Genghis Khan

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Life is short. I could not conquer all the world. You will have to do it.’ On this day (18th August 1227), Genghis Khan passed away, whilst campaigning at Yinchuan, the capital of Western Xia. The conquest of Western Xia was considered to be his most brilliant, given the fact he was on the verge of death. Before his death, vexed at the resistance shown by the Western Xia dynasty, he ordered the execution of the entire imperial family, effectively ending the Tangut royal lineage. He then confirmed the Ulus system by dividing his kingdom among his four sons. Next, Genghis formally confirmed, and the quriltai ratified, his earlier informal announcement of Ogodei as his heir, who is described as "shrewd, good natured, a good politician and a clever reader of human beings".However whilst choosing Ogodei as his successor, he provided no satisfactory logical or ‘philosophical’ guide for the future, left it to the future quriltais, whose composition and membership he did not discuss, and virtually guaranteed a future of factionalism and near-civil war. Shortly after these instructions, Genghis Khan died in his tent. There are many speculations of how he died. According to some he succumbed to the typhus epidemic, whilst the Shamans believed witchcraft to be the culprit. Another manuscript tells us the Khan was struck by lightning. The most fancy of all claims is that Genghis took Kurbelzhin, wife of the Tangut ruler to bed, where she mortally wounded him in the genitals, having placed a piece of glass or a steel blade in her vagina which ripped Genghis open, causing him to bleed to death. Yet when all the tall stories have been sifted, the overwhelming probability is that Genghis died from some delayed effects from his earlier fall from a horse. Then again there is speculation if this was indeed the case, as the wise and scholarly Igor de Rachewiltz comments: ‘The real cause of Cinggis’ death is unknown, and was certainly unknown also to most people at the time'.


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Ismail Mazari

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Very good information.

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