13th Century: Genghis Khan (c.1167-1227)

The world conqueror swept through Asia like an apocalypse and set in motion forces more powerful than the sword

Temujin was born clutching a blood clot the size of a knucklebone. His name was war booty, taken from a captive rival by his proud warrior father and tacked on like a medal to his firstborn son. But history echoes with another of his names, a title Temujin would receive 39 years later. In 1206, by acclamation of all the Mongols, he became Genghis Khan, the "Oceanic Ruler" who in the next two decades would father an empire that rolled across Eurasia, linking the Pacific Ocean to the Blade Sea as it amassed kingdoms as loot and nations as slaves. The...

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