He Came, He Saw, He Conquered: Timothy May on the Legendary Mongolian Conqueror Genghis Khan

Timothy May
Timothy May

Founder of the Mongol Empire and one of the most feared conquerors of all time, Genghis Khan (1162–1227) created the largest empire in the world by destroying individual tribes in Northeast Asia.

Timothy May is Associate Dean of the College of Arts & Letters at the University of North Georgia. A specialist in the Mongol Empire and nomadic empires in general, he is the author of several books including The Mongol Conquests in World History and The Mongol Art of War.

Q: You’ve made a career out of exploring the Mongol Empire and nomadic empires in general. What sparked your interest?

A:   When I was in 5th grade I stumbled upon Harold Lamb’s Genghis Khan and the Mongol Horde (1954). It captured my imagination. I had read other books by him, and his writing always excited my curiosity as a child. So my awareness and interest in the Mongols continued until I went to college. As a history major I didn’t really have a focus, but then I read another book, James Chamber’s The Devil’s Horsemen: The Mongol Invasion of Europe and everything sort of “clicked” in my mind. Although neither book will ever be considered works of brilliant scholarship, both were well written and excited one’s interest in history.

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