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Genghis Khan and the Mongols - The mongolian philosophy

Updated on October 9, 2010

A little bit about the Mongolian Army first

The name Genghis Khan or Temujin ,as he was known in his native Mongolia, is synonymous with the impression of the fiercest gladiator on horseback known in history. In order to understand a little about this famous military general, we need to understand the makeup of the Mongolian Army of the 12th century.

The Mongols believed that the horse was a sacred animal and as such horse and rider became one. The Mongolian Army was successful in essence for this reason.The horses were so revered that the battle horses were never slaughtered for food and were often buried with their riders together. It is profound to realise that when the Mongolian Army departed on their second European campaign, they took with them a million horses.

The Mongolian warriors slept in the saddle, always on the ready, and often on long journeys without sufficient water found it necessary to make a small cut in the horses neck to drink some blood before bandaging it up and continuing on their journey. This is not to say that they were vampire or canibal in nature, but that they understood the necessity of sustainance and for both horse and rider to survive together.

This is also evident in the method used by the warriors to cross country by having stopping points to swop horses at pre-determined way points on their route where fresh horses were always available for the warriors travelling with important battle information to Genghis Khan.

The movement of the Army of Genghis Khan

The average rate of travel for an army is about 20 miles a day. The Mongolian Army was able to move 60 000 warriors up to 100 miles in a single day and as such travelled much faster and more efficiently than any other army of their time. Mobility was the key to their success and this was well understood by Genghis Khan. His methods of battle were still used up until the Second World War and were even used by military commanders such as General Patton and General Rommel in their North African campaigns.

In addition to this mobility, their regimental discipline enabled them to gain a tremendous advantage over the heavily armed cavalry of their opponents.

The Mongol Army was divided into decimal units of 10 000 men (tumens) and then into units of 1 000 men (jurgans) and even further still into units of 10 men called arbans. These troops were drilled in their various units until they knew exactly where their positions were in a 10 man unit and even in the 10 000 men unit. Within a short timeframe a batallion could be formed in however many warriors were needed. In order to organise this system, the commanders would use whistling signals and a rudementary flag system to communicate with the warriors.

Now bear in mind that all of this was done whilst on horseback. Isn't it amazing.

Now about Genghis Khan

Genghis Khan or Temujin if you will, did not always have access to these great numbers of warriors and had adverse beginnings. His start began with a small tribe of 17 people, one of which was his mother. Through his quest for diplomacy and to be the most successful warrior of all time, he slowly grew his following as he travelled and eventually fought neighbouring tribes to gain his rightful place as their leader. Eventually this snowball effect enabled him to take over the ruling position without any bloodshed as the shear numbers of his army easily convinced tribal elders to become submissive. His means were more along the lines of a combined Mongol people by means of his talent at diplomacy and he became liked more than feared by preventing further bloodshed.

Once his own lands were conquered and alligned under his own rulership, he aimed at the lands of China. This was a few years later in 1215 ADE whereby the Taoist Monks were captured and integrated into the army. Genghis Khan learnt much of his battle philosophy through his influences received from monks and their shaman way of life.

The Mongols believed in a universal presence of all things and still have much respect for the etheric world, the stars, lands and living things. It seems strange that these spiritual people could be such a fierce fighting nation. The Shaman in their villages often held high positions in the hierarchy which shows their necessity for the spiritual awareness in their lives.

These Shaman are still credited for the first magic traditions from which Magic as we know it today was created. The Shaman were enlightened souls and were often known by the Mongols to return from outer worldly seances with news of heaven (Shamballa) or the underworld.

The women often accompanied the warriors on their travels as healers, but were also known to have a fierce demeanor.

To this day one of the most searched for crypts is the unknown location of the tomb of Genghis Khan. Maybe some day it will be found and more light will be shed on this famous warriors life.

I hope you found this to be as interesting as I did. If so please rate this article and leave a comment.

Thanks Dale


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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      great work. interesting...

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Good luck with your research!

      It is eye-opening.

    • gmwilliams profile image

      Grace Marguerite Williams 

      7 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

      Excellent hub. I was always interested in the Mongols. Genghis Khan is still revered as a hero by the modern day Mongols.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Dale Nelson:

      Great hub. I have always been interested in great warriers.

      thanx :)



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