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Or Psychological Warfare Was Not His Only Legacy.

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Presentation on theme: "Or Psychological Warfare Was Not His Only Legacy."— Presentation transcript:

1 Or Psychological Warfare Was Not His Only Legacy

2  “Mongolia Sees Genghis Khan's Good Side” – An Article from the New York Times  By Jehangir S. Pocha  Published: Tuesday, May 10, 2005

3 “Genghis Khan wasn't really a bad guy," Elbegdorj Tsahkia, the Mongolian prime minister, said with a grin. "He just had bad press."

4  Mongolia emerged from the Soviet Union's shadow in the early 1990s  Since the 1990s, the lore and myth surrounding the khan have captured the imagination of the country  Genghis Khan is seen as the founder of the Mongolian state  Under the communists, Mongolians were forced to adopt the ways and views of Western civilization with an emphasis on communist theory

5  Today’s veneration is partly traditional in Mongolia, where most revere their ancestors and where Genghis Khan is considered the father of the nation  But it is also a backlash  During the seven decades the Soviet Union ran Mongolia, Moscow feared the deification of Genghis Khan would incite Mongolian nationalism  So even mentioning his name was forbidden

6  People were banned from visiting the home of Genghis Khan in Khentii in the northeast  In fact, a Soviet tank base sat on the sole road connecting Khentii to the rest of the country

7  Now, as Mongolia is reinventing itself as a free-market democracy, it is searching for its past to help define itself  And the Mongol named Temujin, who took the title of Genghis Khan, or Universal Ruler, forged the world’s largest contiguous land empire in the early 1200s

8  Evidence of a renewed romance with Genghis Khan is everywhere  Children, streets, hotels, vodka, cigarettes, banks, candy bars, beer, products and businesses of almost every type carry his name  His face is on Mongolian money, stamps, and official buildings, and it is spray-painted on street corners

9  Genghis Khan’s comeback over 700 years after his death (1227) is especially popular with young people  One of the country’s top bands, Black Rose, sings his praises in anthems that combine raspy rock vocals with traditional Mongolian throat singing -Throat singing is a guttural style of singing or chanting and it is one of the oldest forms of music

10  Historians in the West and in China, India, and Iran and other nations that fell to Genghis Khan’s horsemen in the early 1200s tend to only see the Mongol onslaught  But to Mongolians, one of history’s greatest tyrants has been the greatest hero

11  Differing assessments of conquerors can roil emotions in Asia, where passions over history run high  But since Genghis Khan’s legacy is free of living memory, it is proving easier to revise  In fact, nations wanting to curry favor with resource-rich Mongolia are supporting attempts to resurrect its past

12  Since Mongolians worship their dead and the location of Genghis Khan’s grave remains unknown, both Beijing and Tokyo are trying to outdo each other in sanctifying his memory

13  China is spending about $20 million to renovate a mausoleum it built to Genghis Khan in 1954 at Ejin Horo Banner on the Ordos Highlands in its province of Inner Mongolia  In October a Japanese-financed research team searching for the tomb said it had found it at Avraga, about 250 kilometers, or 155 miles, east of this capital

14  Many people in this pristine, beautiful country see such global support for the rehabilitation of their god-king as fulfillment of a longtime quest for international dignity  But the Persian texts of the day and age of the Mongols warned the ancient cities of Bukhara and Samarkand: “All men who surrender will be spared; whoever does not surrender but opposes with struggle and dissension, shall be annihilated

15  Many Mongolians feel that the savage image of Genghis Khan endures only because “his history was written by his enemies”  The Mongols were not scribes  The only comprehensive chronicle of his times, “The Secret History of the Mongols” (a13th-century account of Genghis Khan’s life) was lost for centuries

16  Even when it was rediscovered in the 1880s by a Russian diplomat in China, its dissemination was tightly controlled  So most of the material on Genghis Khan comes from the people he conquered  The historians present the picture of a brilliant but tempestuous and cruel man  Genghis Khan was said to have been so hot- tempered that he slew his half-brother in an argument

17  But a slow reconsideration of this fearsome figure has been taking place since 1982, when Francis Woodman Cleaves produced the first authoritative modern version of "The Secret History of the Mongols”  Some newly found details, such as Genghis Khan's apparent fear of dogs, make him seem more human; historians are also reassessing the nature of Mongol society and rule

18  The new books say his empire gave citizens religious freedom, banned the slave trade, expanded a global economy and introduced several important international concepts, such as diplomatic immunity

19  The extent of Genghis Khan’s empire also led to greater contact between East and West, and these exchanges were carried further by his grandson, Kublai Khan

20  Though it is estimated that Genghis Khan killed about 40 million people across Asia and Europe, some researchers cite evidence that Genghis Khan might have exaggerated his massacres

21  Researchers at the Genghis Khan University in Ulan Bator even say that toward the end of this life he was trying to turn his empire into a civil state, based on a code of laws called the Great Yassa, which granted equal and defined legal rights for all citizens, including women

22  But Genghis Khan's most astounding effect remains on the world's demography. In February 2003, the study "The Genetic Legacy of the Mongols," published by the American Journal of Human Genetics, estimated that Genghis Khan has more than 17 million direct descendants living today: One in every 200 people is related to him


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