1.Born circa 1162, Chinggis Khan’s birth name was Temujin, meaning “blacksmith.” The spelling of his name, Chinggis, differs among scholars; such alternative spellings are Chingis, Jenghiz, and most popularly, Genghis.
2. In only 25 years, Chinggis Khan and his army conquered more territory than the Roman empire did in 400 years. At its peak, the total expanse of the empire was roughly the size of Africa, accumulating to 12,000,000 square miles.
3. After a rival tribe poisoned his father, Chinggis’ tribe abandoned him and his siblings. Chinggis was only nine-years-old. After the tribe’s departure, his half-brother hid food for himself while other castaways were starving. Because of this great injustice, Chinggis killed him.
4. Chinggis Khan killed millions of people. Though the exact number is disputed, most scientists agree Chinggis killed enough people that the carbon imprint of the 13th century dropped significantly.
5. We have no accurate record of what the Great Khan truly looked like. Some sources vaguely claim he had long hair and a bushy beard. Seventy years after Chinggis’ death, the Persian historian Rashid al-Din purported the Khan had green eyes and red hair.
6. He established the largest postal system prior to the modern era. Called the “Yam,” this system comprised buildings that horse riding mail carriers could stop and rest at. Once stopped, the first carrier could pass on the mail to the next carrier in line. Riders hauled the cargo about 200 miles per day, proving the “Yam” to be an efficient mail-carrying method.
7. Some estimates suggest he is an ancestor of about 0.5% of the world’s population. Hundreds of conquered females were in the Khan’s sexual reserves, and he had plenty of children with these women. His descendants maintained similar practices, with his eldest son, Jochi, having anywhere between 15 and 44 sons.
8. Unlike other medieval rulers, Chinggis Khan was mostly tolerant of religious diversity. He established religious liberty for all his subjects and made tax exemptions for some places of worship, although he made these exemptions for political purposes.
9. We are not sure how he died. Some historical accounts claim he died from injuries sustained by falling off his horse during battle, while other accounts claim he succumbed to such things as malaria, an arrow to the knee, or even a wound during sex.
10. Though he ruled the largest empire in history, Chinggis Khan’s gravesite remains unknown. Buried in 1227, he was laid to rest in an undisclosed area within northern Mongolia. Some legends say a river was diverted to cover his grave.