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Genghis Khan

Duration:
45 minutes
First broadcast:
Thursday 01 February 2007

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss Genghis Khan. Born Temujin in the 12th Century, he was cast out by his tribe when just a child and left to struggle for survival on the harsh Steppes of what is now Mongolia. From these beginnings he went on to become Genghis Khan, leader of the greatest continuous land-based empire the world has ever seen. His conquered territories stretched from the Caspian Sea to the borders of Manchuria, from the Siberian forest to what is now Afghanistan.He was a charismatic commander and a shrewd military tactician. He was swift to promote those who served him well, ignoring race or creed, but vengeful to those who crossed him, killing every inhabitant of resistant towns, even the cats and dogs. Generally regarded as barbarians by their enemies, the Mongol armies were in fact disciplined and effective.So how did Genghis create such an impressive fighting force? How did he draw together such diverse peoples to create a wealthy and successful Empire? And what was his legacy for the territories he conquered?With Peter Jackson, Professor of Medieval History at Keele University; Naomi Standen, Lecturer in Chinese History at Newcastle University;George Lane, Lecturer in History at the School of Oriental and African Studies

  • Further Reading

    David Morgan, The Mongols (Blackwell Publishing, first edition 1986, reprint 1990)

    J.J Saunders, History of the Mongol Conquests (Barnes & Noble, New York, 1971)

    Juvaini, Ala-ad-Din, The History of the World Conqueror, (translated from the text of M. Qazvini by John A. Boyle, Vol. 2, Harvard Univ. Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1958)

    Paul Ratchnevsky, Genghis Khan - His Life and Legacy (Blackwell Press, 1992)
    (This is the authoritative biography of Genghis Khan in English)

    Paul Ratchnevsky, Genghis Khan - His Life and Legacy, translated by T.N. Haining (Oxford: Blackwell, 1991)

    Leo de Hartog, Genghis Khan - Conqueror of the World (London: I.B. Tauris, 1989)

    Robert Marshall, Storm from the East (London: BBC, 1993)

  • Genghis Khan

    Genghis Khan

    Portrait of Genghis Khan, ink and on silk. (Getty Images)

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